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ZWK's Dynasty Rankings (WR updated Oct 2020)


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I've been looking over historical TE VBD from the past 30 years. Three patterns jumped out: 1. How top-heavy the position is. A few guys account for a large fraction of all fantasy value. Last ye

Post-draft WR rankings. Assuming PPR, start 3 WR, about 250 position players rostered. Age as of 9/1/18. Prev from 3/24/18. Tr    Rk    Player    Team    Age    Prev 1    1    Odell Beckham Jr.

WR rankings after 4.1 weeks. PPR, start 3 WR, about 300 position players rostered. Age as of 10/8/20. Prev from my unpublished draft rankings 9/9/20 (which weren't fully up-to-date); my last posted ra

9 minutes ago, matttyl said:

You think each can be top 15ish on this list right out of the gate?

They certainly have the capability, I'm buying hard on two of the three. There's at least seven in this draft that can start year 1 or year 2 and be successful but time will tell. We still don't know the football I.Q. On some of these guys.

Tex

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Just now, fruity pebbles said:

As far as dynasty rankings, id take a couple of the rookies as high as 6-7 judging by this list.

Yep, I currently have the 8th, 10th-13th picks and if they are still there I'm all in. I've seen enough already to buy in.

Tex

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7 minutes ago, BigTex said:

They certainly have the capability, I'm buying hard on two of the three. There's at least seven in this draft that can start year 1 or year 2 and be successful but time will tell. We still don't know the football I.Q. On some of these guys.

Tex

Oh come on, we're all friends here....

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9 hours ago, BigSteelThrill said:

As funny as this for me to say... Hunter Henry needs to be higher. Just don't see myself trading him for any other TE straight-up in dynasty.

*no, I don't own him in any fantasy leagues.

You wouldn't trade him for Gronk?

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I'm more concerned about bad play than I am about injuries, especially at TE where fantasy value is so top-heavy. Upside matters a lot.

Jeff Heuerman missed his rookie year with an ACL and struggled last year with injuries, but that doesn't have much effect on how I see him compared to his rookie year (when he was a late 3rd rounder with decent potential). Vance McDonald and CJ Fiedorowicz are the latest top-3-round players to show that TEs sometimes take a few years to develop.

Ladarius Green's injury concerns grew, but he played well when he was on the field. If he's healthy, I expect his production to be similar to Delanie Walker, with higher upside but a lower floor. Walker will be 33 and probably only has a couple years left. Green's career might be over or he might get healthy enough to stick around for several years - averaging across the wide range of possibilities, he has maybe 35 expected healthy/full-time games left. That puts him on the same tier as Walker, in my eyes.

Julius Thomas & Coby Fleener look like bad football players, which is more important.

Seth DeValve had a huge jump in level of competition, from Princeton to the NFL, so the fact that he saw the field a bit is good news. His athleticism means that he has more upside than most 4th round TEs.

Higbee is another high-upside TE. I thought that he didn't look good this year, but I was high on him coming into the league and a lack of rookie year production doesn't move a TE much.

AJ Derby should be in there somewhere, probably near the end of tier 6. I had failed to add him to my list.

Jared Cook should be higher, probably near the bottom of tier 5. I hadn't updated his ranking after the playoff games, which both increased the chances that he'll stay in GB and increased the chances that if he stayed in GB then he'd have a large enough role to have fantasy value.

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I like the relatively high ranking on Ebron. He gets criticized for not setting the world on fire, but we could all use a reminder of how young he was entering the league. He'll be heading into his 4th season at 24. Yes, both of those numbers are correct.

Year 1 (21) - 25 rec, 248 yards, 9.9 yards per catch, 1 TD

Year 2 (22) - 47 rec, 537 yards, 11.4 yards per catch, 5 TDs

Year 3 (23) - 61 rec, 711 yards, 11.7 yards per catch, 1 TD

Year 4 (24) - ???

He's been showing growth across the board each year apart from TDs which are highly variable. This past season he missed 3 games, which if you extrapolate his 13 games to 16 that's 75 catches for 875 yards on the season. The collective community would be looking at him differently if he had hit those marks.

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6 minutes ago, mikel2014 said:

The collective community would be looking at him differently if he had hit those marks.

I don't think so.  I believe the collective community would still be talking about his drops and lack of TDs.

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4 hours ago, Zyphros said:

Curious about your feelings on Higbee.  He showed some quick learning in preseason with Goff just didn't really get any opportunity once the season rolled around.  Do you think he's a going to grow into something reliable?

I do, the original owner dropped him during the season and I gladly picked him up to see where this goes. The concern with Higbee is that Lance is entering the 3rd year of his 4 year contract.

Tex

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18 minutes ago, tangfoot said:

I don't think so.  I believe the collective community would still be talking about his drops and lack of TDs.

Not sure about that.  A 23 year old getting ~900 yards receiving as a TE?  Outside of Gronk when has that ever happened?  That said, I think ~5 or 6 right now is about right.

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Just now, matttyl said:

Not sure about that.  A 23 year old getting ~900 yards receiving as a TE?  Outside of Gronk when has that ever happened?  That said, I think ~5 or 6 right now is about right.

