Advanced Receiving

Data from Pro Football Reference

Last Updated Sep 26th, 2023 9:18 EDT

What is the Advanced Receiving Data Table?

Not every receiver is built the same. Some spend their life in the slot, running five-yard flat routes over and over again, rarely getting opportunities for big plays downfield. Others are go-route specialists who are inefficient but break free for a big play every now and then. 

In short, receivers produce across the field in a variety of different ways. 

The Advanced Receiving Data Table aims to give us a glimpse into the specific characteristics of every receiver in the NFL through a breakdown of their performances in both basic (e.g., TDs, targets) and advanced (e.g., aDOT) statistical categories. 

 The advanced receiving data table tracks in-season performance of every player who has caught a pass in the NFL and also provides a database for stats from past seasons – so you can compare and contrast year-by-year performance. 

It also lets you search by player, team, or position and allows you to narrow down your search through specific parameters (aDOT and Targets). 

What is this table used for?

The advanced receiving table is an important device in tracking player performance. Even if you are someone who watches every snap, of every player, from every single game, there are still things you may miss along the way. The advanced receiving table acts as a way for you to verify player performances and delineate what kinds of strengths and weaknesses players have. 

Using the table along with your own insight can be a way to ensure you are being non-biased in your own evaluations as well. 

Why is the Advanced Receiving data table so important for Fantasy Football and sports betting?

Keeping track of usage stats like targets is an important way to find out who is getting opportunities on a weekly basis. This alone can help you with sit/start decisions in redraft leagues. 

However, efficiency stats like broken tackles and YAC can also be powerful tools for predicting future breakouts. These kinds of advanced stats can be important signals to pay attention to and lead you to the kind of dynasty stashes or trades that will help you win your league in future seasons. 

Plus, the advanced receiving tool can also be valuable for betting purposes to those looking to bet player TD Props and standard over/under props

Paying attention to more advanced metrics like aDOT will often allow you to identify which receivers are getting deeper targets and may be in line for positive regression in certain categories like yards or TDs in future games. 

For reference, average depth of target (aDOT) measures how far downfield a player is getting targeted (on average). A player who is averaging 12.0 air yards per target (e.g. the ball is traveling an average of 12 yards through the air before reaching him) will often have a better chance at landing a big play than a player whose aDOT is just 5.0 yards. 

Of course, if that 5.0-yard aDOT player is also one of the leaders in broken tackles or yards after the catch (other advanced stats tracked by the table), that could also be a good indication that a lack of early season TD production may be bound to change in the future.    


Pos (position)

  • Denotes the player’s assigned position when on the field. Free agents will have no designated team. 

Tgt (targets)

  • The number of passes that were thrown at and directly intended for a specific player/receiver. Targets can also be defined as the number of opportunities earned by a pass-catcher. 

Rec (receptions)

  • The number of catches made by a receiver. Receptions can also be viewed as the number of times a receiver is able to convert a target into a catch. A player’s conversion rate (%) on how often he turns targets into receptions can be found by dividing receptions by targets (receptions/targets)

Yds (yards)

  • The total number of receiving yards gained by a player. Total receiving yards include yards gained through the air and after the catch. 

TD (Touchdowns)

  • The total number of receiving TDs scored by a player. The number of times he was able to catch the ball in the end zone as a receiver or enter the end zone as a runner after catching the ball first. 

1D (First downs)

  • The total number of times a player was able to achieve a first down for his team on a play. 

YBC (yards before contact)

  • This is the number of yards that a player gained before being contacted by a member of the opposing team. A high rating in high yards before contact can often be a good sign that a receiver also has above-average speed and vision. 

YBC_R (yards before contact per reception)

  • The number of yards a player gained before being contacted by an opposing team member, but calculated on a per reception basis. 

YAC (yards after catch)

  • The number of yards that a player gains after catching the ball. Yards after the catch is calculated by taking the difference between air yards (how far the ball traveled in the air before it was caught) and the total yards gained by the receiver on a play. 
    • Example: 20-yard reception:
      • 20 yards gained - 10 air yards (ball caught 10 yards past line of scrimmage) = 10 yards after the catch (YAC) gained on the reception

YAC_R (Yards after catch per reception)

  • This calculates yards after the catch gained but on a per-reception basis. 

aDOT (average depth of target)

  • aDOT is used to calculate how far downfield the ball is traveling for a player on the total sum of his targets. While yards per reception only tracks a player's yards gained when he catches the ball, aDOT, or average depth of target, tracks the depth of a play on all balls thrown to a receiver, regardless of whether they have caught the ball or not. 
  • While a player's yards per reception metric can spike when they take a short pass for long after the catch gains, a player's aDOT will only rise if they consistently see passes thrown downfield.

BrkTkl (broken tackles)

  • Broken tackles is a stat that tracks the number of times a runner is able to escape from a would-be tackler. A broken tackle can occur when a runner is able to break free or escape from the grasp of a defender. This can occur after making physical contact with a defender or when a runner is able to elude a would-be defender – who is in a position to make a tackle – altogether (e.g., a juke move). 

Rec_Br (broken tackles per reception)

  • This tracks the number of broken tackles made per reception. A high Rec_Br tackle rating often correlates with high yards after the catch metrics. A high Rec_Br is also a good indicator that the receiver is taking a lot of short swing or screen passes that give him the ability to break tackles out in space. 

Drop (drops)

  • The number of times a receiver fails to convert a catchable target into a reception. A play is considered a drop when there is an incomplete pass, and a lack of execution by the receiver is the only reason the ball was not caught. 
  • ESPN stats and information define drops as such: “...incomplete passes where the receiver SHOULD have caught the pass with ORDINARY effort”


  • The number of drops a receiver has per catchable target. Drop percentage measures the percentage of times a receiver drops a pass intended for him that was deemed catchable. 

Int (interceptions)

  • The number of interceptions that occurred when a player was targeted on a play by his quarterback. 

Rat (Passer rating)

  • The passer rating that quarterbacks have achieved when targeting a receiver. 

Check out our Advanced Rushing & Advanced Defense tables here.