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According to the Data: Using Numbers to Predict WR Breakouts

Jonathan Bales

Jonathan Bales

Jonathan Bales is the author of the Fantasy Football for Smart People book series. In addition to RotoWire, Jonathan also provides content to the New York Times, Dallas Morning News,, and NBC.

Using Numbers to Predict WR Breakouts

They say that success equals opportunity plus preparation, but for NFL players, that simple equation needs to be refined. Namely, we need to add in "athleticism" as another variable:

Success = Opportunity + Preparation + Athleticism

That looks better. The reason athleticism - which I'm using broadly here to encapsulate all physical measurables - is so important as a predictor is because we see the same types of players succeed again and again.

As I've showed in the past few weeks, you want to search for explosive running backs, as measured by the 40-yard dash and broad jump, who were drafted highly. For tight ends, the draft round and vertical jump - a measurable that doesn't matter at all for running backs - are the best tools for forecasting success at t

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