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The Case Against Cordarrelle

Patterson

The original Jaguar E-Type Roadster is widely regarded as the most beautiful car ever made. Stunning from any angle, it looks almost as good standing still as it does hurtling down a narrow British secondary highway, inches from the hedge. Thank goodness too, because as any car aficionado knows, old Jags spend as much time parked, waiting to be repaired, as they do on the road.

If it isn’t yet clear where I am going with this metaphor, Cordarrelle Patterson is like a broken down E-Type. You can’t stop looking at him, dreaming of how awesome he’d be if he just got fixed up. But when it comes down to it, Patterson is just a very expensive toy who isn’t all that likely to provide much fun considering your investment.

Like the Jag, Patterson is a dynamic talent whose beauty blinds reasonable judgment. His rookie season brought us a handful of explosive plays that cause fantasy folks to froth at the mouth like a rabies infested skunk. Standing 6’2”, he has the size to assert himself in ways his most frequent comparison, Percy Harvin, cannot.  At the same time, CP is rawer than fresh rug burn. His route running is comically bad and he cannot be productive unless his offensive coordinator finds ways to get him the ball in space.

Let’s put aside the bad for a moment and talk about achievable upside. In a perfect world, Patterson figures out his route running issues, continues to work some out of the backfield and ends up as a perennial top-10 receiver. Not good enough? Sorry, but because he is not a traditional player, and will almost certainly never be one, Patterson’s teams will always have to manufacture touches for him. That may not seem like a big deal, but it ultimately prevents his inclusion in the A.J. Green, Dez Bryant, Julio Jones, Demaryius Thomas, Josh Gordon, Calvin Johnson discussion.

What evidence do we have that this he could reach even the heights of top-10-dom? For starters, Norv Turner is coaching in Minnesota and we all saw what he did with Josh Gordon. Oh, and there was the Week 14 game in five feet of snow against the Ravens. And, uh, he had a really awesome run in Week 17. Dude, have you seen him play? He is SO AWESOME!

OK, OK, OK, that last paragraph was sort of a cheap shot, but I did it for a reason. When you talk to most people about the former Volunteer, this is all they have to lean on. They saw him run fast on TV, and now that Norv is in town…boom, instant superstar.

In an effort to legitimize the assertions of the CP supporters, I pulled up the excellent Similarity Scores tool over at Rotoviz. Instead of seeking out comps from the entirety of his rookie season, I used only the games in which his 2014 quarterback, Matt Cassel, played significant snaps. It makes for a smaller sample size, but since it includes Patterson’s best games, it fits in with the best case scenario aim of this discussion.

The stats listed are per game averages for the players whose rookie seasons most closely compare to Patterson’s.

chart1

Before you get too disheartened by the proliferation of unkind comps, keep in mind that this does not take into account rushing stats. Also take note that nearly all the players who did end up as fantasy relevant did so in a significant way. Besides, it isn’t as though we didn’t know a player like Patterson didn’t come with some element of risk.

Now that we’ve built the youngster up, it is time to have some fun and tear him down.

Handoffs are for Running Backs

Let’s get this out of the way – Patterson isn’t going to average 13.2 yards per carry ever again. It also isn’t terribly probable he continues his late season pace to a 40-carry season. And considering the difficult nature of touchdown prediction, you shouldn’t expect many more than the three rushing scores CP achieved in 2013. If you are counting on any of this in your projections for the youngster, you are liable to find yourself at the intersection of Disappointment Avenue and Crying in Your Beer Drive.

Norv is Not Infallible

Over the last 25 years, there hasn’t been a better offensive coordinator (for fantasy purposes) than Norv Turner. After spending dozens of hours studying Turner and his contemporaries for several different columns I’ve penned in the last year, I feel pretty qualified to make such a statement. But as good as he is, if there is one area where Turner doesn’t light the world on fire, it is at wide receiver.

The average fantasy finish for Turner’s number one receivers is 23rd. If you remove the players who finished as a top-10 receiver without Norv’s assistance (Michael Irvin, Henry Ellard, Randy Moss), that drops to 28th. Two others (Curtis Conway, Vincent Jackson) finished in the top-15 multiple seasons without Turner.

Those who have had success all had something in common – they excel at playing the long game. The incumbent number one in Minnesota, Greg Jennings, is no different. What does that leave for Patterson? Table scraps. As you will see below, Norv’s number two has finished as a WR3 only six times in 23 seasons.

The highlighted cells are the seasons with Irvin, Ellard, and Moss. For this table, their ranks were used to calculate the average.

charttwo

Something this simple table doesn’t show is that all of Turner’s success with receivers has been achieved with a fairly specific style of player. He has a vertical system that leans on a clear lead back (Adrian Peterson), the tight end (Kyle Rudolph), and a number one receiver with the ability to go vertical (Jennings, who has been among the best deep threats in the league over his career). For all Turner’s qualities, flexibility hasn’t traditionally been among them. His inability to adapt was in large part responsible for the Chargers’ offense faltering significantly his last two seasons there. With over 20 years of evidence to the contrary, I’m having a bit of trouble believing Norv will suddenly change for Patterson and not expect it to be the other way around.

The Psychological Factor

Stats are often misleading, but sometimes they can tell us something about ourselves. To that end, let’s do a quick blind comparison.

chartthree

Player two is Patterson. The other guy is fellow second year receiver Tavon Austin.

With such a similar rookie output (both scored four touchdowns of 50 or more yards), situation (struggling offenses with quarterback issues) and warts (neither was effective unless force-fed), why is Patterson leaving the board some 60 spots ahead of Austin? The most quantifiable factor is size as Tavon is five inches shorter and 40 pounds lighter. Didn’t we know that in August when Austin was being taken 30 slots ahead of Patterson?

I find it hard to believe a fact we were aware of last off-season is the sole reason for such a dramatic change in perceived value. To me, there are two other causes for the current chasm.

  1. Patterson finished strong while Austin didn’t finish at all (injuries took him off the field for the last three games).
  2. Patterson looks more impressive to the naked eye.

The resulting prejudice from the first point is a direct result of recency bias. While that term is thrown around a bit more than it should be, this is a clear case of its existence in the world of fake football.

