The Good, the Bad and the Ugly Truth: Week 14

Jacob Feldman


One of the things we as human beings tend to do an awful lot of in our lives is react to the things we see around us. Often times this is a good thing. For example, if a car just so happens to be driving down the same sidewalk you are walking on, you better get out of the way! That’s definitely a good reaction.

There is another side of the coin, though – that is the gross overreaction which is becoming more and more common into today’s world, thanks in part to social media. This isn’t just in life but also in the world of fantasy football. It isn’t uncommon for the smallest of things are blown way out of proportion. Other times what should be a minor blip on the radar gets way more attention than it deserves. There are also times when we ignore all of the warning signs and try to stay the course, not realizing we are heading for a cliff. Don’t worry though, because I’m here to help with these very things.

Each week I will examine a player or sometimes multiple players to see if their value is on par with what people are talking about. Often times this will be a player who “breaks out” the previous week and might be getting a lot of attention in trade talks or on the waiver wire. Other times it might be a player who received a lot of hype during the off-season who isn’t living up to expectations. Regardless of what it is, I’ll be doing my best to steer you in the right direction and get you a step ahead of your leaguemates.

Keep in mind that no one is perfect. After all, I told you to ignore Justin Forsett after opening weekend last year. Hey, we all make mistakes, but I like to think I’ve had a pretty good track record over the years of doing this. Two years ago, I was one of the first to lay out why you needed to trade Trent Richardson for whatever you could get, much like the Browns had done a week or two before. At the time I was blasted by readers, but if you listened you sold before his value crashed. I was also dead on with Larry Donnell fading down the stretch, Allen Hurns being good enough to stay ahead of Marqise Lee on the depth chart, Antone Smith being little more than a rarely used homerun hitter, and countless other takes from the last few years. Moral of the story, I miss from time-to-time like everyone else, but I feel I get it right much more often. When I’m wrong, I’ll own that mistake.

This week I want to get into the “way back machine” and take a look at one player many expected to be a star this season. When you have a second year receiver who combines high draft pedigree with an elite NFL quarterback, it is only nature to expect great things. When one of the top targets on that team suddenly goes down with a season ending injury, pushing the young receiver into what should be an every down role, you all know what happens to the stock of the young receiver. Unfortunately for him and his owners, this season hasn’t really gone as planned. Let’s take a look at this young player to see if he is a future star or just another highly hyped but eventually disappointing receiver.

Davante Adams, WR GB

Season stats: 38 receptions for355 yards and one touchdown.

In the fantasy community, there are always a few players who turn into off-season darlings. These are the players who seem to have every reason to step onto the field and have the best year of their (typically young) career. Sometimes these players work out exactly as everyone expected. Other times these players fall flat on their facemasks and leave us scratching our collective heads trying to figure out what just happened. Adams appears to be the latter of the two.

[am4show have=’g1;’ guest_error=’sub_message’ user_error=’sub_message’ ]

This summer, the expectation of many was that Adams would improve upon his 38 receptions for 446 yards and three touchdowns he had as a rookie. In fact, many were predicting he would at least double this numbers as he turned into the third receiver in the offense, which for the Packers is nearly an every down role. This would have put him on the WR2 radar. When Jordy Nelson went down during training camp, sliding Adams up the depth chart to the second receiver position, things got a little crazy. Not crazy like a weekend at Jeff Miller’s house sounds, but pretty close! There were even some who were wondering if Adams could push for back end WR1 value. Yet here we sit, with the vast majority of the season in the books, and Adams is still trying to surpass his numbers from his rookie season. What happened and is there still a reason for high expectations?

The Good: There were a lot of people who really liked Adams coming out of college. As the primary target for Derek Carr during their time at Fresno State, Adams routinely showed the ability to make contested catches and use his body to put himself in position, and flashed enough athletic ability to be successful in the NFL. While I wasn’t ever a huge fan of his, there was definitely a reason he was drafted when he was. When you put the natural ability together with nice hands, a solid frame, and an elite quarterback there was every reason to expect production.

While his rookie season wasn’t anywhere near the production of some of the other rookies in his draft class (Odell Beckham Jr comes to mind), he was still quite productive and promising for a rookie. He wasn’t consistent at all, but he did flash from time to time and show he belonged in the NFL. With another off-season to build chemistry with his quarterback and to learn the system he should come back and be the third target the Packers needed.

The Bad: While Adams did miss three games this year due to injury, he still hasn’t surpassed his rookie totals in any of the major categories. Even more concerning is a lot of his efficiency numbers have seen a decline from his rookie year to his sophomore campaign. For example, he averaged 11.7 yards per receptions last year but is only at a rather anemic 9.3 yards per reception this season. His catch rate has also declined from almost 58 percent to about 51 percent. His scoring rate has also declined. This isn’t a trend we like seeing in our young receivers.

The bigger concern might be his place on the depth chart. With Nelson out, Adams was all but handed the starting role opposite Randall Cobb. That isn’t how things have played out this season. Adams was underwhelming in training camp, which opened the door for several of the other young receivers on the team. When none of them stepped up, the Packers turned to veteran James Jones. While Jones past his prime, he has still outplayed Adams and the rest of the young players. To make matters worse, several of the other receivers, like Jeff Janis, Jared Abbrederis and Ty Montgomery have been stealing snaps and eating into what should have been Davante’s role. After last week’s ineptitude, Adams seems to be no higher than fourth on the receiver depth chart at the current point in time. He could even be lower than that. Assuming Nelson comes back next year, that could be very bad news.

The Ugly Truth: Adams has talent, but his inconsistency this season is putting his job in jeopardy. The Packers are one of those teams who always seem to have a loaded depth chart. Not only that, but the salary you are being paid or the round you were drafted in doesn’t matter to them. The best player will play no matter what. Adams might have been given the benefit of the doubt last year, but he’s starting to run out of chances. With other players actually producing while he is struggling, he could definitely see a decreased role.

There is a chance Adams’ struggles are the result of his ankle injury lingering, but his best games this year were the second and third games back from injury. In fact, they were the only games this season where he topped 60 yards. He’s had under 40 yards in all but three of his games this season. I think blaming all of that on the ankle is being a little too generous.

Final Verdict: While Adams does have talent, I think we need to admit he never was a top tier athletic specimen. He’ll never be the best receiver on an NFL team, and on a team with deep talent like the Packers he is going to struggle to be a consistent option. I think the hype got a little out of control this summer. If you can still get WR2 prices for Adams, I would look at moving him. I think he might be hard pressed to ever live up to the hype.


jacob feldman