One of the best ways to determine the efficiency of a wide receiver is by looking at their yards per target average. Using this data, we can see where targets are possibly being wasted, and who quarterbacks should be targeting more frequently. In conjunction with total targets, this is a great way to distinguish players from each other when all else seems equal.

Here’s a look at the yards per target of each wide receiver and tight end who saw at least 25 targets and 200 receiving yards in 2015:

RkPlayerAgeTmGTgtRecYdsTDY/Tgt+/-
1Brent Celek30PHI163527398311.373.59
2Darren Fells29ARI142821311311.113.33
3JJ Nelson23ARI112711299211.073.29
4Sammy Watkins22BUF1396601047910.913.13
5Rishard Matthews26MIA116143662410.853.07
6DeSean Jackson29WAS104930528410.783.00
7Torrey Smith26SFO166233663410.692.91
8Doug Baldwin27SEA161037810691410.382.60
9Jermaine Kearse25SEA166849685510.072.29
10John Brown25ARI1510165100379.932.15
11Brice Butler25DAL7261225809.922.14
12DeVante Parker22MIA15502649439.882.10
13A.J. Green27CIN16132861297109.832.05
14Allen Hurns24JAX15105641031109.822.04
15Rob Gronkowski26NWE15120721176119.82.02
16Willie Snead23NOR151016998439.741.96
17Tyler Lockett23SEA16695166469.621.84
18Cameron Brate24TAM14302328839.61.82
19Michael Floyd26ARI15895284969.541.76
20Zach Miller31CHI15463443959.541.76
21Antonio Brown27PIT161931361834109.51.72
22Markus Wheaton24PIT16794474959.481.70
23Kenny Britt27STL16723668139.461.68
24Allen Robinson22JAX16151801400149.271.49
25Brandon Coleman23NOR16493045429.271.49
26Julio Jones26ATL16203136187189.221.44
27Odell Beckham23NYG15158961450139.181.40
28Steve Smith36BAL7734667039.181.40
29Marquess Wilson23CHI11512846419.11.32
30Marc Mariani28CHI16332230009.091.31
31Terrance Williams26DAL16935284039.031.25
32James Jones31GNB16995089088.991.21
33Jerricho Cotchery33CAR14543948538.981.20
34Greg Olsen30CAR1612477110478.91.12
35Rueben Randle24NYG16905779788.861.08
36Jarius Wright26MIN16503444208.841.06
37Brandin Cooks22NOR1612984113898.821.04
38Jeremy Maclin27KAN1512487108888.770.99
39Crockett Gillmore24BAL10473341248.770.99
40Vincent Jackson32TAM10623354338.760.98
41Seth Roberts24OAK16553248058.730.95
42Brandon Marshall31NYJ161731091502148.680.90
43Austin Seferian-Jenkins23TAM7392133848.670.89
44Alshon Jeffery25CHI9945480748.590.81
45Stefon Diggs22MIN13845272048.570.79
46Justin Hunter24TEN9312226418.520.74
47Travis Kelce26KAN161037287558.50.72
48T.Y. Hilton26IND1613469112458.390.61
49Larry Fitzgerald32ARI16145109121598.380.60
50Emmanuel Sanders28DEN1513676113568.350.57
51Jordan Reed25WAS1411487952118.350.57
52Gary Barnidge30CLE1612579104398.340.56
53Martavis Bryant24PIT11925076568.320.54
54Tyler Eifert25CIN137452615138.310.53
55Corey Brown24CAR14543144748.280.50
56Malcom Floyd34SDG15683056138.250.47
57Jeremy Butler24BAL8443136308.250.47
58Amari Cooper21OAK1613072107068.230.45
59Dorial Green-Beckham22TEN16673254948.190.41
60Luke Willson25SEA14261721318.190.41
61Delanie Walker31TEN1513394108868.180.40
62Jimmy Graham29SEA11744860528.180.40
63Bryan Walters28JAX11453236818.180.40
64Calvin Johnson30DET1614988121498.150.37
65Mike Evans22TAM1514874120638.150.37
66Keenan Allen23SDG8896772548.150.37
67Bennie Fowler24DEN16251620308.120.34
68Jacob Tamme30ATL15815965718.110.33
69Darrius Heyward-Bey28PIT16392131428.050.27
70Mohamed Sanu26CIN16493339408.040.26
71Riley Cooper28PHI16412132727.980.20
72DeAndre Hopkins23HOU161921111521117.920.14
73Marvin Jones25CIN161036581647.920.14
74Jordan Matthews23PHI161268599787.910.13
75Albert Wilson23KAN14573545127.910.13
76Griff Whalen25IND14261920517.880.10