As for the second point, I would never pretend it doesn’t matter how a player looks on the field. That said, it is all too easy to allow the intoxication of a few impressive plays to blur your view of the larger picture. Go back and use your ocular orbs to watch some Vikings footage. Unless they are manufacturing touches or getting him in space, which are two things that never work as well as you hope, Patterson is a near non-factor.

The passing of the eye test is enough for me to move him ahead of Austin in my wide receiver rankings (26th vs 36th), but it will take much more than that for CP to come anywhere near my top 10.

Oh, My, That ADP

Now that you’ve spent a bit of time reading the preceding 1,400 words, forget all of it. Why? Because Patterson’s current ADP is all that really matters.

Are you sitting down?

Our mock data has him as the 17th pick, which is eighth among wide receivers.

Every time I write that, the insanity of it nearly causes me to have a seizure. This article has actually taken me three weeks to finish because whenever I get to this part, I end up drinking half a bottle of bourbon to try and cope with the lunacy. Let’s be honest here, kids. Even if Patterson achieves the best case scenario we outlined above, it is incredibly unlikely he outperforms his ADP. Very few players ever do well enough to justify such a lofty pick, much less an uber-raw second year player who hasn’t done much other than look fast a few times.

There is a saying among Jaguar owners – the two happiest days of ownership are the day you buy and the day you sell. I say you’d be happier overall if you sat in a lawn chair and drooled over the E-Type in your neighbor’s driveway with your checkbook safely in your pocket.

Jeff Miller

Jeff Miller

Senior Writer at Dynasty League Football
A video game dealer by day, fantasy author by night, and super handsome guy all the time, Jeff is here to answer the questions nobody asked. Also: dated pop culture references and the misuse of uncommon words.

Jeff can be found on Twitter at @FFJeffM
Be sure to also check out Jeff's eBay video game store!
Jeff Miller

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125 Comments

125 Comments

  1. Toeknee

    April 13, 2014 at 4:59 am

    ….Which is why you should trade him to me cheap.

    • clarioncontrarion

      April 13, 2014 at 5:09 am

      I will pay more than that guy^
      keep believing he is just another guy
      route running can be taught his gale syaers oj simpson type running talent is a gift from god … I will take my chances

    • Jeff Miller

      April 13, 2014 at 8:27 am

      Just because I don’t think he will justify his current asking price doesn’t mean I’d give him away. I’ve moved him in two leagues, netting DeAndre Hopkins, Greg Jennings, and the 1.11 for him in one.

      • captain_insano

        April 13, 2014 at 9:25 am

        well played

  2. buckmasters

    April 13, 2014 at 5:25 am

    off topic….trade advice….i’ve been offered vereen and keenan allen for dez….should i bite. my other receivers are cobb, alshon, blackmon, hunter. other rbs joique bell, tate, spiller, michael, khiry

    yes or know?

    • Jeff Miller

      April 13, 2014 at 8:27 am

      Dez side for sure.

      • Jesse

        April 15, 2014 at 7:31 pm

        You should try to work something for Keenan Allen but try to get something else instead of Vereen. Multiple reports have stated Dez has chronic back problems and will possibly have to retire early. Add in the fact I like Rivers way more than Romo and Allen is younger I like the start of this trade but you should definitely try to get a little better than Vereen.

  3. llysak

    April 13, 2014 at 6:11 am

    No, keep Dez.

  4. Chuck

    April 13, 2014 at 6:59 am

    Ok. In a 3 player keeper league, would you keep Patterson for $2 over the likes of Gronk $10, Gio $23 or even Edelman $13?

    • BigD

      April 13, 2014 at 8:02 am

      keep gronk, gio is high, but i’d keep him, cut eddleweis, and keep corduroy for $2

    • Jeff Miller

      April 13, 2014 at 8:28 am

      I’d cut Edelman loos for sure. I may not be a big CP guy, but $2 is pretty great value for him.

  5. Leo Paciga

    April 13, 2014 at 7:17 am

    Nice job Jeff. That’s a finely crafted, well thought out article that certainly focuses on bringing all of us CP lovers back to reality. For me, however, it could have been a 3,000 word write up jammed pack w/even more statistical comparisons & projections and it still wouldn’t matter. When I watch CP, I see a WR w/amazing open field skills and incredible vision. His instincts w/the ball in his hands are eye popping. I have CP ranked 9th on my WR board and I won’t let your voice of reason derail my CP hype train.

    But seriously….as far as putting together an argument against CP – really nice job.

    • Jeff Miller

      April 13, 2014 at 8:28 am

      Everybody on the internet take note: This is how you disagree with somebody. Leo, you are a class act (even if you are a crazy person).

      • David

        April 13, 2014 at 10:20 am

        I am also too intrigued by Patterson’s upside to turn back now. But- I wouldn’t take him anywhere in the first 40-50 picks. I have done 4 ppr dynasty drafts (which also give points for return yards) this month and I have taken Patterson in the 8th 3 times, and at 9.1 in the last.. If you can get him anywhere near the 6th round or higher, and he is your w/r 3 (as he is in mine, actually wr/4 in on) than your stealing him.. he has the skills and is only going to get better..

        • Jeff Miller

          April 13, 2014 at 10:39 am

          Now this I can get on board with, especially in a return yards league. Kudos.

        • Joe

          April 13, 2014 at 9:27 pm

          David, that’s pretty impressive. I’ve been one of his biggest detractors because of the price, but I’d certainly be all in if I could get him for that. I’ve been seeing him go quite a bit(like 3-4 rounds) earlier then that.

    • Steve

      April 14, 2014 at 12:11 pm

      “…focuses on bringing all of us CP lovers back to reality.”

      “When I watch CP…”

      If the FBI shows up at your doorstep in the next few days, this is why.

      • CP-Joker

        April 15, 2014 at 6:30 am

        Haha i see what you did there… 😉

  6. Sal

    April 13, 2014 at 7:29 am

    I see the Patterson apologists are out in full-force this morning. What’s funny about what they’re saying – “When I watch CP, I see a WR w/amazing open field skills and incredible vision. His instincts w/the ball in his hands are eye popping” – that’s all you’ve got. We knew this about him before he ever came into the NFL. What did he show us his rookie year that’s taken him from around the 5th to 7th rookie pick last year to a top 10 dynasty WR this year? Nada. He is overrated and Norv doesn’t use the #2 WR in his offenses for much.

