I went into the RotoViz Dynasty League draft knowing I wanted to draft a young squad that would have a chance to dominate in the next couple of years, rather than win immediately. I was originally slotted to pick 9th overall in the 1st round of our veteran draft, but traded my 1st and 8th round pick to Mattek in order to move up to pick 1.06 (I also gained his 26th round selection.) My reasoning for wanting to move up to pick six is simple. Looking at the entire player pool, I ranked six players in my top tier and wanted to make sure I got at least one on my roster. In no specific order those players were: A.J. Green, Calvin Johnson, C.J. Spiller, Jamaal Charles, Doug Martin, and Julio Jones. As it turned out, only two of those players were taken in the five picks before me. But since I only gave up an 8th round pick, I was content with the trade. The way our league is set up, it is possible to start 5 WRs at a time, which was my plan at the start of the draft. Also, WRs tend to have a longer shelf-life than RBs do, so you can get longer levels of top production out of WRs than you can out of RBs.
Here are a few things I liked about A.J. Green:
- Only 24 years old
- Big WR (6’4’’ 207) which tends to offer consistency in fantasy production
- 25 Red zone targets in 2012 which was the most in the NFL
- 8 of his 25 red zone targets resulted in touchdowns. He is very efficient with his high number of red zone targets
- Dalton targets him at a lot
The biggest criticism of A.J. Green’s fantasy future has been about Andy Dalton. Although Dalton didn’t make a huge leap in his second year, he did show improvement. Last year he finished with a QB rating seven points higher, and threw seven more touchdowns, than he did in 2011. In dynasty leagues, the emphasis on a players’ talent level is great because of how fast and often players’ situations change. Taking a look at the freshman and sophomore seasons of the 6 WRs drafted in the first round of the RotoViz Dynasty League veteran draft (Calvin Johnson, Dez Bryant, A.J. Green, Julio Jones, Demaryius Thomas, Brandon Marshall), it is clear how talented A.J. Green really is.
A.J. leads every statistical category on the chart except touchdowns per game. I’d say that’s pretty impressive for a guy many claim is catching passes from an average QB. I think there is an argument that A.J. Green should be the first WR drafted in dynasty formats, because of the big numbers he has put up at such a young age. Not only does Green lead all 1st round wideouts in all but one category, but he has better per-game averages than Calvin Johnson did during his first two seasons.
Using RotoVz’s WR Similarity Score App, and removing his week 17 performance where the Bengals had nothing to play for and rested many of their starters, here is the list of Green’s comparables.
The names and seasons on this list are very impressive. Being listed in the company of guys like Larry Fitzgerald, Randy Moss, Chad Johnson, Anquan Boldin, and Roddy White, while he is only 24, is impressive.
A.J. Green was consistent in terms of fantasy production in 2011, but was even more consistent in 2012. In his rookie year he posted 9 games where he scored at or over 10 fantasy points. In his sophomore campaign he put up 10 or more fantasy points 11 times. In 2011 Green had 3 games where he posted under six fantasy points during fantasy seasons. In 2012, Green dropped that number down to only one game where he failed to score six points.
A.J. Green will be a dependable piece to my team in the RotoViz Dynasty League for years to come. Most dynasty owners are split on the win-now or win-later plan, but Green fits into both plans. Not only does Green provide immediate top five WR production to a roster, but at only 24 years of age, that top five WR production should continue for many years to come. The Cincinnati WR, no matter your approach to your dynasty league, should hold a very high position on your big board. If you’re lucky enough to have a chance to select Green in your dynasty draft, hit the “draft” button and enjoy having a top five WR for the foreseeable future.