I guess technically you shouldn’t have to sign up to not do something, so the title of this post is farcical, but I just want to make the record clear.
Sanders is currently being drafted as the WR28 and you can see based on the ADP Arbitrage App that his nearest comps are being drafted closer to the waiver wire.
The reason for Sanders’ elevated ADP is simple. Peyton Manning.
However, the problem is that it’s not like Sanders is coming to DEN from a team with a bad QB. In fact you might even argue that Ben Roethlisberger would have been better over the past couple of years if he wasn’t throwing the ball to Sanders. Here’s some data from the AYA App:
|Ben Roethlisberger||Antonio Brown||WR||262||171||2171||13||4||8.59||8.29|
|Ben Roethlisberger||Emmanuel Sanders||WR||161||96||1099||7||7||5.74||6.83|
You can see that Roethlisberger’s performance on passes directed at Sanders really took a hit compared to passes that went in Antonio Brown’s direction.
It’s also not the case that Sanders is in for a huge volume increase. He’ll presumably fill the role vacated by Eric Decker, and while Decker saw more targets in 2013, it was only about 17% more than Sanders saw.
So that increase in ADP is really just the Peyton Manning glow. However, it’s worth noting that the DEN 2013 schedule included a number of teams that were prone to getting into shootouts, or couldn’t stop anyone on defense. In 2014 they get SEA, SF, ARI, STL instead of the NFC East. Then they’ll also see the revamped defense that the Patriots have been putting together. SOS is tough to predict, but the Broncos will go from one of the easier schedules to one of the more difficult ones over their first 9 weeks. I wouldn’t make this my only point in a piece, because SOS is tough to predict, but I do think that only a 100 year storm made four options fantasy relevant for DEN in 2014. It’s unlikely we see that 100 year storm again.
I think there’s definitely a place where Sanders would become a value, it’s just not at his current ADP. If he were closer to WR40 or so that would price in the volatility that you’re likely in store for with a smallish WR on a team that has a number of other options.
In short, why pay WR28 prices for the 4th option in an offense1 when you can still get the best pass catcher in a number of other offenses later? I would rather have Eric Decker, Mike Wallace or Kendall Wright than Sanders. They’re all the lead pass catchers in offenses that will need to get them the ball in order to score. The Broncos need to get the ball to Emmanuel Sanders like they need Josh McDaniels to come back.
- that is almost sure to regress, perhaps in part because of Sanders (back)