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ZWK's Dynasty Rankings (WR updated April 2021)


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1 hour ago, -OZ- said:

There's value there sure, but do you know any Mariota, Winston or Dak owners who would trade those guys straight for Stafford, Ryan or cousins? In the off season?  If I saw that swap today that would tell me (1) the owner trading away the young guy is going all in for 17 and (2) he probably isn't coming back next year. 

But the inverse, the majority of Ryan/Stafford/cousins owners would probably trade their guy for the others.

Well i think people are prob generally reluctant to trade away young players with potential upside so you might be right.  Personally I have my doubts about all 3 of those guys.

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50 minutes ago, Soulfly3 said:

I just can't see Wilson at #2. I can't. But to each their own. Solid writeup.

I would probably flip Wilson and Rodgers but who else would you take over him. Luck carries a lot of risk and Watson has played like 7 games.  Anyone below that carries a lot of question marks IMO.

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1 hour ago, Soulfly3 said:

I just can't see Wilson at #2. I can't. But to each their own. Solid writeup.

I sort of agree because it seems high but he has everything I want in a QB. He's performed as an top tier qb, he has a proven track record as a winner, he seems like a hard working guy with character, he's still fairly young.  

My first reaction was like yours but if you think about it, it makes sense. Although I don't think I'd draft any QB all that high. I did land him this off season in an initial dynasty draft, along with Brees, Goff and garapalo. Couldn't be happier with that group, although I did trade Goff a few weeks ago.

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2 hours ago, -OZ- said:

There's value there sure, but do you know any Mariota, Winston or Dak owners who would trade those guys straight for Stafford, Ryan or cousins? In the off season?  If I saw that swap today that would tell me (1) the owner trading away the young guy is going all in for 17 and (2) he probably isn't coming back next year. 

But the inverse, the majority of Ryan/Stafford/cousins owners would probably trade their guy for the others.

This is way overstated IMO.

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1 hour ago, humpback said:

This is way overstated IMO.

Agreed. And the ranking doesn't mean you have to swap player X for player Y. It simply means owners see value in trading for a lower ranked player if that's where the rest of the world values him. 

Let's face it. In a start-1-QB league, we can usually trade for older QBs for a win-now team without giving up the farm. 

Example: in one league, I just traded away Big Ben during this hot steak for a 3rd rounder. He might not even play next year and he wouldn't have made my offseason keeper list, but the other team got a hot QB to ride into the playoffs for dirt cheap. And I at least got something for a soon-to-retire QB. 

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10 hours ago, ZWK said:

Post-Thanksgiving QB rankings. Assuming 12 QB starters and about 250 position players rostered. Age as of 11/17/17. Prev from 9/8/17.

Thanks as always for the rankings.  My list would look very similar as I like the way you value QBs in 1-team leagues (heavily weighted towards upside).  It's nice to see someone finally moving Brees down.  The guy has been a low end QB for almost a season and a half now, even before the run game and defense improved.  I'm not sure he has many of those 350/4 type games left in the tank even if they were asking him to do it, which they aren't.

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3 hours ago, Soulfly3 said:

I just can't see Wilson at #2. I can't. But to each their own. Solid writeup.

He's the runaway QB1 this year, has a top 3 QB finish in his past, has elite career efficiency stats, and is still under 30 years old.

Even without his rushing numbers this year he's on pace to finish with 4500 yards and 33 TDs passing.  Obviously there are concerns about regression once the running game gets back on track and whatnot but his team isn't any less likely to lean on him than anyone else and unlike the others he has shown that he can deliver when they do ask it.  There's no saying that he won't follow the path of someone like Brady who was a low volume game manager early in his career that was asked to do more and more as he aged when the team realized he can deliver on it.

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I think in the past I've questioned your rankings of Wentz and Cousins being too low. Now Wentz is #1 but you dropped Cousins even more even though he's the #5 QB before this week in what has to be a very terrible situation (no WR1 (and the guys they stick in that role underperform), Reed hurt, team doesn't want him). I don't see a reason to prefer Carr or Winston to Cousins at this point. What does Cousins have to do to be ranked as a QB1? Obviously being a QB1 for 3 straight years is not enough.

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12 hours ago, ZWK said:

1    4    Andrew Luck    IND    28.2    (1)

Very hard guy to rank right now. Uncertainty over his health, when he will play again, and where. Whether talking startup draft or trades, I don't see taking/preferring him over most of your tier 1-3 QBs

12 hours ago, ZWK said:

1    3    Aaron Rodgers    GB    34.0    (2)
1    5    Deshaun Watson    HOU    22.2    (17)

I understand this relative ranking but I think Watson's abbreviated performance and the 12 year age gap would have him at #3 for me, with Rodgers #4.

12 hours ago, ZWK said:

4    18    Matthew Stafford    DET    29.8    (20)

This seems too low IMO. Stafford has been a pretty consistent QB1, though typically on the low end, he has not missed a game in 7 seasons, and he is not quite 30. I assume you have him here due to perceived (lack of) upside, but he has finished in the top 5 twice (2011, 2013). IMO he should be top 15.

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6 hours ago, Soulfly3 said:

I just can't see Wilson at #2.

Wilson is QB #1 this season to date.

He was QB #4 in 2015, behind Newton, Brady, and Bortles. Newton and Bortles have fallen off since then and Brady is 40.

He played through multiple injuries in the first half of the 2016 season but was QB #3 from week 8 to week 17, behind Rodgers and Brees. Rodgers is 34 and Brees is 38.

He is just 29, so he is in his prime and has 8-10 years left to play.

He is durable and has not missed a game in the NFL. While he is a great running QB, he is unusually good at avoiding big hits.

He has no issues off the field.

What is not to like?

12 hours ago, ZWK said:

Russell Wilson is having another great year, now as a one-man offense, and his rushing production has bounced back. I continue to be somewhat concerned about a possible decline in rushing production over the coming years (being 1 year older is a bigger deal for QBs who get a significant chunk of their value from running), plus he'll probably account for fewer of the Seahawks touchdowns once they find a RB.

This season Wilson has gotten about 19% of his fantasy production from rushing. That is about the same as Watson but well below other running QBs (Cam, Dak, Tyrod, Mariota)... those are the QBs at significant risk of losing rushing production as they age. I'm sure Wilson's rushing will eventually decline, but it isn't like it will ever go to zero, barring an unlikely injury. And if you zeroed out all rushing numbers for QBs, Wilson would currently rank as QB #4, just a few points behind Cousins and Wentz (with Brady #1).

