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ZWK's Dynasty Rankings (WR updated April 2021)


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15 hours ago, Dr. Octopus said:

LaFell?

Yep, outside of the Moss-Welker duo, LaFell 2014 is the best season by the Patriots' 2nd WR since 2007.

17 hours ago, zeeshan2 said:

Awesome! You have the updated rb rankings with the rookie backs?

Sometime next week, probably. I'm traveling this weekend so I won't be on here much. I do have rankings for all rookies (relative to each other) in my other thread.

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20 hours ago, thriftyrocker said:

That's cool. TY Hilton had 2 or less catches in a 3rd of his games. If i went through deep threats and 3rd WRs, which was Hogan's role last year, I'm sure I would find a lot of names. Brandin Cooks had 4 games with 2 or less catches. Stuff happens.

 

 Two things from this paragraph.  First, TYIs not fair to compare. Hogan has the greatest quarterback ever throwing to him and Hilton he is not fair to compare. Hogan has the greatest quarterback ever throwing to him and Hilton had Brisset  Who had to learn the playbook on the fly. Second point, your statement that  “Stuff happens”  is pretty much a mantra when it comes to New England WRs.  It’s like that almost every year for anyone my names Gronk. They may have lost Cooks but they are getting back Edelman and Mitchell this year.

Hogan will have some monster weeks this year but his week to week inconsistency makes him unstartable with the depth chart as it is now. That team is too unpredictable with its personnel usage outside of Gronk and Edelman

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12 hours ago, ZWK said:

Yep, outside of the Moss-Welker duo, LaFell 2014 is the best season by the Patriots' 2nd WR since 2007.

Yeah but this is operating under the assumption that Hogan will be the Patriots' 2nd WR, when an oft-injured 32 year old coming off an ACL tear is probably the only guy currently ahead of him.

ETA: Cooks was the "2nd" WR at this time last year.

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7 hours ago, FreeBaGeL said:

Yeah but this is operating under the assumption that Hogan will be the Patriots' 2nd WR, when an oft-injured 32 year old coming off an ACL tear is probably the only guy currently ahead of him.

ETA: Cooks was the "2nd" WR at this time last year.

Be clear here. Are you projecting Hogan as WR1 and Edelman as WR2? If so, go clearly on the record with it. If not, what is the point of your post?

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2 hours ago, Just Win Baby said:

Be clear here. Are you projecting Hogan as WR1 and Edelman as WR2? If so, go clearly on the record with it. If not, what is the point of your post?

Wait who's projecting anything?  Are we still talking about upside here?  I might be confused.

In a discussion where Hogan's upside involves one of the injury prone guys ahead of him getting hurt again (or not returning to pre-injury form), who cares what the chances are of him hitting that upside if those guys don't get hurt?  We're already assuming that is virtually zero going in.

And these stats are all in the way you spin them.  NE's lead outside WR has put up WR1 numbers in 5 of the last 10 seasons which is actually pretty darn good.  Of course 3 of them were Randy Moss, and one of them was when the slot guy got hurt (hence the spin), but I'm actually surprised that LaFell ever put up a season as good as he did.

The whole stat was actually kind of silly.  Translated it reads "if we exclude 5 of the 10 seasons since 2007, the best the Patriots' WR2 did in the last 10 seasons was when a mediocre journeyman managed to put up borderline WR1 numbers as the 3rd most targeted player on the team".

Or another way "since 2007 the best a Patriots' 2nd WR has put up is 74/953/7 if we ignore the 4 other times since 2007 where the Patriots' 2nd WR put up better numbers than 74/953/7".

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Post-draft RB rankings. Assuming PPR, start 2 RB, about 250 position players rostered. Age as of 9/1/18. Prev from 3/26/18.

1    1    LeVeon Bell    PIT    26.5    (1)
1    2    Todd Gurley    RAM    24.1    (2)
2    3    Saquon Barkley    NYG    21.6    rook
2    4    David Johnson    ARI    26.7    (3)
2    5    Ezekiel Elliott    DAL    23.1    (4)
2    6    Leonard Fournette    JAX    23.6    (5)
2    7    Alvin Kamara    NO    23.1    (6)
3    8    Kareem Hunt    KC    23.1    (7)
3    9    Christian McCaffrey    CAR    22.2    (8)
3    10    Melvin Gordon    LAC    25.4    (10)
3    11    Dalvin Cook    MIN    23.1    (11)
3    12    Devonta Freeman    ATL    26.5    (9)
3    13    Joe Mixon    CIN    22.1    (12)
3    14    Rashaad Penny    SEA    22.6    rook
4    15    Nick Chubb    CLE    22.7    rook
4    16    Sony Michel    NE    23.5    rook
4    17    Jordan Howard    CHI    23.8    (14)
4    18    Jerick McKinnon    SF    26.3    (15)
4    19    Ronald Jones II    TB    21.1    rook
4    20    Derrius Guice    WAS    21.2    rook
4    21    Derrick Henry    TEN    24.1    (16)
4    22    Mark Ingram    NO    28.7    (13)
5    23    Jay Ajayi    PHI    25.2    (17)
5    24    Royce Freeman    DEN    22.5    rook
5    25    LeSean McCoy    BUF    30.1    (18)
5    26    Kerryon Johnson    DET    21.2    rook
5    27    Lamar Miller    HOU    27.4    (20)
5    28    Alex Collins    BAL    24.0    (23)
5    29    Kenyan Drake    MIA    24.6    (24)
6    30    Tevin Coleman    ATL    25.4    (22)
6    31    Nyheim Hines    IND    21.8    rook
6    32    Isaiah Crowell    NYJ    25.6    (25)
6    33    Dion Lewis    TEN    27.9    (26)
6    34    Aaron Jones    GB    23.7    (29)
6    35    C.J. Anderson    CAR    27.6    (21)
6    36    Duke Johnson    CLE    24.9    (27)
7    37    D'Onta Foreman    HOU    22.4    (31)
7    38    Jamaal Williams    GB    23.4    (34)
7    39    Chris Thompson    WAS    27.9    (32)
7    40    Marlon Mack    IND    22.7    (30)
7    41    Carlos Hyde    CLE    27.9    (19)
7    42    Tarik Cohen    CHI    23.1    (35)
8    43    Ty Montgomery    GB    25.6    (38)
8    44    Theo Riddick    DET    27.3    (39)
8    45    C.J. Prosise    SEA    24.3    (41)
8    46    James Conner    PIT    23.3    (45)
8    47    Marshawn Lynch    OAK    32.4    (42)
8    48    James White    NE    26.6    (36)
8    49    Chris Carson    SEA    24.0    (28)
8    50    Giovani Bernard    CIN    26.8    (49)
8    51    Corey Clement    PHI    23.8    (43)
8    52    Spencer Ware    KC    26.8    (46)
8    53    Rex Burkhead    NE    28.2    (33)
8    54    Samaje Perine    WAS    23.0    (40)
9    55    Devontae Booker    DEN    26.3    (44)
9    56    Jordan Wilkins    IND    24.1    rook
9    57    Austin Ekeler    LAC    23.3    (54)
9    58    Mark Walton    CIN    21.4    rook
9    59    Matt Breida    SF    23.5    (56)
9    60    Bilal Powell    NYJ    29.8    (58)
9    61    Latavius Murray    MIN    27.5    (59)
9    62    Ito Smith    ATL    23.0    rook
9    63    Ameer Abdullah    DET    25.2    (37)
9    64    Doug Martin    OAK    29.6    (60)
9    65    Kenneth Dixon    BAL    24.6    (62)
9    66    Orleans Darkwa        26.5    (53)
9    67    Frank Gore    MIA    35.3    (61)
9    68    Jeremy Hill    NE    25.9    (47)
9    69    J.D. McKissic    SEA    25.0    (51)
9    70    DeMarco Murray        30.5    (52)
9    71    Elijah McGuire    NYJ    24.3    (64)
9    72    LeGarrette Blount    DET    31.7    (65)
9    73    T.J. Yeldon    JAX    24.9    (66)
9    74    Jaylen Samuels    PIT    22.1    rook
9    75    Mike Gillislee    NE    27.8    (50)
9    76    Rob Kelley    WAS    25.9    (57)
9    77    Thomas Rawls    NYJ    25.1    (73)
9    78    Darren Sproles    PHI    35.2    (74)
9    79    Kalen Ballage    MIA    22.7    rook
10    80    Peyton Barber    TB    24.5    (48)
10    81    Adrian Peterson        33.4    (67)
10    82    Bo Scarbrough    DAL    21.9    rook
10    83    Boston Scott    NO    23.3    rook
10    84    Chris Ivory    BUF    30.4    (68)
10    85    DeAngelo Henderson    DEN    25.8    (77)
10    86    Javorius Allen    BAL    27.0    (71)
10    87    Chase Edmonds    ARI    22.4    rook
10    88    Jonathan Stewart    NYG    31.4    (63)
10    89    Jalen Richard    OAK    24.9    (69)
10    90    Wendell Smallwood    PHI    24.6    (70)
10    91    Rod Smith    DAL    26.6    (82)
10    92    Robert Turbin    IND    28.7    (86)
10    93    Wayne Gallman    NYG    23.9    (55)
10    94    Terrance West        27.6    (72)
10    95    John Kelly    RAM    21.9    rook
10    96    DeAndre Washington    OAK    25.5    (75)
10    97    Cameron Artis-Payne    CAR    28.2    unr
10    98    Eddie Lacy        28.2    (76)
10    99    Alfred Morris        29.7    (78)
10    100    Malcolm Brown    RAM    25.3    (79)
10    101    Jamaal Charles        31.7    (81)
10    102    Donnel Pumphrey    PHI    23.7    (83)
10    103    Paul Perkins    NYG    23.8    (80)
10    104    Mike Davis    SEA    25.5    (84)
10    105    Joe Williams    SF    25.0    (85)
10    106    Jacquizz Rodgers    TB    28.6    (87)
10    107    Benny Cunningham    CHI    28.2    unr
10    108    Christine Michael    IND    27.8    unr

