Targets And Catches Week 2: Introducing Yards Per Route

"Isiah, your YPT this week is going to be insane" - Brett Bartolone, probably.

In my continuing quest to analyze wide receiver performance down to the finest detail, I've expanded the usual weekly chart to add a new statistic. Last week, I added snaps to the chart and using that data, this week I've added yards per route (YPR).

YPR is as simple as it sounds, total yards gained/routes run. A route is any time a wide receiver runs a pass pattern, including sacks and quarterback scrambles. Pro Football Focus began keeping this stat for the NFL, but I've yet to see it applied to college football, until now.

While yards per target is a great way to analyze a receiver's performance, yards per route does an even better job of measuring efficiency. If a player is running a lot of routes, yet rarely being targeted, they probably aren't getting open very often. If a player plays only a minimal number of snaps but produces in them, yards per route will show that.

For an idea of what it all means, consider anything above 1.8 to be above average with 2.0 and higher elite. Anything below 1.30 is below average and a YPR below 1.0 is in the very poor range. YPR will fluctuate over small samples, but over an entire season wide receivers are ideally producing at least 1.5 YPR.

Now, onto the charts.

WSU vs. EWU

Player Snaps Yards Targets Catches Drops 1st Downs Target % Catch % Drop % 1st Down % YPT YPR
Brett Bartolone 37 15 7 5 1 0 18.92 71.43 14.29 0.00 2.14 0.48
Bennett Bontemps 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
Rickey Galvin 45 30 3 3 0 1 8.11 100.00 0.00 33.33 10.00 0.94
Andrei Lintz 21 12 1 1 0 1 2.70 10.00 0.00 100.00 12.00 1.09
Gabe Marks 27 77 5 3 2 3 13.51 60.00 40.00 60.00 15.40 4.53
Isiah Myers 36 58 8 6 1 3 21.62 75.00 12.50 37.50 7.25 2.52
Bobby Ratliff 18 9 1 1 0 0 2.70 100.00 0.00 0.00 9.00 1.00
Gino Simone 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
Dominique Williams 10 0 1 0 0 0 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
Marquess Wilson 57 47 7 4 1 2 18.92 57.14 14.29 28.57 6.71 1.27
Totals 251 248 33 23 5 10 89.19 69.70 15.15 30.30 7.52 1.49

This week was an improvement over what the wide receivers did against BYU, but still not quite in the range you'd hope for against an FCS opponent. Gabe Marks leads the way with a shiny 15.40 YPT and 4.53 YPR. Marks could have had an even better day had he not had two drops.

Just as they did against BYU, WSU featured an eight man rotation although it was slightly different than the season opener. After seeing one snap against BYU, Bobby Ratliff played 18 snaps against EWU. On the flip side, Gino Simone went from 16 snaps to not seeing the field.

Not a great day for Marquess Wilson who posted just his third sub 7.0 YPT in his last 14 games. Wilson feasted on the non-conference schedule last season and while I'm still not overly concerned, any thought of a 1600-yard or more season might have evaporated with back-to-back poor games. Then again, Wilson could go for 230 yards next week and change that.

Another week, another one target outing for Andrei Lintz. I don't know what happened between spring football and now, but Lintz is not nearly as involved as most suspected he would be. Isiah Myers seems to be the beneficiary of that as he led the team in targets this week with eight.

2012 Season

Player Snaps Yards Targets Catches Drops 1st Downs Target % Catch % Drop % 1st Down % YPT YPR
Brett Bartolone 64 37 11 6 1 1 13.41 54.55 9.09 9.09 3.36 0.67
Bennett Bontemps 3 0 0 0 0 0 0.00 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Rickey Galvin 81 68 11 9 0 3 13.41 81.82 0.00 27.27 6.18 1.08
Andrei Lintz 50 14 2 2 0 1 2.44 10.000 0.00 50.00 7.00 0.40
Gabe Marks 55 93 10 6 3 4 12.20 60.00 30.00 40.00 9.30 2.21
Isiah Myers 65 108 13 11 1 6 15.85 84.62 7.69 46.15 8.31 2.30
Bobby Ratliff 19 9 1 1 0 0 1.22 100.00 0.00 0.00 9.00 1.00
Gino Simone 16 10 4 3 0 0 4.88 75.00 0.00 0.00 2.50 0.77
Dominique Williams 22 25 4 2 0 1 4.88 50.00 0.00 25.00 6.25 1.56
Marquess Wilson 106 108 14 8 2 4 17.07 57.14 14.29 28.57 7.71 1.38
Totals 481 472 70 48 7 20 85.37 68.57 10.00 28.57 6.74 1.31

The chart through two weeks is not exactly a pretty sight. That 6.74 team YPT is well below where WSU needs to be, despite the fact their catch rate of 68.57 is about what they should run all year, if not a little higher. Last season, WSU wide receivers averaged 8.36 YPT. In the 88 Texas Tech games I charted, Red Raider wide receivers averaged 8.2 YPT. The 2012 group has some work to do if they are going to reach either of those numbers.

Brett Bartolone is playing a lot, but so far has yet to produce much. As an inside receiver Bartolone runs a lot of short patterns, so you might expect a lower YPT, but 3.36 isn't going to cut it. Rickey Galvin's overall numbers look a little better than Bartolone's but that's likely due to the inflated 81.82 catch rate. That number is going to drop as the season progresses and so will his 6.18 YPT.

Gabe Marks stands out as a bright spot with his team-leading 9.30 YPT. With only 10 targets, his numbers are skewed by the long reception he had against EWU, but still good to see him rebound from a lackluster debut against BYU. Drops are a bit of a concern as he already has three, but overall an encouraging start for Marks.

I would love to believe Isiah Myers could settle in as the No. 2 receiver and produce 8.31 YPT and 2.30 YPR all season, but I'll believe it when that catch rate normalizes and he still produces at that level.

It appears my #FreeBobbyRatliff movement worked, but now I'll have to start the #ThrowItToBobby movement.

There are three main reasons I'm not too concerned over Wilson's slow start. First, he's had two long plays called back due to holding penalties. Add either of those in and his numbers look a lot better. Second, he caught 66.7 percent of his targets last season, so his catch rate should rise as the season progresses. Finally, it's only 14 targets. He's had much worse 14 target stretches during his career so it's important to remember we're still dealing with a very small sample size.

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