Target Projections: Marques Colston, Dwayne Bowe and other Late-Round Values

We’ve come to the final installment of my series going down the wider receiver ADP ranks comparing our staff composite target projections and historical data. I’ve already analyzed the top-12, 12-24, 25-36, 37-48, and this year’s rookie class. Lumping all that we haven’t covered into one final analysis: WR ranks 49-102.1

This cohort includes the former top guns like Marques ColstonDwayne Bowe, and Victor Cruz, plus stalled 2014 breakout candidates like Cordarrelle PattersonRueben Randle, and Justin Hunter. There are a lot more intriguing receivers in this final cohort than I expected, and a handful with target projections in the triple digits.

Again, let’s look at the entire data set of targets versus WR ranks for 2013 and 2014. The horizontal lines indicate the slice we’re looking at here, ranks 49-102.

finalTier

The 2015 data uses our staff composite target projections crafted with the Projection Machine App, and the WR ADP ranks from the Best Ball ADP App.

Rplot16

The obvious receivers to target are those with more than 100 projected targets: Bowe, Colston, Randle, Pierre GarconMichael Crabtree, and Brian Quick. I think any of these WRs makes a good late-round MFL10 pick since their projected targets set a nice floor.

Crabtree and Garon were being drafted in the third/fourth rounds just a year ago after a strong seasons in 2012 and 2013, respectively. I like Crabtree a bit more because: 1) He’s cheaper and 2) His strong 2012 was accomplished on 127 targets, whereas Garcon has never been efficient and needed 182 targets to be a star in 2013.

Quick is going to get a potential upgrade at QB with STL trading for Nick Foles, and his most similar comp based on last year’s per-game stats, Michael Floyd, has an ADP ranked in the top-30.

Screen Shot 2015-06-17 at 11.54.55 AM

Bowe has the highest target projection in the group, and should be ranked almost 20 positional spots higher based on historical data. He’s a no-brainer pick in the teen rounds of MFL10s.2

Randle and Colston are probably my favorites in the group. Knowing that these two are likely to see lots of targets, it’s also a major positive that they be getting those targets from Drew Brees and Eli Manning. I know there is some concern over a potential shift towards the run game for the Saints, but even if Brees’ production falls it’s from being the top QB over the past five years in passing yards per game, and the second highest in touchdowns per game.3 We don’t think of Eli as being an elite QB, mostly because he throws too many interceptions. But, last year Eli was ninth in passing touchdowns and sixth in passing yards. If Eli can perform well again this year and Randle can see an uptick in target efficiency, Randle could flirt with WR2 value.

Once we get below 100 projected targets the upside is a little capped. It’s great that Andrew Hawkins looks so undervalued, but is getting the WR60 at a WR90 price that enticing? The one guy with less than 100 projected targets that I am interested in is Marqise Lee. He’s projected close to 100 targets, and I think people forget that he was more highly drafted last year than his sophomore teammate Allen Robinson who has a top-30 positional ADP. I’m not saying that Lee will be better than Robinson, but you can get him at less than half the price, and Lee was the more efficient receiver in limited playing time last year.

Here are all the numbers for you to look through listed by ADP rank. “Rank Estimate” is the player’s estimated ADP rank based on the historical data and his 2015 target projection.

PlayerProj TrgtsADP RankRank EstimateDiff
Victor Cruz73.624966-17
Marques Colston102.555046.33.7
Pierre Garcon108.915143.87.2
Brian Quick100.495247.34.7
Percy Harvin72.945366.6-13.6
Cody Latimer57.595481.6-27.6
Dorial Green-Beckham75.455564.4-9.4
Rueben Randle104.015645.710.3
Terrance Williams79.695760.7-3.7
Donte Moncrief70.885868.4-10.4
Devin Funchess94.475950.48.6
Marvin Jones70.536068.7-8.7
Dwayne Bowe112.836142.518.5
Doug Baldwin91.616252.19.9
Cordarrelle Patterson50.746388.9-25.9
Jaelen Strong93.966450.713.3
Michael Crabtree102.986546.118.9
Kenny Britt87.736854.613.4
Marqise Lee96.476949.319.7
Stevie Johnson85.417156.214.8
Cole Beasley72.327367.15.9
Malcom Floyd84.27745717
Justin Hunter70.1976697
Josh Huff54.757784.7-7.7
Chris Conley60.797977.91.1
Mohamed Sanu57.3280.581.9-1.4
Tyler Lockett65.178273.58.5
Justin Hardy50.578389.1-6.1
Robert Woods63.158575.59.5
Cecil Shorts66.77867214
Andrew Hawkins78.1991.56229.5
Nick Toon55.539483.910.1
Allen Hurns60.839677.918.1
Stedman Bailey60.1310178.722.3
Devin Smith59.2510279.722.3

  1. This includes all WRs for whom we have composite target projections.  (back)
  2. Sneak preview of this week’s Numbers Game Pod: MFL10 expert AJ Bassette says he’s drafting Bowe in around 50% of leagues.  (back)
  3. Peyton Manning is first.  (back)