Quick Reads
The best and worst players of the week according to Football Outsiders stats.

Week 8 Quick Reads

Los Angeles Rams WR Cooper Kupp
Photo: USA Today Sports Images

Fantasy players who started Cooper Kupp this weekend were probably pretty happy with their results. The Rams wideout failed to score against Miami, but he posted 110 yards on 11 catches. That's good production, especially in PPR formats. Fantasy football, however, is not real-life football, and in the real world there were a lot of empty calories in Kupp's numbers. Our advanced statistics (theoretically) provide a more accurate measure of a player's real-life value, and they say Kupp was the least valuable receiver of the week.

Los Angeles had a disastrous second quarter against Miami, as a bushel of turnovers and a special teams touchdown left them trailing 28-7 before halftime. The Rams spent more than half the game in desperation catchup mode. Quarterback Jared Goff threw 61 passes, second-most of his career, and Kupp was the target on more than one-third of them. When you subtract Kupp's 11 catches from his 21 targets, you're left with 10 incomplete targets, three more than anyone else in Week 8. (Yes, the Rams threw 21 targets to Kupp -- that's more than the Bills or Vikings threw to all their receivers put together.) And even when he did catch the ball, there was a definite boom-or-bust nature to Kupp's performance. Only four of his catches resulted in first downs. Those four plays produced 64 yards, an average of 16.0 yards apiece; his other 17 targets produced only 46 yards, a 2.7-yard average. (Should we dock Kupp's numbers for all those incompletions, or credit him for getting him open in the first place? That's a debate we explored back in Week 1.)

Thanks to all those short catches and incompletions, Kupp finished with -37 DYAR, which was the worst for any receiver this week. It's worth pointing that's an unusually good game for that designation -- as recently as Week 6, there were four receivers worse that that. But since no wideouts this week had multiple fumbles or anything, Kupp finishes in last place, likely the first time that can be said for a player who topped 100 yards. It got us thinking, though -- how does Kupp's game compare to others with lots of yards but very bad DYAR? And is there anything to be learned from looking at those games?

Our "worst games" list for wide receivers has cataloged every game where a wideout had -50 total DYAR or worse. None of the players on that list topped 100 yards receiving; Brandon Marshall came the closest with 98 yards in 2008. The following table shows Marshall and the rest of the top 10:

Most Receiving Yards. Total DYAR of -50 or Worse, WRs, 1985-2020
Year Player Team Total
DYAR
Rec
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Tgt Rec Yds TD Wk Def Result
2008 Brandon Marshall DEN -62 -62 0 18 9 98 0 6 JAX L 24-17
2004 Larry Fitzgerald ARI -54 -46 -8 14 7 92 1 11 CAR L 35-10
2015 Davante Adams GB -55 -55 0 21 10 79 0 10 DET L 16-18
2016 Allen Robinson JAX -53 -53 0 15 6 72 0 1 GB L 27-23
2014 Julio Jones ATL -56 -52 -3 12 4 68 0 6 CHI L 27-13
2006 Chris Chambers MIA -54 -52 -2 12 3 66 0 10 KC W 13-10
1995 Bert Emanuel ATL -50 -50 0 17 6 62 0 18 GB L 37-20
2009 Brandon Gibson STL -51 -51 0 17 5 61 0 11 ARI L 21-13
1995 Vincent Brisby NE -51 -51 0 15 7 58 0 1 CLE1 W 17-14
2019 Tyler Boyd CIN -59 -59 0 14 5 55 0 7 JAX L 27-17

The first thing we see is that only one of these players -- Davante Adams in 2015 -- had as many targets as Kupp did on Sunday. In fact, of the 193 games at -50 DYAR or worse, Adams has the only 20-target game. This should not be surprising -- if you're not getting results, eventually even the worst team/coach/quarterback will stop throwing you the ball.

Let's go through these games one by one to see what we can learn:

  • Marshall's performance in 2008 was a one-man show -- he had 18 targets that day when nobody else on the Broncos had more than 5. Denver's first three plays from scrimmage all saw Jay Cutler throwing to Marshall, and Marshall caught each pass for a first down and a total of 45 yards. But then Marshall fumbled the ball away in field goal range in the second quarter, which is partly why the Jaguars went ahead 24-10 late in the third. Ten of Marshall's targets came after that point. That's not to say they were in garbage time -- Denver had possession down 24-17 with nearly seven minutes to go, but went three-and-out and never saw the ball again. Still, the Broncos' deficit no doubt led to Marshall getting so many targets.
     
  • Larry Fitzgerald was a rookie in 2004, and right away was exposed to the parade of terrible Cardinals quarterbacks that would last for most of his career. Arizona's quarterbacks that season included Josh McCown, John Navarre, and, in this game, Shaun King (no, not the political pundit). King, Fitzgerald, and the rest of the Cardinals trailed Carolina 28-0 at halftime (Panthers running back Nick Goings had three first-half touchdowns). Nine of Fitzgerald's 14 targets came in the second half. One of those targets was caught for a gain of 33, Fitzgerald's longest of the day, but he fumbled at the end of it. That dings his DYAR even though the Cardinals recovered.
     
