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ZWK's Dynasty Rankings (WR updated April 2021)


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Another great set of rankings. Thanks for posting these.

I'm a bit surprised at the turn this thread has take on Floyd/Patterson. Floyd's "not stellar" WR24 finish last year was mentioned. Doesn't it make sense that a 24 year old WR with a high draft pedigree that has just entered the dawn of his career would be ranked, not insubstantially, higher than his previous year finish? Isn't that part of the reason why Le'Veon Bell is ranked as RB6 despite his RB14 finish? Or why Giovanni Bernard is RB5 despite his RB16 finish, Tyler Eifert is TE6 despite his TE29 finish, Andrew Luck is QB4 despite his QB7 finish, DeAndre Hopkins is WR31 despite his WR51 finish, and so on..

Floyd's 2nd year numbers were extremely similar to those of Dez Bryant and Randall Cobb, two guys who were ranked WR6 and WR9 coming off of those finishes. Yet Floyd, who was drafted earlier than both of them (albeit for reasons beyond talent when being compared to Dez) and put up similar 2nd year numbers with far worse QB play is overrated at WR16? Does not compute.

As far as Patterson goes, I can see his rankings varying a lot from person to person as he's a major boom or bust player and different owners weigh risk vs. potential differently. I would not say people are ranking him as if he's "already arrived" though. If they were he would be WR1 or WR2 right now because, right or wrong, that's where people see his potential if he "arrives". It also seems contradictory to mention WR12 being too high for a guy who has not yet arrived while replacing him in the rankings at WR12 with a guy who literally hasn't arrived in the NFL yet (a rookie). Not that I have a problem with Watkins there, just some nit picking :P

With Patterson I don't think we've reached a situation like we did with some people ranking Gio in the top 2 or 3 where, even if he lives up to his massive potential, you've basically only broken even on the cost to acquire him. If Patterson is bought at WR12 prices and performs like AJ Green going forward, even if it doesn't start this year, that's still a ton of value gained.

I agree with most of what you posted. Regarding the bolded, I think Patterson has reached that level (well, almost). While a WR11-12 to a WR1 may seem like a lot of room for upside as compared to RB3 to RB1, because there are more WRs taken in the first few rounds than RBs, the upside remaining is closer to RB3 to RB1 than it is to RB12 to RB1 imo.

In the DFWC (6 PPR startups just recently finished), Patterson went as the WR11 (on average) at 2.08, 2.06, 2.06, 2.04, 2.10, 2.09. Gio went 1.11, 2.01, 1.10, 2.01, 2.01, 2.04. There is less upside left for Gio (from 2.01 to 1.01), but not a whole lot less than Patterson (from 2.06 to 1.01).

Both are valued appropriately at those ranges imo.

That's a fair point. A big part of that is the dearth of stud young running backs right now.

Using FBG dynasty rankings...

RB1 is McCoy, RB3 is Martin, RB11 is Lynch

WR1 is Green, WR11 is Marshall

I agree that the gap between Marshall->Green is probably closer to the gap between Martin->McCoy than it is Lynch->McCoy. Nonetheless, the gap between Marshall->Green is a huge one, especially from a perceived value standpoint. Thus, I think we both agree that there is still a LOT of room for Patterson's value to go up in relation to his current price being near his ceiling.

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I agree that Patterson is probably a bit overrated in dynasty leagues right now. He's typically going around WR12 or so and that seems a bit high for a guy who really "hasn't arrived" as a true WR yet. What does that say about ranking rookies like Evans and Watkins ahead of him though? That seems more of a reach than the Patterson rankings I've seen. If not arriving as a WR is holding back Patterson, it should also be holding back those 2 and moreso. We've at least seen Patterson dominate on Sundays and his talent is on par with them.

Patterson didn't show enough last season for the book on him right now to be any different than the book on him coming out, imo. At the same time, Watkins and Evans are both better prospects than Patterson was coming out. From that standpoint, it would be weird to see Patterson leapfrog those two guys despite an overall ho-hum rookie season.

What in the world are you talking about here? He didn't show enough? I'm not sure how he didn't show enough but he certainly showed a lot. Certainly a lot more than rookies who have shown nothing. Watkins and Evans are not better prospects. They simply had more to go off of and were therefor safer and easier to project. Had Patterson been at Tenn for even 2 years he'd have been drafted in line with them. An incomplete body of work does not mean a lesser prospect. From a physical talent standpoint he's every bit as good, perhaps better. Acting as though Patterson needs to leap frog them is absurd IMO. They are the ones that need to justify leap frogging him.

The only thing that held Patterson back last year was Minn not using him until late in the season. Once he started to get touches/targets, he was extremely good.

1st 8 weeks

24 targets, 16 receptions, 146 yds, 0 TDs

2 carries, 2 yds, 0 TDs

3.25 targets, 18.5 total yds and 0 TDs per game

2nd 8 weeks

54 targets, 29 receptions, 323 yds, 4 TDs

10 carries, 156 yds, 3 TDs

8 targets, 60 total yds and .875 TDs per game

Once Patterson was involved, he was dominant.

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Patterson scored a combined 9 TD last season. 4 receiving, 3 rushing and 2 off of kick returns. He scored at least one TD every week from week 12 to week 16 after not being used much on offense earlier on in the season. Finished second in the league in combined yards. He might be over valued but I don't think his performance was ho-hum.

As a Viking fan I agree with this. He was barely used on offense the first half of the year. He's one of those guys that makes you lean forward off your couch a little every time he touches it. He almost broke a few more little bubble screens that would have put his numbers much higher. I admit to not watching him much at Tennessee; but all I heard coming out of school was how raw he was. Not to say he's a veteran route runner, but he showed quite a bit last year in limited time. With all the different ways he can score points, the way he jumps off the screen, and the hope that MN may have found a real QB; are all reasons for the optimism surrounding him. I don't really create my own personal rankings, but looking at the top 30 guys I'd probably have him around #14 or so.

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I agree that Patterson is probably a bit overrated in dynasty leagues right now. He's typically going around WR12 or so and that seems a bit high for a guy who really "hasn't arrived" as a true WR yet. What does that say about ranking rookies like Evans and Watkins ahead of him though? That seems more of a reach than the Patterson rankings I've seen. If not arriving as a WR is holding back Patterson, it should also be holding back those 2 and moreso. We've at least seen Patterson dominate on Sundays and his talent is on par with them.

Patterson didn't show enough last season for the book on him right now to be any different than the book on him coming out, imo. At the same time, Watkins and Evans are both better prospects than Patterson was coming out. From that standpoint, it would be weird to see Patterson leapfrog those two guys despite an overall ho-hum rookie season.

What in the world are you talking about here? He didn't show enough? I'm not sure how he didn't show enough but he certainly showed a lot. Certainly a lot more than rookies who have shown nothing. Watkins and Evans are not better prospects. They simply had more to go off of and were therefor safer and easier to project. Had Patterson been at Tenn for even 2 years he'd have been drafted in line with them. An incomplete body of work does not mean a lesser prospect. From a physical talent standpoint he's every bit as good, perhaps better. Acting as though Patterson needs to leap frog them is absurd IMO. They are the ones that need to justify leap frogging him.

The only thing that held Patterson back last year was Minn not using him until late in the season. Once he started to get touches/targets, he was extremely good.

1st 8 weeks

24 targets, 16 receptions, 146 yds, 0 TDs

2 carries, 2 yds, 0 TDs

3.25 targets, 18.5 total yds and 0 TDs per game

2nd 8 weeks

54 targets, 29 receptions, 323 yds, 4 TDs

10 carries, 156 yds, 3 TDs

8 targets, 60 total yds and .875 TDs per game

Once Patterson was involved, he was dominant.

Percy Harvin had a 60/790/6 receiving line his rookie year (in 15 games). Not very special as raw totals, but his year looks more impressive if you dig into his numbers a little deeper. Harvin only played about half of his team's snaps, and when he was on the field he averaged 2.31 yards per route run which ranked 7th out of 54 receivers with a qualifying number of snaps (PFF data). Add that to his rushing numbers (135 yards on 15 carries) and the explosiveness shown by his 2 return TDs, and Harvin's rookie year provided a pretty strong sign that he was poised to blow up once his role got a little bigger. (Which he did, while he was healthy.)

It sounds like you're trying to tell a similar story with Patterson. And some of the same elements are there. He does have the return TDs, and that explosiveness. He does have similar rushing numbers. But the central part of the story - Harvin's extremely productive receiving performance on the passing plays where he was on the field - is missing for Patterson. Patterson had only 1.61 yards per route run, which would've ranked 34th out of 43 receivers (if he had enough snaps to qualify). His YPRR was essentially the same as Jerome Simpson's and Greg Jennings's, and it was slightly lower over the 2nd half of the season than the first half (1.55 vs. 1.70).

So Patterson is going to need to improve as a receiver in order to become a study - he'll need to produce more when he is on the field, and not just get a bigger role. He's flashed some nice things, but unlike rookie Harvin he's not dominant yet.

There are somewhat similar stories for most of last year's rookie WRs. They flashed enough so that people who already liked them would be encouraged, but didn't show enough to dramatically change many people's opinions. (The two exceptions that come to mind from the first three rounds are Keenan Allen, who did more than that, and Markus Wheaton who did less.) I think I have most of last year's rookies ranked fairly closely to where I did a year ago, although several of them (including Patterson) have moved up at least a bit.

Right now I like Watkins & Evans a lot more than I liked any of last year's WRs a year ago, so they're higher in my rankings than any of last year's WRs were or are.

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I agree that Patterson is probably a bit overrated in dynasty leagues right now. He's typically going around WR12 or so and that seems a bit high for a guy who really "hasn't arrived" as a true WR yet. What does that say about ranking rookies like Evans and Watkins ahead of him though? That seems more of a reach than the Patterson rankings I've seen. If not arriving as a WR is holding back Patterson, it should also be holding back those 2 and moreso. We've at least seen Patterson dominate on Sundays and his talent is on par with them.

Patterson didn't show enough last season for the book on him right now to be any different than the book on him coming out, imo. At the same time, Watkins and Evans are both better prospects than Patterson was coming out. From that standpoint, it would be weird to see Patterson leapfrog those two guys despite an overall ho-hum rookie season.

