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Why Buy Dante Pettis When This WR is Cheaper?

I’m a dented can kind of man — if I can get the same product for cheaper and spend the savings elsewhere, I’m in.

That’s the concept behind our “Why Buy?” series, which is inspired by Fantasy Douche’s Getting Something for Nothing article penned back in 2013.

Whatever you want to call it — arbitrage, discount shopping, or simply fading overpriced players — there’s no shortage of opportunities buy knock-off, dented-can versions of a more expensive player this season.

Let’s kick off the 2019 series with by asking — why buy Dante Pettis when this WR is cheaper?

The Pricey Pettis

Going by the ADP market, Pettis is the presumed No. 1 wide receiver on a 49ers offense that finished a disappointing:

  • 21st in plays
  • 22nd in points
  • 20th in pass attempts

There will be a volume rebound with the return of Jimmy Garoppolo, but Pettis is still playing in a relatively deep, if not overly impressive, receiving corps.

In fact, Pettis, Marquise Goodwin, and Jordan Matthews all have the exact same 8.4 expected points per game over the last three seasons.

San Francisco also spent a ton of early round draft capital on WRs, selecting Deebo Samuel in the second and Jalen Hurd in the third.

So the 49ers have now added three WRs this offseason, and I’m supposed to buy Pettis as the clear-cut winner of the bunch in the seventh round?

Here’s a better way to buy five to six targets per game.

What About Bob?

Robert Foster went from 24-year-old UDFA rookie to the second-leading receiver on the Bills. He may not have Pettis’ draft pedigree, but it didn’t matter much once the games started.

Their rookie seasons were strikingly similar, stalling through most of nine weeks before both finding their footing in Week 10.

Both players led their team in receiving from Week 10 onward; in that stretch, Foster had:

  • More yards/game than Pettis
  • More receptions/game
  • A better target market share

Pettis gets the slight edge in overall point pace on the power of his superior TD rate.

Conclusion

I’m not out here trying to sell you on Foster. His rookie comps weren’t very good, but neither were Pettis’.

Like the 49ers, the Bills also added target competition in John Brown and Cole Beasley, and all three of those guys are likely to see fewer targets than Zay Jones, who racked up 6.38 per game last year.

But as NFL rookies, there was very little separating the stat lines of Foster and Pettis. Now, both are playing in what looks to be full-blown WR-by-committee situations, yet Pettis is being priced at something close to a clear No.1. He’ll need injuries around him to fulfill the league-winning potential that his rising ADP implies.

Given the similarities, I’d much prefer Foster in the 12th/13th rounds, or even Pettis’ teammate, Marquise Goodwin, a round later.

Image Credit: Bob Kupbens/Icon Sportswire. Pictured: Dante Pettis.

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