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His value has cratered, but he strikes me as a guy who could make some noise in the future if given an opportunity. I still think he's a quality player. He's just not worthy of his offseason dynasty ranking. Part of the problem with Pierce is that he's extremely brittle. Lots of concussions and minor little dings throughout his career. That doesn't bode well for what might happen if someone tried to make him the guy. I think he will stick around the league for a while and that he still has handcuff/flyer value, but his stats have been ugly two years running and he's riding the pine behind a journeyman. Not good. I wish I had sold him some places, but when I've dangled him in the past he has never generated any real interest above the level of what he initially cost in the rookie drafts (late 2nd round rookie picks).

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To a rebuilding team with smallish rosters, is Bernard Pierce even worth a roster spot at this point, or is it over for him?

Guys always have some value but realistically the guy has looked awful this year and last. Not sure why they are playing him over Taliaferro right now but I think the clock is ticking.

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To a rebuilding team with smallish rosters, is Bernard Pierce even worth a roster spot at this point, or is it over for him?

I outright dropped him in a dynasty league with large rosters, and I don't regret it at all.

They don't like to use him in the passing game, and they have a younger/less brittle guy who offers everything Pierce does with better passing game chops (and without the extended history of sucking).

Just don't see the upside anymore.

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What are the group's thoughts on Tre Mason long term?

Feels like the guy has enough talent to be a monster if he improves his pass blocking.

The running ability is there. Looks more good than special, to my eyes, however. Very solid opportunity. Assuming he ends the season as the guy, as he has been the last 2 weeks, he's top 10 as a 21 YO starting back in a bell cow role.

I don't think he's shown the passing game chops yet to be considered a bell cow candidate as soon as next year. St. Louis definitely hasn't used him in those situations to this point. He's run 8 routes all year with 6 of those coming in the last game (0 targets), and has just 2 pass blocking opportunities on the year (1 sack allowed) per PFF.

I see him as a decent bet to be the early down half of a RBBC in an offense that likes to run, with the potential to grow into a 3 down role in a few years if he progresses. Personally, I doubt he hits that ceiling.

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He's run 8 routes all year with 6 of those coming in the last game (0 targets), and has just 2 pass blocking opportunities on the year (1 sack allowed) per PFF.

.

He's only been active for the last two games.

Edited by Dr. Octopus

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To a rebuilding team with smallish rosters, is Bernard Pierce even worth a roster spot at this point, or is it over for him?

I outright dropped him in a dynasty league with large rosters, and I don't regret it at all.

They don't like to use him in the passing game, and they have a younger/less brittle guy who offers everything Pierce does with better passing game chops (and without the extended history of sucking).

Just don't see the upside anymore.

I'm hoping he eventually gets traded. I think he has talent, but that backfield is a mess. I am hoping Taliaferro gets the job eventually. Forsett is a FA after this season I think.

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He's run 8 routes all year with 6 of those coming in the last game (0 targets), and has just 2 pass blocking opportunities on the year (1 sack allowed) per PFF.

.

He's only been active for the last two games.

That's a fair point. :)

One out of six total RB targets was directed his way this past week, with two pass block attempts (one pressure allowed).

I suppose it's possible that the Rams might use him as the primary running back in the passing game in 2015, but I still don't think there's much reason to believe that it's likely to occur.

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So where are you guys slotting Lacy in your RB rankings?

I'm not updating again until next Monday/Tuesday, but it's looking likely Lacy will be in my top 10 once I do.

Do you mind if I ask why you're so low on Alshon Jeffery (WR32)? He has measurables and pedigree and seems to be in the midst of a 2nd year breakout with a stable (if not particularly QB rich) franchise and yet he falls behind low-upside guys like Amendola and Shorts.

Well, for starters, I don't view either Amendola or Shorts as anything close to "low-upside" guys in PPR leagues. Shorts' numbers after taking over as a starter last year were insane- something like a 1400 yard pace, IIRC. If not for the concussion worries, Shorts would be higher, still. As for Amendola... Julian Edelman is currently WR20 in PPR leagues. JULIAN EDELMAN. Edelman is a bare shadow of Amendola. If Amendola can stay healthy (yeah, yeah, I know- big if), he could easily put up top-12 numbers as the slot receiver in the Patriots' offense. If anything, I would characterize Amendola and Shorts as just the opposite of "low-upside"; I'd call them huge high-risk, high-reward plays.

To some extent, there's a bit of a numbers crunch at receiver. There are more than 10 guys I'd love to fit into my 20-29 range right now, and some of them get squeezed out. Why Alshon? Because I try to make a point of downgrading players who have had a huge game below where my gut reaction would have me put them. Even at the half-season mark, one huge game can have a huge impact on total numbers when there hasn't been enough of a chance for regression to do its work yet. Intuitively, I see an exciting young prospect like Alshon have a monster game and my first instinct is to just go nuts and shoot them up the board. I find that slightly discounting guys with a huge game on their resume often prevents me from overreacting and doing something that I'll regret later.

I guess we disagree on what constitutes high upside. Shorts is #2 in the NFL in targets this year and he's WR19 in ppr scoring. This is his upside.

Amendola's a 28-year old who can't stay healthy and whose best season is 85/689/3 and WR30 in ppr. He's not Edelman, but he's also not Welker.

It's perfectly within reason to cast a skeptical eye towards Jeffery based on the small sample size, but I don't see how he's a lower ceiling guy than those 2 when he's shown the ability to put up a 37-pointer within the first 16 games of his career.

Since this post:

Jeffery - 42/632/4

Amendola - 22/274/2

Shorts - 20/212/2

Now seems like a good time to reiterate that upside can be deceptive. A mediocre player with high volume from a bad QB can give the illusion of higher upside when he's already peaked. The same can be said for a mediocre, injury-prone talent replacing the generational talent with a HOF QB. It was a fool's errand a month ago to assume these players had any upside beyond their recent production and it rings even truer now.

