The 3-5 Year Window

You may have read my recent article, “The Running Back Window“, which covered running backs drafted from 2000-2014.  It was highly debated.  Truth is, it is hard to decide exactly which data range to pull from for these articles.  No matter how you do it, someone is included or left out that people think shouldn’t be.  It is like the MLB All-Star Game, deserving players miss every year.
Thankfully, there were the open-minded individuals that requested the WR version.  I like to believe that I am a man for the people, so here we go.

gettyimages 626147626 1024x1024
BALTIMORE, MD – NOVEMBER 27: Wide receiver Steve Smith #89 of the Baltimore Ravens carries the ball against safety Clayton Fejedelem #42 of the Cincinnati Bengals in the third quarter at M&T Bank Stadium on November 27, 2016 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

Remember that these are wide receivers played their first seasons between 2000 and 2014.  Guys like Randy Moss just missed the cut for this data range, but I wanted to keep it the same as the RB version.

WR1’s DRAFTED Between 2000-2014

Between 2000-2014, there have been 61 wide receivers drafted to have at least one top 12 PPR season.
Out of the wide receivers that have had at least one WR1 season:

Sponsored By:
  • 28 (45.9%) accomplished WR1 production once.
  • 33 (54.1%) repeated WR1 production.
  • 13 (21.3%) had exactly 2 seasons of WR1 production.
  • 7 (11.5%) had exactly 3 seasons of WR1 production.
  • 2 (3.3%) had exactly 4 seasons of WR1 production.
  • 5 (8.2%) had exactly 5 seasons of WR1 production.
  • 3 (4.9%) had exactly 6 seasons of WR1 production.
  • 2 (3.3%) had exactly 7 seasons of WR1 production.
  • 0 had exactly 8 seasons of WR1 production.
  • 1 (1.6%) had exactly 9 seasons of WR1 production.

WR2’s DRAFTED Between 2000-2014

92 wide receivers have had at least one WR2 season.
Out of the wide receivers that have had at least one WR2 season

  • 52 (56.5%) accomplished WR2 production once
  • 40 (43.5%) repeated WR2 production.
  • 26 (28.3%) had exactly 2 seasons of WR2 production.
  • 9 (9.8%) had exactly 3 seasons of WR2 production.
  • 4 (4.3%) had exactly 4 seasons of WR2 production.
  • 1 (1.1%) had exactly 5 seasons of WR2 production.

WR1/WR2 DRAFTED BETWEEN 2000-2014

104 wide receivers have had at least a single season with WR1 or WR2 production.

  • 42 (40.4%) accomplished WR1 or WR2 production only once.
  • 62 (59.6%) repeated WR1 or WR2 production.
  • 16 (15.4%) had exactly 2 seasons of WR1 or WR2 production.
  • 15 (14.4%) had exactly 3 seasons of WR1 or WR2 production.
  • 11 (10.6%) had exactly 4 seasons of WR1 or WR2 production.
  • 5 (4.8%) had exactly 5 seasons of WR1 or WR2 production.
  • 5 (4.8%) had exactly 6 seasons of WR1 or WR2 production.
  • 3 (2.9%) had exactly 7 seasons of WR1 or WR2 production.
  • 4 (3.8%) had exactly 8 seasons of WR1 or WR2 production.
  • 1 (1%) had exactly 9 seasons of WR1 or WR2 production.
  • 1 (1%) had exactly 10 seasons of WR1 or WR2 production.
  • 1 (1%) had exactly 11 seasons of WR1 or WR2 production.

Totals Since 2003

40.4% of WR’s never repeat a top 24 season.  This is slightly higher than the 40% that running backs came in at, but this number does not worry me nearly as much as it does with RB’s.
Every league I create starts two running backs and three wide receivers and has at least one flex.  I am confident that if I factored in RB3’s and WR3’s, we would see an even larger discrepancy between relevant fantasy options.  I may have to go back and amend both of these articles in the future, just to prove that point.

  • 58 (55.8%) had 2 or fewer WR or WR2 seasons.
  • 73 (70.2%) had 3 or fewer WR or WR2 seasons.
  • 84 (80.8%) had 4 or fewer WR or WR2 seasons.
  • 89(85.6%) had 5 or fewer WR or WR2 seasons.
  • 15 (14.4%) had 6 or more WR or WR2 seasons.
gettyimages 898178076 1024x1024
GLENDALE, AZ – DECEMBER 24: Wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald #11 of the Arizona Cardinals breaks from the line during the first half of the NFL game against the New York Giants at the University of Phoenix Stadium on December 24, 2017 in Glendale, Arizona. The Cardinals defeated the Giants 23-0. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

What Does It All Mean

Wide receivers are almost 2x more likely to last 6+ years as a top 24 asset than running backs.  That is quite the difference.  While one hit wonders are about the same rate (40.4% for WR & 40% for running backs) the difference on the extreme end more than makes up for it.  Not to mention, I would almost bet my life if we included WR3 & RB3 seasons, the numbers would be way more in favor of WR’s than they are in this data set.

Rebuilding?  Load Up On Young Wide Receivers

When rebuilding, I always look to bring in as many young wide receivers as possible.  The beauty is, a lot of dynasty owners devalue rookies that struggle.  This allows us to get future assets at a fraction of their actual value.  Taking advantage of this while rebuilding can help you move the process along much faster.

In Conclusion

This is football, so no matter what position we are talking about, we are going to get our fair share of “one-and-done” players.  The thing about wide receivers that set them apart for me is that there is a much better chance that they will have last six or more years.  Having an abundance of wide receivers will allow you to flip some for draft picks, which are my preferred method of obtaining RB’s (I want the whole 2-3 years worth of value) and make my rebuild that much faster.

Am I Wrong?  Let Me Know!

As always, please come over to the Facebook Group and let me have it!

HTML tutorial