  • Our third game is Adams' 21-target outing, and that target binge had little to do with the score. On Green Bay's opening drive, Aaron Rodgers threw to Adams six times, resulting in four catches for all of 19 yards. After the Lions took a 12-3 early in the fourth quarter, the next six passes thrown Adams' way were all incomplete. He did have 12- and 3-yard catches on the Packers' last drive to set up a game-winning field goal try, but Mason Crosby's kick from 52 yards out was no good.
     
  • Allen Robinson was in his third year with Jacksonville when the Jaguars got into a back-and-forth shootout with Green Bay. There were 10 scoring plays in the game, and six of them either tied the score or put one team ahead. Though the Packers led for the entire second half, their lead never grew to more than seven points. In the final minute, the Jaguars had a third-and-1 inside the Green Bay red zone with a chance to win, but Blake Bortles threw incomplete on third down, and Allen Hurns lost a yard on fourth. As for Robinson, he had 15 targets on the day, nine more than any of his teammates, but most of them were incomplete. Like Fitzgerald in 2004, his longest catch of the day (a 22-yarder in his case) ended in a fumble, which hurts his DYAR even though his team fell on the ball.
     
  • Julio Jones was in his fourth season when the Falcons got into something of a back-and-forth affair with the Bears. Atlanta trailed 13-3 at halftime, but rallied to tie the score before Chicago pulled ahead for a 27-13 win. In a dozen targets, Jones only had four catches; one of them was a 7-yard gain (and a fumble) on third-and-10. The last four passes Matt Ryan threw his way were all incomplete.
     
  • Chris Chambers' game against Kansas City in 2006 stands out from all the others on this list. Chambers was a sixth-year pro at the time; everyone else had four years experience or less. Chambers' performance came in a defensive game; the Dolphins and Chiefs combined for only 26 points. And Miami still won despite Chambers' outing, one of two teams in this table to get a victory. The first six passes Joey Harrington threw to Chambers were all incomplete, then Chambers caught one 46-yarder that produced 70% of his daily total. He only had four targets in the second half, catching two of them for 20 yards.
     
  • A playoff game! In his second season in the NFL, Bert Emanuel and the Atlanta Falcons went 9-7 and earned a wild-card berth. Their reward: a road trip … to Wisconsin … in January. Atlanta struggled in sub-freezing temperatures, trailing 27-10 at halftime en route to a 37-20 defeat. There was very little "run" in Atlanta's run 'n' shoot offense -- they totaled only 21 yards on 10 carries while Jeff George threw 54 passes (and also suffered a trio of sacks). The first six passes thrown Emanuel's way were all incomplete; his first catch was an 8-yard gain when the Falcons were already down 21-10. Emanuel added several more short catches in the second half (including gains of 9, 6, and 6 yards on consecutive snaps), then was the target on three incompletions on Atlanta's final, meaningless drive.
     
  • It was an interesting rookie season for Brandon Gibson. The Eagles drafted him in the sixth round out of Washington State, then traded him to the Rams in October as part of a deal that got them linebacker Will Witherspoon. So instead of playing with Andy Reid and Donovan McNabb, Gibson was playing with Steve Spagnuolo and late-era Marc Bulger. In fact, the Rams' 21-13 loss to Arizona proved to be the last game of Bulger's career -- he was benched a week later for Kyle Boller, then spent the next season backing up Joe Flacco in Baltimore before retiring. Trailing 21-3 at halftime, Bulger spent a good chunk of his last 30 minutes on an NFL field ineffectually throwing passes Gibson's way, 10 in all; only two were caught, for a total of 27 yards.
     
  • Our second receiver to get a win in his high-yardage, low-DYAR game is New England's Vincent Brisby. In the season opener in 1995, the Patriots trailed Cleveland 14-6 at halftime, but scored 11 points in the fourth quarter (including a Curtis Martin 1-yard touchdown with 19 seconds left) to win 17-14. Drew Bledsoe threw 15 passes to Brisby; eight were incomplete and two others (a 3-yard gain on third-and-5 and a 1-yard loss on second-and-5) were failed completions.
     
  • Finally, we have Tyler Boyd's game against Jacksonville last season. Yes, Andy Dalton was still playing quarterback for the Bengals. The first five passes Dalton threw to Boyd were all incomplete; the sixth was caught for a gain of six on second-and-22, then fumbled away to the Jaguars. The Bengals still had the ball down by just seven points midway through the fourth quarter, but then Dalton threw three interceptions (two of them on throws to Boyd) in less than five minutes of game time and Cincinnati eventually lost 27-17.

What are the common themes in these games? In most of them, the receiver's team fell behind early, which meant they racked up a lot of targets -- and every target gives a receiver a chance to both gain and lose DYAR. If those targets result in little more than incompletions or short gains against soft coverage, that player's DYAR will drop and drop and drop. Also, fumbles are bad -- if Kupp had fumbled at any point against Miami, he probably would have replaced Marshall at the top of this table.

Opponent adjustments also come into play here. Only one receiver in our table (Gibson) got a boost due opponent adjustments, and that boost was tiny at just 3 DYAR. Every other played on the list lost somewhere between 3 and 11 DYAR. Here, however, Kupp does not fit in -- he actually gains 14 DYAR for playing the Dolphins, who have reached the top 10 in pass defense DVOA under Brian Flores.