I'm not arguing with you.  I plan to take advantage of the sour taste that people have in their mouths.  I'm just saying that the haters are going to be behind the curve on this one.

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Just now, tangfoot said:

I'm not arguing with you.  I plan to take advantage of the sour taste that people have in their mouths.  I'm just saying that the haters are going to be behind the curve on this one.

Fully agree with you.  My team is littered with players like that.  Watkins and Allen at WR (entire league won't touch them because they are injury prone).  Same with Jordan Reed.  Ingram.  Jeremy Hill.  Rawls.  Haters gonna hate.

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2 minutes ago, matttyl said:

Not sure about that.  A 23 year old getting ~900 yards receiving as a TE?  Outside of Gronk when has that ever happened?  That said, I think ~5 or 6 right now is about right.

Agree due to his age/growth you laid out previously and with respect to the drops sure he has those, he also has a high career catch rate.

 

As for the other rankings I'd say I had the same top 9. I can see cases made for Rudolph or the like but to me that's a clear top 9.

Even though it gets a little dicey after what I view tier of top 9 I agree with other that feel Ladarius is to high. A few injuries is one things but he's always done and despite what he is saying really no guarantee he will play next season.

One thing for sure it was a bad season for TE's, it starts looking a little thing after that a chunk of players inside the top 9 have some major injury red flags.

This time next season I don't think we see a huge change in most of the top WR rankings. The TE and RB rankings for top 10/20 will likely see a 50% type turnover.

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16 hours ago, ZWK said:

2    2    Travis Kelce    KC    27.9    (4)
2    3    Jordan Reed    WAS    27.2    (3)
3    4    Tyler Eifert    CIN    27.0    (2)

Minor quibble, but mildly surprised that Eifert is in a lower tier than Reed and Kelce.

Reed:

  • Production 2014-2016: 203/2103/17 in 37 regular season games = 13.9 ppg in PPR
  • Best career seasonin 2015: 87/952/11 in 14 games = 248.2 fantasy points, 17.7 ppg in PPR
  • Age 26, born in July 1990
  • Current situation: QB Cousins, HC Gruden
  • Injury history: Missed 11 games and didn't start another 18 games, so presumably played many games below 100%. Multiple injuries, including multiple leg, multiple shoulder, and multiple concussions.

Eifert:

  • Production 2014-2016: 84/1046/18 in 22 regular season games = 13.5 ppg in PPR
  • Best career season in 2015: 52/615/13 in 13 games = 191.5 fantasy points, 14.7 ppg in PPR
  • Age 26, born in September 1990
  • Current situation: QB Dalton, HC Lewis
  • Injury history: Missed 26 games and didn't start another 7 games, so clearly played several games below 100%. Multiple injuries, including elbow, back, neck, ankle, and one reported concussion. Most (15) missed games were due todue to dislocated elbow in 2014, which should not have long term effects. Expected to be healthy for training camp. His PPG above is definitely dragged down by a number of partial games.

Kelce:

  • Production 2014-2016: 224/2862/14 in 48 regular season games = 12.4 ppg in PPR
  • Best career season in 2016: 85/1125/4 in 16 games = 221.5 fantasy points, 13.8 ppg in PPR
  • Injury history: Missed 0 games and didn't start 6 games, but 5 of those were in 2014; I'm not sure if that indicates he played at less than 100% or just hadn't won the starting job by that point. No significant injuries that I know of.
  • Age 27, born in October 1989
  • Current situation: QB Smith, HC Reid

You also posted:

4 hours ago, ZWK said:

I'm more concerned about bad play than I am about injuries, especially at TE where fantasy value is so top-heavy. Upside matters a lot.

So I'm curious what drives you to the tier difference for Eifert. Eifert has clearly missed a lot more games, but he has generally been as good or better than Kelce when he played, and his injuries seem less concerning for long term than Reed's injuries (or at least no worse).

It's a minor difference, just curious on rationale.

Edited by Just Win Baby
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38 minutes ago, Just Win Baby said:

So I'm curious what drives you to the tier difference for Eifert. Eifert has clearly missed a lot more games, but he has generally been as good or better than Kelce when he played, and his injuries seem less concerning for long term than Reed's injuries (or at least no worse).

It's a minor difference, just curious on rationale.

Well I can't speak for ZWK, but Eifert's numbers are TD dependent over a time period not long enough to guarantee that's dependable for him.  It's essentially been slightly over one season's worth of games.  TDs are by far the most variable stat we're talking about here so I'll take the guy who would still be a top 3 TE without them over the guy who needs them just to crack the top 20.

Eifert's career high for receiving yards is 615 and career high for receptions is 52.  That belongs in the same tier as a guy who just caught 85 balls for almost DOUBLE the yards as Eifert's career high?  Then you consider the injury history on top of that and it just gets worse.

