A Love Sonnet – Ode to the Big Wide Receiver

I gotcha!  No love sonnet here, just a dork chart.

This will be a quick post just to add some additional information to a series of tweets I threw out there this morning on bigger wide receivers.  If you look at the scoring leaders in a standard fantasy scoring format, you’ll see that the list is dominated by the bigger wide receivers.  Most of the Top 10 list goes over 210 pounds.  The same isn’t exactly true in PPR scoring, where smaller guys like Wes Welker and Victor Cruz make it onto the list, along with some guys who just miss the 210 cutoff (like Roddy White).  But I tend to like the bigger WRs because I think they’re sort of a corollary to the recent emergence of the TE as a scoring position in football.  Tight ends and bigger wide receivers tend to be more efficient in the red zone, which means that they stay relevant all over the field.

On twitter I mentioned that since 2005, out of the 43 seasons of at least 1000 yards and 10 touchdowns, 30 of those seasons came from players who were at least 210 pounds.  A few people asked about the size of the average receiver – essentially, is the 1000/10 group any different in terms of size than the total universe of WRs? – so I threw a quick graph together to illustrate.  The below density plot shows both the weight distribution of all wide receivers, along with the weight distribution of receivers who averaged a 1000/10 pace.  The dotted line is the distribution of all wide receivers.  The solid line is the group of 1000/10 pace seasons.  You can see that the solid line’s distribution is to the right of the dotted line, which is to say that guys who were in the 1000/10 group were larger than all wide receivers.  In fact, the median weight for the receivers in the 1000/10 group was 210 pounds, while the median weight for all WRs was just 200 pounds.  If you start adding TEs into the mix (which I haven’t done below) it ends up pulling up the median for that 1000/10 group.  But I left TE out so as not to confound the answer to the question of whether the 1000/10 WRs were actually any larger than all WRs.

Note that if you looked at the same issue in terms of height, it would probably come out similarly as the two variables are likely highly correlated.

Solid line – Group of WRs on 1000yd/10td pace

Dotted Line – All WRs

 

Rplot01

One interesting note: You can see a little bump on the left hand side of the distribution for the 1000/10 group.  That’s for Marvin Harrison, who at 175 pounds was still regularly in the 1000/10 group.

  • Luis Pacheco

    This is very good analysis!

    I’m going to throw back a challenge to you since you might have the data:
    Can you condition the data by number of targets,maybe quartiles? (facet_wrap). You might be able to see the distribution by who has the more targets and maybe see that bigger receivers outperform smaller ones even with the same number of targets