One potential point that the pro-Mike Wallace crowd might have is that Roethlisberger only played a partial season last year. In order to address this point I used the WR Similarity Score tool and threw out the games that Wallace appeared in that Roethlisberger did not.
Here’s what Wallace’s stat line looks like if you do that. It’s actually about a 1,000 yard and almost 11 touchdown pace. Wallace’s yards per target also ends up just above 8.
The interesting thing is that Wallace’s projection for 2013 doesn’t change at all if you do this. He’s still projected to score about 7.5 standard points/game. You also still get this YOY change plot, which shows 19 of 20 of the comparable players seeing fewer fantasy points in the following season.
Also, if Wallace’s comparables don’t look like deep threats, don’t blame me. Wallace averaged just 13 yards/reception this year.
I’m willing to concede that Wallace wasn’t as bad in ‘12 as I probably originally thought and some part of his badness was probably attributable to not having a real quarterback. But I don’t think that changes the fact that the Dolphins likely overpaid for Wallace, if not in 2013, then certainly in ‘14 and ‘15. I also don’t think it changes the fact that the Dolphins paid for something that teams pull out of the third round of the draft. The Colts did that with TY Hilton, threw it to him less than the Steelers threw to Wallace, and Hilton put up about the same numbers as Wallace anyway.
As I’ve said before, WRs tend not to get faster as they get older. They might improve as route runners, but they don’t get faster.