NFL Air Yards Report Week 17 – Using Air Yards for Start Sit Decisions

by Edward DeLauter · Fantasy Football

This is the NFL Air Yards Report – Week 17! Find out which players led the week in Air Yards and how YOU should use Air Yards when determining your fantasy lineups. Let’s us Air Yards to get a fantasy championship!

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 16

Amari Cooper | Cleveland Browns – 268 Air Yards (1st Overall)

Amari Cooper likely, singlehandedly, won you your week, scoring a whooping 51.5 fantasy points. Cooper reeled in 11 receptions for two touchdowns and 265 yards against Houston. In his last three games with Joe Flacco as his quarterback, Cooper has failed to see less than 129 Air Yards and hasn’t finished lower than WR28 on the week.  Despite realizing enough Air Yards to get you to a fantasy championship, Cooper is a recommended fade this week against a stout Jets secondary. He is best viewed as a WR3.

D.J. Chark | Carolina Panthers – 132 Air Yards (5th Overall)

D.J. Chark had his best fantasy day since 2019 in Week 16 scoring 27.8 fantasy points and catching two touchdowns.

Chark has averaged a respectable 77 Air Yards in his last four games. If you’ve made it to the championship round you likely, and hopefully, don’t need Chark in your lineup. However, he is the recommended Air Yards desperation play in Week 17.

George Pickens | Pittsburgh Steelers – 107 Air Yards (14th Overall)

George Pickens went nuclear in an island game to the tune of 35.5 fantasy points. With Mason Rudolph at quarterback, Pickens was targeted six times, only one more target more than teammate Diontae Johnson. Pickens is best left on fantasy benches despite a favorable matchup in Week 17 against the Seahawks. He remains a high variance desperation play.

Players Who Disappointed But Will Bounce Back

Stefon Diggs | Buffalo Bills – 114 Air Yards (10th Overall)

Stefon Diggs has taken permanent residence in this section of the article. Despite averaging over 80 Air Yards per game across the last four contests, Diggs has posted only one double digit fantasy point finish. However, fantasy players should continue to trust the process on Diggs who faces New England this week. This New England team is a team Diggs dropped a top 12 WR finish on in Week 7. Hold strong and start Diggs this week.

Davante Adams | Las Vegas Raiders – 82 Air Yards (25th Overall)

Davante Adams saw only six targets last week in the Raiders upset win against the Kansas City Chiefs. With the Raiders establishing the run with Zamir White, and Aidan O’Connell completing only nine passes, Adams had some tough sledding last week.

Now facing the Indianapolis Colts inviting secondary, in a game with sneaky shootout potential, keep Adams in your lineup and look for him to rebound with a top 12 WR finish this week.