Amendola was dropped in my 16-team dynasty today and it reminded me of this post. In the year since:

Jeffery - 94/1143/8 in 16 games

Shorts - 43/428/3 in 10 games

Amendola - 42/506/3 in 14 games

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Amendola was dropped in my 16-team dynasty today and it reminded me of this post. In the year since:

Jeffery - 94/1143/8 in 16 games

Shorts - 43/428/3 in 10 games

Amendola - 42/506/3 in 14 games

There's two threads at play here. Was Alshon Jeffery too low in my rankings at the time? Yeah, that one's been answered pretty conclusively. I have Alshon Jeffery in my top 10 now, so obviously leaving him outside of my top 30 was a mistake.

But are Cecil Shorts and Danny Amendola "low upside" receivers? You keep posting their production to date, and that does nothing to answer the original question. The slot WR position in New England is an extremely high-upside position in PPR (setting aside Wes Welker, Julian Edelman has 102/1061/5 in 16 games since the post in question- just 1 ppg behind Alshon Jeffery over that span- despite the fact that Julian Edelman isn't a very good receiver, as evidenced by his lack of interest on the free agent market). Now I was clearly wrong for thinking that Amendola was going to win that role, but I wasn't wrong in thinking that that role was a valuable one and Amendola would be valuable if he did win it. Danny Amendola was a massive bust. That doesn't mean he didn't have upside.

As for Shorts... Jacksonville's entire offense fell apart and they brought in a bunch of receivers, and Shorts is pretty much fantasy junk at this point. That sucks. I was wrong for having him so high. But again, none of this makes him a "low-upside" receiver. Again, he was a beast in 2012. At the time of my post in 2013 he was basically an 80-yard-a-game receiver outside of getting blanked by Denver (did he leave that game early with an injury?). In the 16 games prior to that post, he had 86/1265/6 despite getting 0 catches in one of those games. Low upside? I just don't see it. There was nothing wrong with Shorts' upside.

Edit: the same logic that declared Danny Amendola a "low-upside" receiver would have also declared Emmanuel Sanders a "low-upside" receiver this last offseason.

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Amendola was dropped in my 16-team dynasty today and it reminded me of this post. In the year since:

Jeffery - 94/1143/8 in 16 games

Shorts - 43/428/3 in 10 games

Amendola - 42/506/3 in 14 games

There's two threads at play here. Was Alshon Jeffery too low in my rankings at the time? Yeah, that one's been answered pretty conclusively. I have Alshon Jeffery in my top 10 now, so obviously leaving him outside of my top 30 was a mistake.

But are Cecil Shorts and Danny Amendola "low upside" receivers? You keep posting their production to date, and that does nothing to answer the original question. The slot WR position in New England is an extremely high-upside position in PPR (setting aside Wes Welker, Julian Edelman has 102/1061/5 in 16 games since the post in question- just 1 ppg behind Alshon Jeffery over that span- despite the fact that Julian Edelman isn't a very good receiver, as evidenced by his lack of interest on the free agent market). Now I was clearly wrong for thinking that Amendola was going to win that role, but I wasn't wrong in thinking that that role was a valuable one and Amendola would be valuable if he did win it. Danny Amendola was a massive bust. That doesn't mean he didn't have upside.

As for Shorts... Jacksonville's entire offense fell apart and they brought in a bunch of receivers, and Shorts is pretty much fantasy junk at this point. That sucks. I was wrong for having him so high. But again, none of this makes him a "low-upside" receiver. Again, he was a beast in 2012. At the time of my post in 2013 he was basically an 80-yard-a-game receiver outside of getting blanked by Denver (did he leave that game early with an injury?). In the 16 games prior to that post, he had 86/1265/6 despite getting 0 catches in one of those games. Low upside? I just don't see it. There was nothing wrong with Shorts' upside.

Edit: the same logic that declared Danny Amendola a "low-upside" receiver would have also declared Emmanuel Sanders a "low-upside" receiver this last offseason.

Yes. They are both low floor and low ceiling receivers.

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I wasn't wrong in thinking that that role was a valuable one and Amendola would be valuable if he did win it. Danny Amendola was a massive bust. That doesn't mean he didn't have upside.

This is a dynasty rankings thread after all. Being situation dependent for your upside means you lack long term upside. It means you are replaceable. You are beat-out-able. Brandon Lafell lacks upside. Unless he goes to NE at a time when every WR they brought in completely sucked and suddenly he's the #1 WR.

Amendola is a unique story because they spent a lot of money on him and took him over Welker. The NEP treated him like a player with long term upside. But ultimately those who said he lacked upside were right. He was replaceable. He was beat out by the guy everyone was lampooning. (Shorts' story is far from unique. Alright player on a bad team. Not for long.)

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I wasn't wrong in thinking that that role was a valuable one and Amendola would be valuable if he did win it. Danny Amendola was a massive bust. That doesn't mean he didn't have upside.

This is a dynasty rankings thread after all. Being situation dependent for your upside means you lack long term upside. It means you are replaceable. You are beat-out-able. Brandon Lafell lacks upside. Unless he goes to NE at a time when every WR they brought in completely sucked and suddenly he's the #1 WR.

Amendola is a unique story because they spent a lot of money on him and took him over Welker. The NEP treated him like a player with long term upside. But ultimately those who said he lacked upside were right. He was replaceable. He was beat out by the guy everyone was lampooning. (Shorts' story is far from unique. Alright player on a bad team. Not for long.)

So you're defining any player who's upside relies on situation as having no upside?