Barkley starts off ahead of David Johnson (age) and Zeke (suspension risk, less receiving skills). A lot of rookies pretty tightly packed in tier 4. All landed in decent situations at a similar point in the draft. I like Penny more than the rest so he's a tier ahead. Freeman (who went later in the draft) and Kerryon Johnson (who I'm down on) are a tier back on the rest. I had more to say about the rookies pre-draft in my other thread.

Indy has Nyheim Hines (pick 104), Marlon Mack (2017 pick 143) and Jordan Wilkins (pick 169) competing along with Turbin & Michael, and they could still add someone like Darkwa. Mack seemed pretty meh as a rookie, so I like Hines the most out of the bunch (at least in PPR, where his receiving skills are a big asset).

Big falls from some of the guys who look to have been pushed down the depth chart with the draft, primarily because they now have less opportunity and secondarily because it's a sign that their team doesn't believe in them. This includes Chris Carson, Carlos Hyde, Ameer Abdullah, and the NE & NYG backs. A bit of a boost for guys who didn't have much competition added in the draft, including Alex Collins & the GB backs. Though they didn't necessarily rise in the rankings because a bunch of rookies who just got added to the rankings slotted in ahead of them.

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Sony Michel mainly moved up by being a first round draft pick. Landing spot helped a bit too.

Kenyan Drake looked good over the 5 weeks when he was carrying the load, and it's a good sign that the Dolphins only added Gore. But 5 games is a small sample size, and it's not good that he did almost nothing over his first 1.5 seasons while Ajayi was still around (11 yards per game), and that even after the Ajayi trade it wasn't until Damien Williams(!) got injured that he took over as lead back. Also some concerns over his ability to carry the load (those 5 games were the first time he did so over his college or NFL careers) and his receiving chops (only 4.9 yards per target in the NFL). He seems pretty comparable to Alex Collins, who looked similarly good last season as a runner. Collins wasn't quite as good per game but he did it for most of the season. Collins was just a 6th round pick and he got cut by his first team, but he rose to the top of the depth chart by beating out Allen & West.

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Riddick is ranked 44th. You can use ctrl+f to find individual players.

At pick 45 of the 2016 draft, Derrick Henry was drafted later than 6 of the RBs in this year's draft class, and he has been solid so far but not exactly dominant. He hasn't done much in the passing game - he has fewer receptions than Jordan Howard, even after adjusting for total workload. He is in a worse situation than any of the first 9 RBs taken in this year's draft, splitting the workload with Dion Lewis (who is better than the competition in SEA, WAS, etc.). And the fact that the Titans decided to sign one of the top FA RBs on the market tells us something about what they think of Henry.

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3 minutes ago, ZWK said:

And the fact that the Titans decided to sign one of the top FA RBs on the market tells us something about what they think of Henry.

The signing of an undrafted 5’9 194lb RB tells us how they feel about their 235lb thumper?  It would seem less crazy to say that the fact they signed Wadley means they’re already planning for the time that Lewis is inevitably going to miss due to injury.

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1 hour ago, Brandon Will said:

Why is Derrick Henrys value so low? We see what Demarco Murray did as a starter. He is gone, and Henry is clearly the #1 RB of him and Lewis, and the goal-line back. Tennessee is a team on the rise. Am I missing something?

Which specific players would you move him up ahead of?

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I truly appreciate (and value) your rankings - but the effort you put in responding to questions about them is even more admirable (and valuable). 

Here is something I find interesting, not just about your rankings but about the dynasty landscape in general...

Only eight of your top 24 WRs that have were selected in 2015 or later:

2    4    Michael Thomas    NO    25.5    (4)
3    8    Amari Cooper    OAK    24.2    (9)
3    9    Tyreek Hill    KC    24.5    (11)
4    17    Stefon Diggs    MIN    24.8    (17)
4    18    JuJu Smith-Schuster    PIT    21.8    (19)
5    21    Corey Davis    TEN    23.6    (18)
5    22    D.J. Moore    CAR    21.4    rook
6    24    Calvin Ridley    ATL    23.7    rook

Strange to see so few really young guys in dynasty rankings.  And 3 of those guys are ranked that high simply because they are young as they haven't achieved anything yet.  

Meanwhile, twenty of your 24 WRs were selected in 2015 or later. 
1    2    Todd Gurley    RAM    24.1    (2)
2    3    Saquon Barkley    NYG    21.6    rook
2    4    David Johnson    ARI    26.7    (3)
2    5    Ezekiel Elliott    DAL    23.1    (4)
2    6    Leonard Fournette    JAX    23.6    (5)
2    7    Alvin Kamara    NO    23.1    (6)
3    8    Kareem Hunt    KC    23.1    (7)
3    9    Christian McCaffrey    CAR    22.2    (8)
3    10    Melvin Gordon    LAC    25.4    (10)
3    11    Dalvin Cook    MIN    23.1    (11)
3    13    Joe Mixon    CIN    22.1    (12)
3    14    Rashaad Penny    SEA    22.6    rook
4    15    Nick Chubb    CLE    22.7    rook
4    16    Sony Michel    NE    23.5    rook
4    17    Jordan Howard    CHI    23.8    (14)
4    19    Ronald Jones II    TB    21.1    rook
4    20    Derrius Guice    WAS    21.2    rook
4    21    Derrick Henry    TEN    24.1    (16)
5    23    Jay Ajayi    PHI    25.2    (17)
5    24    Royce Freeman    DEN    22.5    rook

Everyone knows that there was a dearth of RB talent for awhile and the last few draft classes have changed that.  But its odd to me how few young WRs have been able to make a big impact since that crazy good 2014 class.  Has it been poor WR talent in those classes or has that 2014 class sort of blocked their way to an extent? Should we expect that the next few draft classes won't offer much RB value because the landscape is already overcrowded now? Or, do people expect many of these young RBs on the list to falter? 