    CPat is not a vertical threat and can’t run a route correctly to save his life. He only got the rushes at the end of last year b/c AP was struggling with niggling injuries and they didn’t have any other playmakers.

    Somebody compared him to O.J. – what a joke. I definitely wouldn’t want O.J. playing WR… and that’s all CP is – a RB masquerading as a WR.

    • BigD

      April 13, 2014 at 8:09 am

      fine then play him as a slot wr. forget about his playing an outside wr or flanker? what doesn’t everyone understand about just getting the ball in this kids hands. when you steal hubcaps you get it in the kids hands that runs the fastest. its his job to get away and beat everyone else. he doesn’t have to think about how the theft will go down. (if we want to do any “jag” comparisons, this is a good one too.) i’d throw him screens out of the backfield or try to get him behind the lbs. and in front of the safetys on short quick patterns in open space and let him run. if he doesn’t fit a traditional offense, design a new one. throw tradition to the wind. its called offensive innovation……get some.

      • BigD

        April 13, 2014 at 8:12 am

        how would this kid do in chip Kelly’s offense,….think about it.

        • Jeff Miller

          April 13, 2014 at 8:37 am

          Except he isn’t playing for Chip, so I’m not sure how this matters?

          • BigD

            April 13, 2014 at 9:23 am

            what i’m trying to say is sometimes something comes along and changes everything. (run and shoot)….we’re talking fantasy football not winning nfl superbowls. norv maynot change his whole system, but he has said he wants to produce about 30 different plays to fit Patterson into his own playing ability. norv seems to be on the right track with changing things to fit his talent with players. not just system plugging

      • BigD

        April 13, 2014 at 8:25 am

        I am sorry for my rants, but i’m a Viking fan

      • Jeff Miller

        April 13, 2014 at 8:35 am

        Tell it to Norv!

        • BigD

          April 13, 2014 at 9:27 am

          I think norv already has it

    • Leo Paciga

      April 13, 2014 at 8:15 am

      Sal, you and I obviously will never be on the same page when it comes to CP and that’s fine. I trust in my ability to watch tape and notice player skills that I want to invest in as a dynasty owner. I’m more of a CP supporter than I am an “apologist” but either way, I think he’ll improve upon any vertical shortcomings and strengthen his route tree. The great thing about dynasty football is we’re able to build our squads around our own player assessments and values.

      • Jeff Miller

        April 13, 2014 at 8:34 am

        Very, very true. Just because I think CP is overpriced and will never reach the upside many project doesn’t mean I’d ever judge somebody who disagrees. We are all wrong far too often to act like our argument is always the right one.

    • Jeff Miller

      April 13, 2014 at 8:30 am

      I agree with pretty much all of what you said. Super speed, great vision, and insane athleticism are all great for a RB, but are overrated for a WR. I’d rather have polish, savvy, and physicality from my pass catcher.

      • bigefat

        April 14, 2014 at 5:21 am

        With this being said, how many WRs are absolutely a finished product their first year in the league? Used to be we knew we would have to wait 3 years for any kind of production. Now it’s demanded or something that is not going to happen if we don’t see it year 1! I really don’t agree taking him as my WR1 and would be foolish to count on ANY SECOND year WR to be my WR1 but, I’m THRILLED I have him as my WR4 and believe things can be taught (Route Trees) and adjustments can be made (schemes) to make this guy AMAZING! Only time will tell!
        You wrote a nice piece but, I will only believe he’ll fail when he fails not still learning his craft.

  7. Sienna

    April 13, 2014 at 7:52 am

    Not much of an investment, if you drafted him. Now, if you want to trade for him…………..

  8. qdmbucks

    April 13, 2014 at 8:12 am

    Does any of your thoughts change if he gets Manzel throwing to him since he is a much bigger deep threat then Jennings?

    • Jeff Miller

      April 13, 2014 at 8:39 am

      Except he isn’t a much bigger deep threat. CP isn’t a deep threat at all. Even a little. The dude averaged 10.4 yards per reception.

  9. BigD

    April 13, 2014 at 8:22 am

    everyone trys to put certain players in “the box”….sometimes players play outside a box. they have talents that don’t fit the standard. i’m not saying that Patterson is going to be that type of player, but you”ll never know if you don’t try to find out????? great offensive minds know what they have and how to use talent to its fullest. great players change the game. they make it played like it wasn’t played before. maybe if Patterson is used to his strength, he changes something in standard offensive sets and develops a new type of player that comes out of the college ranks an effects the future of the game…..its happened many times before! don shula once said.;”a great coach realizes what he has for talent and will be willing to change his game plan to fit its talent, not force a system that the talent doesn’t fit…..he was a running coach till he had marino? enough said

    • Jeff Miller

      April 13, 2014 at 8:44 am

      Name one outside the box WR to ever finish in the top 5 in fantasy. IIRC, Harvin did the top-10 once (2011), but other than that it just doesn’t happen. Like, ever. WR is not like RB where athleticism is at a premium.

    • Jeff Miller

      April 13, 2014 at 8:45 am

      And if you expect Norv to suddenly change his whole system for one player, your are going to be very, very disappointed. I am not saying he should or shouldn’t, just that he won’t.

      • BigD

        April 13, 2014 at 9:32 am

        never say never. norv has as much talent in Peterson as he’s ever had in any rb that he’s had before. emmitt, Tomlinson, etc…look at his wrs he’s worked with. Alvin harper was a very productive #2 wr for norv in dallas and I think with Jennings, Rudolph, and some young developing wrs., Patterson could be a force in his offense…in my opinion from what norv has produced in the past?

        • Jeff Miller

          April 13, 2014 at 9:43 am

          I think you should re-read what I said about Norv and his WR’s in the past. Pulling one or two examples out of a 23 year sample isn’t a good way to back up your argument.

          Please don’t misunderstand what I am saying, as you are more than free to disagree with me. Lots of people WAY smarter than me think I’m nuts. But I don’t think you are doing your argument a service by quoting Alvin Harper from 1992 (or whatever years he was in Dallas).

