Drafting Wide Receivers using PlayerProfiler’s Data Analysis Tool

by Scott Smith ·

Over the last few years, PlayerProfiler has become one of my go-to fantasy football information resources. Recently, the RotoUnderworld Team took the site to the next level rolling out a Data Analysis Tool that allows owners to aggregate the stats and metrics that they value most into a sortable spreadsheet.  Being able to sort through the data quickly allows owners to identify and group players that fit the mold and preferences they desire.

The Ideal WR Archetype

I recently decided to take this tool out for a test drive in my first MFL10 draft of the year. Specifically, I utilized it to identify WRs with the five measurables I value when drafting a player.

1. Opportunity – Targets, Target Share, Targets per game and Target Premium were the stats I pulled in for this. I wanted to find at least two players that had the workload to hit 150+ targets.

2. Size – I like my WRs to be on the bigger side as studies have shown this to correlate with high touchdown production. I wanted players that were 6-1 or taller and players that weighed more than 205 pounds.

3. College Production – I like players that have a history of performing in college at an early age. I used both Breakout Age and College Dominator Rating to narrow down prospects. I set my Breakout Age for 19 and DR for .30.

4. Workout Metrics – Height Adjusted Speed Score, Burst Score and Catch Radius are three metrics that I value when looking at WRs.

5. Efficiency – Catch Rate, Production Premium, Yards per target and Fantasy Points per Target are all great stats to gain perspective on a player’s efficiency.

Setting minimum thresholds for the metrics listed above allowed me to narrow down a player pool that fit the WR profile of my preference.  The last variable would be draft position which had me picking from the 10th spot.  Of course as the draft goes on you will find it harder to find players that fit your personal mold. One great thing I found is the Data Analysis tool helped accentuate players that checked the most boxes as the overall player pool dwindled down.

My MFL10 WR Corps

1.10 – Allen Robinson: At this position in the draft the top WRs were off the board.  Robinson represented the best player that fit the mold of what I want.  At 6-2, 220-pounds Robinson saw 150+ targets is 2015 and is one of the premier young WRs in the NFL.  His college production, athletic profile and 2015 efficiency all fit what I was looking for in a 1st round pick.

Allen Robinson Advanced Metrics Profile

Allen Robinson Advanced Metrics Profile

2.03 – Sammy Watkins: While I was upset to see my target, Keenan Allen, go the pick before me, Watkins ended up being the pick.  In hindsight I may have been better off picking a couple of other players, Watkins finished 1st or 2nd among 2015 WRs in four of the five efficiency metrics I value.  Watkins workload in Buffalo seems entrenched as he was able to put up 13 or more points in eight of 10 games down the stretch.

Sammy Watkins Advanced Metrics Profile

Sammy Watkins Advanced Metrics Profile

3.10 – Josh Gordon: While Gordon sat out last year, everyone remembers how dominate he was in 2013.  In a limited 2014 Gordon was 2nd among WRs in target share.  I have little doubt Gordon should pick up right where he left off as the top target hog in Cleveland.  It’s also worth noting that his closest comp on playerprofiler is Allen Robinson. So yeah I have a type.

Josh Gordon Advanced Metrics Profile

Josh Gordon Advanced Metrics Profile

5.10 – Donte Moncrief: Height/Weight…check. Breakout Age and DR…check.  Freak on the workout metrics… check. Moncrief is a favorite here at PlayerProfiler and fit most of the boxes I look for.  He still managed to see 105 targets in 2015, a number that has room to grow in 2016.  Efficiency wise there is reason to expect a jump as well once Luck is back healthy behind center. Moncrief is one of my breakout candidates in 2016 much like Robinson was in 2015.

Donte Moncrief Advanced Metrics Profile

Donte Moncrief Advanced Metrics Profile

6.03 – Allen Hurns: Hurns doesn’t check off as many boxes as the four WRs drafted ahead of him, however there is a method to the madness.  First off, Hurns has been super productive in comparison to his workout metrics.  Hurns meets the limit on my size requirements and rated in the top 10 among 2015 WRs in four of the five efficiency metrics listed.  I also believe in “stacking” as a strategy in this format which allows Hurns to act as a safety net if Robinson were to get hurt.  In 2015, Hurns and Robinson had multiple games where they managed to produce in tandem.

12.03 – Devin Funchess: Funchess fell about 30 picks past his ADP.  Checking the boxes in size, college production and workout metrics, Funchess looks to only need more opportunity to make the jump into meaningful production.  The 31 recs, 473 yards and 5 tds against NFL competition are similar numbers to what Kelvin Benjamin produced in 2012 (at the same age) against college foes.

13.10 – Rueben Randle: At this point in the draft, you have to check off as many boxes as possible and that’s what I did by picking Randle.  While Randle has never lived up to expectations with the Giants, it may surprise many people that he finished 2015 in the top-25 (or higher) in four of the five efficiency metrics I listed.  Set to become a free agent, it’s possible Randle could find himself in a position to see more than the 90 targets he did while being overshadowed by Odell Beckham.

19.10 – Michael Campanaro: In the 19th round, I bought a PPR lottery ticket in Campanaro at the suggestion of Tim Talmadge.  Campanaro doesn’t fit the mold of the other WRs drafted but he does find himself in a position to possibly see an increase in usage. For more encouragement on taking a flier on Campanaro, I suggest you read Mr. Talmadge’s article here.

Summary

The Data Analysis Tool will be a key addition to my fantasy football arsenal for the 2016 season.  Overall, I was most impressed with the ability to access, sort and organize specific metrics for individual positions.

PlayerProfiler‘s new advanced data analysis capabilities helped me identify the cornerstone wide receivers of my first MFL10 roster of the season.  Whether or not you agree with my picks, or the metrics I chose to build my WR archetype, the Data Analysis Tool helped me cancel out noise and focus on the numbers that I think matter most.

Note: A subscription to PlayerProfiler’s Data Analysis Tool is available for $30.00 per year.


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