No doubt he will not continue to be responsible for 96% of his team's TDs... but an improved running game should be expected to raise the team's total TDs. 2015 was the last time Seattle had a running game that was at least okay, and the Seattle RBs rushed for 9 TDs... while Wilson passed for 34 and rushed for 1. I don't see any risk of Seattle changing their offense back to their 2012-14 philosophy, when Wilson was attempting 400-450 passes per season, at least not for several years (i.e., not with Wilson in his prime).

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5 hours ago, joey said:

Agreed. And the ranking doesn't mean you have to swap player X for player Y. It simply means owners see value in trading for a lower ranked player if that's where the rest of the world values him. 

Let's face it. In a start-1-QB league, we can usually trade for older QBs for a win-now team without giving up the farm. 

Example: in one league, I just traded away Big Ben during this hot steak for a 3rd rounder. He might not even play next year and he wouldn't have made my offseason keeper list, but the other team got a hot QB to ride into the playoffs for dirt cheap. And I at least got something for a soon-to-retire QB. 

Sure. I just don't think any of those 3 are going to win you a championship unless you've been unlucky with QB injuries and you're strong elsewhere. in my leagues they would not get one of the younger guys.

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I was taking a closer look at Cousins' numbers, and the stat that jumps out at me is his 12 rushing touchdowns since the 2015 season. That's the third most among QBs over that time period, behind only Cam Newton (20) and Tyrod Taylor (13). Which is pretty remarkable, because Cousins doesn't run that much - he is just 14th among QBs in total rushing attempts since 2015 and 18th in rushing yards. He is averaging 36/107/4.4 rushing per 16 games. Quarterbacks usually only score about 1 rushing TD for every 96 yards rushing; Cousins has about 4 times that many.

Those rushing touchdowns have given him about an extra 1 ppg, compared to other pocket passers, which is a big part of what has allowed him to be a fantasy QB1.

So, a big question going forward is: do we expect the rushing touchdowns to continue over the next few years?

If he's likely to continue rushing for 4 touchdowns each year then he should be ranked higher; if he's likely to drop down below 2 per year then his current ranking seems about right.

Interestingly, Matt Ryan and Derek Carr each have 0 rushing TDs since the start of 2015, even though they're both close to Cousins in rushing yardage. So they're each giving up 72 fpts to Cousins from rushing touchdowns, cumulatively over the past 3 seasons. If that's likely to continue then it's big for Cousins, and if it's likely to disappear then that's big against Cousins.

I wasn't thinking about this explicitly when I made my rankings, but I was thinking of Cousins as a pocket passer and paying more attention to his talent level (and various passing stats) than to his recent fantasy numbers, which essentially amounts to assuming that his rushing TDs would regress towards the mean.

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7 hours ago, ZWK said:

Those rushing touchdowns have given him about an extra 1 ppg, compared to other pocket passers, which is a big part of what has allowed him to be a fantasy QB1.

So, a big question going forward is: do we expect the rushing touchdowns to continue over the next few years?

On the first 12 weeks, in 6 pt pass td league Cousins is at 22.5 ppg. If you erase all 3 rushing TDs this year, he is still a QB1. He would be QB11 in PPG and QB8 overall. And erasing TDs is dumb. "Allowed him to be a fantasy QB1" is imprecise at best.

Cousins had 4900 yards last year and only 25 pass TDs. 15th most pass yards in a single season. If you look at the top 30 single season pass yard seasons, only 1 season had < 25 pass TDs. I think a few rushing TDs are warranted?

The biggest question for Cousins going forward is not randomness of rushing TDs it is pass volume. He had 4900 last year and on pace for just under 4500 this year. If the pass volume remains high, the TDs will come, and if anything his combined TDs are low given his volume and may rise.

Predicting volume is hard given his contract situation. I take encouragement from the fact that in basically a busted season the volume has remained high. SF signing Garoppolo is mostly a positive as SF has a lot of holes to fill.

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On 12/3/2017 at 2:14 AM, ZWK said:

2    6    Marcus Mariota    TEN    24.0    (4)
2    7    Jameis Winston    TB    23.9    (6)
2    8    Dak Prescott    DAL    24.3    (8)
3    10    Derek Carr    OAK    26.6    (5)
3    11    Jared Goff    RAM    23.1    (18)

This feels like one big tier to me.  If its a startup, I'll take the fifth one off the board.

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7 hours ago, bostonfred said:

This feels like one big tier to me.  If its a startup, I'll take the fifth one off the board.

Jameis should be at the back of this tier now, if at all. I don't know how you could take him over any of those other guys in a startup, especially Goff and Dak. 

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8 hours ago, bostonfred said:
On 12/3/2017 at 1:14 AM, ZWK said:

2    6    Marcus Mariota    TEN    24.0    (4)
2    7    Jameis Winston    TB    23.9    (6)
2    8    Dak Prescott    DAL    24.3    (8)
3    10    Derek Carr    OAK    26.6    (5)
3    11    Jared Goff    RAM    23.1    (18)

This feels like one big tier to me.  If its a startup, I'll take the fifth one off the board.

I'm one of the bigger Mariota fans on this board for real life, but I agree with this. I'd probably avoid Winston but I'd be fine with any of the other 4. I do think it's Mariota, Dak, Goff, Carr, Winston but they're basically equal.

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19 hours ago, ZWK said:

I was taking a closer look at Cousins' numbers, and the stat that jumps out at me is his 12 rushing touchdowns since the 2015 season. That's the third most among QBs over that time period, behind only Cam Newton (20) and Tyrod Taylor (13). Which is pretty remarkable, because Cousins doesn't run that much - he is just 14th among QBs in total rushing attempts since 2015 and 18th in rushing yards. He is averaging 36/107/4.4 rushing per 16 games. Quarterbacks usually only score about 1 rushing TD for every 96 yards rushing; Cousins has about 4 times that many.

Those rushing touchdowns have given him about an extra 1 ppg, compared to other pocket passers, which is a big part of what has allowed him to be a fantasy QB1.

So, a big question going forward is: do we expect the rushing touchdowns to continue over the next few years?

If he's likely to continue rushing for 4 touchdowns each year then he should be ranked higher; if he's likely to drop down below 2 per year then his current ranking seems about right.

