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Air Yards Breakdown: Numbers Suggest a Calvin Ridley Rebound

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In our weekly Air Yards Breakdown, we’ll check out who led the NFL on this class and likewise go one step additional. Air yards may be additional cut up into “prayer yards.” Prayer yards are simply what they sound like⁠—air yards on passes which might be deemed uncatchable. In different phrases, targets that the receiver doesn’t have a prayer of catching. Prayer yards result in a participant’s boom-bust potential.

Sources for all knowledge may be discovered on the finish of the article.

On to Week 4:

Week 3 Abstract

Chargers Receiving Corps Feasts In opposition to the VikingsThe Vikings blitzed Justin Herbert on 82% of his dropbacks. It didn’t matter. Herbert had a career-high 405 passing yards, resulting in blow-up video games from Keenan Allen (18 receptions, 215 yards, 1 TD) and Mike Williams (seven receptions, 121 yards, 1 TD). Joshua Palmer acquired in on the motion, too, tallying 16.6 PPR factors. Final week’s air yards breakdown indicated this sport had shootout potential.

The fantasy fallout facilities on the Chargers passing assault with out Williams, who tore his left ACL late within the third quarter and leaves behind 102 air yards per sport. Austin Ekeler will seemingly eat into that when he returns from his ankle sprain and Allen might additionally see a few of these air yards shifted his approach, leaving the remaining for Palmer and Quentin Johnston.

Don’t glean an excessive amount of about Johnston from the primary three weeks. The Athletic’s Daniel Popper reported that the Chargers deliberate to carry the first-round rookie alongside slowly, however that plan will now be fast-tracked by Wiliams’s damage. Johnston’s athleticism at 6’2”, 216 kilos seems to suit Williams’s slot function higher than Palmer and, after this week, he has a Week 5 bye to totally combine into the offense. He’s value holding onto even when his potential doesn’t materialize earlier than the bye.

Within the instant future, Palmer has an outlined function and has the sting on Johnston for snaps in 12 personnel.

Sam LaPorta (TE, DET) EmergesLaPorta completed first amongst all tight ends in PPR factors (22.4), tied for first in targets (11) and tied for second in air yards (87). He was vast open on a 45-yard landing, too. His season up to now has been encouraging, particularly for a rookie. LaPorta has surpassed a 70% snap share and a 70% route price in every of his first three video games. The Lions have additionally cut up LaPorta out vast 37.8% of the time⁠—the second-highest price within the NFL. Numbers like these make LaPorta an each week starter.

Andy Dalton (QB, CAR) Ignites Panthers Passing Sport In opposition to Suspect Seahawks DBy means of the primary three weeks, the Seahawks protection has ranked twenty seventh in each yards allowed per passing try (7.5) and EPA allowed per dropback (0.258). Andy Dalton, who stuffed in for an injured Bryce Younger, took benefit and led Adam Thielen (138 air yards) and D.J. Chark (188 air yards) to WR3 and WR15 performances, respectively.

Whereas Dalton has been higher than anticipated for his cross catchers, Sunday’s efficiency may say extra about Seattle’s protection unit than the Panthers wideouts. (The up-and-down Giants get Seattle on Monday evening.) Thielen ranks fiftieth in yards per route run (1.70) and Chark ranks 67th (1.33), which suggests their manufacturing is approaching quantity relatively than effectivity. Chark, with 121 prayer yards final week, is the extra unstable possibility in a good matchup in opposition to the Vikings in Week 4.

Payments receiver Stefon Diggs is among the elite receivers who’ve been assembly expectations to this point.

Brad Mills/USA TODAY Sports activities

Stud Broad Receivers Reside As much as Their FunctionJustin Jefferson, Ja’marr Chase, Tyreek Hill, Stefon Diggs, A.J. Brown and Davante Adams all cleared 120 air yards and 19 PPR factors in Week 3, making good on their High 15 rankings heading into the season. There are a number of vast receivers which might be almost situation-proof. Jefferson, Chase, Hill, Diggs, Brown and Adams. Save the panic button for different struggling wideouts.

Week 4 Lookahead

Search for Calvin Ridley (WR, JAC) to ReboundRidley dropped a 28-yard landing in Week 3. He additionally couldn’t get his toes in bounds for 2 potential red-zone touchdowns in Week 2. He’s not alone within the near-miss class. Zay Jones additionally couldn’t haul in two would-be touchdowns in Week 2. Jamal Agnew fumbled a third-and-10 conversion on the Houston 32-yard line late within the second half. Kicker Brandon McManus additionally had a discipline objective blocked.

