NFL Air Yards Leaders 2020 Season (Total, Team, % of Team Air Yards)


Learning about air yards was a turning point in my fantasy football knowledge path. No literal light bulbs went off, but it did unlock something that had been kicking around in my mind: are there ways, in addition to receiving yard and targets, to measure a receiver; specifically, is there a way to identify potentially undervalued or overvalued players at the position?

But, first, what are air yards?

Air yards is the distance, measured in yards, from the line of scrimmage to the place where the football is caught or not caught. Passes caught behind the line of scrimmage will have negative yards. If the ball is at the 30-yard line, and then caught at the 40-yard line, then the total air yards is ten.

Note: This is different than yards-before-catch, which only accounts for yards traveled on completed passes (i.e., receptions).

Receivers with a low number of air yards per reception are more likely to be possession receivers (think Cole Beasley), and likewise, those with noticeably higher air yards per reception are more likely to be deep threats being targeted with low-percentage throws (e.g., Desean Jackson).

2020 Air Yards Leaders (All NFL)

Player Name Air Yards % of Team’s Air Yards
Calvin Ridley 1918 41.07%
Stefon Diggs 1700 36.81%
DK Metcalf 1668 38.31%
Tyreek Hill 1624 34.67%
D.J. Moore 1577 41.00%
Jerry Jeudy 1541 31.19%
Allen Robinson 1453 35.69%
Chase Claypool 1438 30.56%
Justin Jefferson 1421 39.69%
Marvin Jones 1411 27.44%
DeAndre Hopkins 1381 33.31%
Brandin Cooks 1347 29.20%
Darius Slayton 1328 34.19%
D.J. Chark 1326 34.77%
Robby Anderson 1324 33.00%
Terry McLaurin 1310 47.67%
A.J. Green 1310 28.37%
Davante Adams 1309 43.36%
Marquise Brown 1292 38.81%
Tyler Lockett 1285 29.13%
Nelson Agholor 1269 26.81%
Tee Higgins 1254 28.80%
Michael Gallup 1252 27.81%
Mike Evans 1241 22.19%
Adam Thielen 1239 34.67%
Mike Williams 1236 30.57%
Travis Kelce 1216 26.27%
T.Y. Hilton 1166 33.20%
Diontae Johnson 1144 24.80%
Amari Cooper 1137 25.88%
Darren Waller 1136 25.13%
A.J. Brown 1134 35.21%
Corey Davis 1080 32.64%
Keenan Allen 1071 27.43%
Marquez Valdes-Scantling 1061 29.50%
Darnell Mooney 1016 20.44%
CeeDee Lamb 1013 22.81%
DeVante Parker 996 25.71%
Tim Patrick 986 20.93%
Gabriel Davis 945 20.44%
Mike Gesicki 943 23.80%
Will Fuller 940 33.50%
Christian Kirk 935 25.00%
Tyler Boyd 931 23.20%
Keelan Cole 927 19.25%
Breshad Perriman 910 28.67%
Mark Andrews 907 28.57%
Robert Woods 901 23.50%
Russell Gage 897 18.25%
Jalen Guyton 895 19.69%

Running Back Only

Player Name Air Yards % of Team’s Air Yards Receiving Yards
Lynn Bowden 185 13.29% 211
J.D. McKissic 182 19.60% 589
David Johnson 168 11.00% 314
Jerick McKinnon 156 10.54% 253
Chase Edmonds 129 12.44% 402
Malcolm Perry 114 5.71% 92
Kareem Hunt 109 11.47% 304
Boston Scott 100 7.85% 212
Miles Sanders 98 12.33% 197
Giovani Bernard 77 10.73% 355
Alvin Kamara 74 21.60% 756
Chris Carson 71 11.75% 287
Dion Lewis 69 7.75% 127
Cam Akers 69 6.29% 123
Duke Johnson 67 9.82% 249
David Montgomery 64 11.93% 438
Chris Thompson 64 10.17% 146
Jeffery Wilson 51 9.11% 133
D’Andre Swift 50 12.92% 357
Ty Johnson 50 3.00% 0
Josh Jacobs 49 9.47% 238
Nick Chubb 49 5.80% 150
Jalen Richard 49 6.70% 138
Gus Edwards 48 6.63% 129
Nyheim Hines 47 14.38% 482

