Sports Reference Blog

Yards Per Target Added to PFR Player Pages

Posted by Alex Bonilla on April 17, 2019

Yards per target is a statistic commonly cited by fantasy football players and can be a useful piece for people interpreting a receiver's role in a team's offense. Yards per target can also be seen as a complementary blending of yards per reception, which often favors deep threats without much regard for inefficiency, with catch percentage which favors possession receivers. With that in mind, we had this as a searchable statistic in our Play Index and we are now announcing the addition of yards per target to the receiving tables on player pages.

Taking a look at field stretcher DeSean Jackson's receiving table now makes more apparent that he finished with over 10 yards per target in 6 different seasons, including his 2018 Tampa campaign. On the other side of the coin you can more clearly see Michael Crabtree's transition into a shorter-targeted receiver with 5 consecutive seasons below 7 yards per target through 2018. Looking at an earlier player, we can examine Alvin Harper through the yards per target lens. For example, consider his 1994 season where he finished with a league-leading 24.9 yards per reception, a 9-yard lead on his teammate Michael Irvin. However, when looking at yards per target, due to Harper's much lower catch rate he finished with 10.4 yards per target, compared to Irvin's 10.3 yards per target.

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