ZWK

ZWK's Dynasty Rankings (Updated May 2017)

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Posted (edited)

Pre-injury, Bridgewater was still in the early stages of his career where there's a lot of uncertainty about what a QB will become. He had some fans who liked what they saw, which suggests that there was some upside there. I've tried to take a snapshot of what I thought of him then and put it on pause, with downgrades for the 2-year delay and the chance that he will never return to form.

My guess on what that chance is, to a first approximation, is that there's a 50% chance that the injury prevents him from ever having any fantasy value and a 50% chance that he recovers completely by the start of the 2018 season and goes on to have the same career that he would've had without the injury. So he should be worth a little under half as much as he was pre-injury.

Edited by ZWK

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On 5/17/2017 at 0:17 PM, Hu-Tang Clan said:

Just out of curiosity @ZWK, do you merge your positional rankings into an overall ranking at all? Like a top 200?

I don't. Partly that's because it's more work and I haven't come up with a simple/elegant way to do that work. Partly it's because the overall ranking depends a lot more on the specifics of the league format. None of the dynasty leagues that I play in have the standard format that I assume for my rankings (scoring, number of starters, roster sizes, etc.), but my positional rankings still come pretty close to how I rank players in each of my leagues. But if I made an overall ranking for a particular format, it would be way off when I looked at a league with a different format.

I do have an overall ranking of rookies here, which you can use to get a rough sense of how the positions relate to each other.

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3 hours ago, ZWK said:

I don't. Partly that's because it's more work and I haven't come up with a simple/elegant way to do that work. Partly it's because the overall ranking depends a lot more on the specifics of the league format.

FWIW, I'd prefer that you never bothered to do this. League formats differ so wildly that comparing positions against each other isn't worth it. 

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Post-draft tight end rankings. Assuming 0.5 PPR, 12 TE starters, and about 250 position players rostered. Age as of 9/1/17. Prev from 2/13/17.

Tr    Rk    Player    Team    Age    Prev
1    1    Rob Gronkowski    NE    28.3    (1)
2    2    Travis Kelce    KC    27.9    (2)
2    3    Jordan Reed    WAS    27.2    (3)
3    4    Tyler Eifert    CIN    27.0    (4)
3    5    Evan Engram    NYG    23.0    rook
3    6    O.J. Howard    TB    22.8    rook
3    7    David Njoku    CLE    21.1    rook
3    8    Hunter Henry    LAC    22.7    (5)
3    9    Eric Ebron    DET    24.4    (6)
3    10    Zach Ertz    PHI    26.8    (7)
4    11    Gerald Everett    RAM    23.2    rook
4    12    Greg Olsen    CAR    32.5    (8)
4    13    Jimmy Graham    SEA    30.8    (9)
5    14    Martellus Bennett    GB    30.5    (15)
5    15    Adam Shaheen    CHI    23.9    rook
5    16    Kyle Rudolph    MIN    27.8    (13)
5    17    Delanie Walker    TEN    33.1    (12)
5    18    Austin Hooper    ATL    22.8    (17)
6    19    Jonnu Smith    TEN    22.0    rook
6    20    Tyler Higbee    RAM    24.7    (18)
6    21    C.J. Fiedorowicz    HOU    25.9    (14)
6    22    Cameron Brate    TB    26.2    (11)
6    23    Dwayne Allen    NE    27.5    (19)
6    24    Jack Doyle    IND    27.3    (28)
6    25    Coby Fleener    NO    28.9    (27)
6    26    Vance McDonald    SF    27.2    (16)
6    27    Ladarius Green        27.3    (10)
7    28    Julius Thomas    MIA    29.2    (25)
7    29    Zach Miller    CHI    32.9    (23)
7    30    Dennis Pitta    BAL    32.2    (24)
7    31    Jared Cook    OAK    30.4    (32)
7    32    Gary Barnidge        31.9    (22)
7    33    Maxx Williams    BAL    23.4    (20)
7    34    Austin Seferian-Jenkins    NYJ    24.9    (26)
7    35    Charles Clay    BUF    28.5    (31)
7    36    Clive Walford    OAK    25.9    (21)
7    37    Jesse James    PIT    23.2    (36)
7    38    Antonio Gates    LAC    37.2    (35)
7    39    Jason Witten    DAL    35.3    (37)
8    40    Bucky Hodges    MIN    22.1    rook
8    41    Jake Butt    DEN    22.1    rook
8    42    Seth DeValve    CLE    24.6    (29)
8    43    Jeff Heuerman    DEN    24.8    (34)
8    44    George Kittle    SF    23.9    rook
8    45    Eric Saubert    ATL    23.3    rook
8    46    Michael Roberts    DET    23.3    rook
8    47    Vernon Davis    WAS    33.6    (30)
8    48    Jordan Leggett    NYJ    22.6    rook
8    49    A.J. Derby    DEN    25.9    unr
8    50    Jace Amaro    TEN    25.2    (33)
8    51    Lance Kendricks    GB    29.6    unr
8    52    Richard Rodgers    GB    25.6    (38)
8    53    Darren Waller    BAL    25.0    (49)
8    54    Crockett Gilmore    BAL    25.8    (58)
8    55    Stephen Anderson    HOU    24.6    (53)
9    56    Jermaine Gresham    ARI    29.2    (41)
9    57    Jerell Adams    NYG    24.7    (43)
9    58    Erik Swoope    IND    25.3    (44)
9    59    Troy Niklas    ARI    25.0    (45)
9    60    Nick Vannett    SEA    24.5    (46)
9    61    Jacob Tamme        33.5    (47)
9    62    Virgil Green    DEN    29.1    (57)

There were 5 rookie TEs drafted in the first 45 picks of the NFL draft. All 5 were admired primarily for their receiving (with only Howard standing out as a blocker as well), and 4 of the 5 showed excellent athleticism at the combine (with Shaheen's 4.79 40 time lagging behind the rest). All 5 crack my top 15. Add in Hunter Henry, who is coming off a strong rookie year, and Eric Ebron, who is still only 24 years old, and there is quite a group of young TEs.

My numbers were highest on Engram, both for production and for athleticism, and I think draft position also points slightly in his favor over Howard and Njoku after adjusting for the fact that New York clearly didn't draft him for his blocking. Howard & Njoku are right there behind him, with excellent size/athleticism though not as much production. Henry's impressive-for-a-rookie-TE season puts him up there, and I think he's a safer bet to have at least a solid NFL career, but I am less excited about his upside so he slots in after the rookie first rounders. Eric Ebron has been gradually sliding down my ratings as his production hasn't lived up to what the Lions hoped for, but he hasn't slid that far because his production has still been okay (and improving each year), he is still only 24, and apparently he was playing through injuries last year. I expect that there would be a lot more excitement about Gerald Everett if he'd been taken at pick 44 in one of the previous few draft classes (e.g., as the first TE off the board 11 picks ahead of Maxx Williams) - he is another high-upside receiving TE and PFF had a lot of good things to say about him. Shaheen's athleticism and reputation weren't as good as the others, but they weren't bad, so he's a tier back at #15.

