Every year, rest assured someone at some point during each of
your drafts will utter some variation of the words ďvalue
pick.Ē But what exactly is a value pick? What is value?
Value is a relative term that changes based on public perception.
When I consider value, Iím looking for a positive return
on my investment. Just because a player has an a fourth round
ADP and is still sitting there in the sixth round does not make
him good value. At the same time, taking a player a round or two
above his ADP is not necessarily bad value.
My goal in every pick I make is to take a player I believe will
outperform his ADP. Last season, DeAndre Hopkins had a third round
ADP but returned first round value. Hopkins gave owners one hell
of a positive return on investment. On the flip side, DeMarco Murray had a second round ADP. He provided a significantly negative
return on investment. Thatís the type of pick we all hope
Let’s take a look at which wide receivers I expect to outperform
their ADPs and which I expect to fail.
The case for Hill being undervalued: Heís coming
off a PPR WR6 (FPts/G) and only getting better in this third year
in the league.
The case against Hill being undervalued: Team
changes include a new quarterback, new offensive coordinator,
and the addition of Sammy
Watkins. Also, itís unlikely that Hill will score seven touchdowns
from 30+ yards out again.
Verdict: One of my biggest fantasy writing regrets
from 2017 was not including Tyreek Hill in my undervalued wide
receivers column last season. Anyone who read my stuff last year
(and this year) knows my affinity for Hill (the player, not the
human). I canít tell you why I didnít include him last year, but
Iím certainly not making the same mistake twice.
I understand the counterarguments. The unlikelihood of long touchdowns.
Alex Smith was the best deep ball passer in the league last year.
Pat Mahomes is a huge unknown. Sammy Watkins is around. None of
this is false. However, Hill is the most dangerous playmaker in
the league. He is the best deep threat in the league. He made
Smith, not the other way around. While Mahomes wonít be
as efficient as Smith, I expect Mahomes to uncork it deep to Hill
more often. Hill also saw 105 targets last season in 15 games.
Many analysts are projecting that to decrease. Why? Why would
Andy Reid replace conservative Smith with gun-slinging Mahomes
if he wasnít looking to run a more aerial offense?
Watkinsí guaranteed money does not matter. Talent matters
and Hill is the most talented WR on the Chiefs and itís
not close. The Chiefs are not going to funnel targets away from
their most explosive player, who has done nothing but succeed
over his first two years. Hill will never see nor see 140+ targets
in a season. That doesnít mean he canít see 120 as
he continues to hone his craft and still leave room for 90-100
targets for Watkins.
Hill is going to be a WR1 in fantasy this year. You can take
that to the bank. You currently do not have to pay a WR1 price
to acquire him. The guy returned second round value from the fourth
round last year and his ADP barely moved. The market is offering
you almost the same discount on him this year. Take it.
Marquise Goodwin's stock is on the rise
after recent reports suggesting he's the No.1 option in SF.
The case for Goodwin being undervalued: Heís
the No.1 WR on a Jimmy
Garoppolo led offense.
The case against Goodwin being undervalued:
Heís 29 years old and has roughly half a season of sustained productivity
on his resume.
Verdict: As a fair warning to all of you reading this, Marquise
Goodwinís ADP is broken. Between the time I write this and
when it posts, I wouldnít be surprised if he was already
inside the top 36 and rising. As we get deeper into training and
camp and the preseason, it will become abundantly clear that Goodwin
is Garoppoloís favorite. I wouldnít be surprised to
see him push towards the top 24.
Although an admittedly small sample size, Goodwin was the PPR
WR9 from weeks 13-16 last season with Garoppolo. He has proven
to be more than just a speedster, connecting on various passes
underneath. Goodwin has surpassed the aging Pierre Garcon. Goodwin
is the No.1 WR on not just any NFL team, but a good one (well,
a least a good offense). As long as he stays healthy, Goodwin
is a stone cold lock to finish inside the top 36 and I would be
more surprised if he finished outside the top 24 than inside the
top 18 making him arguably the single best value in fantasy football
The case for Hurns being undervalued: Heís a
No.1 wide receiver on an NFL team going outside the top 36.
