Follow the targets. That’s my number one rule when evaluating WRs in fantasy. Targeted players catch passes and produce points. You don’t play WRs who only average 3-4 tgts a game; they won’t score you points reliably. If a player is getting 6+ targets a game, they are probably fantasy relevant. 10-plus targets is potential WR1 target share. Yet, Nate Washington remains under-the-radar.
If we exclude his injured zero target week 4, Nate Washington is averaging 10 targets a game. He’s the No. 2 WR on the most pass-reliant team in the NFL: The Houston Texans are averaging over 47 pass plays per game. Even with Cecil Shorts healthy and sharing the field, Washington’s target totals were 11, 8, and 9, respectively. We know Washington will receive the necessary pass volume to be fantasy-relevant. Indeed, Washington’s 17.0 PPR fantasy points per game is No. 14 among NFL wide receivers and includes consistent top-24 performances with three weeks of 15-plus fantasy points per game.
Looking at efficiency, Nate Washington’s 9.4 AYA when targeted is the highest on the team, which is averaging a low 6.5 AYA. His +3.8 Production Premium backs this up, higher than either DeAndre Hopkins +0.7 or Cecil Shorts horrific -15.5. None of these numbers are particularly special, but they are in the green and leading the team.
So let me get this straight… Nate Washington is a heavily-targeted and efficient wide receiver starting for a high-volume passing attack. Is that something that you might be interested in?
Nate Washington is not a fantasy WR1, but he is much more than a mere bye week fill-in as he is often characterized. Based on all the available data, he’s probably going to be a fantasy WR2 in 2015 — not a league winner, but certainly a difference maker.