Quarterbacks
Rk
Player
Team
CP/AT
Yds
TD
INT
Sacks
Total
DYAR
Pass
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Opp
1.
Patrick Mahomes KC
31/42
416
5
0
0
203
203
0
NYJ
Mahomes finishes in first place despite losing 32 DYAR due to opponent adjustments. He was successful on 64% of his dropbacks, most in the league. He was best in the league at producing first downs with 19, and also the best at throwing on those first downs (14-of-17, 220 yards, three touchdowns).
2.
Aaron Rodgers GB
27/40
291
3
0
1
134
132
2
MIN
Rodgers was best on throws to his left, where he went 13-of-15 for 108 yards and two touchdowns.
3.
Russell Wilson SEA
27/37
261
4
0
2
125
120
5
SF
Wilson had the league's best DYAR on throws to wide receivers. He completed 19 of his 23 throws to wideouts, gaining 212 yards and three touchdowns. His top wideout was ... well, we'll get to him.
4.
Nick Mullens SF
18/25
238
2
0
0
124
124
0
SEA
All of Mullens passes came with San Francisco down by at least 16 points in the fourth quarter. He only threw four deep passes against Seattle, but he completed three of them for 87 yards.
5.
Philip Rivers IND
23/33
262
3
0
2
123
123
0
DET
Rivers had the league's best DYAR on throws to running backs. He threw eight passes to Nyheim Hines, Jonathan Taylor, and Jordan Wilkins, completing six of them for 87 yards and two touchdowns.
6.
Joe Burrow CIN
26/37
249
2
0
0
100
114
-14
TEN
It was a slow start for Burrow. He threw for 18 first downs in this game, but only two of them came in the first quarter, when he went 8-of-13 for 64 yards.
7.
Kirk Cousins MIN
11/14
160
1
0
1
85
85
0
GB
Cousins' average depth of target of 3.6 yards was least of any qualifier this week. But his average completion gained 11.9 yards after the catch, more than 4 yards better than anyone else. Put those two together and you get the league's best quarterback on throws to receivers at or behind the line of scrimmage (4-of-6 for 82 yards and a touchdown). He also led the league in DYAR on third/fourth downs -- each of his seven passes on that down resulted in either a catch or a DPI, with five conversions (including a touchdown) and 117 total yards.
8.
Drew Brees NO
31/41
280
2
0
1
83
83
0
CHI
Brees had 15 failed completions, most by any quarterback in a game this year. But he had the league's best DYAR on throws to tight ends. He threw 10 passes to Jared Cook, Josh Hill, and Taysom Hill (yes, he counts as a tight end this year), completing eight of them for 88 yards and two touchdowns.
9.
Ben Roethlisberger PIT
21/32
182
2
0
2
80
80
0
BAL
Roethlisberger was the league's best passer in the red zone. Each of his five passes inside the Baltimore 20 was completed for a first down, including two scores, for a total of 58 yards. He was below replacement level over the rest of the field.
10.
Tom Brady TB
28/40
279
2
0
2
79
79
0
NYG
Brady loses a league-high 43 DYAR due to opponent adjustments.
11.
Matt Ryan ATL
21/30
281
0
1
2
75
69
5
CAR
Ryan was awful in the red zone. He only completed two of his six passes for 13 yards, with neither of those completions picking up a first down, while giving up a pair of sacks.
12.
Justin Herbert LAC
29/43
278
3
2
2
73
68
5
DEN
There's nothing wrong with Herbert's deep ball, but he apparently could use some work on his touch passes. He was last in DYAR on throws to receivers at or behind the line of scrimmage (10-of-16, 38 yards). But he was the best passer in the second quarter (13-of-15, including 11 completions in a row to end the half, for 139 yards and two touchdowns).
Rk
Player
Team
CP/AT
Yds
TD
INT
Sacks
Total
DYAR
Pass
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Opp
13.
Drew Lock DEN
26/40
248
3
1
2
45
48
-2
LAC
Lock only threw for two first downs in the first half, when he went 9-of-15 for 58 yards with a sack. But he was first in DYAR in the fourth quarter, when he went 14-of-17 for 155 yards and three touchdowns, plust two DPIs for 22 more yards. On the downside, he was last in DYAR on throws to running backs. He threw 10 passes to Melvin Gordon and Phillip Lindsay, completing seven of them for only 24 yards.
14.
Matthew Stafford DET
24/41
336
3
1
5
36
30
6
IND
Stafford led all players in DYAR on deep balls, going 5-of-11 for 156 yards and a touchdown.
15.
Daniel Jones NYG
25/41
256
2
2
3
22
12
10
TB
Jones gains 71 DYAR due opponent adjustments, tied with Jared Goff for most in the league.
16.
Ryan Tannehill TEN
18/30
233
2
1
1
17
9
8
CIN
Tannehill was the league's worst passer on throws down the middle (3-of-8 for 50 yards with an interception). He also did some serious stat-padding in garbage time. After Cincinnati went up 24-7 in the fourth quarter, Tannehill went 8-of-10 for 99 yard and two touchdowns. He had more first downs in the fourth quarter (seven) than in the first three combined (six).
