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Trivia: Single-season Leaders in Yards per Target

San Diego’s Danario Alexander caught 37 passes for 658 yards and 7 touchdowns in 10 games last year. Those might not look like great numbers, but when Philip Rivers looked his way, Alexander tended to produce. Alexander only saw 62 targets last season, but led the league with a 10.6 yards-per-target average (minimum 50 targets). Since 2000, there have been 21 receivers to average at least 11 yards per target on 50 targets.

3Jordy Nelson2011GNB26169668126313.270.8%
4Mike Wallace2010PIT24169960125712.760.6%
5Malcom Floyd2011SDG3012704385612.261.4%
6Antonio Gates2010SDG301065507821276.9%
7Dennis Northcutt2002CLE2513503959111.878%
8Torry Holt2000STL241614082164311.758.6%
9Victor Cruz2011NYG251613283154511.762.9%
10James Jones2011GNB2716553863511.569.1%
11Plaxico Burress2004PIT2711613569811.457.4%
12Robert Meachem2009NOR2516644572611.370.3%
13Anthony Gonzalez2007IND2313513757611.372.5%
14Lee Evans2004BUF2316754884311.264%
15Randy Moss2000MIN231612978143811.160.5%
16Steve Smith2008CAR291412978143211.160.5%
17Santana Moss2005WAS261613484148511.162.7%
18DeSean Jackson2010PHI2414964710601149%
19Santonio Holmes2007PIT231386539421161.6%
20Greg Jennings2007GNB241384539201163.1%
21Joe Horn2006NOR341062386791161.3%

I’ve blanked out the first two rows, because the same player has recorded the two highest yards/target seasons over the last thirteen years. Can you guess who it is?

Trivia hint 1 Show

Trivia hint 2 Show

Trivia hint 3 Show

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  • Bob

    In the second sentence, I think you mean Alexander instead of Thomas.

  • Shattenjager

    It took me a little bit of thought, but I got it mostly by thinking about the years. I’ve also just always found him interesting–statistically, he’s almost like a wideout from 1960 dropped into the mid-2000s.

  • Kibbles

    I actually knew what the answer was before I ever even saw the years, let alone the hints… but that’s only because I used to be extremely interested in per-target efficiency metrics. Devery Henderson is pretty much a per-target all star.

    With that said, in my mind, the greatest per-target season of all time is Marc Boerigter’s 2002 campaign. 20 receptions, 430 yards, and 8 TDs… on just 33 targets. The yards and ypt are both inflated by a 99 yard TD (removing that drops him from 12.7 ypt to 10.0 ypt), but even without that, he still had 7 scores on 32 targets. All told, he averaged better than 3 fantasy points per target. For some perspective, during Randy Moss’s 2007 season, he averaged 1.8 fantasy points per target.

  • Danish

    I immediately thought of Devin Hester and none of the clues changed my conviction.

    I guess I wass a year or two off in career trajectory.

  • Danish

    How far from Gates to next TE? That number seems unreal for that position.

    • Chase Stuart

      Rob Gronkowski was at 10.7 in 2012 and then 10.0 last year. Jeb Putzier (name from the past!) was at 10.6 in 2004 and Scheffler at 10.6 in 2008 for Denver.

  • Richie

    That completely stumped me. I spent a lot of time trying to decide if this player had 32 catches those seasons because he only caught a couple passes per game, or because he was hurt. Henderson never crossed my mind.

  • JWL

    This one took about thirty seconds. It was key to think about guys with low catch totals but nice yardage for multiple seasons.