What in the world are you talking about here? He didn't show enough? I'm not sure how he didn't show enough but he certainly showed a lot. Certainly a lot more than rookies who have shown nothing. Watkins and Evans are not better prospects. They simply had more to go off of and were therefor safer and easier to project. Had Patterson been at Tenn for even 2 years he'd have been drafted in line with them. An incomplete body of work does not mean a lesser prospect. From a physical talent standpoint he's every bit as good, perhaps better. Acting as though Patterson needs to leap frog them is absurd IMO. They are the ones that need to justify leap frogging him.

The only thing that held Patterson back last year was Minn not using him until late in the season. Once he started to get touches/targets, he was extremely good.

1st 8 weeks

24 targets, 16 receptions, 146 yds, 0 TDs

2 carries, 2 yds, 0 TDs

3.25 targets, 18.5 total yds and 0 TDs per game

2nd 8 weeks

54 targets, 29 receptions, 323 yds, 4 TDs

10 carries, 156 yds, 3 TDs

8 targets, 60 total yds and .875 TDs per game

Once Patterson was involved, he was dominant.

Percy Harvin had a 60/790/6 receiving line his rookie year (in 15 games). Not very special as raw totals, but his year looks more impressive if you dig into his numbers a little deeper. Harvin only played about half of his team's snaps, and when he was on the field he averaged 2.31 yards per route run which ranked 7th out of 54 receivers with a qualifying number of snaps (PFF data). Add that to his rushing numbers (135 yards on 15 carries) and the explosiveness shown by his 2 return TDs, and Harvin's rookie year provided a pretty strong sign that he was poised to blow up once his role got a little bigger. (Which he did, while he was healthy.)

It sounds like you're trying to tell a similar story with Patterson. And some of the same elements are there. He does have the return TDs, and that explosiveness. He does have similar rushing numbers. But the central part of the story - Harvin's extremely productive receiving performance on the passing plays where he was on the field - is missing for Patterson. Patterson had only 1.61 yards per route run, which would've ranked 34th out of 43 receivers (if he had enough snaps to qualify). His YPRR was essentially the same as Jerome Simpson's and Greg Jennings's, and it was slightly lower over the 2nd half of the season than the first half (1.55 vs. 1.70).

So Patterson is going to need to improve as a receiver in order to become a study - he'll need to produce more when he is on the field, and not just get a bigger role. He's flashed some nice things, but unlike rookie Harvin he's not dominant yet.

There are somewhat similar stories for most of last year's rookie WRs. They flashed enough so that people who already liked them would be encouraged, but didn't show enough to dramatically change many people's opinions. (The two exceptions that come to mind from the first three rounds are Keenan Allen, who did more than that, and Markus Wheaton who did less.) I think I have most of last year's rookies ranked fairly closely to where I did a year ago, although several of them (including Patterson) have moved up at least a bit.

Right now I like Watkins & Evans a lot more than I liked any of last year's WRs a year ago, so they're higher in my rankings than any of last year's WRs were or are.

Don't know about how his numbers stacked up after stat crunching , but patterson sure passed the eye test for me last year.

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I agree that Patterson is probably a bit overrated in dynasty leagues right now. He's typically going around WR12 or so and that seems a bit high for a guy who really "hasn't arrived" as a true WR yet. What does that say about ranking rookies like Evans and Watkins ahead of him though? That seems more of a reach than the Patterson rankings I've seen. If not arriving as a WR is holding back Patterson, it should also be holding back those 2 and moreso. We've at least seen Patterson dominate on Sundays and his talent is on par with them.

Patterson didn't show enough last season for the book on him right now to be any different than the book on him coming out, imo. At the same time, Watkins and Evans are both better prospects than Patterson was coming out. From that standpoint, it would be weird to see Patterson leapfrog those two guys despite an overall ho-hum rookie season.

What in the world are you talking about here? He didn't show enough? I'm not sure how he didn't show enough but he certainly showed a lot. Certainly a lot more than rookies who have shown nothing. Watkins and Evans are not better prospects. They simply had more to go off of and were therefor safer and easier to project. Had Patterson been at Tenn for even 2 years he'd have been drafted in line with them. An incomplete body of work does not mean a lesser prospect. From a physical talent standpoint he's every bit as good, perhaps better. Acting as though Patterson needs to leap frog them is absurd IMO. They are the ones that need to justify leap frogging him.

The only thing that held Patterson back last year was Minn not using him until late in the season. Once he started to get touches/targets, he was extremely good.

1st 8 weeks

24 targets, 16 receptions, 146 yds, 0 TDs

2 carries, 2 yds, 0 TDs

3.25 targets, 18.5 total yds and 0 TDs per game

2nd 8 weeks

54 targets, 29 receptions, 323 yds, 4 TDs

10 carries, 156 yds, 3 TDs

8 targets, 60 total yds and .875 TDs per game

Once Patterson was involved, he was dominant.

Percy Harvin had a 60/790/6 receiving line his rookie year (in 15 games). Not very special as raw totals, but his year looks more impressive if you dig into his numbers a little deeper. Harvin only played about half of his team's snaps, and when he was on the field he averaged 2.31 yards per route run which ranked 7th out of 54 receivers with a qualifying number of snaps (PFF data). Add that to his rushing numbers (135 yards on 15 carries) and the explosiveness shown by his 2 return TDs, and Harvin's rookie year provided a pretty strong sign that he was poised to blow up once his role got a little bigger. (Which he did, while he was healthy.)

It sounds like you're trying to tell a similar story with Patterson. And some of the same elements are there. He does have the return TDs, and that explosiveness. He does have similar rushing numbers. But the central part of the story - Harvin's extremely productive receiving performance on the passing plays where he was on the field - is missing for Patterson. Patterson had only 1.61 yards per route run, which would've ranked 34th out of 43 receivers (if he had enough snaps to qualify). His YPRR was essentially the same as Jerome Simpson's and Greg Jennings's, and it was slightly lower over the 2nd half of the season than the first half (1.55 vs. 1.70).

So Patterson is going to need to improve as a receiver in order to become a study - he'll need to produce more when he is on the field, and not just get a bigger role. He's flashed some nice things, but unlike rookie Harvin he's not dominant yet.

There are somewhat similar stories for most of last year's rookie WRs. They flashed enough so that people who already liked them would be encouraged, but didn't show enough to dramatically change many people's opinions. (The two exceptions that come to mind from the first three rounds are Keenan Allen, who did more than that, and Markus Wheaton who did less.) I think I have most of last year's rookies ranked fairly closely to where I did a year ago, although several of them (including Patterson) have moved up at least a bit.

Right now I like Watkins & Evans a lot more than I liked any of last year's WRs a year ago, so they're higher in my rankings than any of last year's WRs were or are.

I'm not trying to compare Harvin to Patterson at all. Mainly because it's a bad comparison. One was playing with Favre at QB when he was at a Pro Bowl level and Minn was a 12-4 football team. They also had a legit WR1 on the team in S. Rice who also amassed 1,330 yds as well as Berrian at 618 yds. The situations aren't even close to comparable. Patterson had Ponder and Cassell throwing the ball to him and the team was significantly worse on all levels. The fact that he accounted for nearly the same YPR as the veterans on that team is a positive sign given how drastic the learning curve was suppose to be for him from college. It's funny that you don't mention that Patterson ranked 3rd among all rookies in YPR in your post, which he did. Only Allen and Dobson were better and look who was throwing them the ball. Edited by jurb26
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I agree that Patterson is probably a bit overrated in dynasty leagues right now. He's typically going around WR12 or so and that seems a bit high for a guy who really "hasn't arrived" as a true WR yet. What does that say about ranking rookies like Evans and Watkins ahead of him though? That seems more of a reach than the Patterson rankings I've seen. If not arriving as a WR is holding back Patterson, it should also be holding back those 2 and moreso. We've at least seen Patterson dominate on Sundays and his talent is on par with them.

Patterson didn't show enough last season for the book on him right now to be any different than the book on him coming out, imo. At the same time, Watkins and Evans are both better prospects than Patterson was coming out. From that standpoint, it would be weird to see Patterson leapfrog those two guys despite an overall ho-hum rookie season.

What in the world are you talking about here? He didn't show enough? I'm not sure how he didn't show enough but he certainly showed a lot. Certainly a lot more than rookies who have shown nothing. Watkins and Evans are not better prospects. They simply had more to go off of and were therefor safer and easier to project. Had Patterson been at Tenn for even 2 years he'd have been drafted in line with them. An incomplete body of work does not mean a lesser prospect. From a physical talent standpoint he's every bit as good, perhaps better. Acting as though Patterson needs to leap frog them is absurd IMO. They are the ones that need to justify leap frogging him.

The only thing that held Patterson back last year was Minn not using him until late in the season. Once he started to get touches/targets, he was extremely good.

1st 8 weeks

24 targets, 16 receptions, 146 yds, 0 TDs

2 carries, 2 yds, 0 TDs

3.25 targets, 18.5 total yds and 0 TDs per game

2nd 8 weeks

54 targets, 29 receptions, 323 yds, 4 TDs

10 carries, 156 yds, 3 TDs

8 targets, 60 total yds and .875 TDs per game

Once Patterson was involved, he was dominant.

Percy Harvin had a 60/790/6 receiving line his rookie year (in 15 games). Not very special as raw totals, but his year looks more impressive if you dig into his numbers a little deeper. Harvin only played about half of his team's snaps, and when he was on the field he averaged 2.31 yards per route run which ranked 7th out of 54 receivers with a qualifying number of snaps (PFF data). Add that to his rushing numbers (135 yards on 15 carries) and the explosiveness shown by his 2 return TDs, and Harvin's rookie year provided a pretty strong sign that he was poised to blow up once his role got a little bigger. (Which he did, while he was healthy.)

It sounds like you're trying to tell a similar story with Patterson. And some of the same elements are there. He does have the return TDs, and that explosiveness. He does have similar rushing numbers. But the central part of the story - Harvin's extremely productive receiving performance on the passing plays where he was on the field - is missing for Patterson. Patterson had only 1.61 yards per route run, which would've ranked 34th out of 43 receivers (if he had enough snaps to qualify). His YPRR was essentially the same as Jerome Simpson's and Greg Jennings's, and it was slightly lower over the 2nd half of the season than the first half (1.55 vs. 1.70).

So Patterson is going to need to improve as a receiver in order to become a study - he'll need to produce more when he is on the field, and not just get a bigger role. He's flashed some nice things, but unlike rookie Harvin he's not dominant yet.