Not far behind them are 2nd year TE Austin Hooper, who looks like the starter for last year's top passing offense, and rookie Jonnu Smith who also has the athleticism and college production but wasn't drafted until pick 100. 2nd year TE Tyler Higbee is another high-upside prospect, although the fact that the Rams chose to draft Everett in the 2nd round is a negative sign for him.

The dynasty TE position is deeper and more talented than it has ever been before. Things aren't quite as strong at the top as they have been, though, as all of the top 4 have injury troubles (Gronk, Kelce, Reed, and Eifert). They have a pretty clear rank order in my eyes, as no one matches Gronk's production, Eifert has been the least productive, and Reed has much bigger injury concerns than Kelce.

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I'm interested in hearing more about CJ Fiedorowicz.

21st ranked TE and that's not particularly out of line with most rankings.  Yet last year in his first year as a starter he posted 52-552-4 in 12 games as the starter.  Over 16 games that projects to 69-736-5.  That would have been good for TE7 last year (just behind Zach Ertz) and he did it with his first real playing time and with Brock Osweiler tossing the rock.  It seems like it's possible or perhaps even probable that both he AND his situation will improve going forward (hard to get much worse than Osweiler).

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58 minutes ago, ZWK said:

Henry's impressive-for-a-rookie-TE season puts him up there, and I think he's a safer bet to have at least a solid NFL career, but I am less excited about his upside

Interesting. Henry already showed he is an excellent red zone target, with 8 TDs on 53 targets as a rookie. He added 36/478 on those targets, despite playing with HOF TE Gates, who got 93 targets himself... Gates will be retired after this season, implying Henry is in line for 100+ targets starting NLT next season. He could easily double his receptions and receiving yards from his rookie season with that many targets. IMO he should be ranked above Njoku and Engram.

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1 hour ago, FreeBaGeL said:

I'm interested in hearing more about CJ Fiedorowicz.

21st ranked TE and that's not particularly out of line with most rankings.  Yet last year in his first year as a starter he posted 52-552-4 in 12 games as the starter.  Over 16 games that projects to 69-736-5.  That would have been good for TE7 last year (just behind Zach Ertz) and he did it with his first real playing time and with Brock Osweiler tossing the rock.  It seems like it's possible or perhaps even probable that both he AND his situation will improve going forward (hard to get much worse than Osweiler).

I see Fiedorowicz as the kind of guy who might hang around the borderline TE1/TE2 part of the rankings but isn't that likely to emerge as a difference maker. His efficiency stats were bad (YPT, DVOA, fpts/target) - I expect that part of that was Osweiler loving to dump it off, but that also helped him get so many targets (10th most among TEs).

Fiedorowicz started 15 games according to PFR - he didn't have many targets in his first 3 games but in 2 of the 3 he played more than half the snaps and led Houston's TEs in snaps. So pro-rating his last 12 games seems kind of iffy. Even if we do just focus on those 12 games, you neglected to pro-rate everyone else's stats. 52/552/4 in 12 games would've ranked 15th in ppg (min 8 games, 0.5 ppr), behind guys like Zach Miller (47/486/4 in 10 games) and Camero Brate (57/660/8 in 15 games).

2 minutes ago, Just Win Baby said:

Interesting. Henry already showed he is an excellent red zone target, with 8 TDs on 53 targets as a rookie. He added 36/478 on those targets, despite playing with HOF TE Gates, who got 93 targets himself... Gates will be retired after this season, implying Henry is in line for 100+ targets starting NLT next season. He could easily double his receptions and receiving yards from his rookie season with that many targets. IMO he should be ranked above Njoku and Engram.

Henry did have very good efficiency stats as a rookie. But I think that some of that was Rivers (who doesn't have many years left), and it's also a small sample size. He doesn't have the athleticism or draft pedigree of guys like Njoku and Engram, and often the difference-makers at TE do. Henry is a safer bet than than rookies to string together several top-10 TE seasons, so in some formats I'd prefer him, but in a league with only 12 TEs starting each week I'll roll the dice on the athletic rookie first rounders.

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I think Henry has a chance to become a Witten type of player. Witten isn't the same type of athlete as guys like Eifert, Gonzalez, and Graham, but he wins with a combination of routes, size, and hands. I could see Henry turning out to the same. Steady and reliable, without ever being the unquestioned #1 TE in the NFL.

 

In my opinion he definitely has a higher floor than Engram/Njoku. They might have a higher ceiling than him, but I'd probably favor him in dynasty since he has already shown that he can play. I like Njoku a lot, but there's at least a little bit of a bust risk. I think Engram is a volatile prospect who could be a star or a big disappointment.

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I basically agree with EBF on shape of the Henry vs. Engram/Njoku debate, I just come down in favor of the riskier higher ceiling guys.

Some more brief player capsules:

On tier 5: Martellus Bennett has Aaron Rodgers, which gives him plenty of upside. Rudolph finally had a breakout year, but it was too Pettigrewesque for my taste. I have Walker ranked 4th in this tier but I might take him ahead of the other guys if I'm in win-now mode and in a league where TEs are relatively cheap to add.

On tier 6: TE19 (Jonnu Smith) through 25 (Coby Fleener) are all pretty tightly packed together. Smith & Higbee are high-upside young athletic guys who have an uphill battle to amount to anything, Brate & Fiedorowicz are solid early-career guys who probably won't offer much fantasy value in leagues with only 12 TEs starting each week (though they still have some upside), and Allen, Doyle, and Fleener don't look like great TEs but do have great QBs. Howard going to the Bucs was bad news for Brate (both because it's competition and because it's a bad sign about what they think of him) but not necessarily the end of his fantasy value - TEs often take a couple years to develop and Brate will be an unrestricted free agent in 2 years. There is still a chance that Fleener will do in 2017 what everyone was hoping for in 2016, now that he has had another year to get familiar with the NO playbook and develop rapport with Brees.

Jack Doyle has Andrew Luck. Coby Fleener has Drew Brees, and his mediocre 2016 doesn't necessarily doom him - he has had another year to get familiar with the NO playbook and develop rapport with Brees.

Tier 7 is relatively low-upside TE2s (aka potentially decent stopgaps) and not-so-great prospects, although some of them could be low-end TE1s (like Pitta, if none of Baltimore's other TEs step up). In start-1 TE leagues, I probably wouldn't want to own anyone in tier 8 or lower unless I had taxi squad space, or was churning a roster spot (e.g., as we find out who is likely to get the TE targets in Denver. Even with the tier 7 guys I might not want to use a roster spot on them if I don't need to.

