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Using PFF’s season simulator to project Tyler Conklin’s 2023 stat line

What should we expect from Tyler Conklin this year?

NFL: New England Patriots at New York Jets Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

The other day I used the ProfootballFocus in-game simulator to run a one-game simulation for the New York Jets 2023 season. Upon examining the output, I decided a more fun way to use this tool might be to focus on the player stats, which are outputted for quarterbacks, wide receivers, tight ends, and running backs.

To do so, I decided to run many simulations and then to examine how the outputs vary across simulations. In an ideal world where I had dozens of hours of manpower to dole out, I would have run this hundreds of times to provide the best estimate possible... however, I am but one man with a laptop so I’m going to settle for 10 runs.

As a fifth foray into this task, I am going to focus on the output of New York Jets tight end Tyler Conklin. Regarding tight ends, the tool outputs receptions, receiving yards, and receiving touchdowns; additionally, using these figures I went ahead and calculated yards per catch (yards divided by receptions).

Estimates for Tyler Conklin’s 2023 output

 Receptions Touchdowns Yards Yards per reception
 Receptions Touchdowns Yards Yards per reception
Average 50.30 3.30 614.60 12.24
Standard deviation 5.62 1.95 73.38 0.88
Min 42.00 1.00 521.00 10.63
Max 60.00 7.00 756.00 13.75
Credit to profootballfocus for their game simulator tool

While no simulation is perfect and 10 simulations is hardly representative, PFF seems to expect some significant improvements in 2023 for Tyler Conklin. Specifically, Conklin’s stat line in 2022 was 58 catches, 552 yards, 9.5 yards per catch, and 3 touchdowns. By comparison, PFF’s simulator has Conklin accumulating 50 catches, 613 yards, 12.24 yards per catch, and 3 touchdowns within the average season. While his overall yards are only slightly more, they have him accumulating this on less catches, leading to a projected yards per catch that is 33% higher than it was in 2022, reflecting much greater efficiency; this is likely due due to the arrival of Aaron Rodgers, who has always been a very efficient quarterback.

Additionally, PFF sees significant upside for Conklin, as implied by his maximum values of 60 catches, 7 touchdowns, 756 yards, and 13.75 yards per catch. For reference, that amount of yards would have landed him only meaningfully behind the 2022 production tight end production of Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce (1138 yards), Minnesota Vikings tight end TJ Hockenson (914 yards), and Baltimore Ravens tight end Mark Andrews (847 yards). This implies PFF thinks Conklin has “tier 2” tight end potential wherein he isn’t among the games most elite, but is still a top 5 tight end in his own right. For Jets fans, this kind of emergence would be very much welcomed.