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6 hours ago, oldmanhawkins said:

I truly appreciate (and value) your rankings - but the effort you put in responding to questions about them is even more admirable (and valuable).

:goodposting:

In the updated RB rankings, David Johnson, Michel, and Ingram all seem high to me, and Elliott and Guice seem low.

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10 hours ago, SayWhat? said:

The signing of an undrafted 5’9 194lb RB tells us how they feel about their 235lb thumper?  It would seem less crazy to say that the fact they signed Wadley means they’re already planning for the time that Lewis is inevitably going to miss due to injury.

Why would Lewis being undrafted (even if it was true...it's not) factor into your analysis now?

 

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13 hours ago, oldmanhawkins said:

I truly appreciate (and value) your rankings - but the effort you put in responding to questions about them is even more admirable (and valuable). 

Here is something I find interesting, not just about your rankings but about the dynasty landscape in general...

Only eight of your top 24 WRs that have were selected in 2015 or later:

2    4    Michael Thomas    NO    25.5    (4)
3    8    Amari Cooper    OAK    24.2    (9)
3    9    Tyreek Hill    KC    24.5    (11)
4    17    Stefon Diggs    MIN    24.8    (17)
4    18    JuJu Smith-Schuster    PIT    21.8    (19)
5    21    Corey Davis    TEN    23.6    (18)
5    22    D.J. Moore    CAR    21.4    rook
6    24    Calvin Ridley    ATL    23.7    rook

Has it been poor WR talent in those classes or has that 2014 class sort of blocked their way to an extent? 

My immediate thought was that the big names from the recent draft classes have had a staggering run of bad injury luck ... but I ran a quick query as a sanity check.

Here are all the WRs taken in the top two rounds from the 2015-17 draft classes (a purely arbitrary representation of what I view as "significant" draft-day cost). The first set of data are their career averages per season. The second set are their career averages per 16 games (so excluding the effects of injury):

Year	Rd	Pos	Team	Player		Rec	Yds	TD	Rec	Yds	TD
17	1	5	TEN	Corey Davis	34	375	0	49	545	0
17	1	7	LAC	Mike Williams	11	95	0	18	152	0
17	1	9	CIN	John Ross	0	0	0	0	0	0
17	2	37	BUF	Zay Jones	27	316	2	29	337	2
17	2	40	CAR	Curtis Samuel	15	115	0	27	204	0
17	2	62	PIT	JuJu Schuster	58	917	7	66	1048	8
16	1	15	CLE	Corey Coleman	28	359	3	47	605	4
16	1	21	HOU	Will Fuller	38	529	5	50	705	6
16	1	22	WAS	Josh Doctson	19	284	3	33	505	5
16	1	23	MIN	L. Treadwell	11	108	0	13	138	0
16	2	40	NYG	S. Shepard	62	707	5	73	838	6
16	2	47	NOR	Michael Thomas	98	1191	7	101	1229	7
16	2	55	CIN	Tyler Boyd	38	414	2	47	510	2
15	1	4	OAK	Amari Cooper	68	968	6	71	1010	6
15	1	7	CHI	Kevin White	7	64	0	67	618	0
15	1	14	MIA	DeVante Parker	46	636	3	52	710	3
15	1	20	PHI	Nelson Agholor	40	472	4	44	515	4
15	1	26	BAL	B. Perriman	14	192	1	25	341	2
15	1	29	IND	Phillip Dorsett	21	316	1	25	370	1
15	2	37	NYJ	Devin Smith	3	45	0	11	154	1
15	2	40	TEN	D Green-Beckham	23	314	2	35	486	3
				AVERAGE		31	401	2	42	525	3

Regardless of which set of data you're looking at, those are some mighty underwhelming production numbers for the draft capital cost - the more so when you consider that the two best performers on this list, Thomas and Smith-Schuster, were two of its three latest picks.

The fact that ZWK is now using full-PPR makes this list even less appealing from a fantasy perspective, as a large swath of this group (Ross, Samuel, Fuller, White, Perriman, Dorsett, et al.) were expected to make their bones as downfield home-run hitters.

I'd say the bulk of the evidence to date comes down on the side of these guys just not being as good as advertised. Personally, I think names like Williams, Coleman, Doctson, and Shepard make for intriguing dynasty buys, but I wouldn't expect more than one or two long-term hits out of even that subgroup of four.

Edited by Mr. Irrelevant
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18 hours ago, oldmanhawkins said:

I truly appreciate (and value) your rankings - but the effort you put in responding to questions about them is even more admirable (and valuable). 

Here is something I find interesting, not just about your rankings but about the dynasty landscape in general...

Only eight of your top 24 WRs that have were selected in 2015 or later:

2    4    Michael Thomas    NO    25.5    (4)
3    8    Amari Cooper    OAK    24.2    (9)
3    9    Tyreek Hill    KC    24.5    (11)
4    17    Stefon Diggs    MIN    24.8    (17)
4    18    JuJu Smith-Schuster    PIT    21.8    (19)
5    21    Corey Davis    TEN    23.6    (18)
5    22    D.J. Moore    CAR    21.4    rook
6    24    Calvin Ridley    ATL    23.7    rook

Strange to see so few really young guys in dynasty rankings.  And 3 of those guys are ranked that high simply because they are young as they haven't achieved anything yet.  

Meanwhile, twenty of your 24 WRs were selected in 2015 or later. 
1    2    Todd Gurley    RAM    24.1    (2)
2    3    Saquon Barkley    NYG    21.6    rook
2    4    David Johnson    ARI    26.7    (3)
2    5    Ezekiel Elliott    DAL    23.1    (4)
2    6    Leonard Fournette    JAX    23.6    (5)
2    7    Alvin Kamara    NO    23.1    (6)
3    8    Kareem Hunt    KC    23.1    (7)
3    9    Christian McCaffrey    CAR    22.2    (8)
3    10    Melvin Gordon    LAC    25.4    (10)
3    11    Dalvin Cook    MIN    23.1    (11)
3    13    Joe Mixon    CIN    22.1    (12)
3    14    Rashaad Penny    SEA    22.6    rook
4    15    Nick Chubb    CLE    22.7    rook
4    16    Sony Michel    NE    23.5    rook
4    17    Jordan Howard    CHI    23.8    (14)
4    19    Ronald Jones II    TB    21.1    rook
4    20    Derrius Guice    WAS    21.2    rook
4    21    Derrick Henry    TEN    24.1    (16)
5    23    Jay Ajayi    PHI    25.2    (17)
5    24    Royce Freeman    DEN    22.5    rook

Everyone knows that there was a dearth of RB talent for awhile and the last few draft classes have changed that.  But its odd to me how few young WRs have been able to make a big impact since that crazy good 2014 class.  Has it been poor WR talent in those classes or has that 2014 class sort of blocked their way to an extent? Should we expect that the next few draft classes won't offer much RB value because the landscape is already overcrowded now? Or, do people expect many of these young RBs on the list to falter? 

I am curious to hear what ZWKs response to this question might be but I will take a crack at it.

