Most of the teams that lost significant deep threats after 2016 saw their overall reliance on deep throws decrease this season. That suggests that the talent of the skill players themselves dictates the fantasy potential teams could have on deep throws. Fortunately, a few teams did have some internal candidates with the talent to replace the deep threats who left in free agency, and a two in particular became big hits as sleepers.
Teams that needed a deep target
|PPR Points Lost on Deep Passes, 2016 to 2017|
|Team||Points Lost||Notable Players Lost|
|WAS||142.4||DeSean Jackson (91.9), Pierre Garcon (46.4)|
|BUF||117.5||Marquise Goodwin (29.1), Sammy Watkins (27.3)|
|CHI||112.0||Cameron Meredith (51.5), Alshon Jeffery (33.3)|
|PIT||111.9||Sammie Coates (49.1), Cobi Hamilton (36.9)|
|NO||104.9||Brandin Cooks (89.4)|
|IND||84.8||Phillip Dorsett (42.9)|
|NYJ||81.5||Quincy Enunwa (41.8)|
|LAR||74.8||Kenny Britt (37.0)|
|CAR||69.8||Ted Ginn (66.1)|
|CLV||62.4||Terrelle Pryor (36.1)|
I mentioned in my most recent article that Josh Doctson was the closest thing the Redskins had to a breakout player on deep passes. He produced 44.4 PPR points on deep throws, and while that was just barely ahead of his teammate Vernon Davis’s total (44.3), its timing foreshadows a further increase in 2018. He saw nearly half (20.2) of those points over the final month as his overall target volume spiked to 7 per game. With Chris Thompson and Jordan Reed crowding Jamison Crowder on short and medium passes next season, Doctson could become the fantasy standout as the team’s only vertical threat.