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True Fantasy Points: 2016 Wide Receiver Projections

A stats-based guide for separating skill from luck in wide receiver projections.

This month I've detailed True Fantasy Points (TFP) for quarterbacks and running backs. In those previous articles, I described or linked to my methodology, so feel free to click on the above links if you're curious. Today's focus is on wide receivers, which -- depending on the scoring system -- has emerged as the most highly sought-after position in fantasy football. At present, average draft position (ADP) suggests that, in a 12-team league, five wide receivers will be gone by the end of Round 1, 11 will be gone by the end of Round 2, and 17 will be gone by the end of Round 3.

So, in this day and age of fantasy football, several of your leaguemates have embraced the trend. The effect of more wide receivers coming off the board and coming off the board earlier makes the process of drafting them sometimes feel like riding a tiger. What follows should help you dismount, landing on wide receivers that are the real deal more often than on the ones that aren't.

These decisions will be based on the following receiving stats:

  • Receptions per Route Run (RPRR)
  • Yards per Route Run (YPRR)
  • Touchdowns per Route Run (TDPRR)

True Stats Through 2015

Below are actual and "true" per-route stats for the 90 wide receivers that are a) playing on the same team they did last year, and b) projected to see 100 or more fantasy-scoring opportunities (i.e., carries plus routes run). As it's the main driver of fantasy points in standard scoring leagues, the table is sorted by YPRR:

