The NFL's 10 Best Deep-Ball Wide Receivers in 2016
Throughout the week here on numberFire, we've been focusing on the long ball. Which quarterbacks threw them best, which did so most often, and which were more conservative? All eyes have been on the dudes chucking it without even a second of recognition for those on the receiving end.
It's time to amend that. These are the guys bailing their quarterbacks out when deep passes go awry, so we would be remissed to not give them dap for their ball-snatching ways.
Let's rank these long-ball afficionados based on what happened whenever quarterbacks went their way. We'll be ranking them using numberFire's Net Expected Points (NEP), the metric we use to track expected points added on each play throughout the season. For the wide receivers, we'll be focusing on Target NEP per target, which also takes into account any incompletions and interceptions that occur when the wide receiver is targeted. This means a player's quarterback will play a role in these metrics, but as you'll see, that didn't prevent some guys with lesser passers from making the list. We'll also include each player's Success Rate, which shows the percentage of targets that result in an increase in expected points for the drive.
We'll be limiting the scope here to exclusively receivers who had at least 20 targets that were 16 yards or more beyond the line of scrimmage. Which players had the best metrics on such passes? Let's check it out.