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Why Draft Maclin in the 5th When You Can Have Cooper in the 9th?

Editor’s note: The article has been written by RotoViz subscriber, message board member, and a member of our Armed Services, Mr. Matthew A. Berry. Not to be confused with ESPN’s Matthew Berry. Although combined they do have about 600,000 twitter followers.

My obsession with mock drafts and finding value might be what some consider unhealthy, although I’m sure Rotovizians can completely understand. I was recently in a mock draft when I stumbled upon something very interesting. Why draft Maclin in the 5th when I can get equal production from Cooper and only give up a 9th round pick?

Leading Receiver

With D-Jax gone to DC that leaves Cooper as the leading returning receiver for a Chip Kelly led offense. As good as Maclin has been throughout his career he has yet to post a 1,000 yard season, or even surpass 70 receptions.1 I hope for him the best in his recovery from a torn ACL,  but it still remains that some players aren’t the same after a significant injury like his. With Maclin’s ADP in round 5 according to Fantasy Football Calculator that makes Riley a very appealing prospect in round 9.  The difference in price is at least something that is worth considering.

Potential Outcome

Using the AYA App I was able to see that in 2013 Nick Foles posted an AYA of 14.26 when targeting Cooper; for comparison, he posted 12.72 when targeting D-Jax. Convinced yet? I wasn’t either, but I was close. So I went to the Sim Scores; check out what I found (Full PPR). You’ll see a comparison to Jordy because when I looked at Cooper’s Sim Score, Jordy was a comp for him so I compared the two in the Sim Score to see which one it liked better.

PPR R.Cooper J.Nelson
Low 8.1 11.6
Med 13.3 15
High 15.2 16.3

Note that I removed weeks 1-4 for Cooper since Foles wasn’t the QB yet. The starting game plan wasn’t implemented for Foles until week 6, and Cooper didn’t break out until week 6. The Sim Score likes Jordy better, but when you take the median score for both and extrapolate the numbers, that puts Cooper at 212.8 points on the season. That would’ve been good enough to finish as WR19 in 2013, but he’s currently being drafted at WR39.  Jordy finishes at 240, so he would finish two spots ahead of Cooper as WR17 in 2013 and he is currently being drafted at WR8.

Freak Scores

Size matters at WR, at least I think so but maybe that’s because I play for #TeamBigWR. Jordy and Riley are almost identical in terms of height, weight, and 40 time. Both stand at 6’3. While Jordy weighs in at 217 and clocked a 4.51, Riley weighs in at 222 and clocked a 4.53. Maclin is a smaller WR standing at 6’0 and weighing 198 with a 40 of 4.45 (40 time is pre-ACL injury). I’m not suggesting Cooper is better than Nelson, or even Maclin for that matter.  I’m really just looking for cheap production, because, well, I like a bargain just like Justin Winn.  I was curious as to what the freak score calculator had to say about it, so I plugged the three in and this is what it had say.

Cooper – 66

Nelson – 65

Maclin – 53

It’s interesting that Cooper comes out ahead and supports the idea to pass on Maclin and target Cooper later to make your draft more efficient.  This also suggests Cooper could see success in the NFL in an offense with Chip Kelly at the helm and Foles slinging the rock.  I’m not suggesting that Cooper is better, I’m just not suggesting that he’s not. Also, perhaps Maclin doesn’t really warrant a 5th round pick. We all search for draft day bargains and values to make our teams better. Passing on Maclin and targeting Cooper might help us get that championship we’re all chasing.

  1. For reasons he could break that trend read here  (back)

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