Some quick but interesting data dumps today. First, let’s take a look at receiving yards by wide receivers as a percentage of league-wide receiving yards in each year since 2002. In the early part of that era, wide receivers had about 2/3 of all receiving yards, but that number dipped to just 62% this year, the lowest during this period.
Running backs did take up a larger slice of the pie this year — for the third consecutive year — but in general, running backs are *also* taking up a smaller percentage of the receiving pie than they were back in ’02.
That, of course, leaves only one position left to make up the difference. And while 2015 was not necessarily a banner year for tight ends, you can see the pretty clear general trend:
To the naked eye, these changes may not be huge, but even small percentage shifts in league-wide data are usually pretty significant given the sample sizes. And while it may not jump out at you at first glance, even looking at a stacked graph of all three positions does make it clear that tight ends are taking on bigger pieces of the pie:
What do you think is causing this? And what direction do you think things are headed?