Opportunity Scores: How Breshad Perriman Could Be 2015’s Kelvin Benjamin

The first round of the NFL Draft is officially in the books and fantasy football degenerates worldwide now have some fresh meat to chew on for the next four months. Over the course of the last few weeks, I explored the relationship between passing-game ADPs in the search for potential arbitrage opportunities. I eventually quantified the opportunity for rookie wide receivers in different landing spots based on current receivers’ ADP strength, or lack thereof. Now that we know where a handful of the top WR prospects have landed, let’s take another look at receiver opportunity scores and assess their chances for first-year success.

Before we dig into the scores, let’s a take a look at the regression they’re based on. To avoid restating much of previous articles, there’s a deeper look at the methodology here. I’ll clarify that “Receiver Value” is calculated as such: 2401 minus each receiver’s ADP, then add them all together, then gross up that total to account for quarterback rushing production and passing to running backs. Here is the plot of receiver value versus QB ADP.

qb_rec_arb_2015

You can see that there are quite a few teams far away from the regression line, meaning that their pre-draft receivers’ ADPs are potentially over/undervalued. Below, the team receiver opportunity scores, or the difference between receiver value and the regression estimate for receiver value based on QB ADP, have the first-round destinations highlighted. These do not incorporate their recently added rookies. I’ll later discuss those effects individually.

os_wr_preDraft_2015

Let’s dig into each first round destination and think about the implications in redraft and dynasty for the selected receivers.

Oakland Raiders (Pick 4): Amari Cooper

Receiver Opportunity Score
  Pre-First Round Post-First Round
Michael Crabtree (ADP) 143.9 143.9
James Jones 206.9 206.9
Mychal Rivera 200.5 200.5
Amari Cooper NA 54.5
Receiver Value 214.4 410.0
RV Estimate 511.8 511.8
Opportunity Score 297.4 101.7

I see Amari Cooper as a big winner. He avoided potential land mines like the Jaguars and Jets, and landed in the destination with the second most pre-draft opportunity.  Even after adding his significant ADP to Oakland’s receiver value, the team’s opportunity score remains over 100. Cooper should have enough opportunity in Oakland to live up to his ADP, and possibly even exceed it. As a long-suffering and skeptical Raiders fan, I’m cautiously optimistic about the team’s trajectory. You could argue that the Raiders had the one of the best drafts last year, and passing on the flashier Kevin White for Cooper is the exactly the type of smart move Al Davis would never have made. Derek Carr wasn’t great last year, but he also wasn’t exactly surrounded by receiving talent and the team’s running game was historically inefficient. Cooper will never be a tremendous value as the first receiver selected with the highest pre-draft ADP, but I think he has by far the highest floor.

Chicago Bears (Pick 7): Kevin White

Receiver Opportunity Score
  Pre-First Round Post-First Round
Alshon Jeffery (ADP) 22.1 22.1
Martellus Bennett 68.2 68.2
Marquess WIlson 146.4 146.4
Eddie Royal 207.0 207.0
Kevin White NA 69.5
Receiver Value 707.3 940.8
RV Estimate 552.5 552.5
Opportunity Score -154.8 -388.3

I think Chicago’s poor opportunity score, which only gets worse with the addition of Kevin White, is not going to be appreciated by the larger fantasy football community. I will caveat the post-draft opportunity score by saying that the ADPs for Marquess Wilson and Eddie Royal are likely going to somewhere near the bottom of the ocean, which will relieve some pressure on the team’s opportunity score. That said, White’s current ADP is so superior to Wilson and Royal’s that the team’s score will still fall towards the leagues’ worst.

I believe White will have difficulty gathering significant targets in year one competing with top receiving options like Alshon Jeffery and Martellus Bennett, making him a pass in redraft. The real play in Chicago looks like Jay Cutler. While I think Cutler’s ADP will rise, he could remain a value this year in light of the considerable receiving talent surrounding him.