Interestingly, Matt Ryan and Derek Carr each have 0 rushing TDs since the start of 2015, even though they're both close to Cousins in rushing yardage. So they're each giving up 72 fpts to Cousins from rushing touchdowns, cumulatively over the past 3 seasons. If that's likely to continue then it's big for Cousins, and if it's likely to disappear then that's big against Cousins.

I wasn't thinking about this explicitly when I made my rankings, but I was thinking of Cousins as a pocket passer and paying more attention to his talent level (and various passing stats) than to his recent fantasy numbers, which essentially amounts to assuming that his rushing TDs would regress towards the mean.

Even if you remove all of Cousins' rushing TDs the last two years he's still a QB1 (QB7 this year and QB9 last year) so I'm not sure where you're getting the idea that the rushing TDs are what have kept him a QB1.

He's also had a relatively low percentage of passing touchdowns relative to his passing yards and overall efficiency.  That is something that could just as easily improve by a fair amount as the rushing TDs could decrease.

ETA: Looks like @thriftyrocker beat me to it.

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23 hours ago, ZWK said:

I was taking a closer look at Cousins' numbers, and the stat that jumps out at me is his 12 rushing touchdowns since the 2015 season. That's the third most among QBs over that time period, behind only Cam Newton (20) and Tyrod Taylor (13). Which is pretty remarkable, because Cousins doesn't run that much - he is just 14th among QBs in total rushing attempts since 2015 and 18th in rushing yards. He is averaging 36/107/4.4 rushing per 16 games. Quarterbacks usually only score about 1 rushing TD for every 96 yards rushing; Cousins has about 4 times that many.

Those rushing touchdowns have given him about an extra 1 ppg, compared to other pocket passers, which is a big part of what has allowed him to be a fantasy QB1.

So, a big question going forward is: do we expect the rushing touchdowns to continue over the next few years?

If he's likely to continue rushing for 4 touchdowns each year then he should be ranked higher; if he's likely to drop down below 2 per year then his current ranking seems about right.

Interestingly, Matt Ryan and Derek Carr each have 0 rushing TDs since the start of 2015, even though they're both close to Cousins in rushing yardage. So they're each giving up 72 fpts to Cousins from rushing touchdowns, cumulatively over the past 3 seasons. If that's likely to continue then it's big for Cousins, and if it's likely to disappear then that's big against Cousins.

I wasn't thinking about this explicitly when I made my rankings, but I was thinking of Cousins as a pocket passer and paying more attention to his talent level (and various passing stats) than to his recent fantasy numbers, which essentially amounts to assuming that his rushing TDs would regress towards the mean.

This seems like odd reasoning and even the language you are using sounds like you are rationalizing against something (rushing TD) that are not even that significant in a relative sense to what other pocket passers have done. It seems like you are cherry picking with Carr and Matt Ryan. Cousins has only rushed for 5 TD (2015) 4 TD (2016) and 3 TD so far this season. That really isn't a lot of rushing TD for a QB who starts 16 games in my opinion.

Andy Dalton has rushed for 4 TD three times and 3 TD once out of his 7 year career. I would consider him a pocket passer as well. Hell even Peyton Manning has two seasons with 4 rushing TD.

While I would agree it is a bit above average, I don't think it is that unusual, and that Cousins has been doing it consistently should mean something for projecting that forward.

Washington does have a good offensive line (when they are healthy) that likely has something to do with it.

I can understand being wary of the uncertainty regarding Cousins future. Will he be with Washington or another team?

QB 17 does seem too low to me however given that he has been QB 8, 5 and currently 6 for the last 3 seasons.

There are a lot of good QBs to consider, so I think that makes this hard, I can see reasons for why you would have most of the top 16 QBs you rank ahead of him, but it still seems that Cousins should at least be a bit higher than he is. Personally I think you have Trubisky and Mahomes too high and I would take Cousins over them pretty easily despite the difference in age, and I do like both of those QBs.

You do have Cousins tier 3 so essentially equal to

3    9    Cam Newton    CAR    28.5    (9)
3    10    Derek Carr    OAK    26.6    (5)
3    11    Jared Goff    RAM    23.1    (18)
3    12    Tom Brady    NE    40.3    (13)
3    13    Matt Ryan    ATL    32.5    (7)
3    14    Mitchell Trubisky    CHI    23.2    (10)
3    15    Patrick Mahomes    KC    22.2    (12)
3    16    Drew Brees    NO    38.8    (11)
3    17    Kirk Cousins    WAS    29.2    (15)

And looking at it this way, I think this is perfectly fine. It is basically just a matter of preference between this group of otherwise interchangeable options.

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I think you have done a good job overall with the QB rankings.

I disagree with Carson Wentz as the QB 1 though and I would like to hear your reasoning for this.

He is currently barely on pace for 4000 passing yards. The passing TD are very high but I am not sure hat is something you can expect to be sustainable. He wasn't nearly as good last season (although he was a rookie, and rookies improve). I don't think he has enough of a track record to rank him 1st overall yet. I would feel more comfortable with Wilson there because of his track record. Also having watched both players against each other recently, I definitely think Wilson is the better QB. The age difference isn't compelling enough for me. So many times these young QBs seem great then fade once there is more than one big season to look at for them.

Wentz does have a very good supporting cast around him though, and that is reason to be optimistic about him being able to repeat his performance or even improve on it.

I just could see the TD passes falling back to more normal numbers and if so that means you are over valuing him. The Eagles run the ball to well for me to really think his passing yards are going to be high enough for him to consistently finish top 5 QB.

In general I think you are ranking the young QBs a bit too high. I would prefer a more proven player when it comes to this, some of these young QBs who you have ranked very high will end up busting and be overvalued by ranking them so high before they have proven they belong there in my view.

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6 minutes ago, Biabreakable said:

This seems like odd reasoning and even the language you are using sounds like you are rationalizing against something (rushing TD) that are not even that significant in a relative sense to what other pocket passers have done. It seems like you are cherry picking with Carr and Matt Ryan. Cousins has only rushed for 5 TD (2015) 4 TD (2016) and 3 TD so far this season. That really isn't a lot of rushing TD for a QB who starts 16 games in my opinion.

Andy Dalton has rushed for 4 TD three times and 3 TD once out of his 7 year career. I would consider him a pocket passer as well. Hell even Peyton Manning has two seasons with 4 rushing TD.

While I would agree it is a bit above average, I don't think it is that unusual, and that Cousins has been doing it consistently should mean something for projecting that forward.