17.
Cam Newton NE
15/25
174
0
0
2
-4
9
-13
BUF
Newton's average dropback came with 10.4 yards to go for a first down, most of any qualifier this week. With more than 10 yards to go, he went 3-of-6 for 46 yards, but only one conversion.
18.
Josh Allen BUF
11/18
154
0
1
1
-10
-2
-8
NE
Allen's splits by down are pretty wild. He threw for five first downs on first down, when he went 6-of-7 for 104 yards. But he threw for only one first down on second down and one more on third; between the two, he went 5-of-11 for 50 yards with one interception and one sack.
19.
Sam Darnold NYJ
18/29
133
0
0
1
-14
-5
-9
KC
Believe it or not, Sam Darnold led all passers in DYAR from under center. Mind you, he only threw three passes from under center, all in the first quarter, but he completed all three of them for gains of 13, 15, and 27 yards. He threw for only one first down in the second half, when he went 6-of-12 for only 26 yards.
20.
Tua Tagovailoa MIA
12/22
93
1
0
1
-27
-25
-3
LAR
Tagovailoa wasn't bad on throws to his wide receivers, but he had little success on throws to running backs or tight ends: 7-of-12 for 50 yards with only one first down.
21.
Baker Mayfield CLE
12/25
122
0
0
0
-33
-28
-5
LV
Mayfield was only successful on 36% of his dropbacks, least of any qualifier this week. Inside the Raiders' 40, he went 1-of-8 for 6 yards; it's not his fault, but on that one completion, Harrison Bryant fumbled the ball away to Las Vegas.
22.
Derek Carr LV
15/23
112
1
0
2
-33
-26
-8
CLE
The Raiders were not explosive, but they did a great job of making consistent small gains. Carr's average dropback came with 7.4 yards to go for a first down, least of any qualifier this week. That's the good news. The bad news is that despite those easy conditions, Carr's longest completion gained only 17 yards -- and that was a throw to Devontae Booker behind the line of scrimmage with 18 YAC. Also, it came on third-and-18, so it still counts as a failed completion. Carr only threw one deep ball the entire game, an incompletion to Henry Ruggs in the first quarter.
Rk
Player
Team
CP/AT
Yds
TD
INT
Sacks
Total
DYAR
Pass
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Opp
23.
Teddy Bridgewater CAR
15/23
176
1
1
3
-43
-52
9
ATL
Bridgewater didn't throw a single pass in the red zone. The closest he got was Atlanta's 29-yard line ... where he threw a touchdown to Curtis Samuel. He threw four pass to his tight ends (three to Ian Thomas, one to Chris Manhertz) and completed every one for 34 yards and three first downs.
24.
Nick Foles CHI
28/41
272
2
1
5
-57
-57
0
NO
Foles didn't get any explosive plays on throws to his right, where he went 7-of-9 for only 33 yards. At least one of those throws was a 3-yard touchdown to Darnell Mooney.
25.
Jared Goff LAR
35/60
355
1
2
2
-58
-58
0
MIA
Goff gains a league-high 71 DYAR due to opponent adjustments. But he was still last in DYAR in both the first quarter (4-of-11 for 40 yards with an interception) AND in the second quarter (11-of-21 for 96 yards with an interception, two sacks, and two fumbles, one of which was returned for a Miami touchdown).
26.
Lamar Jackson BAL
13/27
208
2
2
4
-66
-71
5
PIT
Jackson gains 61 DYAR (27 DYAR passing, 35 DYAR rushing) due to opponent adjustments. He ran 16 times for 65 yards, including two fumbles and five plays that failed to convert on third or fourth down. He also fumbled on one of his four sacks. And one of his two interceptions was returned for a touchdown. Besides that everything was great. He was the league's worst passer on first down, when he went 1-of-5 for 14 yards with an interception and a sack.
27.
Carson Wentz PHI
15/27
123
2
2
4
-123
-130
7
DAL
Wentz led all qualifiers with an average depth of target of 11.6 yards. In a related note, his average completion gained only 1.6 yards after the catch, worst of the week. He was the week's worst passer from under center (2-of-5 for 20 yards with three sacks).
28.
Jimmy Garoppolo SF
11/16
84
0
1
3
-130
-123
-7
SEA
Garoppolo left this game in the third quarter and still finished last in DYAR in several categories, including third/fourth downs (2-for-3 for 16 yards with one interception, three sacks, and only one conversion), inside the red zone (2-for-3 for 12 yards with an interception), and on throws to tight ends (1-of-4 for 14 yards and an interception). Yes, Garoppolo's interception was thrown to a tight end in the red zone on third down.
29.
Ben DiNucci DAL
21/39
180
0
0
4
-131
-137
7
PHI
DiNucci was last in DYAR inside the opponents' 40-yard line (7-of-10 for 46 yards with three sacks and two fumbles). And on throws to wide receivers (12-of-26 for 93 yards, plus an 8-yard DPI). And on deep balls (0-for-6 -- in fact, he was incomplete on all nine throws that traveled more than 10 yards downfield).