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7 hours ago, EBF said:

I think Henry has a chance to become a Witten type of player. Witten isn't the same type of athlete as guys like Eifert, Gonzalez, and Graham, but he wins with a combination of routes, size, and hands. I could see Henry turning out to the same. Steady and reliable, without ever being the unquestioned #1 TE in the NFL.

 

In my opinion he definitely has a higher floor than Engram/Njoku. They might have a higher ceiling than him, but I'd probably favor him in dynasty since he has already shown that he can play. I like Njoku a lot, but there's at least a little bit of a bust risk. I think Engram is a volatile prospect who could be a star or a big disappointment.

Agreed, I've tried to pry Henry away from his current owner and he's no budging one bit. I'd take Henry over any TE in this draft. I regret passing on Henry in the 2nd round last year but I kept to my board.

Give me Henry all day on this.

Tex

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The witten comparison was popular when Henry was drafted but then he averaged over 13 yards a catch and caught 8 touchdowns as a rookie. As prolific as witten has been,  he's never averaged 12 yards a catch and has only two seasons with 8 touchdowns - one with 8 and one with 9.  I don't think upside is an issue for Henry. 

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9 hours ago, ZWK said:

I basically agree with EBF on shape of the Henry vs. Engram/Njoku debate, I just come down in favor of the riskier higher ceiling guys.

 

does this change depending on the league?   in 12 team leagues with smaller starting lineups, for example QRRWWWT, I'll favor upside.  In larger leagues with more starters, for example QRWWWTFF I'll put more emphasis on safer players.  Sure you need some upside still, but if all 7 non QB starters are very good players, you'll generally win more often than a few studs and more busts.  At least that's my experience in larger leagues. 

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10 hours ago, ZWK said:

Jack Doyle has Andrew Luck. Coby Fleener has Drew Brees, and his mediocre 2016 doesn't necessarily doom him - he has had another year to get familiar with the NO playbook and develop rapport with Brees.

Not to focus too much on borderline rosterable players, but I would rank Swoope higher for similar reasons. Project ATH TE who will see the field a lot given Indy's offense, and the fact that it's Indy would make him valuable if he can carve out a role. I would rather roster Swoope than most players outside of the top 25. His VOA last year was insanely high, but I don't put too much faith in that because it was inflated by a few deep throws that connected. I don't have confidence in him really (boom/bust) but on paper it seems like he should be worth more.

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10 hours ago, bostonfred said:

The witten comparison was popular when Henry was drafted but then he averaged over 13 yards a catch and caught 8 touchdowns as a rookie. As prolific as witten has been,  he's never averaged 12 yards a catch and has only two seasons with 8 touchdowns - one with 8 and one with 9.  I don't think upside is an issue for Henry. 

No Witten has never averaged 12 yards a catch and scoring has been minimum but he's never been asked to do so. He's always been surrounded by some of the top athletes in the NFL who were asked to perform. Witten has always performed at an elite level when called to do so during a game. He was never asked to do so year end and year out not because he's incapable but because his teammates were. Besides it's way to early to assume that Henry will continue to perform the way he did his rookie year. Honestly I love his game but let's see him do it when opponents are focused on him now that he's made his presence known and when Gates is gone.

Tex

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8 hours ago, -OZ- said:

does this change depending on the league?   in 12 team leagues with smaller starting lineups, for example QRRWWWT, I'll favor upside.  In larger leagues with more starters, for example QRWWWTFF I'll put more emphasis on safer players.  Sure you need some upside still, but if all 7 non QB starters are very good players, you'll generally win more often than a few studs and more busts.  At least that's my experience in larger leagues. 

If a league is TE premium (1.5 PPR for TE and 1.0 or less for other positions) and it has a flex spot then that does increase the value of solid TEs. I have Hunter Henry ahead of the rookies in that format, and possibly also ahead of Eifert (who is older, more injury-prone, and heavy on TDs relative to receptions). (I am actually in a league like this, and own Henry there.)

If you just add flexes without giving any bonus to TEs, then that mostly just lowers the baseline for RBs and WRs. That increases the value of all RBs and WRs, including solid non-elite ones. It devalues QBs and (to a lesser extent) TEs relative to RBs & WRs, and doesn't have much effect on the within-position rankings at QB or TE.

Larger starting lineups do increase the importance of depth relative to studs, but studs are still pretty important for winning championships. I generally take the approach of: try to find studs to build around, and seek out cheap depth in the offseason.

 

6 hours ago, thriftyrocker said:

Not to focus too much on borderline rosterable players, but I would rank Swoope higher for similar reasons. Project ATH TE who will see the field a lot given Indy's offense, and the fact that it's Indy would make him valuable if he can carve out a role. I would rather roster Swoope than most players outside of the top 25. His VOA last year was insanely high, but I don't put too much faith in that because it was inflated by a few deep throws that connected. I don't have confidence in him really (boom/bust) but on paper it seems like he should be worth more.

Good call. He should probably be up near Hodges, Butt, and DeValve.

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I feel that people tend to overrate Henry a bit, simply because he was the consensus "best prospect" in a fairly weak TE class. He also had some decent production in a few games in his rookie year. The combination of those two things I think makes people view his upside as higher than it actually is. I see him as a solid top 6-12 guy but not in the "elite" range.

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In Henry's favor, he did have nice efficiency stats including 1.88 yards per route run (4th best among TEs, min 200 routes run), 9.02 yards per target (6th best among TEs, min 30 targets), and a 33.9% DVOA (4th best among TEs, min 25 targets). I don't think he's a low-upside player, just lower upside than the 3 rookies.

