We face these decisions constantly. Chicken or steak? Coke or Pepsi? Beer or hard cider (maybe not that one). Boneless or bone-in wings? Anyway, the same thing happens in fantasy football. Player A or player B? We sit and ponder, looking at all the statistics, strength of schedule, looking for any recent news that may sway our decision. I am hoping with this ADP Duel series to pull together actionable information that will make our draft day decisions a little bit easier.
ADP, easy as 1,2,3 . . .
Judging by the talk I’ve seen on Twitter, the statistics Antonio Brown put up last year mean he’s in for regression this year. And when you consider Alshon Jeffery had his best games with Josh McCown under center (match-ups were heavily favorable for McCown and Jeffery), deciding between these two receivers will be one of this year’s tougher decisions.
Alshon Jeffery vs. Antonio Brown- Game Splits
I typically start these duels by look at the splits between the two players when they face top 10 pass and rush defenses. These splits are from the 2013 season. Despite facing tougher pass defenses, both receivers did not see much of a drop in fantasy points, roughly two points worse for each of them.
Alshon Jeffery vs. Antonio Brown- Heatmap
Jeffery showed tremendous improvement in his sophomore year. The most noticeable improvements were his almost 100 percent increase in targets, which rose from 4.8 to 9.31. He more than doubled his receiving yards from year one to year two and he received 26 percent of his team’s targets, which is as much as most teams’ number one receiver. In Brown’s first year in the absence of Mike Wallace, he improved in every category except his reTDRT which remained the same–and also matched Jeffery’s.
Alshon Jeffery vs. Antonio Brown- AYA
The AYA app is an interesting tool at RotoViz. Justin Winn looked at some AYA red flags and all-stars earlier in the year. AYA stands for adjusted yards per attempt, a variation of yards per attempt that factors in touchdowns and interceptions. What this app does is let you see how efficient a quarterback is when throwing to a given target. When looking into AYA for each player, I used the stats from the 2013 season.
This is a fairly limited sample from Jeffery, since Cutler was knocked out early in the year. Marshall’s AYA with Cutler is 7.88, so both receivers are similar in that respect. One thing I noticed is that Big Ben completed nearly 66 percent of his passes to Brown, while the Cutler to Jeffery completion percentage was at 56 percent.
Questions- Alshon Jeffery
– Can the targets even out between him and Brandon Marshall?
– Is Jeffery worth his ADP?
Questions- Antonio Brown
– Is Brown due to see regression?
The case can be made for either of these players. No matter who I choose here, some people will disagree. However, there are no ties in a duel. Somebody has to win. Brown had a career year last year. On the left side from Pro Football Reference, we have receivers since 2007 (who are active) that have had at least 1,400 receiving yards, 100 receptions, 13.6 yards per reception, and 90 yards per game. The only player on that list more than once is Andre Johnson (three times). It appears there is a significant chance Brown will regress this year. It is difficult to maintain that sort of production on a consistent basis.
On the other hand, Jeffery is competing for targets with Marshall on the opposite side, but Jacob Myers points out that Jeffery should see more TDs this year. There will be weeks where Jeffery dominates the stat sheet, but how consistent will it be?
It’s close, but I’m going to give Antonio Brown the win here. He never had any less than 50 yards receiving or less than five receptions in any game last year. He’s also not fighting for targets with another elite receiver. Brown gives you the safe nurturing feeling that your early picks should provide for you.
Whether you agree or disagree, I’d love to hear why. Feel free to tweet me or post in the comments below.