Thursday, October 18, 2007

Jeremy’s Spoken: Catch Rate, Part 2

Last week we took a look at Catch Rate (CR) as a way to try and identify undervalued wide receivers. Today we’ll examine CR for tight ends.

The number following each player is their CR this year. The numbers in parentheses are that player’s catch rate from each of the 2 previous seasons.

Catching on

  • Ben Watson – 90% (54%, 54%): Look at the leap in CR from the previous 2 seasons! The only thing keeping Watson from being as good as Antonio Gates is his lack of targets (as noted in this column previously). In fact, if you project his numbers this year based on the number of times Gates has been thrown to (54) you end up with 48 catches for 599 yards. I would expect he’d have more than his 5 TDs as well making him the new Antonio Gates. The Patriots just have too many weapons for him to be a focal point of the offense. If Randy Moss ever gets hurt…well, you get the idea.
  • Antonio Gates – 80% (59%, 64%): Simply the best. His 80% catch rate is better than his last 2 years. If he can keep this up, he could shatter TE receiving records this year.
  • Donald Lee – 76% (48%, 60%): Clearly Brett Favre’s best TE target. Although he’s been targeted the same number of times as his TE mate Bubba Franks, he’s catching 50% more passes than Franks. With Franks out, Lee could shine in Green Bay’s passing-heavy attack.

Catch me if you can

  • Bo Scaife – 50% (52%, 67%): Vince Young’s teammate in college and many people’s sleeper TE this season hasn’t lived up to the hype. Part of this can be attributed to Vince Young’s accuracy issues but as long as he’s only being targeted 4 times per game and catching half of those targets, he’s not worthy of a roster spot on your team.
  • Bubba Franks – 52% (47%, 67%): It’s interesting that his TE partner in Green Bay is catching everything that Brett Favre throws his way, while Franks is struggling. Before his knee injury he was only averaging 6.4 yards per reception when he was hanging onto the ball. Drop him from your team.
  • Jeremy Shockey – 56% (57%, 53%): Shockey seemingly drops at least 1 key pass every game and these numbers back it up. He’s been an overrated fantasy TE for years and won’t live up to his potential until he can hang onto more passes.

Jeremy Mittler, M.B.A., is a Strategy and Statistical Expert at His column, Jeremy's Spoken, appears on Thursdays at SportsJudge Blog.

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