I actually looked up comparables after posting that.

Cousins has 12 rushing TDs in not-quite 3 seasons, while rushing for only 6.7 yards per game.

I checked PFR for every QB since 1990 who, over 3 consecutive seasons, had a total of at least 9 rushing TDs while averaging at most 12 rushing yards per game. There were four: Kirk Cousins (2015-2017), Andy Dalton (2012-2014), Mark Sanchez (2009-2011), and Scott Mitchell (1994-1996). So it is pretty unusual.

Did these guys keep up the rushing TDs? Dalton has (7 rushing TDs in 40 games started), Sanchez did not (1 rushing TD in 25 starts), and Mitchell did not (2 rushing TDs in 25 starts). So those 3 guys dropped from an average of 3.7 TD per 16 games during their strong 3-year stretch to 1.6 TD per 16 games over the rest of their careers so far.

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Here is passing fpts per game since the start of the 2015 season for every QB with more than 16 games (counting a game in which the player appeared but did not start as half a game):

20.16    Tom Brady
18.72    Drew Brees
17.70    Ben Roethlisberger
17.64    Aaron Rodgers
16.95    Andrew Luck
16.87    Carson Palmer
16.75    Philip Rivers
16.54    Matt Ryan
16.41    Russell Wilson
16.25    Kirk Cousins
16.20    Derek Carr
16.13    Matthew Stafford
14.81    Eli Manning
14.70    Carson Wentz
14.33    Andy Dalton
14.12    Blake Bortles
14.10    Cam Newton
13.98    Sam Bradford
13.98    Alex Smith
13.93    Ryan Tannehill
13.88    Jameis Winston
13.82    Josh McCown
13.13    Dak Prescott
13.11    Ryan Fitzpatrick
13.01    Brian Hoyer
12.86    Marcus Mariota
12.58    Jared Goff
12.53    Joe Flacco
12.21    Trevor Siemian
12.00    Tyrod Taylor
11.97    Case Keenum
11.88    Jay Cutler
11.70    Blaine Gabbert
11.02    Brock Osweiler
11.01    Colin Kaepernick

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There is not much separation between my QB1 and QB5, which is unusual.

Wentz is currently ranked 6th in ANY/A, 3rd in QBR, 2nd in clutch-weighted EPA, 8th in DVOA, 5th in PFF grade, and 3rd in fantasy points. He's having a really good season, as the 2nd overall pick in his 2nd year - a QB's second season is generally much more predictive than his rookie year, and he could continue to develop. He should have a lot of stability in that offense over the next few years, with guys like Ertz and Jeffery signed long-term. His passing TDs are likely to come down a little, but his rushing TDs are likely to increase (he has 0) and his attempts could increase as game scripts regress towards the mean and Philly looks for its Sproles replacement.

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Here is the cumulative QB VBD for the 2015 through 2017 seasons. (Details on the formula at the bottom.)

149.9    Tom Brady
137.3    Cam Newton
132.9    Russell Wilson
130.8    Aaron Rodgers
113.3    Drew Brees
78.3    Matt Ryan
68.1    Kirk Cousins
59.5    Andrew Luck
51.0    Alex Smith
48.7    Deshaun Watson
47.3    Carson Wentz
[39.5    Kirk Cousins if he had 2 rushing TD per 16 games]
38.1    Tyrod Taylor
34.3    Blake Bortles
34.1    Matthew Stafford
29.2    Dak Prescott
28.8    Carson Palmer
24.7    Ben Roethlisberger
20.8    Andy Dalton
17.8    Philip Rivers
16.7    Colin Kaepernick
15.5    Derek Carr
14.3    Marcus Mariota
11.1    Josh McCown
9.9    Jared Goff
9.8    Eli Manning
8.3    Ryan Fitzpatrick
7.1    Jameis Winston
4.1    Case Keenum
2.2    Geno Smith

VBD for each season is calculated as Games x (PPG - BaselinePPG) with a floor of 0. I used three baselines (last starter, a higher baseline, and a lower baseline) and averaged the results together, which better accounts for how a borderline QB1/QB2 might be in your lineup or on your bench depending on the rest of your roster.

Half the VBD comes from the top 5 QBs: Brady, Newton, Wilson, Rodgers, and Brees. Another 20% of the VBD comes from the one big season by each of the 5 next non-Cousin players (Ryan's 2016, Luck's 2016, Smith's 2017, Watson's 2017, Wentz's 2017). Solid steady performers like Stafford aren't worth much.

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  • 1 month later...

Surprised to see AJG ranked so much higher than Keenan Allen, even in Nov. Almost a 5 year age gap, and Keenan always producing at a strong WR1 level when healthy. Green hitting that awkward too-old-to-trade age. I think AJG's game will age well but I've got to think that a lot of owners are looking at these rankings wondering if they can swap him to get younger and stay nearly as productive.

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1 hour ago, ConnSKINS26 said:

Surprised to see AJG ranked so much higher than Keenan Allen, even in Nov. Almost a 5 year age gap, and Keenan always producing at a strong WR1 level when healthy. Green hitting that awkward too-old-to-trade age. I think AJG's game will age well but I've got to think that a lot of owners are looking at these rankings wondering if they can swap him to get younger and stay nearly as productive.

At the time you're talking about (November) when Allen was healthy (IE comparing everyone else only in the weeks that Allen also played) he was WR20 in 2013, WR23 in 2014, WR4 in 2015, and was currently WR26 in 2017.  "Always producing at a strong WR1 level when healthy" at that time wasn't even close to reality.  He'd basically had one 8 game stretch in 4 and a half years where he was a strong WR1.

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43 minutes ago, FreeBaGeL said:

At the time you're talking about (November) when Allen was healthy (IE comparing everyone else only in the weeks that Allen also played) he was WR20 in 2013, WR23 in 2014, WR4 in 2015, and was currently WR26 in 2017.  "Always producing at a strong WR1 level when healthy" at that time wasn't even close to reality.  He'd basically had one 8 game stretch in 4 and a half years where he was a strong WR1.

Allen did finish as WR 3 in PPR scoring leagues this year. Largely off of a strong last seven games. 

I recall posting in the Allen thread for people to not give up on him, as he was getting the targets, he just hadn't produced at a very high level at that point of the season, but with the opportunity he was getting, that he would. He did.

