How To Read Receptions Page
There is more to the receptions page than just seeing how many catches a player made that week or in a season. It can help paint a story of how that player is used in the offense, or what goes on throughout a season given the changes that occur within an offense. There are certainly some dominant wide receivers and tight ends in the game that dominate each week and are just the overall go-to targets for their offense. The ratings number is our own unique rating for a player which calculates a lot of different things to determine a player’s worth. Sorting by rating should point to some sort of receptions production. The depth number is where they rank on the depth chart. This is helpful for when you need to see a team’s offense and how they are using each player in the passing game.
Throughout each week every week is going to be updated once the week has concluded. Receptions are going to show quite a few things, but there is always more to it. When a random influx of receptions occurs for a backup tight end or WR3 on a roster, we need to understand why. There could be a number of reasons for this. The opposing matchup for the game just pushed a lot of targets and receptions to that name, or it was successful and just kept working. An injury could have occurred during the game or prior to the week and that meant a player stepped into a larger role for the team.
You can flip through the tabs and look at each position on offense. It helps narrow down what you are looking for, as does searching by team. The totals and averages as the season goes on will become more consistent with what true production is for the future. Early on it can be pretty spotty just because of the randomness and sample size thrown into it. Game script is another important thing to understand when looking at these numbers. A player could have been in a game chasing the other team, which needed more pass attempts. We often see teams with bad defenses lead the league in pass attempts. It can work the other way where a team doesn’t need to pass as much in the second half, which lowers the chances of receptions.
Scoring systems are going to dictate how important receptions are. In standard scoring leagues, receptions have zero value. Standard scoring has been surpassed by half-PPR and PPR leagues of late. The reason for this is that receptions add in another scoring factor and do not make scoring solely tied to yards and touchdowns. However when looking at standard scoring formats, receptions are still tied into successful wide receivers. Receptions of course mean that the players are getting yards and touchdowns. There are still major differences for how those players factor into the offense. Short yardage players who are more safety blankets in the offense do not have much value in these leagues. This is mainly because the touchdowns and yards are minimal in comparison to guys who stretch the field more and/or are used in the red zone more often.
Now in half-PPR and PPR leagues, receptions carry much more weight. If a player gets eight receptions in a game, they will be getting four points in half-PPR and eight points in PPR leagues just based off of receptions. This helps when players do not find the end zone, and a seven reception for 80 yards type of day isn’t necessarily a disappointment. This also opens the doors for more players to enter the fantasy player pool. A running back who solely gets his work in the passing game will have no value in a standard league. This gives us more choices off the waiver wire and on draft day as far as guys who can get fantasy points.
Looking at pass-catching backs, we have seen many emerge over recent years. These guys that can nab a few catches a game and string some yards together have more value in these types of scoring formats in comparison to standard. It also gives a major advantage to running backs that are seeing 20 touches a game as they get rushing attempts and receptions. One guy who has been an elite fantasy player is Christian McCaffrey. As the guy can score 20+ fantasy points in a game without even finding the end zone. This gives the dual threat backs more of a bump over the rest of the positions and that is why they are usually some of the first picks off the board.
The wide receiver position gets a major bump from this scoring system for receptions. The plus side is that it also opens up more players for use, but it narrows the gap between them and some of the other positions. We see more wide receivers drafted in the first two rounds these days, and that is because of the production they can bring within this scoring. Smaller wide receivers are not big touchdown threats. An example of this is Golden Tate, who is an excellent wide receiver, but not a great fantasy wide receiver in standard formats. The receptions and yards are there, which don’t score well. Now in PPR and half-PPR scoring we look at Tate as a better fantasy prospect. He is someone who can average 14-15 fantasy points per game off receptions and yards, instead of 7-8 fantasy points per game in standard leagues.
Tight end was always an extremely top heavy position, and while it is still top heavy, PPR scoring has opened the door for tight ends to have more fantasy value. With the league also shifting to be more pass happy, tight ends have been a major mismatch against opposing linebackers and defensive backs. This is because they are often quicker than linebackers and have more size over defensive backs. Looking at receptions, we don’t look at tight end as such a bland position. Catching 4-5 passes a game for a tight end is a good starting point for their fantasy production.
Targets are the overall number of passes thrown at a player whether the player catches it or not. There is a direct correlation with targets and receptions. You can sort through target numbers and cross over to see that the players that lead in targets also lead in receptions. Catch% is where you can see the efficiency they have with their targets. Now you won’t see huge gaps in targets and receptions, but within a small span of players you might see a player with more targets but less receptions than a name above them who has less targets but more receptions. That is just simply because they made more of the targets thrown to them. Efficiency comes after volume in fantasy, but in real life football we of course want everyone to be efficient with their targets.
We can also look at receptions and correlate with overall touchdowns. Of course a player that gets plenty of receptions will have a better chance of find the end zone. However red zone receptions will really narrow that down. There are players who are just built differently, where they could rack up receptions but struggle to find the end zone. Then you have players who are built larger and are more of a threat in the red zone which brings them more touchdowns on limited receptions. Diving deeper you can find positive and negative regression trends, because a player who catches 90+ balls is going to deserve more touchdowns and often they might have some bad luck throughout a year. We also can reverse this and a guy who catches 40-50 passes might have a big touchdown season that would project some regression the next season.