There are somewhat similar stories for most of last year's rookie WRs. They flashed enough so that people who already liked them would be encouraged, but didn't show enough to dramatically change many people's opinions. (The two exceptions that come to mind from the first three rounds are Keenan Allen, who did more than that, and Markus Wheaton who did less.) I think I have most of last year's rookies ranked fairly closely to where I did a year ago, although several of them (including Patterson) have moved up at least a bit.

Right now I like Watkins & Evans a lot more than I liked any of last year's WRs a year ago, so they're higher in my rankings than any of last year's WRs were or are.

I'm not trying to compare Harvin to Patterson at all. Mainly because it's a bad comparison. One was playing with Favre at QB when he was at a Pro Bowl level and Minn was a 12-4 football team. They also had a legit WR1 on the team in S. Rice who also amassed 1,330 yds as well as Berrian at 618 yds. The situations aren't even close to comparable. Patterson had Ponder and Cassell throwing the ball to him and the team was significantly worse on all levels. The fact that he accounted for nearly the same YPR as the veterans on that team is a positive sign given how drastic the learning curve was suppose to be for him from college. It's funny that you don't mention that Patterson ranked 3rd among all rookies in YPR in your post, which he did. Only Allen and Dobson were better and look who was throwing them the ball.

Having numbers that were as good as Jerome Simpson's is one of those "faint praise" things.

I don't think that Patterson had a bad rookie year, I just think that he didn't do enough to move the needle very far from where it was before his rookie year. Same with pretty much every rookie last year. Keenan Allen's rookie year was good enough to move the needle significantly. Percy Harvin's rookie year in 2009 was good enough to move the needle significantly. Patterson's was not (even though it was similar to Harvin's in some respects).

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Michael Floyd's rise in the rankings over the past year seems rather odd. He had a pretty nice season, but not one that was all that special by the numbers (WR24 in ppg) or in how most people seemed to evaluate it. How does that take him from dynasty WR41 (where the FBG average had him a year ago) to dynasty WR16 (where FBG has him now) or 12 (where DLF has him)? In my book he's gone from underrated (with people underweighting his draft pedigree and potential) to a bit overrated (with people assuming another step up which may never come).
Similarly, Cordarelle Patterson flashed last year but a lot of people have him being ranked as if he'd already arrived. The skills he showed in college (in terms of elusiveness / run after catch) carried over to the NFL, but it's still an open question whether he'll develop the rest of the package of WR skills (route running, etc.) to be an elite NFL WR.

Couldn't agree more on these. I think the 2013 preseason FBG rankings of Floyd were a bit embarrassing. Dude was a top 15 pick with prototypical height/weight/speed/explosiveness. He had 500+ yards as a rookie with one of the worst QB situations in NFL history. Not sure why he was ever at WR41.

I also agree completely that the pendulum might have swung back too far in the other direction. He's shown that he can be a solid #2 opposite a solid #1. Whether or not that will translate to him becoming a #1 guy either before or after Fitz leaves remains a big ???.

No margin for error with Patterson at his current market price. I'd rather have Justin Hunter for a fraction of the price. I went back last night and watched some Hunter college highlights on a lark. Very impressive. I know all about his rail thin frame and how it doesn't fit with the league's current elite, but I feel like he's a big talent with every bit the breakout potential of Patterson. I'd take him over Hopkins, Adams, Torrey, Hilton, Tavon, and maybe a few others.

I'm not going to get into a big debate about it, but I wonder why it's taken for granted that AJ Green is more talented than guys like Dez and Demaryius. He had fewer yards than DT on a much bigger number of targets. I know Dalton vs. Peyton accounts for a lot of that and I actually don't think we've seen AJ's ceiling yet, but the idea that he's a tier apart from guys like Dez and Demaryius has always seemed really suspect to me and I've never heard anyone make a good case for it. It usually comes down to, "Well he just is." He isn't as physically talented, he doesn't get the YAC they do, and he averages far fewer yards per target.

Agree with your instinct on Jennings being too low. I like him as a one or two year WR2 rental. In my view that puts him on par or greater than guys like Roddy, Colston, Bowe, G Tate, Sanders ( :X), and Amendola.

Roddy is VJax or Andre Johnson with some extra risk; last season he seemed to get his game back by the end of the year. I love those 3 guys for dynasty teams that are in contention this year - they are affordable difference makers. Buying one of these guys every couple years (in exchange for a lower upside guy) is almost as good a getting a stud.

Amendola still has upside close to where it was a year ago. His odds have gone done, but the upside is still similar. Edelman was reliable but unexciting (only 7.2 yards per target) and relied on volume - if Amendola can stay healthy and play a little better than he did while he was hurt last year, then he could easily take over that high volume role and do more with it. Staying healthy is probably the hardest part of that.

Sanders has Manning.

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I agree that Patterson is probably a bit overrated in dynasty leagues right now. He's typically going around WR12 or so and that seems a bit high for a guy who really "hasn't arrived" as a true WR yet. What does that say about ranking rookies like Evans and Watkins ahead of him though? That seems more of a reach than the Patterson rankings I've seen. If not arriving as a WR is holding back Patterson, it should also be holding back those 2 and moreso. We've at least seen Patterson dominate on Sundays and his talent is on par with them.

Patterson didn't show enough last season for the book on him right now to be any different than the book on him coming out, imo. At the same time, Watkins and Evans are both better prospects than Patterson was coming out. From that standpoint, it would be weird to see Patterson leapfrog those two guys despite an overall ho-hum rookie season.

What in the world are you talking about here? He didn't show enough? I'm not sure how he didn't show enough but he certainly showed a lot. Certainly a lot more than rookies who have shown nothing. Watkins and Evans are not better prospects. They simply had more to go off of and were therefor safer and easier to project. Had Patterson been at Tenn for even 2 years he'd have been drafted in line with them. An incomplete body of work does not mean a lesser prospect. From a physical talent standpoint he's every bit as good, perhaps better. Acting as though Patterson needs to leap frog them is absurd IMO. They are the ones that need to justify leap frogging him.

The only thing that held Patterson back last year was Minn not using him until late in the season. Once he started to get touches/targets, he was extremely good.

1st 8 weeks

24 targets, 16 receptions, 146 yds, 0 TDs

2 carries, 2 yds, 0 TDs

3.25 targets, 18.5 total yds and 0 TDs per game

2nd 8 weeks

54 targets, 29 receptions, 323 yds, 4 TDs

10 carries, 156 yds, 3 TDs

8 targets, 60 total yds and .875 TDs per game

Once Patterson was involved, he was dominant.

Percy Harvin had a 60/790/6 receiving line his rookie year (in 15 games). Not very special as raw totals, but his year looks more impressive if you dig into his numbers a little deeper. Harvin only played about half of his team's snaps, and when he was on the field he averaged 2.31 yards per route run which ranked 7th out of 54 receivers with a qualifying number of snaps (PFF data). Add that to his rushing numbers (135 yards on 15 carries) and the explosiveness shown by his 2 return TDs, and Harvin's rookie year provided a pretty strong sign that he was poised to blow up once his role got a little bigger. (Which he did, while he was healthy.)

It sounds like you're trying to tell a similar story with Patterson. And some of the same elements are there. He does have the return TDs, and that explosiveness. He does have similar rushing numbers. But the central part of the story - Harvin's extremely productive receiving performance on the passing plays where he was on the field - is missing for Patterson. Patterson had only 1.61 yards per route run, which would've ranked 34th out of 43 receivers (if he had enough snaps to qualify). His YPRR was essentially the same as Jerome Simpson's and Greg Jennings's, and it was slightly lower over the 2nd half of the season than the first half (1.55 vs. 1.70).

So Patterson is going to need to improve as a receiver in order to become a study - he'll need to produce more when he is on the field, and not just get a bigger role. He's flashed some nice things, but unlike rookie Harvin he's not dominant yet.

There are somewhat similar stories for most of last year's rookie WRs. They flashed enough so that people who already liked them would be encouraged, but didn't show enough to dramatically change many people's opinions. (The two exceptions that come to mind from the first three rounds are Keenan Allen, who did more than that, and Markus Wheaton who did less.) I think I have most of last year's rookies ranked fairly closely to where I did a year ago, although several of them (including Patterson) have moved up at least a bit.

Right now I like Watkins & Evans a lot more than I liked any of last year's WRs a year ago, so they're higher in my rankings than any of last year's WRs were or are.

I'm not trying to compare Harvin to Patterson at all. Mainly because it's a bad comparison. One was playing with Favre at QB when he was at a Pro Bowl level and Minn was a 12-4 football team. They also had a legit WR1 on the team in S. Rice who also amassed 1,330 yds as well as Berrian at 618 yds. The situations aren't even close to comparable. Patterson had Ponder and Cassell throwing the ball to him and the team was significantly worse on all levels. The fact that he accounted for nearly the same YPR as the veterans on that team is a positive sign given how drastic the learning curve was suppose to be for him from college. It's funny that you don't mention that Patterson ranked 3rd among all rookies in YPR in your post, which he did. Only Allen and Dobson were better and look who was throwing them the ball.

Having numbers that were as good as Jerome Simpson's is one of those "faint praise" things.

I don't think that Patterson had a bad rookie year, I just think that he didn't do enough to move the needle very far from where it was before his rookie year. Same with pretty much every rookie last year. Keenan Allen's rookie year was good enough to move the needle significantly. Percy Harvin's rookie year in 2009 was good enough to move the needle significantly. Patterson's was not (even though it was similar to Harvin's in some respects).

Patterson has moved the needle significantly. You said so in your first post and his current ADP and rankings reflect that. :shrug:

You seem intent on changing the subject here by brining up Harvin. He has nothing to do with this. There are no parallels at all other than they played in Minn. Acting as if there is some statistical support for ranking the current rookies, Watkins and Evans, ahead of Patterson is just wrong. You continually underplay Patterson's rookie season saying it's faint praise. Again, he had the 3rd best YPR of all rookies. Given the information we had on him prior to the season, extremely raw and needed lots of development as a WR, that is in fact substantial. Especially when anyone who looks into that stat you are using knows that QBs most certainly impact it and he had some of the clear worst QB play in the NFL (hence all Minn WR scored Low) and the rookies ahead of him had some of the best. Saying a guy like him needs to improve as a WR is like saying water is wet. Everyone already knows this and based on his strong development in year 1 as well as the strong offseason reports and confidence coming from Minn his value has spiked considerably. What is more substantial than that? Patterson is the definition of a guy who has moved the needle. Hell, he's practically moved the whole box of needles.