Odd, because I guess that means the guy that's on pace to break the NFL rushing record has little upside.

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I wasn't wrong in thinking that that role was a valuable one and Amendola would be valuable if he did win it. Danny Amendola was a massive bust. That doesn't mean he didn't have upside.

This is a dynasty rankings thread after all. Being situation dependent for your upside means you lack long term upside. It means you are replaceable. You are beat-out-able. Brandon Lafell lacks upside. Unless he goes to NE at a time when every WR they brought in completely sucked and suddenly he's the #1 WR.

Amendola is a unique story because they spent a lot of money on him and took him over Welker. The NEP treated him like a player with long term upside. But ultimately those who said he lacked upside were right. He was replaceable. He was beat out by the guy everyone was lampooning. (Shorts' story is far from unique. Alright player on a bad team. Not for long.)

Amendola was given a 5-year deal by the Patriots, who had just let Wes Welker walk. I don't think it was at all unreasonable to expect that there was a good chance that he could be the long-term slot receiver in that offense. New England certainly thought he would be.

It's not like I had him 12th. He was outside my top 30. But did he have upside? Absolutely. Just like Wes Welker put up five top-10 seasons (two of them top-5, one of them #2) in PPR, despite many people believing he was just a replaceable talent and a product of the system for probably 90% of his time in New England (assuming they didn't still believe that when he walked and all he could get on the open market was $12m).

Again, all of these arguments would have worked equally well for Emmanuel Sanders last offseason. I'm sorry, let me rephrase that- that's Emmanuel "Currently A Top 10 Fantasy Receiver Despite Being a Bust in Pittsburgh and Getting a Pretty Small Contract in Free Agency Just Because He Happened to Land in WR Heaven" Sanders.

Danny Amendola could have been last year's Emmanuel Sanders. The fact that he ultimately wasn't doesn't mean he couldn't have been.

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So you're defining any player who's upside relies on situation as having no upside?

Odd, because I guess that means the guy that's on pace to break the NFL rushing record has little upside.

Well obviously RBs and WRs are different positions with different rules. But I'd feel pretty safe saying Murray would start for 20+ teams in the NFL and be a valuable fantasy RB no matter what. He is elite this year due to situation but he is not situation dependent to be a great fantasy player. He had worse lines earlier in his career and was still a RB1 or high RB2. I'm sure you can rip apart my statement in a variety of ways, like point out the Max Hall era of Fitzgerald, or whatever, but that's just quibbling over extremes.

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I wasn't wrong in thinking that that role was a valuable one and Amendola would be valuable if he did win it. Danny Amendola was a massive bust. That doesn't mean he didn't have upside.

This is a dynasty rankings thread after all. Being situation dependent for your upside means you lack long term upside. It means you are replaceable. You are beat-out-able. Brandon Lafell lacks upside. Unless he goes to NE at a time when every WR they brought in completely sucked and suddenly he's the #1 WR.

Amendola is a unique story because they spent a lot of money on him and took him over Welker. The NEP treated him like a player with long term upside. But ultimately those who said he lacked upside were right. He was replaceable. He was beat out by the guy everyone was lampooning. (Shorts' story is far from unique. Alright player on a bad team. Not for long.)

Amendola was given a 5-year deal by the Patriots, who had just let Wes Welker walk. I don't think it was at all unreasonable to expect that there was a good chance that he could be the long-term slot receiver in that offense. New England certainly thought he would be.

It's not like I had him 12th. He was outside my top 30. But did he have upside? Absolutely. Just like Wes Welker put up five top-10 seasons (two of them top-5, one of them #2) in PPR, despite many people believing he was just a replaceable talent and a product of the system for probably 90% of his time in New England (assuming they didn't still believe that when he walked and all he could get on the open market was $12m).

Again, all of these arguments would have worked equally well for Emmanuel Sanders last offseason. I'm sorry, let me rephrase that- that's Emmanuel "Currently A Top 10 Fantasy Receiver Despite Being a Bust in Pittsburgh and Getting a Pretty Small Contract in Free Agency Just Because He Happened to Land in WR Heaven" Sanders.

Danny Amendola could have been last year's Emmanuel Sanders. The fact that he ultimately wasn't doesn't mean he couldn't have been.

You didn't read what I wrote so I won't spend any time reading what you wrote.

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So you're defining any player who's upside relies on situation as having no upside?

Odd, because I guess that means the guy that's on pace to break the NFL rushing record has little upside.

Well obviously RBs and WRs are different positions with different rules. But I'd feel pretty safe saying Murray would start for 20+ teams in the NFL and be a valuable fantasy RB no matter what. He is elite this year due to situation but he is not situation dependent to be a great fantasy player. He had worse lines earlier in his career and was still a RB1 or high RB2. I'm sure you can rip apart my statement in a variety of ways, like point out the Max Hall era of Fitzgerald, or whatever, but that's just quibbling over extremes.

Ok, how about Emmanuel Sanders?

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I wasn't wrong in thinking that that role was a valuable one and Amendola would be valuable if he did win it. Danny Amendola was a massive bust. That doesn't mean he didn't have upside.

This is a dynasty rankings thread after all. Being situation dependent for your upside means you lack long term upside. It means you are replaceable. You are beat-out-able. Brandon Lafell lacks upside. Unless he goes to NE at a time when every WR they brought in completely sucked and suddenly he's the #1 WR.

Amendola is a unique story because they spent a lot of money on him and took him over Welker. The NEP treated him like a player with long term upside. But ultimately those who said he lacked upside were right. He was replaceable. He was beat out by the guy everyone was lampooning. (Shorts' story is far from unique. Alright player on a bad team. Not for long.)

