Wide Receiver Targets In Relation To Height
In my latest four part series I researched the overall success rate of wide receivers in a variety of statistical categories including, fantasy points scored, targets, receptions, and receiving yards. I used statistical data from the 2015-2017 seasons using the top fifty in each specific category and graphed my results. The second category in my wide receiver series looks at targets in relation to receiver height. For the sake of tracking receivers based on height I divided them into four separate classes. The first group consists of receivers 5'7"-5'9", the second grouping are wide outs 5'10'-6'0". The third division of receivers are 6'1"-6'3", and finally the big guys 6'4"-6'6" to close out my research.
The graph below displays the 2017 target leaders among wide receivers, I have broken the graph up into different height groupings. As you can see the success rate of the wide outs between 6'1"-6'3" is leading the way by a slim margin representing 44.0% of the top fifty in WR targets. Not far behind is the group of wide receivers between 5'10"-6'0" as they accounted for 40.0% of target leader board. Well behind in third place with only a 10.0% representation in the top fifty are the largest receivers of the group ranging from 6'4"-6'6", As expected the group with the lowest percentage in top fifty wide receiver targets in 2017 was the receivers between 5'7"-5'9", accounting for a meager 6.0% of the total top fifty.
2017 Wide Receiver Targets
2016 Wide Receiver Targets
In 2016 as the below graph illustrates this was by far the most even of years in regards to the top fifty target leaders. The little guys (5'7"-5'9") seen a considerable increase from 6.0% in 2017 to 12.0% in 2016, not far behind the 6'4"-6'6" grouping who were responsible for 16.0% of the top 50 receiver targets. The wide outs measuring between 5'10"-6'0" were close behind the leaders in 2016 as they represented 34.0%. With WR's between 6'1"-6'3" once again leading the way with 38.0% of the top fifty wide receiver targets in 2016. The bottom two grouping had their best showing with a 28.0% representation in 2016, which was by far the best year target wise for these groups.
2015 Wide Receiver Targets
The 2015 graph which can be seen below also looks very similar to the 2017 graph in regards to the same two groupings dominating the top fifty wide receiver targets. The 6'1"-6'3" receivers accounted again for 44.0% of the top fifty leading the way. The 2015 group of wide outs 5'10"-6'0" had better numbers than the 2016 contingency having 20 in the of the top 50 in WR targets representing 40.0%. The larger wide outs between 6'4"-6'6" had a meager 12.0% representation in 2015, and the shortest group dropped to their lowest three year total of a mere 4.0% of the top fifty in receiver targets.
2015-2017 Wide Receiver Targets
The next graph displayed below again highlights the vast gap between the top two receiver groupings and the bottom two receiver groupings, when looked at over a three year sample size. The top two scoring fantasy receiver groupings (6'1"-6'3") and (5'10"-6'0") account for 83.3% of the top fifty wide outs targets annually between 2015-2017. The "Big Boys" 6'4"-6'6" were only responsible for 9.3% of the top fifty in targets over the past three years. The shortest receiver group which was 5'7"-5'9" only accounted for an average of 7.3% of the annual top fifty in WR targets over the course of the past three NFL seasons. It is important to remember that the vast majority of starting wide receivers obviously are between 5'10"-6-3" which is in part responsible for those groups inflated target numbers.
In conclusion it's not hard too see which height classes you should be targeting in your startup and rookie drafts, as the numbers simply don't lie. The primarily targeted wide receiver group is the 6'1"-6'3" grouping. Once again in second place is the 5'10'-6'0" wide receivers, falling 7.3% behind the leaders over the three year sample size. As I proclaimed earlier, the day of the big powerful wide receiver may be coming to an end as there are very few successful big men left in the league that aren't in the twilight of their career. Over the past three years the 6'4"-6'6" receivers only made up on average 9.3% of WR targets. Which is hardly better than the group of receivers between 5'7"-5'9", with a 7.3% representation annually in targets. In dynasty there is simply no reason to be drafting receivers in the bottom two grouping for aforementioned reasons, they just simply aren't long term viable dynasty options. Sorry Dez, AJ Green, Cole Beasley, and Jamison Crowder, but size and obviously age are working against your dynasty value and fantasy production.