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Wide Receiver Correlation Analysis

Hello Fantasy Faithfuls, to get a little bit of diversity in our day to day life during this time of year I decided to not write about the draft or free agency today. Instead I will be analyzing numbers from last year's top 50 Wide Receivers. I will be looking at key stats and what correlates the most with fantasy points. As usual I want you to have some information with you before getting deeper into the numbers. These are not end all be all numbers instead they are a helpful tool for you to decide between two players.

I have measured everything today with a Correlation Test, which measures if two samples move in the same direction. Answers vary from +1 Perfect Positive Correlation to -1 Perfect Negative Correlation. If the answer is +1 it means that when one sample gains 1 so does the other and vice versa. As an example, when the entire stock market goes up 1 % your company's value goes up 1 % and when the market goes down 1 % so does your company. Let's dig in!

The most obvious stat their is when doing correlation test, Targets. It is widely known that Targets is the most important stat for Wide Receivers but I wanted to show you just how important it is compared to the other numbers.

Targets has a correlation coefficient of 0.84 which is extremely high, that means for every Target a Wide Receiver sees during the year he will get 0.84 fantasy points. You can assume that 10 targets is roughly equal to 8.4 fantasy points each game.

Since I only analyzed the 50 highest scoring Receivers from 2017 this chart is not impacted by a Receiver that only had a few targets but had really big gains from those.

Yards Per Reception actually had a much higher correlation coefficient than I first expected. 0.44 is not a super strong correlation but it is enough to at least give it some attention.

Notable players in the top 50 with high Yards Per Reception were Marvin Jones Jr. with 18, Keelan Cole with 17.8 and Marquise Goodwin with 17.2. Cole and Goodwin are not the first two Receivers you think about when you think about fantasy studs but these numbers intrigue me, especially Goodwin with Jimmy G.

This is the analysis Dez Bryant and Terrance Williams have been waiting for. A Wide Receiver's catch rate actually impacts his fantasy scoring in a Negative way!? With a correlation coefficient of -0.12 a Wide Receiver that catches a lesser percentage of his targets actually score more fantasy points.

We have big names at the bottom of the catch rate with Mike Evans, T.Y. Hilton, Dez Bryant, Alshon Jeffery and A.J. Green. These players are all in the bottom 8 in catch rate, however only A.J. Green had a top 10 finish of them but they are still big names.

This shows that drops really does not impact fantasy scoring in a way you should worry about. If a guy sees plenty of targets with a high Yards Per Reception while he drops a ton of passes, draft him anyway.

To finish this article I wanted to present the average fantasy scoring in different situations. The NFC as last year give up slighly more points on average to Receivers, which has a small impact on how I tune my Projection for next year, in this case almost nothing since the same conference is weaker again.

Playing against teams with a below 500 record gives Receivers a better opportunity to score more points but again not in a big way. My weights for Receivers will be slightly adjusted to account for this in 2018.

The Home game impact on scoring was something I was aware of since a while back and it will be interesting to see if this trend continues as we see more teams move city to play in front of a different crowd.

Like and Re-tweet, everything is appreciated!

The spreadsheets are dark and full of terror // CSD

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