Miami Dolphins (Pick 14): DeVante Parker

Receiver Opportunity Score
  Pre-First Round Post-First Round
Jarvis Landry (ADP) 53.3 53.3
Kenny Stills 81.1 81.1
Jordan Cameron 93.4 93.4
Greg Jennings 218.6 218.6
DeVante Parker NA 96.8
Receiver Value 663.4 848.4
RV Estimate 603.5 603.5
Opportunity Score -59.9 -244.9

The Dolphins seem intent on surrounding Ryan Tannehill with more receivers in the vain attempt to magically transform him into a prototype franchise QB. I don’t see it happening. That’s just editorializing, but the opportunity scores seem to agree with Tannehill’s ADP being much lower than you’d estimate based on his receivers’. Now, DeVante Parker has been added to mix, and he’ll have to carve out a niche in a conservative passing game that already includes Jarvis Landry, Kenny Stills, Jordan Cameron, and Greg Jennings. I’m not optimistic.

Philadelphia Eagles (Pick 20): Nelson Agholor

Receiver Opportunity Score
  Pre-First Round Post-First Round
Jordan Matthews (ADP) 38.3 38.3
Zach Ertz 92.8 92.8
Josh Huff 166.3 166.3
Nelson Agholor NA 186.5
Receiver Value 489.2 551.2
RV Estimate 527.9 527.9
Opportunity Score 38.7 -23.3

At first glance, the addition of Nelson Agholor looks like it doesn’t move the Eagles far from their middle-of-the-pack, pre-draft opportunity score. There are a couple things to keep in mind: 1) I assume Agholor’s ADP will rise much more than Huff’s will fall, negatively impacting the team opportunity score, 2) The Eagles’ QB situation is murky, so once a QB is firmly established the team’s QB ADP could rise materially, positively affecting its opportunity score. Agholor looks like a wait-and-see to me. I think you might be able to get some value if his ADP is slow to rise, but it is possible that his ADP eventually rises too far as enthusiasm builds and he’s seen as a Jeremy Maclin equivalent. From an athletic and production standpoint, he is very similar prospect to Maclin. But, we mustn’t forget that he is still a rookie, and Maclin’s production suffered in the second half of the season as Jordan Matthews emerged.

maclin

Baltimore Ravens (Pick 26): Breshad Perriman

Receiver Opportunity Score
  Pre-First Round Post-First Round
Steve Smith (ADP) 112.5 112.5
Crockett Gillmore 218.2 218.2
Breshad Perriman NA 155.2
Receiver Value 178.3 271.1
RV Estimate 552.5 552.5
Opportunity Score 374.3 281.4

If you listened closely enough as Breshad Perriman’s name was read last night, you heard the skies part and God Himself declared Perriman this year’s top rookie receiver. At least that’s what the #FFTwitter reaction looked like. You can see that the addition of Perriman at his current ADP did little to dent the Ravens’ enormous opportunity score. Even if Perriman’s ADP moved to number-one overall, Baltimore’s opportunity score would still be positive. While I’m very happy with my pre-draft Perriman MFL10 shares, I think we could see an unprecedented climb in his ADP. Unlike the sneaky good situation that Cooper fell into, everyone recognizes that Balitmore is a fantastic landing spot. In addition, Kelvin Benjamin’s success last year in high-opportunity Carolina is firmly in the front of everyone’s mind when they discuss Perriman. Although I’m not thrilled by Steve Smith’s prospects this year, he could end up more of a bargain than Perriman if the latter’s ADP skyrockets and Smith’s is stagnant or falls.

Indianapolis Colts (Pick 29): Philip Dorsett

Receiver Opportunity Score
  Pre-First Round Post-First Round
TY Hilton (ADP) 27.2 27.2
Andre Johnson 57.7 57.7
Donte Moncrief 89.2 89.2
Dwayne Allen 122.6 122.6
Coby Fleener 138.0 138.0
Duron Carter 216.7 216.7
Phillip Dorsett NA 210.6
Receiver Value 1035.8 1056.7
RV Estimate 741.3 741.3
Opportunity Score -294.5 -315.4

You can see simply from the height of the above table that there already wasn’t much opportunity in Indianapolis before Phillip Dorsett was drafted. I’m really not sure what the Colts were thinking here. I guess Dorsett could be TY Hilton’s replacement if Hilton leaves via free agency next year. Even so, you don’t spend a first-round pick on an insurance policy. All this pick did was make me even more pessimistic that the other Colts’ receivers live up to their ADPs.

This tweet pretty much sums up my thoughts on the pick:

  1. The last pick in a 20-round 12-team draft.  (back)