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Dynasty Price Check - Robby Anderson

A growing number of managers are focused on constructing their rosters in anticipation of the 2021 regular season. This includes participation in Best-Ball drafts, which is steadily rising. The early rankings also provide anyone in redraft leagues with a resource to plan for their eventual draft process. Those of you who participate in dynasty leagues are also considering a plethora of options as we advance toward this year’s rookie drafts.

This appeal of modifying dynasty rosters remains robust, and the team at RotoBaller is aware of your ongoing management process. That is why we are supplying non-stop news and analysis that will help you determine whether to retain your roster components or alter the current makeup of your team. This includes our collection of dynasty price check articles that provide a data-driven analysis of various players.

This article will focus on Robby Anderson, whose ability to thrive within a transformed Carolina offense in 2020 propelled him to career highs in multiple categories. He should remain cemented as an integral component for the Panthers in 2021. However, there is a level of uncertainty surrounding the composition of Carolina’s attack. A prospective change at quarterback is looming, while the potential departure of Curtis Samuel and the reemergence of Christian McCaffrey will also impact Anderson’s usage and output during the regular season.

Editor's Note: Our incredible team of writers received 13 award nominations by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association including Baseball Writer of the Year, Football Writers of the Year, Golf Writer of the Year and many more! Be sure to follow their analysis, rankings and advice all year long, and win big with RotoBaller! Read More!



Team: Carolina Panthers
College:  Temple
Height/Weight: 6'3", 190 pounds
2016 Undrafted Free Agent


Signs Of Promise As A Jet  

Anderson was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Jets in 2016 and averaged 101 targets, 55 receptions, and 824 yards during his final three years with the team (2017-2019). He provided signs of promise at various points of his tenure, but failed to fully develop into a consistent point producer throughout an entire season However, he did assemble sequences of highly productive outings during each of his final three years in New York.

This includes his 98 yards per game average from Weeks 8-13 in 2017, when he garnered 28 of his 40 targets, and finished at WR4 in point-per-game scoring during that span. He also averaged 9.5 targets and 90 yards per game from Weeks 13-16 in 2018, averaged 8.7 targets and 101.3 yards per game from Weeks 12-14 in 2019, and was included among the top-10 in scoring during these matchups. Those late-season statistical surges provided many managers with an incentive to entrust Anderson on their rosters. It also elevated Anderson among the most enticing free agents at the wide receiver position entering the 2020 offseason.

He appeared primed to procure a hefty contract, due to his home run capabilities as a downfield weapon. But Anderson failed to generate the high level of interest that had been anticipated, and eventually signed a two-year contract with Carolina. This was not initially regarded as a favorable development for Anderson, who was not expected to inherit responsibilities as the Panthers’ primary pass catcher.


Transitioning To A New Environment 

Instead, he would be blended into Carolina’s receiving weaponry, which already contained D.J. Moore and Curtis Samuel. Moore had ascended to WR8 in scoring from Weeks 1-15 during his 2019 breakout season, while also elevating to fourth in targets (133/9.5), third in receiving yards (1,174/83.8 per game), fifth in receptions (86/6.1 per game), and seventh in air yards (1,488) during that sequence. Samuel did not match Moore’s usage or production in 2019. But, he had completed the year by finishing ninth in both air yards (1,538) and targeted air yards (14.5).

However, Anderson’s sojourn to Carolina provided only one element of the Panthers’ offensive transition during 2020. The arrival of Matt Rhule presented Anderson with an opportunity to reunite with his former collegiate coach (2013-2015), while Rhule’s decision to hire Joe Brady as the Panthers’ offensive coordinator fueled an innovative approach to the team's offensive strategy. Carolina’s restructured attack would also be spearheaded by Teddy Bridgewater - who would be operating as a season-long starter for the first time since 2015.

Carolina finished 15th in pass play percentage (59.0%) during the initial season with Brady concocting the attack. The Panthers were also 18th in passing, as Bridgewater finished with unexceptional numbers - 16th in passing attempts (492/32.8 per game), 15th in completions (340/22.7 per game), and 17th in passing yardage (3,733/248.9 per game). His 15:11 touchdown to interception ratio was also underwhelming and Carolina appears destined to locate another starting signal-caller during the offseason.


Exceeding Expectations In A New Role

Anderson captured 10+ targets in three of his first five outings while elevating to seventh overall in that category from Weeks 1-5 (46/9.2 per game). He was also fourth in receptions (36/7.2 per game) and receiving yardage (489/97.8 per game) during that span. Anderson also entered Week 10 with the fifth-highest target total among all wide receivers (80/8.9 per game) and had risen to third overall in receptions (60/6.7 per game) and receiving yards (751/83.4 per game).

