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Wide Receiver Touchdown Regression

Historical touchdown rate regression and how it affects 2016 wide receivers

One of the biggest influences to fantasy football scores is a touchdown. Plenty of randomness goes into a touchdown from a defensive turnover, goal line carry, pass interference penalty to even a tipped pass or garbage time drive. The Red Zone channel parks most of their coverage inside the 20-yard-line for a reason: touchdowns live there. The term touchdown regression has been around awhile. Back in my profootballfocus.com writing days, I scoured nearly every offensive statistic looking for the best regression outliers from year to year. While there were some categories fighting for second place, touchdown rate was annually at the top, both in its strength of regression and in bottom-line fantasy football impact. With the NFL Draft in the rear-view mirror, let's look at touchdown regression for the wide receiver position for 2016:

Sample Size: 420 wide receivers from 2005-2014

Criteria: 40+ receptions in both the test season and the following season

The Data

Overall, these 420 criteria-fitting wide receivers averaged an 8.7% touchdown rate

TD Rate Total Regressed Regression Rate AVG
>20% 8 8 100% -12.6%
15-20% 29 26 90% -6.7%
12-15% 54 42 78% -3.8%
0-5% 83 72 87% 4.2%

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