 Actual StatsTrue Stats
PlayerTmRPRRRkYPRRRkTDPRRRkRPRRRkYPRRRkTDPRRRk
Julio Jones ATL 17.2% 6 2.57 3 1.41% 24 16.9% 3 2.48 1 1.35% 17
Antonio Brown PIT 18.8% 2 2.53 5 1.36% 30 18.5% 1 2.46 2 1.32% 23
Odell Beckham NYG 17.4% 3 2.56 4 2.32% 2 16.8% 4 2.38 3 1.82% 2
Demaryius Thomas DEN 16.4% 9 2.39 7 1.69% 11 16.3% 7 2.33 4 1.58% 7
A.J. Green CIN 15.9% 12 2.37 8 1.73% 10 15.8% 11 2.31 5 1.60% 6
Steve Smith BAL 17.3% 4 2.40 6 1.24% 32 16.5% 6 2.22 6 1.22% 32
Victor Cruz NYG 15.2% 16 2.28 11 1.38% 26 15.0% 14 2.21 7 1.32% 22
Emmanuel Sanders DEN 15.9% 13 2.28 12 1.35% 31 15.6% 13 2.18 8 1.28% 28
DeSean Jackson WAS 11.8% 52 2.33 9 1.37% 27 12.1% 54 2.17 9 1.28% 29
Brandon Marshall NYJ 16.9% 8 2.32 10 2.17% 4 16.1% 9 2.16 10 1.61% 4
J.J. Nelson ARI 12.2% 50 3.31 2 2.21% 3 13.1% 43 2.15 11 1.30% 26
Jordy Nelson GB 14.2% 26 2.17 15 1.74% 9 14.2% 25 2.13 12 1.61% 3
Josh Gordon CLE 12.9% 42 2.20 14 1.12% 41 13.0% 46 2.12 13 1.15% 44
Mike Evans TB 13.9% 29 2.21 13 1.47% 21 13.9% 29 2.12 14 1.35% 18
Alshon Jeffery CHI 14.3% 24 2.11 17 1.36% 28 14.2% 24 2.07 15 1.31% 24
Vincent Jackson TB 12.6% 45 2.07 18 1.00% 51 12.7% 48 2.04 16 1.06% 60
Jeremy Maclin KC 17.2% 5 2.16 16 1.59% 17 16.2% 8 2.03 17 1.34% 20
Dez Bryant DAL 14.3% 25 2.02 21 2.04% 7 14.2% 23 2.00 18 1.85% 1
Tyrell Williams SD 9.1% 77 4.08 1 4.53% 1 13.0% 44 1.98 19 1.28% 27
T.Y. Hilton IND 12.8% 43 2.00 23 1.09% 45 12.9% 47 1.98 20 1.12% 54
Sammy Watkins BUF 12.5% 46 2.02 19 1.49% 20 12.6% 50 1.98 21 1.36% 15
Allen Robinson JAX 13.1% 40 1.99 24 1.63% 14 13.1% 41 1.95 22 1.43% 10
Eric Decker NYJ 15.2% 18 1.96 25 1.67% 12 14.9% 17 1.93 23 1.46% 8
DeAndre Hopkins HOU 13.1% 38 1.94 27 1.05% 47 13.2% 39 1.93 24 1.10% 56
Devin Funchess CAR 13.2% 37 2.02 20 2.14% 5 13.4% 37 1.92 25 1.40% 11
Randall Cobb GB 15.2% 17 1.92 28 1.54% 18 15.0% 15 1.91 26 1.44% 9
Willie Snead NO 13.6% 32 1.95 26 0.59% 69 13.6% 32 1.91 27 0.98% 73
Keenan Allen SD 16.1% 11 1.91 29 1.20% 35 15.8% 10 1.90 28 1.20% 35
Jarvis Landry MIA 19.3% 1 1.90 30 0.90% 56 18.4% 2 1.89 29 1.04% 63
Larry Fitzgerald ARI 14.5% 22 1.88 32 1.36% 29 14.4% 20 1.88 30 1.34% 21
Doug Baldwin SEA 13.5% 34 1.88 31 1.43% 23 13.5% 34 1.88 31 1.36% 14
Jared Abbrederis GB 16.3% 10 2.01 22 0.00% 85 14.1% 26 1.87 32 1.13% 50
Pierre Garcon WAS 15.8% 14 1.86 33 0.96% 53 15.6% 12 1.86 33 1.03% 65
DeVante Parker MIA 9.7% 70 1.85 34 1.12% 39 11.3% 67 1.85 34 1.18% 38
Kelvin Benjamin CAR 13.4% 36 1.85 35 1.65% 13 13.4% 36 1.85 35 1.37% 12
Amari Cooper OAK 12.3% 48 1.83 36 1.02% 49 12.6% 51 1.84 36 1.13% 49
Stefon Diggs MIN 13.1% 39 1.81 38 1.01% 50 13.2% 38 1.83 37 1.14% 46
Ted Ginn CAR 11.2% 57 1.82 37 2.10% 6 11.7% 61 1.83 38 1.60% 5
Julian Edelman NE 17.0% 7 1.79 39 1.09% 44 16.7% 5 1.80 39 1.13% 51
Jordan Matthews PHI 14.4% 23 1.77 40 1.51% 19 14.2% 21 1.79 40 1.37% 13
Bennie Fowler DEN 12.6% 44 1.60 53 0.00% 85 13.2% 40 1.78 41 1.05% 62
Sammie Coates PIT 5.0% 89 0.55 90 0.00% 85 12.7% 49 1.78 42 1.18% 40
John Brown ARI 11.6% 55 1.75 41 1.24% 33 11.9% 60 1.78 43 1.22% 33
Brandon Coleman NO 11.0% 58 1.67 47 0.74% 63 12.1% 55 1.77 44 1.09% 57
Charles Johnson MIN 11.2% 56 1.69 45 0.56% 71 12.0% 56 1.77 45 1.02% 66