I think you have covered a lot of the things that are influencing this difference in the early returns on these players in your question. There are many, many variables at play here.

The lack of talent at the RB position (there were two drafts in a row with no 1st round pick used on a RB from 2013-2014) coupled with the aging of previously high picks and successes at RB did leave a vacuum of talent at the position. The RB careers do not last as long either, we are now 4 years after that dearth of RB talent, most of the RB taken before that have fallen back in their performance or are out of the league now. The opportunities for RB are much higher than WR because of the level of competition at WR being greater than it is at RB in recent years.

The RB are just much more likely to earn significant opportunity that is relevant to FF scoring than the WR are. This is just the nature of the fact that teams are playing 3 WR or more on 60% or more of their offensive snaps, while they are usually only playing one RB at a time. While there is still a lot of RBBC in the league the volume of opportunities for the RBs is higher than the WR are getting. The pool of WR that are producing numbers is much deeper than the pool at RB, so the WR need to do more to distance themselves from the other 100 or so WR putting up numbers any given season.  

The 2014 draft class was amazingly good for WR talent, perhaps the best of my lifetime and I have been following the draft since the mid 1980s, that is the outlier here. What has been happening before and since is more typical progression for WR who do not start producing good numbers until their 2nd season at least and for some it isn't until their 3rd season, sometimes longer if there are injuries and other things holding that player back from opportunity.

Another factor influencing this is that total passing attempts has been in decline recently with the addition of better RB talent and in my opinion better defensive talent entering the league and defenses catching up with what teams have been doing with 3 WR sets and passing the ball more. There were injuries to key QB such as Rodgers and Luck last season that are affecting these totals as well, 

2017 546.5 pa avg/team 17488 total pass attempts
2016 571.7 pa avg/team 18295 total pass attempts
2015 571.8 pa avg/team 18298 total pass attempts
2014 558.7 pa avg/team 17879 total pass attempts
2013 566.8 pa avg/team 18136 total pass attempts
2012 555.9 pa avg/team 17788 total pass attempts
2011 544.1 pa avg/team 17410 total pass attempts

2013 was the first time the league had thrown more than 18k total pass attempts, while it did dip slightly below this in 2014, it still bounced back in 2015 and 2016. The trend of passing is up despite it falling back to 2011 levels last season.

What this does is makes the threshold of performance higher for WR to be relevant for FF because teams are throwing the ball more and to a lot more players. It is harder for these young players to crack into those thresholds early on in their career just because the level of competition from other WR is so high. WR careers last longer than RB as well, the turnover at WR is not nearly as high as it is at RB, so for WR to break into the top 36 of WR early is more difficult, if the WR can do it at all.

Pass attempts coming down makes it more difficult for the WR to compete with the RB in fantasy points as well. The WR need a high number of targets to score similarly high points than the RB who are also getting a lot of receptions and the rushing attempts and TD on top of that.

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Am I the only guy who would take Saquon at RB1? I understand that there's always the Trent Richardson bust factor no matter how good someone looks, but the combination of youth and talent is just too much to pass up.

I feel like ZWK's ranking of Mixon is fair, but as a big Mixon believer, I think his ceiling is as a top 5 RB. Last season he only scratched the surface of what he can be, but I do have some concerns about his attitude/professionalism. 

 

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19 hours ago, oldmanhawkins said:

Everyone knows that there was a dearth of RB talent for awhile and the last few draft classes have changed that.  But its odd to me how few young WRs have been able to make a big impact since that crazy good 2014 class.  Has it been poor WR talent in those classes or has that 2014 class sort of blocked their way to an extent? Should we expect that the next few draft classes won't offer much RB value because the landscape is already overcrowded now? Or, do people expect many of these young RBs on the list to falter? 

That is an interesting pattern, but I don't think it makes much difference in how to value this year's rookies (or the rookies from the next few years). I think it's mainly a consequence of where the talent happens to be. If you're just looking at a smallish number of players (a few draft classes at a single position) then the proportion of successes can bounce around a lot. I expect that the long-run averages (reflected in my generic rookie rankings) will do a pretty good job, on average, of estimating the career value of RBs & WRs in this draft class and the next few draft classes. 2015-17 happened to be a stretch where lots of RBs proved to be talented and few WRs did so, and in the few years before that it was the reverse. For 2018-2020 my best guess is that it will return to averageish for both positions (though it could differ in either direction because there's plenty of random variation).

In next year's draft there will be plenty of teams who could use a good starting RB; likely candidates include IND, GB, OAK, BUF, HOU, BAL, NYJ, PHI, DEN, DET, MIA.

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5 hours ago, ZWK said:

In next year's draft there will be plenty of teams who could use a good starting RB; likely candidates include IND, GB, OAK, BUF, HOU, BAL, NYJ, PHI, DEN, DET, MIA.

Maybe the Chargers also, if Gordon doesn't have a good season. Per this article, they would have drafted Freeman in the 3rd round if he was available, because the team "doesn’t want to be handcuffed to Melvin Gordon next year and would be able to let him walk with a back like Freeman on the roster." FWIW, the author has demonstrated that he has good Chargers sources in the past.

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Post-draft QB rankings. Assuming 12 QB starters and about 250 position players rostered. Age as of 9/1/18. Prev from 3/29/18.

Tr    Rk    Player    Team    Age    Prev
1    1    Russell Wilson    SEA    29.8    (1)
1    2    Carson Wentz    PHI    25.7    (2)
1    3    Aaron Rodgers    GB    34.7    (3)
1    4    Deshaun Watson    HOU    23.0    (5)
1    5    Andrew Luck    IND    29.0    (4)
2    6    Jimmy Garoppolo    SF    26.8    (6)
2    7    Baker Mayfield    CLE    23.4    rook
2    8    Marcus Mariota    TEN    24.8    (7)
2    9    Jameis Winston    TB    24.7    (8)
3    10    Cam Newton    CAR    29.3    (9)
3    11    Jared Goff    RAM    23.9    (10)
3    12    Sam Darnold    NYJ    21.2    rook
3    13    Dak Prescott    DAL    25.1    (11)
3    14    Derek Carr    OAK    27.4    (12)
3    15    Tom Brady    NE    41.1    (13)
3    16    Matt Ryan    ATL    33.3    (14)
3    17    Kirk Cousins    MIN    30.0    (15)
3    18    Patrick Mahomes    KC    23.0    (16)
3    19    Mitchell Trubisky    CHI    24.0    (17)
3    20    Lamar Jackson    BAL    21.6    rook
3    21    Drew Brees    NO    39.6    (18)
3    22    Matthew Stafford    DET    30.6    (19)
3    23    Josh Rosen    ARI    21.6    rook
3    24    Josh Allen    BUF    22.3    rook
3    25    Ben Roethlisberger    PIT    36.5    (21)
4    26    Philip Rivers    LAC    36.7    (23)
4    27    Tyrod Taylor    CLE    29.1    (20)
4    28    Case Keenum    DEN    30.5    (22)
4    29    Andy Dalton    CIN    30.8    (24)
4    30    Ryan Tannehill    MIA    30.1    (28)
4    31    Teddy Bridgewater    NYJ    25.8    (25)
5    32    Alex Smith    WAS    34.3    (26)
5    33    Nick Foles    PHI    29.6    (27)
5    34    Sam Bradford    ARI    30.8    (29)
5    35    Mason Rudolph    PIT    23.1    rook
5    36    Kyle Lauletta    NYG    23.5    rook
5    37    A.J. McCarron    BUF    28.0    (30)
5    38    Blake Bortles    JAX    26.7    (31)
5    39    Johnny Manziel        25.7    (32)
5    40    Chad Kelly    DEN    24.4    (40)
6    41    Davis Webb    NYG    23.6    (33)
6    42    DeShone Kizer    GB    22.7    (34)
6    43    Jacoby Brissett    IND    25.7    (35)
6    44    Colin Kaepernick        30.8    (36)
6    45    Eli Manning    NYG    37.7    (37)
6    46    Paxton Lynch    DEN    24.6    (38)
6    47    Josh McCown    NYJ    39.2    (39)
6    48    Mike White    DAL    23.4    rook
7    49    Luke Falk    TEN    23.7    rook
7    50    Landry Jones    PIT    29.4    (41)
7    51    Trevor Siemian    MIN    26.7    (42)
7    52    C.J. Beathard    SF    24.8    (43)
7    53    Blaine Gabbert    TEN    28.9    (44)
7    54    Mike Glennon    ARI    28.7    (45)
7    55    Brian Hoyer    NE    32.9    (46)
7    56    Tom Savage    NO    28.4    (47)
7    57    Robert Griffin III    BAL    28.5    (48)
7    58    Ryan Fitzpatrick    TB    35.8    (49)
7    59    Joe Flacco    BAL    33.6    (50)
7    60    Brett Hundley    GB    25.2    (51)
7    61    Cody Kessler    JAX    25.3    (52)
7    62    Brock Osweiler    MIA    27.8    (53)
7    63    Geno Smith    LAC    27.9    (54)
7    64    Chase Daniel    CHI    31.9    (55)
7    65    Matt Moore        34.1    (56)
7    66    Christian Hackenberg    NYJ    23.5    (58)

