Fantasy Football 2023 breakouts: 10 players to target in drafts using target per route run data, including Kansas City Chiefs WR Kadarius Toney
Consider for a moment which stats are most commonly referenced when evaluating a wide receiver's Fantasy outlook.
Some that likely come to mind are tried and true stats such as targets and offensive snap counts. In recent years, Fantasy analysis has become focused on more advanced metrics -- air yards, yards per route run, and red zone targets, to name a few. Focusing on a player's share of his team's total targets or air yards has become more prevalent as well, as the Fantasy and DFS space has become more and more competitive.
The Fantasy football research process has become more efficient over time as the collective space has worked together to weed out the noisy stats and let the cream rise to the top. Generally speaking, today's most commonly referenced stats also are some of the most highly correlated to Fantasy production.
SportsLine's Fantasy analyst Jacob Gibbs believes there are still improvements that can be made to the Fantasy research process, though. Gibbs uses a data-driven approach that has helped him consistently provide accurate rankings at every position. He has proven to be one of the nation's most accurate Fantasy rankers in recent years -- posting the eighth-most accurate results over the past three seasons, according to Fantasy Pros.
Gibbs identified an overlooked advanced metric that has a stronger correlation to Fantasy points than any of the aforementioned staples of Fantasy research. This metric helped Gibbs predict Davante Adams' massive 2020 Fantasy output. Nearly every 2020 Fantasy Draft prep source listed Michael Thomas as the WR1, but those who took Gibbs' advice were well on their way to a Fantasy championship after grabbing Adams at the back end of the first round.
In 2021, this metric helped identify Diontae Johnson as a clear value in Fantasy drafts -- he then went on to improve from 2020's WR21 in PPR formats to the WR8 in 2021. And in 2022, A.J. Brown's per-route rates suggested that he was a clear value in drafts. Brown went on to post a career-best 300 PPR points.
Through the lens of this overlooked metric, Gibbs has highlighted 10 players who appear to be on the precipice of a breakout in 2023.
So which players do the target per route run data suggest are undervalued in Fantasy drafts? And which players does Gibbs expect a big step forward from in 2023? ... Join SportsLine here to see the complete data and which players Gibbs is focused on in 2023 drafts!
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