          • BigD

            April 13, 2014 at 10:07 am

            jeff I love your article and the work you did on the stats. you could be right about everything you say about Patterson, but what i’m trying to say is that what I’ve seen from norv is that this maybe the most talent he has had to work with since his days in dallas. we all know it starts with Peterson, who could be a more talented rb then emmitt or Tomlinson? so with the talent that Peterson has, its very possible that norv may get more out his other offensive weapons as he did in dallas. (jay novacek, Alvin harper, etc.) with a dedication to hard work and pushing his players, norv might develop this from Patterson. get more from Jennings and Rudolph. and ride Peterson to his max? thus producing a scoring machine again. Patterson is a tool in this offense. a tool is only as good as the “mechanic that has it in his hands”. norv is a pretty good mechanic? I think designing 30 plays to work for Patterson is a huge step to change your system around to fit a player. I have a lot of confidence in norv. so i’m willing to see the potential that could be there for Patterson. I respect your opinion and in no wise am trying to break it apart, but I’ve seen enough from norv to feel very confident in his abilities to get the job done.

  10. CultofDionysus

    April 13, 2014 at 8:43 am

    I’ll take a 1968 Stingray in riverside gold over an E-Type anyday.

    • Jeff Miller

      April 13, 2014 at 8:47 am

      Blashphemy! That isn’t even the prettiest Vette. Give me a late-model C-2 any day.

      • Mike Allan

        April 13, 2014 at 9:10 am

        12 team keeper league, keep CP in the 15th round or Julius Thomas 8th round? my other keepers(3) are Matt Forte 1st and Eddie Lacy 2nd,thanks

        • Jeff Miller

          April 13, 2014 at 9:25 am

          Oh, that is tough. I think I’d keep Julius, but what you may do is see if you can work a deal to move CP before the keeper deadline if your league allows. If not, perhaps you can put a deal in place to move him after the deadline. My guess is you could get a very nice established top vet in return.

      • Slick

        April 13, 2014 at 9:11 am

        Hey Jeff,

        Ironically this piece made me give jennings a 2nd look (i owned him from 2006-2012). are you saying he is the WR to own under norv, at the right price of course ???

        • Jeff Miller

          April 13, 2014 at 9:27 am

          Oh, Slick, we think alike! I believe it is tomorrow on the premium side that an article on Jennings (and a few others) will go up. I write about this exactly.

          • Slick

            April 13, 2014 at 9:32 am

            Love the DLF guys! for real. yall are worth the money x7 in gold. look forward to reading tomorrow and thanks for the quick response.

    • Jeff Beran

      April 13, 2014 at 10:18 am

      Sorry J3ff, I agree with this guy. The ’68 Stingray is in fact the sexiest car of all time. Rumor has it that it has caused 63% of men have actively suffered from mechanophilia.

      • Jeff Miller

        April 13, 2014 at 10:41 am

        I would personally take a Ferrari 275 GTB over all of them.

  11. Cordarrelle Patterson

    April 13, 2014 at 9:23 am

    Coach Turner promised to teach me a few deep routes and he plans to draw up some plays that feature my talents. That should be more than enough to justify me being the 8th best receiver in the entire league. I have “otherwordly” ability that will easily transcend the position. Can’t you see it? My owners do! I am the FUTURE of the receiver position! Not some cookie cutter mold. I will change the way coordinators approach the game next season. You will see! Just as soon as I finish eating these yummy mushrooms I found… Did you know Leprecauns had horns?

    • Jeff Miller

      April 13, 2014 at 9:31 am

      Can you just explain one thing to me? Why don’t you just play running back? I’d love you then.

      • BigD

        April 13, 2014 at 10:18 am

        clever sarcasim….neatly done. but I still think that talent transends everything else and will eventually help Patterson conquer his short comings….if he’s properly coached….enter norv turner.

        • Jeff Miller

          April 13, 2014 at 10:45 am

          I actually didn’t post that. No idea who did, but I love them for it. :)

  12. Devin Hester

    April 13, 2014 at 10:47 am

    Remember when I was the best open field player in the NFL? I also had great vision and speed and made people’s jaws drop. You may even remember my skills were so elite I became the best return man ever.

    I would have been great WR too if only the Bears got me the ball in space. Or if I learned how to run routes (or play the position in general).

  13. BeHowHow

    April 13, 2014 at 11:41 am

    How important/relevant do you think it is that CP only played 1 year of D-I football before going to the NFL (yes, and 2 years of JUCO football)? Wouldn’t that help explain his route running deficiencies? I’m not saying he’ll turn into the top-5 receiver some imagine him to be, but I think his limited experience should earn him some leeway in our assessment of him, at least for his first year or two in the NFL. Keep in mind that one of your comparisons, Tavon Austin, had 52 games of D-I football under his belt before coming to the NFL, as compared to 12 for CP. Or compare him to 2013’s top rookie WR, Keenan Allen, who played 33 games at Cal. On the other hand, CP is already 23 (Allen is 21), so maybe that affects his potential to an extent. I’d be interested in seeing how a rookie WR’s age correlates with his development in the NFL.

    On an unrelated note, I’ve got a 10-team PPR keeper league in which we can keep 3 players for $8 more than was spent to acquire them (either in the draft auction or via FAAB; $200 draft budget, $100 FAAB budget). Can start: QB, 2x RB, 3x WR, 1x TE, 1x Flex (RB/WR/TE). Which of the following three would you keep (keeper price in parenthesis): Alshon Jeffery ($8, okay, this one’s obvious), Zac Stacy ($13), Andre Ellington ($15), Shane Vereen ($14), Cordarrelle Patterson ($10), Michael Floyd ($11), Nick Foles ($11), Ladarius Green ($9), Marcus Lattimore ($8), Christine Michael ($8), or Andrew Luck ($13)?

    Thank you!

    • Jeff Miller

      April 13, 2014 at 1:30 pm

      Rotoviz has done a TON of work on WR age and experience. I’ve read a ton of it, and it mostly does not favor Cordarrelle.

      To your other point, I think the lack of experience is a very good reason for his lack of polish. It is also a good reason why we shouldn’t expect him to never reach his heights just because he is raw now. Finally, it is a great reason not to take him as the 8th overall WR…

      Jeffery is obvious for sure. I think the other two are Stacy and Floyd. They may not have the value of some others, but they offer the best production/value proposition for me. I’d not consider the QB’s because QB’s are pretty inconsequential in 1-QB leagues.

