Commentary

Stats don't tell entire story for WRs

Originally Published: March 23, 2009
By Doug Farrar | Football Outsiders
Standard stats give us a decent idea of how valuable wide receivers are, but they don't specify where and when a receiver does his best work. Yards per catch and yards after catch tell an abridged version of the story, and part of the story, in that order. Football Outsiders' own advanced numbers like DYAR and DVOA (http://www.footballoutsiders.com/stats/wr) account for context and opponent strength, but some receivers are still devalued by an inability to assess specific productivity based on yards before and after the catch.

Arizona's Anquan Boldin has been at odds with his team on contract issues for months, and there's been plenty of debate about his worth. He had a career low of 10 receptions over 20 yards and only three 100-yard games last season. In addition, during the four games Boldin missed in 2008, the Cardinals went 3-1 and averaged 28 points per game.

All those stats are correct, but there's more to the story.