Fantasy Football

2017 Fantasy Football Trials: Golden Tate v Jarvis Landry

on

Spending a significant amount of my professional and educational life in the legal realm, as well as in Fantasy Sports, leads to some inevitable cross-over between the two. Hence, this is the second case in “The Fantasy Football Trials” the case of Golden Tate v Jarvis Landry. Feel free to check out the first trial, Demaryius Thomas v Terrelle Pryor, to get some more background on this series.

In this series, I break down certain criteria for two players and analyze the cases for each, ultimately taking over the role of the Judge and Trier of Fact in order to come to a conclusion and release a verdict. I use several, eye-witness, sources including PlayerProfiler.com, FantasyPros.com, and Pro-Football-Reference.com.

Throughout these articles, I will mostly hear cases about players of the same position with similar or controversial Average Draft Positions (ADPs). I will also post twitter polls involving the players in future trials so that you, the reader, can participate as a member of “The Jury.” Just remember to follow me @AlexBHamrick and be on the lookout for these polls. With that being said, the second trial taking place in this “Court of Law” is the case of Golden Tate, WR, Detroit Lions v. Jarvis Landry, WR, Miami Dolphins.

Golden Tate v Jarvis Landry

“The Jury”

Judgement for: Jarvis Landry

 

Golden Tate v Jarvis Landry

FantasyPros.com

The public has spoken in favor of Landry, but for now, this is a “bench trial”, in which the Judge is the true finder of fact, and a jury will only be needed to break any potential ties.

 

“Expert Testimony”

Reference the FantasyPros.com screenshot to the right.

Judgement for: Golden Tate

The Expert Consensus using FantasyPros Consensus Rankings shows that 62% of industry experts have Golden Tate as the preferred Fantasy Football Wide Receiver in Standard Leagues. In PPR leagues Golden Tate was the preferred wide receiver with a 60% consensus vote.

 

Targets

To look at targets, numbers from the last three years will be examined.

Golden Tate

Tate saw 144 targets in 2014, 129 in 2015, and 135 in 2016. His least targeted season was in 2015, when Calvin Johnson played all 16 games. These numbers have translated into a 24.4% target share in 2014, a 20.7% target share in 2015, and a 23.3% target share in 2016. He was also on the field for over 90% of the Lions’ offensive snaps in each of these years and saw 11 red zone targets in 2014, 18 in 2015, and 17 in 2016.

Jarvis Landry

Landry saw 112 targets in 2014, 167 in 2015, and 131 in 2016. His least targeted season was his rookie season in 2014. These numbers have translated into an 18.9% target share in 2014, a 28.7% target share in 2015, and a 28.1% target share in 2016. He has also been on the field for 100% of the Dolphins’ offensive snaps, over the past two years. Landry saw 13 red zone targets in 2014, 23 in 2015, and 9 in 2016.

Judgement for: Golden Tate

The volume for both players is certainly close but with Tate finishing with more targets in two of the last three years, and having more total red zone targets over the past three years, I am inclined to rule in favor of Tate on the issue of opportunity.

Situation

Golden Tate

The Detroit Lions were the 11th best passing offense in the NFL in 2016 and 9th in 2015. In 2016, the Lions scored 21.6 points per game, had a 65.3% passing percentage with 594 passing attempts and 388 completed passes, and 4111 passing yards. Detroit also had 257 passing yards per game, and 24 passing touchdowns. Matthew Stafford, Detroit’s quarterback, threw the ball 595 times (9th in the NFL) with a 65.2% completion rate (12th). Stafford threw for 24 touchdowns and 10 interceptions and had the 8th best Quarterback Rating (QBR) at 70.7.

Jarvis Landry

Embed from Getty Images
The Miami Dolphins, on the other hand, were the 26th best passing offense in 2016 and the 19th in 2015. In 2016, the Dolphins scored 22.7 points per game, had a 66.2% passing percentage with 477 attempts and 316 completed passes, and 3,500 passing yards. Miami also had 219 passing yards per game and 27 passing touchdowns. Ryan Tannehill*, Miami’s quarterback, threw the ball 390 times (28th) with the ninth best completion rate a 66.9%, in 13 games. He threw for 19 touchdowns and 12 interceptions and had a 54.6 QBR.

