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Playoffs 02-19-2014 10:32 AM

WR Size & Red-Zone Efficiency
WR Size & Red-Zone Efficiency

The idea that the best wide receivers are typically big isn’t new, but I wanted to take some time to analyze wide receivers regarding red zone play. While certain players are more likely than others to score from 50 yards out, the majority of touchdowns come in the red zone, and they’re far, far more consistent.

Although all types of touchdowns are volatile from game to game, there’s a very, very strong long-term correlation between wide receiver size and red zone production. It’s very rare to find a short or light wide receiver who can consistently dominate in the red zone. You might see it over the course of a season or two, but over the long run, it basically ain’t happening unless you have Manning throwing you passes.

Before I get into the numbers, I want to note that because we can use size to predict red zone efficiency so well, it can be really useful for fantasy purposes. As fantasy owners, we want players who are going to score a lot of touchdowns, whether we’re deciding who to draft before the season or who to start in Week 4. We can use size (and college red zone efficiency) to predict that the 6’3”, 220-pound wide receiver who has started his NFL career slowly in terms of touchdowns will probably pick it up, or that the 5’10”, sub-200 second-year receiver who has scored on 35.0 percent of his red zone targets is highly unlikely to maintain that pace.

read more: http://www.rotoworld.com/articles/nf...one-efficiency

Double Barrel 02-19-2014 11:45 AM

Re: WR Size & Red-Zone Efficiency
A.J. should have a lot more TDs in his career based on this article. That he doesn't speaks of the QBs that should have been throwing him the ball in those situations. And maybe sheds light on the playcallers, as well.

HJam72 02-19-2014 12:59 PM

Re: WR Size & Red-Zone Efficiency
I now have MORE respect for Wes Welker. :toropalm:

Playoffs 06-11-2014 12:15 PM

Re: WR Size & Red-Zone Efficiency
Good read, Chase's detailed analytics vs. Matt's HR perspective...

WR Size: Is It Valid Analysis?

Matt Waldman: Stats Ministers and Their Church
I’m a fan of applying analytics to football. Those who do it best possess rigorous statistical training or are disciplined about maintaining limits with its application. Brian Burke wrote that at its core, football analytics is no different than the classic scientific method. Perhaps unsurprisingly, there are some bad scientists out there, who behave more like religious zealots than statisticians. I call them Stats Ministers. They claim objectivity when their methodology and fervor is anything but.

Stats Ministers scoff at the notion that anyone would see value in a wide receiver under a specific height and weight. They love to share how an overwhelming number of receivers above that specific height and weight mark make up the highest production tiers at the history of the position, but that narrow observation doesn’t prove the broader point that among top-tier prospects, taller wide receivers fare better than shorter ones. In fact, what the Stats Ministers ignore is...

Chase Stuart: Analysis of the Big vs. Small WR Question

We should begin by first getting a sense of the distribution of height among wide receivers in the draft. The graph below shows the number of wide receivers selected in the first two rounds of each draft from 1970 to 2013 at each height (in inches)...
First, I ran a regression using Draft Pick Value as my sole input and True Receiving Yards as my output. The best-fit formula was:
TRY through five years = 348 + 131.3 * Draft Pick Value
That doesn’t mean much in the abstract, so let’s use an example. Keyshawn Johnson was the first pick in the draft, which gives him a draft value of 34.6. This formula projected Johnson to have 4,890 TRY through five years. In reality, he had 4,838. The R^2 in the regression was 0.60, which is pretty strong: It means draft pick is pretty strongly tied to wide receiver production, a sign that the market is pretty efficient.

Then I re-ran the formula using draft pick value *and* height as my inputs. As it turns out, the height variable was completely meaningless. The R^2 remained at 0.60, and the coefficient on the height variable was not close to significant (p=0.53) despite a large sample of 543 players...

Waldman: Why the Exceptional is Valuable
Chase’s analysis echoes what I have heard from those with NFL analytics backgrounds: There are too many variables to consider with raw stats to indicate that big receivers are inherently better than small receivers and there are viable archetypes of the effective small receiver.

What concerns me about the attempts to pigeonhole player evaluation into narrower physical parameters is that if taken too far one might as well replace the word “talent” in the phrase “talent evaluation” and use “athletic” or “physical” in its place. I may be wrong, but I get the sense that some of these Stats Ministers–intentionally or otherwise–dislike the exceptional when it comes to human nature. They’re seeking a way to make scouting a plain of square holes where the square pegs fit neatly into each place.

The problem with this philosophy is that once a concept, strategy, or view becomes the “right way” it evolves into the standard convention. Once it becomes conventional, it’s considered “safe.” However this is not true in the arena of competition. If you’re seeking the conventional, you’ve limited the possibilities of finding and creating environments for the exceptional to grow.

Many players who didn’t match the ideal size for their positions and had success were difference makers on winning teams–often Super Bowl Champions...

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