Fantasy Insight: Slot Receivers are Surprisingly Reliable

PPR. Point per reception. One point awarded for every catch.

By week 11, we all understand how the scoring works, yet I don’t think the vast majority takes enough advantage of it. Due to FantasyDraft’s player-friendly scoring system that pays out at least 25-percent of participants in every single contest, setting risk-averse lineups should lead to sustained profitability. While sorting through stats this weekend, I came across an interesting trend that I think has been overlooked to a certain extent: slot receivers are among the most reliable.

Searching for the diamond-in-the-rough receiver who will find the end zone is a difficult task, especially among the value players. Every week fantasy owners will lean on James Jones despite his measly 24 receptions. By comparison, Antonio Brown caught 17 passes in week nine alone. Sure Jones is tied for seventh in the league with seven touchdown (TD) receptions (RECs), but what is the upside of a player who will catch three passes on a monster afternoon? Instead of seeking out high-risk, low-floor options in hopes of being “the genius” in your cash contests, look towards the safe bets. Okay, so you’ve heard this rant before considering I write a weekly “safe bets” article, but the trend I noticed this week was different than your average “safe” thought process; many slot receivers and/or third options in the passing game convert their targets into RECs at elite rates.

What does this mean? Although the targets certain slot receivers are being allotted is somewhat limited, they are converting them at incredibly high rates. The statistic that calculates this conversion rate is called “catch percentage (C%),” which calculates total targets divided by RECs. Obviously the greater the percentage, the more efficient a player is at converting their targets into catches (in theory) . Let’s take league-leader Danny Amendola, for example, who has been targeted 46 times and caught a whopping 40 of them. This means he has caught 87 percent of the passes thrown his way and it means he will likely turn five targets into four catches on any given week. On the other hand, other Patriots wide receiver (WR) Brandon LaFell has only converted 46 percent of targets and would need approximately eight targets to haul in four passes. While Amendola is the current leader, a surprising number of similar talents dominate the leaderboard in this statistic.

Below is a chart ranking all WRs that have played at least 25-percent of their team’s names sorted by C%. Beyond the leader Amendola, players such as Bryan Walters, Ty Montgomery, De’Anthony Thomas, Jamison Crowder, Cole Beasley, Larry Fitzgerald (the outlier, but he has played most of his slots out of the slot), Jarvis Landry and Mohamed Sanu all rank in the top 21 of the statistic. These players do not need much volume in order to succeed, which means there is not as much volatility from week-to-week in their lines as other TD-dependent options. In other words, these receivers are safe fill-ins at the end of cash lineups if you just cannot find a single other player in your lineup worth fading. All of the aforementioned players aside from Montgomery and Sanu also rank inside the top 43 in PPR fantasy points per snap (PPS) as shown on the chart below. Furthermore in Amendola’s case, with an extended opportunity should come serious enhanced productivity because of just how efficient he is. He should be a lock for cash lineups in week 11 at home against the Buffalo Bills.

Take time to look at the list before setting your week 11 lineups. Some names will stand out as both efficient target converters and TD scorers; they are the elites. As you dig down into the 30’s, slot receivers continue to pop up on the list: Steve Johnson, Lance Moore and Jordan Matthews. Slot receivers are often the reliable ones, which is why their quarterbacks (QBs) continuously look for them. It’s time fantasy owners started relying on them more as well because they can round out an already solid team.

 

