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Tavarres King: What’s He Worth?

tavarresking

 

 

News broke late yesterday that the Packers were interested in signing Denver practice squad player Tavarres King. That would have meant an automatic spot on the 53 man roster. As it turns out (as of now), King wants to remain in Denver and it appears that Denver will be promoting him to their 53 man roster as a result. So what to do about him in fantasy?

One could argue that the only thing better than getting a chance to play with Aaron Rodgers would be getting to play with Peyton Manning. On the other hand, the path to playing time is much clearer in Green Bay (James Jones and Randall Cobb injured) than it is in Denver (everybody healthy). Nevertheless, no stone should be left unturned in the Denver offense, so here goes.

To refresh your memory, King was a 5th round draft pick of the Broncos. He’s neither particularly big (6′, 189) or fast (4.47 40). He ranked 20th in our pre draft rankings of WRs. He was released during the final round of roster cuts and signed to the Broncos’ practice squad.

The Comps

There have been some very good (and very forgettable) WRs drafted in the 5th round or later. Let’s start by comparing King to his most recent comps: WRs drafted in the 5th round of the 2012 and 2013 drafts.

Except for Criner (6’3″, 224), these players are all 6′ or 6’1″ tall, and between 189 and 201 pounds. None of them lit the world on fire as college players, but King holds his own, posting decent yards/target and red zone TD rates. Courtesy Football Study Hall, here’s a different look at the college productivity of these receivers.

Year Player Targets Catches Yards CatchRate YdsPerTarget Target % YdsPerCatch Target No.
2012 Tavarres King 68 42 950 61.80% 14.0 20.0% 22.6 1
2012 Kenny Stills 123 82 959 66.7% 7.8 22.4% 11.7 1
2011 Juron Criner 106 75 956 70.8% 9.0 19.2% 12.7 1
2011 Danny Coale 82 60 904 73.2% 11.0 21.2% 15.1 2
2011 Marvin Jones 122 62 846 50.8% 6.9 29.4% 13.6 2

King’s yards/target and yards/catch ranked 3rd and 4th respectively, among all college receivers with at least 30 targets in 2012, which is pretty impressive. He was also the primary passing target for his offense.

Turning to Mock Draftable, we can see how King compares to the entire class of 2013 WRs. Again, nothing spectacular physically, but a couple of interesting names do show up in his comparables.

 

Obviously two good names (Reggie Wayne and Torry Holt) in a list of 10 comps don’t indicate that the player will turn out to be great. But it is somewhat hopeful- especially for someone you might add via waivers to your fantasy team. Even The Douche found King intriguing.

Here’s something else that’s hopeful.

Player Height Weight 40 Draft Round
Tavarres King 6’ 189 4.47 5th
Austin Collie 6’1” 200 4.56 4th
Reggie Wayne 6’ 198 4.45 1st
Pierre Garcon 6’ 210 4.42 6th

The point of this table isn’t that Tavarres King is as good as these guys (although he might be). The point is that this type of receiver can have success in a Manning offense.

OK, So What?

So King appears to have decent, but not great, talent, and decent, but not great athleticism. What’s the upside? The upside of course is the possibility of Manning throwing him the ball. There’s no way King gets on the field unless Demaryius Thomas, Wes Welker, or Eric Decker get hurt. Unless…maybe…the Broncos wrap up homefield advantage early and start resting players with a week or two left in the season. Even so, that’s not much to pin your hopes on.

Still, as a cheap handcuff to any of the aforementioned receivers, King might be worth keeping on your radar, or adding if you’ve got a deep bench and/or extra FAAB. If you have one of them on your team, you could swap King for Juron Criner, Marvin Jones, or even Danny Coale. Criner and Coale have done nothing to date and have been passed by Brice Butler and Terrance Williams respectively, and Jones is the 6th option (with the worst catch rate) in the Bengals passing game. King would seem to have as much chance of playing and higher upside than any of these guys. But if your redraft team has a short bench or it’s otherwise strong at WR, I’d pass.

In dynasty leagues, however, if you’ve got a deep bench, I’d definitely consider adding him. Eric Decker is a free agent after this season. Wes Welker costs $6 million for next year, and Demaryius Thomas is a free agent in 2014. A shakeup of the Denver receiving corps seems possible, in which case King may have a golden opportunity.

This may not be the type of pickup that’s exciting in the preseason, but at this time of year, it’s doubtful that many other players with decent talent will come available.

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