Larry Fitzgerald and Keenan Allen are primed to regress

Kevin Cole takes a look at 2015 and historical target share data to determine if the top wide receivers can sustain their strong production.

| 1 year ago
(AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

(AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

Larry Fitzgerald and Keenan Allen are primed to regress

It sounds overly simplistic, but targets are the foundation of receiver scoring; if the quarterback isn’t throwing a receiver the ball, his chances of scoring are nil. That’s why you’ll find great resources at PFF and elsewhere tracking targets to identify receivers who could be over- or undervalued based on fantasy production that is out of alignment with targets. If a receiver is getting lots of targets but not much production, positive regression could be on the horizon, or vice-versa.

The focus of this column is to take a deeper look at receiver targets by using not only the absolute numbers, but also looking at a receiver’s percentage or share of team targets. Absolute target numbers are useful but can be misleadingly high or low depending on small-sample pass volume. In addition, comparing a receiver’s target share to his previous year’s helps us gauge the sustainability of early-season usage.

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  • Nathan Kline

    Referring to Fitz, what was his percentage and target share with Palmer versus without Palmer last year? Depending on that, his current level could be sustainable.

    • Kevin Cole

      It was actually lower with Palmer than without last year. Only 18% with Palmer.

  • DEV00100000

    Fitz and Allen sure won’t regress this week though, I wouldn’t sell them just yet.

  • DT

    Kevin, I love these types of articles. I suspect that you are right about Fitz and Keenan. It is just a matter of how much regression. Fitz has moved to primarily the slot this year (58% of his routes), though, and I think that Palmer has a 150+ QB rating when passing to Fitz this year. (You have the data.) The high rating makes me think that Palmer will continue feeding him, though the efficiency is clearly not sustainable. Still think he will end up around WR12 this year because of the move to the slot position. Good stuff.

  • I’m the King of NY

    Regarding Fitz’s regression. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it should be the methodology followed by these coaches.