All-Time Reception Greats
There are only 14 players with over 1,000 receptions in their career. Some might join that mark, but not within the next few years. It is an incredible number to reach, and it is tough to do. You need to have a lengthy career and be involved as a number one in a very good pass offense to hit these type of numbers. We don’t see that longevity often, which is why it is so special. It is hard to see Jerry Rice’s numbers going down, even with Larry Fitzgerald within a couple hundred and still playing. Rice topped 100+ receptions four times in his career, and had over 80 in a season for more than half of his career. What might be the most eye popping stat is that in his age 40 season he had 92 receptions. In his age 39 season he had 83. Just ridiculous numbers at that age.
As mentioned Fitzgerald is closing in, but would have to keep playing another few years to get that mark. Fitzgerald will be a first ballot hall of famer, and has been incredibly consistent in terms of durability and production. Fitzgerald has five seasons over 100 receptions, and ten seasons over 80 receptions. His former teammate Anquan Boldin was also an incredible receptions based wide receiver, who is currently 9th all time in receptions. Both played on the Cardinals for a bit, and he produced over 550 receptions in Arizona. He also played in Baltimore, San Francisco, and Detroit.
The Colts had one of the most dynamic pass offenses in history when the team consistent of Reggie Wayne and Marvin Harrison. Both rank inside the top ten in receptions all-time. Harrison is currently fifth and just had his single season reception record broken by Michael Thomas. Harrison finished with over 1,100 receptions. Reggie Wayne had 1,070. What makes this so impressive is that they did it a number of years playing on the same team, and neither left Indianapolis as they both retired as Colts. Everything fell perfectly for this duo in terms of volume and having Peyton Manning as their quarterback.
A couple of great tight ends also are top five in receptions. Tony Gonzalez is third all time in receptions with 1,325. Jason Witten is right behind him with 1,215. Gonzalez had eight years over 80 receptions, and played 17 seasons in the NFL. He also scored over 110 touchdowns between his time with the Falcons and the Chiefs. His impressive 93 reception season at age 36 is also another part of the reason why all these names finished so high. The production didn’t stop as they got older. Witten has been a long time Cowboy, and coming back for the 2019 season, he added 63 more receptions after he retired in 2018. Witten has put together a hall of fame career and will be one of the top tight ends to play the game.
NFL Receptions Question & Answers
A reception in football is another word for a catch. This is when a player catches a forward pass from another player. The receiver must retain possession and go out of bounds, cross the end zone, or make a football move before going down.
Who Has The Most Receptions In A Single Season?
Michael Thomas just broke the single season receptions record, that was previously held by Marvin Harrison for the Indianapolis Colts. Harrison had 143 receptions in 2002. In 2019, Thomas surpassed him with 149 receptions in a single season. This is coming off a year where he finished 6th all time.
Who Has The Most Receptions In NFL History?
Jerry Rice has the most receptions in NFL history with 1,549. He played with three teams in his career, the San Francisco 49ers, Oakland Raiders, and Seattle Seahawks. Rice played from 1985-2004. The next closest is Larry Fitzgerald with 1,378.
Who Has The Most Receptions In A Single Game?
Terrell Owens caught 20 passes on 22 targets back in 2000 when the San Francisco 49ers went on the road and beat the Chicago Bears 17-0. Owens finished 283 receiving yards and one touchdown. No other player in the game finished with more than 80 yards.
There are three default scoring systems, standard, half-PPR, and PPR. Receptions score differently in each. For standard scoring, receptions score as zero. Half-PPR they score as .5 per reception. In PPR leagues, it is one full point per reception.
Who Has The Most Receptions By A Tight End?
Tony Gonzalez has the most receptions in history by a tight end. He finished with 1,325 playing with the Atlanta Falcons and Kansas City Chiefs. Gonzalez played from 1997-2013 and is considered as one of the best tight ends to play the game.
Who Has The Most Receptions By A Running Back?
Marshall Faulk was one of the top dual threat backs in the game. He ranks 36th all-time in receptions among any position for receptions. In his career he had 767 total receptions, which leads all running backs in NFL history.
Who Led The League In Receptions In 2019?
Michael Thomas for the New Orleans Saints finished with a league high 149 receptions. This number set also broke the single season record. He dominated each week, averaging 9.3 receptions per game. This number was two full receptions higher on average for Christian McCaffrey, who finished second.
Who Led The League In Receptions In 2018?
Michael Thomas finished with 125 receptions, which led all players in the 2018 season. He averaged 7.8 receptions per game, and had six games where he had double-digit receptions overall. Thomas finished ahead of Zach Ertz, who had 116 targets.
Who Has Most Receptions In The Playoffs?
No surprise, as the all-time leader in receptions is also the leader in playoff receptions. Jerry Rice has 151 total receptions recorded in playoff games. It helps that Rice played on some good 49ers team, where he had 23 playoff games with San Francisco and five with Oakland.