Edited by FreeBaGeL
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1 hour ago, FreeBaGeL said:

Well I can't speak for ZWK, but Eifert's numbers are TD dependent over a time period not long enough to guarantee that's dependable for him.  It's essentially been slightly over one season's worth of games.  TDs are by far the most variable stat we're talking about here so I'll take the guy who would still be a top 3 TE without them over the guy who needs them just to crack the top 20.

Eifert's career high for receiving yards is 615 and career high for receptions is 52.  That belongs in the same tier as a guy who just caught 85 balls for almost DOUBLE the yards as Eifert's career high?  Then you consider the injury history on top of that and it just gets worse.

I understand that most would agree that Eifert has struggled to stay on the field, and some would view his upside no better (and perhaps lower) than both Reed and Kelce, so that combination would lead to this sort of tier break.

I posted the question mainly because @ZWK stated he didn't care as much about injuries as about quality of play and also stated that he highly values upside. That is a perfect combination to rank Eifert very high, and he is indeed ranked #4. I just found it interesting that having him a tier lower than the other two suggested that Eifert's relative lack of track record, which in this case seems to equate to a relative lack of health, held him back in comparison to the other two.

Edited by Just Win Baby
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Best season in yards per game:
70.3 Travis Kelce 2016
68.0 Jordan Reed 2015
49.3 Tyler Eifert 2016

Best season in receptions per game:
6.2 Jordan Reed 2015
5.3 Travis Kelce 2016
4.0 Tyler Eifert 2015

On both of these stats, Reed and Kelce have each topped Eifert's career highs 3+ times.

In non-ppr Eifert's TDs might be enough to keep him on the same tier as the other two, but not in 0.5 ppr.

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Just now, Just Win Baby said:

I understand that most would agree that Eifert has struggled to stay on the field, and some would view his upside no better (and perhaps lower) than both Reed and Kelce, so that combination would lead to this sort of tier break.

I posted the question mainly because @ZWK stated he didn't care as much about injuries as about quality of play and also stated that he highly values upside. That is a perfect combination to rank Eifert very high, and he is indeed ranked #4. I just found it interesting that having him a tier lower than the other two suggested that Eifert's relative lack of track record, which in this case seems to equate to a relative lack of health, held him back in comparison to the other two.

Not sure why you focused solely on the last little aside at the end of my post instead of the meat of it, which was his TD dependence.  He needs an abnormal number of TDs just to keep pace and without them he's barely a TE1, much less a top option.  TDs are quite variable and we haven't seen a long enough stretch of TD dominance yet for me to say that I'm confident he'll continue to score at that massive rate.

It also means he's likely much more variable game to game, though I haven't actually checked the numbers on that one.

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50 minutes ago, FreeBaGeL said:

Not sure why you focused solely on the last little aside at the end of my post instead of the meat of it, which was his TD dependence.  He needs an abnormal number of TDs just to keep pace and without them he's barely a TE1, much less a top option.  TDs are quite variable and we haven't seen a long enough stretch of TD dominance yet for me to say that I'm confident he'll continue to score at that massive rate.

It also means he's likely much more variable game to game, though I haven't actually checked the numbers on that one.

I don't see it that way. I think he just needs a normal amount of targets and if he's healthy I think you see that. Keeping in mind last season many thought his target share would rise but he missed all of camp and even though the OC was promoted from within I think the missed camp and time impacted his ability to get more integrated into the offense.

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If Eifert got a boost in targets that would obviously help, but it hasn't happened so far.

Number of games with 7+ targets (career, including playoffs)
Eifert: 9 out of 39 (23%)
Kelce: 27 out of 52 (52%)
Reed: 27 out of 47 (57%)

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14 hours ago, BigTex said:

Depending on where they land and the scheme the Big 3 coming in are going to shake this ranking up!

Grab one or two if you can!

Tex

I wouldn't be afraid to land one of the big 3 (in the right spots) even if I already had Hunter. 

So more power to you BigTex!!!

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3 hours ago, FreeBaGeL said:
3 hours ago, Just Win Baby said:

I understand that most would agree that Eifert has struggled to stay on the field, and some would view his upside no better (and perhaps lower) than both Reed and Kelce, so that combination would lead to this sort of tier break.

I posted the question mainly because @ZWK stated he didn't care as much about injuries as about quality of play and also stated that he highly values upside. That is a perfect combination to rank Eifert very high, and he is indeed ranked #4. I just found it interesting that having him a tier lower than the other two suggested that Eifert's relative lack of track record, which in this case seems to equate to a relative lack of health, held him back in comparison to the other two.

Not sure why you focused solely on the last little aside at the end of my post instead of the meat of it, which was his TD dependence.  He needs an abnormal number of TDs just to keep pace and without them he's barely a TE1, much less a top option.  TDs are quite variable and we haven't seen a long enough stretch of TD dominance yet for me to say that I'm confident he'll continue to score at that massive rate.

Not sure why you think my bolded statement above doesn't encompass your comments on TD dependence. But since you crave a more detailed answer:

I agree that Eifert's TD rate in 2015 is almost certainly not sustainable: 13 TDs on 74 targets in 750 snaps. However, his TD rate in 2016 seems sustainable: 5 TDs on 47 targets in 428 snaps.

