Recently Pro Football Focus put out a new statistic called the Wide Receiver Rating. Now I have no idea why this wasn't created earlier since it's incredibly intuitive and useful, but hey, I wanted to build off of it.
Now the Wide Receiver Rating (WR Rating) is pretty simple, it's basically the Passer Rating in reverse. So you pretty much take the numbers (change attempts into targets, etc) of a wide receiver and insert them into the Passer Rating formula and there you go. Now interceptions may be confusion but that is actually pretty simple, that is any interception by the defense when the ball is targeted at that receiver. Like interceptions for quarterbacks, it's not perfect since other factors are ignored, but it still tells a big part of the story.
So let's look at a fictional Eric Decker:
- Targets: 80
- Receptions: 50
- Yards: 690
- Touchdowns: 8
- Interceptions: 3
Now if you plugged that into a Passer Rating machine, like the one found here, and you get an Eric Decker's WR Rating:
- WR Rating: 126.2
It's similar to judging quarterbacks, and fairly easy to do. Now while PFF doesn't apply this to tight ends and running backs I did since I felt it would be helpful as well. Now I only included players with more than 25 receptions because fewer than that is just too few to really judge a player.
Something to keep in mind is yards per target (Y/T) is similar to yards per attempt (Y/A) for a quarterback and is a better metric than yards per completion/reception since it also takes completion percentage into account. I also included the catch and drop percentages which help expand the picture of how each receiver plays.
One last thing to note is that this doesn't take into account what routes a player runs, so Tamme may not have as many TD's as Dreessen, but that is because the roles they play in the offense.
*This is a sortable table*
|Name ||Targets ||Rec ||Catch % ||Drop % ||Yards ||Y/T ||TD's ||TD % ||INT's ||INT % || WR Rating
- We have two good examples to look at between Decker and DT. Both have similar drop and catch percentages, but Thomas is a much bigger deep threat while Decker is more of a red zone weapon, and we see that in yards per target, touchdowns and touchdown percentage.
- While Tamme is more of the receiving tight end though it seems he's not quite as productive, though still solid. Dreessen has fewer targets but has the higher reception rate, same yards per target and far higher touchdown percentage.
- While Stokley doesn't have the yards of the other receivers, he has a very good drop rate, touchdown percentage and yards per target. He does have a higher interception rate, but that's about the only downside to takeaway from him.
- Overall, it's clear how impressive our wide receivers have become this season, and the tight ends are a large improvement over the 2011 group. Now a big part of that is the addition of Peyton Manning, but looking at this collection, I can't think of anything negative to really note after looking at this table, and I love that I can say that.