Weeks 1-5 Targets Targ/Game YPT Receptions Rec Yards
Allen Robinson 57 11.4 7.4 35 421
Amari Cooper 55 11 7.7 39 424
DeAndre Hopkins 53 10.6 10 45 528
Stefon Diggs 51 10.2 10 36 509
Keenan Allen 50 10 7.1 34 356
Calvin Ridley 50 10 9.7 29 485
Robby Anderson 46 9.2 10.6 36 489
Terry McLaurin 46 9.2 9 29 413
Adam Thielen 44 8.8 8.3 29 364
Tyler Boyd 40 8 9.1 32 362
Darius Slayton 40 8 9.1 23 365
CeeDee Lamb 40 8 10.8 29 433
D.K. Metcalf 39 7.8 12.7 22 496
Odell Beckham Jr. 39 7.8 7.5 21 294
Tyler Lockett 38 7.6 9 30 342


Weeks 1-9 Targets Targ/Game YPT Receptions Rec Yards
Stefon Diggs 91 10.1 8.9 63 813
Keenan Allen 86 10.8 7.6 62 651
Allen Robinson 86 9.6 8.3 57 712
Amari Cooper 83 9.2 7.9 59 655
Robby Anderson 80 8.9 9.4 60 751
Terry McLaurin 77 9.6 9 50 692
DeAndre Hopkins 76 9.5 9.7 60 734
Tyreek Hill 72 8 9 44 650
Cooper Kupp 71 8.9 7.4 48 527
Tyler Lockett 70 8.8 8.8 53 615
Davante Adams 69 11.5 9.8 53 675
Tyler Boyd 68 8.5 8.6 54 584
Calvin Ridley 68 8.5 9.7 43 657
D.K. Metcalf 68 8.5 11.6 43 788
CeeDee Lamb 68 7.6 8.8 44 595

Anderson ultimately completed the year at WR19 in scoring, after finishing at WR40 during 2019. He also completed the season by placing eighth among all wide receivers with 136 targets (8.5 per game), eighth in receptions (95/5.9 per game), and 13th in receiving yardage (1,096/68.5 per game). That enabled him to establish new career highs in targets, receptions, receiving yards, first down receptions (49), yards after catch (497), and catch rate (69.9).

Weeks 1-17 Targets Targ/Game YPT Receptions Rec Yards
Stefon Diggs 166 10.4 9.2 127 1535
DeAndre Hopkins 160 10 8.8 115 1407
Allen Robinson 151 9.4 8.3 102 1250
Davante Adams 149 10.6 9.2 115 1374
Keenan Allen 147 10.5 6.7 100 992
Diontae Johnson 144 9.6 6.4 88 923
Calvin Ridley 143 9.5 9.6 90 1374
Robby Anderson 136 8.5 8.1 95 1096
Tyreek Hill 135 9 9.5 87 1276
Terry McLaurin 134 8.9 8.3 87 1118
Tyler Lockett 132 8.3 8 100 1054
Amari Cooper 130 8.1 8.6 92 1114
Robert Woods 129 8.1 7.3 90 936
DK Metcalf 129 8.1 10.1 83 1303
JuJu Smith-Schuster 128 8 6.5 97 831
Justin Jefferson 125 7.8 11.2 88 1400
Cooper Kupp 124 8.3 7.9 92 974
Brandin Cooks 119 7.9 9.7 81 1150
D.J. Moore 118 7.9 10.1 66 1193
Marvin Jones 115 7.2 8.5 76 978

He also eclipsed 1,000 yards for the first time during his career while finishing 18th in percentage share of air yards (32.6) and 15th with a career-best 15 red-zone targets. He also collected 10+ targets in six different contests while finishing 17th in air yards (1,318) and 22nd in first down receptions (49).

Year Targets Rec YPC Rec Yards YPG Red Zone
2020 136 95 11.5 1096 68.5 15
2019 96 52 15 779 48.7 5
2018 94 50 15 752 53.7 9
2017 114 63 14.9 941 58.8 11
2016 78 42 14 587 36.7 5

However, Anderson’s aDOT (average depth of target) dropped as the result of his modified role within Brady’s passing schemes. He had finished ninth in average depth of target during the 2018 regular season (15.7) and tied for ninth in 2019 (14.6). But, that number diminished to 9.7 last season due to a reduction in Anderson’s deployment on deeper routes. Moore led Carolina’s receivers in this category with a career-high average of 13.2 after averaging 10.05 during his first two seasons.

Anderson also registered a career-low 11.5 yards per reception after averaging 14.7 from 2016-2019 and 15.0 from 2018-2019.  Moore once again ascended into the team lead with an average of 18.1 after he attained an average of 13.9 in 2018-2019.


