This time back in 2017, I was smitten with Kenny Golladay, but in the year 2018, I’m selling and fading the man dubiously dubbed “Babytron.”
It started with this well-crafted piece of propaganda by Neil Dutton last summer, where we were enticed by comparisons to Alshon Jeffery and Davante Adams. I subsequently snapped up the 6-foot-4 leaping machine in every rookie dynasty draft.
The legend only grew when Golladay lit up the preseason, and the hype hit new heights when he scored two TDs in his NFL debut.
Despite that, I’ve sold off Golladay in two dynasty leagues and am fading him in best ball drafts in 2018.
These are three reasons why.
Kenny Golladay: No. 3 WR
With an overall ADP of 148th, Golladay’s price isn’t out of control, but he’s relatively expensive compared to other viable No. 3 WRs around the league.
Like he did last year, Golladay will start the season behind Golden Tate and Marvin Jones. There is talk on the Twittersphere that Golladay can carve out a role as a 1b behind one of these guys, but there’s no real evidence to support the notion.
Jones and Tate are proven and consistent producers, putting up 4,111 yards and 22 TDs between them in just the last two seasons.
The duo can flat out play, and projecting Golladay to surpass one of them in targets seems like hope disguised as strategy. Since 2013, the Lions’ No. 3 WR has averaged just nine percent of the team’s targets.
If we give the Lions 600 pass attempts (about their average over the past five years), that puts Golladay at 54 targets. Let’s give him the benefit of the doubt and say that the opening left by Eric Ebron allows for above-average target share of 12 percent. That would mean 72 targets. At his rookie average of 9.9 yards per target, that would equate to a 712-yard season.
Not bad, but not exactly league winning, and that’s also a something of a best-case scenario, barring injury to someone in front of him.
Yes, we’re ageists at RotoViz, but it’s backed by science.
Golladay will turn 25-years old this season, and that does not bode well for his fantasy fortunes. The great work done by Blair Andrews this offseason has changed the way I use age to evaluate prospects, and age is a signal.
I’m interested in players who have the best probability of success, and 23-year-old rookies have achieved a top-24 season just a touch over 10 percent of the time.
We can also observe Golladay’s age working against him when using the RotoViz Screener to find his most comparable rookie seasons. The only name of encouragement here is Donte Moncreif, and he played at 21-years-old, making it something of a questionable comparison.
The third reason I’m fading Golladay is because the hype is getting real once again.
Beat writers were hailing his improved power and route running during padless practices, and we can see that his ADP is well ahead of his fellow WR3 contemporaries.
I want to believe in Golladay, but the research tells me he’s a bad bet, so I’m selling high in dynasty where I’m able to do so.
I admit, the hype and TD upside make him enticing in best ball leagues, but drafting him at ADP means missing out on a player like Cowboys’ No. 1 receiving option, and former 1,000-yard WR, Allen Hurns, and/or an upside RB like Corey Clement.
If you think Golladay can buck the trends, he may be worth a hold in dynasty, but barring injury, the upside isn’t there in 2018.