NFL Air Yards Report Week 11 – Using Air Yards for Start Sit Decisions

by Edward DeLauter · Analytics & Advanced Metrics

This is the NFL Air Yards Report Week 11! 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 10

Chris Olave | New Orleans Saints – 182 Air Yards (t-2nd Overall)

Chris Olave was in Prayer Yards purgatory with Derek Carr throwing him the football as he leads the league in Unrealized Air Yards. However, Carr sustained a concussion and shoulder injury last week, which may lead to Jameis Winston starting for the Saints.

Olave’s fantasy ceiling would skyrocket with Winston under center. YOLO balls will only add to Olave’s air yardage totals and potential fantasy points. Consider Olave a WR2 with WR1 upside if Winston starts, but a WR3 with a significantly smaller ceiling if Carr is back.

Mike Evans | Tampa Bay Buccaneers – 190 Air Yards (1st Overall)

Mike Evans cruised against a terrible Titans pass defense scoring 26.3 fantasy points with 143 receiving and a touchdown. Evans has been Baker Mayfield‘s preferred down field target seeing 14 deep targets on the season, double that of teammates Chris Godwin.

The big plays may be limited against the 49ers this week, but Mayfield may be forced to chuck it if the Buccaneers are trailing. Treat Evans as a WR2 to this week.

Brandin Cooks| Dallas Cowboys – 134 Air Yards (10th Overall)

Brandin Cooks was able to haul in nine of 10 targets for 173 yards receiving and a touchdown in route to 32.3 fantasy points last week. This was Cooks first WR1 finish of the season and the second time this season he saw over 100 Air Yards. With the Cowboys offense cooking, look to insert Cooks into your fantasy lineups as a boom/bust flex play.

Players Who Disappointed But will Bounce Back

DeAndre Hopkins| Tennessee Tians – 162 Air Yards (5th Overall)

DeAndre Hopkins had his worst fantasy finish in the Will Levis era last week finishing with only 5.7 fantasy points. However, he has seen at least 134 Air Yards in each of Levis’ three starts. Keep Hopkins in your fantasy lineup as a solid WR3 option with WR1 upside.

D.J. Moore | Chicago Bears – 108 Air Yards (15th Overall)

D.J. Moore finished with 10.9 fantasy points in what may be Tyson Bagent‘s last start as a Chicago Bear. Moore averaged only 67 Air Yards in Bagent’s four starts compared to 88.7 Air Yards in the games Justin Field‘s started. Fields and Moore seemed to mesh just weeks prior to Fields succumbing to injury.

Moore finished as the WR5 and WR2 in Weeks 4 and 5 which were Fields’ last full games played. With Fields now back, confidently start Moore as a WR2 for the rest of the season.

Gabriel Davis | Buffalo Bills – 101 Air Yards (18th Overall)

Gabriel Davis saw 101 Air Yards in the Bills brutal loss to the Broncos. In true Gabe Davis fashion, he turned those Air Yards into only 9.6 points. However, while Davis may be nothing more than a league average wide receiver, the fact remains that he still plays with Josh Allen. This, coupled with the fact that Davis has cleared 70 Air Yards in seven of 11 games, means he remains a fantasy viable boom-bust flex option with the ability to post weekly WR1 finishes.