Brandin Cooks NO 14.1% 27 1.74 42 1.24% 34 14.0% 27 1.77 46 1.22% 34
Phillip Dorsett IND 12.2% 49 1.53 57 0.68% 67 13.0% 45 1.75 47 1.13% 52
Kenny Britt LA 10.0% 68 1.70 44 0.71% 65 10.6% 77 1.74 48 0.96% 76
Kendall Wright TEN 15.2% 19 1.71 43 0.91% 55 15.0% 16 1.73 49 1.01% 69
Terrelle Pryor CLE 2.0% 90 0.86 86 0.00% 85 11.1% 69 1.73 50 1.14% 47
Kamar Aiken BAL 13.6% 33 1.66 50 1.10% 42 13.6% 33 1.72 51 1.16% 42
Golden Tate DET 14.8% 21 1.68 46 0.79% 61 14.7% 19 1.72 52 0.96% 77
Michael Crabtree OAK 15.1% 20 1.64 52 1.60% 16 14.7% 18 1.72 53 1.36% 16
Jarius Wright MIN 11.7% 54 1.67 48 0.66% 68 12.0% 59 1.72 54 0.91% 83
Andrew Hawkins CLE 13.4% 35 1.64 51 0.30% 82 13.5% 35 1.71 55 0.81% 90
Michael Floyd ARI 10.6% 61 1.67 49 0.96% 52 10.8% 73 1.70 56 1.04% 64
Tyler Lockett SEA 11.9% 51 1.56 55 1.41% 25 12.4% 53 1.69 57 1.27% 30
Darrius Heyward-Bey PIT 10.0% 67 1.45 60 0.84% 59 11.6% 62 1.69 58 1.12% 53
Allen Hurns JAX 10.5% 62 1.56 54 1.46% 22 10.9% 71 1.63 59 1.34% 19
Donte Moncrief IND 12.4% 47 1.52 58 1.16% 37 12.6% 52 1.62 60 1.18% 39
Cody Latimer DEN 6.9% 86 0.68 89 1.15% 38 11.4% 64 1.62 61 1.20% 36
Brian Quick LA 10.0% 66 1.47 59 1.10% 43 10.8% 74 1.60 62 1.16% 41
Terrance Williams DAL 9.3% 74 1.54 56 1.12% 40 9.8% 84 1.60 63 1.15% 45
Quinton Patton SF 10.3% 63 1.35 65 0.29% 83 11.4% 65 1.60 64 0.94% 78
Quincy Enunwa NYJ 8.7% 79 1.24 70 0.00% 85 10.7% 76 1.59 65 0.93% 80
Jaelen Strong HOU 8.6% 81 0.98 82 1.83% 8 11.2% 68 1.57 66 1.30% 25
Rashad Greene JAX 15.3% 15 0.75 87 1.61% 15 14.2% 22 1.56 67 1.25% 31
Jamison Crowder WAS 12.9% 41 1.32 66 0.44% 75 13.1% 42 1.55 68 0.94% 79
Chris Conley KC 8.6% 80 1.01 81 0.51% 73 11.0% 70 1.54 69 1.07% 58
Markus Wheaton PIT 10.1% 64 1.43 61 0.69% 66 10.6% 78 1.53 70 0.92% 81
Cole Beasley DAL 14.0% 28 1.43 62 1.08% 46 14.0% 28 1.53 71 1.14% 48
Paul Richardson SEA 10.9% 59 1.13 75 0.36% 78 12.0% 58 1.53 72 1.00% 71
Torrey Smith SF 6.5% 87 1.31 67 0.79% 60 8.4% 89 1.53 73 1.05% 61
Albert Wilson KC 9.2% 76 1.28 68 0.36% 79 10.3% 81 1.50 74 0.88% 86
Marqise Lee JAX 10.6% 60 1.25 69 0.41% 76 11.4% 66 1.50 75 0.92% 82
Danny Amendola NE 13.6% 31 1.38 63 0.56% 72 13.6% 31 1.50 76 0.85% 87
Jermaine Kearse SEA 9.7% 72 1.38 64 0.86% 57 10.2% 82 1.49 77 1.01% 68
Justin Hardy ATL 9.7% 71 0.90 83 0.00% 85 11.5% 63 1.48 78 0.97% 75
Dontrelle Inman SD 9.0% 78 1.24 71 0.58% 70 10.2% 83 1.48 79 0.97% 74
Kenny Stills MIA 7.0% 85 1.14 74 0.77% 62 9.1% 87 1.47 80 1.07% 59
Seth Roberts OAK 7.5% 84 1.12 76 1.17% 36 9.3% 86 1.45 81 1.19% 37
Eddie Royal CHI 13.7% 30 0.88 85 0.37% 77 13.6% 30 1.43 82 1.01% 70
Dwayne Harris NYG 9.4% 73 1.03 79 1.04% 48 10.7% 75 1.42 83 1.15% 43
Corey Brown CAR 8.3% 82 1.18 73 0.95% 54 9.5% 85 1.42 84 1.10% 55
Adam Humphries TB 9.2% 75 0.89 84 0.34% 80 10.9% 72 1.41 85 0.99% 72
Robert Woods BUF 10.0% 65 1.21 72 0.73% 64 10.4% 80 1.33 86 0.90% 84
Marquess Wilson CHI 7.7% 83 1.01 80 0.33% 81 9.1% 88 1.32 87 0.84% 88
Tavon Austin LA 11.8% 53 1.08 77 0.86% 58 12.0% 57 1.27 88 1.02% 67
Davante Adams GB 9.9% 69 1.04 78 0.45% 74 10.5% 79 1.27 89 0.82% 89
Nelson Agholor PHI 5.7% 88 0.70 88 0.25% 84 8.1% 90 1.23 90 0.90% 85