Not many changes since March; the main question is just where to slot in the rookies. Generally I slot them in pretty high, because upside is so important for fantasy QB value and high-end prospects have more upside than pretty good mid-career guys. I had more to say about the rookie QBs in my other thread, e.g. here and here.

Baker Mayfield is an astoundingly good QB prospect from some angles - #1 pick of the draft, ridiculously good box score type stats (me, Football Outsiders), glowing reports from analytics-focused sites that also watch tape (PFF, Football Outsiders), great arm strength. There are also some causes for concern (size, character, not being the consensus top QB among draftniks), but if we're looking at upside he's got tons of it. So he's up in tier 2, at my #7 QB.

The rest of this year's first round QBs all land in my tier 3, from Darnold at 12 to Allen at 24. Although Jackson, Rosen, and Allen aren't as tightly packed as this ranking makes it look; there just aren't many vets who slot in between them.

Mason Rudolph would rank higher in deeper leagues (or leagues with multi-year taxi squads) where you can afford to stash him away, but for the roster size that I base these on I think he's not a good enough prospect for it to be worth the wait. So he's down in the borderline-rosterable tier.

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8 hours ago, ZWK said:

Post-draft QB rankings. Assuming 12 QB starters and about 250 position players rostered. Age as of 9/1/18. Prev from 3/29/18.

Tr    Rk    Player    Team    Age    Prev
1    1    Russell Wilson    SEA    29.8    (1)
1    2    Carson Wentz    PHI    25.7    (2)
1    3    Aaron Rodgers    GB    34.7    (3)
1    4    Deshaun Watson    HOU    23.0    (5)
1    5    Andrew Luck    IND    29.0    (4)
2    6    Jimmy Garoppolo    SF    26.8    (6)
2    7    Baker Mayfield    CLE    23.4    rook
2    8    Marcus Mariota    TEN    24.8    (7)
2    9    Jameis Winston    TB    24.7    (8)
3    10    Cam Newton    CAR    29.3    (9)
3    11    Jared Goff    RAM    23.9    (10)
3    12    Sam Darnold    NYJ    21.2    rook
3    13    Dak Prescott    DAL    25.1    (11)
3    14    Derek Carr    OAK    27.4    (12)
3    15    Tom Brady    NE    41.1    (13)
3    16    Matt Ryan    ATL    33.3    (14)
3    17    Kirk Cousins    MIN    30.0    (15)
3    18    Patrick Mahomes    KC    23.0    (16)
3    19    Mitchell Trubisky    CHI    24.0    (17)
3    20    Lamar Jackson    BAL    21.6    rook
3    21    Drew Brees    NO    39.6    (18)
3    22    Matthew Stafford    DET    30.6    (19)
3    23    Josh Rosen    ARI    21.6    rook
3    24    Josh Allen    BUF    22.3    rook
3    25    Ben Roethlisberger    PIT    36.5    (21)
4    26    Philip Rivers    LAC    36.7    (23)
4    27    Tyrod Taylor    CLE    29.1    (20)
4    28    Case Keenum    DEN    30.5    (22)
4    29    Andy Dalton    CIN    30.8    (24)
4    30    Ryan Tannehill    MIA    30.1    (28)
4    31    Teddy Bridgewater    NYJ    25.8    (25)
5    32    Alex Smith    WAS    34.3    (26)
5    33    Nick Foles    PHI    29.6    (27)
5    34    Sam Bradford    ARI    30.8    (29)
5    35    Mason Rudolph    PIT    23.1    rook
5    36    Kyle Lauletta    NYG    23.5    rook
5    37    A.J. McCarron    BUF    28.0    (30)
5    38    Blake Bortles    JAX    26.7    (31)
5    39    Johnny Manziel        25.7    (32)
5    40    Chad Kelly    DEN    24.4    (40)
6    41    Davis Webb    NYG    23.6    (33)
6    42    DeShone Kizer    GB    22.7    (34)
6    43    Jacoby Brissett    IND    25.7    (35)
6    44    Colin Kaepernick        30.8    (36)
6    45    Eli Manning    NYG    37.7    (37)
6    46    Paxton Lynch    DEN    24.6    (38)
6    47    Josh McCown    NYJ    39.2    (39)
6    48    Mike White    DAL    23.4    rook
7    49    Luke Falk    TEN    23.7    rook
7    50    Landry Jones    PIT    29.4    (41)
7    51    Trevor Siemian    MIN    26.7    (42)
7    52    C.J. Beathard    SF    24.8    (43)
7    53    Blaine Gabbert    TEN    28.9    (44)
7    54    Mike Glennon    ARI    28.7    (45)
7    55    Brian Hoyer    NE    32.9    (46)
7    56    Tom Savage    NO    28.4    (47)
7    57    Robert Griffin III    BAL    28.5    (48)
7    58    Ryan Fitzpatrick    TB    35.8    (49)
7    59    Joe Flacco    BAL    33.6    (50)
7    60    Brett Hundley    GB    25.2    (51)
7    61    Cody Kessler    JAX    25.3    (52)
7    62    Brock Osweiler    MIA    27.8    (53)
7    63    Geno Smith    LAC    27.9    (54)
7    64    Chase Daniel    CHI    31.9    (55)
7    65    Matt Moore        34.1    (56)
7    66    Christian Hackenberg    NYJ    23.5    (58)

Not many changes since March; the main question is just where to slot in the rookies. Generally I slot them in pretty high, because upside is so important for fantasy QB value and high-end prospects have more upside than pretty good mid-career guys. I had more to say about the rookie QBs in my other thread, e.g. here and here.

Baker Mayfield is an astoundingly good QB prospect from some angles - #1 pick of the draft, ridiculously good box score type stats (me, Football Outsiders), glowing reports from analytics-focused sites that also watch tape (PFF, Football Outsiders), great arm strength. There are also some causes for concern (size, character, not being the consensus top QB among draftniks), but if we're looking at upside he's got tons of it. So he's up in tier 2, at my #7 QB.

The rest of this year's first round QBs all land in my tier 3, from Darnold at 12 to Allen at 24. Although Jackson, Rosen, and Allen aren't as tightly packed as this ranking makes it look; there just aren't many vets who slot in between them.