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6    26    Vance McDonald    SF    27.2    (16)
6    27    Ladarius Green        27.3    (10)
7    28    Julius Thomas    MIA    29.2    (25)
7    29    Zach Miller    CHI    32.9    (23)
7    30    Dennis Pitta    BAL    32.2    (24)
7    31    Jared Cook    OAK    30.4    (32)
7    32    Gary Barnidge        31.9    (22)
7    33    Maxx Williams    BAL    23.4    (20)
7    34    Austin Seferian-Jenkins    NYJ    24.9    (26)
7    35    Charles Clay    BUF    28.5    (31)
7    36    Clive Walford    OAK    25.9    (21)
7    37    Jesse James    PIT    23.2    (36)
7    38    Antonio Gates    LAC    37.2    (35)
7    39    Jason Witten    DAL    35.3    (37)
8    40    Bucky Hodges    MIN    22.1    rook
8    41    Jake Butt    DEN    22.1    rook
8    42    Seth DeValve    CLE    24.6    (29)
8    43    Jeff Heuerman    DEN    24.8    (34)
8    44    George Kittle    SF    23.9    rook
8    45    Eric Saubert    ATL    23.3    rook
8    46    Michael Roberts    DET    23.3    rook
8    47    Vernon Davis    WAS    33.6    (30)
8    48    Jordan Leggett    NYJ    22.6    rook
8    49    A.J. Derby    DEN    25.9    unr
8    50    Jace Amaro    TEN    25.2    (33)
8    51    Lance Kendricks    GB    29.6    unr
8    52    Richard Rodgers    GB    25.6    (38)
8    53    Darren Waller    BAL    25.0    (49)
8    54    Crockett Gilmore    BAL    25.8    (58)
8    55    Stephen Anderson    HOU    24.6    (53)
9    56    Jermaine Gresham    ARI    29.2    (41)
9    57    Jerell Adams    NYG    24.7    (43)
9    58    Erik Swoope    IND    25.3    (44)
9    59    Troy Niklas    ARI    25.0    (45)
9    60    Nick Vannett    SEA    24.5    (46)
9    61    Jacob Tamme        33.5    (47)
9    62    Virgil Green    DEN    29.1    (57)

 

There are some interesting rankings here. I'd be curious to know why Maxx and ASJ are so high - I can only assume it's residual draft pedigree because they have done exactly nothing since coming into the league. Williams in particular to me wasn't even a top level prospect, though it was a weak TE class so perception of him is elevated. I'd rather own a guy like Swoope than either of those two.

Others that jump out to me are Richard Rogers and Amaro - I know they are way down, but there doesn't seem to be any real path to production for them in either the short or long term. Miller, Pitta, Cook and Barnidge (who doesn't even have a team at the moment) all likely have their best production in the rear view mirror, so also seem a bit high based on remaining upside and even current production. Ladarius's career must be in real doubt. Are they really better assets in any sense than some of the guys furthre down the list? I realise nitpicking here at this end of the ranking is a bit silly, but it's interesting to know what other people think.

The last notable one for me is AJ Derby - I can't think of any reason except residual draft capital (which probably doesn't matter much at this point) for him to be below Heuermann, or even Jake Butt at this point, given that he's recovering from injury. He's likely the starter in week 1, and I would say has more receiving upside than many of the guys ahead of him on the list. Leggett, Saubert and Kittle especially stand out as guys ahead of him who are really just fliers and have I would say limited avenues at this point to any kind of production that would make them dynasty assets.

Edited by RushHour

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17 hours ago, BigTex said:

Agreed, I've tried to pry Henry away from his current owner and he's no budging one bit. I'd take Henry over any TE in this draft. I regret passing on Henry in the 2nd round last year but I kept to my board.

Give me Henry all day on this.

Tex

I got Henry in 4 of 7 rookie drafts last year. It was less because I thought he was a great prospect and more because the rest of the class was trash, I thought he would be solid, and he had a relatively low ADP. Here is my writeup of him from a year ago:

 

Quote

12. TE Hunter Henry, Chargers - Henry isn't quite the athlete that recent TE prospects like Tyler Eifert and Eric Ebron were, and that's likely why he slid out of the first round of the NFL draft. He doesn't quite have the same explosiveness or precision of movement. On the other hand, he's still very mobile for his size and offers strong receiving skills to go along with his other attributes. While I don't see him dominating in the NFL, he strikes me as the type of guy who can yield years of solid mid-low level TE1 production. I think his floor is Kyle Rudolph while his ceiling is Jason Witten. Owners looking to hit a solid single or double instead of swinging for the fences on a mediocre RB/WR here should look towards Henry for a safe selection.

I was leaning more towards the Kyle Rudolph end of that spectrum going into last year, but after seeing him in an NFL uniform I'm leaning more towards the Witten end. I like his rookie highlights and think he looked a bit more athletic/explosive than I expected.

You mentioned trying to pry him away from his owner. Well, you're not alone. Of the players I own in multiple leagues, he has definitely been one of the hotter properties this offseason. I think a lot of people see him as a good investment and are trying to grab him while he's still somewhat of an unknown. I have no interest in trading him at his current market value. I think he's a player that you'll want to hold/buy right now.

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1 hour ago, EBF said:

I was leaning more towards the Kyle Rudolph end of that spectrum going into last year, but after seeing him in an NFL uniform I'm leaning more towards the Witten end. I like his rookie highlights and think he looked a bit more athletic/explosive than I expected.

You mentioned trying to pry him away from his owner. Well, you're not alone. Of the players I own in multiple leagues, he has definitely been one of the hotter properties this offseason. I think a lot of people see him as a good investment and are trying to grab him while he's still somewhat of an unknown. I have no interest in trading him at his current market value. I think he's a player that you'll want to hold/buy right now.

On the down side, I don't see many plays in that highlight video where Henry is beating man coverage. There are a lot of defensive breakdowns, and plays where SD schemes to get him open with a rub or a fake WR screen, and plays where he found a soft spot in the zone. I count 5 plays where he beat a man one-on-one (at 0:32, 1:15, 2:10, 3:43, and 3:50 - the one at 2:10 is my favorite), and all 5 were against a LB. Contrast that with, say, Travis Kelce, who made a lot more plays against man coverage including against DBs.

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2 hours ago, RushHour said:

There are some interesting rankings here. I'd be curious to know why Maxx and ASJ are so high - I can only assume it's residual draft pedigree because they have done exactly nothing since coming into the league. Williams in particular to me wasn't even a top level prospect, though it was a weak TE class so perception of him is elevated. I'd rather own a guy like Swoope than either of those two.

Others that jump out to me are Richard Rogers and Amaro - I know they are way down, but there doesn't seem to be any real path to production for them in either the short or long term. Miller, Pitta, Cook and Barnidge (who doesn't even have a team at the moment) all likely have their best production in the rear view mirror, so also seem a bit high based on remaining upside and even current production. Ladarius's career must be in real doubt. Are they really better assets in any sense than some of the guys furthre down the list? I realise nitpicking here at this end of the ranking is a bit silly, but it's interesting to know what other people think.

The last notable one for me is AJ Derby - I can't think of any reason except residual draft capital (which probably doesn't matter much at this point) for him to be below Heuermann, or even Jake Butt at this point, given that he's recovering from injury. He's likely the starter in week 1, and I would say has more receiving upside than many of the guys ahead of him on the list. Leggett, Saubert and Kittle especially stand out as guys ahead of him who are really just fliers and have I would say limited avenues at this point to any kind of production that would make them dynasty assets.

You're probably right that Derby should be higher, as the favorite to be Denver's top receiving TE. I don't see much in particular to like about him, but sometimes guys like Barnidge and Brate emerge. And looking it up, I see that Denver have a new OC in Mike McCoy who is apparently TE-friendly so there's a decent chance that some Denver TE will have fantasy value.