Amendola was given a 5-year deal by the Patriots, who had just let Wes Welker walk. I don't think it was at all unreasonable to expect that there was a good chance that he could be the long-term slot receiver in that offense. New England certainly thought he would be.

It's not like I had him 12th. He was outside my top 30. But did he have upside? Absolutely. Just like Wes Welker put up five top-10 seasons (two of them top-5, one of them #2) in PPR, despite many people believing he was just a replaceable talent and a product of the system for probably 90% of his time in New England (assuming they didn't still believe that when he walked and all he could get on the open market was $12m).

Again, all of these arguments would have worked equally well for Emmanuel Sanders last offseason. I'm sorry, let me rephrase that- that's Emmanuel "Currently A Top 10 Fantasy Receiver Despite Being a Bust in Pittsburgh and Getting a Pretty Small Contract in Free Agency Just Because He Happened to Land in WR Heaven" Sanders.

Danny Amendola could have been last year's Emmanuel Sanders. The fact that he ultimately wasn't doesn't mean he couldn't have been.

You didn't read what I wrote so I won't spend any time reading what you wrote.

I did read it. I read it twice before responding. I've just read it again. Am I not understanding it? If so, could you please clarify it for me?

I see you say "Being situation dependent for your upside means you lack long term upside." I disagree with that statement and respond. I see you say "But ultimately those who said he lacked upside were right." I disagree with that statement and respond. Did you not say those things? Am I losing my mind? What am I responding to?

I think people aren't understanding how upside works. "He didn't perform up to his upside" is not the same thing as "he had no upside in the first place". The very definition of upside means that most players will never achieve it. If not performing to your upside means that your upside never existed in the first place, then what is upside? That idea would turn upside into just a regular performance projection.

We create ceiling and floor estimates designed to bracket player performance with the implicit understanding that player performance will in all likelihood fall somewhere in between. So since performance will not be at the ceiling, and will not be at the floor, does that mean the entire concept of ceilings and floors doesn't exist? That would be an interesting conversation to have, and I'm sure some great points could be made, but my understanding is that that's NOT the conversation we are having.

The conversation we are having, as I understand it, revolves around the claim that since two players did not achieve their upside, their upside never existed in the first place. This conversation presupposes the existence of a concept of upside, and argues the failure to achieve it as evidence that it never existed. Again, my contention is that this argument fails to understand the tautological nature of upside. Failure to achieve upside cannot disprove the original existence of upside, since upside by definition will in most cases not be achieved.

Eric Decker had upside last year. If he'd signed a long-term deal with the Broncos, his value would be substantially higher right now. Instead, he signed with the Jets and his value tanked. Does that mean we go back and retroactively erase the possibility of an extension with Denver? Was he a low-upside receiver all along, and we just didn't realize it? Or was he a high-upside receiver and things just didn't break like they could have in the ideal world that would have been required for him to achieve that upside?

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Ok, how about Emmanuel Sanders?

How about Eric Decker? How about Julius Thomas? How about Virgil Green? How about Aaron Dobson? How about I take a nap while we quibble over whether every player in the NFL is realllly elite or just you know one of the best 60 WRs in the US.

He is a great redraft player and should continue to produce as long as Peyton plays. Clearly this is the "upside" one was hoping for from Amendola and got from an equally mediocre player in Edelman. I don't expect him to be supplanted by Latimer next year but that's clearly something to keep in mind when you are evaluating his (and JT's) "Dynasty Rankings".

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The conversation we are having, as I understand it, revolves around the claim that since two players did not achieve their upside, their upside never existed in the first place.

That was your conversation with the other guys. Or a straw man. Danny Amendola could have put up 5 straight years of 100 receptions in NE but you still shouldn't trade Kelvin Benjamin for Emmanuel Sanders which is what you were recommending when you ranked Jeffery behind Amendola for about an infinity too long.

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The conversation we are having, as I understand it, revolves around the claim that since two players did not achieve their upside, their upside never existed in the first place.

That was your conversation with the other guys. Or a straw man. Danny Amendola could have put up 5 straight years of 100 receptions in NE but you still shouldn't trade Kelvin Benjamin for Emmanuel Sanders which is what you were recommending when you ranked Jeffery behind Amendola for about an infinity too long.

I'm sorry, I thought by responding to my conversation with the other guys that you were joining the conversation with the other guys.

Yeah, at the end of the day, I was too low on Alshon Jeffery for too long, and that was a problem. Was that a general problem with how I rank players, or was that a specific problem that was localized only to Alshon Jeffery? The same process that led to me being low on Alshon Jeffery would have also led me to be low on Cordarrelle Patterson and Stephen Hill. It's the same process that led to me fading Sidney Rice relative to consensus after his big year, (I was actually higher than average on Rice before his big year, iirc, but took some flak for having him in the low teens after it). It's the process that led me to prefer Drew Brees to Andrew Luck when Luck came out, which in hindsight wasn't a great call. It's also the process that led me to prefer Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson to Trent Richardson which... alright, probably would have been a much better call if not for unforeseeable off-field concerns.

What's the solution? Is it just "don't be relatively down (compared to consensus) on pedigreed young players who haven't had a chance to prove it yet"? Because that solution seems like it would create as many problems as it solved. Is the solution to only be down on the young pedigreed players who will ultimately bust? Because that's a great plan, and I'll start doing that just as soon as I figure out how.

I was way wrong on Alshon Jeffery, and it's a very glaring, very costly mistake. On the other hand, I'm not hearing so much anymore from all those guys who were ragging on me about how low I used to have Kenny Britt in my rankings. The pro-Patterson contingent has been relatively quiet recently, (though Patterson still has plenty of time to turn things around, and maybe two years from now he's another Alshon Jeffery). It's looking more and more like my Torrey Smith skepticism was warranted. I took a ton of flak for trashing Robert Meachem for several years. "Don't rank guys like Danny Amendola over guys like Alshon Jeffery" starts to look a lot sillier when you replace Jeffery's name with Meachem's.