As always, let's look at an example of how to read the table before fleshing out its contents. Consider the row associated with Emmanuel Sanders. In his two seasons with the Broncos, Sanders has produced a 15.9% RPRR, a 2.28 YPRR, and a 1.35% TDPRR. Because all three are above average, they're likely to decrease going forward -- but by how much? Well, considering the ample sample size (1,113 routes run) and the stabilization points of the three stats, not much. Indeed, Sanders' True RPRR is 15.6%, his True YPRR is 2.18, and his True TDPRR is 1.28%.

Continuing the pattern of my quarterback and running back TFP articles, let's highlight the subset of wide receivers who are "truly" great heading into 2016. Based on rankings for RPRR, YPRR, and TDPRR, one reigns supreme as the only wide receiver to rank in the Top 6 of all three categories: Odell Beckham. Julio Jones and Antonio Brown may be just as great with respect to receptions and receiving yards, but Beckham sets himself apart by virtue of also being "true" touchdown machine. He's been my No. 1 wide receiver all summer for this reason; he should be yours too.

Taking the next step, only three wide receivers rank in the Top 12 of all three categories besides Beckham. Demaryius Thomas, A.J. Green, and Brandon Marshall. We'll get to the projections shortly, but, of these three, only Marshall remains with the same team, the same offensive coordinator, and the same quarterback. As my TFP system accounts for the first factor, but not the second and third, I'm more willing to trust Marshall's TFP-indicated "skill" than Thomas' and Green's.

On the flip side, there are only two Bizarro Beckham wide receivers, i.e., those ranking in the Bottom 6 in all three "true" stat categories: Nelson Agholor and Marquess Wilson. As far as the Triple Bottom 12 group goes, in addition to Agholor and Wilson, there's Davante Adams and Robert Woods. And finally, expanding to the Bottom 24 reveals even more wide receivers that likely don't deserve their current depth chart status: Adam Humphries, Dontrelle Inman, Jermaine Kearse, Albert Wilson, and Markus Wheaton.

True Projections For 2016

The table below displays David Dodds' standard-scoring projections as of August 31st, my TFP projections based on multiplying the "true" rates above by Dodds' projections of opportunity volume (i.e., rush attempts plus routes run), and the difference between the two (i.e., the "DIFF" column, which is how the table is sorted):

