A few years ago, RotoViz OG Kevin Cole created a formula for determining which teams were the best landing spots for rookie wide receivers. In fantasy and real football, performance is a function of opportunity. Whether the opportunity was created through talent, draft position, or lack of competition, it doesn’t matter. All that matters is raw opportunity because targets are the lifeblood of fantasy scoring.
Kevin’s formula attempts to parse the relationship between quarterback and receiver average draft position (ADP). A higher drafted QB will presumably throw for more yards and touchdowns than one with a lower ADP. Receivers are the ones who will accumulate the catches, yards, touchdowns, and fantasy points. Theoretically, by analyzing the relationship between public ADP between a team’s QB and receivers, we can see which part of the equation is undervalued versus the other.
First, let’s look at the historical relationship between quarterback and receiver ADPs.
I’m using Kevin’s original formula for this exercise. The critical features of this formula are as follows:
- The receiver value calculation is the inverse of ADP: the last pick in a 20-round, 12-team draft (240), minus ADP. You then add up all the values for WRs and tight ends to come up with the combined score.
- The receiving stats accumulated by running backs in an offense are accounted for by discounting the receiver value calculation by the percentage of receiving fantasy points to running backs.
- QB rushing production is also accounted for by discounting the receiver value calculation by the percentage of QB fantasy points from rushing, not throwing.
It’s fair to assume that QBs are more reasonably valued than receivers according to ADP, given that QB performance is more consistent year to year. Wide receivers on teams below the trendline are likely undervalued, and those teams could also represent great landing spots for rookie wide receivers.
Using the RotoViz Best Ball ADP App for Best Ball10’s, we have the most accurate and up-to-date assessments by current drafters. Looking at the ADP from the app, here is the landscape of quarterback/receiver relationships before the NFL Free Agency commenced.1