Jacob Rickrode’s article about players with surprisingly similar stats inspired the concept for this article. I’ve been using the ADP Arbitrage App a lot this draft season, in an attempt to unearth values at different points in the draft. Here’s an interesting case study.
These three receivers posted similar target and reception lines last season.
Our subject player is a second-year player who posted a surprisingly good rookie season. He’s being drafted as his team’s top receiver this year, with the expectation that he returns WR1 value. But he also appears to be priced at his ceiling.
COMP 1 is a third-year receiver. He’s bigger, more athletic, and in a favorable situation for 2014, and is over a full round cheaper. COMP 2 is a smaller, young veteran wideout whose been very reliable and efficient in his career, and is now playing with a new, pass-heavier team. He comes at almost a four round discount to our subject player.
The Case Against Keenan
I outlined the full case here, but in brief: San Diego became much more run-heavy as last season progressed, his schedule is tougher this season, and the return of Malcom Floyd and potential Ladarius Green breakout may cap his upside.
The Case for Tate
I must admit, I was a bit surprised to see Golden Tate show up as a comp for Allen. But he finished last season within one target and one catch per game. He’s also going to a team that attempted 90 more passes than Allen’s 2013 Chargers, and 214 more than his own 2013 Seahawks.
It’s almost certain then that Tate will have the opportunity for more targets in Detroit. His ceiling isn’t sky high however; he’ll be the number two target after Calvin Johnson, and Detroit has a lot of other viable receiving options. In my own projections, I have Tate posting WR2 fantasy numbers.
That still represents a great return on his WR35 ADP, a WR1 finish doesn’t appear likely for Tate. Tate might better be thought of as an arbitrage play on Brandin Cooks, who is being drafted five spots ahead of Tate. No really, that’s kind of silly to have a rookie who is probably his team’s third receiving option going ahead of Tate, let alone Eric Decker. But for this exercise, although I like Tate at his ADP, Allen wins.
The Case for Michael Floyd
Michael Floyd is probably the better, more intriguing comparable. Similar size, and very similar production when compared to Allen. It’s conceivable that he could be the Cardinals’ number one receiver this season. The presence of Larry Fitzgerald opposite him didn’t hinder Floyd’s 2013 campaign, and there’s no reason to expect it will in 2014, either. He’s one of our top breakout candidates for 2014.
Shawn Siegele’s recent projections have Allen finishing as WR8 and Floyd as WR13, so Allen may very well outscore Floyd. But the return on investment, based on ADP, is greater for Floyd. And the final difference in projected scoring is just 18 points, or about one point per game. That’s important, but maybe accounted for in the price difference.
As I said yesterday regarding Eric Decker, it’s not strictly an either/or proposition. You could take both Allen and Floyd. But since they have very similar projections , the price differential makes me lean in favor of drafting Floyd over Allen.