I do pay attention to draft pedigree / what I thought of a TE when he entered the league, even among TEs who have been in the NFL for a few years. TEs often take a few years to develop, and early rounders are more likely to emerge (like 2013 2nd rounder Vance McDonald and 2014 3rd rounder CJ Fiedorowicz, who needed some time before they did much as receivers). ASJ is an early 2nd rounder from 2014 who has a good shot to be the Jets' top receiving TE - he is still a year younger than Derby. Maxx Williams is a late 2nd rounder from 2015 who has missed time with injuries, on a team where the top TE spot looks like it'll be open to competition. They seem to have a better shot than the tier 8 guys of emerging as good TEs, and they also have an opportunity to emerge this year (which is good because of the urgency consideration - you want to be able to churn the bottom of your roster rather than keep a roster spot filled as you wait on a guy).

The vets in tier 7 are all guys who have a good shot to be fantasy TE2s this year, or potentially low-end starters. Zach Miller in fact was a low-end fantasy starter last year, ranking 10th in ppg (min 8 games). If I only had 1 startable TE on my roster then I would be looking at these guys as possible backups to add for cheap, and if I had a hole in my roster at TE I might even consider collecting a few of them to find a cheap stopgap starter. Barnidge has the smallest chances of being top-24 fantasy TEs this year, out of that group, but we should learn a lot about his chances by the start of the season (depending on where he signs and what the team says about his role). If things look bad it'll be easy to cut him, and if the things break in his favor then he has higher upside than most of the other vets in that tier. Ladarius Green is sort of similar to Barnidge, with more risk and more upside. He also might prove cuttable by opening day.

Heuerman, Leggett, Saubert, and Kittle all also have the urgency factor working in their favor. There isn't a clear established starter in DEN, NYJ, ATL, or SF. They're all young mid-round guys with a chance to seize a larger role, which makes them good options for churning since they're easy to cut if they don't.

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I took a look at the FBG and DLF rankings for each position, to see where I differed the most from them. Here are the 30 guys who I am most optimistic about, compared to FBG & DLF (starting with the one where the gap is the biggest):

MyRk    Player    Team
QB10    Mitchell Trubisky    CHI
RB52    Karlos Williams    FA
QB11    Patrick Mahomes    KC
TE11    Gerald Everett    RAM
TE19    Jonnu Smith    TEN
WR30    Will Fuller    HOU
WR48    Taywan Taylor    TEN
TE5    Evan Engram    NYG
WR47    Carlos Henderson    DEN
TE15    Adam Shaheen    CHI
WR29    Martavis Bryant    PIT
RB30    Mike Gillislee    NE
QB36    Robert Griffin III    FA
TE43    Jeff Heuerman    DEN
RB15    Alvin Kamara    NO
WR21    John Ross    CIN
WR55    Josh Gordon    CLE
RB49    James Conner    PIT
WR56    Phillip Dorsett    IND
RB23    Kareem Hunt    KC
WR74    Kenny Golladay    DET
WR25    Josh Doctson    WAS
RB9    Joe Mixon    CIN
TE7    David Njoku    CLE
RB46    Terrance West    BAL
RB1    David Johnson    ARI
RB4    Leonard Fournette    JAX
RB73    Tarik Cohen    CHI
TE42    Seth DeValve    CLE
QB26    Teddy Bridgewater    MIN

A few trends jump out at me. First, I'm unusually high on high-pedigree prospects - guys who were drafted in rd 1 or 2 who are rookies or who haven't done much yet in the NFL. Trubisky, Mahomes, Everett, Fuller, Engram, Shaheen, Ross, Dorsett, Doctson, Mixon, Njoku, and Fournette all fit the bill. The rest of this year's first & second rounders didn't make the top 30 cut, but I am also apparently more positive than average on Mike Williams (!), Christian McCaffrey, Deshaun Watson, O.J. Howard, Zay Jones (!!), Curtis Samuel, Dalvin Cook, and DeShone Kizer. For example, I currently have Mike Williams at WR19, and only 4 of the 16 experts at FBG+DLF have him ranked in the top 19 WRs. That leaves only 2 exceptions out of the 19 skill position players drafted in the first 2 rounds this year, Corey Davis and JuJu Smith-Schuster (and for both of them I am right in line with the other experts, in between the FBG rank and the DLF rank).

Second, there are a lot of rookies on this list even if you look past the early rounds: Jonnu Smith, Taywan Taylor, Carlos Henderson, Alvin Kamara, James Conner, Kareem Hunt, Kenny Golladay, and Tarik Cohen. Apparently I'm pretty far in the pro-rookie direction, compared to other folks who make dynasty rankings at FBG or DLF.

Third trend: there are several players here who have big question marks due to off-the-field issues / suspensions / injuries / not being on an NFL team currently: Karlos Williams, Martavis Bryant, RG3, Josh Gordon, Teddy Bridgewater. Maybe count Mixon here too? I guess I'm more willing to accept risk to bet on upside.

And those 3 categories cover 25 out of the 30 players on this list. Of the remaining 4, Jeff Heuerman and Seth DeValve are young mid-round prospects who roughly fit the pattern, although they didn't quite qualify in either of the first 2 groups. Mike Gillislee (like Karlos Williams) put up great efficiency numbers on a small sample size, and I guess I like his opportunity in New England more than most people do. I see Terrance West as the favorite for the Ravens' starting job, but I guess Dixon is the more popular choice among experts. David Johnson probably shouldn't be on this list, as most people see a top tier of 3 RBs which includes him, but the formula that I used to generate this list sees the gap between RB1 and RB3 as important enough for him to make the cut.

Now, the 30 players that I am most pessimistic on, relative to FBG & DLF (again, starting with the one where the gap is biggest):

MyRk    Player    Team
QB46    Joe Flacco    BAL
QB22    Matthew Stafford    DET
QB9    Cam Newton    CAR
TE12    Greg Olsen    CAR
QB28    Philip Rivers    LAC
WR58    Willie Snead    NO
WR27    Jarvis Landry    MIA
RB76    Danny Woodhead    BAL
TE41    Jake Butt    DEN
WR52    Golden Tate    DET
WR69    DeSean Jackson    TB
WR105    Robert Woods    RAM
WR57    Jamison Crowder    WAS
TE13    Jimmy Graham    SEA
WR48    Emmanuel Sanders    DEN
QB30    Eli Manning    NYG
WR112    Mohamed Sanu    ATL
RB37    Kenneth Dixon    BAL
WR28    Demaryius Thomas    DEN
TE39    Jason Witten    DAL
WR31    Donte Moncrief    IND
RB102    Dwayne Washington    DET
WR102    Tavon Austin    RAM
WR6    Antonio Brown    PIT
RB66    Charles Sims    TB
TE37    Jesse James    PIT
WR96    J.J. Nelson    ARI
RB51    Adrian Peterson    NO
RB26    Mark Ingram    NO
RB96    Charcandrick West    KC

This group looks to be more based on evaluations of individual players than on broad trends in what types of players I like. Many of them have come up in this thread this offseason.