The case against Hurns being undervalued: He
has a limited track record of success and the running game dominates
the Cowboys offense.
Verdict: I donít think Hurns is particularly talented nor
do I think any NFL team should be entering a season with him as
their top wideout. However, that is the reality of the situation
in Dallas and when a player is the top target in his offense,
that has some value. It may not be much, but itís something
Ė certainly worth a WR4 dart throw in the ninth round. Hurns
is on a very good offense with a talented QB and could easily
see 120 targets. All he would have to do is catch half of them
to provide WR4 numbers giving him a decent amount of upside and
absolutely no downside.
The case for Cooper being overvalued: Entering
his fourth NFL season, Cooper is being drafted higher than heís
ever finished at his position.
The case against Cooper being overvalued: The
talent is still present and Michael
Crabtree is gone.
Verdict: There is a non-zero chance Amari Cooper breaks out in
2018 and finally has the WR1 season weíve been expecting
for years. If he does, I will miss out on the party. Cooper has
never finished higher than his ADP, yet his ADP simply does not
correct. He was fifth in the league with 10 drops last season
and finished 49th in target separation, catching just half of
his targets. Certainly Derek Carrís injury didnít
help matters, but Cooper still did not play well.
Enter Jon Gruden, who professes his love Marshawn Lynch and his
desire to bring the game back to 1998. Maybe itís in jest,
maybe not. Either way, I am not optimistic about the second Gruden
era in Oakland. And if weíre paying attention to what Gruden
says, heís been singing the praises of Jordy Nelsonís
to the point where Iíve done a complete 180 on him. Iím
more inclined to believe Nelson is not done and might actually
be the wide receiver to own in Oakland. Given Cooperís ADP,
Iíd opt for the cheaper option and target Nelson if forced
to choose a Raidersí wide receiver.
The case for JuJu being overvalued: HeĎs at
best the third option in the teamís passing attack and benefited
from multiple huge plays as a rookie.
The case against JuJu being overvalued: He didnít
become a starter until midway through his rookie season and now
enters his second year with a better grasp of the offense and
a clear starting job.
Verdict: JuJu is a good wide receiver but heís being overpriced
by the fantasy community. Last season, he caught 73.4% of his
targets, finishing with 58 receptions on 79 targets with seven
touchdowns. I do not think that level of efficiency is sustainable.
Itís also important to note that JuJu went 15-218-2 over
the two games Antonio Brown missed. Assuming AB is healthy, heís
going to command 180 targets. LeíVeon Bell will see over
100 targets as will the tight ends. The team also drafted James
Washington to fill Martavis Bryantís role and the coaches
seem to be impressed with the rookie. While heís not going
to take JuJuís job, he could take 10-15% of JuJuís
snaps which is significant. Increased volume doesnít seem
likely but I can see a dip in efficiency, making JuJuís
2017 output somewhat of a ceiling, and making him overvalued at
his current ADP.
The case for Fuller being overvalued: He has
small hands and is nothing more than a deep threat.
The case against Fuller being overvalued: Had
extreme success during his limited time with Deshaun
Watson last season.
Verdict: Will Fuller only played 10 games last
season, but if you extrapolate his targets over a full season,
he would have seen just 80. But what about when he played with
Watson? Great question. Letís focus on that since the Watson-Fuller
connection seems to be the crux of all the pro-Fuller arguments.
With Watson, Fuller saw 22 targets over four games. That would
be 88 over a full season. The problem is that Fuller is not very
efficient - just a 56% catch rate last season. While most of that
was with Tom
Savage, Fullerís catch rate with Watson wasnít much better
at 59%. Sure, Fuller did score seven touchdowns in those four
games with Watson - seven touchdowns on 13 receptions. If you
think that is repeatable, then by all means, go and draft Fuller.
I can assure you it is not. Fuller may very well finish as a WR3,
but he will do so by having 2-80-1 games and 2-20-0 games. You
will get no consistency and it will be difficult to predict when
Fullerís boom games are going to happen. In the sixth/seventh
round, there are still many superior options (Randall
Goodwin) that drafting Fuller seems unnecessary.