      • BeHowHow

        April 13, 2014 at 2:38 pm

        Thanks for the feedback, Jeff. I’ll check out Rotoviz, and I appreciate the response on the keeper question. It’s funny… everyone in my leagues last season scoffed at Floyd like some kind of dirty rag when I offered him in trades. Looks like I’ll get the last laugh when I get to reap the benefits of his continued development.

  14. phantasy5

    April 13, 2014 at 12:11 pm

    Nice job Jeff! First things first, I’m not an exotic foreign car guy at all, but the Italian ones are the best! Give me good ole American muscle any day over that other stuff. I pesonally like the 1963 Corvette split window the best with the ’68 – ’69 in close 2nd. Now as for CP, I don’t own him but you can’t deny the physical tools and abilitiy for sure. I wouldn’t pursue him in a trade, but if I had a start up draft I could see taking him as a WR3-4 at best and see what happens. I’m curious if they do change things to fit him in the offense, but as of now I don’t have to worry about it.

    • Jeff Miller

      April 13, 2014 at 1:18 pm

      I said it in another comment, but I am also a C-2 Vette guy. I also said I’d take a Ferrari 275 GTB over about anything. Stunning car.

  15. BigD

    April 13, 2014 at 12:18 pm

    1969-70 mercury cougar hard top or convertible? either one works for me. very rare find. hot car.

    • Jeff Miller

      April 13, 2014 at 1:20 pm

      My dad had a ’68 XR7 when he was a youngin.

  16. Matt

    April 13, 2014 at 12:56 pm

    How would you rank the following guys and do you see any as comparable to the
    Elite 6?

    Watkins
    Patterson
    Hopkins
    Allen
    Evans
    Hunter

    • Jeff Miller

      April 13, 2014 at 1:23 pm

      I am not near a rookie expert, but I’d rank them:

      Allen
      Hopkins
      Watkins
      Evans
      Patterson
      Hunter

      Hopkins and Watkins are a virtual tie for me. DeAndre’s year of experience showing he can be a legit NFL WR puts him over the top.

      • Matt

        April 13, 2014 at 1:36 pm

        Thanks Jeff!
        Do you see either Watkins or Hopkins as Elite potential? Top 10 Fantasy Talent?

        • Jeff Miller

          April 13, 2014 at 1:46 pm

          I think they both could definitely be top-10 guys, but I’m not sure either has truly elite potential.

  17. Chris in Chuck

    April 13, 2014 at 1:38 pm

    I used the #8 pick last year to make Patterson my WR5. As a WR5 I could not be more pleased to have him and wouldn’t trade him for anything less than a certifiable WR3.

    My main league counts return yardage. Patterson finished as a top 15 WR last year with the boost return yards gave him. Finally, he was an easy start because once he started to score well he was a plug-and-play guy.

    Patterson was one of the reasons I was third overall but won the playoffs.

    • Jeff Miller

      April 13, 2014 at 1:47 pm

      In a return yards league, his value skyrockets for sure.

  18. Scott Peak

    April 13, 2014 at 5:41 pm

    Definitely a nice counter-argument for CP. That said, I absolutely love Patterson this year. Norv Turner turned a project like Vincent Jackson into a very solid dynasty asset. You are correct, Turner won’t change his offensive design. But, his offensive design is relatively simple compared to other offensive systems. I’m not a scout or an OC by any means, but speaking purely as a fan, Norv establishes the run, play actions and loves the vertical attack. Patterson could be coached on running 9 routes. He ran a 4.33 40 at the combine, and has the size to beat taller DBs. I don’t see Jennings as the vertical threat. Norv will take one look at CP’s size/speed, and he will use it, just like he did VJax and Gordon. I think Patterson is a perfect Turner-type player at WR, and he will be exploited to make that offensive design work. Turner’s offensive system isn’t that difficult for NFL players to handle, and yet it is very hard for defenders to stop. Defenses know what’s coming, but a talented RB like AP, strong receiving TE like Rudolph will take the middle of the field and CP goes deep on play-action. I saw it many years watching Chargers games, and I think CP will benefit greatly in the coming years. But, we shall see. Nice article Jeff!

    • Jeff Miller

      April 13, 2014 at 6:39 pm

      Your perspective is the exact thing that gives me some reservation about my stance. But hopefully I’m right so I can remind you about it for the next decade. Eventually you will end up resenting me so much that you hire a local goon to rough me up. When I still don’t get the message, you’ll be at whit’s end, leading you to contract out my murder. Luckily, I saw it coming and was waiting for the would be assassin with a small caliber pistol and a very sharp knife. The next day, I show up on your doorstep with his ears on a chain around my neck. What happens next is up to you.

      • Jeff Miller

        April 13, 2014 at 6:43 pm

        Also: wit’s end. #spelling

      • Scott Peak

        April 13, 2014 at 6:50 pm

        Haha! That’s hilarious man. I have a plastic bat and softie balls that I can borrow from my 4 year old. That’s how I roll. :p

      • Scott Peak

        April 13, 2014 at 6:51 pm

        But I’ll probably be wrong. Won’t be the first time, that’s for sure. Or at least that’s what my wife says.

        • Jacob Feldman

          April 13, 2014 at 8:05 pm

          The better question for your wife is if you’re ever right? We might be able to end the argument without any bloodshed!

  19. [email protected]

    April 13, 2014 at 7:32 pm

    Jeff nailed it on this cp is does not know how to run routes even a little bit….to compare to VJax is silly this is a beyond raw guy with very limited brain power…talent to explode yes but to think he becomes a real top even 15 WR no sorry no fucking chance which i why i traded him at high point

    • Jeff Miller

      April 13, 2014 at 8:48 pm

      I really appreciate you taking the time to comment, but I think saying Patterson has limited brain power is a pretty misplaced comment. I don’t know how bright he is and, honestly, I don’t think it even matters. You need QB’s with a high IQ, but it isn’t a factor at all for me at WR.

      • smcguga

        April 14, 2014 at 9:50 am

        Sorry Jeff a little too much vino amd i guess i was a little too fired up. I think i read he had a wonderlick score of 6…if true that is EXTREMELY low. Intelligence may indeed be over valued but considering how much this kid needs to learn it is not going to help not. I drafted him at whay o considered a steal at 10 last year so I like his explosiveness i traded him recently however as his value is completely out of whack with reality.