Rank Player Targ Rec Yds Drop Fum C % TD PPS
1 Danny Amendola 46 40 403 0 0 87 2 0.22
2 Bryan Walters 32 27 311 1 0 84 1 0.23
3 Ty Montgomery 18 15 136 1 0 83 2 0.18
4 Adam Thielen 11 9 116 1 0 82 0 0.14
5 De’Anthony Thomas 21 17 140 1 0 81 1 0.2
6 Bennie Fowler 15 12 167 0 0 80 0 0.14
7 Jamison Crowder 53 42 402 2 1 79 1 0.22
8 Keenan Allen 86 67 725 5 0 78 4 0.31
9 Doug Baldwin 49 38 479 0 0 78 3 0.22
10 Cole Beasley 41 32 334 1 1 78 2 0.22
11 Larry Fitzgerald 84 65 836 1 2 77 7 0.35
12 Philly Brown 22 17 233 0 0 77 3 0.13
13 Rishard Matthews 55 42 647 5 0 76 4 0.27
14 Tyler Lockett 28 21 260 2 0 75 1 0.13
15 Aaron Dobson 16 12 124 2 0 75 0 0.14
16 A.J. Green 68 50 702 2 0 74 4 0.31
17 Eddie Royal 35 26 171 2 0 74 1 0.17
18 Jarvis Landry 82 60 587 5 0 73 3 0.28
19 Julian Edelman 85 61 692 7 1 72 7 0.34
20 Marvin Jones 43 31 411 1 0 72 3 0.22
21 Mohamed Sanu 29 21 295 0 0 72 0 0.19
22 Josh Huff 25 18 174 2 0 72 2 0.14
23 Julio Jones 113 80 1029 6 2 71 6 0.42
24 Rueben Randle 55 39 475 2 0 71 3 0.18
25 Stefon Diggs 42 30 507 1 2 71 2 0.33
26 Chris Hogan 28 20 235 2 0 71 2 0.19
27 Justin Hunter 31 22 264 2 0 71 1 0.15
28 Antonio Brown 113 79 1141 4 0 70 5 0.37
29 John Brown 53 37 562 1 1 70 3 0.28
30 Steve Johnson 44 31 351 3 1 70 2 0.2
31 Marques Colston 47 33 393 4 0 70 1 0.23
32 James Jones 35 24 483 2 1 69 6 0.21
33 Lance Moore 36 25 286 0 1 69 4 0.2
34 Sammy Watkins 32 22 329 3 0 69 3 0.3
35 Jermaine Kearse 32 22 348 0 0 69 1 0.16
36 Charles D. Johnson 13 9 127 0 0 69 0 0.14
37 Eric Decker 62 42 557 4 1 68 7 0.32
38 Willie Snead 60 41 626 4 1 68 3 0.23
39 Jeremy Maclin 66 45 583 1 0 68 2 0.25
40 Jordan Matthews 75 51 552 6 1 68 2 0.24
41 Dwayne Harris 37 25 304 4 0 68 4 0.16
42 Quinton Patton 25 17 234 1 0 68 1 0.14
43 Andrew Hawkins 40 27 276 1 1 68 0 0.14
44 Tavon Austin 45 30 305 1 1 67 4 0.27
45 Demaryius Thomas 102 68 816 5 1 67 1 0.32
46 Robert Woods 43 29 314 2 1 67 2 0.15
47 Cecil Shorts 39 26 299 2 1 67 1 0.19
48 Calvin Johnson 82 54 740 2 1 66 3 0.28
49 Steve L. Smith 70 46 670 4 1 66 3 0.4
50 Percy Harvin 29 19 218 1 1 66 1 0.2
51 Allen Hurns 63 41 697 2 1 65 7 0.28
52 Amari Cooper 77 50 732 8 1 65 4 0.28
53 Pierre Garcon 66 43 430 4 0 65 3 0.22
54 Golden Tate 68 44 429 4 1 65 1 0.18
55 Brandin Cooks 78 50 701 3 1 64 6 0.27
56 Travis Benjamin 75 48 736 2 1 64 4 0.26
57 Kendall Wright 44 28 343 2 0 64 3 0.27
58 Alshon Jeffery 57 36 515 2 0 63 2 0.37
59 Jerricho Cotchery 24 15 196 0 0 63 1 0.25
60 Taylor Gabriel 41 26 223 4 1 63 0 0.15
61 Odell Beckham Jr. 102 63 863 2 1 62 8 0.32
62 Michael Crabtree 82 51 646 3 0 62 5 0.34
63 Donte Moncrief 63 39 429 3 0 62 5 0.22
64 Torrey Smith 29 18 386 4 0 62 2 0.17
65 Jeremy Kerley 26 16 152 2 0 62 2 0.2
66 Randall Cobb 74 45 529 5 0 61 5 0.26
67 Anquan Boldin 51 31 372 2 0 61 2 0.23
68 Roddy White 28 17 230 0 0 61 1 0.1
69 Jordan Norwood 18 11 80 0 0 61 0 0.1
70 Brandon Marshall 95 57 753 7 3 60 6 0.29
71 Michael Floyd 45 27 432 1 0 60 5 0.27
72 Dontrelle Inman 20 12 170 0 1 60 1 0.1
73 Nick Williams 15 9 98 2 0 60 0 0.12
74 DeAndre Hopkins 111 66 870 4 1 59 6 0.32
75 Leonard Hankerson 37 22 291 7 0 59 2 0.23
76 Darrius Heyward-Bey 29 17 209 1 0 59 2 0.16
77 Ryan Grant 29 17 194 2 0 59 1 0.13
78 Louis Murphy 17 10 198 1 0 59 0 0.18
79 Kamar Aiken 55 32 406 3 1 58 2 0.17
80 Mike Wallace 48 28 318 3 0 58 1 0.16
81 Nate Washington 46 26 411 5 0 57 3 0.25
82 Stedman Bailey 21 12 182 2 0 57 1 0.12
83 Jarius Wright 23 13 194 2 0 57 0 0.16
84 Emmanuel Sanders 82 46 639 4 0 56 4 0.26
85 Martavis Bryant 39 22 440 3 1 56 5 0.47
86 Marquess Wilson 34 19 312 2 0 56 1 0.12
87 Davante Adams 48 27 284 4 0 56 0 0.18
88 Brandon Coleman 25 14 223 3 0 56 1 0.13
89 Chris Conley 25 14 160 2 0 56 1 0.13
90 Vincent Jackson 38 21 319 1 0 55 2 0.2
91 Harry Douglas 31 17 180 1 0 55 1 0.13
92 Nelson Agholor 20 11 133 1 1 55 0 0.08
93 Brian Hartline 41 22 259 6 0 54 2 0.19
94 T.Y. Hilton 81 43 703 2 0 53 3 0.25
95 Markus Wheaton 30 16 273 3 0 53 1 0.13
96 Dez Bryant 32 17 209 4 0 53 1 0.22
97 Jaron Brown 17 9 128 1 0 53 1 0.12
98 Josh Bellamy 15 8 85 2 0 53 1 0.1
99 Andre Caldwell 15 8 64 1 0 53 1 0.09
100 Allen Robinson 86 45 758 4 0 52 7 0.3
101 Kenny Stills 31 16 279 1 0 52 1 0.18
102 Riley Cooper 21 11 205 2 0 52 2 0.19
103 Dorial Green-Beckham 23 12 181 1 0 52 2 0.19
104 Albert Wilson 25 13 181 1 0 52 1 0.11
105 Andre Roberts 21 11 135 2 0 52 0 0.11
106 Marlon Brown 27 14 112 4 0 52 0 0.06
107 Greg Jennings 21 11 113 3 0 52 0 0.11
108 Malcom Floyd 41 21 409 0 0 51 3 0.17
109 Terrance Williams 49 25 373 3 0 51 2 0.17
110 Andre Johnson 47 24 288 5 0 51 3 0.16
111 Andre Holmes 14 7 141 1 0 50 4 0.16
112 Seth Roberts 26 13 185 5 0 50 2 0.13
113 Keith Mumphery 28 14 129 2 0 50 0 0.08
114 Quincy Enunwa 16 8 94 4 0 50 0 0.08
115 Chris Matthews 8 4 54 0 0 50 0 0.05
116 Kenny Britt 33 16 317 3 0 48 1 0.15
117 Devin Funchess 25 12 202 6 0 48 1 0.19
118 Mike Evans 85 40 667 11 1 47 1 0.28
119 Ted Ginn 53 25 408 7 0 47 3 0.2
120 Brandon LaFell 28 13 240 6 0 46 0 0.17
121 Miles Austin 28 12 212 2 0 43 1 0.11
122 Devin A. Smith 17 7 82 0 0 41 0 0.09
123 Marc Mariani 8 3 42 0 0 38 0 0.04
124 Donteea Dye 11 4 26 1 0 36 1 0.06

