One of the most common comments/compliments commented commonly to me is our reader’s love of the player comments in our rankings. I appreciate people taking notice because I think they are very often more helpful than the ranking itself. They do have a rather pesky length limitation, though. It was with that in mind that Mr. Dan Sainio and I set out to craft expanded comments for the top-10 quarterbacks and tight ends and top-20 running backs and wide receivers from our February startup ADP.
We each pitched in about 100 words per player to give you two different viewpoints. No notes were compared, so while some comments may be similar, there are plenty of differences as well. This series will be stretched out over six parts, with each pushing into the 2,000 word territory. While longer than most articles released here, we think the short, consumable, blurbish nature of the format will make it pretty easy to digest while still being very informational.
WR11 – Dez Bryant (ADP 14)
Jeff: From 2012-2014, Dez was an elite receiver. The two years before and two years since have told a different story, as the 28-year-old has had issues both staying on the field and being productive. There were times he looked like his old self this past season, but there injury and usage woes conspired against him. In the meantime, the Cowboy’s offense seems to have maybe moved past Dez a bit. As Dak Prescott continues to develop, maybe that changes, but I’m having a very hard time seeing him return to his days of fantasy domination. As such, Bryant is my WR13. Even at that price, I’m not a comfortable buyer.
Dan: Ah yes, Dez, my love. Bryant remains an elite receiver, but has struggled to stay on the field as of late. He has missed ten games in the last two seasons after playing every game from 2012 thru 2014. That is certainly worrisome, but while on the field Dez is a force to be reckon with. With big time TD production to back up his past, and a 26% target share in 2016 (in his 13 games played), Bryant has a bright future with his new QB. 2016 was a down year as he was getting more comfortable with Prescott, who only had the 23rd most passing attempts in the league, but we should all be excited for this tandem going forward. Let us hope for healthy Dez!
WR12 – Michael Thomas (ADP 15)
[am4show have=’g1;’ guest_error=’sub_message’ user_error=’sub_message’ ]
Jeff: I liked Thomas coming out last year, but I didn’t see this coming. Now my WR9, a ranking I assigned before New Orleans traded Brandin Cooks, I am among the highest on Thomas in all of the land. Finishing his rookie year as the WR7 despite only seeing 121 targets, the lowest total among the top-eight receivers, gives us some idea of what is to come. This time next year, I expect his current ADP to look like an incredible bargain.
Dan: So, is it good Michael Thomas or bad Michael Thomas? I’d say he was pretty darn good as a rookie, posting 92 catches for 1137 yards and nine touchdowns over 15 games. While we can easily point to Drew Brees as the cause, Thomas looked the part all season as big bodied possession type receiver that we look for in a prototypical WR1. I personally have him lower, as I think quite a bit of his value is tied to an aging Brees. Thomas is still a very promising dynasty asset and has a solid floor built in.
WR13 – Brandin Cooks (ADP 16)
Jeff: One of the more interesting things to look at in our March ADP will be what happens with Cooks. I don’t see much reason to move him off this very reasonable valuation, as the Patriots spread it around in a manner similar to the Saints. Cooks, like TY Hilton, is one of the best non-elite receivers in the NFL. Pencil him in for low-end WR1/high-end WR2 stats for the next half a decade and enjoy the consistent production.
Dan: The rumor mill churned as it seemed Cooks was destined to be moved after stating his frustration with his role in NO. So what happens? The Saints trade him to the Patriots for belly button lint and spoiled milk. With his move to New England, I believe Cooks will become a much more consistent producer but I’m not sure we see much of an uptick in targets/usage. That being said, he’s surrounded by a lot of fragile weapons, so it may become his show early on. Cooks’ value holds solidly as a high end WR2, so not much will change here.
