Fading Heroes: WRs

Fading Heroes: WRs

By John Paulsen (Senior Editor), last update Jul 3, 2012

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John was named the Most Accurate Fantasy Football Expert by FantasyPros for the 2010 and 2014 seasons, finished as runner-up in 2011 and 4th in both 2012 and 2015 for a total of five Top 5 seasons in the last six years. Cumulatively, John was the most accurate expert from 2010-15 while also winning the 2011 Fantasy Sports Trade Association award for the most accurate draft rankings. 

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After yesterday's article about those WRs who played significantly better in the second half of the season, I received a few questions asking about those players who fared signicantly worse down the stretch. 

There were 62 wideouts who averaged at least 5.0 FP/G in Weeks 1-9 and played at least three games in both halves of the season. Below is a table of the 30 worst finishes, ranked in order of the difference if FP/G between the first half and the second half.

 

  WEEKS 1-9 WEEKS 10-17 DIFF
# Player TM G T/G FP/G G T/G FP/G T/G FP/G
62 Mike Wallace PIT 9 7.1 13.6 7 7.0 6.4 -0.1 -7.3
61 Andre Johnson HOU 4 9.2 11.7 3 4.7 4.7 -4.5 -7.0
60 Wes Welker NE 8 11.6 16.5 8 10.0 9.9 -1.6 -6.6
59 Steve L Smith CAR 8 9.1 14.4 8 7.0 8.2 -2.1 -6.2
58 Eric Decker DEN 8 7.6 9.5 8 4.1 4.1 -3.5 -5.5
57 Greg Jennings GB 8 8.2 13.5 5 6.6 8.1 -1.6 -5.3
56 Jason Hill JAX 7 6.0 6.9 3 4.0 2.0 -2.0 -4.9
55 Sidney Rice SEA 6 8.0 8.3 3 3.0 3.6 -5.0 -4.6
54 Jeremy Maclin PHI 8 7.9 10.6 5 6.6 6.3 -1.3 -4.3
53 Anquan Boldin BAL 8 9.1 9.3 6 5.5 5.3 -3.6 -4.0
52 Dwayne Bowe KC 8 9.1 11.0 8 8.6 7.1 -0.5 -3.9
51 Vincent Jackson SD 8 8 12.2 8 6.2 8.3 -1.8 -3.8
50 Jonathan Baldwin KC 3 6 5.6 8 4.1 1.8 -1.9 -3.8
49 Calvin Johnson DET 8 9.2 18.2 8 10.8 14.8 1.6 -3.4
48 Brandon Gibson STL 7 6 5.1 8 3.6 1.7 -2.4 -3.4
47 Michael Jenkins MIN 8 4.9 6.8 3 5.0 3.5 0.1 -3.3
46 Danario Alexander STL 5 7.8 7.1 5 4.2 3.9 -3.6 -3.2
45 Early Doucet ARI 8 6.8 7.8 8 5.4 4.7 -1.4 -3.1
44 Mohamed Massaquoi CLE 7 5.4 5.1 7 5.1 2.1 -0.3 -3.0
43 Preston Parker TB 8 4.9 6.1 8 3.1 3.1 -1.8 -3.0
42 A.J. Green CIN 8 8.1 11.2 7 7.1 8.2 -1.0 -3.0
41 Steve Breaston KC 8 5.5 7.1 8 6.8 4.2 1.3 -2.9
40 Josh Cribbs CLE 8 4.9 6.0 8 3.5 3.5 -1.4 -2.5
39 David Nelson BUF 8 6.2 7.2 8 5.9 4.7 -0.3 -2.5
38 Earl Bennett CHI 3 3.3 5.8 8 4.1 3.3 0.8 -2.5
37 Pierre Garcon IND 9 8.3 9.2 7 8.4 6.8 0.1 -2.4
36 Deion Branch NE 8 6.4 7.6 7 5.6 5.7 -0.8 -1.9
35 Miles Austin DAL 6 7.5 10.7 4 7.0 8.9 -0.5 -1.8
34 Plaxico Burress NYJ 8 6.2 7.7 8 5.8 5.9 -0.4 -1.8
33 Kevin Walter HOU 8 4.2 5.1 7 3.6 3.5 -0.6 -1.6

A few random observations:

- Simply appearing on this list isn't a huge deal, but when an appearance goes along with other red flags (like Mike Wallace's contract situation), it is cause for concern. Wallace averaged just 3.2 catches in his final six games even though his targets stayed pretty consistent.

- Andre Johnson battled a hamstring injury for most of the second half of the season, but played pretty well in the playoffs, hauling in 13 catches for 201 yards and a TD against the Bengals and Ravens. He should be fine for 2012, but does carry significant injury risk considering his age (30) and the number of missed games (12) over the last two seasons.

- Sure, Wes Welker's numbers took a big dip in the second half, but that was partly due to the fact that he was so good in the first half of the season. Had he averaged 9.9 FP over the course of the season, he would have finished WR13, so he wasn't a slouch down the stretch.

- The Panthers threw less over the second half of the season (35.9 attempts in the first eight games versus just 28.8 attempts over the last eight games) and it explains why Steve L Smith's targets dropped from 9.1 to 7.0 per game. We're projecting 32.3 attempts per game for Newton in 2012.

- Demaryius Thomas ate into Eric Decker's targets, but with Peyton Manning in town, the Broncos are going to throw a lot more. No concerns here.

- Over the first half of the season, Greg Jennings led Jordy Nelson in targets per game (8.2 to 5.1). Over the final eight weeks, Jennings saw 6.6 T/G while Nelson saw 6.8 T/G, but that was partly due to the 15 targets Nelson saw in Week 17 while Jennings was sidelined. Just looking at W10-W14, Jennings led Nelson in T/G, 6.6 to 5.6. The other thing to note is that Mike McCarthy said in the offseason that Nelson deserved more looks since he was so productive in 2011.

 

Filed Under:
Preseason
,
2012

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