Wide Receiver Receiving Yards 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 fourth category in my wide receiver series looks at receiving yards 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 receiving yards 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" was finally not the top grouping representing 38.0% of the top fifty in WR receiving yards. The leaders are the group of wide receivers between 5'10"-6'0" as they accounted for 42.0% of the receiving yard leader board. Well behind in third place with only a 14.0% representation in the top fifty are the largest receivers of the group ranging from 6'4"-6'6". Again 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. The reason the receiving yards graphs will differ from the target, and reception graphs is due to average depth of routes and receptions.

2017 WR Receiving Yards

2016 WR Receiving Yards

In 2016 as the below graph illustrates there a was more expected result in regards to the top fifty in receiving yards. The little guys (5'7"-5'9") seen a very slight increase from 6.0% in 2017 to 8.0% in 2016. The 6'4"-6'6" grouping who were responsible for 14.0% of the top 50 wide receiver receiving yards. The wide outs measuring between 5'10"-6'0" fell back behind the leaders in 2016 as they represented 32.0%. With WR's between 6'1"-6'3" once again leading the way with 46.0% of the top fifty in wide receiving yards in 2016. The bottom two grouping had their best showing with a 22.0% representation in 2016, which was their best year receiving yards wise for these groups. 

2015 WR Receiving Yards

The 2015 graph which can be seen below highlights the top two groupings in regards to the same two height groups dominating the top fifty wide receiver receiving yards. The 6'1"-6'3" receivers accounted again for 48.0% of the top fifty leading the way. The 2015 group of wide outs 5'10"-6'0" had 19 in the of the top 50 in WR receiving yards representing 38.0%. The larger wide outs between 6'4"-6'6" had a mere 10.0% representation in 2015, and the shortest group dropped to their lowest three year total in 2016, finishing with a minuscule 4.0% of the top fifty in receiving yards.

2015-2017 WR Receiving Yards

The next graph displayed below truly highlights the distinct 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 receiving yards groupings (6'1"-6'3") and (5'10"-6'0") account for 81.3% of the top fifty in wide out receiving yards annually between 2015-2017. The "Big Boys" 6'4"-6'6" were responsible for 12.7% of the top fifty in receiving yards over the past three years. The shortest receiver group which was 5'7"-5'9" accounted for an average of a lowly 6.0% of the annual top fifty in WR receiving yards 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 annually inflated 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 leading wide receiver group is the 6'1"-6'3" grouping. Once again in second place is the 5'10'-6'0" WR's, who were 6.7% behind the leaders over the three year sample. As I have now repeatedly proclaimed it maybe over for big powerful wide receivers, 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 12.7% of WR receiving yards. Which is better than the group of receivers between 5'7"-5'9", with a 6.0% representation annually in receiving yards. 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. You also have to consider that several of the contributors to the shorter and taller receiver groups are either retired such as Steve Smith, & Calvin Johnson. Not only that Dez Bryant and A.J. Green are reaching the the end of their fantasy relevance due to age. Carrying the torch for the big men is Mike Evans, Martavius Bryant, and Mike Williams. For the little guys it's up to Jamison Crowder, Marquise Goodwin, and Cole Beasley, to help restore the small receiver image in fantasy.