Understanding draft day value in fantasy football consists of more than ranking players based on median projections and drafting them in that order. Fantasy owners should consider high and low projections, as well, and figure out how likely it is for a player to finish in different areas of that range.
I’ve already discussed likely end of season scenarios for wide receivers that are likely being over-drafted as WR1’s. The methodology for this analysis can be found in my breakdown of one of the safer low-end WR1s in fantasy football this season.
My final look at wide receivers in this series will assess likely finishes for some hot topic wide receivers this draft season, namely Victor Cruz, Michael Floyd, and Kendall Wright.
*ADP data is based on MFL real money, PPR redraft leagues beginning after July 15.
Victor Cruz (ADP: WR14)
Below are the adjusted averages for catches and fantasy points per reception based on Victor Cruz’s closest comps, as well as the standard deviation within those comps:
The following matrix shows various outcomes for Cruz based on his likely end of season point totals and average PPR wide receiver ranks from the last 3 seasons:
|PPR FP/Rec||61.9 Receptions||69.5 Receptions||77.1 Receptions||84.8 Receptions||92.4 Receptions|
|3.2||197.6 (WR23)||222.0 (WR18)||246.3 (WR14)||270.7 (WR9)||295.1 (WR5)|
|2.9||176.8 (WR32)||198.7 (WR22)||220.5 (WR18)||242.3 (WR15)||264.1 (WR9)|
|2.6||156.1 (WR41)||175.4 (WR33)||194.6 (WR26)||213.9 (WR20)||233.2 (WR16)|
While Cruz is being drafted as a fringe WR1, his closest player comps have struggled to break into the WR1 ranks. For owners looking for a reason to justify drafting the Giants number one receiver, he should have a relatively high floor in 2014, finishing as a WR2 over 73% of the time.
One thing that isn’t accounted for in Cruz’s comp projections is the change in offensive coordinators, from Kevin Gilbride to Ben McAdoo. Under Gilbride, the Giants offensive was predicated on option routes, which required similar defensive reads from Eli Manning and his receivers. There may have been a disconnect between quarterback and receiver in this system, explaining the confusion and overall inefficiency of the offense in 2013.
A switch to a more traditional route tree should put Eli and his receivers back on the same page, and lead to an overall improvement in the Giants air attack in 2014. The result could be Victor Cruz finishing toward the high end of his likely range and meeting or exceeding his draft day value.
Michael Floyd (ADP: WR17)
See below for Michael Floyd’s reception and fantasy point adjusted averages:
Floyd’s range of outcomes, based on his player comps:
|PPR FP/Rec||47.7 Receptions||58.5 Receptions||69.3 Receptions||80.1 Receptions||90.8 Receptions|
|3.4||159.1 (WR39)||195.0 (WR26)||230.9 (WR17)||266.7 (WR9)||302.6 (WR3)|
|2.9||137.2 (WR53)||168.2 (WR35)||199.2 (WR22)||230.1 (WR17)||261.1 (WR11)|
|2.4||115.4 (WR62)||141.5 (WR51)||167.5 (WR35)||193.5 (WR26)||219.6 (WR18)|
Michael Floyd is an industry favorite to break into the elite ranks of fantasy wide outs, but history suggests that owners might want to pump the breaks on their Floyd enthusiasm. The projection matrix shows that Floyd should meet or exceed his ADP about a third of the time, but he is a high risk investment.
The Cardinals’ number two wide receiver will have to make a huge jump in receptions to avoid being too touchdown dependant for fantasy output. With a mediocre quarterback, Larry Fitzgerald to compete with for targets, a new starting running back that should catch a lot of balls, and the toughest defensive division in football, that jump may not be so easy.
Floyd could wow owners this year, but he may be just as likely to burn anyone that jumps the gun on him too early.
Kendall Wright (ADP: WR27)
Adjusted averages and standard deviation found from Kendall Wright’s player comps:
Wright’s range of outcome matrix:
|PPR FP/Rec||54.0 Receptions||65.5 Receptions||78.7 Receptions||88.7 Receptions||100.3 Receptions|
|3.1||171.3 (WR33)||208.1 (WR21)||249.8 (WR13)||281.7 (WR8)||318.5 (WR3)|
|2.7||147.7 (WR45)||179.4 (WR31)||215.3 (WR19)||242.8 (WR15)||274.6 (WR8)|
|2.3||124.0 (WR59)||150.7 (WR44)||180.9 (WR31)||204.0 (WR22)||230.6 (WR17)|
The 2013 season suggested that Kendall Wright can be a fantasy starter without relying on a high number of touchdowns, especially in PPR leagues. As the 27th receiver of the board, Wright should exceed his draft day value the majority of the time.
With 100 receptions within his range of outcomes, the Titans receiver could be a consistent PPR play even if he doesn’t score a ton. Statistical analysis indicates that Wright should see some positive regression in his touchdown rate, which was historically low in 2013.
While Kendall Wright does have a low floor, the opportunity to draft him outside of the top 25 wide receivers alleviates some of the risk and leaves room for promising upside.
What This Means for 2014
As we’ve seen with all the wide receivers in the series so far, understanding a range of likely finishes is a great determination of a player’s value in relation to where they are being drafted. Slight shifts in draft position can drastically alter whether a player is worth taking on draft day.
Owners should use the projection matrix as a value guide for gauging draft day dynamics in real time. Being able to assess when a player actually becomes a value will allow fake footballers to avoid drafting players at their ceiling and make investment decisions that takes an individual player’s risk into accounted.
In the coming days, I’ll examine ranges for running backs that owners might have questions about going into the season. If there is any player in particular that you would like a projection matrix for, feel free to hit me up on the twitter machine, and I’d be happy to run the numbers.