A lot of these are guys who I think of as low-upside veterans. Some of the low-upside vets are good players who are nearing their career (like Rivers, Tate, DJax, Sanders, and Manning); I expect non-elite production for not many years, which doesn't add up to all that much fantasy value in my opinion. Olsen and Demaryius Thomas are higher-scoring but versions of a similar type of veteran. Some of the low-upside vets are useful NFL players who I expect to remain below baseline and thus have minimal value for fantasy (like Flacco, Sanu, and Witten).

Others are young prospects, without great draft pedigree, who I think that other people are elevating prematurely (like Crowder, Dixon, Moncrief, and James). Jake Butt is a rookie who roughly fits the same category.

Cam Newton is someone who I am unusually down on compared to his track record over the past few years. The reason in a picture is here, with explanation here and here.

Dwayne Washington & C West aren't starter-caliber RBs, in my eyes - injuries temporarily gave them an opportunity for a larger workload, they didn't do much with that opportunity, and now they should fade back into obscurity as third stringers or worse.

Some of these guys give me pause, because it doesn't feel like I'm unusually down on them. It might be worth taking another look at Willie Snead, Danny Woodhead, Jimmy Graham, Charles Sims, J.J. Nelson, and Adrian Peterson. (Though with Graham, I think the difference is more that I'm unusually high on many of the young TEs that I put ahead of him, rather than that I'm unusually low on Graham.) It also feels like I might be making a mistake with Robert Woods, who probably has more upside than I'm giving him credit for with that WR105 rank.

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11 hours ago, ZWK said:

Some of these guys give me pause, because it doesn't feel like I'm unusually down on them. It might be worth taking another look at Willie Snead, Danny Woodhead, Jimmy Graham, Charles Sims, J.J. Nelson, and Adrian Peterson

Definitely agree on Woodhead, who could have a top 20 fantasy season this year. Interested to see what another look does for these players in your rankings.

Edited by Just Win Baby

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IMO Karlos Williams was never very good in the first place and if you add the immense off-field issues, he's a guy you can safely forget about.

I like Njoku and Mixon. Mahomes is a guy that I end up drafting in almost every league due to a combination of his high draft slot and low rookie ADP.

I think Phillip Dorsett is an interesting case. I grabbed him in a lot of leagues when he was a rookie. My feeling last year was that he failed to capitalize on his opportunity, but...his stats improved in every category and his yards per target was actually good. It's just that he didn't get a lot of looks. He looked okay in his highlights and I still think there's a chance that he can become something useful in FF.

I think Jimmy Graham and Demaryius Thomas are/were elite talents, so I'd be a little more reluctant to write them off since they're not really at the age where they should fall off yet.

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Jason Witten may be a bit less valuable in .5 PPR but he was TE 9 in PPR scoring last season (including playoff games). He was TE 14 in standard, so that is below the starter baseline in most leagues in that format.

He just turned 35 years old so fair to question how much longer he can perform at this level. However he played with a rookie QB last season, I think there are reasons to expect Wittens opportunities might be more effective with Prescott now having a year of experience.

Witten has been a starting TE for fantasy for a long time and he was still a viable option last season as well.

I would take Witten over any of the other tier 7 TE on your list and also over several of the tier 6 TE which is where I guess I think Witten should be.

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3 minutes ago, Biabreakable said:

Jason Witten may be a bit less valuable in .5 PPR but he was TE 9 in PPR scoring last season (including playoff games). He was TE 14 in standard, so that is below the starter baseline in most leagues in that format.

He just turned 35 years old so fair to question how much longer he can perform at this level. However he played with a rookie QB last season, I think there are reasons to expect Wittens opportunities might be more effective with Prescott now having a year of experience.

Witten has been a starting TE for fantasy for a long time and he was still a viable option last season as well.

I would take Witten over any of the other tier 7 TE on your list and also over several of the tier 6 TE which is where I guess I think Witten should be.

Funny, I agree with all that but there's no way I'd take him over butt.

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Just now, -OZ- said:

Funny, I agree with all that but there's no way I'd take him over butt.

Why?

What makes Butt special?

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1 hour ago, Just Win Baby said:

Definitely agree on Woodhead, who could have a top 20 fantasy season this year. Interested to see what another look does for these players in your rankings.

For RBs over 30, I should probably be going mostly off of redraft rankings. Here is how FFCalculator has them ranked (averaging together their 1 ppr and 0 ppr ADP, since I'm doing 0.5 ppr):

Redraft ADP
RB16    Marshawn Lynch
RB21    Adrian Peterson
RB31    LeGarrette Blount
RB33    Frank Gore
RB36    Danny Woodhead
RB39    Jamaal Charles
RB40    Matt Forte
RB42    Jonathan Stewart
RB52    Darren Sproles

And here is how I have them ranked.

My Dynasty Ranking
RB44    Marshawn Lynch
RB45    Jamaal Charles
RB51    Adrian Peterson
RB56    Matt Forte
RB59    Frank Gore
RB63    Jonathan Stewart
RB66    LeGarrette Blount
RB75    Darren Sproles
RB76    Danny Woodhead

I guess I should have Woodhead up near Forte & Gore, and maybe move Blount up there too (though I'm more skeptical of Blount). From this comparison it looks like I have Charles too high, but I think it's correct to have Charles higher in dynasty than in redraft (relative to this group) because there's more uncertainty about how good he is and if he's still got it then he could have a longer window than most of the other guys.

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21 minutes ago, Biabreakable said:

Jason Witten may be a bit less valuable in .5 PPR but he was TE 9 in PPR scoring last season (including playoff games). He was TE 14 in standard, so that is below the starter baseline in most leagues in that format.

He just turned 35 years old so fair to question how much longer he can perform at this level. However he played with a rookie QB last season, I think there are reasons to expect Wittens opportunities might be more effective with Prescott now having a year of experience.

Witten has been a starting TE for fantasy for a long time and he was still a viable option last season as well.

I would take Witten over any of the other tier 7 TE on your list and also over several of the tier 6 TE which is where I guess I think Witten should be.

If we look at ppg (min 8 games), and include Witten's 2016 playoff game, then in 2016 I have Witten as TE16 in 1 ppr, TE16 in 0.5 ppr, and TE19 in 0 ppr. In 2015 he was TE13 in 1 ppr, TE16 in 0.5 ppr, and TE17 in 0 ppr. In 2014 he was TE10 in 1 ppr, TE10 in 0.5 ppr, and TE11 in 0 ppr. Gates finished ahead of him in all 3 years and all 3 formats. Zach Miller's 2016 season was better than any of Witten's last 3 seasons.