Tight Ends Only

Player Name Air Yards % of Team’s Air Yards Receiving Yards
Travis Kelce 1216 24.67% 1416
Darren Waller 1136 28.06% 1195
Mike Gesicki 943 16.40% 710
Mark Andrews 907 25.07% 701
Rob Gronkowski 845 13.00% 623
Evan Engram 785 21.44% 654
Logan Thomas 772 19.31% 670
Hunter Henry 723 17.71% 613
T.J. Hockenson 710 17.81% 723
Jared Cook 665 12.47% 504
Eric Ebron 650 14.67% 558
Noah Fant 622 20.14% 673
Dan Arnold 572 9.36% 438
Hayden Hurst 566 14.69% 571
Dalton Schultz 556 14.63% 615
Dallas Goedert 553 16.91% 524
Zach Ertz 536 18.82% 335
Tyler Eifert 483 11.71% 349
Tyler Higbee 480 11.53% 522
Jimmy Graham 477 12.44% 456
George Kittle 463 24.38% 634
Austin Hooper 451 18.38% 435
Robert Tonyan 446 12.60% 586
Gerald Everett 378 11.00% 417
Jordan Reed 370 13.50% 231

2020 Air Yards Leaders (By Team)



Player Name Team Name Air Yards % of Team’s Air Yards
DeAndre Hopkins Arizona Cardinals 1,381 41.07%
Calvin Ridley Atlanta Falcons 1,918 33.31%
Marquise Brown Baltimore Ravens 1,292 38.81%
Stefon Diggs Buffalo Bills 1,700 36.81%
D.J. Moore Carolina Panthers 1,577 41%
Allen Robinson Chicago Bears 1,453 35.69%
A.J. Green Cincinnati Bengals 1,310 28.37%
Jarvis Landry Cleveland Browns 772 23.67%
Michael Gallup Dallas Cowboys 1,252 27.81%
Jerry Jeudy Denver Broncos 1,541 31.19%
Marvin Jones Detroit Lions 1,411 27.44%
Davante Adams Green Bay Packers 1,309 43.36%
Brandin Cooks Houston Texans 1,347 29.2%
T.Y. Hilton Indianapolis Colts 1,166 33.2%
D.J. Chark Jacksonville Jaguars 1,326 34.77%
Tyreek Hill Kansas City Chiefs 1,624 34.67%
Nelson Aghlor Las Vegas Raiders 1,269 26.81%
Mike Williams Los Angeles Chargers 1,236 30.57%
Robert Woods Los Angeles Rams 935 23.5%
DeVante Parker Miami Dolphins 996 25.71%
Justin Jefferson Minnesota Vikings 1,421 39.69%
Damiere Byrd New England Patriots 859 32.21%
Darius Slayton New York Giants 1,328 34.19%
Breshad Perriman New York Jets 910 28.67%
Emmanuel Sanders New Orleans Saints 723 23.93%
Travis Fulgham Philadelphia Eagles 797 21.67%
Chase Claypool Pittsburgh Steelers 1,438 30.56%
Brandon Aiyuk San Francisco 49ers 876 30.42%
DK Metcalf Seattle Seahawks 1,668 38.31%
Mike Evans Tampa Bay Buccaneers 1,241 22.19%
A.J. Brown Tennessee Titans 1,134 35.21%
Terry McLaurin Washington Redskins 1,310 47.67%

Wesley Lyles

Wesley is a jack of all trades hobbyist. Though much of his spare time is spent playing board games (especially solo card games like Legendary), Hearthstone, Rocket League, and MLB The Show.e He also enjoys most sports, but pays way too much attention to baseball and football.

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