Over the first 10 weeks however Allen was WR 26 as you mention. Performing like a WR 3 at that time. What a difference 7 weeks can make eh?

That said though Allen has been a productive WR on a per game basis, he just missed a lot of games, making extrapolating that performance difficult.

Going into the 2017 season Keenan Allen was WR 2 in terms of points per game over the previous 3 seasons as the sample, 22.1 points per game. Higher than OBJs 21.2 and only second to Antonio Browns 23.

Of course there are problems with PPG stats. In terms of average VBD over the same time frame Allen was -19.3 just behind Stefon Diggs and slightly ahead of Sammy Watkins as the missed games matter in such a calculation.

Comparing this to AJ Green, he had 17.1 PPG over the same time period, but 25.7 VBD due to fewer games missed.

In terms of yards per target, AJ Green 9.5 over this time frame Keenan Allen 7.2

As far as the age there is a big difference in 25 for Allen compared to 29 for Green for the 2017 season.

Putting it all together I can see an argument for Allen being ranked higher than Green after the 2017 season. The points per game numbers have been very strong.

However going into this season, there were reasons to doubt if those numbers would be repeated, or if Allen could stay healthy. This season has shown both of those questions to be a yes, but had not revealed themselves at the time of ZWK's last ranking as you point out.

That said Allen had 17.4 PPG this season, showing that his previous mark of 22.1 was not sustainable and actually more similar to AJ Greens 3 year average of 17.1 PPG going into 2017 Green only had 14.4 PPG this season in somewhat of a down year for him. Mostly related to a decline in QB play, which I think is related to the Bengals offensive line not protecting Dalton as well.

It also should be pointed out that ZWKs rankings are for .5 PPR which helps Green who scores more TD than Allen does.and hurts Allen because receptions are only worth 50% of full PPR scoring.

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31 minutes ago, Biabreakable said:

Allen did finish as WR 3 in PPR scoring leagues this year.

OK...don't really see how that's relevant to a discussion about where Allen should have been ranked in November, when he was WR26 at the time.  He obviously has seen a large increase in value since then, but the discussion was specifically about the notion that he should have been ranked higher in the November rankings based on what he had done so far, before that huge jump.  Good call on predicting his re-breakout, but the point I was responding to was specifically about what he'd done statistically prior to that.

 

31 minutes ago, Biabreakable said:

That said though Allen has been a productive WR on a per game basis, he just missed a lot of games, making extrapolating that performance difficult.

Yeah, that's not true, even though it seems to be the perception around him.

Again the rankings I listed were counting only the weeks that Allen played.  IE Allen played 14 games in 2014, so I only looked at his ranking through 14 weeks (not 17).  He played 8 games in 2015, so I only looked at his ranking through 8 weeks (not 17).

Again, the assertion was that he'd been a strong WR1 whenever he played.  But in reality he was  a mid WR2 in 2013, a borderline WR2/WR3 in 2014, a strong WR1 in 2015, and was currently a WR3 in 2017.  The only time he was a "strong WR1" was in his shortest season where he only played 8 games.

 

31 minutes ago, Biabreakable said:

Going into the 2017 season Keenan Allen was WR 2 in terms of points per game over the previous 3 seasons as the sample, 22.1 points per game. Higher than OBJs 21.2 and only second to Antonio Browns 23.

I don't think that number is right.  Entering 2017 he was averaging 15.4 points per game in the previous three seasons, not 22.1.  He had 150-1571-8 in 23 games, which is 15.4ppg in PPR.

Obviously it worked out great for Allen owners, but that doesn't make the statement that he had always been a strong WR1 when he played any more true than the notion that he somehow was scoring 22.1 points per game, unless I'm really missing something in my math.

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41 minutes ago, FreeBaGeL said:

OK...don't really see how that's relevant to a discussion about where Allen should have been ranked in November, when he was WR26 at the time.  He obviously has seen a large increase in value since then, but the discussion was specifically about the notion that he should have been ranked higher in the November rankings based on what he had done so far, before that huge jump.  Good call on predicting his re-breakout, but the point I was responding to was specifically about what he'd done statistically prior to that.

Ok I agreed with you.

So your looking at it a bit differently than I am. I added all of those games played from 2014-2016 together, then divide by the number of games for the PPG total.

In 2014 Allen misses the last two games. This was a very good year for WR and Allen was only WR 25 compared to other WR that year weeks 1-15

So not a WR 1 a strong WR 3 very close to a weak WR 2.

In 2015 Allen plays the first 8 weeks of the season. He was WR 4 over this time frame. A WR 1

In 2016 he only plays one game week one before being injured and his 6 catches for 63 yards finishes WR 42 for that week.

I wasn't using 2013 stats in my calculations. So the sample size I was talking about is 23 games he played from 2014-2016.

I agree with your point that he was only a WR 1 in 2015 over his 8 games played. In the 3 year sample that I used, this and the other good but not great numbers combined have him as WR two overall on a point per game basis though. So quite good.

Quote

I don't think that number is right.  Entering 2017 he was averaging 15.4 points per game in the previous three seasons, not 22.1.  He had 150-1571-8 in 23 games, which is 15.4ppg in PPR.

Obviously it worked out great for Allen owners, but that doesn't make the statement that he had always been a strong WR1 when he played any more true than the notion that he somehow was scoring 22.1 points per game, unless I'm really missing something in my math.

Yeah I see where my error was in excel I had too many points for the 2016 season of only one game somehow. 15.3 PPG is correct. My bad.

AJ Green still better than this on PPG basis. Must have pasted something wrong in that column.

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Before this season there were lots of question marks for Keenan Allen. He had one huge year in 2015, for the 8 games that he played, when he was a target hog and put up big numbers. But the Chargers didn't have many other options on offense that year, and it was a small sample size, and Allen didn't reach 70 yards per game in any of his other first 4 seasons. Plus Rivers is getting old, and the Chargers keep adding more weapons in the passing game, and Allen had missed games every year including 23 missed games in 2015-16. In redraft leagues he was drafted around WR19.

Through his first 9 games this year, Allen stayed healthy but he was averaging 66 yards per game; 2015 was still looking like an outlier. Then he blew up over the last 7 weeks, with 114 yards per game. Which gave him a full year in good health, with 1393 receiving yards for the season. His per game production is very strong over the 25 games that he's played, 2015-17. Definitely good reason to move him up the rankings.

