If you’ve been playing dynasty for several years now or following this series, you’re probably familiar with how good the 2014 class is.
The RB classes since have been stellar. The WR classes have been spotty at best.
Tons of shade thrown on teams that draft RBs in the 1st round. Zero shade on drafting WRs in the 1st. Not a good look for a position that “Matters”. pic.twitter.com/cbUIF5e6f8— Jacob Rickrode (@ClutchFantasy) March 9, 2019
This tweet is tongue in cheek for the non-fantasy debate that “RBs don’t matter.” It does illustrate the lack of first-round WR production from 2015 to present.
One of the biggest takeaways for me from this research is how not all classes are filled with true dynasty assets.
Here is the 2015 dynasty rookie class. If there’s blank space following a player’s name it means they didn’t finish inside the top-12 quarterbacks or tight ends or top-24 running backs or wide receivers in PPR that year. This table shows the first two rounds of 12-team dynasty ADP, plus any players drafted after Round 2 that finished top at their positions.
The Perennial Studs
Todd Gurley has been a league winner more than once now. His 2016 season was forgettable. Perennial studs can have off years and still be studs. Many jumped off of Amari Cooper after his forgettable 2017.
Reminder: Amari Cooper is already a statistical outlier having produced BIG at age 21-22. If you're betting on him NOT continuing to produce over his career (w/o major injury), you're betting on him being an even Bigger Outlier.— Jacob Rickrode (@ClutchFantasy) October 23, 2018
The vast majority of players that produced big at a young age like Odell Beckham, Mike Evans, Keenan Allen and Julio Jones have maintained their stud status over their careers.
Melvin Gordon’s rookie year was by most accounts, underwhelming. Maybe it was his first round draft capital but the Chargers worked through his issues and he’s become a difference maker in fantasy.
David Johnson only started five games as a rookie and still finished as a RB1. Jeremy Hill only started eight game as a rookie and also finished as RB1. There’s a lesson here for both redraft and dynasty to hold onto those rookie RBs that may not be starting early on. Johnson is currently the only active RB with a 400-plus point PPR season on his resume. He might be undervalued relative to the RBs being drafted ahead of him.
Three Top 24 finishes for Tevin Coleman is impressive considering two of those were playing behind Devonta Freeman. Coleman is reuniting with Kyle Shanahan. Despite the potential timeshare, he has upside.
T.J. Yeldon filled in well for Leonard Fournette last year and might become relevant again in Buffalo playing with two RBs over age 30. Duke Johnson is also a solid bet to produce again in his career.
Tyler Lockett’s 2018 was a masterpiece in efficiency. Russell Wilson had a perfect passer rating when throwing to Lockett.
Including playoffs,— Jacob Rickrode (@ClutchFantasy) January 6, 2019
Tyler Lockett final stats:
61 rec, 1085yds, 10TDs
Only 77 targets, 4.5 per game.
18RBs, 62 WRs, and 15TEs averaged more targets per game than Lockett.
Embarrassing stat for SEA play callers.
The lack of targets is concerning but with Doug Baldwin’s age (31) and health in question, Lockett may be in line for an increase.
Stefon Diggs might already be a perennial stud. He’s been a RotoViz favorite for a long time. Shawn Siegle told you to buy him in February 2016. Diggs turns 26 in November. He has a lot of football left and should continue to be gold to all those rostering him.
Devin Funchess’ 2018 was a letdown coming off his first hit season in 2017. He’s going to be catching passes from Andrew Luck in 2019 and we just witnessed Eric Ebron’s ascendance under Luck. T.Y. Hilton’s highest single-season TD number is seven. Luck has a propensity for TEs, throwing more to Coby Fleener (8), Dwayne Allen (8) and most recently Ebron (13). I only mention the TEs here because Funchess — who played TE in college — might just be a TE masquerading as a WR.