 

Five Best Running Backs by DYAR (Total)
Rk
Player
Team
Runs
Rush
Yds
Rush
TD
Rec
Rec
Yds
Rec
TD
Total
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Rec
DYAR
Opp
1.
Dalvin Cook MIN
30
163
3
2/3
63
1
64
35
29
GB
Cook loses 29 DYAR (23 rushing, 6 receiving) due to opponent adjustments. He ran for 11 first downs against Green Bay, with four runs of 10-plus yards (the longest a gain of 37) while being stuffed five times. His two receptions -- a 13-yard gain on third-and-8 and a 50-yard touchdown on third-and-9 -- included -8 yards through the air and 71 yards after the catch.
2.
J.K. Dobbins BAL
15
113
0
1/2
8
0
63
64
-1
PIT
Dobbins gains 26 DYAR (25 rushing, 1 receiving) due to opponent adjustments. The Steelers defense came into this game with a 25% stuff rate, third-highest in the league, but Dobbins gained at least 2 yards on each of his 15 carries. He also ran for five first downs, including gains of 12, 15, and 28 yards.
3.
Justin Jackson LAC
17
89
0
3/5
53
0
54
27
27
DEN
Jackson was stuffed just once against Denver while running for four first downs, including gains of 18 and 22 yards. Each of his three catches resulted in a first down, including a conversion on third-and-2 and a gain of 34.
4.
Gus Edwards BAL
16
87
1
0/1
0
0
42
48
-5
PIT
Yup, another Ravens player. Edwards wasn't quite as reliable as Dobbins in this game -- he was stuffed twice -- but he still ran for four frirst downs, including gains of 20 and 25 yards. Oh, and he gained 23 DYAR due to opponent adjustments. (The Steelers have only given up four runs of 20-plus yards all season; three of them were in this game. They have allowed 16 runs of 10-plus yards; 10 of them came in this game.)
5.
Tony Pollard DAL
7
40
0
2/2
24
0
39
20
19
PHI
Pollard was stuffed just once against the Eagles while running for three first downs on gains of 7, 9, and 14 yards. Both of his receptions resulted in first downs as well.

 

Five Best Running Backs by DYAR (Rushing)
Rk
Player
Team
Runs
Rush
Yds
Rush
TD
Rec
Rec
Yds
Rec
TD
Total
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Rec
DYAR
Opp
1.
J.K. Dobbins BAL
15
113
0
1/2
8
0
63
64
-1
PIT
2.
Gus Edwards BAL
16
87
1
0/1
0
0
42
48
-5
PIT
3.
Derrick Henry TEN
18
112
1
0/1
0
0
32
37
-5
CIN
Henry loses 19 rushing DYAR due to opponent adjustments. He was stuffed twice by the Bengals while running for six first downs, including gains of 13 and 21 yards.
4.
Dalvin Cook MIN
30
163
3
2/3
63
1
64
35
29
GB
5.
Phillip Lindsay DEN
6
83
1
1/3
3
0
20
30
-10
LAC
Lindsay only had six runs, and only three of them were good, but those good ones were reeeeeeeeeally good. On first-and-10, he had runs for 0, 2, 7, and 20 yards; on second-and-10, he had runs for -1 and 55. That's an average gain of 13.8, a median gain of 4.5, and a standard deviation of 21.6.

 

Worst Running Back by DYAR (Total)
Rk
Player
Team
Runs
Rush
Yds
Rush
TD
Rec
Rec
Yds
Rec
TD
Total
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Rec
DYAR
Opp
1.
Myles Gaskin MIA
18
47
1
3/6
16
0
-36
-25
-12
LAR
Gaskin did run for three first downs against the Rams, but he was stuffed three times, his longest run gained only 6 yards, and he also fumbled once. None of his completions picked up first downs.

 

Worst Running Back by DYAR (Rushing)
Rk
Player
Team
Runs
Rush
Yds
Rush
TD
Rec
Rec
Yds
Rec
TD
Total
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Rec
DYAR
Opp
1.
Todd Gurley ATL
18
46
1
0/0
0
0
-29
-29
0
CAR
Second week in a row that Gurley ends up in this space. He loses 16 rushing DYAR due to opponent adjustments for playing Carolina. He only ran for three first downs, the longest a gain of 11, while being stuffed three times.

 

Five Best Wide Receivers and Tight Ends by DYAR
Rk
Player
Team
Rec
Att
Yds
Avg
TD
Total
DYAR
Opp
1.
Robert Woods LAR
7
8
85
12.1
1
62
MIA
Woods' totals include 49 DYAR receiving, 13 DYAR rushing for his two carries for 9 yards and a touchdown. All of his receptions counted as successful plays and five produced first downs, including three third-down conversions.
2.
DK Metcalf SEA
12
15
161
13.4
2
58
SF
Eight of Metcalf's catches produced first downs, the longest a 46-yard touchdown. He did have two failed completions however, both in the first quarter: a 3-yard loss on first-and-10 and a 7-yard gain on third-and-21.
3.
Corey Davis TEN
8
10
128
16.0
1
55
CIN
Seven of Davis' eight catches gained at least 10 yards and a first down; the ninth was a 9-yard gain on second-and-10. Four of his catches (each one a first down) and 45 of his yards came with Tennessee down by 17 points in the fourth quarter.
4.
Julio Jones ATL
7
10
137
19.6
0
49
CAR
Each of Jones' seven catches produced a first down, the longest a gain of 28. Each of his three incompletions came in the red zone.
5.
DaeSean Hamilton DEN
4
5
82
20.5
1
41
LAC
Three of Hamilton's catches produced first downs, including a 40-yard touchdown. The other was a 10-yard gain on first-and-15.

 

Worst Wide Receiver or Tight End by DYAR
Rk
Player
Team
Rec
Att
Yds
Avg
TD
Total
DYAR
Opp
1.
Cooper Kupp LAR
11
21
110
10.0
0
-37
MIA
Twenty-one targets and this is the only Kupp clip from the Dolphins game on the Rams Twitter account:

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50 comments, Last at 04 Nov 2020, 10:38pm

1 Garoppolo

Since I actually watched the Sunday night game and not the 49ers, I'm stunned that anyone could get into the DiNucci/Wentz competition for worst of the week.

