One of the best ways to determine the efficiency of a wide receiver is by looking at their yards per target. Using this data, we can see where targets are possibly being wasted, and where they are being maximized. Let’s see what this means for 2015.

Here’s a look at the yards per target of each wide receiver with at least 200 receiving yards in 2014:

1DeSean Jackson28WAS1595561169612.314.48
2T.Y. Hilton25IND15131821345710.272.44
3Randall Cobb24GNB161279112871210.132.31
4Jordy Nelson29GNB161519815191310.062.23
5Odell Beckham22NYG121309113051210.042.21
6Emmanuel Sanders27DEN16141101140499.962.13
7Julio Jones25ATL15163104159369.771.95
8Dez Bryant26DAL16136881320169.711.88
9DeAndre Hopkins22HOU1612776121069.531.70
10Terrance Williams25DAL16663762189.411.58
11Antonio Brown26PIT161811291698139.381.55
12Malcom Floyd33SDG16925285669.301.48
13Golden Tate26DET1614499133149.241.42
14Jeremy Maclin26PHI16143851318109.221.39
15Marques Colston31NOR161005990259.021.19
16Nate Washington31TEN16724064728.991.16
17Jeremy Ross26DET16352431418.971.14
18Kenny Britt26STL16844874838.901.08
19A.J. Green26CIN1311769104168.901.07
20Demaryius Thomas27DEN161841111619118.800.97
21Steve Johnson28SFO13503543538.700.87
22Mike Evans21TAM15122681051128.610.79
23Eddie Royal28SDG16916277878.550.72
24Michael Floyd25ARI16994784168.490.67
25Jordan Matthews22PHI161036787288.470.64
26Doug Baldwin26SEA16986682538.420.59
27Calvin Johnson29DET1312871107788.410.59
28Brandon Lloyd33SFO14351429418.400.57
29Eric Decker27NYJ151157496258.370.54
30Kamar Aiken25BAL16322426738.340.52
31Torrey Smith25BAL169249767118.340.51
32Victor Cruz28NYG6412333718.220.39
33Anquan Boldin34SFO1613083106258.170.34
34Greg Jennings31MIN16925974268.070.24
35Mohamed Sanu25CIN16985679058.060.23
36Brandon LaFell28NWE161197495378.010.18
37Brandin Cooks21NOR10695355037.970.14
38Steve Smith35BAL1613479106567.950.12
39Dwayne Bowe30KAN15956075407.940.11
40Alshon Jeffery24CHI16145851133107.81-0.01
41Jermaine Kearse24SEA15693853717.78-0.04
42Miles Austin30CLE12734756827.78-0.05
43Kendall Wright25TEN14935771567.69-0.14
44Sammy Watkins21BUF161286598267.67-0.16
45Larry Fitzgerald31ARI141036378427.61-0.22
46Brian Hartline28MIA16633947427.52-0.30
47Harry Douglas30ATL12745155627.51-0.31
48Mike Wallace28MIA1611567862107.50-0.33
49Markus Wheaton23PIT16865364427.49-0.34
50Derek Hagan30TEN16341925417.47-0.36
51Preston Parker27NYG16563641827.46-0.36
52Jerricho Cotchery32CAR15784858017.44-0.39
53Justin Hunter23TEN12672849837.43-0.39
54Rueben Randle23NYG161277193837.39-0.44
55Roddy White33ATL141258092177.37-0.46
56Andrew Hawkins28CLE151126382427.36-0.47
57Julian Edelman28NWE141349297247.25-0.57
58Pierre Garcon28WAS161056875237.16-0.67
59Vincent Jackson31TAM1614270100227.06-0.77
60Andre Holmes26OAK16994769347.00-0.83
61Allen Hurns23JAX16975167766.98-0.85
62Kelvin Benjamin23CAR1614573100896.95-0.88
63Brandon Marshall30CHI131066172186.80-1.03
64Louis Murphy27TAM11563138026.79-1.04
65Jarvis Landry22MIA161128475856.77-1.06
66Davante Adams22GNB16663844636.76-1.07
67Robert Woods22BUF161046569956.72-1.11
68Reggie Wayne36IND151166477926.72-1.11
69Keenan Allen22SDG141217778346.47-1.36
70Michael Crabtree27SFO161086869846.46-1.36
71Andre Johnson33HOU151468593636.41-1.42
72Percy Harvin262TM13785148316.19-1.63
73Paul Richardson22SEA15442927116.16-1.67
74Marqise Lee23JAX13693742216.12-1.71
75Riley Cooper27PHI16955557736.07-1.75
76Hakeem Nicks26IND16683840545.96-1.87
77James Jones30OAK161127366665.95-1.88
78Brandon Gibson27MIA14512929515.78-2.04
79Cordarrelle Patterson23MIN16673338415.73-2.10
80Jason Avant312TM16623435315.69-2.13
81Tavon Austin23STL15443124205.50-2.33
82Jeremy Kerley26NYJ16753840915.45-2.37
83Cecil Shorts27JAX131105355715.06-2.76

The “+/-“ column refers to how many yards each receiver is above or below the average yards per target among all wide receivers with at least 200 receiving yards. The average for all qualifying receivers is 7.83 yards per target.

Firstly, it is abundantly clear a quarterback’s accuracy greatly affects a wide receiver’s yards per target. This is partially exemplified with Randall Cobb and Jordy Nelson both finishing with over 10 yards per target.

Secondly, the depth of a wide receiver’s routes also greatly impacts their yards per target. For example, someone like DeSean Jackson who does most of his work deep down the field will compare favorably to someone like Julian Edelman who gobbles up most of his targets closer to the line of scrimmage.

We see elite numbers from DeSean Jackson, TY Hilton, Randall Cobb, Jordy Nelson, and Odell Beckham. These were the only wide receivers to top 10 yards per target.

Emmanuel Sanders, Julio Jones, and Dez Bryant follow closely. All three showed what happens when a talented wide receiver is paired with a solid quarterback.

DeAndre Hopkins comes in at 9.53 yards per target, lending some credence to those who believe he should be targeted more frequently. With Andre Johnson off to Indianapolis, his skills will be put to the test in 2015.

After averaging 9.93 yards per target over the past three seasons, Calvin Johnson fell to 8.41 yards per target. Was that was due to his ankle injury or decline? Your guess is as good as mine.

Alshon Jeffery was almost exactly average (7.81) last season. It’s a little alarming after he finished with 9.47 yards per target in 2013. This could also be attributable to his midseason hamstring injury but is worth considering with the relatively large amount of draft capital required to get him in drafts. But it would be remiss to forget about the effects of the inefficiency and inaccuracy of Jay Cutler when analyzing Jeffrey.

Mike Evans (8.61) and Jordan Matthews (8.47) both look ready for increased targets. Kelvin Benjamin, on the other hand, was terribly inefficient with just 6.95 yards per target.

Roddy White (7.37), Vincent Jackson (7.06), and Brandon Marshall (6.8) all showed signs of being on the wrong side of 30. Whether they’ll bounce back or not is up in the air, but father time is working against them.

Andre Johnson averaged just 6.41 yards per target and is another player that is on the wrong side of 30. He’s likely to improve with Andrew Luck, but it’s a question of whether he’ll improve enough to outperform his average draft position.

Out of players with at least 100 targets, Cecil Shorts (5.06) and James Jones (5.95) were the worst. They are examples of the marriage between questionable talent and below average quarterback play.