*Update: Ryan Tannehill has suffered a significant knee injury causing the Dolphins to bring in Jay Cutler out of retirement. Looking at Cutler’s 2015 season, when Adam Gase was the Offensive Coordinator for the Bears, Cutler threw the ball 483 times (18th) with a 64.4% completion rate (12th). He threw for 21 touchdowns and 11 interceptions and had a 60.7 QBR.

Judgement for: Golden Tate

Tate is on a much more pass heavy offense with more targets and yardage to go around.Tate also has a better quarterback. The news that Landry will be without Tannehill isn’t great, but Jay Cutler could actually be an improvement to Landry’s value. With some uncertainties in Miami, the situation will remain murky, for now.

Competition

Golden Tate v Jarvis Landry

Golden Tate

Golden Tate v Jarvis Landry

Golden Tate’s Target Share in Detroit

In 2016, the Lions had two receivers with over 100 targets and four with over 80 targets. The Lions also had two receivers with over 900 yards, four with over 580 yards, and four with four or more touchdowns, including Tate.



In 2015, three players for the Lions had 99 targets or more and two receivers had over 800 receiving yards. These players include some combination of Marvin Jones, Calvin Johnson (2015), Golden Tate, Eric Ebron, and Theo Riddick.

With Tate’s target percentage in the low 20s, this demonstrates the Lions’ preference to spread the ball around to all the team’s weapons.

Jarvis Landry

Golden Tate v Jarvis Landry

Jarvis Landry’s Target Share in Miami

In 2016, the Dolphins had only one receiver (Landry) with over 100 targets and only three with over 80 targets. The Dolphins had one receiver (Landry) with over 1000 yards and only two with over 700 receiving yards, excluding Landry, and no receiver, besides Kenny Stills, had over four touchdowns.

In 2015, Landry was the only receiver with over 70 targets at 166. Landry also was the only receiver with over 700 yards (1,157), no receiver had more than four touchdowns. Landry’s target share above 28% for the past two years demonstrates that he is the main guy in Miami, with minimal competition.

Judgement for: Jarvis Landry

Though the Dolphins added tight end Julius Thomas and are expecting more in the passing game out of DeVante Parker and Jay Ajayi, Landry’s usage in the Miami offense has shown that he will be heavily relied on. Meanwhile, Tate faces plenty of competition in Detroit’s, spread the ball around, offense.

Physical Attributes

Golden Tate

Embed from Getty Images

  • Tate is 5’10” and 202 lbs.
  • He boasts a 4.42 40-yard dash (89th percentile) and a 101.5 speed score (73rd percentile) which measures a player’s speed in relation to his body weight and height.
  • Tate has a burst score of 119.5 (42nd percentile), an agility score of 11.46 (20th percentile), and a catch radius of 9.81, which is in the bottom 20th percentile.
  • Tate also has a 30.5” wing span (14th percentile) and 9.25” sized hands.

Jarvis Landry

  • Landry is 5’11” and 205 lbs.
  • He runs a 4.65 40-yard dash (14th percentile) and a 85.3 speed score (22nd percentile).
  • Landry also has a burst score of 103.5, an agility score of 12.15, and a 9.37 catch radius.
  • He has a 31.75” wing span (45th percentile) and 10.25” sized hands.

Judgement for: Golden Tate

This one is really close for both players. Both players are about the same size, with Landry being a tad bigger. Tate is faster, while Landry is more agile. Finally, though Landry has bigger hands and a larger wing span, Tate is able to make better use of his by establishing a better catch radius. With both guys being about the same size, it was Tate’s overall speed, burst, and catch radius that pushed the verdict in his favor.

Productivity & Efficiency

Golden Tate

In 2016, Tate had 91 receptions on 135 targets for a 67.4% catch rate. This translated into 1,077 receiving yards. He also had a 52.9% red zone catch rate with 9 red zone receptions. Tate posted a 50% contested catch rate, and averaged 11.8 yards per reception. He had a production premium of -5.8, which compares the results of all targets to the league-average results in identical game scenarios. A negative number indicates that Tate was not as efficient as his wide receiver contemporaries in similar situations. Tate had a 5.2% drop rate, with 7 drops (10th most), but generated the most yards after the catch with 676 yards after the catch.