Eifert played 8 games in 2016, but he only played 15 snaps in his first game, coming off his offseason injury and surgery. He had 1/9/0 on 2 targets in that game. Toss those, and his other 7 games scales to 64/880/11 on 103 targets over 16 games. That would have outscored Kelce in non-PPR and trailed Kelce by about 3 total points in 1 PPR. Obviously, the issue with Eifert is whether or not he can ever play 16 games in a season (or more than 13, for that matter).

Now consider that he lost his second year and essentially his fourth year to injuries, but mixed in a third year breakout in the middle. I don't see any reason to believe we have seen his best season at this point, at age 26. It simply comes down to health.

All that said, it is perfectly reasonable to prefer Kelce. I really opened this tangent with more of a question on why Reed is ranked a tier higher, given my sense that his injuries have been more serious from a long term perspective.

Disclosure: I own Eifert in both of my dynasty leagues; in one of them I also have Kelce, and in the other I also have Henry. Maybe I am biased in favor of Eifert (and Kelce) over Reed.

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In my opinion Eifert is ranked too high.

I recall comparisons of Eifert and Rudolph as both are from ND and were drafted relatively high for their position in consecutive seasons. Most seemed to think Eifert was head and shoulders better than Rudolph was and that Eifert would gain more yardage than Rudolph whos only chance at being a top 12 TE would be if he scored double digit TD.

As it has turned out thus far, the opposite is true.

Yet Eifert is ranked 4th and Rudolph is ranked 13th>

I don't even like Rudolph that much, but these two players are in the same tier.

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15 minutes ago, Biabreakable said:

In my opinion Eifert is ranked too high.

I recall comparisons of Eifert and Rudolph as both are from ND and were drafted relatively high for their position in consecutive seasons. Most seemed to think Eifert was head and shoulders better than Rudolph was and that Eifert would gain more yardage than Rudolph whos only chance at being a top 12 TE would be if he scored double digit TD.

As it has turned out thus far, the opposite is true.

Yet Eifert is ranked 4th and Rudolph is ranked 13th>

I don't even like Rudolph that much, but these two players are in the same tier.

Disagree.

  • Rookie year (15 games each): Eifert 39/445/2 > Rudolph 26/249/3 (both 15 games)
  • Second year playing = initial breakout year: Eifert 52/615/13 in 13 games > Rudolph 53/493/9 in 16 games
  • Third year playing (8 games each): Eifert 29/394/5 > Rudolph 30/313/3

Those are the only reasonably fair comparison points, and all of them show Eifert outperforming Rudolph. Eifert has a much better ypr and TD rate. Eifert is almost a year younger, and is also arguably in a better situation.

Rudolph is coming off a career year in his 6th season, but Eifert's rate of production was better, although close, as I posted above.

IMO the only thing Rudolph has proven over Eifert so far is the ability to stay healthier. I don't believe that Eifert's past injuries are predictive, so I don't think this is enough to close the gap between them and put them in the same tier.

I realize you are a Vikes homer, so you may have insight on Rudolph that I don't, but this is how I see that comparison. As an Eifert owner, I wouldn't consider trading him for Rudolph without a lot more value coming back to me.

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1 hour ago, Just Win Baby said:

Not sure why you think my bolded statement above doesn't encompass your comments on TD dependence. But since you crave a more detailed answer:

I agree that Eifert's TD rate in 2015 is almost certainly not sustainable: 13 TDs on 74 targets in 750 snaps. However, his TD rate in 2016 seems sustainable: 5 TDs on 47 targets in 428 snaps.

Eifert played 8 games in 2016, but he only played 15 snaps in his first game, coming off his offseason injury and surgery. He had 1/9/0 on 2 targets in that game. Toss those, and his other 7 games scales to 64/880/11 on 103 targets over 16 games. That would have outscored Kelce in non-PPR and trailed Kelce by about 3 total points in 1 PPR. Obviously, the issue with Eifert is whether or not he can ever play 16 games in a season (or more than 13, for that matter).

Now consider that he lost his second year and essentially his fourth year to injuries, but mixed in a third year breakout in the middle. I don't see any reason to believe we have seen his best season at this point, at age 26. It simply comes down to health.

All that said, it is perfectly reasonable to prefer Kelce. I really opened this tangent with more of a question on why Reed is ranked a tier higher, given my sense that his injuries have been more serious from a long term perspective.

Disclosure: I own Eifert in both of my dynasty leagues; in one of them I also have Kelce, and in the other I also have Henry. Maybe I am biased in favor of Eifert (and Kelce) over Reed.

You make some fair points here and I'm starting to come around on Eifert a bit.

I still don't trust TDs without a bigger sample size so I'd prefer someone like Kelce who's not reliant on them, but I would probably move him above Reed who I agree, has much more worrisome injury concerns.

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35 minutes ago, Just Win Baby said:

Disagree.

