Koko Fantasy Rankings - Tight Ends

Tight ends are relatively easy to project. In addition to their steadily increasing prominence, the notable thing about TEs is how steep the fall-off is among the top several players. In case you aren't familiar with the Koko rankings, they are the simplest projections possible based on previous-year performance. The rankings are intended to serve as the baseline for the bare-minimum accuracy we should expect from all other fantasy projections. A full explanation can be found in the write-up for the QB rankings.

I'll cut right to the chase. Here are how tight end TDs per game and receiving yards per game regress. As you'd expect, yards are more consistent and predictable than TDs.

Fumbles are unpredictable, and hover at 0.2 fumbles per game. Top TEs tend to be relatively durable, and will play 14.5 games per year. Based on standard scoring of 6 points per TD, 1 point for 20 receiving yards, and -2 points for each fumble, here is how the projections stack up:

RankPlayerTD/GYds/GFum/GPts/GTotal Pts
1 Tony Gonzalez 0.4057.60.24.970.7
2 Dallas Clark 0.3050.50.23.957.0
3 Antonio Gates 0.3441.20.23.754.1
4 Jason Witten 0.2452.70.23.652.9
5 Visanthe Shiancoe 0.3236.20.23.348.1
6 Tony Scheffler 0.2345.
7 Kellen Winslow 0.2640.
8 Owen Daniels 0.1848.
9 John Carlson 0.2637.
10 Anthony Fasano 0.3229.
11 Greg Olsen 0.2635.20.22.942.5
12 Chris Cooley 0.1548.00.22.942.3
13 Kevin Boss 0.3027.50.22.840.3
14 Zach Miller 0.1544.60.22.739.8
15 Heath Miller 0.2235.80.22.739.2
16 Dustin Keller 0.2133.30.22.536.4
17 Bo Scaife 0.1834.60.22.434.9
18 Billy Miller 0.1537.20.22.434.6
19 Daniel Graham 0.2426.60.22.333.9
20 David Martin 0.2129.40.22.333.6
21 Donald Lee 0.2622.50.22.333.4
22 Jeremy Shockey 0.1338.40.22.333.0
23 Marcedes Lewis 0.1831.
24 L.J. Smith 0.2325.
25 Jerramy Stevens 0.1929.
26 Todd Heap 0.2127.
27 Martellus Bennett 0.2421.
28 Alex Smith 0.2221.
29 Vernon Davis 0.1825.10.21.928.1
30 Robert Royal 0.1525.90.21.826.4
31 Desmond Clark 0.1525.50.21.826.0
32 Benjamin Watson 0.1919.60.21.724.7

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6 Responses to “Koko Fantasy Rankings - Tight Ends”

  1. Drew says:

    These rankings are great, but I don't think that you can use this for a draft without other considerations. Kellen Winslow, for example, was injured for most of his career with the Browns. I would think that it's unlikely that he stays healthy for enough of the season to compile those numbers.

  2. edanthony says:

    I really enjoy and appreciate all the work you are doing. As I look at Koko I can't help but ask about "goodness of fit." Looking at yd/g it's clear to see that the regression line acts as a reasonable predictor. But looking at the td/g line we see a different story. For example, there are 11 TE who scored 5 TD in year Y. (We find them at the .35 td/g mark.) The regression line "predicts" that a TE averaging .35 td/g in year Y will score .28 td/g in year Y+1. Over 14.5 games that gives us 4.1 td/g.

    There are 4 TE close to the .28 mark and the other 7 TEs are further away. I think this skews Koko's ability to accurately predict the number of TDs a TE will score.

    I'm not sure which is better - to just use yd/g for each TE and plug in the league average for TE as you did for fumbles or to project knowing that one of the contributing variables is a little wonky.

    Clearly, I have no solution to my complaint. lol

  3. Brian Burke says:

    It seems to me that in the world of TE TDs, there are the elite guys that can assure us of a relatively steady and predictable TD rate, and then there is everyone else. The elite guys are the lonely dots in the upper right part of the graph, and everyone else is in the blob in the bottom left.

    I agree, and I think the take-away is that if you can't draft one of the elite guys, then it doesn't really matter who you get.

    For a lot of these stats, we can probably get a slightly better projection using the method you suggest. I've tried a lot of them. Using the 2009 projection for yds/G to then estimate TDs/G indirectly might have an r-squared of .12 compared to the simpler method which might have an r-squared of .11.

  4. eric says:

    What about my man Chase Coffman? How is he not in the top 32 when he will be the starting TE for a stacked Bengals team with Carson Palmer at QB???? 7 TD's easy for Chase.

  5. Mockenrue says:

    Eric, these projections are compiled from the previous year's performance. Coffman, as a rookie, by default has no previous NFL statistics. If we then plug him in as "Bengals starting tight end," we have to realize that in 2008, the Bengals had the worst offense in the NFL. Reggie Kelly has never been much of a receiving threat, and therefore never a fantasy factor. Ben Utecht was supposed to add that element, but didn't see many touches with Palmer out. Furthermore, the Bengals offensive philosophy tends to employ a third receiver before a tight end is targeted. Finally, Coffman has struggled a lot during training camp so far. With all this data stacked against him, it's easy to understand why he is unranked on this list. For what it's worth, Brandon Pettigrew is nowhere to be found at all either, for similar reasons.

    This doesn't mean that Coffman can't have a solid season of production, but he is a risky pick, especially with so many proven producers listed up there. If he produces well, he'll make these rankings next year (as he will have had a previous year to establish himself, as these rankings rely on).

  6. Eric says:

    Excellent response. I stand corrected.

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