And it's not like I'm always down on the young guys. My rankings tend to have a lot of inertia. Young prospects who everyone is giving up on early will usually feature higher in my rankings. Young prospects who everyone is falling in love with will usually feature lower. Sometimes that inertia pays huge dividends (hello, Demaryius Thomas). Sometimes that inertia carries huge costs ('sup, Alshon Jeffery). A lot of times, that inertia means I wind up switching from high on a player to low on a player pretty quickly, (see Justin Hunter, who I was well over consensus on before the season and am well under consensus on today- both positions that I feel like were correct).

Is the takeaway just "don't rank guys like Danny Amendola in the 30-40 range"? Because that seems like a pretty silly takeaway. Wes Welker was once a guy like Amendola, and he became a top-5 dynasty receiver. Emmanuel Sanders was once a guy like Danny Amendola. Hell, Julian Edelman was once a guy like Danny Amendola. We're all pretty quick to label guys as mediocre talents (sometimes with the full benefit of hindsight), but we're pretty slow to acknowledge how often we're wrong about those early proclamations. After three years of doing nothing, I was convinced Jordy Nelson was a mediocre talent, so I dropped him for BenJarvus Green-Ellis because I needed some RB help. Was that decision somehow less ruinous than the decision to rank Amendola over Jeffery?

I like saying that rankings are a numbers game. At any given time, there are probably 20 different guys who I could comfortably rank in the 21-30 range in my rankings. Only 10 will fit. That means some guys wind up in the 30-40 range. Sometimes I'm wrong about which ones slot where. Sometimes I'm right. I engage in a lot of self-evaluation and I don't really find any systematic biases regarding where I'm wrong and where I'm right, so I don't change my process, but maybe the biases are there and I'm just too biased to see them. That's what makes feedback so valuable. But "don't be wrong about players" isn't really feedback that's any use to me.

"Don't rank Emmanuel Sanders above Kelvin Benjamin" is really useful advice provided I can tell ahead of time which rookies are Kelvin Benjamin and which are, say, Marqise Lee. Because there's nothing at all wrong with ranking Emmanuel Sanders above Marqise Lee, is there? Above Jordan Matthews and Paul Richardson? How about ahead of Robert Woods and Aaron Dobson? Kendall Wright, Brian Quick, Ryan Broyles, and Reuben Randle? John Baldwin, Titus Young, and Greg Little?

There are a lot of late 1st / early 2nd receivers out there, and the vast majority of them do not become Kelvin Benjamin or Alshon Jeffery. It's great in theory to say "don't rank non-sublime talents in good situations over potentially sublime talents", but in practice I'm not going to rank every Arrelious Benn and Brian Robiskie above veterans with uninspiring track records and phenomenal situations. That seems like a losing bet. Since I don't know ahead of time who is going to turn out to be Kelvin Benjamin or Alshon Jeffery, that means that sometimes I'm going to get it wrong. I'm okay with that. I'm not striving for perfection, I'm striving for something that's just right often enough for me to turn a profit.

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"Don't rank Emmanuel Sanders above Kelvin Benjamin" is really useful advice provided I can tell ahead of time which rookies are Kelvin Benjamin and which are, say, Marqise Lee.

You're trying to reshape the argument. To go back to the OP, we weren't talking about Jeffery at the combine after he slimfasted down to 210, the post was after his first 200 yd game. Which came off the heals of a 100+ yard game. At that point we're not talking about guessing compared to the glut of "late 1st/early 2nd receivers out there" we're talking about buying in. Or paying attention. There were plenty of positive indicators, including Jeffery's physique and workout regime which was the main knock on him as a prospect, Trestman, and some monster games. If Marqise Lee answers the concerns "we" had about him going into the game, then yeah you buy him even if he's not putting up Sanders stats yet.

Kenny Britt ... pro-Patterson .... Torrey Smith .... Robert Meachem

It's great that your kid is in the honor roll too. But there is no reason to revisit Robert Meachem in 2014 other than the fact that it presents an interesting downturn scenario for Sanders given he's also delivering a lot of value based on helping a HOF QB convert TDs. And great job thinking the guy with a mid WR2 ceiling would perform as a WR4 for half of one season. If you need something to hang your hat on, the public bathroom stall does have a hook on the door.

We're all pretty quick to label guys as mediocre talents (sometimes with the full benefit of hindsight), but we're pretty slow to acknowledge how often we're wrong about those early proclamations.

So the solution is to be slow to acknowledge when we're right about good talents.

Because there's nothing at all wrong with ranking Emmanuel Sanders above Marqise Lee, is there? Above Jordan Matthews and Paul Richardson? How about ahead of Robert Woods and Aaron Dobson? Kendall Wright, Brian Quick, Ryan Broyles, and Reuben Randle? John Baldwin, Titus Young, and Greg Little?

I never bought into a lot of those players. For example I was the one arguing Da'Rick over Woods last year because of exactly what we're talking about - I'd rather have the small chance of something great than the good chance of something mediocre. I would never fault anyone for taking a chance on a prospect if its someone they've researched and started to like. Even if they do end up as woeful as Torrey Smith (sarcasm). You've stated yourself about your willingness to take a hit short term if it improves your projection long term. There is little difference between conviction about an injured player like Crabtree or Harvin returning to peak and liking a player enough to gamble on upside. Both are educated guesses based on knowledge of past performance and risk assessment.

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"Don't rank Emmanuel Sanders above Kelvin Benjamin" is really useful advice provided I can tell ahead of time which rookies are Kelvin Benjamin and which are, say, Marqise Lee.