2 Rams receivers

How often do the week's best WR/TE and worst WR/TE by DYAR play on the same team?

In the only game I remember from the list of shame (Davante Adams vs Detroit), Adams was playing alongside Justin Perillo (6 targets) and Jared Abbrederis (7). Remember them? Me either. I think Any Given Sunday that week declared Adams to be a bust. He isn't; he's just Rodgers' favorite option when no-one is open. Kupp seems to enjoy a similar role in the Rams' offense.

It's all the more remarkable that the perennially under-rated Woods was so successful this week, then.

17 Well, Adams finished that…

In reply to by ammek

Well, Adams finished that season 86th in DYAR and 84th in DVOA out of 87 qualifying WRs - I definitely remember thinking he was a bust. In retrospect he was playing hurt all year and was thrust into a pretty unfavorable role/situation after Nelson tore his ACL.

Which leads me on a tangent - a lot of people seem to think Aaron Rodgers buries young WRs when they struggle and is responsible when certain players don't develop. Davante Adams had about as bad of a season in 2015 that a young receiver could possibly have, and yet he turned out great and always credits Rodgers for helping him and believing in him. It's not Rodgers' fault when some of the bottom-of-the-barrel receiver prospects GB has brought in recently don't turn out to be good pro players.

3 Rodgers final play

I know if he had thrown an interception while attempting a hail mary on that final play he would not have lost dvoa or dyar, the circumstances warranted trying it.

But those same circumstances lead to him holding the ball longer to set it up, leading to that sack and fumble.   I know it wasn't technically a hail mary because he didn't throw it before getting fumblesacked from behind, but we know that is what he was gonna do.   I don't think we give him a break on points for that, though do we?   how many points did he lose there?

I know that probably can't be an adjustment because in many cases you can't *know* for certain, in theory a quarterback could wind up and at the last second  check down to someone by the sideline to get one more attempt at a hail mary.

21 That play only cost him -7…

That play only cost him -7 DYAR. 

We ignore INTs on Hail Marys because the quarterback is giving his team a chance to win by throwing such a high-risk ball. You can't say the same about a sack -- Rodgers (and the offensive line) didn't give Green Bay a chance to win by taking a sack. They took that chance to win away.

4 I think that aDOT and that…

I think that aDOT and that YAC does explain some things about Wentz this year. Any yards generated are because he threw the ball there; his receivers don't generate much on their own.

14 The high aDOT is what I've…

The high aDOT is what I've been saying re: playcalling as well. Both the QB *and* the coaches are pointlessly (and excessively) aggressive, which is utter nonsense given the receivers and line they have.

6 Simply astonishing that the…

Simply astonishing that the Ravens could have put up 265 yards rushing, against the previously inpenetrable Steelers, and still lost. I guess that's what 110 penalty yards and 4 turnovers will do. 

Terrible game from Lamar. I don't like to jump to conclusions, but his performance in the two biggest games this season must be some cause for concern.

10 Lamar

And his playoff games have left something to be desired.  I don't think he's really a top tier QB - not in terms of passing in close games.  He's benefited a lot from the Ravens' exceptional rushing attack (of which he is no small part).  But in a big game vs. Mahomes, Roethlisberger, Wilson, or some other similar QB, I don't think Lamar is quite the same threat.  His turnovers killed the Ravens on Sunday.  There's no margin of error in a game of that importance. 

16 But in a big game vs…

In reply to by RickD

But in a big game vs. Mahomes, Roethlisberger, Wilson

Which is basically saying he's not yet a HoFer.

27 I'm curious how much is a …

I'm curious how much is a "we've seen this show before" thing.  It seems that extremely mobile QB's with average to below average passing skills fade out fairly quickly.  Vince Young, Kordell Stewart, Akili Smith, Kaepernick, Cam Newton, Tebow, Manziel, etc. (yeah, I know a few of those were never really considered good QBs, but this is a off the top of my head list)

Granted some of them had quite a bit of success early on but when your game is 90% based on your running ability it goes to crap fast when you lose even half a step.  Not saying he has lost a step, but when he does his passing skill is not going to extend his career.

28 not quite

I'm saying he's clearly inferior to Hall of Famers.

You're making "yet" do a lot of work there.  There's no reason to think Lamar will ever be a Hall of Famer.  He'd have to play several years at this level to be comparable to Mike Vick, and Vick isn't a Hall of Famer.  

29 He was going to be my first…

In reply to by RickD

He was going to be my first comparison...but Vick lasted a long time in a league where teams were allowed to play defense.  He was never terribly accurate but he had a cannon for an arm.

30 There's no reason to think…

In reply to by RickD

There's no reason to think any player will ever be a Hall of Famer. The naive probability is absurdly low.

Hell, even Mahomes, if his career ended today, would be really dicey, and his comps for 'best early success' are basically Otto Graham or Bust.

But consider what the list of likely HOF QBs looked like in year 3. Rodgers was riding the pine. Brady was a game-manager. Brees was failing his way out of SD. Roethlisberger had a great first year, ganked in the playoffs, game-managed his way to a title, and then regressed horribly in year 3. Wilson won an early title, but was basically asked to hand off, run around, and pass when absolutely necessary. 