Ricky Sanders

Ricky Sanders

Ricky Sanders is a fantasy sports expert with over 15 years of playing experience. After starting several freelance fantasy sports blogs, Ricky moved up in the fantasy industry when he joined Going9 Baseball. He wrote fantasy baseball content and had a weekly radio spot on the site’s SiriusXM Satellite Radio show. Shortly thereafter, in early 2013, Ricky joined RotoExperts as a three-sport fantasy contributor, eventually becoming one of the site’s lead basketball writers. While writing for RotoExperts, Ricky was introduced to daily fantasy sports and immediately fell in love. With help from some of his mentors, some of the best DFS players in the world, he honed his skills and became the daily fantasy expert he is today. When RotoExperts created a daily-focused website called DailyRoto.com, Ricky was brought on as one of the main contributors. He still makes frequent appearances on the RotoExperts SiriusXM Radio show and on the FNTSY Sports Television Network, talking daily fantasy sports. He also continues to write for a few DFS content sites: RotoCurve and The Fantasy Fix. Ricky is a proud and active member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association. He has agreed to be a writer and representative for the FantasyDraft brand and serves as an ambassador to the site. He has no more access to the site than the typical user. Don’t hesitate to contact Ricky with questions on Twitter @RSandersDFS.

You may also like...

Leave a Reply