  • Rookie year (15 games each): Eifert 39/445/2 > Rudolph 26/249/3 (both 15 games)
  • Second year playing = initial breakout year: Eifert 52/615/13 in 13 games > Rudolph 53/493/9 in 16 games
  • Third year playing (8 games each): Eifert 29/394/5 > Rudolph 30/313/3

Those are the only reasonably fair comparison points, and all of them show Eifert outperforming Rudolph. Eifert has a much better ypr and TD rate. Eifert is almost a year younger, and is also arguably in a better situation.

Rudolph is coming off a career year in his 6th season, but Eifert's rate of production was better, although close, as I posted above.

IMO the only thing Rudolph has proven over Eifert so far is the ability to stay healthier. I don't believe that Eifert's past injuries are predictive, so I don't think this is enough to close the gap between them and put them in the same tier.

I realize you are a Vikes homer, so you may have insight on Rudolph that I don't, but this is how I see that comparison. As an Eifert owner, I wouldn't consider trading him for Rudolph without a lot more value coming back to me.

My thoughts on Rudolph are that he is pretty average, but that is my opinion of Eifert as well.

Eifert has higher yards per reception showing more big play ability, however even though I don't consider Andy Dalton to be a great QB, he is still better than what Rudolph has been playing with, better all around supporting cast with the Bengals in terms of offensive line as well. Otherwise for fantasy I think they are pretty much the same player. Just that one of them is overvalued.

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Rudolph never had more than 40 yd/g before this season. This season seemed like a Pettigrew-in-his-prime type of season, where Rudolph got a lot of targets (and a low YPT) because the team was short on options. On reflection, Rudolph should probably be on the same tier as Walker & Brate, but I think TE13 is right for him.

Eifert has one TD for every 75 receiving yards for his career, and one TD for every 79 receiving yards in 2016, both of which seem like unsustainably good rates. TD-machine Rob Gronkowski has one TD for every 90 receiving yards, and since 1988 no other player with 3500+ total receiving yards has better than one TD for every 97 receiving yards.

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2 hours ago, BigSteelThrill said:

I wouldn't be afraid to land one of the big 3 (in the right spots) even if I already had Hunter. 

So more power to you BigTex!!!

I hear ya, im on board that train!

Tex

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34 minutes ago, ZWK said:

Rudolph never had more than 40 yd/g before this season. This season seemed like a Pettigrew-in-his-prime type of season, where Rudolph got a lot of targets (and a low YPT) because the team was short on options. On reflection, Rudolph should probably be on the same tier as Walker & Brate, but I think TE13 is right for him.

Eifert has one TD for every 75 receiving yards for his career, and one TD for every 79 receiving yards in 2016, both of which seem like unsustainably good rates. TD-machine Rob Gronkowski has one TD for every 90 receiving yards, and since 1988 no other player with 3500+ total receiving yards has better than one TD for every 97 receiving yards.

Rudolph has also played for a worse offense that did not have the deep threat and other supporting factors that would likely have helped his overall production. I don't disagree with Rudolph being at 13 or even lower than that though.

The problem with Eifert is that there is such a small sample size of games you can use, because of the many games he has missed. This causes the 2015 season to be 60% of his 22 games played from 2014 to 2016 and 22 games may not be a large enough sample to find what a normal season for him looks like.. It likely isn't 1 TD per game like 2015.

If you include his rookie season (which I would prefer not do) you have 37 games 5 targets per game 3.3 receptions per game 40.3 yards per game .5 TD per game which over 16 games would be 80 targets 52 receptions 645 yards 8 TD. Which to me is a pretty average TE season aside from the TD numbers being bit better. Jack Doyle and Cameron Brate put up similar numbers to this last season and many TE were better than this.

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6 hours ago, BigSteelThrill said:

I said moved up. Maybe not passed Gronk. ;)

 

 

On February 14, 2017 at 2:39 AM, BigSteelThrill said:

As funny as this for me to say... Hunter Henry needs to be higher. Just don't see myself trading him for any other TE straight-up in dynasty.

:shrug:

Edited by Dr. Octopus
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Kyle Rudolph had 83/840/7 last year and was the number three tight end last year in my non ppr league.  

He's probably a couple spots too low - at worst he's consistently been a replacement level tight end. But he may have emerged - he had the best qb he's had (which Bradford sadly probably is), and he needed to play a bigger part in the passing game than blocking for the running game .  The same should be true this season.  Remember too that last year was only his age 26/27 season.  

He also has some room for upside. He's a good blocking tight end and when the other line injuries started to add up, he was asked to pass block a little more.  Look at his splits

Weeks 1-4 19 catches for 234 and 3 tds.

Weeks 5-8 13 catches for 102 and 1 td.

Weeks 9-12 22 catches for 190 and 1 td.

Weeks 13-16 29 catches for 327 and 2 tds

Once the other line stabilized some, his numbers did too. Then again, there's a risk that he will be called in to block more again next year, too.

I wouldn't move him up too far, but I would easily take him over Delanie, and personally I would take him over Brate and Ladarius.

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3 hours ago, Dr. Octopus said:

 

:shrug:

Yeah I'd venture to guess its totally situation dependent.

28 vs 22 and I would understand if Henry's 70-700-9 (+) type of upcoming season would be enough this year to just "hold". Yet knowing Gronk can be 75-1000-12 if he stays healthy.

