Our RotoViz dynasty league starts 3WR, a WR/RB flex, and a WR/TE flex. By the 7th round I had taken 2 RBs and 4 WRs and was tempted to go WR again just for the hell of it. But I decided not to because Vernon Davis was still available. Even though I think there are other TE options available late in the draft that are competitive with the top (healthy) TEs, I decided to roll with Davis. I’ll briefly explain my thinking below, but I’ll also offer a hat tip to Evan Silva because he mentioned Davis last night on twitter and that sent me to PFR looking for evidence.
— Evan Silva (@evansilva) June 5, 2013
Delanie Walker is gone. If you look at the table below and add Walker’s targets to Davis’ targets, you can get to 100 targets. That’s good. It wouldn’t be enough to make Davis the top TE in the league on its own, but it’s a good place to start.
SF 2012 Targets
|Ted Ginn Jr.||2||2||100.00%||1||0|
But then there’s also the issue of Michael Crabtree’s targets. Out of the 49ers pass catchers, who is most qualified to take Crabtree’s targets? The answer for that is partially in the table above (only Kyle Williams averaged a higher yards/target number than Davis) and partially in the table below. Going back to 2009, no one in the NFL has a higher red zone TD rate than Vernon Davis (minimum 25 red zone targets).
Red Zone TD Rate 2009-2012 (Minimum 25 Targets)
|Player||Targets||TD||RZ TD Rate|
Davis is red zone efficient and the 49ers will be right to throw him the ball more. But he’s really just efficient in general.
Picking up Delanie Walker’s target is part of the argument, picking up some of Crabtree’s targets is another component, and then Davis’ efficiency that will allow him to do more with less targets is the rest of the argument.
The elements that are in place for Davis this season are close to the same elements that were in place for Jimmy Graham when he broke out. Graham had been extremely efficient in 2010, and the team let Jeremy Shockey leave as a free agent.
Also be sure to check out Jon Krouner’s article on Davis, which has some additional information that I didn’t cover.