5 Wide Receivers With Major Touchdown Upside for 2018
Handling touchdowns in fantasy football analysis requires some nuance.
On one side of things, touchdowns are vitally important. They can salvage otherwise weak performances from low-volume players, they can give a player league-winning upside, and you're not going to find many correlations stronger than that between touchdowns and fantasy points scored.
On the other hand, zeroing in too closely on touchdowns scored in the past is a fool's errand. There's very little correlation in a player's overall touchdown number year-over-year, making past touchdowns a pretty weak way to try to predict future touchdowns.
So we want to chase touchdowns in the future, but as soon as they happen (or don't), it can serve us well to take the results with a grain of salt unless they can be backed up with a deeper look.
The variable nature of touchdown scoring doesn't mean that we can't predict them, though. Previous touchdowns might not help up identify players likely to score more in the future, but there are plenty of factors that do.
A player in a high-scoring offense, for example, stands to have more scoring potential than one in a low-scoring unit. And a player seeing more touches will have more opportunities to find paydirt than one rarely touching the ball -- especially as you get closer to the goal line.
If you've been following this series, reading about the quarterbacks, running backs and tight ends with big touchdown upside, it's not going to surprise you that touchdowns are also crucial for fantasy production at wide receiver.
Over the last three seasons, the correlation between receiving touchdowns and fantasy points in point-per-reception (PPR) leagues has an r-squared value of 0.80, which is very strong. And looking at non-PPR leagues, that value jumps up to 0.85.
With their sustained fantasy success, there's not much value in exploring whether top-end wideouts like Odell Beckham, Antonio Brown and DeAndre Hopkins have big touchdown upside. They absolutely do, and so just like with the other positions, we're going to skip right past that top tier and focus mostly on mid- to late-round players whose touchdown potential can carry them to a strong finish for your squad this season.