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Michael Floyd's rise in the rankings over the past year seems rather odd. He had a pretty nice season, but not one that was all that special by the numbers (WR24 in ppg) or in how most people seemed to evaluate it. How does that take him from dynasty WR41 (where the FBG average had him a year ago) to dynasty WR16 (where FBG has him now) or 12 (where DLF has him)? In my book he's gone from underrated (with people underweighting his draft pedigree and potential) to a bit overrated (with people assuming another step up which may never come).
Similarly, Cordarelle Patterson flashed last year but a lot of people have him being ranked as if he'd already arrived. The skills he showed in college (in terms of elusiveness / run after catch) carried over to the NFL, but it's still an open question whether he'll develop the rest of the package of WR skills (route running, etc.) to be an elite NFL WR.

Couldn't agree more on these. I think the 2013 preseason FBG rankings of Floyd were a bit embarrassing. Dude was a top 15 pick with prototypical height/weight/speed/explosiveness. He had 500+ yards as a rookie with one of the worst QB situations in NFL history. Not sure why he was ever at WR41.

I also agree completely that the pendulum might have swung back too far in the other direction. He's shown that he can be a solid #2 opposite a solid #1. Whether or not that will translate to him becoming a #1 guy either before or after Fitz leaves remains a big ???.

No margin for error with Patterson at his current market price. I'd rather have Justin Hunter for a fraction of the price. I went back last night and watched some Hunter college highlights on a lark. Very impressive. I know all about his rail thin frame and how it doesn't fit with the league's current elite, but I feel like he's a big talent with every bit the breakout potential of Patterson. I'd take him over Hopkins, Adams, Torrey, Hilton, Tavon, and maybe a few others.

I'm not going to get into a big debate about it, but I wonder why it's taken for granted that AJ Green is more talented than guys like Dez and Demaryius. He had fewer yards than DT on a much bigger number of targets. I know Dalton vs. Peyton accounts for a lot of that and I actually don't think we've seen AJ's ceiling yet, but the idea that he's a tier apart from guys like Dez and Demaryius has always seemed really suspect to me and I've never heard anyone make a good case for it. It usually comes down to, "Well he just is." He isn't as physically talented, he doesn't get the YAC they do, and he averages far fewer yards per target.

Agree with your instinct on Jennings being too low. I like him as a one or two year WR2 rental. In my view that puts him on par or greater than guys like Roddy, Colston, Bowe, G Tate, Sanders ( :X), and Amendola.

Roddy is VJax or Andre Johnson with some extra risk; last season he seemed to get his game back by the end of the year. I love those 3 guys for dynasty teams that are in contention this year - they are affordable difference makers. Buying one of these guys every couple years (in exchange for a lower upside guy) is almost as good a getting a stud.

Amendola still has upside close to where it was a year ago. His odds have gone done, but the upside is still similar. Edelman was reliable but unexciting (only 7.2 yards per target) and relied on volume - if Amendola can stay healthy and play a little better than he did while he was hurt last year, then he could easily take over that high volume role and do more with it. Staying healthy is probably the hardest part of that.

Sanders has Manning.

Roddy has had a great career, but I don't think he stacks up with VJax or Andre purely in terms of talent. Richard Sherman made some comments about him last year that stuck with me.

Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman made some waves this week when he said on ESPN that Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Roddy White was an "easy matchup."

Sherman didn't back off his comments about White when he sat down with Around The League on Friday.

"His strengths are in their system, within their system," Sherman said on the "ATL Debate Club" podcast. "His strengths aren't his own.

"Julio Jones' strengths are his own. Julio Jones is a dynamic playmaker. It doesn't matter what scheme he's playing in, he's going to play well. If he's out wide, if he's in the slot, he's going to present problems. Roddy can present problems for certain people, but he's a product."

Sherman believes the Falcons bring White down tight to the formation because he'd struggle in press coverage against -- as Sherman puts it -- "the big bad corners of Seattle."

"Julio's gonna stand outside those numbers and go to work," Sherman said. "Roddy would have a problem standing outside those numbers and going to work on us."

That's just a lot of talk, but White will turn 33 this season and his stats were down across the board last year. You're right that he finished strong, so maybe it was just injuries hampering him early in the year. Or maybe he's just done. I get worried when a player that age suddenly starts to lose something. I don't think it's too harsh on him to prefer Jennings, who has had a pretty good career in his own right (albeit in a better situation) and is 2+ years younger.

I feel like Sanders had a great opportunity to be relevant last season in Pittsburgh. Being a starting WR with Roethlisberger has worked out pretty well for lots of guys. Sanders wasn't talented enough to take advantage of that. I don't see him doing much better in Denver.

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I think Roddy was obviously playing injured last season. He played through a high ankle sprain. You can't just play through one of those. When he finally rested a bit, he came back and was regular old Roddy. He won't turn 33 until the 1/2 way point in the season. I'm going to predict he has 3 solid years of FF production left in the tank. Roddy has been a WR 1 since his 3rd season and I think Dick Sherman is full of spit. Roddy was a two-time state H.S. wrestling champion. I'm pretty sure Roddy can handle "the big bad corners of Seattle", even at 33.

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Patterson scored a combined 9 TD last season. 4 receiving, 3 rushing and 2 off of kick returns. He scored at least one TD every week from week 12 to week 16 after not being used much on offense earlier on in the season. Finished second in the league in combined yards. He might be over valued but I don't think his performance was ho-hum.

The return stats were phenomenal, but I think 45 receptions and 627 yards on offense are textbook "ho-hum".
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I agree that Patterson is probably a bit overrated in dynasty leagues right now. He's typically going around WR12 or so and that seems a bit high for a guy who really "hasn't arrived" as a true WR yet. What does that say about ranking rookies like Evans and Watkins ahead of him though? That seems more of a reach than the Patterson rankings I've seen. If not arriving as a WR is holding back Patterson, it should also be holding back those 2 and moreso. We've at least seen Patterson dominate on Sundays and his talent is on par with them.

Patterson didn't show enough last season for the book on him right now to be any different than the book on him coming out, imo. At the same time, Watkins and Evans are both better prospects than Patterson was coming out. From that standpoint, it would be weird to see Patterson leapfrog those two guys despite an overall ho-hum rookie season.

What in the world are you talking about here? He didn't show enough? I'm not sure how he didn't show enough but he certainly showed a lot. Certainly a lot more than rookies who have shown nothing. Watkins and Evans are not better prospects. They simply had more to go off of and were therefor safer and easier to project. Had Patterson been at Tenn for even 2 years he'd have been drafted in line with them. An incomplete body of work does not mean a lesser prospect. From a physical talent standpoint he's every bit as good, perhaps better. Acting as though Patterson needs to leap frog them is absurd IMO. They are the ones that need to justify leap frogging him.

The only thing that held Patterson back last year was Minn not using him until late in the season. Once he started to get touches/targets, he was extremely good.

1st 8 weeks

24 targets, 16 receptions, 146 yds, 0 TDs

2 carries, 2 yds, 0 TDs

3.25 targets, 18.5 total yds and 0 TDs per game

2nd 8 weeks

54 targets, 29 receptions, 323 yds, 4 TDs

10 carries, 156 yds, 3 TDs

8 targets, 60 total yds and .875 TDs per game

Once Patterson was involved, he was dominant.

This is great if you want to hold Patterson completely blameless for his lack of use early in the season, but I don't think that's at all appropriate. And even if you cherry-pick his second-half stats and extrapolate, you're looking at 58/646 receiving, though those 312 pro-rated rushing yards would sure be super-tasty.

Patterson was not ho-hum on every touch. He had some offensive plays that were awe-inspiring, 95th percentile type plays. So did Austin and Hunter, in comparable quantities. The problem is that those plays represented a tiny fraction of their entire season, and taken as a whole, yes, I would say that all three had ho-hum rookie seasons. ZWK already mentioned Patterson's YPRR. I'm not a huge fan of using DVOA for receivers, but it's notable that Patterson's -12% DVOA ranked 74th out of 90 qualifying receivers, well back of Greg Jennings (and Jairus Wright). Patterson's rushing DVOA was a ridiculous-as-only-a-WRs-can-be 144.3%, good for 2nd among WRs (Austin's was 134.8%, which ranked 3rd- again, he was equally electric at times, but ho-hum overall). Patterson's 6.1 yards per target was pathetic, especially when those terrible QBs he was saddled with averaged 7.1 and 6.9 yards per pass attempt. And, again, these numbers are probably boosted by the fact that Minnesota brought him along slowly rather than throwing him in the fire like St. Louis did with Austin.

So, yes, some mind-boggling plays, but a ho-hum season.

Edit: Also, "small sample size" is a part of prospect quality. The reason Watkins and Evans are better prospects is because there was much more to go on than with Patterson. There's *STILL* much more to go on. Watkins had more receptions last season than Patterson has had in his Division 1 and NFL careers COMBINED. It's not like 45 pro receptions (at a well-below-average per-target production rate) are enough to completely dispel the fact that Patterson has virtually no track record to go off of.

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Once Patterson was involved, he was dominant.

I strongly disagree with this. It was awkward watching them force him the ball on the same handfull of routes. I agree with Adam--I didn't see much that I didn't expect at the time he was a prospect. We knew he'd be explosive, but I hoped to see more from him as a WR.

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Hell, he's practically moved the whole box of needles.

Not responding to you directly--more a general comment. It's odd that Patterson's value has doubled, while Tavon's has been cut in half. They had very similar seasons.

Not really. I noted the difference in another thread but can't remember which one. Basically, Patterson played his way into a bigger role as the season went on. Austin played himself out of a bigger role and into a smaller one as the season went on. So, even though the end results were similar, the manor in which they were achieved was not. Patterson is continuing that massive momentum this offseason.
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Not really. I noted the difference in another thread but can't remember which one. Basically, Patterson played his way into a bigger role as the season went on. Austin played himself out of a bigger role and into a smaller one as the season went on. So, even though the end results were similar, the manor in which they were achieved was not. Patterson is continuing that massive momentum this offseason.

Patterson didn't play himself into a bigger role. Jerome Simpson got into off the field trouble and was benched.

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This is great if you want to hold Patterson completely blameless for his lack of use early in the season, but I don't think that's at all appropriate. And even if you cherry-pick his second-half stats and extrapolate, you're looking at 58/646 receiving, though those 312 pro-rated rushing yards would sure be super-tasty.

