7 Wide Receivers Who Had Outlier Touchdown Seasons in 2021

Jun 28, 2022
7 Wide Receivers Who Had Outlier Touchdown Seasons in 2021

In the first two parts of this series, I uncovered potential surprise touchdown scorers at the quarterback and running back positions based on how players performed against scoring expectation in 2021. The full methodology can be found in the introduction to the quarterback article. The premise is straightforward—players who over-performed in the touchdown column could disappoint relative to inflated ADPs, and those that under-performed could have surprisingly big seasons if they realize their scoring equity.

More 2021 Touchdown Outliers: QB | RB | TE

Each position carries a different scoring expectation for every play type. The following table outlines scoring rates for wide receiver targets from various field positions:

WR TD Rates Based on Field Position, 2019–2021
Line Of Scrimmage Touchdown Rate
1–49 0.9%
50–41 2.9%
40–31 3.7%
30–21 7.3%
20–16 13.1%
15–11 19.3%
10–6 31.0%
5–1 44.7%

This system has been especially useful at pinpointing yearly changes in wide receiver scoring. Since expanding the research process in 2019, 34 wide receivers have scored at least two touchdowns over expectation—25 saw a drop in touchdowns the following season with an average decrease in 2.2 scores. Of the 20 receivers to score at least two scores below expectation, 12 increased their touchdowns the following season by an average of just under two scores with players such as Davante Adams in 2020 and Cooper Kupp in 2021 popping up as league-winners that we targeted.

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