WR14 – Keenan Allen (ADP 17)
Jeff: Dan and I are going to be on the same page here, so I’ll keep this simple. I look at Allen as Jarvis Landry on steroids. Ignore all the crap about him being injury prone. Save that for guys with soft tissue issues and concussion histories. One season of avoiding lacerated internal organs and people will be lining up to own him. One thing to note is that WR14, which is pretty reasonable, probably doesn’t reflect most folk’s opinions on Allen’s value. Most leagues will have one or two guys like Dan or I propping up his ADP.
Dan: Yet another one of my guys, Allen comes in at WR14, which seems about right. Probably. I’ve always been high on Allen, as he has a solid quarterback in place and the Chargers offense is filling in around him. What I haven’t been a big fan of is the random injuries that he can’t seem to avoid. I won’t say he’s injury prone, because that’s inaccurate. Let us say he’s unlucky, and leave it at that. While Allen has only played 38 games in four years, he has remained productive while on the field. His career averages set at a 16 game pace look like this: 144 targets, 96 catches, 1120 yards, and seven touchdowns. That’s very promising, and I believe it to be very realistic. How about we stay healthy from now on, okay Keenan?
WR15 – Alshon Jeffery (ADP 20)
Jeff: As with Cooks, Jeffery’s ADP will be fun to track in March. I would think it goes up a smidge, possibly pushing him past Allen. WR15 isn’t out of line, but Philly is a great landing spot and his one year deal should keep him motivated to be in shape and giving maximum effort. When he is doing those things, Jeffery, who averaged over 17 PPG from 2013-2015, is a guy who belongs in the conversation with the players some six or eight spots higher than this.
Dan: As a new member of the Philadelphia Eagles, Jeffery brings a dynamic that the Eagles haven’t had in some time. Another big WR who seems to always be hurt, Jeffery is set to be the Eagles WR1. Hopefully this fresh start is what he needs. Or maybe he needs new hamstrings? Even while missing 11 games over the last two seasons, Alshon continues to produce when on the field despite some relatively sketchy QB play. Pacing out his last two seasons at a 16 game rate, Jeffery would’ve been in the realm of 80/1240/5. Obviously these are just averages based on historic data, but you get the point. I’m very comfortable with Alshon at WR15.
WR16 – Jarvis Landry (ADP 22)
Jeff: You would be hard pressed to find another receiver who you could get more out of for less of an investment than Landry. As with Allen, his ADP is likely higher than his real world value due to the few keen owners in every mock draft picking him several spots before most out. This past season saw Landry finish as the WR13 despite a 22% drop in target volume over his WR10 2015. The high finish was due in large part to upping his YPR from 10.4 to 12.1, his second straight annual increase of at least 1.4 yards. I wouldn’t suggest a similar jump is in store, but as he continues to hone his craft, Landry should solidify his standing as a perennial top-18 play.
Dan: Mr. Unathletic himself has had quite the start to his career. With at least 84 catches in each of his first three years, Landry has become a PPR monster. While his ceiling is relatively low because of the way he is used in Miami, his PPR floor is insanely high. This feels like the right spot to have him as his high floor takes the edge off of losing some potential upside. Landry turns just 25 in November and is the focal point of his offense, much to the chagrin of Devante Parker truthers (suck it!). Draft Landry as your WR2, win your leagues, and log out.
WR17 – Stefon Diggs (ADP 24)
Jeff: I want to be comfortable with Diggs here, as I have him ranked in the same slot, but I just can’t talk myself into it. He has been productive and explosive when given the chance on a Vikings’ pass offense so conservative they make El Presidente look like an episode of Portlandia. If he can stay healthy and the Minnesota O can loosen up just a teeny little bit, I could see this whole WR17 thing paying off. I wish I had more to offer, but I find Diggs to be one of the more perplexing cases in the league.
Dan: At WR17, we have Stefon Diggs. Fun fact: he believes the earth is flat and that you can fall off the edge of it. Thankfully, science doesn’t factor into dynasty value. While I don’t hate this landing spot, I’d have him a little bit lower. I believe he is very talented, but that Vikings offense scares me quite a bit. With Sam Bradford behind an atrocious o-line, Minnesota may be in for another season of dink-and-dunk offense. I see him having a solid reception floor, with limited TD upside and yardage potential relying entirely on his after-the-catch ability. All that said, I’m comfortable with Diggs in the mid/late WR2 group.