Patterson was not ho-hum on every touch. He had some offensive plays that were awe-inspiring, 95th percentile type plays. So did Austin and Hunter, in comparable quantities. The problem is that those plays represented a tiny fraction of their entire season, and taken as a whole, yes, I would say that all three had ho-hum rookie seasons. ZWK already mentioned Patterson's YPRR. I'm not a huge fan of using DVOA for receivers, but it's notable that Patterson's -12% DVOA ranked 74th out of 90 qualifying receivers, well back of Greg Jennings (and Jairus Wright). Patterson's rushing DVOA was a ridiculous-as-only-a-WRs-can-be 144.3%, good for 2nd among WRs (Austin's was 134.8%, which ranked 3rd- again, he was equally electric at times, but ho-hum overall). Patterson's 6.1 yards per target was pathetic, especially when those terrible QBs he was saddled with averaged 7.1 and 6.9 yards per pass attempt. And, again, these numbers are probably boosted by the fact that Minnesota brought him along slowly rather than throwing him in the fire like St. Louis did with Austin.

So, yes, some mind-boggling plays, but a ho-hum season.

Edit: Also, "small sample size" is a part of prospect quality. The reason Watkins and Evans are better prospects is because there was much more to go on than with Patterson. There's *STILL* much more to go on. Watkins had more receptions last season than Patterson has had in his Division 1 and NFL careers COMBINED. It's not like 45 pro receptions (at a well-below-average per-target production rate) are enough to completely dispel the fact that Patterson has virtually no track record to go off of.

I'm not holding Patterson blameless for being less involved early on. I'm simply giving you the progression. Patterson deserves full responsibility for not playing his way into a bigger role early. What does that have to do with the here and now, though? Patterson has progressed drastically and his involvement has as well. Unless you think there is some reason to expect his role to be lessened to the one he had early last year, this is irrelevant today. Nothing about what is going on now suggests his role will go backwards in this offense. As a matter of fact everything suggest it will increase. This isn't a matter of ignoring his early work. It's a matter of projecting towards the future. This time last year nobody expected Patterson to be involved heavily early on and most didn't think he would ever have the season he did. I'm not holding him blameless, but you seem to want to penalize him for something that has no relevance to now.

I don't disagree with any of the criticism on Patterson's play as a WR. I made the statement earlier that I think he's being overrated currently because of the exact reasons you are talking about. Still, there is no basis for ranking Watkins and Evans ahead of him based on that. The argument that Patterson needs to show more as a NFL WR while 2 guys who have never touched a NFL field don't is completely illogical. Watkins and Evans have more to prove in the NFL than Patterson does.

Now we're comparing NCAA production and NFL production? How is that at all useful?

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Not really. I noted the difference in another thread but can't remember which one. Basically, Patterson played his way into a bigger role as the season went on. Austin played himself out of a bigger role and into a smaller one as the season went on. So, even though the end results were similar, the manor in which they were achieved was not. Patterson is continuing that massive momentum this offseason.

Patterson didn't play himself into a bigger role. Jerome Simpson got into off the field trouble and was benched.

...and Austin didn't play himself into a smaller role. He had his biggest Week in Week 10 and another big Week after the Rams bye in Week 12 before getting injured in Week 14 and being held out for the rest of the season.

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Not really. I noted the difference in another thread but can't remember which one. Basically, Patterson played his way into a bigger role as the season went on. Austin played himself out of a bigger role and into a smaller one as the season went on. So, even though the end results were similar, the manor in which they were achieved was not. Patterson is continuing that massive momentum this offseason.

Patterson didn't play himself into a bigger role. Jerome Simpson got into off the field trouble and was benched.

...and Austin didn't play himself into a smaller role. He had his biggest Week in Week 10 and another big Week after the Rams bye in Week 12 before getting injured in Week 14 and being held out for the rest of the season.

Austin never had less than 6 targets in his first 5 games, 40 total. He had more than 6 (7) once the rest of the season totaling 29 targets. Had had 3 targets on his "big" day. He was used about the same running the ball and had much better success late in the year. As a WR however, he was clearly given a lesser role.
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This is great if you want to hold Patterson completely blameless for his lack of use early in the season, but I don't think that's at all appropriate.

Who said anything about blame? Wasn't it 100% expected that he was extremely raw and wasn't going to do anything immediately? It makes sense that he wasn't going to do anything at the start of the season. What helps his value is that a guy who was supposed to be a complete redshirt for at least his entire first season was already fantasy startable in the second half of year 1.

Also, I have no idea if it's actually different, but does anyone know what his YPRR was in the 2nd half of the year? It would make sense that a guy seeing the field as a 4th option at the start of the year would have that number pulled down very low before they started actually using him.

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Not really. I noted the difference in another thread but can't remember which one. Basically, Patterson played his way into a bigger role as the season went on. Austin played himself out of a bigger role and into a smaller one as the season went on. So, even though the end results were similar, the manor in which they were achieved was not. Patterson is continuing that massive momentum this offseason.

Patterson didn't play himself into a bigger role. Jerome Simpson got into off the field trouble and was benched.

...and Austin didn't play himself into a smaller role. He had his biggest Week in Week 10 and another big Week after the Rams bye in Week 12 before getting injured in Week 14 and being held out for the rest of the season.

Austin never had less than 6 targets in his first 5 games, 40 total. He had more than 6 (7) once the rest of the season totaling 29 targets. Had had 3 targets on his "big" day. He was used about the same running the ball and had much better success late in the year. As a WR however, he was clearly given a lesser role.

Kellen Clemmens was the starting QB over the last half of the season. The passing game as a whole was miserable once Bradford went down.

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This is great if you want to hold Patterson completely blameless for his lack of use early in the season, but I don't think that's at all appropriate.

Who said anything about blame? Wasn't it 100% expected that he was extremely raw and wasn't going to do anything immediately? It makes sense that he wasn't going to do anything at the start of the season. What helps his value is that a guy who was supposed to be a complete redshirt for at least his entire first season was already fantasy startable in the second half of year 1.

Also, I have no idea if it's actually different, but does anyone know what his YPRR was in the 2nd half of the year? It would make sense that a guy seeing the field as a 4th option at the start of the year would have that number pulled down very low before they started actually using him.

Patterson's YPRR was 1.55 for the second half of the year (vs. 1.70 for the first half).

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This is great if you want to hold Patterson completely blameless for his lack of use early in the season, but I don't think that's at all appropriate.

Who said anything about blame? Wasn't it 100% expected that he was extremely raw and wasn't going to do anything immediately? It makes sense that he wasn't going to do anything at the start of the season. What helps his value is that a guy who was supposed to be a complete redshirt for at least his entire first season was already fantasy startable in the second half of year 1.

Also, I have no idea if it's actually different, but does anyone know what his YPRR was in the 2nd half of the year? It would make sense that a guy seeing the field as a 4th option at the start of the year would have that number pulled down very low before they started actually using him.

Patterson's YPRR was 1.55 for the second half of the year (vs. 1.70 for the first half).

Well, nevermind then :P

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Hell, he's practically moved the whole box of needles.

Not responding to you directly--more a general comment. It's odd that Patterson's value has doubled, while Tavon's has been cut in half. They had very similar seasons.

Not really. I noted the difference in another thread but can't remember which one. Basically, Patterson played his way into a bigger role as the season went on. Austin played himself out of a bigger role and into a smaller one as the season went on. So, even though the end results were similar, the manor in which they were achieved was not. Patterson is continuing that massive momentum this offseason.

Austin played himself out of a bigger role early in the season when Patterson was glued to the bench. Then, around midseason, when Patterson was rounding into form and playing himself into a bigger role... Austin was also rounding into form and playing himself back into a bigger role. The seasons were identical except that Austin got thrown into the fire when he wasn't ready yet while Patterson had the luxury of remaining on the bench when he wasn't ready. But they both "got ready" at the same time, and they both performed at the same level once they were "ready".

Aside from that, I remember studies from many years back about whether players who finished Year N strong performed better in Year N+1 than players who didn't. It found that they did not. The idea of momentum carrying over across an offseason is appealing, but not really supported.

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This is great if you want to hold Patterson completely blameless for his lack of use early in the season, but I don't think that's at all appropriate. And even if you cherry-pick his second-half stats and extrapolate, you're looking at 58/646 receiving, though those 312 pro-rated rushing yards would sure be super-tasty.

Patterson was not ho-hum on every touch. He had some offensive plays that were awe-inspiring, 95th percentile type plays. So did Austin and Hunter, in comparable quantities. The problem is that those plays represented a tiny fraction of their entire season, and taken as a whole, yes, I would say that all three had ho-hum rookie seasons. ZWK already mentioned Patterson's YPRR. I'm not a huge fan of using DVOA for receivers, but it's notable that Patterson's -12% DVOA ranked 74th out of 90 qualifying receivers, well back of Greg Jennings (and Jairus Wright). Patterson's rushing DVOA was a ridiculous-as-only-a-WRs-can-be 144.3%, good for 2nd among WRs (Austin's was 134.8%, which ranked 3rd- again, he was equally electric at times, but ho-hum overall). Patterson's 6.1 yards per target was pathetic, especially when those terrible QBs he was saddled with averaged 7.1 and 6.9 yards per pass attempt. And, again, these numbers are probably boosted by the fact that Minnesota brought him along slowly rather than throwing him in the fire like St. Louis did with Austin.

So, yes, some mind-boggling plays, but a ho-hum season.

Edit: Also, "small sample size" is a part of prospect quality. The reason Watkins and Evans are better prospects is because there was much more to go on than with Patterson. There's *STILL* much more to go on. Watkins had more receptions last season than Patterson has had in his Division 1 and NFL careers COMBINED. It's not like 45 pro receptions (at a well-below-average per-target production rate) are enough to completely dispel the fact that Patterson has virtually no track record to go off of.

I'm not holding Patterson blameless for being less involved early on. I'm simply giving you the progression. Patterson deserves full responsibility for not playing his way into a bigger role early. What does that have to do with the here and now, though? Patterson has progressed drastically and his involvement has as well. Unless you think there is some reason to expect his role to be lessened to the one he had early last year, this is irrelevant today. Nothing about what is going on now suggests his role will go backwards in this offense. As a matter of fact everything suggest it will increase. This isn't a matter of ignoring his early work. It's a matter of projecting towards the future. This time last year nobody expected Patterson to be involved heavily early on and most didn't think he would ever have the season he did. I'm not holding him blameless, but you seem to want to penalize him for something that has no relevance to now.