So slot 'em at #2 and do whatever you feel is best -- short or long term.

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On 2/14/2017 at 2:10 AM, ZWK said:

5    20    Maxx Williams    BAL    23.4    (20)

Interested in the rationale here only because we're pretty deep down a Maxx rabbit hole over in a Mock Drafts thread. You haven't moved him down at all even after a completely lost 2016, yet it's possible (albeit not likely IMO) that he could be a camp cut.

Personally I've liked the kid since he was drafted, but I've been very underwhelmed from what little I saw on the field, and now he seems to have a balky knee on top of it. Is this just a legacy of "young plus highly-drafted", is it a bet against his competition in BAL, or do you still see a TE1 ceiling from him? Would your ranking of him and other young, unproven guys like Walford and Amaro change in a TE-premium (e.g. 1,5 PPR) setting?

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3 hours ago, Mr. Irrelevant said:

Interested in the rationale here only because we're pretty deep down a Maxx rabbit hole over in a Mock Drafts thread. You haven't moved him down at all even after a completely lost 2016, yet it's possible (albeit not likely IMO) that he could be a camp cut.

Personally I've liked the kid since he was drafted, but I've been very underwhelmed from what little I saw on the field, and now he seems to have a balky knee on top of it. Is this just a legacy of "young plus highly-drafted", is it a bet against his competition in BAL, or do you still see a TE1 ceiling from him? Would your ranking of him and other young, unproven guys like Walford and Amaro change in a TE-premium (e.g. 1,5 PPR) setting?

Maxx Williams remains in tier 5 because he's young plus highly drafted, with a bit of a bonus because BAL doesn't have a good established starter in front of him and has gotten heavy use out of their TE in recent years. He didn't catch a pass this year, which is a negative, but it's less of a negative when it's largely due to injury. He missed much of the preseason (which put him in a bad position to do much at the start of the season), and then he got an injury in week 4 which sent him to IR.

Since TEs often take a few years to develop, there is a tricky question about what to do with young TEs who were good prospects coming into the league but haven't done much yet. Clive Walford won the starting job which is a good sign, but then didn't do much with it which is a bad sign. Maxx Williams had a lost year, largely due to injuries. Tyler Higbee played behind Lance Kendricks and had terrible numbers on a terrible passing offense. Austin Hooper played behind Tamme (when he was healthy) and Toilolo and had good efficiency numbers on a great passing offense. There are differences between these seasons, but to me they seem relatively small & subtle in terms of what they predict about the players' chances of breaking out sometime over the next 3 years.

Some more unambiguous negative signs are ASJ & Jace Amaro getting cut from their original team, and Richard Rodgers having his team sign FA Jared Cook.

In a TE premium league (1.5 PPR with a flex spot, so that even TE 10-15 have significant value) I'd move guys like Walford up. Winning the starting job and not doing much with it is a sign that he'll have a solid but not spectacular career, and several solid but not spectacular seasons are worth a lot more in TE premium leagues than in standard leagues.

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End-of-season quarterback rankings. Assuming 12 QB starters and about 250 position players rostered. Age as of 9/1/17. Prev from 9/6/16.

Tr    Rk    Player    Team    Age    Prev
1    1    Andrew Luck    IND    28.0    (4)
1    2    Aaron Rodgers    GB    33.7    (2)
2    3    Russell Wilson    SEA    28.8    (3)
2    4    Derek Carr    OAK    26.4    (11)
2    5    Marcus Mariota    TEN    23.8    (5)
2    6    Jameis Winston    TB    23.7    (6)
2    7    Matt Ryan    ATL    32.3    (15)
2    8    Dak Prescott    DAL    24.1    (20)
3    9    Cam Newton    CAR    28.3    (1)
4    10    Ben Roethlisberger    PIT    35.5    (7)
4    11    Tyrod Taylor    BUF    28.1    (8)
4    12    Carson Wentz    PHI    24.7    (14)
4    13    Andy Dalton    CIN    29.8    (9)
4    14    Kirk Cousins    WAS    29.0    (18)
4    15    Drew Brees    NO    38.6    (16)
4    16    Tom Brady    NE    40.1    (13)
4    17    Jared Goff    RAM    22.9    (12)
4    18    Matthew Stafford    DET    29.6    (17)
4    19    Jimmy Garoppolo    NE    25.8    (26)
5    20    Ryan Tannehill    MIA    29.1    (22)
5    21    Sam Bradford    MIN    29.8    (28)
5    22    Teddy Bridgewater    MIN    24.8    (19)
5    23    Blake Bortles    JAX    25.7    (10)
5    24    Paxton Lynch    DEN    23.6    (23)
5    25    Philip Rivers    SD    35.7    (25)
5    26    Colin Kaepernick    SF    29.8    (35)
5    27    Eli Manning    NYG    36.7    (27)
5    28    Tony Romo    DAL    37.4    (32)
5    29    Robert Griffin III    CLE    27.5    (24)
6    30    Carson Palmer    ARI    37.7    (21)
6    31    Trevor Siemian    DEN    25.7    (30)
6    32    Matt Barkley    CHI    27.0    unr
6    33    Alex Smith    KC    35.4    (33)
6    34    Jay Cutler    CHI    34.3    (34)
6    35    Geno Smith    NYJ    26.9    (39)
6    36    Bryce Petty    NYJ    26.3    (36)
6    37    Mike Glennon    TB    27.7    unr
6    38    Brian Hoyer    CHI    31.9    unr
6    39    Matt Moore    MIA    33.1    unr
6    40    Brock Osweiler    HOU    26.8    (29)
6    41    Cody Kessler    CLE    24.3    (42)
6    42    Jacoby Brissett    NE    24.7    (47)
6    43    Joe Flacco    BAL    32.6    (38)
7    44    Landry Jones    PIT    28.4    unr
7    45    Tom Savage    HOU    27.4    unr
7    46    Christian Hackenberg    NYJ    22.5    (40)
7    47    Brett Hundley    GB    24.2    (45)
7    48    A.J. McCarron    CIN    27.0    (43)
7    49    Blaine Gabbert    SF    27.9    (31)
7    50    Johnny Manziel    CLE    24.7    (41)
7    51    Chase Daniel    PHI    30.9    (44)
7    52    EJ Manuel    BUF    27.5    unr
7    53    Ryan Fitzpatrick    NYJ    34.8    (37)
7    54    Mark Sanchez    DAL    30.8    unr
7    55    Kevin Hogan    CLE    24.9    unr
7    56    Garrett Grayson    NO    26.3    (46)
7    57    Case Keenum    RAM    29.5    (48)

