Tight/Road (Y/RR) Yard Analysis (Fantasy Football 2022)

Dallas Goedert

Dallas Goedert broke out last year, leading tight ends with at least 30 targets with 2.33 yards per throw (Y/RR), according to Pro Football Focus (PFF).

This is the latest installment in the series of advanced statistics rankings. Tight ends are the last group of positions to look at through the prism of Pro Football Focus (PFF) excellent efficiency metric, Yards Per Route Run (Y/RR). Spoiler alert, many of the best players in the game at this position are on the leaderboard. However, a few breakout candidates are also mixed.

Yards per Course (Pro Football Focus)

Yards Per Route Run (Y/RR) is precisely what it claims. It is a metric for receiving yards per route a player takes, tracked by PFF. That’s a higher metric than yards per target, which 4For4 Football’s TJ Hernandez shows miserably correlates year after year. Additionally, a high Y/RR may indicate that a player might burst with increased opportunities. Conversely, a low Y/RR indicates that a player was inefficient and could see a drop in production with reduced routes.

Leaders

Dallas Goedert broke out last year, leading tight ends with at least 30 targets with 2.33 yards per throw (Y/RR), according to Pro Football Focus (PFF). Additionally, in 11 games after the Eagles traded Zach Ertz, Goedert’s efficiency soared to 2.61 Y/RR. Additionally, Goedert commanded a target on 24.0% of his routes without Ertz.

There are concerns about only one football for Goedert, DeVonta Smith and AJ Brown, but Goedert is a rising talent with an elite production profile. As a result, he’s a great target at his TE8 and 79.5 average draft position (ADP) in point-per-reception (PPR) formats. Goedert belongs to the same level as Dalton Schultz (TE6 and 65.8 ADP) and TJ Hockenson (TE7 and 66.3 ADP). However, the talented Philadelphia tight end is much more attractive even in front of his ADP than Schultz and Hockenson during their respective selections.

World-class tight ends George Kittle and Mark Andrews are next on the table. According to Sports Info Solutions (SIS), Andrews also led tight ends in Target Share last year. However, as I said in the TE Target Share Analysis article, Andrews cost is a bit rich at 21.8. Obviously, there’s a ton to love, and he’s a defensible pick at his ADP that becomes a solid pick even a U-turn later.

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However, part of the reason I’m not willing to pay the draft capital needed to secure it is Kittle’s ADP of 42.7 as a TE4. Last year, Kittle’s 14.8 points per game in PPR formats during the fantasy season was the third highest mark at the position. Andrews was the top-scoring tight end with 17.8 PPR points per game in 2021. However, in 2020, Kittle’s 15.9 PPR points per game was 3.3 points higher than Andrews’ mark of 12 ,6. Andrews is rightfully drafted ahead of Kittle, but the gap is too wide between players of similar talent.

Kyle Pitts was ignored by design in the target share analysis, although he ranked second behind Andrews with a target share of 19.9%. I was sandbag. Pitts was one of four tight ends with over 2.00 Y/RR at 2.02 Y/RR. That’s remarkable coming from a rookie. Also, according to StatHead, Pitts’ 60.4 receiving yards per game was the third-highest ever by a tight rookie who played in at least eight games. The ultra-athletic Pitts was also tied for ninth-most yards per reception (15.1) on 81 rookie tight ends with at least 30 receptions, and his 68 receptions were third.

Pitts really had an all-time good rookie season. Moreover, it thrived despite its use. Atlanta was devoid of pass-catching options, and head coach Arthur Smith basically used Pitts as a giant receiver. According to PFF, out of 550 passing snaps, Pitts was lined up in the slot 241 times, wide 188 times and lined up just 120 times.

At worst, Pitts showed he could be successful when used as a receiver. However, since the Falcons used the eighth pick to make Drake London the first wide receiver selected in this year’s NFL Draft, they could potentially move Pitts to the line more often to create lags against linebackers and safeties. Are they going? That remains to be seen, but it makes sense. At ADP, I’d rather have Pitts at 35.5 than Andrews at 21.8.

Finally, Albert Okwuegbunam is a high potential tight end for players who miss the cleats. Albert O is a monster athlete competing for playing time with third-round rookie pick Greg Dulcich. There is a risk of them cannibalizing each other’s playing time by catching tight passes, but that’s more than factored into Okwuegbunam’s 19 TE and 179.0 ADP.

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After Goedert, my preference is to wait and double up with players like Cole Kmet (TE13 and 140.3 ADP) and Okwuegbunam. Tying two spots on the roster on tight ends isn’t ideal. Still, players can dump one for the hot waiver thread after a week or two into the season. For example, if Okwuegbunam and Dulcich are sharing time, players can cut Okwuegbunam and move on.

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Latecomers

The Jaguars spent too much to underperform Evan Engram. However, that doesn’t mean you should invest in the old, ineffective first-round pick. Not only did Engram stink in Y/RR, but he was also 40th in PFF receiving rating on 44 tight ends targeted at least 30 times in 2022. The five-year-old pro had a career rating of 1.36 Y/ RR. Engram’s career mark would have ranked 19th among tight ends with at least 30 targets in 2022, one spot behind outgoing Jacksonville tight end James O’Shaugnessy. Thus, Engram is at best just a streamer in season-long leagues and an occasional correlation-based stacking option with Trevor Lawrence in best-ball formats.

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Josh Shepardson is a featured writer for FantasyPros. For more on Josh, check out his archive and follow him @BChad50.

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