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What did we miss? Middle-depth reception fantasy surprises

Dec 3, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Jermaine Kearse (10) celebrates his catch during the second half against the Kansas City Chiefs at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

Many of the teams that suffered the biggest losses in the short passing game last offseason also saw heavy losses in their medium passing game, but as I suggested in my theory on depth-based roles, they frequently tabbed separate receivers to fill those needs. There is a little less room for creativity in predicting sleepers based on team needs on medium and deep throws. Few backs and tight ends can stretch the field in the same way outside receivers can. Still, I found that this analysis uncovered a few gems that made it a worthwhile exercise.

Teams that needed a medium target

PPR Points Lost on Medium Passes, 2016 to 2017
Team Points Lost Notable Players Lost
NYJ 168.0 Brandon Marshall (86.1), Quincy Enunwa (39.1)
CLV 158.4 Terrelle Pryor (86.1), Gary Barnidge (40.2)
BLT 158.0 Steve Smith (69.3), Dennis Pitta (39.3)
SF 146.0 Jeremy Kerley (42.6), Vance McDonald (35.8)
CHI 142.8 Alshon Jeffery (61.2), Cameron Meredith (49.6)
LAR 137.2 Kenny Britt (78.3), Brian Quick (42.2)
BUF 127.6 Sammy Watkins (36.6)
NE 119.2 Julian Edelman (76.6)
TEN 106.1 Tajae Sharpe (47.8)
WAS 101.0 Pierre Garcon (62.1), DeSean Jackson (38.9)
PHI 88.7 Jordan Matthews (45.1)

New York Jets

Jermaine Kearse sat between Austin Seferian-Jenkins (8.9) and Robby Anderson (16.9) with a 12.6-yard average depth or target in 2016, and he dominated the medium-depth production for the Jets this season. His 49.6 PPR points on medium throws nearly doubled those scored by Seferian-Jenkins (28.9) and Anderson (28.4).

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