Biggest changes from last year are the down years from Newton & Wilson, and the big seasons from Carr, Ryan, and Prescott.

I wrote a year ago about how, based on the precedent of running QBs like Vick, Culpepper, McNabb, Cunningham, and McNair, being in their late 20s put Cam Newton and Russell Wilson at immediate risk of decline. That was part of why I had them neck-and-neck with Rodgers (an older QB) and Luck (a less proven QB) in the top tier, although perhaps I should've listened more closely to my argument and put them lower. Both of them proceeded to have the worst rushing season of their career, 10+ ypg below their previous low, and to finish outside the top 12 in fppg. I have now dropped them both out of the top tier, with Newton falling significantly farther because I have more confidence in Wilson as a passer.

With the best passers going strong until their late 30s, and running QBs showing signs of slowing down in their late 20s, the dynasty format seems to offset a significant chunk of the edge that typical fantasy scoring rules give to running QBs.

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2 hours ago, ZWK said:

 

4    11    Tyrod Taylor    BUF    28.1    (8)
6    37    Mike Glennon    TB    27.7    unr
6    43    Joe Flacco    BAL    32.6    (38)
7    48    A.J. McCarron    CIN    27.0    (43)

Great stuff.  But these stand out.  Tyrod isn't guaranteed to start next year and hasn't played particularly well and is within a year of cousins age,  and his main value is mobility, yet he's above cousins, Wentz, Dalton, etc? If someone took him over the elders (Brady and Brees) I get it, but it seems like they'll be starting longer than he is.  He seems about 10 spots too high. 

Looks like you're not buying into Glennon and McCarron possibly starting in the next few years.  

But flacco? Below petty, geno, hoyer, and moore? He's not a great starter but he is a starter.  What am I missing? 

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3 hours ago, FUBAR said:

But flacco? Below petty, geno, hoyer, and moore? He's not a great starter but he is a starter.  What am I missing? 

He's said before that with quarterbacks in a start 1 qb league, he's only looking for high end starters.  Flacco is past the age where you might expect him to make a leap forward, so you're basically using a roster spot on a guy you hope to never use.  All else being equal, you'd rather have a guy with some long term chance at positive vbd. Of course, a lot depends on league format.  If your league is small enough that you routinely have starting qbs on the waiver wire, Flacco should probably be one of them.  If it's a 32 team league or start 2 qb league he should obviously be much higher in the rankings.  In most leagues, he's a guy you would consider using during your starter's bye week and that's about it.

The other guys you mentioned are all in the same tier (tier 6) so they're basically equal but there's still some outside chance of one of them emerging as a qb1. 

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3 hours ago, FUBAR said:

Great stuff.  But these stand out.  Tyrod isn't guaranteed to start next year and hasn't played particularly well and is within a year of cousins age,  and his main value is mobility, yet he's above cousins, Wentz, Dalton, etc? If someone took him over the elders (Brady and Brees) I get it, but it seems like they'll be starting longer than he is.  He seems about 10 spots too high. 

Looks like you're not buying into Glennon and McCarron possibly starting in the next few years. 

This was the first thing I noticed as well. If I'm holding Taylor and someone offers me Wentz or Cousins straight up, I'm at serious risk of breaking my index finger clicking Accept. I'd have to think a bit about Dalton but would probably take him as well, if only because I expect CIN to get pretty bad pretty quickly, which means they should be playing from behind more often than in years past.

