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Building the perfect fantasy football wide receiver

Sprinkle a bit of Antonio Brown, add a touch of Jordy Nelson and VOILÀ!!

Getty Images/Peter Rogers Illustrations

Initially, I sat down at my computer expecting to go on an epic quest to find the most consistent wide receiver in fantasy so far this season. I had high hopes of scouring through heaps and heaps of data to bring you a wide receiver who you might not have expected to be so amazingly consistent but by golly the little engine did it.

Well, spoiler alert, that idea burned up in a little under five minutes after taking one look at the data. The answer is Antonio Brown. Loud and clear.

So scrapped that idea and instead decided to see what it would take to build the ultimate fantasy football receiver this season AND what their stat line might look like because a) why not? and b) it’s a Wednesday, what else you got going on?

To build the most excellent of fantasy receivers, I’ll be looking at four different stats and stealing them from different players around the league. Think of this as a Monstar’s power stealing basketball mixed with Dr. Frankenstein's human construction table/laboratory/thing. The four stats: targets, catch percentage, touchdown percentage (% of receptions are touchdowns) and yards per reception. Also, I’m only looking at receivers with at least 40 targets.


Targets: Antonio Brown

Obvious place to start. Brown leads the NFL with 84 targets through seven games. The next closest? Jarvis Landry and Keenan Allen with 68. It’s when you look at numbers like that you start to understand why Martavis Bryant wants out of Pittsburgh. There’s a reason Brown is vastly outscoring every other wide receiver in fantasy this season.

Catch percentage: Tyreek Hill

This was the main impetus for putting a 40 target minimum on the receivers we’re drawing from. Otherwise this monster receiver would have had a 87.5 catch percentage, thanks to Jeremy Kerley, which would have been just wildly ridiculous. Unlike this entire exercise, which is very un-ridiculous.

While at first I was surprised to see Hill have such a good catch percentage (73.5%), it makes sense given that many of his passes are built around screens or quick catches in space and letting him make people miss. Not too hard to catch the football if it’s just being tossed over to you with little to no defense around.

Touchdown percentage: Jordy Nelson

This should come as a surprise to no one as there are very few receivers in the NFL better at catching touchdowns than Nelson. Nelson checks the box for at least 40 targets and has six touchdowns on 26 receptions, meaning that 23% of his catches are touchdowns. That’s pretty amazing for fantasy numbers.

Whats crazy is that even if you remove the 40 target minimum, among receivers so far this season, there’s only one guy who has a better TD% than Jordy: Brandon Coleman. He has a TD% of 25, catching three touchdowns on only 12 receptions.

Yards per reception: Brandin Cooks

Again, not really a shocker if you think about it. Cooks has quietly been having a dominant season and has been the best receiver at stretching the field so far this season. He leads the league with 19.18 yards per reception and is second in the league in yards per target (11.67 to Ted Ginn’s 13.07). Basically, when he catches the ball, it’s for insane distances.

Now comes the fun part!

Here’s this super receiver’s stat line for the season so far, given the skills he’s absorbed into his basketball and then into his body:

Through Week 7: 84 targets, 62 catches, 1,189 yards, 14 touchdowns

That’s a freaking end-of-year stat line. This super receiver would of course lead the league in every single category by the world’s widest margin. He’d have more than double any receiver in touchdowns and a solid 424 more receiving yards than Antonio Brown.

Just for fun, let’s see what his full season would look like:

Full 2017 season: 192 targets, 141 catches, 2,704 yards, 32 touchdowns

NFL records everywhere. No surprise. What’s crazy is that the 192 targets is what Brown is on pace for. Everything else is completely unrealistic/fabricated but Brown might see almost 200 targets this season. That would be insane.

And since we’re building the ultimate fantasy receiver, through Week 7 this guy would have single handedly scored 202.9 fantasy points (ESPN standard scoring) which, shocker I know, would lead all players by 52.9 points. Imagine having a receiver on your team who averaged basically 29 points a game. We’d all love to have a guy like that on our team.

Sadly, this super receiver isn’t real and this has been just for fun. Welcome back to the cold, clammy embrace of Reality.