You're trying to reshape the argument. To go back to the OP, we weren't talking about Jeffery at the combine after he slimfasted down to 210, the post was after his first 200 yd game. Which came off the heals of a 100+ yard game. At that point we're not talking about guessing compared to the glut of "late 1st/early 2nd receivers out there" we're talking about buying in. Or paying attention. There were plenty of positive indicators, including Jeffery's physique and workout regime which was the main knock on him as a prospect, Trestman, and some monster games. If Marqise Lee answers the concerns "we" had about him going into the game, then yeah you buy him even if he's not putting up Sanders stats yet.

Alshon Jeffery is not unique because he had a 200 yard game. All of the guys I mentioned being lower on also had huge stretches. Kenny Britt scored in five consecutive games his sophomore year, finishing the run with a 10/225/3 game. When I was taking all that heat for being down on Robert Meachem, he was coming off a stretch of his own with touchdowns in five straight games, finishing with a 10/142/1 game. Some were saying he was the best receiver on the Saints. Cordarrelle Patterson was a top-5 receiver at the end of last season, again scoring touchdowns in five straight games including a 7/141/1 receiving game. Torrey Smith had 8/152/3 in his third career game and added a 7/165/1 game later in his rookie season. It's not like Alshon Jeffery was self-evidently a better prospect after his few hot games than these guys were after theirs.

So the rule "don't mistrust highly pedigreed young receivers who are setting the league on fire" still would have returned a lot of false positives. Once again it boils down to "don't fade the wrong receivers, but feel free to keep fading the right ones". Which, yeah, if I knew how to separate the wrong ones from the right ones ahead of time then I'd never be too down on an Alshon Jeffery type ever again.

Kenny Britt ... pro-Patterson .... Torrey Smith .... Robert Meachem

It's great that your kid is in the honor roll too. But there is no reason to revisit Robert Meachem in 2014 other than the fact that it presents an interesting downturn scenario for Sanders given he's also delivering a lot of value based on helping a HOF QB convert TDs. And great job thinking the guy with a mid WR2 ceiling would perform as a WR4 for half of one season. If you need something to hang your hat on, the public bathroom stall does have a hook on the door.

There's absolutely a reason to revisit Robert Meachem in 2014. We're critiquing one of my processes. My rankings have a higher than average degree of inertia and I tend to remain more skeptical than the common owner when a young player starts putting up a few big games. We're having a discussion of whether that's a good process or a bad process. The only way I know of to evaluate a process is to look at its history and see what kind of results it has produced. If I just discard processes based only on the most recent example, that's reactionary.

Over the lifetime of my dynasty career, I believe my inherent skepticism has been a net positive. It hurt me with respect to Alshon Jeffery, (and also Josh Gordon, although my distrust of his substance abuse history wound up paying off a few months later). There are other guys it's hurt me on. But yes, there are guys for whom it has been the right call. Is it right more often than it's wrong? I think it is. I think it's a net positive. That's why I stick with it. But I don't know of any other way to reach that decision than to dig up its history and look it over.

Because there's nothing at all wrong with ranking Emmanuel Sanders above Marqise Lee, is there? Above Jordan Matthews and Paul Richardson? How about ahead of Robert Woods and Aaron Dobson? Kendall Wright, Brian Quick, Ryan Broyles, and Reuben Randle? John Baldwin, Titus Young, and Greg Little?

I never bought into a lot of those players.

So it sounds once again like the advice is just "like the right players in the first place." If I know in advance which players are Alshon Jeffery and which are Stephen Hill, then I don't have to worry about bumping a Danny Amendola above an Alshon Jeffery instead of a Stephen Hill.

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When I was taking all that heat for being down on Robert Meachem, he was coming off a stretch of his own with touchdowns in five straight games, finishing with a

If we're using Meachem as a halloween eve tale of foreboding we should go with full disclosure and admit he was hot swappable for a late 1st until and through his training camp in SD. He ended up not being an elite fantasy player, ok, but the market is forgiving for some guys. Usually the guys that most look the part. Patterson isn't worth what he was 2 months ago but he's still worth a whole heaping lot. You can get Sanders for him in the right opportunity for sure, I mean, if you wanted to. People bought Lambos with bitcoins. But you can't trade your Camry for one.

It's not like Alshon Jeffery was self-evidently a better prospect

It's not like Sanders was self-evidently better suited to capitalize on his opportunity as a vet with mediocre resume thrust into the limelight. Brady has churned through a half dozen failed FA WR. What does it say if LaFell ends up being the best one? When people spent top 75 startup picks on Dola, Lloyd and Ocho. Certainly there are people on the interwebs quantifying and cross correlating college careers, size, age, etc. to evaluate prospects and Jeffery usually does well in that sort of analysis. It only lacks evidence if you summarily dismiss all the evidence. If that fits your confirmation bias, its no use going on and on.

So it sounds once again like the advice is just "like the right players in the first place."

Certainly that is a key part of fantasy football, picking the right players. I would dismiss anyone who said you can win more by picking the wrong players. I thought my advice was more don't pick the wrong players, but I'm not really sure. I do like picking the right players, though. It is fun to draft, right? At least we can agree on that. Even if you get all Twizzlers it was still a good night.

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If we're using Meachem as a halloween eve tale of foreboding we should go with full disclosure and admit he was hot swappable for a late 1st until and through his training camp in SD. He ended up not being an elite fantasy player, ok, but the market is forgiving for some guys. Usually the guys that most look the part. Patterson isn't worth what he was 2 months ago but he's still worth a whole heaping lot. You can get Sanders for him in the right opportunity for sure, I mean, if you wanted to. People bought Lambos with bitcoins. But you can't trade your Camry for one.

