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Second Year WRs: Rounds Five to Seven
robert littal
robert littal

Here’s the concluding piece in the second year wide receiver series. Start from the beginning here. I’m lumping the final three rounds together mainly because the overall fantasy relevance of receivers drafted in these rounds is pretty low. But there’s still some useful information to be gleaned.

History Lesson

Here’s how receivers drafted in rounds five through seven perform during their rookie season compared to the rest of their career (ROC).

Set Rd R G R GS R Rec R Yds R msYds R TD R FPG ROC FPG % Increase
all rd 5 9.88 1.03 8.25 118.75 0.04 0.63 1.88 2.38 0.21
hit rd 5 13.50 2.50 23.17 334.17 0.10 2.33 4.49 7.40 0.39
all rd 6 6.52 0.82 4.79 56.12 0.02 0.30 1.12 2.20 0.49
hit rd 6 10.33 1.00 13.33 158.67 0.04 1.17 3.86 7.04 0.45
all rd 7 8.42 0.95 7.44 94.15 0.03 0.42 1.58 2.27 0.30
hit rd 7 11.09 2.64 18.09 228.64 0.06 1.36 3.27 7.52 0.56
  • In the 0.5 PPR scoring format I used for this series, none of these cohorts really makes it into consistent fantasy relevance, maxing out around 7.5 FPG.
  • The seventh rounders outperform the sixth rounders as a group though, in both the overall and “hit” cohorts, and the seventh round hits also outperform fifth round hits, in aggregate.
  • Since 2000, 33 WRs have been drafted in round 6. Only two (Antonio Brown and Marvin Jones) have been really useful.
  • Meanwhile the seventh round has produced only 4 useful playes, out of 55 total: Marques Colston, Pierre Garcon , Steve Johnson, and T.J. Houshmandzadeh.
  • The fifth round, with 32 total draftees, hasn’t really been much better. All you really need to know is that the four best players from this round are Denarius Moore, Johnny Knox, Jeremy Kerley, and Steve Breaston, with Riley Cooper possibly surpassing them with another good year in 2014.
  • So, rounds 5 to 7: 120 WRs drafted, a couple of really good outcomes (Brown, Colston), a few decent outcomes (Garcon, Johnson, Houshmandzadeh, Jones), and some situationally useful guys (Moore, Knox, Kerley).
  • The point of course: there ought to be a really really compelling reason to acquire or hold on to a late round WR.

25 or 6 to 4

Waiting for the break of day
Searching for something to say
Flashing lights against the sky
Giving up I close my eyes
Sitting cross-legged on the floor

–Chicago

Those lyrics pretty well describe how it feels trying to find a lot of good stuff to say about these second year late round WRs. Let’s take a look at the 2013 candidates.

Rd Player R G R GS R Rec R Yds R msYds R TD R FPG R FP
5 Denard Robinson 16 0 0 0 0.00 0 0.00 0
5 Kenny Stills 16 10 32 641 0.13 5 6.88 110.1
5 Quinton Patton 6 0 3 34 0.01 0 0.82 4.9
6 Tavarres King 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
6 Corey Fuller 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
7 Brice Butler 10 2 9 103 0.03 0 1.48 14.8
  • Denard Robinson may be a better RB than WR. He also presents an interesting case study in the danger of relying solely on physical measurables when projecting players. I really encourage you to read the two articles I just linked. They say everything there is to say about Robinson, really, other than that I truly believe he has no shot to contribute as a WR.
  • Corey Fuller. As a Lions fan, I want to like him. I also own him in the RotoViz Dynasty League, where I’ll be holding him, because it’s a 14 team league that starts up to 5 WR, which means in any week up to 70 WRs can be played. That’s about the only scenario I see where he has any value though (and I might still be kidding myself).
  • Fuller did manage to make a couple of notable appearances at RotoViz last year. In this WR value screen article, he made the watch list. And in this article, he shows up as a potential future starter. Don’t get hopeful- I’m going to burst the bubble on these guys in just a minute.
  • Jim Harbaugh supposedly loves Quinton Patton. But then the 49ers are a pretty run heavy team. I suppose Anquan Boldin can’t play forever though, which gives Patton enough potential to be a speculative dynasty add.
  • Brice Butler has good size and managed to start a couple games last season for Oakland, which are both good signs. Just don’t check his projection on the WR Sim App. Or think about how many WRs Oakland has on their roster. Or who their QB is.
  • Here’s the bottom line on these guys: there have been 91 WRs drafted in rounds 5 through 7 who recorded fewer than 2 FPG as a rookie. The best player over the rest of their career? Ronald Curry (5.5 FPG). Second best? Tiquan Underwood. In other words, if they don’t do anything as rookies, these guys tend to do very little rest of career.
  • Kenny Stills is the man of the hour. The one and only guy from this group that should be on your radar at all. His numbers are comparable to a third round hit.
  • Stills produced more receiving yards than any other fifth round rookie WR. The only other fifth round rookie to start as many games as Stills was Denarius Moore. Only Moore (33) and Johnny Knox (45) managed more catches.
  • Those two players average(d) about 9 FPG for their career. Stills has a chance to better that, given his situation in New Orleans’ offense. The WR Sim App gives him a high end projection of 9.8 FPG for this season, and a median projection of just over 8 FPG.
  • He’s currently the 54th WR being taken in redraft leagues. No big argument with that, but you might consider Brian Hartline instead, who is going a half round later and has a better median (11.7) and high (15.5) projection. Then again, Stills will likely see more targets than he did last year, so he could outperform his projection. Like I said, he’s probably appropriately valued where he is.
  • In dynasty, he’s also the 54th WR drafted. To me, that’s a little more problematic. Whether you’re building for the future (Donte Moncrief, Robert Woods, etc.) or trying to win now (Marques Colston, Riley Cooper, Dwayne Bowe, etc.) it seems like there are multiple candidates being drafted later that would be better targets.

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