In year 3, none of those guys were sniffing a Hall case.

38 I think his point is not…

I think his point is not that Wilson wasn't a good passer, but that the team seemed to call plays under that assumption.

It'd be one thing if the passing game was actually worse than the running game, like Minnesota and Baltimore this year, but Seattle's passing game has always had a higher DVOA than their running game since Wilson got there. Only in 2014 was it ever close, but the passing game was still good that year, and a large chunk of their elite running game was Wilson himself anyway.

41 okay.

Still. Wilson’s DVOA in the beginning of his career: 8th, 9th, 13th. Then in 2015 he went to 3rd. But he was fighting his coaching and the narrative of Wilson’s detractors, who were still wanting to believe that they were right and he was just a system quarterback, which was never true from the start. I still object to “pass when absolutely necessary” and “very low volume”, which (in my opinion) doesn’t fit the history.

But I’ll stop here. Of course I’m a fan, and some of my objection is having to fight this narrative from the very start of his career.

42 They were 27th, 26th, and…

In reply to by scraps

They were 27th, 26th, and 27th in passing yards.

From 2012-2014, Wilson threw for as many yards as Manning did from 2011-2013. Manning missed all of 2011.

Wilson threw for fewer yards per game than Namath did in his first three years.

44 The problem is, we don't…

In reply to by scraps

The problem is, we don't know which way causality runs and we will never know. Was it Carrol holding back Wilson, or was he accurately managing his offensive production because he knew he'd get overtaxed in a larger role.

Sure, we can point now to Wilson's success and say what a fool Carrol was. But then remember, not every qb is great the moment they step onto the field. I don't think even the biggest Pats fans could claim that 2001 Brady should have been throwing 30+ times a game. 

46 Wilson maintaining, nay…

Wilson maintaining, nay exceeding his production from last year despite a complete flip in run-pass ratio sways the argument towards Carroll holding him back. I suppose the one argument against that is that this looks like the best pass protection he has ever had, so he can afford to pass so much, but even with a worse offensive line it seems like the tradeoff would still be worth it, and suggests a switch to a pass-first offense should've been made far sooner.

I don't think even the biggest Pats fans could claim that 2001 Brady should have been throwing 30+ times a game. 

He didn't need to for them to win, but I don't see why he couldn't have thrown 30+ times a game and still be as good. He threw 30+ times a game the next year (over 10 more passes per game) and didn't suffer any decline in efficiency. The team was worse but that was because of the defense.

47 I dont think Wilson's…

I dont think Wilson's production is purely a function of the offensive switch. It also is related to the fact that Tyler Lockett is a probowl starting receiver who functions as a number 2 to what is likely the best receiver in football in DK. 

 

Also that is beside the point because I think it is a stretch to suggest 2020 Wilson is roughly the same player as 2012/2013 Wilson just with different contexts.

 

Brady was a game manager in 2001. Even by 2003 he was still kind of a game manager. 2004 and really 2005 were the first seasons that tilted towards him as a passing game focal point. I think its a stretch to claim Brady was that in 2001 just as its a stretch to claim Wilson was that in 2012. 

49 Brady was only a game…

Brady was only a game manager in 2003 because the team could afford for him to be, because the defense became elite. As I said, he definitely was not a game manager in 2002, averaging 10 more passes in 2002 compared to 2001, and his efficiency stayed the same. Then in 2003 he dropped back to game manager levels of passing, and his efficiency still stayed the same. If young QBs get overtaxed in a larger role as you claim, you'd expect his efficiency to drop at higher passing volume and rise at lower ones but that didn't happen.

Also, like you said, we don't know which way causality runs. Do young QBs struggle at high volumes because they can't handle it even at neutral game scripts, or because they have to pass due to poor game scripts (due to their defense being bad) and the opposing defense can tee off on them? Wilson this year is an interesting case because the coaches just decided to go from a run-first team to a pass-first team not out of necessity, but more as an experiment. (Though, after a few games it became clear that the defense sucks so much that it might as well be out of necessity). Since we're comparing Wilson and Brady, the nearest equivalent would be the 2007 Patriots, who also had the best receiver in football.

50 I guess we'll never know. Do…

I guess we'll never know. Do remember there's a lot of bias built into the numbers. Btw, I conceded from the start that pinning down causality is hard from the get go. I personally am of the opinion that Wilson's DVOA would have declined if the attempts had spiked. To what extent and how much would require a larger study than Tom Brady. 

18 Obviously didn't play well…

Obviously didn't play well but his presence really helped other ball carriers.  They Steelers were really fixated on neutralizing his run threat to the extent that it was obvious even to an unobservant layfan like that it was killing them when the backs took handoffs.  Would've really cost them if he didn't have some huge mistakes(almost 500 yards of offense), but fortunately he did

19 For sure. It goes without…

For sure. It goes without saying by now that with Jackson there the Ravens rush attack is nigh on unstoppable. Just a question of how/where you limit the damage. Most teams they can just steamroll, but against other top tier team they are going to need some passing production as well. In this game it was particularly stark as they were so dominant on the ground (and on defense early on) that anything other than multiple turnovers would surely have led to a win. 