Totally 100% fair. This has been brought up w/r/t my rankings several times and I always clarify that I'm not ranking based on market value, I'm ranking mostly based on my expectations for the rest of the guy's career. I mean, that golden parachute is very nice and I wouldn't turn it down, all else being equal. But if I really think the EV of Danny Amendola is greater than the EV of Alshon Jeffery, I'm going to rank Amendola ahead of Jeffery, even if in the event that both are busts I could recoup a lot more of my losses from Jeffery.

In my experience, that golden parachute is great and all, but it only works if you time the market properly, and that's hard. Alshon's value would have held up pretty well even if he had a mediocre year last year, but the same things that caused his value to remain afloat would tempt you into holding on to him and hoping for a rebound. A lot of Charles Rodgers owners went down with the ship because they didn't want to be the owner who sold low and had to watch him dominate on someone else's roster. Ditto that for Trent Richardson owners.

On the other end of the spectrum, there are the guys that you think are sell lows who wind up rebounding after all. Lots of guys sold low on Mendenhall after his rookie year and said that the fact that he retained his value is why you want to buy those first-round RBs in the first place. Whoops. Andre Johnson is another guy I saw owners "get out while the getting was good" on early in his career.

It's not like Alshon Jeffery was self-evidently a better prospect

It's not like Sanders was self-evidently better suited to capitalize on his opportunity as a vet with mediocre resume thrust into the limelight. Brady has churned through a half dozen failed FA WR. What does it say if LaFell ends up being the best one? When people spent top 75 startup picks on Dola, Lloyd and Ocho. Certainly there are people on the interwebs quantifying and cross correlating college careers, size, age, etc. to evaluate prospects and Jeffery usually does well in that sort of analysis. It only lacks evidence if you summarily dismiss all the evidence. If that fits your confirmation bias, its no use going on and on.

Right, but it's not like I had Amendola 12th an Jeffery 63rd. Both guys were in the low-to-mid 30s. There were reasons to believe that Amendola was different than Brandon Lloyd and Ochocinco- his age and the length of his contract, most notably. The correlation in timing between the departure of Welker and the signing of Amendola added credence to the idea that Amendola was a "Welker replacement". Maybe I got suckered by the timing too much. Though, again, we're ranging a bit far afield- the original question was "was Danny Amendola a low-upside receiver", and I still say no, any guy with a 5-year contract and a great shot to be the slot receiver in New England is not a "low-upside receiver", even ignoring Amendola's previous production (which was quite strong, at least between stints on the injury report).

There were some analyses that were high on Jeffery, for sure. A lot of them were high on Hill, Meachem, and Britt, too. I haven't really seen anything out there that consistently outperforms just straight up draft position.

So it sounds once again like the advice is just "like the right players in the first place."

Certainly that is a key part of fantasy football, picking the right players. I would dismiss anyone who said you can win more by picking the wrong players. I thought my advice was more don't pick the wrong players, but I'm not really sure. I do like picking the right players, though. It is fun to draft, right? At least we can agree on that. Even if you get all Twizzlers it was still a good night.

For sure. In a lot of ways, the rookie draft is a lot like buying real-life lottery tickets. It's not about whether you hit the jackpot or not, it's about the days or weeks prior to the jackpot being announced when you have free reign to fantasize about what it would be like if you won, and what you would do with that massive windfall. Nothing lets you play "let's pretend" with your roster quite like a fistful of rookie picks.

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Reuben Randle to me is the 2013 Emmanuel Sanders. Both had promise of big years based upon increased role in offense and both are really just guys. A 52% catch rate isn't exactly promising to me. If you project last years performance to 120 targets (which is what Cruz saw, and unlikely for Randle) he would be in line for around 60/800 which is what I'd expect.

I haven't been able to find a buyer for Randle at anywhere near his ADP right now in my experience.

Sanders is in the dictionary under JAG.

Hopefully, Webster's will delete that reference from their 2015 edition to avoid future embarrassment. :hophead:

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Reuben Randle to me is the 2013 Emmanuel Sanders. Both had promise of big years based upon increased role in offense and both are really just guys. A 52% catch rate isn't exactly promising to me. If you project last years performance to 120 targets (which is what Cruz saw, and unlikely for Randle) he would be in line for around 60/800 which is what I'd expect.

I haven't been able to find a buyer for Randle at anywhere near his ADP right now in my experience.

Sanders is in the dictionary under JAG.

Hopefully, Webster's will delete that reference from their 2015 edition to avoid future embarrassment. :hophead:

Peyton makes JAG's look great, by both being a great QB and WR coach.

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Peyton makes JAG's look great, by both being a great QB and WR coach.

Manning certainly doesn't hurt, but Sanders has been slick this year. There's a reason why he's on pace for 150+ targets while Julius Thomas is only on pace for 88. Manning goes to the guy who is open, and Sanders is open. A lot.

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Peyton makes JAG's look great, by both being a great QB and WR coach.

Manning certainly doesn't hurt, but Sanders has been slick this year. There's a reason why he's on pace for 150+ targets while Julius Thomas is only on pace for 88. Manning goes to the guy who is open, and Sanders is open. A lot.

I try to watch a good chunk every game excluding 2nd halves of blowouts(NFL Rewind is my BFF), Sanders does look improved, especially as a route runner. I give that credit to Manning for coaching him up and making him a better player. Before that he definitely was JAG from what I saw from him.

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Reuben Randle to me is the 2013 Emmanuel Sanders. Both had promise of big years based upon increased role in offense and both are really just guys. A 52% catch rate isn't exactly promising to me. If you project last years performance to 120 targets (which is what Cruz saw, and unlikely for Randle) he would be in line for around 60/800 which is what I'd expect.