 Dodds StatsTrue StatsPoints
PlayerTmYdsTDYdsTDDoddsTFPDiffRk
Jarvis Landry MIA 1001 7 936 5 154.5 136.8 +17.7 1
Golden Tate DET 976 7 937 5 141.1 126.5 +14.6 2
Antonio Brown PIT 1610 11 1624 9 228.5 216.3 +12.2 3
Odell Beckham NYG 1430 12 1420 11 216.0 207.9 +8.1 4
Jeremy Maclin KC 1033 8 1026 7 151.3 143.2 +8.1 5
Michael Crabtree OAK 861 7 818 6 128.5 121.0 +7.5 6
John Brown ARI 765 6 744 5 113.5 106.0 +7.5 7
Michael Floyd ARI 872 7 891 5 129.7 122.3 +7.4 8
Brandin Cooks NO 1062 8 1047 7 158.8 152.7 +6.1 9
Marqise Lee JAX 293 3 315 2 47.8 43.6 +4.2 10
Danny Amendola NE 407 3 407 2 58.7 54.6 +4.1 11
T.Y. Hilton IND 1204 9 1275 7 175.8 172.3 +3.5 12
Amari Cooper OAK 1130 8 1151 7 161.5 158.2 +3.3 13
A.J. Green CIN 1310 10 1331 9 192.0 189.4 +2.6 14
Julian Edelman NE 819 6 839 5 128.4 126.0 +2.4 15
Jamison Crowder WAS 557 4 569 3 80.7 78.6 +2.1 16
Kelvin Benjamin CAR 844 7 868 6 126.4 125.5 +0.9 17
Rashad Greene JAX 324 2 296 2 44.4 43.9 +0.5 18
Cole Beasley DAL 411 3 407 3 60.0 59.6 +0.4 19
Jordan Matthews PHI 900 7 904 7 132.0 132.0 0.0 20
Paul Richardson SEA 168 1 167 1 23.3 23.7 -0.4 21
Steve Smith BAL 650 4 672 4 89.0 89.4 -0.4 22
Pierre Garcon WAS 679 4 693 4 91.9 92.4 -0.5 23
Allen Robinson JAX 1228 9 1233 9 176.8 177.5 -0.7 24
Julio Jones ATL 1633 10 1687 9 223.7 224.4 -0.7 25
Kendall Wright TEN 417 2 404 2 54.2 55.1 -0.9 26
Robert Woods BUF 624 5 665 4 93.4 94.5 -1.1 27
Eddie Royal CHI 360 2 346 2 49.0 50.2 -1.2 28
Willie Snead NO 878 5 910 5 118.3 119.6 -1.3 29
Davante Adams GB 330 2 339 2 45.4 47.4 -2.0 30
Keenan Allen SD 1152 7 1155 7 157.2 159.3 -2.1 31
Vincent Jackson TB 795 5 851 4 109.5 111.6 -2.1 32
Eric Decker NYJ 968 7 971 7 138.8 141.0 -2.2 33
Donte Moncrief IND 945 7 965 7 137.0 139.3 -2.3 34
Corey Brown CAR 230 2 255 2 38.0 40.3 -2.3 35
Sammie Coates PIT 319 2 336 2 43.9 47.0 -3.1 36
Brandon Coleman NO 290 2 323 2 41.0 44.3 -3.3 37
Mike Evans TB 1176 8 1223 8 165.6 169.0 -3.4 38
Brandon Marshall NYJ 1071 9 1138 8 161.1 164.8 -3.7 39
Cody Latimer DEN 248 2 283 2 36.8 40.9 -4.1 40
Tyler Lockett SEA 838 6 856 6 124.3 128.7 -4.4 41
Andrew Hawkins CLE 205 1 242 1 26.5 31.1 -4.6 42
Quincy Enunwa NYJ 335 2 371 2 45.5 50.2 -4.7 43
Victor Cruz NYG 192 1 220 1 25.6 30.3 -4.7 44
Jermaine Kearse SEA 571 4 613 4 81.6 86.7 -5.1 45