77Julian Edelman29NWE9886169277.860.08
78Lance Moore32DET14432933747.840.06
79Eric Decker28NYJ15132801027127.780.00
80Marques Colston32NOR13674552047.76-0.02
81Jamison Crowder22WAS16785960427.74-0.04
82Travis Benjamin26CLE161256896657.73-0.05
83Dontrelle Inman26SDG14633548637.71-0.07
84Eric Ebron22DET14704753757.67-0.11
85Steve Johnson29SDG10654549737.65-0.13
86Chris Hogan27BUF16593645027.63-0.15
87Zach Ertz25PHI151127585327.62-0.16
88Ted Ginn30CAR159744739107.62-0.16
89Devin Funchess21CAR16633147357.51-0.27
90Ben Watson35NOR161107482567.5-0.28
91Will Tye24NYG13624246437.48-0.30
92Danny Amendola30NWE14876564837.45-0.33
93Kamar Aiken26BAL161277594457.43-0.35
94Josh Huff24PHI15422731237.43-0.35
95Antonio Gates35SDG11855663057.41-0.37
96Ryan Griffin25HOU9342025127.38-0.40
97Demaryius Thomas28DEN16177105130467.37-0.41
98Keshawn Martin25NWE9372426927.27-0.51
99Marcel Reece30OAK15373026937.27-0.51
100Percy Harvin27BUF5301921817.27-0.51
101Roddy White34ATL16704350617.23-0.55
102Miles Austin31PHI11311322417.23-0.55
103Cole Beasley26DAL16755253657.15-0.63
104Anquan Boldin35SFO141116978947.11-0.67
105Leonard Hankerson263TM10462632737.11-0.67
106Vance McDonald25SFO14463032637.09-0.69
107Pierre Garcon29WAS161117277767-0.78
108Nate Washington32HOU14944765847-0.78
109Donte Moncrief22IND161056473366.98-0.80
110Kenny Stills23MIA16632744036.98-0.80
111Jarvis Landry23MIA16166110115746.97-0.81
112Jermaine Gresham27ARI15321822316.97-0.81
113Brandon LaFell29NWE11743751506.96-0.82
114Dwayne Harris28NYG15573639646.95-0.83
115Quinton Patton25SFO16573039416.91-0.87
116Robert Woods23BUF14804755236.9-0.88
117Anthony Fasano31TEN16422628926.88-0.90
118Jason Witten33DAL161047771336.86-0.92
119Charles Clay26BUF13775152836.86-0.92
120Quincy Enunwa23NYJ12462231506.85-0.93
121Ladarius Green25SDG13633742946.81-0.97
122Vernon Davis312TM15583839506.81-0.97
123Lance Kendricks27STL15362524526.81-0.97
124Kendall Wright26TEN10603640836.8-0.98
125Brian Hartline29CLE12774652326.79-0.99
126Kyle Rudolph26MIN16734949556.78-1.00
127Owen Daniels33DEN16774651736.71-1.07
128Heath Miller33PIT15816053526.6-1.18
129Josh Bellamy26CHI16341922426.59-1.19
130Clive Walford24OAK16502832936.58-1.20
131Mike Wallace29MIN16723947326.57-1.21
132Chris Givens262TM15542035316.54-1.24
133Andre Johnson34IND16774150346.53-1.25
134Adam Humphries22TAM13402726016.5-1.28
135Jordan Norwood29DEN11322220706.47-1.31
136Cecil Shorts28HOU11754248426.45-1.33
137Randall Cobb25GNB161297982966.43-1.35
138Nelson Agholor22PHI13442328316.43-1.35
139Andrew Hawkins29CLE8432727606.42-1.36
140Jared Cook28STL16753948106.41-1.37
141Ryan Grant25WAS16422326826.38-1.40
142Golden Tate27DET161289081366.35-1.43
143Dexter McCluster27TEN11413126016.34-1.44
144Michael Crabtree28OAK161468592296.32-1.46
145Scott Chandler30NWE15422325946.17-1.61
146Marcedes Lewis31JAX16371622606.11-1.67
147Mychal Rivera25OAK16463228016.09-1.69
148Andre Holmes27OAK16331420146.09-1.69
149Richard Rodgers23GNB16855851086-1.78
150Coby Fleener27IND16845449135.85-1.93
151Greg Jennings32MIA16361920815.78-2.00
152Phillip Dorsett22IND11391822515.77-2.01
153Harry Douglas31TEN14723641125.71-2.07
154Julius Thomas27JAX12804645555.69-2.09
155Maxx Williams21BAL14483226815.58-2.20
156Dez Bryant27DAL9723140135.57-2.21
157Jordan Cameron27MIA16703538635.51-2.27
158Martellus Bennett28CHI11805343935.49-2.29
159Tavon Austin24STL16875247355.44-2.34
160Larry Donnell27NYG8412922325.44-2.34
161Davante Adams23GNB13945048315.14-2.64
162Taylor Gabriel24CLE13482824105.02-2.76
163Eddie Royal29CHI9503723814.76-3.02