Mason Rudolph would rank higher in deeper leagues (or leagues with multi-year taxi squads) where you can afford to stash him away, but for the roster size that I base these on I think he's not a good enough prospect for it to be worth the wait. So he's down in the borderline-rosterable tier.

Mahomes all the way down at 18? That really jumped out to me 

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On 5/9/2018 at 5:36 PM, EBF said:

Am I the only guy who would take Saquon at RB1? I understand that there's always the Trent Richardson bust factor no matter how good someone looks, but the combination of youth and talent is just too much to pass up.

I feel like ZWK's ranking of Mixon is fair, but as a big Mixon believer, I think his ceiling is as a top 5 RB. Last season he only scratched the surface of what he can be, but I do have some concerns about his attitude/professionalism. 

 

 

I don’t think it’s unreasonable, but I’d prefer Gurley or Zeke personally. They’ve both done it so there’s a little piece of mind, and I’m also really fearful of what the next few years look like for that team. Eli is teetering on done with no clear succession plan, OBJ I’m sure is gone sooner than later, etc...  Saquon is a top 5 back for me, but his upside isn’t so much greater to take on that risk. 

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Some of these QBs seem really low to me...  Matt Ryan, Stafford, Goff. The first two aren’t young, but I see no reason they don’t have 5 years left. They’re the perfect guys to take in round 7 of a start up and then pair with a young guy. Goff is the same age as this year’s top pick and was great in that system last year. 

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1 hour ago, bigmarc27 said:

Some of these QBs seem really low to me...  Matt Ryan, Stafford, Goff. The first two aren’t young, but I see no reason they don’t have 5 years left. They’re the perfect guys to take in round 7 of a start up and then pair with a young guy. Goff is the same age as this year’s top pick and was great in that system last year. 

With Ryan and Stafford, what’s the upside? All of the old quarterbacks ranked above those two are elite, and all of the others offer plenty of youth/upside and really very little downside compared to Ryan and Stafford.  Both those QBs are ten years into their careers and have offered little to no ffball advantage at the position if they’ve been your guy during that timeframe.  There’s a chance that changes, but I’d rather gamble that one of the younger guys (Dak, Mariota, Garoppolo, Carr, etc) elevate to elite.

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Goff's 2017 production was better than his talent, and probably his production will revert back closer to his talent level. Part of it is that he benefited from a great scheme, but it's hard to maintain a scheme advantage as other offenses are working to catch up & defenses are working to find ways to stop it.

Mahomes I already have rated ahead of his draft position, even though he hasn't shown much on the field yet. (He's ahead of Trubisky, Allen, and Rosen.) My view of him has been pretty stable since he was drafted (though he's slid down the rankings because of other guys like Goff, Garoppolo, and Mayfield jumping in front of him). If you like him even more then it doesn't seem crazy to put him even higher, up near where I have Darnold, since the gaps between the guys on tier 3 aren't that big.

Stafford has generally been a low-end fantasy QB1, which just isn't worth that much. Better to try to land the next Watson or Wentz. Ryan has been similar to Stafford but more varied from year to year, with a huge 2016. Best guess is that Ryan will be in a similar ballpark to Stafford going forward, but he has a bit more upside.

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If this was pre-shoulder-injury Luck (magically frozen in time since late 2016) then he would be the #1 QB, and probably on his own tier at the top. Right now I'm rating him as if there's about a 50% chance that he'll get healthy and be that guy and a 50% chance that he's worthless for fantasy (though of course much of the probability is actually on him coming back somewhere in between those 2 extreme possibilities).

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18 hours ago, ZWK said:

3    22    Matthew Stafford    DET    30.6    (19)

As someone else noted, Stafford seems low. Consider:

  • There are 18 QBs ranked above him who played in the NFL in 2017. Stafford averaged more ppg than all but 7 of them: Watson, Wilson, Wentz, Rodgers, Newton, Brady, Cousins. And he was less than 1 ppg behind the last 4 of them.
    • In particular, it seems odd to put Brady above him when Stafford was that close to him in ppg but is ~10 years younger.
    • Similar deal for Brees, who he actually outscored last season.
  • Similar story in 2016. There are 15 QBs ranked above him who played in the NFL in 2016. Stafford averaged more ppg than all but 6 of them: Rodgers, Brees, Ryan, Luck, Brady, Cousins.
  • Stafford has a season with 5038/41, which demonstrates his upside potential, though admittedly he seems unlikely to approach the number of pass attempts he had in his age 23-25 seasons under Patricia.

I get that a low end QB1 doesn't provide an advantage. Yet IMO it is ideal to have a QB2 like Stafford, who doesn't miss games and has been a fairly consistent low QB1. IMO that is more valuable than a #22 ranking.

Edited by Just Win Baby
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1 minute ago, ZWK said:

If this was pre-shoulder-injury Luck (magically frozen in time since late 2016) then he would be the #1 QB, and probably on his own tier at the top. Right now I'm rating him as if there's about a 50% chance that he'll get healthy and be that guy and a 50% chance that he's worthless for fantasy (though of course much of the probability is actually on him coming back somewhere in between those 2 extreme possibilities).

So it seems you are assuming "that guy" would mean:

  1. No regression in his high number of pass attempts. He is currently #2 all time, at 37.9 pass attempts per game. IMO that is due for regression even if he is healthy. I expect the team will want more balance, partly to protect him from taking as many hits as he has been exposed to in the past.
  2. No regression in his rushing. He has averaged 330/3 rushing per 16 games in his career, and rushing has accounted for ~17% of his fantasy points. No concern that the shoulder will cause him to run less? I would expect rushing production to drop.

Is it correct that you are assuming no regression in these areas?

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Post-draft TE rankings. Assuming PPR, 12 TE starters, and about 250 position players rostered. Age as of 9/1/18. Prev from 3/23/18.