        • phantasy5

          April 14, 2014 at 5:47 pm

          I had to laugh, as you sound like Frank Patangeli from the God Father II ” I want everbody to know, there’s going to be no trouble from me. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m a little drunk……Cicci aborte”

    • Chris in Chuck

      April 13, 2014 at 8:55 pm

      Chad Johnson was a rocket surgeon during the off-season.
      Randy Moss was a brain scientist who paid “straight cash, homey” and ran over traffic cops.

      Meanwhile, Jimmy Graham and Gronk are world-beating TEs.

      Brain power is overrated.
      I know because Ben Rothlisberger told me so.

    • Scott Peak

      April 14, 2014 at 9:13 am

      Time will tell. I will say, not many were talking up Josh Gordon before last season. Vincent Jackson was raw coming out of a small school and didn’t break out until his fourth year in the NFL. I think CP will have a good year in 2014, but his best years will probably wait until 2015+. We will see how it turns out. Should be fun to watch.

  20. Michael Reardon

    April 13, 2014 at 8:46 pm

    Reasonable people can differ about what CP is ultimately going to amount to both as a fantasy player and a real one.

    That said, I’m not sure anyone could convince me that his current mock ADP is anything but utterly insane.

    • Jeff Miller

      April 13, 2014 at 8:49 pm

      That is really the main crux of my argument.

      • Michael Reardon

        April 13, 2014 at 9:05 pm

        You are good at choosing main cruxes.

        • Jeff Miller

          April 14, 2014 at 8:48 am

          You could say that I have a Phd. in main cruxes*.

          *This is not true. I do not have a Phd. nor does one exist in this particular field.

          • phantasy5

            April 14, 2014 at 5:51 pm

            Jeff, I have to say your humor has been a very nice addition….you crack me up!

    • Scott Peak

      April 14, 2014 at 1:05 pm

      I agree. As much as I am intrigued by Patterson, second-round start-up value is too high for a player with such a limited track record. Last year, I grabbed Josh Gordon round 7 of a start-up IDP league, and risk is much more tolerable at that point. But, if CP busts, losing second round value is a big hit for a team. As much as I like CP, I wouldn’t take him that high.

      • Jacob Feldman

        April 14, 2014 at 2:31 pm

        Completely agree. I like Patterson in the 5th and 6th rounds of a startup. I might be willing to push him into the 4th round, but that’s about as high as I would go on him. Anything above that and the chance of getting any kind of positive return on the investment is pretty slim.

      • Jeff Miller

        April 14, 2014 at 7:58 pm

        For being the 100th comment you earn my eternal gratitude and respect.

  21. scienergy

    April 13, 2014 at 8:47 pm

    What if Patterson improves his route running this offseason? What if he works his a** off to get better? People talk about the rawness like it can’t be taught. Remember when Josh Gordon was considered raw coming out of Baylor? I’m just saying… don’t sell him short based on rawness. I’m holding him as a WR3.

    • Jeff Miller

      April 13, 2014 at 8:56 pm

      Josh Gordon was never near the project Patterson is from a pure WR skills standpoint. Like, not on the same planet. He also had a massively better rookie year as a WR than Patterson. And, get this, he is a month younger than CP despite being in the league for one more season.

      Rawness can definitely be fixed, but more than a few players were never able to get past it. When you consider CP’s significant lack of big-school experience, he is already fighting from way behind most WR’s who are entering their sophomore seasons.

      Hanging onto him as a WR3 is fine, but he is being drafted as a mid-range WR1.

  22. BAMNation

    April 14, 2014 at 12:11 am

    Love the article.

    In comparison, lovers of a classic car even one that needs fixing are in one of two categories:

    1. have it love it no time to fix it
    2. Love it spend all my spare time making it better to run like a dream.

    So the real question here is up to the coaching staff.

    Do they like the way CP looks in the yard or will they fine tune him and make him the envy of the road.

    Jennings is done in a year or two so you would think (hope) the coaches go with 2nd option and view CP as the future.

    CP also has to want to be better and are the coaches (as well as Jennings) able to help out.

    I look at A Jeffery w Marshall in CHItown and believe CP can be on par with AJ.

    Let’s see what happens as the roadster needs some fuel too and even if finely tuned the wrong QB could still kill the performance.

  23. Dan Gerous

    April 14, 2014 at 1:12 am

    Jeff, very interesting article and I’m looking forward to the follow up on Jennings …however, I must say that might favorite part of this article was ur razor sharp sarcasm(keep bringing it). I appreciate the information u’ve helped gather…I think u guys at dlf rock especially the ghost and hope u keep churning out more great content!

    • Dan Gerous

      April 14, 2014 at 1:25 am

      78 responses!!! Jeff u ruffled some feathers….I like that! I love reading everyone’s comments..I feel like the better the debate on the forum is the better off the readers will be….so long as we’re having these discussions…information is gained and that’s what will help us beat our competition not necessarily hitting on just one player

      • Jeff Miller

        April 14, 2014 at 8:52 am

        The debate has been surprisingly cordial, which is a common feature on DLF. We not only have awesome writers and staff, but our readership is pretty damn amazing. I’m a very lucky guy to be a part of it all.

  24. alden

    April 14, 2014 at 8:07 am

    I don’t think Jeff ruffled any feathers, its just that a lot of people responded because Jeff was wrong on his thinking.

    • Jeff Miller

      April 14, 2014 at 8:54 am

      That is a pretty definitive statement!

      It is totally fair to disagree with my conclusion, but I take umbrage with the fact that you disagree with my thinking. My thought process is quite valid and I stand by it 100%.

      One thing folks need to realize is that fantasy football analysis is much less about the result (as in, who is right/wrong) and much more about how you get there.

      • alden

        April 14, 2014 at 9:48 am

        All I know is 2 return TDs, 3 rushing TDs, and 4 rec TDs all while being a rookie and not starting and being a backup that they are bringing along slowly. Im just saying that you have to factor his rushing in with his receptions when you evaluate him. He is just scratching the surface as to his potential.

        • alden

          April 14, 2014 at 9:51 am

          The reason you got so many responses is most are disagreeing with your view. That’s what I was referring to.

  25. The Coach

    April 14, 2014 at 9:59 am

    They could get him the ball on bubble screens a couple times a game and it’s likely he’d end up with 3 catches for 87 yards and a touchdown.

