Thanks to Sports Info Solutions’ charting, we will break receiving DVOA and DYAR down into slot versus huge splits. Much of this knowledge seems in Football Outsiders Almanac 2022, and we’ll spend the following couple of weeks breaking down these splits, beginning at present with huge receivers. Yes, meaning extra Cooper Kupp and Ja’Marr Chase love, as a result of whenever you’re coming off seasons like that they had, you find yourself on the prime of practically each desk you qualify for.

Before we get to the specifics, we must always cowl the generalities.

League-Wide Trends

Throwing to the slot continues to be more practical than throwing out huge on a per-play foundation. In 2021, receivers working both tight or out of the slot had a 2.7% DVOA, whereas receivers cut up out huge have been at -3.7%. The hole really widens in case you take a look at simply huge receivers, from 4.1% to -4.2%. Getting a gifted wideout lined up in opposition to a 3rd or fourth nook is normally a bonus for the offense, and figuring out of the center of the sphere additionally offers receivers extra potential choices for route working. Add in the ever-increasing amount of nickel defense opening area in the course of the sphere, and it seems lining up within the slot is a small however persistent profit for receivers. It’s not an enormous hole, and the dimensions varies from yr to yr, however it’s constantly there.

Last season, 56.3% of all receiver targets went to wideouts within the slot, and 26 groups noticed over half their passes go to fit receivers. Those numbers are each barely down from final yr, however it’s nonetheless the predominant technique for utilizing wideouts. Every crew noticed no less than 46% of its receiver targets go to the slot aside from the Pittsburgh Steelers, which makes slightly little bit of sense when your prime goal out of the slot is Ray-Ray McCloud; extra on him in a bit. Nearly each crew with any diploma of competency at wideout was discovering methods to get targets to its guys inside.

When your complete league zigs, somebody has to zag. In 2020, we did not have a single huge receiver with no less than 80% of his targets cut up out huge. Well, huge receivers got here again in 2021, with DeVante Parker, A.J. Green and Diontae Johnson basically residing outdoors. Fourteen completely different wideouts noticed twice as many targets outdoors as inside, together with a number of the bigger names within the sport. Who Dey? Well, you will simply have to attend and see.

Individual Totals

The following desk reveals huge receiver goal and efficiency splits within the slot and out huge in 2021. Those charting labels come from gamers’ places on the sphere whatever the positioning of their teammates. A receiver who was a couple of toes away from the offensive line was thought of to be within the slot even when he was the widest receiver on that facet. Receivers in movement have been charted based mostly on their authentic places, which tends to be within the slot on jet motions. We have grouped targets from the standard tight finish spot in with slot targets due to their similarity, however that is not a big impact on the info; there have been solely 225 targets to huge receivers lined up tight, with Amon-Ra St. Brown and Cooper Kupp the one ones to hit double digits.