Jared Abbrederis GB 248 1 264 2 30.8 36.0 -5.2 46
Brian Quick LA 182 1 207 1 24.2 29.7 -5.5 47
Alshon Jeffery CHI 1151 8 1223 8 163.9 169.5 -5.6 48
Phillip Dorsett IND 622 4 664 4 86.2 91.9 -5.7 49
Bennie Fowler DEN 248 1 271 2 30.8 36.7 -5.9 50
Jarius Wright MIN 239 1 273 1 30.4 36.4 -6.0 51
Stefon Diggs MIN 761 5 816 5 107.6 113.6 -6.0 52
Tavon Austin LA 577 4 594 5 123.1 129.2 -6.1 53
Charles Johnson MIN 372 2 412 2 49.6 55.8 -6.2 54
Dontrelle Inman SD 221 1 247 2 28.1 34.4 -6.3 55
Albert Wilson KC 310 2 365 2 43.0 49.3 -6.3 56
J.J. Nelson ARI 306 2 361 2 43.0 49.6 -6.6 57
Quinton Patton SF 622 4 686 4 87.2 93.9 -6.7 58
Devin Funchess CAR 683 5 732 5 98.3 105.2 -6.9 59
Dwayne Harris NYG 303 2 331 3 42.7 49.6 -6.9 60
Darrius Heyward-Bey PIT 236 1 263 2 30.1 37.3 -7.2 61
Justin Hardy ATL 393 2 427 3 51.3 59.4 -8.1 62
DeAndre Hopkins HOU 1439 9 1536 9 197.9 206.0 -8.1 63
Doug Baldwin SEA 896 7 975 7 132.1 140.3 -8.2 64
Sammy Watkins BUF 1140 8 1206 8 162.5 170.8 -8.3 65
Emmanuel Sanders DEN 902 6 994 6 128.6 136.9 -8.3 66
Adam Humphries TB 298 1 311 2 35.8 44.1 -8.3 67
Kamar Aiken BAL 608 3 622 4 78.8 87.2 -8.4 68
Josh Gordon CLE 763 5 869 5 106.8 115.7 -8.9 69
Randall Cobb GB 928 7 992 7 146.5 155.6 -9.1 70
Tyrell Williams SD 419 3 501 3 59.9 69.6 -9.7 71
Marquess Wilson CHI 297 1 334 2 35.7 46.2 -10.5 72
Demaryius Thomas DEN 1122 8 1217 8 160.2 171.1 -10.9 73
Terrelle Pryor CLE 333 2 403 3 45.8 56.8 -11.0 74
Jaelen Strong HOU 438 3 491 4 61.8 73.5 -11.7 75
Chris Conley KC 357 2 422 3 47.7 59.8 -12.1 76
Kenny Britt LA 594 4 721 4 84.4 97.1 -12.7 77
Allen Hurns JAX 887 6 924 8 124.7 138.1 -13.4 78
Markus Wheaton PIT 747 4 824 5 99.5 113.0 -13.5 79
Dez Bryant DAL 1204 9 1209 11 174.4 187.9 -13.5 80
Kenny Stills MIA 578 4 664 5 82.2 95.7 -13.5 81
Ted Ginn CAR 576 4 625 5 82.4 96.2 -13.8 82
Seth Roberts OAK 481 4 575 5 72.1 85.9 -13.8 83
Terrance Williams DAL 574 4 669 5 82.4 96.8 -14.4 84
Nelson Agholor PHI 450 3 544 4 63.0 78.3 -15.3 85
Larry Fitzgerald ARI 955 7 1079 8 137.5 154.0 -16.5 86
Jordy Nelson GB 1134 9 1266 10 167.4 183.9 -16.5 87
DeVante Parker MIA 828 6 982 6 119.3 136.4 -17.1 88
DeSean Jackson WAS 942 6 1109 7 131.7 151.5 -19.8 89
Torrey Smith SF 822 6 1091 8 119.2 155.2 -36.0 90

