• Matt Nein

Robby Anderson

Matt Nein / @mnein9

Is Robby Anderson taking over as the WR1 in Carolina, or has he just had a very efficient start to the 2020 season?

Panthers WR Stats:

DJ Moore: TGT (26), REC (14), YDS (239), DRP (2), TD (0)

3 red-zone targets all 3 being end-zone targets. No receptions. 

Robby Anderson: TGT (23), REC (20), YDS (279), DRP (0), TD (1)

7 red-zone targets resulting in 4 receptions and 1 of those being an end-zone target.

Cutis Samuel: TGT (13), REC (11), YDS (96), DRP (1), TD (0)

3 red-zone targets resulting in 2 receptions. 

It would seem that Anderson has taken over DJ Moore as the Panthers WR1. He has more receptions, yards, receiving TDs, and seems to be the preferred target in the red-zone. Maybe the DJ Moore hype all offseason was for nothing and in fact, it was Anderson who should have received more attention. 


Let's take a look at two different charts on the Panther's passing game through the first 3 weeks.

(Photo Credit: Sharp Football Stats)

This chart shows the directional throwing for Bridgewater. The 32% is a very large number as far as directional throwing goes and this is because the Panthers are throwing a lot of screens, short slants, and out routes. The Panthers are trying to get the ball out quickly and to their playmakers in space. Unless a DB is shadowing, the left side is typically covered by the DB2 which provides a better matchup for Moore and Anderson. 

(Photo Credit: Sharp Football Stats)

Now let's take a look at this chart. This shows the directional targets and target share. We can tell right away that Anderson is the primary target in the short left area. He is matched up against the DB2 on that side of the field and with Anderson's speed, a simple 6-yard slant could go to the house. 

The 2 biggest takeaways from this are that Anderson is the primary underneath guy. The Panthers are just trying to get the ball in his hands and let him work. The other thing I noticed was that the entire deep passing game (15+ yards downfield) belongs to DJ Moore. Moore has 11 downfield targets which are easily the most on the team and the next closest is Anderson with 4. 

The team is clearly trying to feed DJ Moore the ball but the difference in production through 3 weeks has been Anderson being able to break some shorter routes for long TDs and Moore has not. 

Right now, Anderson's and Moore's target share is relatively close. I expect them to stay close most of the year but I also expect DJ Moore to start converting some of these deep balls into big gains and TDs. DJ Moore is still the WR1 on this team but Robby Anderson is stride for stride with him. I would expect them both to finish as WR2s. 

Obviously, we never want to see a player get hurt but if Anderson or Moore were to miss a game or go down for the season, the other would be an automatic start for me with WR1 upside.