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Finding 2022's Fantasy Football Breakout Wide Receiver: Jaylen Waddle, Miami Dolphins

Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Miami Dolphins wide receiver Jaylen Waddle (17) runs the ball on a punt return during the second half against the New York Giants at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

In this series of articles, we're looking at breakout potential for second-year wide receivers in fantasy football for 2022. First up is the Miami DolphinsJaylen Waddle. You can find articles for other wide receivers from the 2021 NFL Draft class here.

One of the best ways to determine the range of outcomes and the probability of success for fantasy players is by comparing them to similar historical players. In this analysis, I’ll compare Waddle to hundreds of receivers drafted since 2006 and project the likelihood of his breakout based on those who had the most similar size, college production, draft position and rookie metrics. 

METHODOLOGY

The matching methodology for this set of articles is similar to that for focusing on 2022 wide receiver and running back prospect comps, where I found the closest statistically comparable players using principal component analysis (PCA) and the euclidean distance between the players' components, and then gave each a “similarity” score based on percentile of distance. 

The metrics for PCA are draft position, weight, market share of college receiving yards (CFB Yds MS), college yards per reception (CFB YPR), rookie yards per route run (Rook YPRR), rookie average depth of target (Rook aDOT), rookie PPR fantasy points per game (PPR Per) and top-24 fantasy weeks (Top-24). All college numbers are from players’ final seasons.

JAYLEN WADDLE COMPS

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