The 2013 Lloyd Factor and Breakout Wide Receivers
Bryan Fontaine revisits the advanced stats to see if there's a way to identify the next breakout wide receiver in 2013.
The 2013 Lloyd Factor and Breakout Wide Receivers
Two years ago, I created the Lloyd Factor to identify unheralded players that could be the next breakout wide receiver using key metrics found only at Pro Football Focus.
The Lloyd Factor namesake is attributed to Brandon Lloyd – who in the 2010 season went from a backup wide receiver to a member of the AFC Pro Bowl team. His success led me to ask whether his breakout season could have been predicted using statistical indicators from his previous seasons.
Using Lloyd’s limited production from his 2008 (Bears) and 2009 (Broncos) seasons, a few key statistical metrics seemed to indicate that fantasy points alone are not a good barometer to finding breakout players. What is more important is how efficient a wide receiver is on a per play basis and if they can make the most of a limited number of opportunities.
Although the standards have changed over the past three seasons, Lloyd’s pre-breakout statistics were vital to determining the baselines for the Lloyd Factor.
Here are the current factors for finding the next breakout wide receiver:
- Less than 120 Fantasy Points (PPR Scoring)
- Greater than 0.2 fantasy points per snap
- Greater than 0.3 fantasy points per pass route
- Greater than 20% target rate per pass route
- Run a pass route on 55% of total snaps
This metric is a great asset for your seasonal fantasy team in 2013, but works even better as a list of players to keep tabs on in your dynasty/keeper league.
Before we get into the 2013 candidates, here are some of the successes in 2011 and 2012:
Antonio Brown – PIT 69 rec. 1,108 yards 2 TD in 2011; 66 rec. 787 yards 5 TD in 2012
Demaryius Thomas – DEN 32 rec. 551 yards 4 TD in 2011; 94 rec. 1,430 yards 10 TD in 2012
Golden Tate – SEA 35 rec. 382 yards 3 TD in 2011; 45 rec. 682 yards 7 TD in 2012
Danario Alexander – SL/SD 26 rec. 431 yards 2 TD; 37 rec. 658 yards 7 TD in 2012
Jeremy Kerley – NYJ 56 rec. 827 yards 2 TD in 2012
Leonard Hankerson – WAS 38 rec. 543 yards 3 TD in 2012
Jordan Cameron (TE) – CLV 20 rec. 226 yards 1 TD in 2012
As you can see, the first edition of the metric gave us Antonio Brown’s breakout season and a strong second-half performance from Demaryius Thomas in 2011. And better yet, Golden Tate and Danario Alexander rose from obscurity to become fantasy producers in 2012. Thomas has now developed into one of the premier receivers in the NFL with Peyton Manning under center.
Jeremy Kerley made the best of a bad situation for the Jets, and Leonard Hankerson showed promise in Robert Griffin III’s rookie season. Jordan Cameron looks primed for a breakout this year with a new tight end friendly offense that will be installed. Last year, Jacoby Ford qualified but missed the entire season on IR. As a quick aside, Ford is a player worth rostering in deeper dynasty leagues.
2013 Breakout Candidates
For the second year in a row, the breakout candidates happen to be entering their second season in the NFL.
|Pos||Player||Team||Games||Snaps||% PR||FP||FP/SN||FP/PR||TA/Pass Route %|
Rueben Randle – NYG
Rueben Randle, the 63rd selection in the 2012 NFL Draft, got a slow start to his career but flashed big play ability when given the opportunity. Randle caught 5 passes for 82 yards against Cleveland in Week 5 and then later capped off his season in Week 17 with 4 catches for 58 yards and two touchdowns against the Eagles. He was almost exclusively an outside receiver (95 percent of snaps) when he saw the field. Entering this season, Randle has an opportunity to move up to the third receiver on the depth chart if Domenik Hixon leaves as an UFA. That would lead to a significant increase in snaps in three wide receiver sets and Hakeem Nicks has been prone to minor injuries since entering the NFL.
Brian Quick – SL
Brian Quick was a surprise selection at the top of the second round for the rebuilding Rams. Quick played at a lower level of competition at Appalachian State – so his adjustment to the NFL took most of his rookie season despite his impressive size (6-3, 220) and speed. The Rams put him on the field in spots where he could be successful and quarterback Sam Bradford looked his way when he had the chance. Quick spent 94 percent of his snaps on the outside and 7 of his 27 targets came inside the red zone. Both of his touchdowns on the season highlighted his skill level. His first career touchdown came on a 36 yard pass from Bradford at San Francisco where he beat the press coverage and took it the rest of the way to the end zone. His second touchdown came on a four yard fade pass against Minnesota where he made an impressive catch high-pointeding the football over his defender. If Brandon Gibson is not retained as an UFA, Quick is in line for a starting job and has a full offseason to work with the coaching staff on the finer points of the pro game. Quick could have the biggest impact of these four receivers in 2013 and beyond.
Editors note: Jon Moore of RotoViz.com makes a compelling case for Brian Quick here.
Jarius Wright – MIN
Jarius Wright was the primary injury replacement for Percy Harvin last season and showed he had an NFL future in his seven game audition. Wright caught two touchdowns, which included a Week 17 touchdown against Green Bay that helped send the Vikings to the playoffs. Unfortunately the only similarities between Harvin and Wright are their size and the slot position they both play. Harvin is clearly a blue chip player while Wright appears to be more of a role player. As of the publish date of this article, there are rampant trade rumors swirling around Harvin which can only mean good things for Wright’s value. Wright would not see near the amount of targets Harvin has in the past, but could be a useful fantasy option as a replacement in the slot.
Mohamed Sanu – CIN
An untimely stress fracture in his left foot knocked Mohamed Sanu out for the season just 9 games into his rookie year. At the time of his injury, Sanu was seeing a significant increase in playing time on the outside at the expense of Armon Binns (who was later waived). Until then, Sanu had been mostly a slot player. He finished the season with 42 percent of his snaps on the outside and 53 in the slot. Probably the biggest highlight of his season was throwing a 73 yard touchdown pass to A.J. Green on a trick play against Washington. Sanu threw the ball 43 yards in the air with Green doing the rest of the damage after the catch. Sanu also caught four red zone touchdowns on seven targets – which accounted for 28 percent of his total targets. Sanu should be completely healthy entering the 2013 season and can again reclaim his stake as the No. 2 option in the passing game behind Green.
Bryan Fontaine is the Dynasty Editor at Pro Football Focus Fantasy. He is a member of the Fantasy Sports Writer’s Association (FSWA) and a 2004 graduate from Southern New Hampshire University with a bachelor’s degree in Sports Management.