I don't disagree with any of the criticism on Patterson's play as a WR. I made the statement earlier that I think he's being overrated currently because of the exact reasons you are talking about. Still, there is no basis for ranking Watkins and Evans ahead of him based on that. The argument that Patterson needs to show more as a NFL WR while 2 guys who have never touched a NFL field don't is completely illogical. Watkins and Evans have more to prove in the NFL than Patterson does.

Now we're comparing NCAA production and NFL production? How is that at all useful?

How am I penalizing? My ranking of Patterson has gone up since last season, just not nearly as much as it has for many/most. I simply insist on taking into account his entire body of work, while some seem to want to rank him based solely on his best games and splashiest plays.

I wasn't meaning to compare NCAA and NFL production. I meant to suggest that if Patterson was "Wholly Unproven" coming into last year, then he's still "Nearly Wholly Unproven" right now. 45 catches, a limited route tree, and crappy rate stats do not take a guy from "complete unknown" to "known". They take him from "complete unknown" to "near-complete unknown". And "near-complete unknown" is a greater unknown than a guy like Watkins, who thanks to a huge amount of college film is merely "pretty unknown".

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This is great if you want to hold Patterson completely blameless for his lack of use early in the season, but I don't think that's at all appropriate.

Who said anything about blame? Wasn't it 100% expected that he was extremely raw and wasn't going to do anything immediately? It makes sense that he wasn't going to do anything at the start of the season. What helps his value is that a guy who was supposed to be a complete redshirt for at least his entire first season was already fantasy startable in the second half of year 1.

Also, I have no idea if it's actually different, but does anyone know what his YPRR was in the 2nd half of the year? It would make sense that a guy seeing the field as a 4th option at the start of the year would have that number pulled down very low before they started actually using him.

I don't know about YPRR, but his yards per target was 6.08 in the first half of the season (weeks 1-9) and... 6.09 in the second half of the season (weeks 10-17).

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I wasn't meaning to compare NCAA and NFL production. I meant to suggest that if Patterson was "Wholly Unproven" coming into last year, then he's still "Nearly Wholly Unproven" right now. 45 catches, a limited route tree, and crappy rate stats do not take a guy from "complete unknown" to "known". They take him from "complete unknown" to "near-complete unknown". And "near-complete unknown" is a greater unknown than a guy like Watkins, who thanks to a huge amount of college film is merely "pretty unknown".

I think you're exaggerating the amount of "unknown" with Patterson here. Sure he is not a known commodity at this point but to say Watkins is more known just doesn't make sense to me, at all. Watkins hasn't touched a NFL field yet. He hasn't had to deal with NFL CBs and defenses. He, like any rookie, is a complete unknown like Patterson was last year. The fact that Watkins had a ton of footage to go on in college while Patterson had little impacted their draft position. It doesn't mean much of anything about how their careers will transpire. If there are specific aspects of his game that you feel make him better than Patterson, right now and today, then fine. That's not the argument being presented though. The argument is what they have shown as NFL WRs. Using this argument to push Patterson down and not do the same for Watkins and Evans is again, illogical. Maybe you feel Watkins is simply a batter player than Patterson. Fine I'd get it. What are the reasons? Using these stats, that aren't really making the point IMO, doesn't help the discussion at all. Your saying because Watkins had great success in college his unknown value is lesser than Patterson who had a ho hum rookie season. By this measure, you should also be ranking Austin ahead of Patterson. Austin had significantly more footage than Patterson, was drafted higher and by all your measures also had a ho hum rookie season. Yet, we know that isn't the case.

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I wasn't meaning to compare NCAA and NFL production. I meant to suggest that if Patterson was "Wholly Unproven" coming into last year, then he's still "Nearly Wholly Unproven" right now. 45 catches, a limited route tree, and crappy rate stats do not take a guy from "complete unknown" to "known". They take him from "complete unknown" to "near-complete unknown". And "near-complete unknown" is a greater unknown than a guy like Watkins, who thanks to a huge amount of college film is merely "pretty unknown".

I think you're exaggerating the amount of "unknown" with Patterson here. Sure he is not a known commodity at this point but to say Watkins is more known just doesn't make sense to me, at all. Watkins hasn't touched a NFL field yet. He hasn't had to deal with NFL CBs and defenses. He, like any rookie, is a complete unknown like Patterson was last year. The fact that Watkins had a ton of footage to go on in college while Patterson had little impacted their draft position. It doesn't mean much of anything about how their careers will transpire. If there are specific aspects of his game that you feel make him better than Patterson, right now and today, then fine. That's not the argument being presented though. The argument is what they have shown as NFL WRs. Using this argument to push Patterson down and not do the same for Watkins and Evans is again, illogical. Maybe you feel Watkins is simply a batter player than Patterson. Fine I'd get it. What are the reasons? Using these stats, that aren't really making the point IMO, doesn't help the discussion at all. Your saying because Watkins had great success in college his unknown value is lesser than Patterson who had a ho hum rookie season. By this measure, you should also be ranking Austin ahead of Patterson. Austin had significantly more footage than Patterson, was drafted higher and by all your measures also had a ho hum rookie season. Yet, we know that isn't the case.

So you're saying that all rookies are equally unknown? The fact that Sammy Watkins played (and dominated) for three seasons (starting as young as age 18), the fact that he's the third freshman in history to be first-team All American, the fact that he finished his college career with 240 receptions and 36 games played, means he's every bit as unknown as a guy with 46 career college receptions, just because that second guy added 45 more receptions (at an extremely inefficient rate and on an extremely limited route tree) in the pros?

As for the bolded, I would be surprised if we knew any such thing, seeing as Tavon Austin is my WR18 and Cordarrelle Patterson is my WR20...

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Serious question to Patterson backers: what questions did you have about Patterson coming in that he managed to answer last season?

Patterson demonstrated that he's an athletic freak capable of truly remarkable things after the catch, but was that ever really a question? I mean, I thought that was the only thing we knew about him for sure entering the league. The questions I had about him were about whether he could become an NFL WR. Whether he could master the route tree, function as a primary option, and beat defenses without the ball in his hand. And you know what? A season where he barely got on the field in the first half, put up just 300 receiving yards in the second half, averaged a pathetic 6.1 yards per target over both halves, and ran a clearly limited route tree hasn't answered a single one of those questions. I have exactly the same number of questions (and exactly the same questions) today that I did a year ago. Granted, he provided some confirmation that my initial suspicions were true- he definitely is an athletic marvel and an after-the-catch beast, just like I thought he was going to be. And as a result, he's moved up in my rankings some. But confirming my suspicions is very different from answering my questions.

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Serious question to Patterson backers: what questions did you have about Patterson coming in that he managed to answer last season?

I was a backer at his original ADP. I think we saw very clearly that his in-space ability translated as well as can be expected. Based on that, I think a slight bump is justified. But I too would be curious hear what others saw, above and beyond that.

EDIT: Not "in space", more ball in hands ability.

Edited by Concept Coop
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I can't speak for others and I'm not sure I would say I'm a "Patterson backer", but things that I really liked out of Patterson last year and going forward, that couldn't necessarily be said a year ago.

1) His athletic ability DOES translate. This is far from a given. Even a guy like Reggie Bush's jukies didn't really translate to the pros, especially in the form of big plays, an area that he has been extremely pedestrian in for his whole career despite him being the opposite in college.

2) He can/will be used out of the backfield and a returner, and his ability translates there as well. Again, this was far from a given. Everyone wanted the next Percy Harvin but in reality, there have been lots of guys to come out with Harvin's tweener like ability and really only Harvin has translated them into significant fantasy points outside of the WR position. It's a very, very rare thing. Patterson scored 5 (!!!) touchdowns last year on plays where he didn't catch a pass despite seeing limited action. Like Harvin, the guy could fail to break 1000 yards receiving in his whole career and still consistently finish as a top 10 WR.

So what I saw was basically an increased floor in the case that he never develops into a great WR and an increased ceiling in the case that he does, on a team that just spent an early pick acquiring a hopefully long-term QB and acquired an OC that just turned another athletic freak into a fantasy monster.

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I can't speak for others and I'm not sure I would say I'm a "Patterson backer", but things that I really liked out of Patterson last year and going forward, that couldn't necessarily be said a year ago.

1) His athletic ability DOES translate. This is far from a given. Even a guy like Reggie Bush's jukies didn't really translate to the pros, especially in the form of big plays, an area that he has been extremely pedestrian in for his whole career despite him being the opposite in college.

2) He can/will be used out of the backfield and a returner, and his ability translates there as well. Again, this was far from a given. Everyone wanted the next Percy Harvin but in reality, there have been lots of guys to come out with Harvin's tweener like ability and really only Harvin has translated them into significant fantasy points outside of the WR position. It's a very, very rare thing. Patterson scored 5 (!!!) touchdowns last year on plays where he didn't catch a pass despite seeing limited action. Like Harvin, the guy could fail to break 1000 yards receiving in his whole career and still consistently finish as a top 10 WR.

So what I saw was basically an increased floor in the case that he never develops into a great WR and an increased ceiling in the case that he does, on a team that just spent an early pick acquiring a hopefully long-term QB and acquired an OC that just turned another athletic freak into a fantasy monster.

And I think all of that is totally reasonable. Like I said, I've moved Patterson up in my rankings, too. It's just for me, that falls in the "confirms suspicions" bucket and not the "answers questions" bucket. It's a difference between "I think think this will translate, and guess what, it did!" and "I had no clue whether this would work, and guess what, it did!"

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I can't speak for others and I'm not sure I would say I'm a "Patterson backer", but things that I really liked out of Patterson last year and going forward, that couldn't necessarily be said a year ago.

1) His athletic ability DOES translate. This is far from a given. Even a guy like Reggie Bush's jukies didn't really translate to the pros, especially in the form of big plays, an area that he has been extremely pedestrian in for his whole career despite him being the opposite in college.

2) He can/will be used out of the backfield and a returner, and his ability translates there as well. Again, this was far from a given. Everyone wanted the next Percy Harvin but in reality, there have been lots of guys to come out with Harvin's tweener like ability and really only Harvin has translated them into significant fantasy points outside of the WR position. It's a very, very rare thing. Patterson scored 5 (!!!) touchdowns last year on plays where he didn't catch a pass despite seeing limited action. Like Harvin, the guy could fail to break 1000 yards receiving in his whole career and still consistently finish as a top 10 WR.

