Commentary

Bigger, taller, faster

There's a simple model for discovering sleeper WRs -- it involves CeeLo Green

Originally Published: October 15, 2013
By Peter Keating | ESPN The Magazine

NumbersJason Schneider for ESPNCoaches can teach players to read a playbook, but speed can't be taught.

THE STATHEADS WHO evaluate athletes for teams don't crunch data because they love numbers for their own sake. (That's my job.) Their primary mission is to find value: to identify winning skills or patterns among players before other clubs do and gain a competitive edge on the cheap. And prospecting for value doesn't always require metrics with esoteric acronyms like RAPM or wRC+. Sometimes the stats we need, as fans or fantasy owners, are staring us in the face. When it comes to finding sleeper wide receivers, they're as simple as size and speed.

Peter Keating is a senior writer at ESPN The Magazine, where he covers investigative and statistical subjects. He started writing "The Biz," a column looking at sports business from the fan's point of view, in 1999. He also coordinates the Magazine's annual "Ultimate Standings" project, which ranks all pro franchises according to how much they give back to fans. His work on concussions in football has earned awards from the Deadline Club, the New York Press Club and the Center for the Study of Sport in Society.