Competition For Targets

Carolina’s wide receivers captured a 70.5% target share, which was the second-highest percentage among all teams. Anderson led the Panthers in both target share (26.1) and receptions. However, Moore generated a team-high 1,193 receiving yards while also leading Carolina in air yards (1,551), percentage share of air yards (40.7), yards per reception (18.1), and yards per target (10.1). Those final numbers placed Moore third in both yards per reception and percentage share of air yards while he also finished fifth in air yards, eighth in yards per target, and ninth in receiving yards.

Moore’s averages of 7.9 targets and 4.4 receptions per game represented a decline when contrasted with his averages during 2019 (9.0 targets/5.8 receptions). However, his 79.5 yards per game average rose slightly when compared to his previous season (78.3 per game).

Brady also placed Samuel in a position to generate the highest numbers of his career by constructing a plan that capitalized on his abilities. This fueled Samuel’s statistical surge from Weeks 9-17, as he led the Panthers in receiving yards (589) while averaging 73.6 yards, 7.9 targets, and 6.0 receptions per game. From Weeks 14-17, Samuel averaged 8.5 targets, 5.8 receptions, and 83.5 yards per game, while finishing eighth overall in targets (34), 12th in yardage (334), and 14th in receptions (23).

Weeks 14-17 Targ/Game Yards/Targ Targets Receptions Rec Yards Air Yards
Robby Anderson 8.5 5.4 34 20 184 310
D.J. Moore 9.7 9.3 29 16 269 425
Curtis Samuel 8.5 9.8 34 23 334 319

Samuel completed his fourth season with new career highs in receptions (77/5.1 per game) and receiving yards (851/56.7 per game). He also established new career-bests in rushing attempts (41/2.7 per game), and rushing yards (200/13.3 per game) while placing second among all wide receivers in both categories. He is fully capable of sustaining his 2020 numbers if he is operating in an environment that maximizes his skills. However, that scenario might not transpire in Carolina, as Samuel is an unrestricted free agent.

Christian McCaffrey accumulated 506 rushing attempts, 2,495 rushing yards, and 22 rushing touchdowns in 2018-2019 while collecting 223 of his 266 targets and stockpiling 1,872 yards as a receiver. He led all running backs in targets during each of those seasons and finished eighth overall in 2019 (142). He also performed in all 32 games during that sequence but was limited to just three matchups during 2020. He still averaged 6.3 targets per game during those contests, including a season-high 10 during his final appearance in Week 9.

The Panthers running backs also gathered a 21.7% share despite McCaffrey’s extended absence, which was the ninth highest percentage at that position. Mike Davis captured 74% of those opportunities, as his 70 targets placed him fifth among all backs (4.7 per game). Davis also finished fourth at his position in receptions (59) and ninth in yardage (373) while generating new career-highs in each category.

Davis is also a free agent. But if Davis does re-sign with the Panthers, his involvement will decrease significantly as McCaffrey resurfaces in the team's attack. McCaffrey’s aforementioned 142 targets during 2019 were also 34 more than any other back. Even if his usage does not match the 8.9 targets per game that he attained that season, he will commandeer a sizable percentage of opportunities.


Anderson’s Current Value

Moore has accumulated 253 targets over his last two seasons and will join Anderson in operating as Carolina’s primary weapons at the wide receiver position. McCaffrey will also reclaim his massive role within the offense, which will include a significant share of targets.

Samuel would also supply Carolina with another valuable resource while building an additional matchup challenge for opposing defensive units. However, it is currently unclear whether Samuel will remain with the Panthers, as he is positioned to capitalize on his career-best numbers in free agency. It could be difficult for the Panthers to keep Samuel, as the team should attempt to retain tackle Taylor Moton, while also addressing other needs on the roster.

However, only seven receivers garnered more targets than Anderson in 2020, even as Moore and Samuel were in the process of combining for 215. Brady presented Anderson with an opportunity to expand his proficiency beyond vertical routes, as his aforementioned 497 yards after catch placed him eighth overall in that category.

Anderson’s 75.1 grade from PFF was the highest of his career, and the versatile five-year veteran is fully capable of remaining highly productive during his second season in Brady’s offense.

Rhule and new General Manager Scott Fitterer can be expected to aggressively pursue other options at quarterback following Bridgewater’s unexceptional production as the team’s starter. Rhule and Fitterer can also be expected to fortify their tight end options after the Panthers finished 31st in targets distributed to that position (7.8%).

Anderson’s value has clearly risen in the aftermath of his most prolific season. It could increase even further if Samuel relocates in another environment or the Panthers upgrade the quarterback position as expected. As of this writing, anyone who has Anderson contained on their rosters can confidently deploy him as a WR2.

If you are enamored with members of the 2021 class, you can also consider dealing the soon-to-be 28-year-old in exchange for a second-round draft selection. However, that is not a recommendation to prioritize jettisoning him from your roster. He is now a proven commodity as he operates under a coordinator who is adept at maximizing his abilities.

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