And but, Trevor Lawrence is Professional Soccer Focus’ second-highest graded passer and their highest graded passer on deep passes. It’s unlikely that Jacksonville will proceed to stumble as they’ve been via three weeks. Ridley has the Sixteenth-most air yards (281) within the NFL, and will profit when Jacksonville’s comedy of errors ends.

Luke Musgrave (TE, GB) is on the Cusp of a Breakout, however Christian Watson’s (WR, GB) Return LoomsMusgrave was one 40-yard shot away from matching LaPorta’s breakout efficiency along with his personal. He nonetheless completed with a usable 10.9 factors on six receptions for 49 yards. Much like LaPorta, Musgrave has additionally eclipsed a 70% snap share and an 80% route price in each sport this season. In different phrases, Musgrave is a full-time tight finish. He’s tied with Kyle Pitts for probably the most 20-plus yard targets amongst tight ends (3), creating some boom-bust potential in his receiving profile.

One hitch: Watson may siphon these deep targets away when he returns, and his upside is tantalizing in a succesful Packers offense. Quarterback Jordan Love has the very best common depth of goal (10.6) within the NFL however one of many decrease completion percentages on passes 15 or extra yards down the sphere (33%, twenty sixth).

The Browns Are a Nightmare for Opposing Broad ReceiversThe Browns protection has been terrorizing opponents beneath defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz: Cleveland has allowed one landing, 21 complete first downs, and the bottom EPA per passing try within the NFL (-0.33). Want extra proof? When opponents drop again in opposition to the Browns, they’re working a profitable play solely 25% of the time.

Practically 67% of opponents’ air yards in opposition to the Browns are prayer yards. A hobbled Joe Burrow in a wet Week 1, a pedestrian Steelers offense in Week 2 and a woeful Titans offensive line in Week 3 may play into that. However, till additional discover, Cleveland is the hardest protection to focus on via the air. Lamar Jackson and the Ravens face a tall job in Week 4.

The Gamers Who Are Not Showing on Air Yards ListsAir yards are sometimes used as buy-low indicators: if a participant racked up air yards and didn’t hit, then it’s simple to see how they bounce again in future weeks. What about receivers who aren’t exhibiting up on these lists?

Jahan Dotson was a preseason fantasy darling, however his manufacturing has been disappointing.

Geoff Burke/USA TODAY Sports activities

Jahan Dotson (WR, WAS) matches the invoice. He was pegged as a second-year breakout after flashing final season. To date, his sophomore marketing campaign has been disappointing. He’s scored 18.1 PPR factors (74th) on 16 targets (tied for sixtieth) and 118 air yards (78th). His common depth of goal has been sliced down from 13.98 in 2022 to 7.38 in ‘23.

Worse but, the Commanders tight finish utilization has been an issue for Dotson. Cole Turner, Logan Thomas and John Bates have mixed to take in 31.5% of Washington’s targets and 33.3% of the staff’s air yards. That Chiefs-esque utilization has the Commanders tight finish unit third in goal share and second in air yard market share.

Dotson has nonetheless flashed his expertise in opposition to man protection and his downfield utilization has been toned down, not erased. (His deep route price is down from 43.7% final season to twenty-eight.6%, whereas his intermediate route price is up from 37.6% to 55.4%.) Fantasy factors aren’t scored with out the soccer, although.

Drake London (WR, ATL) and Chris Godwin (WR, TB) are in an identical boat. London noticed solely 52 air yards in a sport the place the Falcons threw 38 instances⁠—probably the most passing makes an attempt by an Arthur Smith-led Falcons staff since Matt Ryan left⁠—and Godwin has averaged simply 56 air yards this season. Dotson, London and Godwin all have scenario issues, opening a buy-low window for all three gamers. The issue is that these conditions won’t change anytime quickly.

Fast Prayer Yards Notes

  • Kyle Pitts (TE, ATL) has extra prayer yards (119) via three weeks than every other tight finish and his 59.2% prayer yards price can be third worst within the NFL. It’ll be arduous to pinpoint when the increase weeks come if quarterback Desmond Ridder continues to wrestle.
  • Treylon Burks (WR, TEN) obtained 106 prayer yards in opposition to the Browns protection. One was on Ryan Tannehill⁠—he missed Burks on a troublesome throw on the transfer that might’ve been a 45-yard acquire⁠—however Burks was smothered on three of his different targets. Offensive lineman Peter Skoronski’s return may assist, however the Titans passing offense is among the worst within the league. Burks is tough to belief on a weekly foundation.

Knowledge Sources

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