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Medium Sized WRs, Davante Adams, and the Girl Next Door

NCAA Football: Colorado at Fresno State

Last week I wrote about which small WRs were worth your rookie picks and discovered some pretty intriguing differences between successful small WRs and unsuccessful WRs. This week I’ll be looking at WRs who are either 6’1 or 6’2. Just like last week, I’ll be pulling from the sample Shawn Siegele used in his WR Holy Grail post.

These medium-sized WRs always interest me the most because they’re not the physically dominating guys who everyone has their eye on and are often reached for on draft day based on size alone, but are still guys who can fill the WR1 role on your fantasy team and often come at a slight discount. Of course, these guys usually don’t offer the massive upside of big guys like Calvin Johnson, Demaryius Thomas, and Brandon Marshall, but are often lumped in with guys in the 5’11 range just because they don’t have the body type that makes you look twice.

Our sample consisted of 13 hits and 41 misses.

 msYRDSmsTDSDRR AgeWeight40 TimeVertRZTDR
Hits37434023.12064.493535.4
Misses29282923.32044.483526.6

One of the most interesting things in this study is that age doesn’t seem to be an area where hits and misses differ much. It would be wrong to toss age out of our evaluation of medium sized WRs, but it isn’t nearly as important to this group as it was to the smaller WRs. The differences between weight, 40 time, and vert are pretty much non factors. As expected, the hits had a much higher DR than the misses, but had a msTD score of 15 (!) points higher than the misses. Just as it was for the smaller WRs, market share of TDs is a very decisive factor. Exploring the idea of weighing msTDs more than msYards to create a more predictive DR would be very interesting. Just as I did with the small WRs, I explored RZ TD rates for each group to figure out why the hits were scoring more TDs. Hits had a RZTDR of almost 9% higher than misses. Unlike what we found in small WRs, that’s a pretty big gap. The 9% RZTDR difference would give hits about 2 more TDs than misses if they both saw 20 RZ targets. 2 TDs may not seem like a lot, but when were talking about a share of a team’s TDs its a pretty big deal.

2014 Rookies

Now that we’ve figured out that msTDs and RZ TD rate are what really separates good 6’1-6’2 WRs from the bad 6’1-6’2 WRs, which 2014 prospects should get a little boost in our rankings and which ones we should slap red flags on?

Allen Robinson probably takes the biggest hit of the entire group. Robinson had a good DR at 37.5, but his msTD score is only 29 with a RZTDR of 6%. It’s probably important to keep a tab on a WRs RZTDR throughout their college career since RZTDR can be effected by things like bad QB play. In his defense, Robinson did have a RZTDR of 33% accompanied with a msTD score of 46 his sophomore season. So maybe he’s really more of a ~20% RZTDR guy. Donte Moncrief also takes a little hit with our new findings. Moncrief had a msTD score of 25 and a RZTDR of 13%. Just like Robinson, both of those numbers were much better his sophomore season. Then again, all of Moncrief’s numbers were better his sophomore season.

Two guys who aren’t getting talked about as much as they should be, Alex Neutz and Quincy Enunwa, had msTD scores of 48 and great RZTDRs. Keep those names in mind as your rookie drafts start to wind down. Davante Adams should also see a significant bump in your rankings now that you’ve read this. Adams caught 50% of his teams TDs and had a RZTDR of 36%. Those TD numbers are as real as they come and when we’re clearly undervaluing TDs they mean even more than they appear to. Adams is not only undervalued in the NFL world, but also in the fake football world. He’s sort of like the girl next door. He’s not going to catch your eye right away, you’ll over look him a ton, but as time goes on you’ll realize he’s exactly what you need. Go get him, buddy.

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