For part one, round one, of this series, head over here. That will get you caught up on the methodology and earlier rounds. Let’s take a look at projecting second year performance for WRs drafted in round three.
Here’s how third round WRs have performed, rookie year vs rest of career (ROC):
|Set||R G||R GS||R Rec||R Yds||R msYds||R TD||ROC FPG||% Increase|
- Compared to players drafted in rounds one and two, here we see the biggest difference between the “JAGs” and the Hits in terms of games played.
- Here is also where we start to see some diminishing returns, in terms of absolute results. The ROC performance between a third round hit, and an average (non-hit) first round pick is only about 1.5 FPG. That’s still a decent amount, but much less than we saw in the earlier rounds.
- For distinguishing between the average and Hit third rounders, the rookie year performance spreads are pretty narrow, compared to the spreads for second round WRs. That makes it a bit harder to distinguish the eventual hits.
- Interestingly though, both third round cohorts show larger percentage jumps in ROC FPG than either cohort from the first or second round.
Third Time’s a Charm
Here are the third round WRs drafted in 2013.
|Player||R Games||R GS||R Rec||R Yds||R msYds||R TD||R FPG||R FP|
- Marquise Goodwin fails to reach Hit level in any category. Not surprising, given how icky Goodwin was as a prospect. Nothing more to say about him in this article, but he’ll surface again when I talk about WRs drafted by the same team in the same year.
- Frankly, I kinda feel the same way about Markus Wheaton. His best-case comparables coming out of college were Jeremy Maclin and Kendall Wright. But since I kinda like Maclin, maybe I should feel better about Wheaton?
- It comes down to how much of a pass you give Wheaton for his rookie year injury situation. Just based on his actual production, he’s barely worth mentioning. However, there are a few things going for him. Recommendations from two writers I really respect certainly help. More important is the (so far) likely usage scenario in Pittsburgh, where Wheaton is “penciled in as the #2 WR“. If he keeps that role, he’s almost assuredly useful this season.
- Wheaton is currently the 47th WR drafted in dynasty startups, and the 50th in redraft. Personally, in redraft, I’d prefer Golden Tate, who goes 7 picks later (WR53). You could also get Stevie Johnson, Brian Hartline, Greg Jennings, or James Jones after Wheaton. I’m not saying those guys will have better seasons, but they’re known commodities. Wheaton is just an expectation of potential, that wasn’t realized last year, being realized this year. I understand that this late in redraft, you’re often going for “upside”, so I don’t have a big beef with taking Wheaton there. But I’m also not convinced it’s the best move. Tate will play in a higher volume offense, probably, and the other guys could arguably be the WR1 on their respective teams.
- In dynasty, Wheaton is going a half round ahead of Brandin Cooks, whom we liked here and here. He’s also going ahead of Robert Woods, Golden Tate, and Donte Moncrief, among others. I’d personally rather have any of those three.
- This plot from the WR Sim App pretty much sums up why I’m not interested in Wheaton. While all of his comparable players had better N+1 seasons, how many of them would you really want?
- That brings us to the two guys who are likely to be hits among this cohort: Terrance Williams and Keenan Allen. Allen obviously had a super impressive rookie season and if you’ve got him, you’re holding.
- That said, Allen is currently the 10th WR drafted in dynasty start ups. That’s not necessarily outlandish, but history shows that the best-performing rookie WRs seldom go on to be the best long term WR from their draft year. The only thing I’d suggest with Allen is that, if you’re WR corps is already strong and you have a glaring need elsewhere, you could probably flip and take advantage of what is probably a high water mark in his value. It’s unlikely that Allen will represent such a huge part of the Charger offense going forward as Ladarius Green will be worked in and the Chargers have also been rumored to be in the market for a rookie WR.
- What about Terrance Williams? He handily bests the criteria for a third round hit; in fact he does pretty well matching up against the criteria for a second round hit. He’s got a great WR across from him and plays in a high volume offense. All good. On the other hand, he’s old- he’ll be 25 this season- which has some serious negative implications. His upside isn’t that high, and his best comparables are much younger.
- In dynasty start ups, he’s the 33rd WR off the board. That kinda makes sense, if you agree with the notion that his long term upside is WR3 level, which is basically what the third round hits are, as a group. However there are several guys going after him that could become WR1s, so I’d hold out for Allen Robinson, or even Cecil Shorts.
- Williams seems reasonably well valued in redraft, at WR 35. The WR Sim App likes him for a healthy PPR projection, too.
- Still, you could get Marques Colston after Williams, who boasts a better high end projection, and higher floor, than Williams.
- That leaves just Stedman Bailey. Just search the site; we really want to like him! Unfortunately, he falls well short of any success indicator for rookie third round draft picks.
- In a vacuum, given how many players the Rams had at WR last year, that managing two starts was a pretty good accomplishment. But historically, other third round WRs were in similar situations, and the eventual Hits managed to produce more than him.
- If you believe in his potential, he’s ridiculously cheap. He’s outside the top 100 WRs in redraft, and is the 79th WR taken in dynasty start ups. So there’s really no harm in taking a flier on him.
- On the other hand, the point of this exercise is that players with his rookie profile don’t go on to have very useful fantasy careers.
- For what it’s worth, the WR Sim App sports several notable comparable players, most of whom had better N+1 seasons:
- Ultimately, I’m not very high on Bailey, partly because of the fact that he was taken in the same draft as Tavon Austin, which I’ll cover in a later article. But since he’s basically free in both dynasty and redraft, there’s no harm in taking a shot on him.