    I think if you’re not buying this guy you are missing the boat. Route running can be learned. He’s not completely off base like Devin Hester.

    • Jeff Miller

      April 14, 2014 at 10:32 am

      If you are counting on a 60 yard TD on a bubble screen every game, I hate to break it to you but you’ll end up pretty disappointed.

      • The Coach

        April 15, 2014 at 7:01 am

        Demaryius Thomas seems to do ok on them.

        • Jeff Miller

          April 15, 2014 at 9:42 am

          DT is 100 times the receiver CP is. He can do much more than just the bubble screen.

          • The Coach

            April 16, 2014 at 9:31 am

            No kidding? I know Thomas is better, but the fact is he rips a bubble screen seemingly every game and I think Patterson could do the same.

            Obviously I’d choose Thomas over Patterson.

            But if we’re talking in that 15-25 range of WR’s, I’d take Patterson over all of them. Including Vincent Jackson, Victor Cruz, DeSeasn Jackson, Pierre Garcon, Keenan Allen, Wes Welker, Roddy White and Torrey Smith

          • Jeff Miller

            April 16, 2014 at 10:58 am

            The point of my entire article is that Patterson is in that group (at the bottom for me), but is being drafted in the top 8. So we are not talking about that group at all, really.

            And you were the one who compared him to DT, not me.

    • Do it for johnny

      April 14, 2014 at 11:00 am

      It is not just about route running IMO he fights the ball catching it amd is not a natural pass catcher….once ball in his hands he is electric but without it he looks lost…saw
      him try and run 5 fades last year….he didn’t run even one close to correctly and none were even close to being receptions…he has an enormous amount of developing to do to become a real receiving threat….teams will game plan against bubble screen a d handoffs and he more than likely will be pulled from kickoff returns of he is starting wr as they won’t want to risk him….he has enormous potential but he is a complete neophyte right now….the pass catching s really concerning to me more than route running….to think he becomes AJ green is laughable….lime comparing apples and ham burgers

    • Jim

      April 14, 2014 at 12:15 pm

      Everyone making a case against CP isn’t denying his talent or potential ceiling, we’re pointing out just how out of whack his value is right now. Really the main point of this article is not to say that CP can’t achieve elite status but more so that he is already being valued there.

      An ADP of WR8 is absurd, literally just blows my mind. People are basically saying they would rather get a “potential” WR1 than someone that has already been there. Would you fanatics really trade someone like Keenan, Cobb, Marshall or Brown for CP straight up? That’s what the data shows and that’s insane.

      Teams are built and championships are won by finding value in market discrepancies. If you’ve already built the upside into your price then why are you even paying that? Going by ADP values you could basically trade CP for a combo like Jordy/Cruz. Give me the 2 guys that have already shown WR1 stats over the raw WR/RB hybrid.

      • Jeff Miller

        April 14, 2014 at 12:32 pm

        That very succinctly sums everything up quite nicely. If you read the column and took away only that I hate CP, you have grossly missed the point.

  26. bigworm3313

    April 14, 2014 at 2:01 pm

    All i got to offer Jeff is who cares about CP. I want to hear more about muscle cars and murder plots…cmon man step up your game bro!

    • Jeff Miller

      April 14, 2014 at 2:27 pm

      I am working with Paramount Pictures on a script titled, “Muscle Cars and Murder Plots” as we speak.

  27. VoiceofUnreason

    April 14, 2014 at 3:06 pm

    One or two comments on this one…I agree completely with the article. I had him in 2 leagues and sold in both. I just don’t see the wr skills to be a top 10 wr and I’d rather cash out and take somebody I believe in more. I think people are seriously underestimating how raw he is and how far he has to go. If it was as easy as throwing bubble screens all day, Ginn would be a top 10 wr too.

    Reminds me exactly of David Wilson last year. Amazing athlete but is he an amazing football player? Just too much risk when you are paying those type of prices.

  28. wood chipper

    April 15, 2014 at 4:24 am

    • Eric Dickens

      April 15, 2014 at 6:28 am

      Wood Chipper,

      I’m not sure your comment makes any sense. If you mean the title is the same/similar, then you are correct. I think if you do a quick google search you’ll find many fantasy articles that have a similar title, ie. “The Case Against/For…”

      The article comparison is invalid however. Both of those appear to have been written prior to seeing CP play in the NFL. Both focused solely on his college career and didn’t talk about the relationship with his QB or his role in a specific offense. Also, both articles are considerably shorter and don’t touch on many of the issues that Jeff raised.

      As far as being a “knock off” goes, I’d completely disagree. This article was from a completely different perspective, was much more in-depth and comprehensive, and had an original/creative/humorous approach that isn’t found in either of the other articles.

      • RS

        April 15, 2014 at 7:06 am

        If anything, DFW is the knockoff, if you pay any attention to actual dynasty content DLF is far and away the better product. Keep reading DFW though dummy.

    • Ken Moody

      April 15, 2014 at 7:55 am

      So Wesley, was your April 6th DFW article a knockoff of the March 13th SBNation article? I’m guessing not since as a respectable writer you wouldn’t purposefully plagiarize an article any more than we would.

      As quite often happens, a writer has an idea, gets it out, only to discover that it’s already been covered in one form or another. It’s not practical to scour every site to see if someone else has already written something similar, especially from almost full year ago.

      In an industry where we all talk and share ideas online, an occasional overlap is bound to happen. A sustained trend of mimicking content would be another thing entirely.

    • Jeff Miller

      April 15, 2014 at 9:48 am

      I’m sorry for basically using the same title. I was unaware of its prior usage and this experience will make me be more careful of what I title articles in the future.

      As for the content of the article, they are two entirely different things. I’d be hard pressed to call it similar, much less a knock off.

      Thank you for taking the time to read and thank you making me realize I should be more cognizant of my titles.

      • DLF_KenK

        April 15, 2014 at 11:47 am

        I’m also a little confused by the accusation here, but the reasons behind its originality have been stated making it very clear this is no knock off (or knock off of a knock off). It’s a little confusing to see the angle there with those examples being somewhat counter to the actual point trying to be made.

        Our apologies to anyone for a similar type of title, but again, that’s pretty generic.