The “+/-“ column refers to how many yards each players is above or below the average yards per target among all qualifying players with at least 25 targets and 200 receiving yards. The average for all qualifying pass catchers is 7.78 yards per target.

The most efficient wide receiver in the NFL last season was Sammy Watkins. Averaging 10.91 yards per target, Watkins had 1,047 receiving yards on just 96 targets. For comparison, Eric Decker had 20 fewer receiving yards than Sammy Watkins while being targeted 36 more times.

Big play threat DeSean Jackson is frequently on this list, but the small amount of targets he receives is a consistent concern. With Garcon still on the roster and Washington spending its top pick on Josh Doctson, that concern is still there heading into 2016.

Doug Baldwin was a pleasant surprise for the Seahawks – tying for the NFL-lead in touchdowns and averaging a stunning 10.38 yards per target.

Averaging 9.93 yards per target, John Brown finished as the Cardinals’ most efficient option. Michael Floyd averaged a promising 9.54 yards per target, 1.76 yards above the league average. The most heavily targeted option, Larry Fitzgerald, finished at 8.38 yards per target.

DeVante Parker tops all rookies with 9.88 yards per target. It’s a relatively small sample size of 50 targets but it’s promising to be hyper-efficient as a rookie. Parker looks ready for an increased workload.

A.J. Green finished with an elite 9.83 yards per target, the best of his career. This is extremely promising for 2016; considering the 152 targets that freed up with the departures of Marvin Jones and Mohamed Sanu.

Allen Hurns and Allen Robinson both had solid sophomore campaigns, averaging a combined 9.5 yards per target. They both joined an elite list of wide receivers to record at least 1,700 receiving yards and 15 touchdowns during their first two seasons. The duo will continue to help each other receive favorable coverage.

It’s another day at the office for Rob Gronkowski, Antonio Brown, Julio Jones, and Odell Beckham. All four finished above 9 yards per target and continue to show why they are elite options.

Brandin Cooks finished 1.04 yards above the league average per target despite increased defensive attention. After a solid sophomore campaign, he’ll be just 23 heading into his third season.

Despite not playing the first three games of the season, Stefon Diggs finished with 720 receiving yards and 8.57 yards per target. He joins a solid list of players to accomplish that feat as a rookie.

T.Y. Hilton fell to just above average after finishing second last year. Dealing with Matt Hasselbeck for most of the season, Hilton gained 221 fewer yards on three more targets.

Star rookie Amari Cooper joins an elite list of rookie wide receivers to be targeted at least 100 and finish with at least 8.2 yards per target.

After averaging an elite 9.53 yards per target last season, DeAndre Hopkins saw 65 more targets this year. Nuk still finished above average but saw his efficiency fall with increased volume.

Andre Johnson finished with just 503 receiving yards on 77 targets. For a second straight year, he’s been one of the least-efficient receivers in football. Remember, father time always wins.

Similar players Randall Cobb and Golden Tate both finished well below the league average. Cobb averaged 6.43 yards per target, while Tate averaged just 6.35. Cobb’s figures to go up as he slides back to his more natural “second fiddle” position, but it remains to be seen what Golden Tate as the number one. He put up huge stats without Calvin Johnson two years ago, but was it sustainable? Only time will tell.

With just 483 receiving yards on 94 targets, Davante Adams was one of the most over-targeted players in the league. The same can be said for Michael Crabtree, who had just 922 receiving yards on 146 targets.

Dez Bryant also deserves a mention for averaging 2.21 yards fewer than the league average – however, we’ll attribute his poor play to injury and poor quarterback play.