The Wide Receivers of Garbage Time

Men at Work

By Johnnie Walton    

Photo Courtesy of Michael Wifall

Previously, we've examined which QBs profited from "garbage time" situations. This week we take a look at the WRs who accumulated the most fantasy points from garbage time receiving yards and touchdowns in 2012.

Below are the top ten receivers in terms of 2012 garbage time fantasy points. (Minimum 500 yards receiving.)

Garbage Time Points/WR

35.8 - Calvin Johnson

35.5 - Dwayne Bowe

33.7 - Cecil Shorts

33.3 - Dez Bryant

33.2 - Michael Floyd

31.9 - Kendall Wright

30.3 - Denarius Moore

29.9 - Brandon Myers

28.0 - Andre Roberts

27.9 - Mike Williams

Dwayne Bowe had some gaudy garbage time totals. Also, the Cardinals WRs appeared to boost their stats, particularly Floyd and Roberts. Megatron and Dez Bryant's inclusion remind of the need to contextualize these figures in terms of the players' respective total fantasy points. Here is a list of the top five WRs by percentage of fantasy points from garbage time.

% Pts From Garbage Time/WR

48.7% - Michael Floyd

37.4% - Kendall Wright

36.8% - Dwayne Bowe

31.5% - Kenny Britt

28.6% - Brandon Myers

Astoundingly, almost 50% of Floyd's point came in garbage time scenarios. With some mentioning Floyd as a potential breakout star, this may offer some reason to hit the pause button on the breakout hype. Bowe certainly has a longer track record than Floyd, so his reliance on garbage time points in 2012 may be less of a concern. Still, there is little doubt that he was able to pad his stats a bit.

In the QB version of this analysis, we noted that the above percentages may just be the result of being stuck on a bad team that had a large percentage of its total plays in garbage time scenarios. To dig deeper into how much the receivers were profiting from garbage time, we calculated the above receivers’ points per target in garbage time and non-garbage time situations.

Garbage Time Points Per Target vs. Non-Garbage Time Points Per Target

1.14 to 0.61 Michael Floyd

1.23 to 0.69 Kendall Wright

1.37 to 0.70 Dwayne Bowe

1.44 to 0.78 Kenny Britt

1.42 to 0.89 Brandon Myers

Across the board, receivers on this list have significantly higher production in garbage time situations. It appears that the above receivers were able to parlay their garbage time into inflated stats. How predominant is this situation among receivers? We will have to do some further analysis to make any kind of conclusion on that topic. However, there are certainly examples of receivers for whom this is not the case. Andre Roberts who is 6th on the list of % of points in garbage time averaged 0.93 points in garbage time and 0.93 points in non-garbage time. Larry Fitzgerald actually averaged LESS points per target in garbage time situations than non-garbage time situations.

***A note on the calculation of stats: Although there is a hardly a consensus definition of what constitutes garbage time (see, we consider "garbage time" to be one of the three following game situations:

1. Down by 14 or more in the 4th Quarter.

2. Down by 21 or more after the 1st Quarter.

3. Down by 28 or more at any point in the game.