By now you know that I am not always in step with the crowd when it comes to evaluating football players for fantasy purposes. My biggest heresy is that I do not find ADP to be a very accurate measure of value. ADP, coupled with algorithms that create faulty projection are what leaves owners with some jaw-dropping moments every season when they find out their WR3 is being out-played by his WR6, or even a guy available on waivers he didn’t even know existed.
To me ADP is like a steamroller. Early mock drafts place a player at a certain level. Everyone generally follows ADP because they have an inner fear of drafting a #60 ranked WR before one that ADP tells him is #32. Really, who wants to be laughed at and embarrassed? I call it the “lemming effect,” where everybody follows the leader. One by one, they all leap over the cliff into fantasy football oblivion.
I keep telling you to do your own analysis, Make up your own rankings. Don’t always follow the crowd. If all the so-called experts were always right, then everyone that follows their advice would win. The last I heard, our leagues crown only a single champion. In a 12-team league that means 11 owners lose. “Except for” and “could have been” are words used by LOSERS.
The only rock-solid fantasy player ranking analysis is Bob Lung’s consistency theory. Plenty of articles are available on our website expounding on this. If a player consistently scores over a certain acceptable floor, he may very well be a better choice than a player with a higher game scoring potential who really only shows up in the box score infrequently. Torrey Smith would be a good example of this.
I was checking out ADP rankings in preparation for two experts’ drafts I am currently participating in. I was shocked! It seems like just about anyone can rank the Top 25 players at a position pretty capably. When it comes to WRs though, the next 50 rankings are sort of arbitrarily thrown together.
Here are six forgotten WRs you may want to consider when you get down to the nitty-gritty part of your draft. This is a good time to find some possible difference-makers. I list them in no particular order.
- Jordy Nelson, OAK
Aaron Rodgers is angry that Nelson is now wearing the silver and black. On the other hand, Derek Carr is elated. Nelson is in fact getting older and it is true he had a really bad 2017 season, especially for a player with his superstar history. ADP is showing him to be the 43rd best WR.
Two years ago, he finished the year among the very top scorers, producing a 97-1,257-14 stat line. Last year he was hurt early. He kept playing, but it was at lower level from a production standpoint than normal. After Rodgers got hurt, Hundley could not get him the ball. It was a lousy season.
Now he is healthy and has a fresh start in Oakland. #43? Give me a break! While I do not expect a TOP 5 scoring finish for Nelson, he certainly merits being ranked somewhere in the Top 20. Draft him as a WR4 and maybe he will be a pleasant surprise.
- Corey Coleman, BUF
This 3rd year WR had two horrid, injury-filled seasons in Cleveland. Until a week ago he was mired in a large group vying for playing time. Things did not look too promising. He is now the #75 ranked WR according to ADP.
Now after his trade to the Bills, he has a legitimate shot at being a starter along with Kelvin Benjamin. In 2016 he had a lot of potential, but wound up not delivering for the Browns. Now he has another chance. He is certainly worth a WR6 or so selection. He has a much higher upside than many other players selected late.
- John Brown, BAL
Another player who changed teams and improved his value is John Brown. In Arizona he had his best year a couple a few years ago with a 65-103-7 stat line. Then he had health issues. Not only was he afflicted with sickle cell anemia, but even worse, he had a cyst on his spine. It cost him two seasons.
Now with the Ravens, he is finally healthy again and is expected to get lots of targets and opportunities this season. With an ADP ranking as the 88th best WR, he should be available late and he has a pretty high upside for a WR6 or 7.
- Rishard Matthews, TEN
I could not believe that ADP says there are 60 WRs better than Matthews. I have loved this guy since he was in Miami. Last year he missed some time and still almost had 100 targets. He wound up at #36 in PPG.
This year he is slated to be even busier than last year. He will be a solid WR5 choice with an opportunity to be much better than that. His fortunes are dependent on the development and health of Marcus Mariota. In this game you have to take some calculated risks. Matthews is a player with a solid scoring floor and an impressive upside.
- Kenny Golladay, DET
Talent + opportunity = success. I know, you’ve heard me say that before. Last year Golladay started off with a 29-point game and fantasy owners were elated. Then he got one of those nagging injuries after a couple good games.
With a #53 ADP ranking is a real value pick. Unlike current rookie WRs that you do not have a clue yet about their likelihood of success, we saw that when Golladay was healthy last year that he was a force to be reckoned with. I see him being drafted as either a WR 4 and 5 and being a WR 2 or 3 when all is said and done.
- Paul Richardson, WAS
It is easy to see why Richardson is only ADP’s 66th ranked WR. He was never able to achieve at the level everyone expected to in Seattle. Even last year, his best with the Seahawks, he produced a mediocre 44-703-6 stat line.
Now, with his move to the Redskins, a door of opportunity is opening. Joining a mediocre group of receivers, Richardson has a chance to become the WR1 in Washington. Their depth chart is in a such a state of flux that it is much too soon to say anything with certainty.
Yet, as with several other players, Paul Richardson as a WR5 or 6 will be a solid buy as your draft winds down.
Usually when we get about 2/3 of the way into a draft, most owners start reaching because they are not aware of the remaining player’s potential. Taking the time to have some credible late round players picked out in advance can give you a big edge. In fantasy football, to be that one team at the top, you must take that step to gain an advantage over your competition.
Ask the Experts
When my friend Andy Richardson invited me to provide material for his weekly Fantasy Index Thursday morning "Ask the Experts" column, I was thrilled and honored. Here is the August 9 article from our friends at Fantasy Index. My comments this week on the Jerick McKinnon/Matt Brieda training camp battle are bound to draw some comments. Bring ‘em on folks.
The preseason games are underway and we are more than ready for the actual season to begin. Buckle up for the journey. My colleagues and I at Big Guy Fantasy Sports are intent on helping you become the champion you want to be. With our poignant articles and being the home base for the consistency theory, a sound mathematically-based alternative to ADP, we will be with you for the 2018 season in its entirety. What happens then? That my friends, is easy. We start over and do it all again in 2019!
Good luck! Have fun!