Wide Receivers Slot vs. Wide, 2021
Player Team Slot/Tight Wide Slot% DVOA
Dif
Tgt DYAR DVOA Tgt DYAR DVOA
Cooper Kupp LAR 156 560 32.8% 23 40 9.0% 87.2% 23.8%
Justin Jefferson MIN 81 373 46.1% 89 25 -9.0% 47.6% 55.0%
Davante Adams GB 106 286 21.3% 70 137 12.1% 60.2% 9.2%
Tyreek Hill KC 114 282 18.1% 47 31 -4.4% 70.8% 22.5%
Tyler Lockett SEA 67 257 35.9% 44 55 3.8% 60.4% 32.1%
Deebo Samuel SF 82 234 25.1% 35 16 -6.8% 70.1% 31.8%
Christian Kirk ARI 81 230 23.9% 20 64 27.7% 80.2% -3.8%
Hunter Renfrow LV 119 212 10.4% 10 61 65.3% 92.2% -54.9%
Mike Williams LAC 45 203 43.0% 87 31 -8.1% 34.1% 51.2%
Chris Godwin TB 105 202 11.1% 23 59 20.2% 82.0% -9.1%
Mike Evans TB 47 200 40.7% 69 140 12.6% 40.5% 28.1%
Brandon Aiyuk SF 47 187 38.8% 39 40 1.0% 54.7% 37.9%
Allan Lazard GB 51 186 32.5% 10 9 -0.7% 83.6% 33.2%
Tee Higgins CIN 42 186 42.3% 73 148 14.3% 36.5% 28.0%
Byron Pringle KC 43 179 39.4% 16 30 10.3% 72.9% 29.1%
Kendrick Bourne NE 50 159 29.1% 19 73 40.8% 72.5% -11.7%
Cedrick Wilson DAL 57 159 22.6% 5 -5 -24.9% 91.9% 47.5%
CeeDee Lamb DAL 66 137 13.3% 58 66 1.8% 53.2% 11.5%
Bryan Edwards LV 32 133 40.3% 30 -20 -21.3% 51.6% 61.5%
Amon-Ra St. Brown DET 92 132 5.8% 19 51 20.9% 82.9% -15.1%
Tyler Boyd CIN 87 129 6.2% 6 -11 -36.1% 93.5% 42.4%
Darnell Mooney CHI 101 129 3.8% 42 -74 -33.6% 70.6% 37.4%
DeVonta Smith PHI 44 125 24.7% 62 33 -5.7% 41.5% 30.5%
Amari Cooper DAL 51 124 17.7% 57 54 -0.7% 47.2% 18.4%
Marquez Callaway NO 41 124 26.8% 44 -20 -18.6% 48.2% 45.4%
Tim Patrick DEN 54 118 15.4% 32 73 16.6% 62.8% -1.1%
Corey Davis NYJ 35 100 23.0% 27 -32 -28.0% 56.5% 51.0%
Mecole Hardman KC 59 95 7.6% 23 20 -2.3% 72.0% 9.9%
Ok.J. Osborn MIN 57 93 9.8% 26 -1 -12.9% 68.7% 22.7%
Keenan Allen LAC 122 91 -3.5% 35 47 5.1% 77.7% -8.6%
Keelan Cole NYJ 25 90 33.9% 28 19 -3.6% 47.2% 37.5%
Jalen Guyton LAC 23 88 34.7% 25 46 12.7% 47.9% 22.0%
Chase Claypool PIT 36 88 18.5% 74 -19 -16.0% 32.7% 34.4%
Stefon Diggs BUF 56 88 6.6% 112 101 -1.2% 33.3% 7.8%
Jarvis Landry CLE 58 83 5.9% 28 -53 -38.4% 67.4% 44.3%
Gabriel Davis BUF 31 83 20.2% 32 37 2.5% 49.2% 17.7%
Michael Pittman IND 65 83 3.9% 66 126 12.1% 49.6% -8.2%
Marquez Valdes-Scantling GB 26 83 31.2% 29 -91 -51.1% 47.3% 82.3%
Quez Watkins PHI 45 81 10.8% 16 7 -7.7% 73.8% 18.5%
Adam Thielen MIN 39 78 13.3% 54 98 10.5% 41.9% 2.9%
Zay Jones LV 41 78 12.2% 31 24 -2.6% 56.9% 14.8%
Laquon Treadwell JAX 25 73 23.9% 27 3 -11.4% 48.1% 35.2%
Jaylen Waddle MIA 95 73 -3.0% 45 52 2.5% 67.9% -5.5%
Donovan Peoples-Jones CLE 29 70 18.5% 32 52 8.3% 47.5% 10.2%
DK Metcalf SEA 39 70 10.0% 92 50 -5.7% 29.8% 15.6%
Nick Westbrook-Ikhine TEN 37 64 9.5% 21 27 4.2% 63.8% 5.2%
Deonte Harris NO 36 63 11.8% 21 81 37.3% 63.2% -25.5%
Odell Beckham 2TM 39 63 8.8% 44 -62 -30.3% 47.0% 39.1%
Antonio Brown TB 20 62 25.5% 43 65 6.6% 31.7% 18.9%
Ja’Marr Chase CIN 27 61 18.1% 101 264 20.2% 21.1% -2.0%
Russell Gage ATL 68 60 -1.1% 25 45 11.1% 73.1% -12.2%
Courtland Sutton DEN 32 59 12.3% 72 72 0.1% 30.8% 12.2%
Van Jefferson LAR 52 57 0.9% 38 27 -3.9% 57.8% 4.8%
Jerry Jeudy DEN 50 56 2.4% 7 -3 -18.8% 87.7% 21.2%
DeAndre Hopkins ARI 15 53 34.3% 48 166 31.3% 23.8% 3.0%
Marvin Jones JAX 58 45 -2.9% 62 43 -3.6% 48.3% 0.7%
Emmanuel Sanders BUF 35 43 4.1% 37 88 18.9% 48.6% -14.8%
Brandin Cooks HOU 77 40 -5.9% 63 132 13.8% 55.0% -19.7%
Nelson Agholor NE 26 38 6.2% 43 22 -5.8% 37.7% 12.0%
Olamide Zaccheaus ATL 34 37 1.1% 19 36 11.5% 64.2% -10.4%
A.J. Green ARI 17 36 14.0% 74 125 9.0% 18.7% 5.1%
Robert Woods LAR 48 28 -5.3% 22 111 52.3% 68.6% -57.5%
Calvin Ridley ATL 24 26 1.5% 31 -40 -28.9% 43.6% 30.4%
Khalif Raymond DET 41 24 -5.6% 29 2 -11.6% 58.6% 6.1%
Marquise Brown BAL 91 24 -9.3% 58 -38 -21.1% 61.1% 11.9%
Sterling Shepard NYG 42 23 -5.4% 14 -20 -29.9% 75.0% 24.5%
Josh Reynolds 2TM 21 20 -0.5% 30 38 4.0% 41.2% -4.5%
Rashod Bateman BAL 20 16 -2.9% 51 88 9.1% 28.2% -11.9%
Jamison Crowder NYJ 66 14 -9.9% 4 -12 -48.7% 94.3% 38.8%
Jakobi Meyers NE 112 14 -11.1% 17 7 -7.3% 86.8% -3.8%
Rondale Moore ARI 50 12 -9.4% 11 -20 -34.6% 82.0% 25.2%
Terry McLaurin WAS 69 9 -11.0% 63 136 16.1% 52.3% -27.1%
A.J. Brown TEN 57 9 -10.7% 49 103 15.3% 53.8% -26.0%
D.J. Moore CAR 63 8 -11.0% 97 -9 -13.9% 39.4% 2.9%
Elijah Moore NYJ 49 5 -11.2% 28 18 -4.3% 63.6% -7.0%
Jalen Reagor PHI 18 3 -10.6% 41 -45 -28.7% 30.5% 18.1%
DeVante Parker MIA 14 2 -10.3% 61 71 2.2% 18.7% -12.5%
Nico Collins HOU 22 -1 -13.2% 40 25 -4.7% 35.5% -8.5%
Cole Beasley BUF 98 -1 -12.8% 14 -44 -52.8% 87.5% 40.0%
Diontae Johnson PIT 33 -1 -13.2% 141 70 -6.4% 19.0% -6.9%
Braxton Berrios NYJ 57 -4 -13.5% 7 16 17.5% 89.1% -31.0%
Allan Robinson CHI 37 -6 -14.8% 32 25 -2.6% 53.6% -12.2%
Tre’Quan Smith NO 38 -10 -16.0% 12 60 57.4% 76.0% -73.4%
Michael Gallup DAL 14 -13 -24.0% 51 63 2.2% 21.5% -26.2%
Tyler Johnson TB 36 -17 -19.0% 19 -13 -21.4% 65.5% 2.4%
Kadarius Toney NYG 34 -18 -19.6% 21 39 10.9% 61.8% -30.4%
Adam Humphries WAS 56 -25 -18.5% 7 13 14.1% 88.9% -32.6%
Darius Slayton NYG 16 -26 -34.0% 44 -82 -37.0% 26.7% 3.0%
Robby Anderson CAR 60 -45 -22.2% 49 -125 -47.3% 55.0% 25.1%
Kenny Golladay NYG 28 -45 -33.0% 52 8 -10.7% 35.0% -22.3%
Laviska Shenault JAX 64 -51 -23.0% 32 -49 -34.9% 66.7% 11.9%
Zach Pascal IND 61 -99 -34.2% 11 25 17.7% 84.7% -52.0%
Ray-Ray McCloud PIT 60 -150 -44.1% 5 -32 -96.6% 92.3% 52.5%