And with the calendar turning over at the end of a season, all the older players now slide down since they have used up another year of their careers, and that's a larger fraction of the value for older players than for younger ones. That slide down should mostly wait until the end of the season, rather than happening gradually week by week, since the fantasy playoffs are half the season (in terms of the increase in championship probability that a player provides to your fantasy team).

I'll see if I can get some new rankings posted over the next month which account for these sorts of shifts. Also, I never got around to posting updated TE rankings during the season.

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Regarding Keenan Allen, it seems to me that the clear outlier is now identifiable as his 2014 season. In PPR:

  • 2013 - averaged 14.9 ppg, which was #21; averaged 16.7 ppg over the last 14 weeks (13 games), which was #14. Impressive for a 21 year old rookie.
  • 2014 - regressed to 12.8 ppg, which was #30. I don't recall any narrative that rationalized this.
  • 2015 - dominant for 7.5 games until he was injured, during which he averaged 20.4 ppg, which was #6 (and 21.8 ppg if you prorate from 8 to 7.5 ppg).
  • 2016 - played 2 quarters before tearing his ACL; obviously useless to extrapolate from 2 quarters, but 6/63 against Marcus Peters in those 2 quarters made it seem that he was picking up where he left off in 2015.
  • 2017 - averaged 17.4 ppg, which was #4. While the ppg was down a bit from 2015-16, ppg was down across the league for WRs, as @Biabreakable has posted about elsewhere.

So he was a WR2 as a 21 year old rookie, WR3 in his second year, WR1 in a third year breakout, missed his fourth season to injury, and had another WR1 season in his 5th year. His 2 WR1 finishes came for two different coaching staffs, and he has averaged 10.2 targets per game since 2015.

His profile is that of a great route runner who has great quickness and hands but doesn't really rely on top end speed, athleticism, or height... so he profiles as a WR who will age very well. And he is just 25 right now, turning 26 in April. The worst thing about his situation is that Rivers will give way to another QB after 2019 or 2020, and the new QB is a complete unknown.

Some of this discussion began by comparing him to AJ Green... well, Allen outscored Green on a ppg basis in both of the last 2 seasons he played more than 2 quarters. And Green is nearly 4 years older and has a worse QB situation.

IMO Allen is top 5 at this point. Looking back at @ZWK's Thanksgiving WR rankings, I would slot him in around #4, at top of tier 2.

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1 hour ago, Just Win Baby said:

Some of this discussion began by comparing him to AJ Green... well, Allen outscored Green on a ppg basis in both of the last 2 seasons he played more than 2 quarters. And Green is nearly 4 years older and has a worse QB situation.

Actually it began by comparing his early november ranking to AJ Green, at which point Allen was WR26 (a WR3) and it looked like 2015 was the clear outlier.  Obviously a lot has changed since then and I think most would put him above AJG now, but let's not take that out of context to what was originally brought up (that he should have been ranked ahead of AJG in November).

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1 hour ago, FreeBaGeL said:

Actually it began by comparing his early november ranking to AJ Green, at which point Allen was WR26 (a WR3) and it looked like 2015 was the clear outlier.  Obviously a lot has changed since then and I think most would put him above AJG now, but let's not take that out of context to what was originally brought up (that he should have been ranked ahead of AJG in November).

I don't really care about semantics. My post explains why IMO Allen's value is compelling today, including in reference to why he is more valuable than Green. I don't know why you originally felt compelled to debate whether or not the November ranking made sense when we are now in January (who cares at this point?), but I don't really care about that. :shrug: 

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1 minute ago, Just Win Baby said:

I don't really care about semantics. My post explains why IMO Allen's value is compelling today, including in reference to why he is more valuable than Green. I don't know why you originally felt compelled to debate whether or not the November ranking made sense when we are now in January (who cares at this point?), but I don't really care about that. :shrug: 

Errr, someone else felt compelled to bring up the November ranking as a discussion point, and I simply responded to it.  It was never meant to be some big discussion, just a quick point that "actually at the time...." but people keep responding to it out of context.

Regardless, it's all a bit moot anyway because I'm sure that the consensus will have Allen well above AJG going into next season so there's not a ton of discussion there.

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10 hours ago, Just Win Baby said:

I don't really care about semantics. My post explains why IMO Allen's value is compelling today, including in reference to why he is more valuable than Green. I don't know why you originally felt compelled to debate whether or not the November ranking made sense when we are now in January (who cares at this point?), but I don't really care about that. :shrug: 

You seem to be searching hard for something to argue about. 

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15 hours ago, Just Win Baby said:

Regarding Keenan Allen, it seems to me that the clear outlier is now identifiable as his 2014 season. In PPR:

  • 2013 - averaged 14.9 ppg, which was #21; averaged 16.7 ppg over the last 14 weeks (13 games), which was #14. Impressive for a 21 year old rookie.
  • 2014 - regressed to 12.8 ppg, which was #30. I don't recall any narrative that rationalized this.
  • 2015 - dominant for 7.5 games until he was injured, during which he averaged 20.4 ppg, which was #6 (and 21.8 ppg if you prorate from 8 to 7.5 ppg).
  • 2016 - played 2 quarters before tearing his ACL; obviously useless to extrapolate from 2 quarters, but 6/63 against Marcus Peters in those 2 quarters made it seem that he was picking up where he left off in 2015.
  • 2017 - averaged 17.4 ppg, which was #4. While the ppg was down a bit from 2015-16, ppg was down across the league for WRs, as @Biabreakable has posted about elsewhere.

So he was a WR2 as a 21 year old rookie, WR3 in his second year, WR1 in a third year breakout, missed his fourth season to injury, and had another WR1 season in his 5th year. His 2 WR1 finishes came for two different coaching staffs, and he has averaged 10.2 targets per game since 2015.

His profile is that of a great route runner who has great quickness and hands but doesn't really rely on top end speed, athleticism, or height... so he profiles as a WR who will age very well. And he is just 25 right now, turning 26 in April. The worst thing about his situation is that Rivers will give way to another QB after 2019 or 2020, and the new QB is a complete unknown.

Some of this discussion began by comparing him to AJ Green... well, Allen outscored Green on a ppg basis in both of the last 2 seasons he played more than 2 quarters. And Green is nearly 4 years older and has a worse QB situation.

IMO Allen is top 5 at this point. Looking back at @ZWK's Thanksgiving WR rankings, I would slot him in around #4, at top of tier 2.

