5 Wide Receivers Who Drastically Outperformed Their Teammates in 2018
Yesterday, we looked at running backs who drastically outperformed their teammates during the 2018 season. We were trying to account for each player's situation due to the major impact that things such as offensive-line play and scheme can have on running-back production.
But it's not that hard to shove an oblong, leather sphere in a guy's gut.
Throwing it to him? That requires a bit extra skill.
Because of this, wide receivers are likely to be even more dependent on the situation around them -- specifically, quarterback play -- than running backs are in their situation. If you compare the target efficiency metrics of someone catching footballs from Matt Ryan to someone who's tied to Blake Bortles, you're going to get incorrect impressions of the pass-catchers.
By comparing two players who are on the same team, you're at least in part accounting for this. Of course, a downfield target is going to be different from one in the backfield, so additional context and discussion is still necessary, but you'll at least get a better idea of talent by comparing two goods that are in similar environments.
Once we're able to better identify talent, we may be able to pinpoint players in line to get additional volume in 2019. This is key as we kickstart our early preparations for fantasy football, whether it be re-draft, best-ball, or dynasty leagues. If someone's going to get more balls thrown their way next year, we need to know about it.
In order to evaluate this, we're going to lean on numberFire's Net Expected Points (NEP), the metric we use to track the expected points added or subtracted on each play throughout the season. For receivers, we'll look at Target NEP, which also factors in the expected points lost on negative events such as interceptions and incompletions, showing us who best helped elevate his team when the ball was thrown his way.
As a quick note, you're not going to see Tyler Lockett on this list even though he blew the dang doors off of every other receiver on the planet last year. The reasoning there is that the Seattle Seahawks seem insistent on continuing to run the ball a nauseating amount, and he's not likely to receive a major change to his environment over the offseason. The dude's a boss, but he doesn't quite fit the fantasy slant associated with this list.
With that noted, which wide receivers stood out in 2018, and what does it mean for their fantasy outlook in 2019? Let's take a peek.