If I squint, I can see a guy who as a FA is likely to bolt the Bills, a team that's finished 31st and 32nd in pass attempts the past two seasons. If you believe in his talent as a pure passer, almost anywhere he goes as a starter would represent a fantasy upgrade. The counterpoint is that I don't see him ever being one of the 12 best pure passers in the league, so if his rushing impact drops off you're left with, well, a poor man's Andy Dalton. I'd put him about level with Stafford, pending his near-term landing spot of course.

However, I think ZWK is right about both Glennon and McCarron. The case against McCarron is the easier one, but while Glennon has the measurables, he combines scattershot accuracy (career 59% CP) with abysmal pocket presence (career 8.2% sack rate which, horrifyingly, is actually better than his career rate at NCSU). You can get away with one of those and be a successful long-term starter, but almost certainly not both.

Edited by Mr. Irrelevant
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Flacco has been in the league 9 years and his best finish (ppg, min 8 games) is QB15. He was outside the top 20 the past 2 seasons. I wouldn't mind having him on my roster as a backup, but I'd rather use that slot on someone who has a chance to put up fantasy starter's numbers.

Glennon - he wasn't that good when he's played, the Bucs chose to draft a QB to replace him, and there didn't seem to be much of a trade market for him a year ago, so I think he's on the right tier. It's possible that he should be higher up in that tier; I had overlooked that he was hitting free agency now rather than a year from now.

Tyrod Taylor and his tier - I'm not all that confident about the rankings within this tier; it's possible that I'll shake them up significantly over the offseason. Things I like about Taylor: he put up fantasy starter's numbers this year, he's had good advanced stats (e.g., PFF grade), he seems likely to be an NFL starter next year, and he has been in a situation that seems not-so-good for a QB's passing numbers. Things I don't like about him: his team might let him go elsewhere (which is pretty much always a bad sign about a player) and he's going to be a 28-year-old whose value has depended heavily on running.

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I can't envision a scenario where I'd ever actually start Joe Flacco in a 12 team 1 QB league with normal roster sizes.  2 QBs, large rosters, etc, sure.  But in a standard league I can't think of any time I'd ever open up MYFBG and see that their recommended start this week based on my roster is Joe Flacco.  It will always be someone off the waiver wire.  So given that, what's the point in having Flacco on my roster at all?  I wouldn't take him for free in any of my normal roster sized leagues.

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33 minutes ago, ZWK said:

Tyrod Taylor and his tier - I'm not all that confident about the rankings within this tier; it's possible that I'll shake them up significantly over the offseason. Things I like about Taylor: he put up fantasy starter's numbers this year, he's had good advanced stats (e.g., PFF grade), he seems likely to be an NFL starter next year, and he has been in a situation that seems not-so-good for a QB's passing numbers. Things I don't like about him: his team might let him go elsewhere (which is pretty much always a bad sign about a player) and he's going to be a 28-year-old whose value has depended heavily on running.

This sounds like you're describing a guy you have ranked around 20, not a guy ranked in the top 12 ahead of 3 of last year's top 5 QBs including one that is essentially the same age as him.

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3 hours ago, FreeBaGeL said:

I can't envision a scenario where I'd ever actually start Joe Flacco in a 12 team 1 QB league with normal roster sizes.  2 QBs, large rosters, etc, sure.  But in a standard league I can't think of any time I'd ever open up MYFBG and see that their recommended start this week based on my roster is Joe Flacco.  It will always be someone off the waiver wire.  So given that, what's the point in having Flacco on my roster at all?  I wouldn't take him for free in any of my normal roster sized leagues.

You're right.  Sometimes I overlook the difference between the leagues I'm in (16+ teams) and smaller.  And we wouldn't start Flacco except off waivers for a game maybe.  But I have less faith in the others around him and don't see them having any value.  They're all same tier, so not much of a difference. 

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Marcus Mariota    TEN    23.8    (5)
Russell Wilson    SEA    28.8    (3)
Andrew Luck    IND    28.0    (4)
Aaron Rodgers    GB    33.7    (2)
Dak Prescott    DAL    24.1    (20)
Derek Carr    OAK    26.4    (11)
Cam Newton   CAR   28.3   (1)
Kirk Cousins    WAS    29.0    (18)
Jimmy Garoppolo    NE    25.8    (26)
Jameis Winston    TB    23.7    (6)

Took a stab at a top 10 today.  Suspect I'm higher on Mariota, Garoppolo and Cousins than most people.

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4 minutes ago, Dinsy Ejotuz said:

Marcus Mariota    TEN    23.8    (5)
Russell Wilson    SEA    28.8    (3)
Andrew Luck    IND    28.0    (4)
Aaron Rodgers    GB    33.7    (2)
Dak Prescott    DAL    24.1    (20)
Derek Carr    OAK    26.4    (11)
Cam Newton   CAR   28.3   (1)
Kirk Cousins    WAS    29.0    (18)
Jimmy Garoppolo    NE    25.8    (26)
Jameis Winston    TB    23.7    (6)

Took a stab at a top 10 today.  Suspect I'm higher on Mariota, Garoppolo and Cousins than most people.

Don't quit your day job.

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