Tr    Rk    Player    Team    Age    Prev
1    1    Travis Kelce    KC    28.9    (1)
1    2    Rob Gronkowski    NE    29.3    (2)
2    3    Zach Ertz    PHI    27.8    (3)
2    4    Evan Engram    NYG    24.0    (4)
3    5    Hunter Henry    LAC    23.7    (5)
3    6    David Njoku    CLE    22.1    (6)
3    7    O.J. Howard    TB    23.8    (7)
3    8    Jimmy Graham    GB    31.8    (8)
4    9    Mike Gesicki    MIA    22.9    rook
4    10    Jordan Reed    WAS    28.2    (9)
4    11    Gerald Everett    RAM    24.2    (10)
4    12    Hayden Hurst    BAL    25.0    rook
4    13    Eric Ebron    IND    25.4    (11)
4    14    Tyler Eifert    CIN    28.0    (12)
4    15    Kyle Rudolph    MIN    28.8    (14)
4    16    George Kittle    SF    24.9    (13)
4    17    Dallas Goedert    PHI    24.7    rook
5    18    Adam Shaheen    CHI    24.9    (15)
5    19    Jack Doyle    IND    28.3    (16)
5    20    Trey Burton    CHI    26.8    (17)
5    21    Greg Olsen    CAR    33.5    (18)
5    22    Mark Andrews    BAL    22.0    rook
5    23    Austin Hooper    ATL    23.8    (19)
5    24    Delanie Walker    TEN    34.1    (20)
5    25    Cameron Brate    TB    27.2    (21)
5    26    Austin Seferian-Jenkins    JAX    25.9    (22)
5    27    Jonnu Smith    TEN    23.0    (23)
6    28    Ricky Seals-Jones    ARI    23.5    (31)
6    29    Jordan Akins    HOU    26.4    rook
6    30    Stephen Anderson    HOU    25.6    (24)
6    31    Rico Gathers    DAL    24.6    (30)
6    32    Jared Cook    OAK    31.4    (25)
6    33    Chris Herndon    NYJ    22.5    rook
6    34    Charles Clay    BUF    29.5    (26)
6    35    Vernon Davis    WAS    34.6    (27)
6    36    Tyler Higbee    RAM    25.7    (29)
6    37    Jake Butt    DEN    23.1    (32)
6    38    Ben Watson    NO    37.7    (47)
6    39    Ian Thomas    CAR    22.2    rook
6    40    Tyler Kroft    CIN    25.9    (33)
7    41    Nick Vannett    SEA    25.5    (34)
7    42    Seth DeValve    CLE    25.6    (36)
7    43    Jesse James    PIT    24.2    (38)
7    44    Ed Dickson    SEA    31.1    (39)
7    45    Jeff Heuerman    DEN    25.8    (40)
7    46    Coby Fleener        29.9    (35)
7    47    Will Dissly    SEA        rook
7    48    Dalton Schultz    DAL    22.1    rook
7    49    Ryan Griffin    HOU    28.6    (42)
7    50    Maxx Williams    BAL    24.4    (41)
7    51    Julius Thomas        30.2    (44)
7    52    Michael Roberts    DET    24.3    (45)
7    53    Jordan Leggett    NYJ    23.6    (51)
7    54    Erik Swoope    IND    26.3    (48)
7    55    A.J. Derby    MIA    26.9    (46)
7    56    Vance McDonald    PIT    28.2    (43)
7    57    Durham Smythe    MIA    23.1    rook
7    58    Dwayne Allen    NE    28.5    (49)
7    59    Troy Fumagalli    DEN    23.5    rook
7    60    Eric Saubert    ATL    24.3    (53)
7    61    Niles Paul    JAX    29.1    (50)
7    62    Nick Boyle    BAL    25.5    (52)
7    63    Luke Willson    DET    28.6    unr
7    64    Tyler Conklin    MIN    23.1    rook

Here is what I had to say about this TE draft class elsewhere:

Quote

Gesicki is a freak athlete (so he has tons of upside, and most of TE's fantasy value comes from the most optimistic 25% of possibilities), had good production over his last 2 seasons (including a low drop rate), went at pick 42 based on his receiving skills, and has little competition at TE in Miami. Downsides: was awful his first 2 years at Penn St (including tons of drops), bad blocker, fell to the mid-second, production was good but not incredible. I see him as the 5th best TE prospect of the past 5 years, behind Ebron and last year's first round trio.

Goedert is a strong receiving TE prospect, but he's behind Ertz and both are signed through 2021. #2 TE if you're super-patient and have room to stash him.

Hurst I rated pre-draft as only an okay prospect, but obviously the Ravens disagreed. Partly they did that for his blocking, but you don't take a TE in the first round just for his blocking. I'm inclined to give a lot of deference to NFL teams on things like this, and see him as a Hunter Henryish prospect, just behind Goedert in terms of talent.

Andrews looked to me like a good receiving TE prospect, though that didn't account for how his production was inflated catching passes from the #1 pick of the draft. I'm not too worried about him & Hurst going to the same team. There is a relatively high bust rate among TEs, so most likely one of them will emerge and take over the job (rather than the 2 of them canceling each other out).

Akins, Herndon, and Thomas are guys who I rated as okay prospects pre-draft, similar to Hurst. All 3 went around pick 100. The Texans and Jets don't have established TEs, so Akins & Herndon have a clear shot at the starting job. Thomas has to wait behind 33-year-old Olsen for ?? more years. Akins & Herndon seem worth rostering, at least through training camp.

The rest of the guys all went later in the draft. Conklin I had rated pre-draft on the same "ok" tier as Hurst, Akins, Herndon, and Thomas, but he was last-drafted of this bunch and is stuck behind Rudolph. The other guys [Dissly, Schultz, Smythe, Fumagalli] I didn't like as much pre-draft but they landed on teams without an established TE. Probably should be rostered in TE-premium leagues, at least through training camp.

 

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These look great.

I have Ertz in tier 1 (or Gronk in tier 2) as I couldn’t bring myself to move him for Gronk right now. Hard to know how seriously to take the retirement talk, but it’s unsettling.

Eifert sticks out as high to me. I guess that range of guys are still cheap, but I’d take a few of the T5s over him.

I really like where you have Everett and Burton.

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Yeah, Gerald Everett is one of the most underrated guys around right now. Good athlete, great after the catch, pick 44 a year ago, on creative offense. Yet a lot of folks have him ranked outside the top 20, behind guys like Hooper, Brate, and ASJ.

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12 hours ago, ZWK said:


7    56    Vance McDonald    PIT    28.2    (43)

 

Why so low on Vance McDonald? Former second round pick that has shown flashes when healthy. The Steelers traded for him right before the start of the season, he got banged up a little and they worked him in more and more by season's end. When the playoffs came he saw heavy targets.

I've been buying pretty cheap this offseason - but at this price he's basically free.

ETA:
 

Quote

 

ESPN's Jeremy Fowler believes TE Vance McDonald "will be a big part of the Steelers offense."

Since Jaylen Samuels was announced as a running back, the Steelers did nothing to address their tight end position in the draft, suggesting they are comfortable with McDonald in a starting role. Fowler reports that is the case, writing the organization and Ben Roethlisberger "like his potential with a full year in the system." McDonald struggled to stay healthy last year, but he produced when on the field including 10 catches for 112 yards in the Divisional Round. He has some sleeper appeal

 

 

Edited by Dr. Octopus
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Here's what I had to say about Vance McDonald right after he was traded to PIT:

On 9/6/2017 at 11:18 PM, ZWK said:

Vance McDonald: he has been pretty far down my rankings for most of his career, in the 30s and 40s, because I didn't particularly like him coming into the league and then he didn't show much as a receiver on the field. He got a big boost in my rankings at the end of last season, partly because he finally produced over 30 yards per game, and even moreso because the Niners signed him to a $6M/yr contract which made it look like they saw him as their guy going forward. Then he gets passed on the depth chart by a rookie, there's talk of cutting him, and they trade him away to the Steelers (with SF eating the signing bonus and PIT owing him just $2M this year $4M next year if they keep him). So much for that, Vance; you are who we thought you were. Generally a trade is a bad sign (especially if not for a premium pick) because it shows that the team who knew the player best was willing to get rid of him; fantasy owners often make the mistake of focusing too much on the player's change in situation (PIT vs. SF) and not enough on what we've learned from the fact that he was traded (see also: Trent Richardson).

This past season he had one big game against Jacksonville in the playoffs, when the Steelers aired it out probably liked his matchup as a way to scheme around some of the Jaguars' strengths. Other than that he didn't do much. So I think he's in the right tier, although maybe I should have him a little higher in that tier.

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1 hour ago, ZWK said:

Yeah, Gerald Everett is one of the most underrated guys around right now. Good athlete, great after the catch, pick 44 a year ago, on creative offense. Yet a lot of folks have him ranked outside the top 20, behind guys like Hooper, Brate, and ASJ.

Someone dropped him post rookie draft and I scooped him up ASAP.

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I am kind of surprised the consensus is so low on Austin Hooper this offseason.

He had a decent amount of hype when he was drafted by Atlanta.  Since then he's pretty well followed the path we expect out of a young tight end, putting up 49-526-3 as a 22 year old 2nd year player.  He's on a good offense with a good QB and the minimal competition they had at the position was not retained.

