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Age Adjustment: Wide Receivers

From age 33-35, Terrell Owens averaged 1195 yards and 12.6 touchdowns with Dallas Cowboys. His 17.0 PPG across those 3 seasons is well within the WR1 threshold.

When building a dynasty roster, the stability and longevity that a great wide receiver can provide is invaluable. While a powerhouse running backs are necessary to win championships, the durability that elite receivers provide help keep team in playoff contention year in and year out. Unlike the running back, who often finds himself retiring by age 32, many receivers are able to produce quality numbers into their mid-30s. The difference in productivity is drastic.

The chart below takes a look at players with a Career Points per Game of 10+ fantasy points. On average, these running backs (Red) fall out of RB2 status after their age 29 season, while wide receivers (Blue) don't drop off until after age 33. That 4 year differential can be a highly useful tool for finding value and creating value in dynasty trades.

Of this cohort, featuring receivers with >10 Career PPG, we can focus on the success rates and the probability of WR2 performance. While the peak age is similar to running backs at age 27/28, the slope of decline for wideouts is not nearly as severe. The numbers of receivers decline, but the best players continue to produce even into their age 34/35 season.

When compared to the entire population we see the effect of staying power that the best wideouts carry. Instead of declining is WR2 probability, the wide receivers that survive past 30 years old actually have a higher success rate. Simply put, the charts above and below illustrate the survival of the fittest and the staying power of those great wide receivers.


Age Adjustment and WR NOVA

Best bros Juju Smith-Schuster (22) and Antonio Brown (31) dappin' it up. AP Photos/Don Wright

With this data, we created the Wide Receiver Age Adjustment model using age 29 as the fulcrum. The decline in value is necessarily less severe than the Running Back model. The NOVA scores of the 2018 RBs and WRs have been published below.

To read more about NOVA check out the second half of RB Age Adjustment & Intro to NOVA.


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