I could be wrong but I seem to remember the narrative being he got out of shape and heavy in the off season.

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  • 2 months later...

I'm switching to PPR for my rankings this offseason. Starting with TEs.

Assuming PPR, 12 TE starters, and about 250 position players rostered. Age as of 9/1/18. Prev from 9/6/17.

Tr    Rk    Player    Team    Age    Prev
1    1    Travis Kelce    KC    28.9    (2)
1    2    Rob Gronkowski    NE    29.3    (1)
2    3    Zach Ertz    PHI    27.8    (10)
2    4    Evan Engram    NYG    24.0    (5)
3    5    Hunter Henry    LAC    23.7    (8)
3    6    David Njoku    CLE    22.1    (7)
4    7    O.J. Howard    TB    23.8    (6)
4    8    Jimmy Graham    GB    31.8    (13)
4    9    Jordan Reed    WAS    28.2    (3)
4    10    Gerald Everett    RAM    24.2    (11)
4    11    Eric Ebron    IND    25.4    (9)
4    12    Tyler Eifert    CIN    28.0    (4)
4    13    George Kittle    SF    24.9    (24)
4    14    Kyle Rudolph    MIN    28.8    (16)
5    15    Adam Shaheen    CHI    24.9    (15)
5    16    Jack Doyle    IND    28.3    (22)
5    17    Trey Burton    CHI    26.8    unr
5    18    Greg Olsen    CAR    33.5    (12)
5    19    Austin Hooper    ATL    23.8    (17)
5    20    Delanie Walker    TEN    34.1    (18)
5    21    Cameron Brate    TB    27.2    (25)
5    22    Austin Seferian-Jenkins    JAX    25.9    (20)
5    23    Jonnu Smith    TEN    23.0    (19)
6    24    Stephen Anderson    HOU    25.6    unr
6    25    Jared Cook    OAK    31.4    (29)
6    26    Charles Clay    BUF    29.5    (37)
6    27    Vernon Davis    WAS    34.6    (50)
6    28    Jason Witten    DAL    36.3    (35)
6    29    Tyler Higbee    RAM    25.7    (27)
6    30    Rico Gathers    DAL    24.6    (32)
6    31    Ricky Seals-Jones    ARI    23.5    unr
6    32    Jake Butt    DEN    23.1    (44)
6    33    Tyler Kroft    CIN    25.9    unr
7    34    Nick Vannett    SEA    25.5    (52)
7    35    Coby Fleener    NO    29.9    (21)
7    36    Seth DeValve    CLE    25.6    (30)
7    37    Martellus Bennett        31.5    (14)
7    38    Jesse James    PIT    24.2    (39)
7    39    Ed Dickson    SEA    31.1    unr
7    40    Jeff Heuerman    DEN    25.8    (46)
7    41    Maxx Williams    BAL    24.4    (31)
7    42    Ryan Griffin    HOU    28.6    unr
7    43    Vance McDonald    PIT    28.2    (36)
7    44    Julius Thomas        30.2    (28)
7    45    Michael Roberts    DET    24.3    (49)
7    46    A.J. Derby    MIA    26.9    (42)
7    47    Ben Watson        37.7    (43)
7    48    Erik Swoope    IND    26.3    (33)
7    49    Dwayne Allen    NE    28.5    (26)
7    50    Niles Paul    JAX    29.1    unr
7    51    Jordan Leggett    NYJ    23.6    (51)
7    52    Nick Boyle    BAL    25.5    unr
7    53    Eric Saubert    ATL    24.3    (48)

It's been an interesting year at TE. Reed, Eifert, and Olsen lose most of their season to injuries; this is a trend for the first two and a bad sign at age 32 for the Panther. Zach Ertz finally starts scoring touchdowns; Burton looks just as good when Ertz is out. Retirement talk from Gronk (and some exploration from Olsen for life after his future retirement). Graham joins Rodgers and Ebron gets cut and joins Luck. Indy, Chicago, and Tampa double up on quality TEs. Engram jumps straight into the TE1 range in a depleted NYG receiving corps, and in the unparalleled TE draft class 5th rounder George Kittle gets the second most receiving yards.

Meanwhile, not much change from Hunter Henry (another very solid year - maybe Gates is finally leaving town and Henry will get more opportunities in the receiving game?) or most of the rookies who had adequate but unspectacular seasons (Njoku, Howard, Everett, Shaheen, J Smith), though some of those rookies had changes around them (Brate re-signed, Burton signed, the Rams' offense playing well).

With most of the FAs signed, several teams still have question marks surrounding their TE depth chart (MIA, NYJ, BAL, HOU, DEN, DET, ARI, SEA, possibly NO).

I haven't added this year's rookies yet, but I have shared some thoughts on them in my other thread. At this point I think I'd put Gesicki in tier 4 and Goedert, Andrews, and maybe Hurst in tier 5.

That should give a rough sense for the changes since last year and some of the individual players. For the overall shape of the rankings, I have discussed my approach in a few other places. I focus heavily on upside, since TE fantasy production is very top-heavy. I'm willing to put up with the uncertainties of youth and injuries for a shot at top 3 fantasy TE seasons, because that's where the VBD is.

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2 hours ago, ZWK said:

 

5    21    Cameron Brate    TB    27.2    (25)
5    22    Austin Seferian-Jenkins    JAX    25.9    (20)
5    23    Jonnu Smith    TEN    23.0    (19)
6    24    Stephen Anderson    HOU    25.6    unr
6    25    Jared Cook    OAK    31.4    (29)
6    26    Charles Clay    BUF    29.5    (37)
6    27    Vernon Davis    WAS    34.6    (50)
6    28    Jason Witten    DAL    36.3    (35)
6    29    Tyler Higbee    RAM    25.7    (27)
6    30    Rico Gathers    DAL    24.6    (32)
6    31    Ricky Seals-Jones    ARI    23.5    unr
6    32    Jake Butt    DEN    23.1    (44)
6    33    Tyler Kroft    CIN    25.9    unr
7    34    Nick Vannett    SEA    25.5    (52)
7    35    Coby Fleener    NO    29.9    (21) 

 

Ifocus heavily on upside, since TE fantasy production is very top-heavy. I'm willing to put up with the uncertainties of youth and injuries for a shot at top 3 fantasy TE seasons, because that's where the VBD is.

As always, thank you. 