So why the complete lack of any hype for a 23 year old TE with decent draft pedigree (for a TE) who just put up a good 2nd year and is now heading into year 3 with a good offense and a lack of competition at the position?  This feels like one of those cases where a guy gets some hype as a rookie when we know we will have to wait a few years and hope he will follow a certain path of development, then the bottom falls out of his value as he treads along that exact path we were hoping he'd take.

Take Mark Andrews for instance.  Imagine if I told you that I went into the future and saw that three years from now the he was coming off a solid 500+ yard sophomore campaign, Hurst and all the other Baltimore TEs were no longer on the team, and the Ravens were a top 10 passing offense under Lamar Jackson.  We'd all probably boost Andrews up our rankings massively.  But apparently actually having to wait is different than expecting to have to wait, and people lose patience quickly.

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3 hours ago, ZWK said:

Yeah, Gerald Everett is one of the most underrated guys around right now. Good athlete, great after the catch, pick 44 a year ago, on creative offense. Yet a lot of folks have him ranked outside the top 20, behind guys like Hooper, Brate, and ASJ.

 

2 hours ago, mcintyre1 said:

Someone dropped him post rookie draft and I scooped him up ASAP.

Really small rosters? I don't see how anyone can give him up free in dynasty.

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1 hour ago, FreeBaGeL said:

I am kind of surprised the consensus is so low on Austin Hooper this offseason.

He had a decent amount of hype when he was drafted by Atlanta.  Since then he's pretty well followed the path we expect out of a young tight end, putting up 49-526-3 as a 22 year old 2nd year player.  He's on a good offense with a good QB and the minimal competition they had at the position was not retained.

So why the complete lack of any hype for a 23 year old TE with decent draft pedigree (for a TE) who just put up a good 2nd year and is now heading into year 3 with a good offense and a lack of competition at the position?  This feels like one of those cases where a guy gets some hype as a rookie when we know we will have to wait a few years and hope he will follow a certain path of development, then the bottom falls out of his value as he treads along that exact path we were hoping he'd take.

Take Mark Andrews for instance.  Imagine if I told you that I went into the future and saw that three years from now the he was coming off a solid 500+ yard sophomore campaign, Hurst and all the other Baltimore TEs were no longer on the team, and the Ravens were a top 10 passing offense under Lamar Jackson.  We'd all probably boost Andrews up our rankings massively.  But apparently actually having to wait is different than expecting to have to wait, and people lose patience quickly.

Hush you. 

I agree, hoop is big time underrated.

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13 minutes ago, -OZ- said:

 

Really small rosters? I don't see how anyone can give him up free in dynasty.

Eh, 27 players rostered, no kickers. Smaller than most of mine but I lean towards the huge roster leagues. Here was the transaction, too:

acquired Ivory, Chris BUF RB

dropped Everett, Gerald LAR TE

Needless to say the extra D/ST I was still carrying got booted right away to snag him up. The original owner doesn't have a great group of TE's, either. Kind of inexplicable.

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57 minutes ago, Slapdash said:

How long do people realistically hang on to 4th round rookie picks in most leagues?

Hopefully longer than one season unless the player was released. 

He probably fell in some leagues but he was a high 3rd, to 2nd round pick in my leagues. Just before kupp but after Shaheen. TE enhanced scoring.

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Austin Hooper averaged just 30 yards per game last year (including the playoffs), was less productive over the second half of the season, and had a bad PFF receiving grade. It's a good sign that he seems to have become close to an every-down TE for the Falcons (he ranked 12th in snap count among all TEs last year), but I don't think he was that good a receiving TE this year so for me the needle hasn't moved much from from where it was when he was drafted. The idea that TEs need time to develop often gets overstated - a lot of great TEs were already putting up much stronger numbers than his in their second season.

Also, I also wasn't that high on Hooper entering the league. Not a great athlete, didn't have great college production, and at pick 81 he was drafted around the same point as Mark Andrews & Tyler Kroft. So tier 5 seems about right. The Falcons offense is a good place to be, but If he was on a worse offense then I'd probably have him on tier 6 with Akins & Herndon instead of tier 5 with Andrews.

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6 hours ago, ZWK said:

Austin Hooper averaged just 30 yards per game last year (including the playoffs), was less productive over the second half of the season, and had a bad PFF receiving grade. It's a good sign that he seems to have become close to an every-down TE for the Falcons (he ranked 12th in snap count among all TEs last year), but I don't think he was that good a receiving TE this year so for me the needle hasn't moved much from from where it was when he was drafted. The idea that TEs need time to develop often gets overstated - a lot of great TEs were already putting up much stronger numbers than his in their second season.

Also, I also wasn't that high on Hooper entering the league. Not a great athlete, didn't have great college production, and at pick 81 he was drafted around the same point as Mark Andrews & Tyler Kroft. So tier 5 seems about right. The Falcons offense is a good place to be, but If he was on a worse offense then I'd probably have him on tier 6 with Akins & Herndon instead of tier 5 with Andrews.

Where my optimism lies with him is the fact he's still as young as some rookies and has spent a lot of the offseason working alone with Matty Ice.  That doesn't mean he's going to suddenly be great just because he worked with the QB, but I think there is reason for a little optimism.  Plus, he's in a great situation with nothing behind him.  This year will determine everything with him.  He needs a 60/600/6 type year to give me any hope moving forward.  I'd have him about where you have him at this point.  

Edited by TheBottomLine
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What ZWK's TE list tells me is that, more than perhaps at any other time in recent history, it's possible, if you play your cards right, to pay virtually nothing for the position and yet get top-6 production now plus a good shot at top-6 production in the years to come.

I've rarely been willing to pay the going rate for peak Gronk / Graham / Witten-level production, but it sometimes made sense when the alternative was paying top-6 TE prices for fundamentally capped names like Walker or Rudolph. But today, for the cost of three TE2s (maybe, what, 12th-16th round startup picks in non-TE premium leagues?), I can snag a trio like Walker / Kittle / Hooper or Walker / ASJ / Everett and cover all my bases - decent current production (Walker), short- to mid-term situational play (Kittle/ASJ), cheap youth with high upside (Hooper/Everett). Meanwhile, you could blow two top-100 picks on a combo of Njoku / Howard and IMO it'd still be a coin flip whether you would get more VBD out of the position in any of the next 1 / 3 / 5 years than I do.

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20 hours ago, FreeBaGeL said:

I am kind of surprised the consensus is so low on Austin Hooper this offseason.

He had a decent amount of hype when he was drafted by Atlanta.  Since then he's pretty well followed the path we expect out of a young tight end, putting up 49-526-3 as a 22 year old 2nd year player.  He's on a good offense with a good QB and the minimal competition they had at the position was not retained.

So why the complete lack of any hype for a 23 year old TE with decent draft pedigree (for a TE) who just put up a good 2nd year and is now heading into year 3 with a good offense and a lack of competition at the position?  This feels like one of those cases where a guy gets some hype as a rookie when we know we will have to wait a few years and hope he will follow a certain path of development, then the bottom falls out of his value as he treads along that exact path we were hoping he'd take.

Take Mark Andrews for instance.  Imagine if I told you that I went into the future and saw that three years from now the he was coming off a solid 500+ yard sophomore campaign, Hurst and all the other Baltimore TEs were no longer on the team, and the Ravens were a top 10 passing offense under Lamar Jackson.  We'd all probably boost Andrews up our rankings massively.  But apparently actually having to wait is different than expecting to have to wait, and people lose patience quickly.

Not that Hooper (or anyone) can fill Tony Gonzalez shoes, but this is something Matt Ryan has missed ever since he retired. 

I see Hooper improving on his numbers in 2018 and should contend for top 12 TE this season.

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

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