WR18 – Corey Coleman (ADP 27)
Jeff: This one is a bit hard for me to swallow. How a player goes from an ADP in the mid-30’s last summer to 27th overall off of a season where he missed 10 games, caught 33 of 73 targets (45%) for 12.5 yards per and only 9.3 PPG, I can’t really explain. The upside is hard to ignore, and Cleveland certainly appears to be getting better, but there are myriad players I’d rather have in this slot. Coleman carries Diggs’ risk and upside, is in a worse situation, and has none of the resume. I’ll pass at this price and you should too.
Dan: Seeing CoCo at WR18 was a little surprising, but after a little bit of thought, I hate it less. With his impressive draft stock and solid college production, the dynasty community had some pretty high hopes for Coleman’s rookie year even though he was drafted into fantasy purgatory. After breaking his hand in practice following his breakout game against Baltimore, Coleman lost his WR1 status on the Browns to recently departed Terrelle Pryor. Missing six weeks certainly hurt his development, as well as his rapport with whichever QB was playing at that point. With Pryor now in Washington, Coleman will look to solidify himself as the WR1 in Cleveland. Hopefully they find something that resembles an NFL QB.
WR19 – Doug Baldwin (ADP 28)
Jeff: This ADP feels pretty good for a guy who is going to be 29 during the season, but has finished as a WR1 each of the last two years. A good sign this will continue is how Baldwin’s role evolved from 2015 to 2016. He went from somebody dependent on touchdowns to showing he can handle in an increased target volume (103 to 125) while maintaining his efficiency (76% catch rate in 2015, 75% in 2016). I would prefer another aging player who produces on a more elite level in Jordy Nelson, but I won’t quibble too hard with Baldwin as the WR19.
Dan: It’s good to finally see Baldwin in a respectable spot within the ADP data after flying under the radar his whole career. Sans 2012, Baldwin has had at least 50 catches, 750 yards, and 3 TDs each of his six seasons. More recently, Baldwin has been putting on a show in Seattle which had previously been a run first, second, and third, well, you get it. The Seahawks are slowly transitioning into a pass-first offense, and Baldwin may be the main beneficiary of that transition. With over 2000 yards and 21 TDs in the last two seasons combined, he seems to have hit his prime in full stride. This is still low in the WR ranks, so buy-in before the market catches up.
WR20 – Davante Adams (ADP 29)
Jeff: I was a big Adams guy coming out of college. As some point in a mock draft piece I even wrote about him helping Derek Carr at least as much as Carr helped him at Fresno State. Then 2014 and 2015 happened and I ran away as though he was chasing me with a syringe full of Ebola. Well, now I’m back in. As with Baldwin, I think Adams has it in him to absorb a drop in touchdowns while still maintaining his value. Yeah, there will be some bad drops and a few wrong routes, but it is hard to deny this kid has what it takes to be Aaron Rodgers’ future number one. I am comfortable with this ADP and consider Adams a great long-term investment.
Dan: Do you remember about a year ago when everyone had given up on Adams and he was a throw-in to complete your dynasty trades? Pepperidge Farms remembers. He was mocked for his drops, and what seemed to be untapped potential after the Packers took him in the second round of the loaded 2014 draft. Well, the truth is that Adams has progressed in each season and he also happens to have the best QB in the NFL. After a huge third year breakout, we now find Adams as a WR2 in dynasty while still playing alongside Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb. This might be a bit of an overcorrection (because that never happens in dynasty…ever), but I still see Adams as a low-end WR2, with high-end WR2 upside. It’s time to find someone else to throw your hurtful gifs and memes at, folks.
- How to Win Without Watching Football - July 22, 2021
- 2018 Summer Sleeper: Chicago Bears - July 9, 2018
- NFL Draft Aftermath: Winners and Losers from the AFC North - June 18, 2018