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10 Re-draft Targets in 10 Days: #5 Brian Hartline… No, Seriously. Stop Laughing.

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As a bit of housekeeping upfront, I should apologize for the misleading title of this series. I took the day off yesterday so you’re actually going to get 10 re-draft targets in 11 days. Well, what you’re really getting is 10 re-draft ideas in 11 days. My post from Saturday actually had three guys to target, so you’ll get 10 ideas that might end up being 13 or 14 actual players to target.

As a refresher I’ve argued for Marques Colston, Eric Decker, Mike Williams, and a three-headed QB attack featuring Sam Bradford, E.J. Manuel and Geno Smith. Through the four ideas I’ve given you thus far, I haven’t asked you to take anything higher than a 4th round pick. Here’s a table which shows the strategy I’m laying out with each guy slotted where you can draft him right now. I’ve also penciled in today’s idea in the table.

Draft Round Player
1
2
3
4 Marques Colston
5
6 Eric Decker
7
8
9 Mike Williams
10
11 Brian Hartline
12
13 Sam Bradford
14 EJ Manuel
15
16 Geno Smith

First let me say that I find the idea of writing a fantasy football article about Brian Hartline to be hilarious. Not borderline hilarious either. I’m talking about fully hilarious. He seems like a no-upside guy. The only problem is that he’s so freaking cheap. He’s being taken as WR50 and yet it’s really likely that he’s going to see 100 targets this year. That’s a lot of opportunity.

It’s true that Hartline should have had to give up some targets to Mike Wallace, or at least it was true until the Dolphins traded away Davone Bess. Last year Hartline was targeted 131 times to Bess’ 105 targets. Mike Wallace saw 119 targets for the Steelers. If you give Wallace 119 targets again and then subtract that number from the total targets that Bess and Hartline saw, there are still 117 targets for Brian Hartline.

Still think it’s ridiculous to draft a not very talented, not very efficient wide receiver that hasn’t caught very many touchdowns in his career? Me too. We’re talking about Danny Amendola right? Oh we’re not? Because I thought we were talking about Danny Amendola, who is being taken at WR22 in ADP.  Here’s a comparison of the two WRs from last year.

NAME SEAS AGE WEIGHT GMS TRGS RECS YDS TDS FPOP YPT 2013 ADP
Brian Hartline 2012 26 199 15 8.73 4.93 72.20 0.07 -0.37 8.27 WR50
Danny Amendola 2012 27 186 11 9.18 5.73 61.09 0.27 -0.03 6.65 WR22

Hartline is a bigger WR that averaged more yards/target than Amendola and it’s not like that’s because Hartline was playing with an all-world QB. Ryan Tannehill threw more INTS than TDs last year despite the rush by experts to get him into Canton. The only measure that Amendola is ahead of Hartline on is the TD-driven metric FPOP (Fantasy Points Over Par measures efficiency based on adjusted targets for field position). It’s true that Hartline sucks in the red zone, although Amendola and Hartline share abysmal red zone TD rates over their careers. Hartline’s 13% RZ TD rate is just below Amendola’s 15%.

To summarize my point from the preceding paragraph, taking a wide receiver that probably isn’t that talented and is more of an opportunity play might be crazy, but it’s a lot crazier at WR22 than it is at WR50.

If you give Hartline 117 targets in 2013 and then multiply those targets by 8 yards per target, you get a 936 yard season. You know who didn’t have 936 total yards last year? Larry Fitzgerald. Fitz is only going off the draft board about 40 WR spots in front of Hartline. I’m not saying Hartline will outplay Fitz this year, but he doesn’t have to either. He’s so much cheaper that he only has upside.

Briant Hartline doesn’t have the kind of upside people are used to talking about in this part of the fantasy draft, but consider that Cordarrelle Patterson is being take in roughly the same part of the draft. If Cordarrelle Patterson had 900 yards this year, anyone who took him would claim victory on their foresight at finding such a rookie gem. But I’m telling you that you can get to the same yardage number for Brian Hartline by marking down the yards he had last year. He can get worse and still have the same production that the “high upside” guys being taken in that part of the draft might have.

If Brian Hartline does end up with 936 receiving yards, that’s about 6 points per week in fantasy points. In a PPR league it will be about 10 points per week. You can probably add another 1.5 points because Hartline’s touchdowns should mean-regress upwards a little. That’s 11.5 points per week that you can pencil in for an 11th round pick without having to get overly aggressive with the numbers. Also, at WR50, that implies that Hartline will be the 5th WR on your team (assuming the late QB strategy).  If your 5th WR is scoring 11.5 fantasy points per week, good luck to your leaguemates.

That’s five ideas down and five to go. I haven’t advocated anyone higher than a 4th round pick and every single receiver I’ve advocated saw at least 110 targets last year. At this point your team would be full of borderline boring guys, but also guys that have a lot of safety in their production.  You would also have picks in rounds 1, 2, 3, and 5 to still take more exciting players. I’m not saying I’ll advocate that, I’m just pointing out that you’ll still have a ton of draft capital to spend.

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