NFL Air Yards Report Week 16 – Using Air Yards for Start Sit Decisions

by Edward DeLauter · Fantasy Football

This is the NFL Air Yards Report – Week 16! 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 15

Terry McLaurin | Washington Commanders – 179 Air Yards (1st Overall)

Terry McLaurin went off last week for a season high 26.1 fantasy points. He caught six of 12 targets for 141 yards and a touchdown. Much of his fantasy production occurred late in the game with Jacoby Brissett at QB for the Commanders in desperation comeback mode. Don’t read too much into this performance for Week 16. Hopefully, you have some better options than McLaurin for the fantasy playoffs.

Tee Higgins | Cincinnati Bengals – 165 Air Yards (3rd Overall)

Tee Higgins had one of his better fantasy performances on the season scoring 22.1 fantasy points last week. While he saw 165 Air Yards, they were mostly Jake Browning inspired prayer yards.

Higgins only caught four passes, two of which happened to be touchdowns. While it’s hard not to start Higgins with Ja’Marr Chase out this week, the bust potential is looming and likely.

Amari Cooper | Cleveland Browns – 129 Air Yards (9th Overall)

Amari Cooper scored 20.9 fantasy points last week, catching four receptions for 109 yards and a touchdown. With old man Joe Flacco slinging it, Cooper will likely increase his average target distance of 13.4 this week against the Texans. Continue to rely on Cooper as a solid WR2 option.

Players Who Disappointed But Will Bounce Back

DeAndre Hopkins | Tennessee Titans – 200 Air Yards (2nd Overall)

DeAndre Hopkins scored only 4.1 fantasy points last week catching two passes for 21 yards. However, he continues to hog targets in the Titans receiving room seeing nine of Will Levis‘ 26 attempts last week. Continue to ride the variance with Hopkins. He is a WR3 with WR1 upside.

D.J. Moore | Chicago Bears – 131 Air Yards (7th Overall)

D.J. Moore disappointed last week, catching four of eight targets for 52 scoreless yards.

However, he continues to be Justin Fields go to target ranking inside the top 10 among wide receivers in Air Yards Share. Look for him to bounce back against a susceptible Cardinals secondary this week.

A.J. Brown | Philadelphia Eagles-  Air Yards (24th Overall)

A.J. Brown fell victim to the Jalen Hurts flu game, catching five receptions for 56 scoreless yards. Brown is in an absolute smash spot this week against a hapless Giants secondary. You’re not benching Brown in the fantasy playoffs. Feel confident with him in your semifinal lineup.