7 The Giants certainly didn't…

The Giants certainly didn't look like the borderline worst team in the league last night. It was particularly shocking to see them running the ball effectively against the Bucs. Kudos to Jason Garrett who called a good game.

Quite befuddling to see Daniel Jones with a positive DYAR, when he seemed to miss on so many clear deep shots, and single handedly lost the game with those two braindead interceptions (yes I know, opponent adjustments).

9 I agree.  The Giants looked…

I agree.  The Giants looked shockingly competent across the board.  Not what I was expecting.

Jones has a positive DYAR only because of opponent adjustments, and I think that's fair statistically, as the Bucs have been good this year.  However, watching the game, I got the sense that many of Jones' misses were self-inflicted, not the result of good coverage or consistent pressure.  DVOA doesn't know that a lot of the missed throws were Jones missing open guys, rather than tight coverage by the Bucs.

Jones did some good things during the game, but not enough, in my opinion, to be a starting NFL QB.  He was more on the level of an okay backup.  He's young, though, so maybe he has some potential.

11 Jones looked very bad

The ESPN guys were ripping him for missing open receivers, both in the sense of not noticing that they were open and in the sense of just throwing bad passes.  Yes, he got the TD on the final drive, but for most of the game the Bucs were daring him to throw deep, presumably because they knew that it's not something he does well.  

I sense a basic lack of football awareness there.  And some of his throws are so bad that I don't think experience is the issue.  Kyler Murray and Justin Herbert look far better than Jones does, and they are the same age or younger. 

13 Yes. Those panicked, lame…

Yes. Those panicked, lame duck interceptions whilst in the clutches of a defender are something you would expect from the rawest of rookie backups, not a 2nd year starter/high draft pick. Those mistakes are intolerable. 

It's sad for the Giants, because they otherwise played and called a very good game against one of the best teams in the league. 

8 The KC-NYJ game wasn't…

The KC-NYJ game wasn't available in my area, and I wouldn't have watched it if it was because 2020 has brought enough misery, but those are truly astounding numbers from Mahomes:  5 TD, 416 yards passing, 19 passing first downs.

Entering the week, NYJ was ranked 28th in pass defense, so it wasn't like this is a historically bad unit according to DVOA.  Still, you see outsized results against NYJ in 2020 and immediately wonder if opponent adjustments can fully capture the extent of their suckitude?  

Wilson's the only comparable to Mahomes on NYJ's schedule, so I guess we'll see what he does.  This might be a case of NYJ's pass D looking bad, but being even worse, because the numbers don't fully account for opponents taking their foot off the case and calling a bunch of obvious run plays to finish off the game (which also means NYJ's run D might not be as good as its 14th ranking).

 

32 I've heard that New York…

I've heard that New York sold out to stop the run, possibly because that's the one thing Kansas City's offense is fine with allowing. Would certainly explain Mahomes' numbers, though he probably could get that anyway.

Whenever a defense sets out to stop one aspect of their opponent's offense (running game, quick passing game, deep passing game, QB scrambles, etc), I wonder how much it distorts those two units' actual ability.

34 I didn't watch the game (why…

I didn't watch the game (why on earth would you watch that game if you didn't have to?) but the numbers bear this out. The Chiefs only had one 10-plus-yard run, and that didn't come till the last five minutes of the game. They were stuffed five times (including an aborted snap) and only ran for three first downs. 

 

The Jets are also 10th in rush defense DVOA, so they may have just had a good day.

35 Could it seriously be true…

Could it seriously be true that Gase and staff saw they had KC coming up on Sunday and said, "Right, first priority is to stop the run, and let this Mahomes kid beat us if he can."

I need a googly-eye emoji here.

20 Daniel Jones

It was pretty much a Daniel Jones game. Some Wow, a lot of meh, and some OMG WTF were you thinking!!

 

At this point, I would seriously consider cutting bait. Jones looks like the kind of qb with some baked in bad habits that only a small number of coaches might be able to coax out of. For the rest of the league, he's too much of a clunky liability. 

22 I don't even see the Wow, to…

In reply to by theslothook

I don't even see the Wow, to be perfectly honest. There are some good plays for sure, he can clearly make the throws required of an NFL QB, but there's nothing jaw-droppingly good that is in any way compensating for the regular terrible mistakes. 

The recent Giants do not strike me as a particularly well-run organization, so it would not surprise me if they tread their tires with Jones for much too long. 

25 The TD pass at the end of…

The TD pass at the end of the game, the whole drive actually, was pretty impressive.  Other than that, not too much.

Missing receivers that had clearly beaten coverage at least 4 or 5 times cost the Giants the game.  Those passes werent even close and Jones wasnt throwing under duress. Has to be deflating for a WR to get that wide open and be missed time and time again.

The horrible wounded duck interceptions obviously didn't help.  Sad for the Giants, that game was theirs to win or lose.

31 His final pass of the game…

His final pass of the game was the worst of all to be honest with you. He stared down the receiver the whole time, threw it late and then threw it inaccurately on what should have been the easiest two-point conversion you can ask for.

I was done with him as soon as I saw that.

 

23 Any chance you could share…

Any chance you could share the numbers on NYJ alleged WR Braxton Berrios?  He had 11 targets, 8 receptions... but only 34 yards.  I was expecting him to be the worst receiver of the day, but Kupp had almost twice the volume to rack up negative DYAR.