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Target Projections: Martavis Bryant, Allen Robinson and the Rest of the Third Tier

I’m working my way down the wide receiver ADP ranks comparing our staff composite target projections and historical data. I’ve already analyzed the top-12, 12-24, and this year’s rookie class. Now, I’m moving to the third-tier WRs with positional ADP ranks of 25-36. The third tier includes much hyped potential break-out like Martavis Bryant, Allen Robinson, and Nelson Agholor, plus former top-15 producers like DeSean JacksonRoddy White, and Vincent Jackson.

Again, let’s look at the entire data set of targets versus WR ranks for 2013 and 2014. The horizontal lines indicate the slice we’re looking at here, ranks 25-36.


Let’s narrow in and layer the data for 2015 using our staff composite target projections crafted with the Projection Machine App, and the WR ADP ranks from the Best Ball ADP App.


Just like the second-tier WRs, many more names are above the regression line than below, so many look overvalued versus historical data. The name furthest above the line and potentially most overvalued is Martavis Bryant. That doesn’t come as a shock to me, in fact I already wrote a piece specifically on Bryant where I concluded that his efficient play last year won’t necessarily lead to a breakout this year. I didn’t think Bryant would see enough targets, and it looks like the RotoViz staff agrees with a target forecast below 100. His target forecast is more in line with a WR ADP rank in the 40s, much worse than his current WR25 price.

The rest of the names above the regression line aren’t entirely surprising to me other than Roddy White. I’ve been drafting White often in MFL10s under the assumption that people are undervaluing his target potential, but our composite projections says the opposite. I dug a bit deeper into the assumptions behind our projections to figure out how White could only gather a little over 100 targets this year after having 125 in only 14 games last year. First, our staff is projecting a drastic shift in pass/run balance with Kyle Shanahan at offensive coordinator, with Matt Ryan’s pass attempts falling this year to roughly 570 after averaging 630 the last three years. Second, our projection assumes Julio Jones will widen his target allocation from an already high 26 percent1 to 29 percent, while White’s falls to 19 percent. The reason I like this exercise is that it can highlight players like White that I might be too optimistic on. At the same time, I’m not going to totally avoid White going forward because I think our pass attempt projection for Ryan is probably closer to his floor than ceiling. Shanahan likes to run, but he also has to utilize the immense talent ATL has in the passing game.

Vincent Jackson is another older WR I like this year based on a high target expectation, and unlike White the staff seems to agree with me. Jackson looks undervalued even though we see him losing almost 20 targets this year. If he can raise his efficiency with a potential upgrade at quarterback, he’ll be a great mid-round option this year. Jackson’s target projection could even be low as Fantasy Douche sees the potential for Jameis Winston to have a filthy number of pass attempts in 2015.

Allen Robinson’s QB situation isn’t ideal with Blake Bortles. But, there is safety in his 130 target projection. Bortles looks undervalued this year versus his receivers’ ADPs, so both he and Robinson could surprise to the upside in 2015.

Here are all the numbers for you to look through listed by ADP rank. “Rank Estimate” is the player’s estimated ADP rank based on the historical data and his 2015 target projection.

PlayerProj TrgtsADP RankRank EstimateDiff
Martavis Bryant98.42545-20
DeSean D.Jackson114.512633.3-7.3
Jeremy Maclin121.412728.8-1.8
Jarvis Landry112.232834.9-6.9
Allen Robinson128.422924.74.3
Kevin White102.243042.1-12.1
Vincent V.Jackson121.993128.52.5
Nelson Agholor102.533241.9-9.9
Roddy White104.643340.3-7.3
Michael Floyd114.523433.30.7
Charles C.Johnson105.43539.7-4.7
Mike Wallace97.683645.6-9.6

  1. League-wide WR1’s averaged 23 percent in 2014.  (back)

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