This all led to the 20th best Fantasy points per game average for wide receivers, at 13.9 PPR points per game and 1.65 Fantasy points per target (54th).

Jarvis Landry

Landry had 94 receptions on 131 targets for a 71.8% catch rate. This translated into 1,138 receiving yards. He also had a 77.8% red zone catch rate, with seven red zone receptions. According to Player Profile, Landry only garnered two contested targets and caught zero of them, for a 0.0% contested catch rate. He averaged 12.1 yards per reception and had 612 yards after the catch, second to only Tate.  He also had a positive 8.7 production premium. Landry only had four drops, with a 3.1% drop rate.

This all resulted in 14.5 PPR points per game (15th) and 1.77 Fantasy points per target.

Judgement for: Jarvis Landry

Tate was only able to outperform Landry in yards after the catch and contested catch categories. Landry was more efficient and productive in all other categories which ultimately led to better fantasy production in 2016.

Strength of Schedule (SOS)

Golden Tate v Jarvis Landry

Credit: TheHuddle.com and David Dorey; Screenshot by Alex Hamrick

Golden Tate

FantasyPros has the Lions with the 15th toughest schedule for wide receivers. The Lions play only five games against defenses in the top-10 for the least amount of Fantasy points allowed to opposing wide receivers last year. The rest of their matchups are against teams in the bottom half for Fantasy points allowed to opposing wide receivers. Tate’s playoff schedule (weeks 14-16) consists of two favorable matchups (CHI & TB) and a Fantasy Championship matchup against the Bengals a team that was second best at limiting Fantasy points to opposing wide receivers.

Jarvis Landry

FantasyPros has the Dolphins with the 23rd most difficult schedule for wide receivers. The Dolphins play six games against top-10 defenses and another four games against top-15 defenses. Landry’s playoff schedule is brutal as he faces two top-10 defenses (NE & BUF) and another red matchup against the Chiefs.

Judgement for: Golden Tate

If I were to draft solely on SOS, which you should never do, Tate would be the choice. Landry has a pretty brutal schedule and Tate has an easier regular season and playoff schedule.

ADP

Golden Tate

Current FantasyPros ADP is 59

Jarvis Landry

Current FantasyPros ADP is 52

Judgement for: Golden Tate

ADPs will continue to fluctuate as we approach the start of the NFL season, so this will be a factor worth monitoring. For now, Landry is being drafted as the 22nd wide receiver, while Tate is being drafted almost a round later as the 27th wide receiver. This difference makes Tate the better value in Fantasy drafts.



Projections

Golden Tate

  • Targets: 146
  • Receptions: 98
  • Receiving Yards: 1,156
  • Touchdowns: 6
  • Standard Fantasy Points: 151.6
  • PPR Fantasy Points: 249.6

Jarvis Landry

  • Targets: 140
  • Receptions: 100
  • Receiving Yards: 1,200
  • Touchdowns: 5
  • Standard Fantasy Points: 150
  • PPR Fantasy Points: 250

Judgement for: Neither

After using historical data including; target share, catch rate, yards per reception, passing attempts, etc., these players appear to be dead even. Tate had the slight edge in Standard scoring while Landry had the 0.4 point advantage in PPR scoring.

Final Judgment: Golden Tate

Embed from Getty Images
This proved to be a very close case, further demonstrating why these two players should be compared to each other. In the end, Tate’s argument was more convincing in six of the factors. Compare this to Landry’s three. The evidence shows that Tate has a better opportunity, situation, strength of schedule, draft value, and physical body of work. Landry is still the better and more efficient receiver, but talent does not always make for a better Fantasy Football wide receiver. Though this case was not proved beyond a reasonable doubt, the evidence does support a verdict for Golden Tate. At the very least, there should not be such a wide gap between these players’ ADPs.

About Alex Hamrick

Alex is an avid fantasy football enthusiast and writer for Fantasy Six Pack. With a background in quantitative methods and analysis, Alex enjoys using statistics and data analytics to develop detailed fantasy football analysis. You can follow him on Twitter and Instagram @AlexBHamrick

Recommended for you

2 Comments

  1. Pingback: Monday August 28, 2017 – Fantasy Football Links - FantasyRundown.com

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.