This post is part of a series of articles where various RotoViz writers name their favorite buy low for dynasty fantasy football, with a look at the 2016 NFL season and beyond. At the conclusion of the series, the authors will get together to rank the various nominations in one final post. In this installment, Scott Smith discusses his pick, Michael Floyd.
There is a long standing tradition here at RotoViz. Every year we pen insightful diatribes touting Michael Floyd as a breakout candidate. You can read about him here, here, here, here, here, and here (you get the point). Inevitably the narrative is the same and goes something like this:
- “Larry Fitzgerald is old.”
- “If Floyd gets more targets…”
- “Floyd has great metrics and college production.”
I am sure you have probably heard it all before only to be disappointed. I could rehash the definition of insanity and the perils of doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result, and maybe I am insane…BUT…I will take a stab at this for one more year and try to convince you to acquire my favorite dynasty buy low: Michael Floyd.
NEW YEAR, SAME STORY
Fitzgerald is a year older and will be 33 years old in 2016. What Fitzgerald did in 2015 was nothing short of amazing. However, if you were impressed with Fitzgerald’s numbers, it’s arguable that Floyd’s output was equally impressive. According to Pro Football Focus, Floyd bested Fitzgerald in fantasy points per target, yards per reception, yards per target and even had a higher points per snap average. He did all of those things acting as the Cardinals deep threat, while seeing less of the high volume/high percentage targets that were afforded to Fitz.
When taking a look at Carson Palmer’s production through the AYA App, it’s interesting to note the similar production across the board for Arizona’s top WRs. Over the last two years Fitzgerald and Floyd are both sitting at 9.9 AYA. If Fitzgerald has a drop off or gets injured in any way, it’s conceivable if not likely that Floyd picks up more of the targets and routes that Fitzgerald runs.
OPPORTUNITY IS STILL KING
After looking at the efficiency numbers for Floyd in 2015, it’s easy to come to the conclusion that what Michael Floyd really needs is opportunity. Looking at the 62 games of Floyd’s career, there is a clear difference in the game production when Floyd sees opportunity.
As you can see, in games where Floyd was afforded five or more targets he produced as a bonafide WR2. Extrapolated over a 16 game season, 238.3 PPR fantasy points would have made him the WR16 in 2015.
As Floyd’s appointed legal defense, I believe it is important to note that Floyd got off to a bad start in 2015 by dislocating three fingers in the preseason. In the first two weeks, Floyd began the season on the injury report for this injury. It is understandable that a team would be cautious including Floyd as a primary focus of their offensive game plan in those weeks. If we exclude the Week 17 game when Arizona pulled their key players during a blowout loss to the Seahawks, Floyd finished up the year going over 100 yards receiving in five of six games. While it could be considered cherry picking a bit, a look at Floyd’s comps in the WR Sim Score App after removing Weeks 1, 2, and 17 shows a very favorable outlook for 2016.
The Cardinals picking up the option year on Floyd’s rookie contract is further endorsement of how Arizona views Floyd.
ENTERING HIS PRIME
At this point in his career Floyd is entering his prime. At 26 years old, I believe Floyd’s most productive years are ahead of him. Even if you are not as optimistic as I am, I think it’s important to evaluate Floyd from a cost acquisition standpoint especially when looking at the incoming crop of rookie WRs.
Over the last two years we have been spoiled by talented rookie WRs. This year is much different. Though he may be the first WR off the board in fantasy drafts, I find it hard to value Laquon Treadwell or any of the WRs in this draft as the 1.01. There doesn’t seem to be a consensus top WR in this draft. I would also venture to argue that if Floyd were in this draft he would easily be the top WR prospect. Just a quick comparison of Floyd versus Treadwell shows that Floyd’s college career average market share of receiving yards of 0.31 is higher than Treadwell’s best college single season market share of 0.29. While the combine has yet to take place, it’s also reported that Treadwell is expected to run betweed 4.6-4.7 in the 40, making Floyd a more athletic prospect as well. Other WRs in this draft are not without similar question marks.
If you own 1.01 in your rookie draft, I would implore you to seek out the owner of Michael Floyd and explore the option of trading 1.01 for Floyd and a later pick in the first round. Even if you are not inclined to trade out of the top spot, I have seen Floyd go for a 2nd rounder, which is great value. At this point I would rather have the known quantity of Floyd than waiting on the adjustment to NFL life for many of the rookie options in this year’s class.
Michael Floyd is a 26-year old WR in a plus offense with an All-Pro caliber quarterback. After a season that saw John Brown reach the 1,000 yard mark, it is likely that someone out there is tired of waiting on Floyd to break out. A slip in Fitzgerald’s production or defenses paying more attention to Brown could lead to more targets for Floyd. Based upon his past production that would seem to be the missing ingredient to Floyd making the jump to WR1 numbers. Savvy owners should find more than enough meat left on the bone after paying the price to acquire Floyd. Call me crazy, but I’m willing to take the chance and double down yet another year.