Air Yards Report Week 6 – Using Air Yards for Start Sit Decisions

by Edward DeLauter · Strategy

his is the Air Yards Report Week 6! Find out which players led the week in Air Yards and how YOU should use Air Yards when determining your fantasy lineups.

What are Air Yards? 

Air Yards measure how many yards the football travels past the line of scrimmage on a passing play. Some Air Yards have completed passes, and some are incomplete passes. They are not a perfect measurement of future fantasy success but a tool that we can utilize to help us make lineup decisions.

In 2022, the Air Yards receiving leaders were Tyreek Hill, Davante Adams, Justin Jefferson, A.J. Brown, and Stefon Diggs. All five players finished within the top six scorers at the WR position. The only top-six WR not in the top five in Air Yards was CeeDee Lamb: he finished No. 9. 

Air Yards Standouts Who Shined in Week 5

George Pickens | Pittsburgh Steelers – 196 Air Yards (1st Overall)

George Pickens had his best fantasy performance of the year last week roasting the Ravens’ secondary for six receptions, 130 receiving yards, and a touchdown. Pickens has had uneven results this season amassing 85 Air Yards or more in three out of five contests. The Steelers schedule lightens up a bit after their week six bye. Look for Pickens to continuing ascending even if teammate Diontae Johnson returns from injured reserve post bye.

DeAndre Hopkins | Tennessee Titans – 173 Air Yards (4th Overall)

In the battle with father time, DeAndre Hopkins is the winner thus far. The 31-year-old has taken some time to established rapport with new quarterback Ryan Tannehill. However, he has seen 100 plus Air Yards in all but one game this season. He is the clear-cut target hog in the Titans passing game and remains a set and forget flex play with the ability to flash WR1 upside.

Cooper Kupp | Los Angeles Rams – 137 Air Yards (8th Overall)

Cooper Kupp returned to the Rams, and it seemed like he never left. He led the team in Air Yards and targets in route to a 19.8 fantasy point finish. While he was outscored by sensational rookie Puka Nacua, as Nacua found the endzone, Kupp is the clear 1A in the receiver corps. He is a locked in WR1 despite Nacua’s presence.

Players Who Disappointed but will Bounce Back

Christian Watson | Green Bay Packers – 177 Air Yards (3rd Overall) 

Christian Watson scored double digit fantasy points in Week 5, but with 86 Unrealized Air Yards he left a lot of potential points on the field. With double digit fantasy points in both games since he returned, Watson hasn’t per se disappointed, however he is likely in line for a boom week once the Packers return from bye in Week 7.

Zay Flowers | Baltimore Ravens – 168 Air Yards (5th Overall) 

Zay Flowers, like Watson, scored double digit fantasy points last week. However, his week could have been so much bigger. Flowers had multiple drops last week against the Steelers. Despite these drops, Flowers is the clear WR1 for Lamar Jackson and the Ravens, leading the team, and receiving corps in targets last week with 11.  Flowers remains a viable WR3 play with WR1 week upside.

Brandin Cooks | Dallas Cowboys – 122 Air Yards (14th Overall) 

Brandin Cooks, like the Dallas Cowboys offense last week, could not get much going. Despite 122 Air Yards, Cooks finished with only 2.3 fantasy points. The Cowboys are going to have to try to stretch the field with Cooks if they hope to elevate the offense. Based on his past history, and WR37 finish last season, Cooks remains an intriguing name to monitor and a player that can help you navigate the bye weeks as a boom-bust WR5.