So what I saw was basically an increased floor in the case that he never develops into a great WR and an increased ceiling in the case that he does, on a team that just spent an early pick acquiring a hopefully long-term QB and acquired an OC that just turned another athletic freak into a fantasy monster.

And I think all of that is totally reasonable. Like I said, I've moved Patterson up in my rankings, too. It's just for me, that falls in the "confirms suspicions" bucket and not the "answers questions" bucket. It's a difference between "I think think this will translate, and guess what, it did!" and "I had no clue whether this would work, and guess what, it did!"

Like I mentioned earlier, I think if he'd "answered the questions" about whether or not he can run a full route tree and succeed as a normal WR in addition to elsewhere then he'd be ranked even higher than he is.

In the end, the differences we're talking about here are fairly small. It looks like you have him as WR15 and ZWK has him as WR16, whereas others that are high on him have him as WR12. Like you said, it's just a difference in how much his rookie season raised the value between the two sides, but even that difference isn't very large. I think it really just comes down to whether you value him ahead of Watkins/Evans or behind, as those seem to be the two guys in between.

Edited by FreeBaGeL
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I can't speak for others and I'm not sure I would say I'm a "Patterson backer", but things that I really liked out of Patterson last year and going forward, that couldn't necessarily be said a year ago.

1) His athletic ability DOES translate. This is far from a given. Even a guy like Reggie Bush's jukies didn't really translate to the pros, especially in the form of big plays, an area that he has been extremely pedestrian in for his whole career despite him being the opposite in college.

2) He can/will be used out of the backfield and a returner, and his ability translates there as well. Again, this was far from a given. Everyone wanted the next Percy Harvin but in reality, there have been lots of guys to come out with Harvin's tweener like ability and really only Harvin has translated them into significant fantasy points outside of the WR position. It's a very, very rare thing. Patterson scored 5 (!!!) touchdowns last year on plays where he didn't catch a pass despite seeing limited action. Like Harvin, the guy could fail to break 1000 yards receiving in his whole career and still consistently finish as a top 10 WR.

So what I saw was basically an increased floor in the case that he never develops into a great WR and an increased ceiling in the case that he does, on a team that just spent an early pick acquiring a hopefully long-term QB and acquired an OC that just turned another athletic freak into a fantasy monster.

And I think all of that is totally reasonable. Like I said, I've moved Patterson up in my rankings, too. It's just for me, that falls in the "confirms suspicions" bucket and not the "answers questions" bucket. It's a difference between "I think think this will translate, and guess what, it did!" and "I had no clue whether this would work, and guess what, it did!"

Like I mentioned earlier, I think if he'd "answered the questions" about whether or not he can run a full route tree and succeed as a normal WR in addition to elsewhere then he'd be ranked even higher than he is.

In the end, the differences we're talking about here are fairly small. It looks like you have him as WR15 and ZWK has him as WR16, whereas others that are high on him have him as WR12. Like you said, it's just a difference in how much his rookie season raised the value between the two sides, but even that difference isn't very large. I think it really just comes down to whether you value him ahead of Watkins/Evans or behind, as those seem to be the two guys in between.

I have him at WR20, and the guys that are high on him have him in their top 10 (I've seen as high as 8th). That's a pretty big difference.

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The WR position is ridiculously deep right now. I could describe tiers 10 and up as "guys I like", and that's 63 receivers. (In more technical terms, they're 63 guys who all have a reasonable shot at putting up a fantasy WR2 season at some point, with the possibility of a longer run of WR2 seasons balancing out a lower probability for some guys.)

Excellent work ZWK.

I have a question about your RB tiers in relation to your statement about the WR.

How many RB do you consider capable of being RB 2-3? Would that include all of the RB into tier 6 (32 players)?

I am just trying to figure out if you think the scarcity of viable RB compared to the viable WR (perhaps a 2-1 difference in viable WR compared to RB) would cause you to value those players more, even though the VBD expectation is not the same?

I do not get that sense from your comments. Instead advocating tier 7 RB as targets in a start up draft (a strategy I agree with to some degree btw).

It would be nice to hear a response about this.

I may not be understanding the way you tiered players (I thought this was based somewhat on a projection?). Perhaps I have read that explanation before but I am not finding that in the links right now. So if you could explain that in some detail I would appreciate it and could likely make more sense out of tiers relative to other positions.

Thanks.

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Patterson scored a combined 9 TD last season. 4 receiving, 3 rushing and 2 off of kick returns. He scored at least one TD every week from week 12 to week 16 after not being used much on offense earlier on in the season. Finished second in the league in combined yards. He might be over valued but I don't think his performance was ho-hum.

The return stats were phenomenal, but I think 45 receptions and 627 yards on offense are textbook "ho-hum".

I think 9 TD is pretty amazing. That Patterson contributes in 3 phases of the game makes him an exciting player. Not all leagues give points for return yards and some would give those TD to the defense instead of the player. So in leagues like that neither he or Austin are quite as exciting.

I just wanted to say in regards to Patterson that if he were a rookie coming out this year instead of last? Just as a prospect I would have a hard time fitting him into the top 10 of WR prospects from this most recent draft class. That is me considering him a raw prospect that will need further development of his techniques and craft as a WR.

I think it is hard to remember that as we have now seen Patterson perform at the NFL level while we have not seen the rookie WR perform at this level yet. But as prospects Patterson was definitely behind the learning curve compared to players like Watkins, Evans, Matthews, Lee ect.

From what Norv Turner has said about Patterson recently is that he is working very hard and hasn't missed any practice time. Norv thinks he is as good as any WR he has been around before. Patterson himself has said he did not work hard enough to prepare last season. The light seems to have gone on for him and he is doing what he can to perfect his route running and anything else the coaches are asking him to do.

I have not heard him talk about blocking. I think he needs to improve there quite a bit and that may be part of why the Vikings were using Simpson over him earlier on last season. Simpson is a pretty good blocker.

eta- here is what Norv said about Patterson in interview recently-

He can be a great route runner. What has happened, because there is so much attention on these young guys. We went through it with Gordon last season. Scott was coaching WR at the time. People were very critical of him. He ends up leading the league in receiving. He got better. I think he got better all the way through the season in terms of route running, effort, understanding what were asking.
Thats the case with young players. You get a guy like Cordarralle you see all that ability and everyone wants it to happen now.
Well there is a developmental stage and a process you go through with young players. They never played at this level. They never practiced at this level. Every day is 100% competition. To me its a process you go through. I dont like it when people are critical and negative about them, because we're getting them through that process. I guess I am like the fans, Id love it to be day one they are a finished product. But thats not the way it works. I was with the Rams in 86 or 85, it was Jerry Rices rookie year. We played them. He dropped about 3 balls in the game. The writer says he could be a really good player if he would learn how to catch. Well its a process and Jerry was going through it. Some times you see these young guys and ask is he ever going to get it? Well hes been going at it for 2 months. Lets give him a little time. I mean we are not being paitient with him. We are pushing him. But we understand its a process.
Edited by Biabreakable
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Patterson scored a combined 9 TD last season. 4 receiving, 3 rushing and 2 off of kick returns. He scored at least one TD every week from week 12 to week 16 after not being used much on offense earlier on in the season. Finished second in the league in combined yards. He might be over valued but I don't think his performance was ho-hum.

The return stats were phenomenal, but I think 45 receptions and 627 yards on offense are textbook "ho-hum".

I think 9 TD is pretty amazing. That Patterson contributes in 3 phases of the game makes him an exciting player. Not all leagues give points for return yards and some would give those TD to the defense instead of the player. So in leagues like that neither he or Austin are quite as exciting.

The 9 TDs didn't move the needle for me. TDs are far and away the most volatile stat (see: James Jones, 2012-2013), and 7 offensive TDs isn't anything to get worked up over. The 2 return TDs are awesome, and in leagues that count return scores, I would certainly count on him chipping in an extra 1-2 TDs a year.

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The WR position is ridiculously deep right now. I could describe tiers 10 and up as "guys I like", and that's 63 receivers. (In more technical terms, they're 63 guys who all have a reasonable shot at putting up a fantasy WR2 season at some point, with the possibility of a longer run of WR2 seasons balancing out a lower probability for some guys.)

Excellent work ZWK.

I have a question about your RB tiers in relation to your statement about the WR.

How many RB do you consider capable of being RB 2-3? Would that include all of the RB into tier 6 (32 players)?

I am just trying to figure out if you think the scarcity of viable RB compared to the viable WR (perhaps a 2-1 difference in viable WR compared to RB) would cause you to value those players more, even though the VBD expectation is not the same?

I do not get that sense from your comments. Instead advocating tier 7 RB as targets in a start up draft (a strategy I agree with to some degree btw).

It would be nice to hear a response about this.

I may not be understanding the way you tiered players (I thought this was based somewhat on a projection?). Perhaps I have read that explanation before but I am not finding that in the links right now. So if you could explain that in some detail I would appreciate it and could likely make more sense out of tiers relative to other positions.

Thanks.

Tiers just indicate where I think there is a significant drop in value within that position.

I don't keep a combined ranking across positions, and I don't have projections which would make it straightforward to create one. The rankings & tierings are just based on my subjective opinion (which in some cases is informed by more quantitative analyses).

I can look through my rankings and give approximate equivalences between positions (although keep in mind that these are more sensitive to the league rules than the within-position rankings are). Here are a couple:

The last guy in tier 10 at WR (WR63 Jennings) roughly lines up with late tier 7 at RB (between RB50 West and RB55 Archer), the end of tier 5 at TE (TE20 Fleener), and tier 5 or 6 at QB (near QB19 Dalton or QB20 Roethlisberger).

The last guy in tier 7 at WR (WR20 Cooks) would go between tiers 4 & 5 at RB (between RB14 Michael & RB15 Hyde), between tiers 1 & 2 at TE (between TE2 Gronk & TE3 Thomas), and between tiers 3 & 4 at QB (between QB9 Foles & QB10 Ryan).

You can look at my combined rookie rankings to get more of an idea of how I think the positions line up (although I've made some adjustments since I posted those and there are a few places where they are inconsistent with my positional rankings).

