Metrics that Matter: What the heck is ADOT?

by | Nov 7, 2023

If you play fantasy football, the odds you’ve heard a lot of acronyms that can be tough to understand. One popular advanced metric is aDOT or Average Depth of Target.

What Is aDOT?

aDOT is how far downfield the ball typically goes when thrown to a specific NFL player. You can calculate it by dividing the total air yards a player has by the number of targets. This crucial stat in fantasy football reveals how teams are utilizing different offensive players on the field.

For instance, if a player has a low aDOT (say something like 3-6 yards), it means they’re mostly getting short, quick targets near the line of scrimmage on plays like screens or slants. Meanwhile, a high aDOT (say 10-20 yards) indicates that a player is often targeted with deep passes. Deep passes mean more high variance plays and more opportunities for big scores.

Why Does It Matter For Fantasy?

Now, why does this matter for fantasy football? Players with high aDOTs might have fewer receptions, but they can also make big plays. This can pay big dividends for their real life teams and for fantasy managers. These players are a bit unpredictable. However, they are excellent choices for owners looking to drive higher variance outcomes. Or who need to add a bit more upside to their squad.

Conversely, players with low aDOTs can be possession receivers, who can be valuable in various PPR leagues or for owners looking to lower their team’s variance (maybe a safer player you’d like to play next to a couple of higher variance stars).

Of course, true star players will tend to give you the best of both. But if you see a player with a high aDOT and increasing target share on your waiver wire or for a lower salary cap figure in Daily Fantasy Sports Leagues (including right here on SmashUp Fantasy Sports), they maybe a nice sneaky gamble to take.