        When you post 1,000 articles a year, some of the same ideas are bound to be covered. In fact, we had a similar idea posted on Jeremy Maclin as a different site recently. It was waiting in the queue for a week or so and proved to be a hot topic in the industry at the time. It happens when you produce as much content as we do.

        We consider both those sites as friends in the industry, so we certainly would never do that and hope the site owners would realize that. We also believe we have the single best group of writers and contributors in the industry and frankly, they have no need to comb through sites to find titles, no less ideas.

        As always, we do our best to run DLF with the utmost integrity. After nearly nine years of this, we feel that shines through.

  29. esotericx20

    April 15, 2014 at 8:57 am

    For all of Patterson’s so called ‘warts’ I don’t believe there is anything that cannot be worked on and developed. His biggest deficiency is his route running, particularly the timing routes such as fades… to an extent he masks this deficiency with his explosive quickness and ability to gain separation, though he will surely need to improve his route running to fully realize his potential. There were some comments about his catching ability not being up to par, I disagree with that, I think he displayed more than adequate skill and catches the ball with his hands very well.

    The skills that Patterson has with explosive athleticism, elusiveness, open field running, and vision are off the charts, and those are typically skills that either a player has or he doesn’t, they are not really things you can learn… So we know he is raw, but the areas where he is raw are areas that can be learned, developed and perfected through coaching and repetition.

    So for me, his raw talent and skill put his floor at a fairly high level to begin with, and I think his ceiling is as high as any receiver in the NFL right now… I enjoy observing and analyzing individual players talents, and based on that I really do believe Patterson is going to be a superstar in the NFL, despite the arguments of where he should or shouldn’t be valued in fantasy drafts. I didn’t find any compelling evidence in this article that shows otherwise, as a matter of fact, the article felt like it was written by somebody who already doesn’t like Patterson and they set out to try to find arguments and statistics to justify their conclusion. If that is not the case, please accept my aplogies Jeff, but that is the vibe that came across to me anyhow…

    • Jeff Miller

      April 15, 2014 at 9:58 am

      I’m not entirely sure how to approach your comment. On one hand, I feel as though you are accusing me of misleading my readers in order to suit some mysterious agenda I have against Patterson. On the other, I think you completely missed my point which led you to a pretty false assertion.

      I guess I will reply by saying it is OK for me to have a different opinion on a player than you. It doesn’t mean I twisted facts to make my case. It doesn’t mean I am deceiving anybody by carefully selecting data to back only my argument. It means that for all the reasons listed (and several that didn’t make the cut), I am not a fan of Patterson at his ADP. It really is as simple as that.

      I can’t and won’t judge or fault anybody else for their player evaluation. It is an incredibly inexact science that nobody on Earth is great at. This is one of the reasons where at the end of the article I said, “throw everything I just said our the window” and pay attention only to his ADP. Basically, my opinion doesn’t matter. What matters is that a 2nd year player who everybody admits is very raw is being drafted among the elite. And no matter who you are, if you can be just a tiny bit objective, that doesn’t make sense.

      • BigB

        April 15, 2014 at 2:58 pm

        Completely agree with Jeff here. Esotericx20 seems like a CP owner who knows the other owners in his league are on the site. You can’t read the article, and just say I own him Jeff is wrong. I have owned and held several players in the year 1-2 window. This is a huge window as an owner as it is buy/sell time. I lost Ray Rice/Gronk in this window while also selling Felix Jones/Mark Ingram/Trent R/and R Matthews in the same window. it is an evaluation of other peoples perception of value, and if you ignore that window in dynasty football than you, esotericx20 are the one who can’t see the forest for the trees.

      • esotericx20

        April 16, 2014 at 10:23 pm

        Sorry Jeff, I wasn’t accusing you of misleading anyone, all I meant to say was that the vibe I got from the article was that it was seeking evidence to support a position already firmly held. Not that that is a bad thing necessarily…

        And yes, we all do value players differently, that is what is fun about Dynasty fantasy football I think. I don’t really care about ADP all that much, its a useful tool at times, but if there are players I believe in, I will go after them if I have to. I am not in any startups this year but I have him in several leagues drafted as a rookie last year. That being said, if I were in startups this year I would strongly consider him in the 2nd round and would absolutely pull the trigger in the 3rd, for sure.

    • Do it for johnny

      April 15, 2014 at 11:13 am

      You need to watch a lot more tape if you didn’t see any issues’s catching the ball the were pretty obvious to me at least that he is not a natural pass catcher…watch Sammy who is and then watch CP…..huge difference, sammy and all truly great WR catch ball with there hands(snatching it out of air actually). I dont see that at all with CP ball gets his to his body way to much he can catch ok on quick little screens but anythi g beyond that is an adventure.

      The tape does not lie….no hidden agendas just facts here as far as i can tell….the paranonia is strong with you

      • esotericx20

        April 16, 2014 at 10:33 pm

        You watch your tape and I will watch mine, thank you very much! I am confident in my own abilities to evaluate players, I don’t need your advice on how I should evaluate for myself, thanks…

        All I said was that he was more than adequate at receiving and has pretty good hands and I stand by that. I don’t recall saying much more than that. I certainly believe his hands are good enough to be an elite receiver in the NFL, is there always room to improve, of course, but there is nothing in that part of his skillset that makes me question whether he can be a great receiver in the NFL. If you came to a different conclusion, big deal, happens all the time.

        • Do it for johnny

          April 17, 2014 at 6:31 pm

          Eso get some help you need too… Your skin very thin

  30. Big Perm

    April 17, 2014 at 6:23 am

    Not sure what all the nonsense is about but any article involving ADP, muscle cars and murder plots is all right by me. Maybe I misread the article but I thought the WHOLE premise was about CP’s adp as being drafted around 8th ranked wr, not about ability or athleticism. Maybe im wrong but anyway loved the article jeff.

    • Jeff Miller

      April 17, 2014 at 10:57 am

      You couldn’t be more right. Thanks for reading!

  31. LT

    June 11, 2014 at 5:52 am

    This is the first article I found against CP – I’ve been scouring the web all day trying to find a reason to trade him because the offer I got was crazy… Terrence Williams, Gerhart, and 1.11 for CP.

    What you think? Am i blinded by the hype for not taking this??

    • Jeff Miller

      July 28, 2014 at 3:26 pm

      Oh, whoops…I missed this one. :)

      Did you do it?

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