 

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28 minutes ago, Biabreakable said:

Why?

What makes Butt special?

I don't know if "special" is the right word here but I had him ranked about equal to Austin Hooper after the 2015 season. Had he entered the draft then he probably would have been taken in the top 3 rounds.  He probably would have gone around the same this year if not for his injury.  The injury is cause to bump him down some but the guy is arguably the 2nd most/best complete TE from this year's draft (to Howard) - which granted doesn't always equal ff value and he shouldn't go where this year's big 5 are drafted (in ff) as he lacks their explosiveness, but he will be on the field and serve a valuable role for the Broncos short range passing game.  When watching him play over the past few years he reminded me of Witten in Tennessee.  He won the Mackey award last year (and the ozzie newsome in 15) because of the same traits he'll bring to the Broncos. 

While he's unlikely to be a top 6 TE in ff, he will be a top 20 type and have a good long career. The risk with him is injury and that's not insignificant. Still I'd have him near hooper and J smith.  

Fwiw I think Julius thomas is a tier or two too low too so maybe I'm not discounting enough for injuries. 

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51 minutes ago, ZWK said:

If we look at ppg (min 8 games), and include Witten's 2016 playoff game, then in 2016 I have Witten as TE16 in 1 ppr, TE16 in 0.5 ppr, and TE19 in 0 ppr. In 2015 he was TE13 in 1 ppr, TE16 in 0.5 ppr, and TE17 in 0 ppr. In 2014 he was TE10 in 1 ppr, TE10 in 0.5 ppr, and TE11 in 0 ppr. Gates finished ahead of him in all 3 years and all 3 formats. Zach Miller's 2016 season was better than any of Witten's last 3 seasons.

 

Witten is one of the few TE who does not regularly miss games, so that calculation will disadvantage him somewhat.

Here is Witten in pretty typical scoring format. TE 9 in total points in 2014. TE 10 in 2015. TE 11 in 2016  this is for weeks 1-17. Witten had one of his best games against Green Bay in the playoffs last year, which I considered worth noting because Dak Prescott was a rookie..

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1 hour ago, -OZ- said:

I don't know if "special" is the right word here but I had him ranked about equal to Austin Hooper after the 2015 season. Had he entered the draft then he probably would have been taken in the top 3 rounds.  He probably would have gone around the same this year if not for his injury.  The injury is cause to bump him down some but the guy is arguably the 2nd most/best complete TE from this year's draft (to Howard) - which granted doesn't always equal ff value and he shouldn't go where this year's big 5 are drafted (in ff) as he lacks their explosiveness, but he will be on the field and serve a valuable role for the Broncos short range passing game.  When watching him play over the past few years he reminded me of Witten in Tennessee.  He won the Mackey award last year (and the ozzie newsome in 15) because of the same traits he'll bring to the Broncos. 

While he's unlikely to be a top 6 TE in ff, he will be a top 20 type and have a good long career. The risk with him is injury and that's not insignificant. Still I'd have him near hooper and J smith.  

Fwiw I think Julius thomas is a tier or two too low too so maybe I'm not discounting enough for injuries. 

He seems like a solid all around prospect (like Witten) but the outlook is longer and the upside more limited imo.

I guess the difference is our evaluation of the player. Maybe I am missing something. 

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1 hour ago, EBF said:

I think Jimmy Graham and Demaryius Thomas are/were elite talents, so I'd be a little more reluctant to write them off since they're not really at the age where they should fall off yet.

With Graham & D Thomas, I wouldn't say that I'm writing them off. It's more that they're old enough (Thomas turning 30 this year, Graham turning 31) so that I can look at what they did last year and what they seem likely to do this year, and guess that most likely all they have left is another 2-3 years of something like that. Hence WR28 and TE13.

 

25 minutes ago, -OZ- said:

Fwiw I think Julius thomas is a tier or two too low too so maybe I'm not discounting enough for injuries. 

I think that Julius Thomas was never that good of a TE - he was mostly just a product of Peyton Manning (much like Jacob Tamme, who had 67/631/4 in 10 games in 2010 after Dallas Clark went down). Thomas had 1 big year with Manning, 1 year with Manning where he scored a lot of touchdowns but was otherwise mediocre, and a couple mediocre years in Jacksonville. He is still at the top of tier 7 because maybe I'm wrong.

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25 minutes ago, Biabreakable said:
1 hour ago, ZWK said:

If we look at ppg (min 8 games), and include Witten's 2016 playoff game, then in 2016 I have Witten as TE16 in 1 ppr, TE16 in 0.5 ppr, and TE19 in 0 ppr. In 2015 he was TE13 in 1 ppr, TE16 in 0.5 ppr, and TE17 in 0 ppr. In 2014 he was TE10 in 1 ppr, TE10 in 0.5 ppr, and TE11 in 0 ppr. Gates finished ahead of him in all 3 years and all 3 formats. Zach Miller's 2016 season was better than any of Witten's last 3 seasons.

 

Witten is one of the few TE who does not regularly miss games, so that calculation will disadvantage him somewhat.

Here is Witten in pretty typical scoring format. TE 9 in total points in 2014. TE 10 in 2015. TE 11 in 2016  this is for weeks 1-17. Witten had one of his best games against Green Bay in the playoffs last year, which I considered worth noting because Dak Prescott was a rookie..

ppg is more relevant than season-long totals because I'm not going to take 0's when Eric Ebron misses 3 games, instead I'll start (say) Charles Clay for 3 weeks. And 13 weeks of Ebron plus 3 of Clay is better than 16 of Witten, even though Witten finished ahead of either of them in the season-long totals.

Normally I like to look at VBD by taking a player's fantasy points per game, subtracting the baseline level of points per game, and then multiplying that by the number of games he played. (This is equivalent to taking a player's total fantasy points and then adding baseline-level production for the games that he missed). But that doesn't work for below-baseline players because they'll all just get 0 VBD.

I guess the nice thing about Witten's reliability is that, if you take him as your TE2, then you don't have to worry too much about him being out when your TE1 has a bye week or if your TE1 misses some time with injuries (unlike if, say, Zach Miller is your TE2). So if roster spots were really scarce and you wanted to roll with only 2 TEs all year (or perhaps 2 plus a prospect like Jonnu Smith) then I can see a case for taking Witten ahead of pretty much everyone else in tier 7. But if I'm looking for my starter, I'd rather go after a couple players who have a better chance to crack the top 10 in ppg.

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16 hours ago, ZWK said:

It also feels like I might be making a mistake with Robert Woods, who probably has more upside than I'm giving him credit for with that WR105 rank.

