We’ve spilt a lot of ink around RotoViz recently fawning over Dorial Green-Beckham. Is he a top-five, or even the number-one dynasty rookie pick? Fantasy Douche himself has wondered if Green-Beckham is secretly the most athletic receiver in the class. Considerably less time1 has been spent discussing Devin Funchess. But the more you look into the collegiate production, measurables, and next-level opportunity that Green-Beckham and Funchess have, the more Funchess looks like at least an equal. Now, consider that Funchess was drafted literally one pick after Green-Beckham in the NFL draft yet is going way later in rookie dynasty drafts, and Funchess starts to look like a perfect arbitrage play on Green-Beckham.
Production and Measurables
If Green-Beckham is secretly the most athletic receiver in the draft, then Funchess’ athleticism is a super-duper secret. I understand if you want to discount the pro day stuff, but I’m of the opinion that players who outperform their Combine 40 yard dash times at pro days likely knew that the Combine didn’t accurately represent what they could do. If you could always get a better time at the pro day, why wouldn’t every player run them again? Even putting Funchess’ 40 time somewhere between his pro day and Combine results, you still have to appreciate how fast he is for someone of his size. Funchess’ Agility Score is only around 0.1 seconds slower than Green-Beckham, but his Explosion score is much higher.
The stats portion of the comparison points to Funchess nearly across the board. He has a higher career market share of receiving yards despite playing tight end until his final college season, and his final-year market share numbers both trump Green-Beckham’s. You can argue that Green-Beckham’s production should be viewed more positively because his stats are actually from two years ago after missing last season. But, I think it’s a level playing field since Funchess is over a year younger; the two prospects were roughly the same age in the above seasons.
I’ve written a lot about opportunity scores, so you can get more background here. The important thing to remember is that the score uses ADPs to determine how undervalued a team’s receivers are versus their quarterback. These scores have been updated with only post-draft ADPs and they include rookies. CAR doesn’t have a huge score, but it is much better than TEN’s. Funchess certainly could have more opportunity than Green-Beckham to produce in year one, and thereby boost his dynasty trade value. He benefits from a veteran QB, whereas Green-Beckham will have a rookie learning a new system.
I had done some work recently comparing NFL draft position to PPR redraft ADPs, but it didn’t translate perfectly over to dynasty rookie drafts. Historical rookie draft data are hard to come by, but I found some after searching for Zealots dynasty leagues on My Fantasy League. I scraped the rookie drafts from around 50 leagues over the past five years and used the data as a baseline to compare with the ADPs of the 2015 rookie drafts FD recently scraped.
You can see that Funchess looks slightly undervalued in rookie draft ADP versus his NFL draft position; Green-Beckham looks very overvalued.
Are NFL teams universally undervaluing Green-Beckham? Or, are fantasy footballer so enamored with Green-Beckham that we’re discounting his many risks and only focusing on the upside? I think it’s more of the later, especially when you see how similar of a prospect Funchess is and where he is priced in comparison.
In this year’s rookie drafts, you have a great opportunity to pass using your mid-first round pick on Green-Beckham and potentially get the equivalent in Funchess a round later. This gives you the chance to use the higher value first-round pick for a potential impact running back, and land a high-ceiling WR prospect in the second round.
- Although, still a lot of time. This is RotoViz. (back)