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ADP Bargain Hunting: Getting a Team’s Top Receiver for Nothing

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A lot of people have a tendency to dismiss receivers on teams with bottom-ranking passing games. This is an understandable trend given that, in order to get fantasy points from your receiver, they must produce. However, sometimes there is great value to be found on passing deficient teams because key components to their offenses are forgotten or overlooked. A great example of this is Jeremy Kerley of the New York Jets.

Now a third year player out of TCU, Jeremy Kerley quietly represented the lone bright spot in what was otherwise a complete disaster of an offense for the Jets last season, catching 56 passes for 827 yards and 2 touchdowns.

Going into the 2013 season, Kerley is poised to be an integral part of newly-appointed Offensive Coordinator Marty Mornhinweg’s West Coast system. As covered by Matthew Freedman back in March, Stephen Hill had a rough rookie season, showing that he needs considerable refinement before he can be looked upon as a reliable target for the Jets. There’s also a distinct possibility that Santonio Holmes will miss time early in the year. That leaves Kerley as Gang Green’s defacto number one target. ProFootballFocus has also pegged Kerley as a potential secret superstar.

At 5’9 189lbs Kerley is small, but he possesses slightly above-average speed, great hands (only 2 drops in 67 targets last season) and excellent acceleration. The two players he is most physically comparable to are Randall Cobb and Cecil Shorts:

Height Weight 40m Time 20m Time 10m Time
Jeremy Kerley 5’9

189

4.56

2.63

1.58

Randall Cobb 5’10

191

4.46

2.53

1.56

Cecil Shorts 6’0

205

4.50

2.54

1.59

As you can see, Kerley is a bit slower when it comes to downfield speed, but his acceleration is dead even with that of Cobb and Shorts. This means that within 25 yards or so, Kerley is a very similar player, which makes him a perfect fit for the West Coast Offense. Shorts of course has been a subject of interest for RotoViz because he is essentially a cheap version of Cobb that shines when input into the ADP Arbitrage App. Shorts is projected to go somewhere in the 10th round  on a Jacksonville team that is every bit as dreadful as the Jets, whereas Kerley, according to fantasyfootballdraftcalculator.com, is going undrafted in 8,10,12 and 14 team leagues, despite being arguably the best skill player on a team that plans to pass the ball more. Hey! Speaking of that…

Mornhinweg’s Philadelphia Passing Game Rankings

Year Tm

Att

Yds

TD

Int

NY/A

2006 PHI

8

3

1

2

3

2007 PHI

7

10

12

11

18

2008 PHI

4

6

8

21

12

2009 PHI

10

10

10

7

11

2010 PHI

11

9

8

9

12

2011 PHI

13

9

11

31

7

2012 PHI

7

13

25

15

2

The above table shows Mornhinweg’s pass rankings during his time in Philadelphia. As you may already know, the West Coast Offense is a system that places a heavy reliance on quick passes to open up the running game. During his tenure with the Eagles, Mornhinweg’s offense finished in the top-10 for passing yards six out of seven years and passing attempts five out of the seven. Considering the emphasis on a short passing game, Kerley’s shiftiness should be utilized extensively in the new Jets Offense. Also, seeing as Mornhinweg’s system has a reputation of being QB friendly, and he has historically gotten production out of underwhelming receiving corps, the Jets may have more success throwing the ball this year than one would initially think.

The final thing to note about Kerley is that, for a potential undrafted receiver, he has a pretty high ceiling when entered into RotoViz’s WR Similarity Score. Throwing out the game against San Diego (where Greg McElroy, in his only start of the season, spent 40% of the game picking turf out of his head) Kerley’s N+1 projection when plugged into the calculator is as follows:

Kerley

Standard

Half PPR

PPR

Low

3.8

5

6.3

Median

6.3

8.1

9.8

High

8.3

10.2

12.3

As a means of comparison, here’s what Cobb and Shorts project to as well.

Cobb

Standard

Half PPR

PPR

Low

5.7

7.6

9.2

Median

7

9

11.1

High

8.5

11

13.4

 

Shorts

Standard

Half PPR

PPR

Low

6.5

8.3

9.9

Median

7.4

9.3

11.3

High

8.6

10.9

13.1

When you’re looking for players at the end of the draft or in free agency, you want to find guys with high ceilings. In the upper quartile, Kerley projects to average just over 8 points per game in a standard league and an excess of 12 in PPR leagues. For a receiver that can be acquired for next-to-nothing, that’s pretty good. And remember, the App does not take into account that the Jets will be running a completely different offense tailored perfectly for Kerley’s skill set, which means these projections are probably undershooting.

Ultimately, picking up Jeremy Kerley at the end of your draft (or off waivers!) is a no-risk, high reward move that could end up benefiting you as a WR3 or an emergency starter down the road. All signs point to a better year through the air for the Jets and Kerley figures to be a big part of that.

 

 

 

 

 

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