Advanced Fantasy Metrics: Wide Receiver Yards Per Pass Route

Written by Eric Moody
September 20, 2019

Advanced Metrics: WR Yards Per Pass Route

Have you ever heard of the Yards Per Pass Route metric? It takes into account the number of snaps a player enters a pass pattern. YPPR is one of my favorite advanced efficiency metrics we offer subscribers because it provides a better indicator of production than yards per reception or even yards per target. In essence, it's the receiver version of yards per pass, as it takes production and divides that by a receiver's opportunity. I will also reference expected points (EP) and fantasy points over expectation (FPOE). EP is based on the average fantasy point value of plays in similar down, distance, and field position instances. FPOE, on the other hand, takes a player’s actual fantasy points and subtracts out the expected points. EP measures volume while FPOE measures efficiency. As we approach Sunday's Week 3 slate of NFL action this article will focus on the wide receiver leaders in YPPR while weaving in some of the other advanced metrics available at FantasyData. 

Rank Player Name Team Targets Receiving Yards Yards Per Pass Route
1 DeSean Jackson PHI 10 154 5.31
2 Michael Gallup DAL 15 226 4.71
3 D.J. Chark JAX 13 201 4.02
  • DeSean Jackson is off to a really good this season. NFL.com'S Tom Pelissero reported that he 32-year old receiver is likely to miss this week's game against the Lions as he recovers from a groin injury. It's likely that Jackson will also miss Week 4 since the Eagles play on Thursday Night Football. He still has the ability to separate from defenders as evident by his 2.2 yards of target separation. Jackson's has scored 20.6 more fantasy points than expected, having caught eight of 10 targets. He currently has a true catch rate of 89 percent. This metric divides total receptions by total catchable targets. If you're entering Week 3 undefeated you should consider trading for Jackson. He's an excellent flex weekly flex option in the Eagles explosive offense. 
  • NFL.com Insider Ian Rapoport reported that Michael Gallup will miss two to four weeks due to his meniscus. He is expected to return anywhere from two to four weeks. Gallup, like Jackson, has one of the highest per-game EP's (11) at this stage of the season. The second-year receiver has averaged 6.8 points per game more than expected with a true catch rate of 86.7 percent. Gallup is also another receiver to target in trades if your fantasy team is 2-0.
  • D.J. Chark continues to be a pleasant surprise for fantasy players who acquired him late in fantasy drafts or on the waiver wire. He has the third most air yards entering Week 3's matchup with the Titans on Thursday Night Football. Chark is averaging 3.32 fantasy points per target. 
Rank Player Name Team Targets Receiving Yards Yards Per Pass Route
4 Cooper Kupp LAR 19 166 3.86
5 Sammy Watkins KC 24 247 3.69
6 John Ross CIN 20 270 3.65
7 Keenan Allen LAC 25 221 3.62
8 Odell Beckham CLE 21 232 3.57
9 John Brown BUF 18 195 3.42
10 Chris Conley JAX 12 170 3.33
11 Chris Godwin TB 15 174 3.28
12 Michael Thomas NO 26 212 3.03
  • Cooper Kupp looks healthy after returning from last season's ACL injury. He continues to see a large target share as quarterback Jared Goff's safety valve. Defenders have provided Kupp a cushion of 4.58 yards. This is impressive for a slot receiver considering other receivers such as Odell Beckham has averaged 4.55. Kupp should be inserted into lineups every week. 
  • Sammy Watkins has thrived so far this season as the Chiefs No. 1 receiver as Tyreek Hill recovers from a shoulder injury. He is another receiver thriving based on his expected points and fantasy points over expectation. Watkins has averaged 8.8 points per game more than expected. He's an every-week starter in the Chiefs high octane offense that's averaging an NFL high 407 passing yards per game. 
  • John Ross is another receiver who is exceeding expectations. He's averaging an impressive 24.5 yards per reception, but drops continue to be an opportunity. The 23-year old receiver has three drops on the season and a true catch rate of 73.3 percent. 
  • Keenan Allen is seeing a hefty target share through two games. He hasn't been as effective with it as one would think. Allen has only averaged 0.5 points per game more than expected, with a true catch rate of 84.2 percent.  
  • One observation of Odell Beckham through two games is his success rate on his five contested targets which stands at 40 percent. This is something to monitor considering the Browns rest of season matchups. Beckham is still an elite WR1, but quarterback Baker Mayfield's play could dictate whether he has overall WR1 upside. 
  • Quarterback Josh Allen and John Brown are a match made in fantasy football heaven. He has averaged 6.3 points per game more than expected. Brown has the sixth-most air yards and is a weekly WR2 in all formats. 
  • Quarterback Gardner Minshew is providing Chris Conley and D.J. Chark the opportunity to make plays downfield. Conley 83.3 percent true catch compared to Chark 100 percent tells you who's taking advantage of the opportunity. Conley is more of a WR4. His outlook could change once he fully recovers from a hip injury. 
  • Chris Godwin is currently leading the Buccaneers receivers in targets, receptions, receiving yards, and touchdowns. He also has an 80 percent success rate on contested targets. 
  • The biggest surprise with Michael Thomas has been his drops. He currently has two for the season with only four. Even with Teddy Bridgewater under center for the next six to eight weeks with a hand injury, Thomas can still be viewed as a low-end WR1. 
Rank Player Name Team Targets Receiving Yards Yards Per Pass Route
13 Adam Thielen MIN 11 118 2.95
14 T.Y. Hilton IND 15 130 2.77
15 DeAndre Hopkins HOU 21 151 2.75
16 Amari Cooper DAL 14 150 2.68
17 Larry Fitzgerald ARI 24 217 2.65
18 Tyrell Williams OAK 14 151 2.65
19 Cole Beasley BUF 13 123 2.62
20 Davante Adams GB 17 142 2.58
21 Danny Amendola DET 14 104 2.54
22 Calvin Ridley ATL 16 169 2.52
  • The Vikings are last in the NFL with an average of 21 pass attempts per game. This is not the best news for Adam Thielen's fantasy outlook, but he continues to be efficient. The 29-year old receiver has a true catch rate of 100 percent. 
  • There is life after Andrew Luck for T.Y. Hilton. He is averaging nine points per game more than expected with Jacoby Brissett under center. 
  • DeAndre Hopkins is coming off a difficult game against the Jaguars defense while being shadowed by Jalen Ramsey. He currently has three drops and a true catch rate of 81.2 percent. Hopkins is also struggling to separate from defenders with less than a yard of separation. He is still an elite WR1, but this serves as a reminder to have proper expectations based on matchups.   
  • Amari Cooper hasn't been asked to do too much so far this season with the Cowboys offense operating on all cylinders. He will be asked to do more over the next month with Gallup recovering from surgery. The most impressive statistic regarding Cooper so far this season is the 2.18 yards of separation he's getting from defenders when running routes. He can be viewed as a weekly WR1. 
  • Larry Fitzgerald is currently leading all receivers with 96 pass routes run. This was also the first time he has achieved back-to-back 100-yard games since Week 2 and 3 of the 2015 season according to Pro Football Reference.
  • Tyrell Williams has assumed the mantle of the Raiders No.1 receiver following the departure of Antonio Brown. He currently has a true catch rate of 100 percent. 
  • Cole Beasley's role in the Bills offense and ability to get open is criminally underrated. The 30-year old receiver is averaging 2.46 yards of separation per target and is averaging a healthy 9.5 yards per target. Allen's safety valve currently has the second-most targets on the Bills. He's better suited for deeper formats.
  • Calvin Ridley is more effective than Julio Jones right now. He has more receptions, receiving yards, and a higher fantasy points per target than Jones. Ridley is averaging 5.4 points per game more than expected while Jones is averaging only 0.5 points per game more. 
Rank Player Name Team Targets Receiving Yards Yards Per Pass Route
23 Tyler Boyd CIN 21 182 2.4
24 JuJu Smith-Schuster PIT 16 162 2.38
25 Emmanuel Sanders DEN 20 184 2.3
26 Kenny Golladay DET 19 159 2.3
27 Tyler Lockett SEA 14 123 2.24
28 Julian Edelman NE 15 134 2.16
29 Randall Cobb GB 11 93 2.16
30 Jamison Crowder NYJ 23 139 2.11
31 Allen Robinson CHI 20 143 2.1
32 Brandin Cooks LAR 10 113 2.06
33 Courtland Sutton DEN 15 160 2.05
34 Julio Jones ATL 21 137 2.02
35 D.J. Moore CAR 24 165 2.01
  • Emmanuel Sanders is leading all receivers with seven red zone that includes four in the end zone. He doesn't move like a 32-year old coming off a torn Achilles. Sanders is a weekly WR3. 
  • Tyler Lockett set a career-high in targets with 12. You can confidently start him every week as a WR2 with WR1 upside. 
  • Randall Cobb is currently averaging 2.31 fantasy points per target. He'll likely to see an increase in targets with Gallup out over the next two to four weeks. 
  • Jamison Crowder has the sixth most targets and the third most receptions among receivers. He's only averaging only 2.6 air yards per target. 

