In the last episode, a discussion about the volatility of wide receiver ones (WR1) took place. This time, we jump back into the position, but a little lower on the 2022 final rankings. Today a discussion about wide receiver two (WR2) volatility takes place.
Yesterday established a few things that will be important to remember for today: there are typically 12 owners in a fantasy football league, most leagues have a minimum of two starting wide receivers, one of the most common formats is PPR and, of course, the game is highly volatile on a year-to-year basis.
That said, yesterday was a look at the volatility rate of the top-12 players at wide receiver. Today will be a look at spots 13-24. Just how volatile are the players in these spots? Let’s find out.
The wide receiver two field
Just like yesterday, first, we should know the field. So, in numerical ranking, the 2022 WR2s were: Tyler Lockett, Terry McLaurin, Brandon Aiyuk, DK Metcalf, Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Tee Higgins, Michael Pittman, Garrett Wilson, Jerry Jeudy, Cooper Kupp and DJ Moore.
Again, this is a vastly talented bunch of players to look at. However, fantasy football is a volatile game. Expecting all of these guys to remain as a secondary wide receiver is farfetched.
Before going into the volatility ratings for each slot, a couple of things need to be said.
First, the window in which we are looking through for this data. Again, 10 years is not too long or too short of a period, so let’s roll out with that again.
Second, this is a happier episode than yesterday’s. Wide receiver ones could only fall due to volatility. Meanwhile, WR2s can rise because they are not yet at the top. With that said, there will be three separate data points: One for the risers, fallers and players who have remained a WR2 over the last 10 years of fantasy football.
Considering there were a pair of receivers in the 12 position in 2020, fantasy data recognizes there was not a wide receiver in the 13 spot that year.
Those who rose to wide receiver one status:
Overall, there were just 28 players over the last decade who jumped from a WR2 to a WR1. That is nearly 24% of the field. While this is not a massive amount of people moving upward, there is something noteworthy.
The player in the 13 spot reached the ranks of WR1 over 50% of the time throughout the last decade.
This means Lockett is a statistically safe wide receiver to draft given his finish in the 13 spot in fantasy last season.
Those most likely to fall from the wide receiver two club:
Here lies the bulk of WR2 finishes by a mile. The amount of people who fell from this status over the last decade equates to 71 players or nearly 60% of the field.
The only spot that is under a 50% fall rate is the rank of 13, as covered previously with Lockett.
This means everyone else who finished as a WR2 last season has, at best, a 50% chance to remain in this group or jump to WR1 next year. To put it bluntly, these are not good odds.
The most daunting odds belong to players in 20 and 22 holes. This makes both Pittman and Jeudy statistical long shots to return to these ranks in 2023.
However, they are not the only players on high alert. Godwin, Higgins and Kupp all have a 40% chance, or worse, to be at least a WR2 next season. Each of these men has been nothing short of phenomenal over the years, however, the stats say they are in for a down year.
Those who remain a wide receiver two:
This is the smallest group, with just 18 players, 15%, remaining a WR2 over the last decade.
While the odds of staying in this group are at best 30% according to the last 10 years, there is an interesting picture painted when combining all three of these data sets.
Those who are coin flips out of the wide receiver two bunch:
What is already established is Lockett is the safest draft of every WR2 this last season. We needed just the first data set to learn that.
Similarly, we learned that Pittman, Jeudy, Kupp, Higgins and Godwin are long shots to return to this spot next season.
What about the remainder of the field? Well, when you piece together each data set and add everything up, those players have a 50% chance to return to this spot or better next season. If you are of the glass-half-empty mentality, they have a 50% chance to drop out of the top-24 ranking at wide receiver.
As far as McLaurin, Aiyuk, Metcalf, Evans, Wilson and more are concerned, their fates are essentially a coin flip if the statistics are anything to go by.
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