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Wide Receiver Arbitrage: Aldrick Robinson vs. Mike Wallace


Regular  readers know that I like to get guys that I think might offer 80 or 90% of the production of another guy, but for a fraction of the price. Last year I wrote that Matt Ryan would be similar to Matt Stafford, but for a reduced price. I only got lucky when Ryan ended up outscoring Stafford. That’s not likely to happen with the value play I have for you today, but mostly because the high priced guy is a $10 million/year free agent and the “poor man’s” player will be lucky to see the field.

In his article from a few days ago, Jon Moore argued that Aldrick Robinson is similar to RGIII college running mate Kendall Wright. It’s a great article and you should check it out, but I’m going to compare ARob to Mike Wallace because I have a flair for the ridiculous.

To start with, consider that coming out of college, Robinson was 184 pounds and ran a 4.35 40 yard dash. Wallace was 199 pounds and ran a 4.28.  Both players jumped 40 inches in the vertical leap. So Wallace is ahead on physical measures, but they’re in the same ballpark.

Then let’s look at their college production to get a sense as to whether they were similar prospects. Below is the heatmap out of the College WR Comparison app. I’ve also added DeSean Jackson’s name to the list as he’s another guy of similar size and speed.

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Notes: *msYDS = Player Receiving Yards/Team Passing Yards, msTD is like msYDS but for touchdowns, YPT = Yards/Target, TRGS = Total Targets on the Season, RZTDR = Red Zone Touchdowns/Red Zone Targets

You can see that Robinson bests Jackson and Wallace on most measures. ARob was better in the red zone (more on that later) and accounted for more of his team’s production. ARob was targeted a lot, but he was extremely efficient on those targets. One thing that is really attractive about Robinson is that his red zone efficiency is rare for a smaller player.

We know what Wallace and Jackson have done as pros. They’ve done enough to earn big contracts. So what has ARob done? He hasn’t gotten on the field a lot, but when he has, touchdowns have followed. He has 3 touchdowns on 19 career targets. He also averaged over 12 yards per target. Oh yeah, and of his 2 red zone targets, he turned 1 of them into a touchdown. Those numbers are pulled from small samples and would be worth dismissing if they weren’t a natural progression of what Robinson did in college. Robinson is similar physically to Wallace and DJax, did more than they did in college, and he’s been extremely efficient as a pro… on a small sample, I realize that.

I have Robinson stashed on a dynasty team on the off chance that he sees the field this year. As an arbitrage opportunity, he is similar enough to Mike Wallace to be a great bet in real football. If the Redskins do put him on the field, he will be a homerun in fake football.

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