As Jacob Rickrode has shown, year after year the same Wide Receivers finish in the top 24 in PPR scoring. Largely, they do at least. I promise to stop stealing Jacob’s hard work shortly. But he’s also shown that on average there are 3 receivers that fall out of the top 24 every season. In 2015 that number spiked to 7.
With that in mind, fatalist that I am, I decided to determine who exactly from last seasons top 24 scorers will not repeat the feat in 2017. One item of note. Because this is based on total scoring and not based on per game scoring, A.J. Green finished outside of the top 24 last season.
Because I am very creative, I came up with some amazing designations for last years top 24 and if they’ll finish in the top 24 this season. (Please don’t try this at home I am a professional)
- Locks to Repeat
- Likely Safe
- The Patriot Way
- Last in
- Outside of the Top 24
Finishes Outside of Top 24 in 2017
Today we conclude this series with the final receiver who will not finish in the top 24. If you haven’t already, please consider giving the rest of this series a read.
I like Davante Adams I do. But there are a few things that lead me to the conclusion that his 2016 season was an aberration. The Packers seem to have the reputation of being a free-willing, throw the ball all over the field offense. In actuality, the Packers prefer to run a balanced offense. In 2016 the Packers ran the ball on 64.68% of their plays, compared to 58.89% in 2015. Outside of the 2016 season, where they ranked 2nd highest in percentage of pass plays per game, you have to go all the way back to 2012 to find another season where the Packers finished in the top 15 of pass plays.
This increase in passing volume is striking when looking at Adams target share in 2016 compared to 2015. In 2015 Adams 94 targets represented a 19.8% target share. In 2016 Adams target share decreased a shade to 19.7%, yet his actual targets increased to 121.
The Packers were 2nd in the league in pass attempts because their running game was anemic, to be kind. At one point or another, they trotted out Don Jackson, Christine Michael, Kniles Davis out after losing Eddie Lacy to injury and before they realized Ty Montgomery was the perfect running back. All you need to know about the Packers rushing offense is this. Aaron Rodgers was the 2nd leading rusher with his 369 yards.
Their running game in tatters, Green Bay’s only option was to throw a lot. Ty Montgomery returns as the starter, with an offseason to work on his RB skills. The addition of Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams should allow Green Bay to closer to a league average split of run/pass plays. With a reduction in overall pass attempts, I foresee Adam’s skewing closer to his 2015 total of 94 as opposed to the 121 he received in 2016.
Another area that almost certainly will regress for Adams in 2017 is his touchdown production. Adams finished with 12 touchdowns last season, the 2nd most at the wide receiver position. Jordy Nelson, led the league with 14 touchdowns on 97 receptions, meaning every 6.92 receptions resulted in a touchdown. Antonio Brown also finished 2016 with 12 touchdowns but did so on 106 receptions, which works out to a TD per every 8.83 receptions.
Mike Evans also finished with 12 touchdowns. Evans did this on 96 receptions, scoring a touchdown every 8 receptions. Davante Adams? He scored a touchdown every 6.25 receptions. Scoring at that rate is not sustainable. Further evidence of Adams fantasy points being dependent on touchdowns is his average yards receiving per game. Though Adams finished 10th in PPR scoring last season, he finished 33rd in yards per game with 62.3.
Every where you look on the stat sheet at Adams 2016 season just provides further evidence of his dependence on touchdowns for his fantasy scoring. Again Adams, finished 10th in scoring last season but only 20th in targets, 22nd in receptions, and 24th in receiving yards. With the addition of Martellus Bennett, Adams will have further competition for end zone targets. In fact, Bennett is a direct competitor for red zone targets and targets within 10 yards of the end zone. Bennett bests Adams in catch rate inside the 20, and within the 10-yard line, he almost matches Adams scoring production on fewer targets.
The only situation where Adams can repeat his top 24 status would be to maintain an unstainable touchdown rate. There’s a reason we call something unsustainable because it is “not able to be maintained at the current rate or level.”
As always thank you for reading and give me a holler @DFF_Shane anytime the want arises.