Conclusion

FantasyData has a wealth of statistical information available to you at your fingertips. Do you ever wonder how to weave all of the information together in order to make informed decisions for your fantasy football team? That's the purpose behind the Advanced Metrics series that Jody Smith and I are writing this season. One way to approach any decision in fantasy football is to analyze two things. The first one revolves around the narrative. What are NFL Insiders, beat writers, and coaches saying. The second one revolves around the statistics, metrics, and other data. Take a moment to think of a piano. You can play music with one hand, but once you use both hands the music is even better. You should have the same mindset when it comes to managing your fantasy football team. 

Please read my Start 'Em Sit 'Em column to help get ready for Week 2. If you have additional questions you can also refer to my fantasy football rankings or better yet reach out to me on Twitter for an immediate response (@EricNMoody). Thanks for reading and please sign up for FantasyData Premium.

Source: FantasyData and RotoViz

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Eric Moody

Eric Moody is a member of the FSWA (Fantasy Sports Writers Association). His writing has been featured at FantasyPros, Gridiron Experts, RotoViz, and TwoQBs. He has a lifelong passion for the game and even played at the collegiate level as an offensive lineman. Eric also participated in Dan Hatman's Scouting Academy in order to learn the process of player evaluation at an NFL level. When Eric provides advice, he uses game film, analytics, and statistics to help you understand his perspective. He enjoys time with his family, Netflix, music, bass guitar, and coffee