I haven't been able to find a buyer for Randle at anywhere near his ADP right now in my experience.

Sanders is in the dictionary under JAG.

Hopefully, Webster's will delete that reference from their 2015 edition to avoid future embarrassment. :hophead:

Peyton makes JAG's look great, by both being a great QB and WR coach.

Aye. Sanders is a product of the system if ever there was one. Just look at his Steelers career.

27 years old and suddenly a switch flips and he's an elite receiver? No. He's just benefiting from favorable matchups created by better players around him.

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Reuben Randle to me is the 2013 Emmanuel Sanders. Both had promise of big years based upon increased role in offense and both are really just guys. A 52% catch rate isn't exactly promising to me. If you project last years performance to 120 targets (which is what Cruz saw, and unlikely for Randle) he would be in line for around 60/800 which is what I'd expect.

I haven't been able to find a buyer for Randle at anywhere near his ADP right now in my experience.

Sanders is in the dictionary under JAG.

Hopefully, Webster's will delete that reference from their 2015 edition to avoid future embarrassment. :hophead:

Peyton makes JAG's look great, by both being a great QB and WR coach.

Aye. Sanders is a product of the system if ever there was one. Just look at his Steelers career.

27 years old and suddenly a switch flips and he's an elite receiver? No. He's just benefiting from favorable matchups created by better players around him.

No one has claimed that he is an elite receiver.

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Aye. Sanders is a product of the system if ever there was one. Just look at his Steelers career.

27 years old and suddenly a switch flips and he's an elite receiver? No. He's just benefiting from favorable matchups created by better players around him.

That's weird, I've never seen an offensive system that revolves around putting JAGs into positions where they're forced to routinely make spectacular grabs. Seems like an ill-conceived system.

I've chatted with F&L a lot on twitter about Sanders, and he agrees that Emmanuel looks like a substantially more complete player. He's not just taking advantage of broken coverage, he's actively breaking down coverages. He gives Denver's offense a completely different dimension on the outside as defenses are forced to respect him both shallow and deep. He's been phenomenal. I wouldn't say he's an elite receiver, but he's been a very good one- as good as, say, T.Y. Hilton- and a great fit for the offense.

Besides, while it's not the most common career trajectory, it's not like the story of a receiver looking like a nobody until he gets a change of scenery and then suddenly blossoming into a star at age 27, 28, or even older is completely without precedent.

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Aye. Sanders is a product of the system if ever there was one. Just look at his Steelers career.

27 years old and suddenly a switch flips and he's an elite receiver? No. He's just benefiting from favorable matchups created by better players around him.

That's weird, I've never seen an offensive system that revolves around putting JAGs into positions where they're forced to routinely make spectacular grabs. Seems like an ill-conceived system.

:lol:

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There are lots of good receivers in the league. Mike Williams, Stevie Johnson, Lance Moore, and Eric Decker are good receivers too. Players of this caliber are only FF viable in the right circumstances though. Sanders was a third round pick and he's still in the NFL after five seasons. That means he's not without talent, but he's not innately a guy who should ever average 10.3 yards per target and convert 75% of his chances. Great offenses can turn middling players into weekly FF starters. It's something important to remember. All the same, this is the high water mark for Sanders. If you snagged him this offseason, congrats. If you think he's the next Jimmy Smith or Joe Horn though, you're in for disappointment. If I owned him anywhere, I'd ride him out for the remainder of the year and then pawn him off to somebody who's sipping the ppg kool-aid after his career year.

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I'm just delighted that I was here to witness round 4,596,930 of Squistion vs EBF.

Top stuff and a real draw for the board.

Edited by Donsmith753
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There are lots of NFL guys who can produce in a good situation -- basically getting what's available in the context of the offense.

Good NFL players are the ones that other teams have to try and stop. Players that make the other guys do stuff they don't want to do. Justin Forsett might be averaging 5.4 yards per carry, while Jamaal Charles is only putting up 4.4 -- but no one's game planning to keep Justin Forsett from beating them. Charles gets his despite the trouble the other guys are going to, and he opens up the field for Alex Smith too.

Demaryius Thomas is a guy other teams have to try and stop because if you don't he'll put up 150 yards and 2 TDs every game in that offense. Julius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders aren't those kind of guys. They're good enough to take advantage of the work Manning and Thomas can do, but on their own they're pretty average NFL players. Maybe even above average, but nothing special. For the most part no one's ignoring Demaryius so they can shut down Julius and Manny.

Can Sanders and J. Thomas win your league for you? Sure. Great situations are great situations. But in the long run you'd do well to package guys like that for true talents.

Edited by wdcrob

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I'm hosting some dynasty startup mock drafts each month of the off-season. I use these to form player ADP and they offer great practice for upcoming drafts as well. Sign up here to join and feel free to include your FBG username instead of your Twitter handle.

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Ran across this thread in a search and had forgotten about how consistent the quality of the discussion was here and how it always seemed to have the most knowledgeable and informative members of the SP's dynasty community taking part.

The OP, Chris Wesseling went on to bigger and better things and is now on the staff for NFL.com - which shouldn't surprise anyone as he had demonstrated repeatedly on this forum that he was not only a good analyst, but more importantly, a good writer.

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I didn't know that was Wesseling - Tybee Island makes sense, though.  Around the NFL is my favorite podcast.

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32 minutes ago, Steed said:

He just got diagnosed with esophageal cancer.  Best wishes to Chris

Damn I hadn't heard that or seen it mentioned on twitter either.  Best wishes to Chris.

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1 minute ago, Ramblin Wreck said:

Damn I hadn't heard that or seen it mentioned on twitter either.  Best wishes to Chris.

They discussed it on the last episode of Around the NFL.  Wesseling sounded good, like he had no doubt he'd kick it.

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