Super Disagreements

The crew that focused huge receivers probably the most regularly within the slot, as soon as once more, was the Los Angeles Rams. In 2020, Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods had the second- and third-most slot targets within the league. The workload was extra unfold out in 2021, however Kupp, Woods and Van Jefferson all spent extra time within the slot than in any other case. We’ll get to Kupp particularly in a second, however I wish to concentrate on the crew stage for only a second right here. Just like they’ve executed yearly throughout Sean McVay’s tenure, the Rams lined up in skinny formations and branched outward. The addition of Matthew Stafford at quarterback meant that additionally they branched downfield greater than that they had with Jared Goff—the typical depth of goal to a Rams receiver within the slot jumped from 7.9 to 11.5 yards final season—however the fundamental philosophy remained intact: Use slim formations, line all of your receivers in tight after which benefit from the area on the sphere opened up by the protection narrowing itself in response. L.A. did this barely much less final season, rating twenty eighth in formation width after rating thirty second in McVay’s first 4 seasons, however that is nonetheless a reasonably basic facet of most playcallers within the McVay/Shanahan mildew.

“Most” is an important phrase in that sentence, as a result of the crew with the least frequent targets to receivers within the slot was … nicely, it was the Steelers, however not far behind them have been the Cincinnati Bengals, led by McVay protégé Zac Taylor. The Bengals buck the standard McVay methods and cut up themselves huge, with each Ja’Marr Chase and Tee Higgins within the prime 10 in huge targets final season. Again, we’ll get to Chase particularly in a second, however it’s hanging simply how completely different two coaches from the identical tree lined up, even with each utilizing basically the same personnel groupings. The Rams’ three receivers are likely to line up in bunches or journeys; the Bengals have been extra conventional with either side that includes a wideout out huge.



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