I was never high on Robert Woods, and he went to one of the worst passing attacks in the NFL, but here are two players after 4 years 

161 rec 2022 yards 11 touchdowns 279 targets

203 rec 2451 yards 12 touchdowns 345 targets 

Their best seasons were

67 rec 732 yards 6 touchdowns 112 targets

65 etc 699 yards 5 touchdowns 104 targets

Nearly identical yards per target, catches per target,  etc. Both played with a strong wr1 and both moved to new teams on their second contract.  The first one is Emmanuel Sanders,  the second is Robert woods.  Very different players,  and they went to very different situations,  but in Sanders case he played with a hall of fame qb and didn't look great,  played with manning and looked all world,  then played with Brock and simian and put up 75/1100/5 numbers in back to back years. Not really stud wr numbers but still really good considering where he came from.

Now Sanders and woods are far from identical players.  And they went to totally different situations.  

But is it that hard to believe that woods, who just got a big contact, who was drafted in the second vs Sanders in the 3rd,  who is the only guy with any NFL experience catching the ball for the rams, and plays with a qb selected 1.1 in last year's draft, for a team that went from super conservative Jeff Fisher to an offensive coach from a much better passing offense... could put up 1100/5? If he gets 140-150 targets at his previous per target/ per catch production he would hit those numbers pretty easily.  

I definitely think wr105 is low for him.  He's probably closer to wr75 right now. But his ceiling seems low enough I can see why you'd move him down  especially in your swing for the fences style rankings.  I think his upside is a fantasy wr2 season, maybe 2 or 3 if he's lucky, but the more immediate upside is that he puts up a couple good games early against teams like Washington, Dallas, the 49ers and jaguars, and you can spot start him in a wr3bc slot if you really need help, then try to flip him for something useful. 

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7 minutes ago, bostonfred said:

I was never high on Robert Woods, and he went to one of the worst passing attacks in the NFL, but here are two players after 4 years 

161 rec 2022 yards 11 touchdowns 279 targets

203 rec 2451 yards 12 touchdowns 345 targets 

Their best seasons were

67 rec 732 yards 6 touchdowns 112 targets

65 etc 699 yards 5 touchdowns 104 targets

Nearly identical yards per target, catches per target,  etc. Both played with a strong wr1 and both moved to new teams on their second contract.  The first one is Emmanuel Sanders,  the second is Robert woods.  Very different players,  and they went to very different situations,  but in Sanders case he played with a hall of fame qb and didn't look great,  played with manning and looked all world,  then played with Brock and simian and put up 75/1100/5 numbers in back to back years. Not really stud wr numbers but still really good considering where he came from.

Now Sanders and woods are far from identical players.  And they went to totally different situations.  

But is it that hard to believe that woods, who just got a big contact, who was drafted in the second vs Sanders in the 3rd,  who is the only guy with any NFL experience catching the ball for the rams, and plays with a qb selected 1.1 in last year's draft, for a team that went from super conservative Jeff Fisher to an offensive coach from a much better passing offense... could put up 1100/5? If he gets 140-150 targets at his previous per target/ per catch production he would hit those numbers pretty easily.  

I definitely think wr105 is low for him.  He's probably closer to wr75 right now. But his ceiling seems low enough I can see why you'd move him down  especially in your swing for the fences style rankings.  I think his upside is a fantasy wr2 season, maybe 2 or 3 if he's lucky, but the more immediate upside is that he puts up a couple good games early against teams like Washington, Dallas, the 49ers and jaguars, and you can spot start him in a wr3bc slot if you really need help, then try to flip him for something useful. 

Good comparison. A 4-year stretch of production like Sanders 2015-16 is pretty valuable. It's not a home run, but there are probably only about 25 WRs in the NFL who will wind up giving you more value than that.

I liked Sanders more than Woods throughout each player's first 4 seasons (I think - I didn't start keeping rankings until after Sanders's 3rd season), and Sanders's production in Denver has been both better than I expected and better than what I think it was reasonable to expect, so I'm not going to pencil Woods in for that kind of production. But I am moving him up, probably to the WR80-85 range (near guys like Chad Williams, Quincy Enunwa, and Paul Richardson).

Interestingly, I drafted Robert Woods earlier this summer, before this re-analysis, in a best ball dynasty league. League format is hugely important, and with best ball a 25-year-old 600-yard-per-year receiver is a useful player to roster. Best ball is a format that rewards on base percentage and punishes strikeouts.

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5 hours ago, ZWK said:

ppg is more relevant than season-long totals because I'm not going to take 0's when Eric Ebron misses 3 games, instead I'll start (say) Charles Clay for 3 weeks. And 13 weeks of Ebron plus 3 of Clay is better than 16 of Witten, even though Witten finished ahead of either of them in the season-long totals.

Normally I like to look at VBD by taking a player's fantasy points per game, subtracting the baseline level of points per game, and then multiplying that by the number of games he played. (This is equivalent to taking a player's total fantasy points and then adding baseline-level production for the games that he missed). But that doesn't work for below-baseline players because they'll all just get 0 VBD.

I guess the nice thing about Witten's reliability is that, if you take him as your TE2, then you don't have to worry too much about him being out when your TE1 has a bye week or if your TE1 misses some time with injuries (unlike if, say, Zach Miller is your TE2). So if roster spots were really scarce and you wanted to roll with only 2 TEs all year (or perhaps 2 plus a prospect like Jonnu Smith) then I can see a case for taking Witten ahead of pretty much everyone else in tier 7. But if I'm looking for my starter, I'd rather go after a couple players who have a better chance to crack the top 10 in ppg.

I understand doing this for head to head match ups, although you are being generous as far as your ability to know when those players will miss games. It isn't as clear as you make it sound.

This is dynasty however and I think dynasty value should be measured in terms of seasons. Not games. 

I have a different opinion about Wittens utility for a fantasy team than you do. He has consistently been within the top 12 TE for basically his whole career. You describe him as a TE two but realistically he is low TE one. In the case where you have no better TE than Witten available, he can hold that spot down for you and not give up too much of an advantage to the higher scoring TE. He is still over the baseline.

Given the cost? Somewhere around player 200 overall by guestimation of where you have him currently ranked. That is a bargain. 

Because of his age you don't know how many seasons like this he has left (if any) and that is a good reason to have him lower, You have to treat him like a one year rental for the most part. However Antonio Gates and other top TE (Tony Gonzalez) have shown that they can keep performing at a high level into their late 30s. Similar to the QBs. If the TE is good teams will let them play even into their later years. It is still conceivable that Witten will be performing at a similar level in 2019 (age 37)  if he wants to.

Its nothing new. I have been saying that Witten is undervalued for like four years in a row now. Just one of those players whos price does not meet their production.

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