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Fantasy football influence of mobile quarterbacks on wide receivers: Deshaun Watson, Russell Wilson and more

Last week, I looked into how mobile quarterbacks affect the fantasy performance of running backs, determining that quarterbacks who scramble actually limit the fantasy upside of running backs. Now it’s time to shift gears to address the other major position in fantasy: wide receivers. How do dual-threat quarterbacks influence wide receivers? Specifically, how does a mobile quarterback impact a receiver’s use in the downfield passing game? After all, the receivers who continually make big plays have the week-winning upside you want on your fantasy team.

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By analyzing specific passing metrics, I found that mobile quarterbacks are likely to rank higher than traditional pocket passers in average depth of target (aDOT) and total deep passing attempts. I want to compare the relationship between the mobile quarterbacks and corresponding deep-ball metrics that top WRs stand out in, like aDOT, explosive plays, deep targets and fantasy points per touch.

Quarterback Influence on Wide Receivers 

In 2019, PFF’s five highest-graded quarterbacks when targeting 20-plus yards downfield were all dual-threat players: Russell Wilson (98.9), Deshaun Watson (98.2), Gardner Minshew (94.7), Dak Prescott (93.9) and Kyler Murray (92.8).

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