Version four of the RotoViz Scouting Index, which aggregates NFL draft prospect rankings from across the web. Check the first iteration for a full explanation; get the previous iteration here. Things are heating up in prospect-scouting land. This post examines movement at the running back and wide receiver positions.
By way of reminder, these aren’t RotoViz rankings. These are rankings from analysts or sites that use more traditional methods of prospect evaluation. We’re just aggregating those rankings and putting a score to them, so we can get a sense of how both real teams and fellow fantasy football GMs might value these players. I’m also splitting these posts up, to allow more room for commentary.
NFL Draft Prospect Rankings – RB and WR
|RB||AVE RK||SCORE||N||RSI RK||RSI CHG|
Lots of new faces make the RSI this week. It’ll be interesting to see who rises and falls after the combine, and if any new names emerge. The big riser this time around is Alvin Kamara. At 21.4 years of age, he’s neither very young or very old. Perhaps being mocked to the Packers by Todd McShay helped raise Kamara’s value in the RSI. After not appearing in the first two iterations of the RSI, he was ranked at four, and then six sites over the last two versions. His average rank also jumped from 7.5 to 6.2. Jordan Hoover profiled Kamara in October and wondered if he’d even crack the top 100 draft picks. Now there’s some first-round buzz.
Here are the current RB tiers based on current RSI score.
Kamara is now in the second tier, along with D’Onta Foreman. After that, things really flatten out.
One other thing to note is that Joe Mixon’s RSI rank hasn’t changed, despite not getting a combine invite. I guess that’s fair – the scouting sites that make up the RSI are evaluating talent, not trying to project draft slot. For fantasy footballers however, that’s an important note. Since roughly 90 percent of drafted RBs had a combine invite, the odds are against Mixon getting drafted. If he is drafted, it’ll probably be late in the draft. Either way, that works against any short-term fantasy value.
|WR||AVE RK||SCORE||N||RSI RK||RSI CHG|
The RSI top 10 now includes two newcomers: Zay Jones and ArDarius Stewart. Meanwhile, K.D. Cannon plummets from 10 to 20. It’s also worth noting some weakness in JuJu Smith-Schuster’s value. He’s been the No. 4 WR prospect in all four versions of the RSI. But his average rank at the sites underlying the RSI has dropped.
This sort of thing happens every year to one or more prospects. Nothing’s changed about Smith-Schuster since January 3. Is it that the scouting sites have spent more time on other prospects and those guys have moved up enough to pull Smith-Schuster down? Or is it that Smith-Schuster has been analyzed so much that the scouting sites are now nitpicking his game and finding reasons to lower his rank? Whatever his real or perceived faults, Smith-Schuster is the youngest WR prospect in this year’s draft class.
John Ross has seen a very small drop in average rank, but like Smith-Schuster, remains solidly in the top four.
WR Tiers based on RSI score.
You can see there’s actually a bit of a drop from Ross to Smith-Schuster, who’s essentially even with Cooper Kupp. After that the scores flatten out.