This is part of a bi-monthly series called Dynasty Stock Market. The March installments can be found here and here. The February installments can be found here and here. The January installments can be found here and here.
The Packers, Giants, Saints, Broncos, Bengals, Raiders, Vikings, and Redskins. That is the entire list of teams that had two wide receivers both finish higher than the Ravens did last season.
Mike Wallace was the overall WR22, and Steve Smith was WR37, both handily beating their ADPs, which were lower than disaster-pick Kamar Aiken. Wallace and Smith’s out performance led to both having win rates in the top 23 of 107 qualified wide receivers.
None of the other teams with two WRs finishing that high have vacated as many WR targets, without making any material acquisition at the position.
|Team||2016 WR1 (Market Share)||2016 WR2 (Market Share)||2016 WR3 (Market Share)||Additions||Subtractions|
|Packers||Jordy Nelson (24.8%)||Davante Adams (19.7%)||Randall Cobb (13.7%)||None||None|
|Saints||Michael Thomas (18.2%)||Brandin Cooks (17.6%)||Willie Snead (15.7%)||Ted Ginn||Brandin Cooks|
|Raiders||Michael Crabtree (24.6%)||Amari Cooper (22.4%)||Seth Roberts (13.1%)||None||None|
|Redskins||Pierre Garcon (19.2%)||DeSean Jackson (16.9%)||Jamison Crowder (16.7%)||Terrelle Pryor, Brian Quick||Pierre Garcon, DeSean Jackson|
|Broncos||Demaryius Thomas (25.9%)||Emmanuel Sanders (24.7%)||Jordan Norwood (6.3%)||None||Jordan Norwood|
|Bengals||Brandon LaFell (19.7%)||A.J. Green (18.5%)||Tyler Boyd (15.0%)||None||None|
|Vikings||Stefon Diggs (19.2%)||Adam Thielen (15.7%)||Cordarrelle Patterson (12.0%)||None||Cordarrelle Patterson|
|Ravens||Mike Wallace (17.5%)||Steve Smith (15.2%)||Breshad Perriman (10.0%)||None||Steve Smith, Kamar Aiken|
So why isn’t the dynasty value of Wallace and Breshad Perriman higher?
(Side note: I really like Willie Snead at that price, but I don’t think that accurately reflects the rise in his cost following Brandin Cooks being traded.)
There is an obvious argument for having the others higher than Wallace, but that case would not be in concert with also having Perriman as low as he is, juxtaposed to the rest of the group.
Wallace is by far the oldest, turning 31 this summer, but is also coming off the best fantasy season, and owns four of the five 200-point seasons posted by that entire group combined. Both Perriman and Josh Doctson have the draft profile that predicts success but have also had alarming, athleticism-threatening, early-career injuries. Snead and Jamison Crowder have the early career résumés that predict success, but not the draft profile.
Terrelle Pryor is a really, really unique situation, having played quarterback in college and in the early part of his NFL career, only to explode out of dormancy to have a 140-target, 1,000-yard season at 27-years old. He is extremely difficult to compare or to make any kind of prediction about.
That aside, it’s really tough to justify all three Washington WRs being valued so much higher than both Ravens. That’s not even taking into account that they also roster the dynasty TE3, who is also a top-50 overall startup pick.
Doctson is such a question mark due to lack of playing time, potentially career-threatening Achilles injuries, and already entering his age-25 season. Pyror was only signed to a one-year contract, at the crossroads of what should be his prime, in such an unusual career. Jordan Reed is one hit away from career concussion number seven and likely retirement.
All of this means Crowder’s path to a major role in this offense, this year and beyond, isn’t hard to envision, but it also leaves a possible scenario where there just isn’t enough work to make any of the WRs exceptionally productive. It’s extremely difficult to imagine any kind of possible scenario where at least one (and maybe more) of these guys doesn’t absolutely crater in value over the next 12 months.
This article about the Cardinals having the three most expensive WRs was unfortunately hindered by hindsight and should have been written about the Redskins, who actually had the three highest-finishing WRs in fantasy. With the WR23, WR31, and WR38, as well as the TE9 (and TE1 in PPG), there’s no reason to doubt Kirk Cousins and Jay Gruden’s passing attack, even with offensive coordinator Sean McVay taking his talents to
South Long Beach.
It just collectively doesn’t make a ton of sense when compared to the Ravens, after a season where Wallace finished higher than Pierre Garcon and Crowder, and 38-year old Smith finished higher than DeSean Jackson.
The most predictive offensive team stats year-over-year are passing completions and attempts — the Ravens had the second-most completions and the most attempts in football last season. It’s not a coincidence that they also led the league in passing attempts the season before last, which helped project the high likelihood their WRs would vastly outperform their ADPs.
Their 21st-ranked 20 passing touchdowns are alarmingly low, but that’s far less predictive than passing yards, which they were 12th. The Redskins’ 42 total offensive touchdowns to the Ravens’ 30, their roughly 900 more total yards, and 53 more plays run, is certainly significant. It really shows in adjusted-net-yards-per-attempt, where the Redskins were fourth best, and the Ravens were seventh worst.
Is that really enough to warrant three Redskins WRs and a TE all being taken way before any from Baltimore?
Free agent acquisition Danny Woodhead should certainly siphon some of Smith’s vacated 102 targets (he’s one season removed from totaling 106 targets), but Wallace and Perriman were already at 183 combined last season. Aiken and Kyle Juszczyk vacate another 99, and skepticism should be high that Dennis Pitta comes close to recording 121 again.
Targets are the lifeblood of fantasy scoring. Perriman turns 24-years old in September and is entering the prime age range for WRs, while Wallace still hasn’t left it. The free agent WRs available are down to scraps, and it’s a questionable incoming rookie class.
When considering all of this, the current dynasty value of Wallace and Perriman appears too low, especially in comparison to the Redskins.
Updated from 2016. Top WRs burn fast, but if holding a career producer in Dyno, they hold water until ~32 years old. pic.twitter.com/NIL4hFMs9B— Rich Hribar (@LordReebs) February 21, 2017
Discussed with @joshnorris last week how atrocious this WR class is in the draft. Top of WR depth charts around league mostly set post-FA.— Evan Silva (@evansilva) March 13, 2017
Kevin Cole’s methodology for calculating available wide receiver opportunity loves Baltimore, placing them second only to Los Angeles (R).
While Kevin uses this theory to describe opportunity for an incoming rookie, it’s equally applicable to theorizing created opportunity for the WRs already on the roster. At least, for those in a situation where they are expected to, at worst, maintain their role; and, are likely to inherit work of former teammates.
Pro Football Focus’ Pat Thorman agrees that Wallace’s opportunity looks ripe, for at least this year, and Perriman “will almost certainly add to his target total”.
Charles Kleinheksel weighed last year’s fantasy points scored against the implied expectation of this year’s average draft position, and it put Wallace as the third most undervalued redraft WR. That’s immensely encouraging for a method that’s not even taking into account the vacated targets by teammates.
With Wallace and Woodhead on the roster, the opportunity for a WR drafted by the Ravens this year would likely not come until at least the 2018 season. Wallace’s value is obviously in his production, while Perriman still has a lot of value based in potential, and the dramatic rise he would see as a result of a breakout season in his third year. Both are too cheap, and represent the kind of potentially valuable exploitation of the dynasty marketplace that these articles focus on.