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My writeup on Patterson could've looked like this:

Patterson has moved up a tier plus in my rankings over the past year, from WR29 to WR16. He has put some distance between himself and Hopkins, and moved ahead of Tavon Austin. I expected him to look good with the ball in his hands, but he still did significantly better than I expected. His missed tackle rate was the best in the NFL among WRs (including both receptions & rushes), plus he showed a ton of explosiveness as a returner. His chances of being a stud have gone up. The risk is still there, though - he still needs to improve a lot on his before-the-catch game. That's pretty clear from his receiving totals (just 45/469/4), and also apparent in various breakdowns and advanced statistics (DVOA, yards per route run, yards per target, 2nd half of the season stats, etc.).

I instead focused on the last parts of this, since other people tend to have him higher than I do.

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DLF has Hopkins at WR13. That's a really high ranking. I don't personally think he has the potential to be a perennial top 10 guy, so for me he's probably overrated if anything. I think he's like Crabtree without the RAC ability or Roddy without the deep speed. Nice player, but I don't see a lot of "wow" qualities with him. Just a solid possession guy with no vertical explosiveness and no real ability to make things happen with the ball in his hands.

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Hopkins has barely moved in my rankings vs. a year ago. He won the starting job, which is nice, but he didn't do that much with it. The offense continued to run very heavily through Andre Johnson, who had almost double the targets in the same number of snaps. His chances of sticking around in the NFL have probably gone up a bit, but his chances of being a stud have if anything gone down.

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Wow, 13 seems very high to me. I'd have trouble fitting him in my top-20, though I could probably do it.

This made me curious where I had him. 19th. Seems about right.

Edit: Actually, a touch high. I need to move Cooks ahead of him, for sure. All of this talk of Patterson has me thinking that I might rather have Patterson one spot ahead of Hopkins instead of one spot behind Hopkins. I think my next update, Hopkins might slot in more around 22nd.

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I was just looking at WR VBD numbers for the past three years (non-ppr, start 36 WRs, based on PPG) and found a few interesting tidbits:

Calvin Johnson leads all WRs with 385 total VBD over the last three years; Brandon Marshall is second with 235.

3 of the top 5 seasons belong to Calvin Johnson; no one else has more than 1 of the top 10.

Calvin Johnson averaged 128 VBD per season over those three years; none of the non-Calvin WRs had a single season which was worth as much as Calvin's three-year average.

It's not exactly counterintuitive to argue in favor of Calvin Johnson, but these numbers help explain why I have him alone on tier 1 while both the FBG average and the DLF average put him at WR2 behind AJ Green (some staffers even have him behind Julio, Dez, or Demaryius).

The top 15 player seasons:

VBD Player Year

156 Calvin Johnson 2011
128 Josh Gordon 2013
121 Calvin Johnson 2013
113 Demaryius Thomas 2013
108 Calvin Johnson 2012
107 Jordy Nelson 2011
105 Wes Welker 2011
99 Victor Cruz 2011
98 Brandon Marshall 2012
95 AJ Green 2013
91 Dez Bryant 2012
89 Dez Bryant 2013
88 Brandon Marshall 2013
87 AJ Green 2012
86 Demaryius Thomas 2012

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I wasn't meaning to compare NCAA and NFL production. I meant to suggest that if Patterson was "Wholly Unproven" coming into last year, then he's still "Nearly Wholly Unproven" right now. 45 catches, a limited route tree, and crappy rate stats do not take a guy from "complete unknown" to "known". They take him from "complete unknown" to "near-complete unknown". And "near-complete unknown" is a greater unknown than a guy like Watkins, who thanks to a huge amount of college film is merely "pretty unknown".

I think you're exaggerating the amount of "unknown" with Patterson here. Sure he is not a known commodity at this point but to say Watkins is more known just doesn't make sense to me, at all. Watkins hasn't touched a NFL field yet. He hasn't had to deal with NFL CBs and defenses. He, like any rookie, is a complete unknown like Patterson was last year. The fact that Watkins had a ton of footage to go on in college while Patterson had little impacted their draft position. It doesn't mean much of anything about how their careers will transpire. If there are specific aspects of his game that you feel make him better than Patterson, right now and today, then fine. That's not the argument being presented though. The argument is what they have shown as NFL WRs. Using this argument to push Patterson down and not do the same for Watkins and Evans is again, illogical. Maybe you feel Watkins is simply a batter player than Patterson. Fine I'd get it. What are the reasons? Using these stats, that aren't really making the point IMO, doesn't help the discussion at all. Your saying because Watkins had great success in college his unknown value is lesser than Patterson who had a ho hum rookie season. By this measure, you should also be ranking Austin ahead of Patterson. Austin had significantly more footage than Patterson, was drafted higher and by all your measures also had a ho hum rookie season. Yet, we know that isn't the case.

So you're saying that all rookies are equally unknown? The fact that Sammy Watkins played (and dominated) for three seasons (starting as young as age 18), the fact that he's the third freshman in history to be first-team All American, the fact that he finished his college career with 240 receptions and 36 games played, means he's every bit as unknown as a guy with 46 career college receptions, just because that second guy added 45 more receptions (at an extremely inefficient rate and on an extremely limited route tree) in the pros?

As for the bolded, I would be surprised if we knew any such thing, seeing as Tavon Austin is my WR18 and Cordarrelle Patterson is my WR20...

I'm saying all rookies are more unknown than players who we have seen in the NFL. Yes, to a point every rookie is unknown and all have potential to bust. Given what we now know about Patterson it's pretty safe to say he is not a bust and never will be. He's removed most of that doubt. That doesn't mean he will transform into a dominant WR1 for years. It means he can play and contribute though and that is something no rookie has proven yet, no matter how much you liked them and how highly they were drafted. Seeing as you are comfortable comparing Watkins college stats to Patterson in the NFL it would only seem fair then to compare Patterson in JUCO vs. Watkins as well, right? The competition gap is probably less than D1 to NFL after all. Ignoring Patterson there is odd in this scenario. He too dominated 3 years in college, just not all 3 being at Tenn. You are using a very selective reasoning to swing things in favor of Watkins. You are giving Patterson no credit at all for a body of work in the NFL and then also giving him no credit for 2 of his season in college. Yet Watkins gets elevated for his 3 years in college? Patterson had 159 reception, 2610 yds, 29 TDs receiving, 61 rushes 706 yds, 9 TDs. What about the fact that Patterson broke the SEC record for all purpose yds in his one and only season there? Patterson, like Watkins, dominated 3 years in college. Patterson unlike Watkins has played a season in the NFL and also produced there.

It seems you like Watkins more and are trying to create stats to support it. If you like Watkins more fine. I'm ok with that. What do you think he does so much better? Using college stats to support him vs. a player with real NFL work under his belt is a very poor argument. What does he do that will translate so much better to the NFL over a guy we've seen translate his game to the NFL. We keep coming back to the same sticking point here and I can't seem to get a straight answer on it. The issue being downgrading Patterson for needing development and not showing enough as a NFL WR, yet not downgrading rookies who have shown nothing in the NFL for the same reason.

As for what Patterson has shown to instill confidence? Well the first and most critical thing he showed is that his athletic ability translates to the NFL and still allows him to dominate. You say this doesn't move the needle at all because he was known to be an athletic freak prior. Seems you say this same thing about any bit of evidence presented so I'm not really sure you can or want to see it differently. None the less, yes we knew Patterson was an athletic freak but seeing it translate live and confirming it does in fact make a huge difference. We've seen lots of other athletic freaks fail and not translate; Jon Baldwin, Jericho Cotchery, Stephen Hill, ect. I also saw a guy who improved his route running and his route tree last year. Specifically on square in routes and comeback routes. Is he fully there yet? No, but there was development. Another thing he showed was an ability to fight for the ball in space. Many questioned his hands predraft and I think he showed his hands to be much better than many anticipated. He made some tough, contested catches and plucked the ball well on several occasions as well. Probably the most critical thing he showed of all was an ability to win the confidence of his coaches by learning the play book and adapting to the NFL quickly. As someone else mentioned, Patterson was expected to basically be a redshirt last year who contributed almost exclusively as a returner and some gadget plays on offense. That happened early on but his involvement in the offense increased as the season went on and that has continued this offseason under new leadership. He's displayed a willingness to learn and work at the craft and in the end that is what makes the most impact.

Like I said at the beginning of this discussion, I agree that Patterson being ranked as a WR1 right now is a touch high. I have no problem with the notion that he's a bit overrated at his current price and I said exactly that early on. The issue is justifying rookies like Watkins and Evans as WR1 type guys right now. Especially when we are told that the reason Patterson isn't a WR1 just yet all apply to the rookies. I'm sorry, but using metrics that apply only the the guy who has played in the NFL to support this argument just don't make any sense. Especially seeing that Patterson actually scored well in those metrics compared to other rookies.

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I've been hoping that this kind of discussion would happen around Patterson, so I've been enjoying the back and forth here. I'm probably in a middle-ground position here myself: I agree with jurb and Bia that it really does matter that we saw Patterson's athleticism translate to actual NFL production in the form of explosive plays (as jurb suggests that isn't always a given at WR), and I agree with Adam and ZWK (thank you for the metrics on this guys) that there's not enough core WR skill/production to place him too high just yet.

What I wonder about is if the ranking ranges we're discussing (say between 12-20) capture the actual perception of Patterson's value for the sake of the trading market. I'd be very interested in hearing other peoples' experiences with trying to acquire him or who have considered trading him. I've tried to acquire in a couple cases (I don't have him on any of my teams) and the feeling I got was that he was being priced by pretty reasonable guys who I have experience doing trades with as a player on the verge (as in this coming season) of a full-blown top 10 breakout. Turner's hiring as OC would seem to have something to do with that, but I also think savvy dynasty guys are looking at the market on young WRs outside the upper echelon of Calvin/Green/Demaryius/Bryant/Julio/Gordon and trying to read tea leaves. Watkins and Evans are perhaps better than any incoming prospects since Green/Jones in 2011, and may be better prospects than anyone coming out next year, but they're not fitting comfortable comparisons from a raw athletic standpoint to the guys in the current top echelon of dynasty WRs. Patterson is the one guy among a smaller group of candidates for ascension into that tier--say Watkins, Evans, Floyd, Patterson--who has the measurables of the top-tier guys, and to me that's driving up his perceived value as "the next guy" in the top tier. For me this reflects too much focus on raw athleticism and not on the craft of playing WR (where I think Watkins may actually be underappreciated) but that's for another thread I suppose.

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

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