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A Look at Air Yards – Actual & Unrealized

Here’s a new graph I am going to be posting each week.  This is a comparison of Receiving Yards (RY), Air Yards (AY) and Unrealized Air Yards (UAY).  It will help us identify players who are getting the chances at increasing their receiving yardage based off of opportunity and what could have been outcomes. It also shows us what qualifying pass catchers are getting quality targets.

Prior to diving into the graphs let’s discuss what each of these stats are:

Receiving Yards – if you are reading this article I think it’s safe to say you know what receiving yards are.
Air Yards – this is the total distance the ball travels in the air from the line of scrimmage to the catch point, caught or not.
Unrealized Air Yards – this is the total yards of uncaught passes thrown to the player.

The biggest thing the graph shows is how much of the Air Yard total for a specific player was Unrealized Air Yards.  This is especially relevant this week because last week Jameis Winston was absolutely chucking it to Chris Olave but they weren’t connecting majority of the time.  Therefore, you see his Air Yards and Unrealized Air Yards are not far off from one another; this should regress as the season goes on but it’s a great example to use.

In an ideal world you want to see the Unrealized Air Yards significantly smaller than the Air Yards as this means the player is catching majority of passes thrown his way.  Of course, we want high volume and a strong target depth; thus, a high Opportunity Score.  If you don’t know what Opportunity Score is check out this article.

This graph does a great job showing just how terrible the tight end position has been this year.  Outside of Andrews and Kelce it’s been a semi wasteland.

Players I’m looking to acquire:
• Chris Olave
• Garrett Wilson

Players that I’m keeping an eye on:
• Corey Davis – I found him ranking 4th truly shocking
• Juwan Johnson – I honestly love what I see so far from him, hoping he sees targets and does something with them this week
• Isiah Likely – if something ever happened to Andrews I think he’d be a top 10 TE

Players I’m not fully sold on:
• DJ Chark – his chart looks good but I feel like he loses this role a week or two after Jameson Williams comes back
• Noah Brown – but I want to believe!
• Ashton Dulin – if he produces once Pittman is back I’m buying him

Players I just feel bad for:
• Cam Sims – the only guy to register top 60 without a catch, honestly impressive
• George Pickens
• Adam Thielen
• Kyle Pitts
• TJ Hockenson – I’d honestly try and move him in redraft while he still has name value and see what I can get

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