Air Yards: 2021 NFL Stats For Fantasy Football
What are Air Yards?
Air Yards data has become one of the most important tools for fantasy football players in recent years — but what exactly are ‘Air Yards’?
Air Yards are simply a measure of how many yards the football travels in the air, from the line of scrimmage, regardless of whether the pass was completed.
So if the ball is snapped at the 50 yard line and the receiver is at the 40 yard line when the ball arrives, that’s 10 Air Yards — even if the pass was incomplete.
Why Air Yards matter for fantasy football
Air Yards have a strong correlation with actual yards. For example, among WRs in 2020, Air Yards were correlated with actual receiving yards with a linear r-squared over 0.85.
In simple terms, this means that Air Yards alone do a very, very good job of representing actual yards gained. And you can use this to your advantage to win in fantasy football.
But why not just look at actual yards gained, if that’s the stat we really care about? That’s where Air Yards becomes so important.
Knowing that Air Yards is a fantastic proxy for actual yards, we can reasonably predict players for a “breakout” if their Air Yard production is not resulting in actual yard production. There are, of course, exceptions to the rule, but Air Yards are a tremendous guide. You can use this information to buy low on players that your league mates have given up on.
What is the FTN Air Yards tool?
The FTN Air Yards tool is packed with all of the tech and data you need to win your fantasy football league. The tool is customizable, letting you filter by season, week, player, position, team, stat minimums (such as targets, receptions, yards, etc.) and more.
The tool features all of the stats you need and none of the ones you don’t, including:
- Receiving Yards
- Air Yards
- Average Depth of Target (aDOT)
- Yards After Catch or Reception (YAC)
- Touchdowns (TDs)
- RACR, which is a ratio that divides receiving yards by Air Yards
- Team Air Yard Market Share, which represents the percentage of a team’s total Air Yards that went to each player on that team (e.g. 100 out of 1,000 is 10%)
- Team Target Market Share, which represents the percentage of a team’s total targets that went to each player on that team (e.g. 50 out of 500 is 10%)
- WOPR, a weighted averaged incorporating each players’ share of Air Yard market share and target market share
- Total fantasy points scored (PPR)