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Christian Kirk, D.J. Moore, and WR Values in DRAFT Best Ball

Michael Dubner uses the RotoViz Redraft Rankings to see which WR values are being overlooked in DRAFT Best Ball Leagues

There have been a lot of tremendous changes at RotoViz this offseason, including a revamped rankings page. Here we’ll compare the RotoViz Redraft Rankings to DRAFT ADP to see which players are the biggest values in mid-April.1

RankNameTeamDRAFT ADPRV RankDifference
1Curtis SamuelCAR128.19236.1
2Christian KirkARI105.87332.8
3Corey DavisTEN79.65425.6
4D.J. MooreCAR68.14424.1
5Courtland SuttonDEN97.97522.9

An interesting thing you’ll notice is RotoViz tends to be higher on younger players who are ascending into larger roles. Blair Andrews updated our analysis on WR age curves and found that we should probably be buying players much earlier than we currently are.

1. Curtis Samuel

After being drafted with the 40th overall pick in 2017, Samuel only recorded 15 receptions in his rookie season. However, Samuel made strides in his second season.

While Samuel doesn’t project to be a target hog, his 4.31 speed is useful for creating splash plays, which ideal in best ball leagues. Samuel converted six of his 39 receptions (15.4 percent) into 20-plus yard gains and was able to find the end zone seven times (five receiving and two rushing). Entering his third season, we should expect Samuel to improve on his WR47 season, so there’s little risk as at his current mid-11th round ADP, making him a WR value.

2. Christian Kirk

I’m so happy to see Kirk make this list because he’s currently one of my highest exposures on DRAFT. Kirk was a prospect I was excited about during the draft process due to his young Breakout Age (20.1), strong market share (28.1 percent), and impressive phenom index.

In his 12 games as rookie last year, Kirk averaged 3.6 receptions on 5.7 targets for 49.2 yards per game. But that was on the anemic 2018 Arizona Cardinals offense. The 2019 Cardinals may not be the Chiefs, but they’ve at least upgraded to an offensive-minded coach in Kliff Kingsbury, and are expected to draft analytics-friendly QB Kyler Murray. Although Kirk had a below average catch rate (63.2 percent), his True Catch Rate2 was actually 89.6 percent (12th among WRs). A better offensive scheme and more accurate passes from the Murray-Kingsbury combination should help Kirk realize a catch rate that is closer to his True Catch Rate. After consistently seeing about 20 percent of the targets in 2018, Kirk should continue to see increased usage.

Cort Smith looked into the historical comps for Kirk and laid out the case for why he’s bullish on him heading into year two. Blair Andrews, Dave Caban, and Shawn Siegele all have Kirk ranked inside their top-62, well-above his ADP. Kirk is my personal favorite WR value in fantasy football.

3. Corey Davis

After setting his fantasy football hopes high when he was drafted with the No. 5 overall pick by the Titans, Davis has been fairly disappointing. There are plenty of excuses we can make for Davis, including an injury riddled rookie campaign and a sophomore season that was clouded by injuries to QB Marcus Mariota.

Davis hasn’t only been disappointing though. He’s had flashes that remind us of the hope, which including 161- and 125- yard games in 2018. In 29 career games, Davis has 14 games where he saw seven-plus targets. Finishing as the WR27, Davis’ peripheral stats suggest there’s more meat on the bone, as he was eighth in Weighted Opportunity Rating (0.63).

4. D.J. Moore

The five-most comparable rookie seasons to D.J. Moore’s is jaw-dropping:
Here’s another fun cohort that Moore is a part of — WRs drafted in the top-48 picks of the NFL Draft who recorded 500-plus reYDS as 21-year old rookies.

In his historical comps article series on RotoViz, Cort Smith says

all our metrics suggests that elite production is possible, but he needs the targets, something he started to see after Week 10.

D.J. Moore currently has an ADP of 68.1 on DRAFT. Every one of the RotoViz Redraft Rankers has Moore ranked in their top-57, and two even him him inside of their top 40. More D.J. Moore please.

5. Courtland Sutton

Given that Sutton was 21st in Air Yards but 41st in receiving yards, Sutton’s rookie production was largely fueled by volume, rather than efficiency. Luckily for Sutton, he should continue to see enough volume to fuel a fantasy season that outperforms his ninth-round ADP. Improving his efficiency in his second season would only help the cause even more. I know it’s not fun to associate your WRs with Joe Flacco, but volume is volume.

Let me know who your favorite DRAFT Best Ball values are on Twitter @Michael_Dubner where I provide roster construction and ADP analysis.

  1. I filtered to only include WRs who are being drafted in the first 12 rounds of DRAFTS over the two week period of April 3 to April 17.  (back)
  2. Which adjusts catch rate to only include catachable targets  (back)

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