Question, mostly because maybe I'm just missing their upside, but it seems to me that brate, and your group from 24-29 don't have much upside. Brate is solid no doubt, but the upside for ASJ, Jonnu, Rico, and maybe Butt/RSJ seems much greater to me than those 7. Risk is there sure. 

Is fleener essentially waiver fodder at this point? His name still carries a small value, would you trade him for pretty much anything you can get?  

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Don’t sleep on Luke Wilson. He’s not exciting but if he wins the starting job in det he could something, at least worth listing. He grew up a Detroit fan so maybe I’m just a little rah rah for him right now. Can’t imagine with Detroit’s protection issues that they leave a te off the field much. Perhaps worth looking at as a backup with some volume upside. 

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1 hour ago, -OZ- said:

As always, thank you. 

Question, mostly because maybe I'm just missing their upside, but it seems to me that brate, and your group from 24-29 don't have much upside. Brate is solid no doubt, but the upside for ASJ, Jonnu, Rico, and maybe Butt/RSJ seems much greater to me than those 7. Risk is there sure. 

Is fleener essentially waiver fodder at this point? His name still carries a small value, would you trade him for pretty much anything you can get?  

I dropped fleener in the only league I owned him in last season, te premium league to boot.  Someone picked him up for a week or two at one point but then dropped him back on waivers, where he’s been since. If you can get anything for him, do it 

Edited by Skeletore Eh
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Observations

 

i don’t see Chicago or Indy supporting 2 top 17 TE. Think a lot of committee and give me some guys under

Rudolph to me is always undervalued also. He just gets job done and only 28.too much speculation based on age. Njoku and Howard come to mind as both are not in great spots for the foreseeable future IMO. Too many mouths to feed and not as pass happy of teams. 

Overall an ugly mess. The rookie TE crop could have some value coming up

some names. Roberts seems low given chance now. Of course that could close quickly if Detroit takes rookie but age and opportunity there. Is Max Williams a right off now due to being injured all the time. Still think he could be something. Agreed on Dickson comment

How many more years does Graham have. Must expect Olsen, Walker and Witten to be done this year. And for certain can happen but does Graham have more than 2.

Hooper and ASJ both seem like they could still be value. 

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1 hour ago, Crippler said:

Observations

 

i don’t see Chicago or Indy supporting 2 top 17 TE. Think a lot of committee and give me some guys under

 

Yeah, I think Shaheen is way too high after the Burton signing.

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8 hours ago, -OZ- said:

As always, thank you. 

Question, mostly because maybe I'm just missing their upside, but it seems to me that brate, and your group from 24-29 don't have much upside. Brate is solid no doubt, but the upside for ASJ, Jonnu, Rico, and maybe Butt/RSJ seems much greater to me than those 7. Risk is there sure. 

Is fleener essentially waiver fodder at this point? His name still carries a small value, would you trade him for pretty much anything you can get?  

On upside: When I think about upside, the question I ask myself is closer to "What is the probability that this guy puts up some top 3 fantasy TE seasons" than to "What is this guy's best case scenario?" (I also do pay some attention to things other than upside, e.g. finishing as TE8 is somewhat useful.

It's definitely true that guys like Jonnu Smith and Rico Gathers have more of a boom-bust profile; the big question is how likely is it that they'll boom. Smith I am not that optimistic about, despite his athletic profile, mainly because PFF was down on his receiving skills in college. Gathers has maybe a 50% chance of being out of the league due to injury, and then he needs to emerge from his preseason hype in a way that guys like Nate Sudfeld failed to do. So Gathers is on tier, with other prospects who have a not-that-great shot at booming (and some vets whose value comes from being adequate startable depth).

With Brate, I agree that Brate & Howard cut pretty substantially into each other's upside, since they both look to be at least solid TEs, and Brate gets more of his value from his higher chance of solid TE8-16 range production. But he does have some upside. For example, if Howard gets injured (even if he just misses weeks 14-16). Or if Tampa finds a way to use both TEs more, like New England once did. Or if Tampa trades one of their TEs a year or two from now because they decide that their offense works better with just one of them on the field.

Chicago's situation is a little different from Tampa's: Burton & Shaheen both have more of a boom-or-bust profile, so they don't cut into each other's upside as much. Shaheen is more likely than Howard to bust (or turn into something more like a blocking specialist) which gives Burton more opportunity for upside than Brate. And Burton is more likely than Brate to bust, which gives Shaheen more opportunity for upside than Howard. Shaheen and Howard also have plenty of upside if you look 3+ years into the future when their rookie contracts have ended.

Comparing Jake Butt with Stephen Anderson (#24 on my list), I don't think that Butt has more upside. Butt was a solid all-around TE in college, who probably has average (or worse) athleticism and put up pretty good receiving numbers at Michigan. I think he would've been a 3rd or 4th rounder but fell to the 5th because of injuries. Seems like the kind of guy who has more NFL value than fantasy value, and is much more likely to end up a borderline fantasy starter than a top 3 fantasy TE. Stephen Anderson was a WR in college and a WR/TE tweener as a prospect, with pretty good receiving numbers at Cal and good athleticism for an undersized TE. He went undrafted, but stuck on a roster and earned some playing time in his second year (and put up 25/342/1). He could continue to develop into a real receiving threat. Both of them are on teams with pretty wide open depth charts at TE.

ASJ: He has been in the league 4 years and has yet to reach the heights of Ebron's 2017 down year. He only fetched $5M/yr on the market, with 1 year guaranteed. His chances of turning out to be a great fantasy TE are gradually fading away (though they're not gone yet).

Fleener: The ideal scenario for him is that he stays in New Orleans (possibly with a paycut), they don't add much at the position, the rushing offense struggles compared to last year so the have to pass more, and Brees remains elite. If that happens then he has a pretty good shot at being an adequate borderline fantasy starter, with a bit of upside.

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4 hours ago, Slapdash said:

Yeah, I think Shaheen is way too high after the Burton signing.

i think he could be very productive in the red zone but mostly as a potential TD monster. he's just not going to get much love outside of that. 

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5 hours ago, Crippler said:

Rudolph to me is always undervalued also. He just gets job done and only 28.too much speculation based on age.

I guess that depends on your definition of "gets the job done".  He's been a top 6 TE once, which means every other year he's likely ceding points to the league average.  What is a consistent low end TE1 worth?  Jason Witten still gives that every year and he's worth virtually nothing.

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  • ZWK changed the title to ZWK's Dynasty Rankings (WR updated April 2021)

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