One bit of methodology I forgot to reiterate in this year's running backs article might elicit the question here, "Why are receptions omitted from the table, and how are you able to project routes run?" The answer to both questions are related. In order to translate my "true" per-route stats into TFP, I need to project routes run. But nobody projects routes run, so what to do? Well, Dodds' projects receptions, and I calculate RPRR, so dividing the latter by the former gives me a "true" routes run projection. For example, Dodds projects DeAndre Hopkins' to have 105 receptions, and I calculate him to have a True RPRR of 13.2%. By implication, 105 receptions given 13.2% True RPRR means 797 routes run (i.e., 105 divided by 13.2%).

That's how I infer "true" routes run, but why don't I include receptions and/or PPR scoring in the above table? The reason is two-fold. First, the math I just explained means that Dodds reception projection and my reception "projection" are the same (e.g., DeAndre Hopkins is projected to catch 105 balls in both systems). Second, and relatedly, given that the only difference between standard scoring and PPR scoring is receptions, the difference between Dodds points and TFP is the same whether I include receptions in the table or not.

Alright, enough explanations. Below are six declarations about overrated and underrated wide receivers according to TFP. Given the skewness of the DIFF column, I'm going to highlight two of the former and four othe latter rather than the usual 3/3 split:

Overrated: Jarvis Landry

The problem with Landry is that his "true" stats indicate that he's over-reliant on receptions. Yes, per the above table he ranks No. 1 in Actual RPRR and No. 2 in True RPRR, but Dodds' projections are out of whack with respect to True YPRR and True TDPRR given Landry's RPRR. Namely, while Dodds projects a YPRR increase from 1.90 to 2.02 YPRR, TFP assumes a hold steady (1.89). And while Dodds projects a TDPRR increase from 0.90% to 1.41%, TFP assumes 1.04%. It seems that drafting Landry at his ADP boils down to whether or not a) you're in PPR league, and b) you believe in an Adam Gase-inspired statistical leap from Ryan Tannehill. If you haven't, read my quarterback TFP article from earlier this month, please do so for context.

Overrated: Golden Tate

As TFP is a statistical endeavor, Tate being overrated has nothing to do with whether or not he can fill Calvin Johnson's shoes in Detroit's offense specifically or whether or not he can be a No. 1 wide receiver generally. Rather, the difference between Dodds' projection and TFP rests on the Landry-like likelihood that his YPRR and TDPRR move away from the mean than towards it. Specifically, Tate's 46th-ranked YPRR in 1,273 routes run with the Lions translates to a True YPRR ranking of 52nd, but Dodds projects him to rank 33rd. Similarly, even though Tate's Actual TDPRR ranks 61st and his True TDPRR ranks 70th in the earlier table, Dodds projects an improvement to 30th -- again, despite the massive Detroit-specific sample size we're dealing with regarding Tate.

Underrated: Torrey Smith

Smith's massive point differential results from Dodds projecting a smaller TDPRR increase than regression to the mean suggests (from 0.79% to 0.84% rather than TFP's 1.05%), as well as projecting a YPRR decrease (from 1.31 to 1.15) when Smith's should actually increase (to 1.53).

In addition, Smith is even more underrated in a PPR league because his 6.5% RPRR with the 49ers is unsustainablly low. (The league average is 13.5%.) Even though it's still ranked 2nd-to-last after applying regression to the mean (8.4%), Smith's receptions are nevertheless likely to increase. Another thing in favor of Smith having more receptions this year is that Chip Kelly tends to feature his WR1 heavily.

Underrated: DeSean Jackson

As is clear from the table, Jackson's underrated status arises from his disparate yardage projections. Jackson's 2.33 Actual YPRR with Washington only regresses to 2.17 True YPRR. For whatever reason, Dodds drops Jackson all the way down to 1.84 YPRR. Given the fact that Jackson's already run nearly 1,200 routes with Washington, such a dramatic decline seems unlikely.

Underrated: DeVante Parker

The reason for Parker's appearance here is similar to Jackson's, just without the sample size. Given Parker's 267 routes run with the Dolphins, his 1.85 YPRR translates to the same value after regressing it to the mean, and nearly the same can be said for his TDPRR (1.12% Actual YPRR vs. 1.18% True YPRR). So why then does Dodds project Parker's YPRR to decrease to 1.56 this season?

Underrated: Larry Fitzgerald

I've been doing drafts, both mock and real, since July. In almost every one, Fitzgerald has fallen and fallen and fallen. In the early drafts, I chalked it up to the combination of old age and emerging offensive stars in Arizona. More recently, however, John Brown's suffered a (lingering) concussion, and yet Fitzgerald still falls and falls and falls. Is this ageism? (I kid.) The "true" story here is that Fitzgerald's run so many routes with the Cardinals since 2007 --  nearly 5,500, in fact -- that his Actual YPRR and TDPRR are nearly indentical to their "true" values. Therefore, when Dodds implies that Fitzgerald's going to run 575 routes this season, Fitzgerald's performance on those routes are more likely to resemble his 1.88 True YPRR and 1.34% True TDPRR than the 1.66 YPRR and 1.22% TDPRR that Dodds projects.

Honorable Mentions

Overrated: Jeremy Maclin, Michael Crabtree, John Brown, and Michael Floyd.

Underrated: Jordy Nelson and Nelson Agholor.

Just Right: Jordan Matthews, Allen Robinson, Julio Jones, and Kelvin Benjamin.