2013 Rookie Receiver Rankings (Post-Draft Version)

Hopkins

In the week leading up to the 2013 NFL Draft, I published my contrarian WR rankings. Based on the Dominator Rating and Height-adjusted Speed Score concepts, those rankings were an attempt to evaluate the reality value of the prospects. With the draft concluded and dynasty rookie drafts in full swing, these are my fantasy rankings that incorporate NFL Draft results. While I believe draft position has a big impact on fantasy viability, opportunity alone isn’t enough at the wide receiver position. As a result, I still strongly emphasize reality skill and athleticism in guesstimating future fantasy value.

RotoViz exhaustively studied many of these prospects leading up to the draft. I’ve embedded a link to that information in many of the player names.

1. DeAndre Hopkins – DR .40, HaSS 98

As I detailed in my breakdown of the PFF Dynasty rookie draft, Hopkins went to the perfect team to have short term value as the No. 2 behind Andre Johnson and to have long term value as he eventually swaps roles with the aging monster. Some are concerned about the Texans’ recent penchant for the running game, but I’m a believer in Matt Schaub and don’t think teams can remain run-based for any length of time in the contemporary NFL.

2. Tavon Austin – DR .30, HaSS 89

I’ve been very down on Austin, but he goes to the perfect team to take advantage of his skills. I also recently finished an article for the upcoming PFF Draft Guide that is more optimistic about possession receivers than the one I penned a year ago. Part of succeeding at fantasy sports – or anything for that matter – is a willingness to incorporate new information and upgrade your projections accordingly. Call it waffling if you must, but I’m coming around on Tavon. One small caveat to keep in mind, Chris Givens, Daryl Richardson, and Isaiah Pead are all small, in-space players, so there may be significant competition for these types of touches.

3. Corey Fuller – DR .38, HaSS 107

It may seem strange to dramatically upgrade a 6th round receiver, but Fuller has a lot going for him. As RotoViz recently pointed out, he’s the only guy in this entire draft who’s over 200 pounds, ran a sub-4.45 forty, and didn’t suck last year. That on its own is pretty significant. He’s also a guy that I figured the Dominator Rating incorrectly for originally because I missed that he played in only 12 games. Finally, the Lions make an incredible landing spot. With Megatron seeing his usual coverage, Ryan Broyles operating underneath, and Reggie Bush catching dump-offs out of the backfield, Fuller should see plenty of daylight.

Continue reading 2013 Rookie Receiver Rankings (Post-Draft Version)

2013 Draft – A Successful Ruse

Rip Riley: I’m setting the autopilot, but this better not be a ruse. 
Sterling Archer: A ruse? Brrring, brrring. Hello. Hi, it’s the 1930’s. Can we have our words and clothes and shitty airplane back?

 

These draft wrap-up columns are an attempt to help readers find all Banana Stand-related content on the recent NFL Draft. The following are my Top 10 teams in the grades I issued for RotoViz. The Jets managed to draft my No. 1 ranked player at No. 39 overall, which counts as a successful ruse by any definition. New York fans will simply have to hope I understand NFL player projection better than Sterling understood how autopilot worked.

Click on the team for a more in-depth look at their draft strategy and new rookies. Click on the player to brush up on their prospects in upcoming rookie drafts.

1) New York Jets A+

In Cracking the Geno Code, I’ve explained why the scouting criticisms are malarkey. His newly fired agents have been bashing him in back channels, which should help you land RotoViz’s unanimous No. 1 QB at a substantial discount in rookie drafts. He’ll put Mark Sanchez in the rear view mirror early in training camp.

2) Pittsburgh Steelers A+

Le’Veon Bell possesses an elite Agility Score and the Steelers agreed with me on his draft profile. They may have just gotten the next Doug Martin. (Ryan Rouillard’s awesome new projection system confirms that he should be the first pick in rookie drafts.) While the Jags drew all the wrong conclusions from their analytic work, Pittsburgh added key parts to their roster. Ben Roethlisberger will really appreciate the help as he tries to make their offense work sans Mike Wallace.

3) Baltimore Ravens A

Arthur Brown will be the top IDP in rookie drafts, and Aaron Mellette was an absurd value at 238. He could win the Week 1 starting job opposite Torrey Smith. I still think Joe Flacco may have negative roster value at his new salary. Look for more on that in the near future.

4) Houston Texans A

DeAndre Hopkins was the best match of value and need among skill position players. He should form a formidable 1-2 punch with Andre Johnson and help rejuvenate Matt Schaub. The Texans will need the passing game if Arian Foster’s malaise extends another year.

5) San Francisco 49ers A

I’m souring on the trio of Marcus LattimoreVance McDonald, or Quinton Patton, but the 49ers landed each at a value while also adding significant defensive talent. Colin Kaepernick should be well-stocked with weapons for years to come.

6) Green Bay Packers A

Eddie Lacy may have led the NCAA in success rate, but that’s a pure nonsense stat. He remains an enigma as part of an Alabama timeshare. Johnathan Franklin doesn’t fit into one of my priority draft profiles and should settle in as a low value satellite back. Now that I’ve had more time to reflect, I’d probably give them a lower grade, but they did select my pre-draft No. 1 receiver.

7) New Orleans Saints A-

The new NFL villains made value picks in selecting Kenny Vaccaro and Terron Armstead. This grade represents turnabout as I’ve been bashing the Saints’ pick of Mark Ingram for three years. This evaluation doesn’t take the ridiculous Chris Ivory trade into consideration. Pierre Thomas gained a bunch of fantasy value on draft weekend.

8) Detroit Lions A-

Ezekial Ansah may have the most star power of any player in this draft. He’ll be a monster next to Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley. Expect Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson to love the Corey Fuller selection. He’s a stealth favorite to lead rookie WRs in 2013 scoring.

9) St. Louis Rams F/A

Tavon Austin is a super-charged version of Dexter McCluster. So . . . ehh? Stedman Bailey may be the best receiver in the draft. Zac Stacy is an Agility Score star. RotoViz enthusiasm has started a grassroots campaign to make Stacy the top rookie RB. In terms of fantasy furor, Isaiah Pead was so last week. As for Daryl Richardson, is he still on the roster?

10) Washington B+

Not an interesting draft from a fantasy perspective. Chris Thompson eviscerates Roy Helu’s sleeper value. Alfred Morris, aka Terrell Davis 2.0, just yawned and then broke five more tackles.

 

I previously tackled teams 11-22 in a pineapple-inspired I’ve Heard It Both Ways.

For teams who choked their selections, be prepared to Return to the Darkest Timeline.

 

Shawn Siegele has finished in the Top 10 of the NFFC’s Main Event Classic for two consecutive seasons and is one of only a handful of players to own three or more Main Event league titles. He also contributes to Rotoviz and works as the Lead Redraft Writer for Pro Football Focus Fantasy.

2013 Draft – I’ve Heard It Both Ways

“That is my partner, Sh’Dynasty. It’s spelled S, H, Comma-to-the-top, Dynasty.” – Shawn
“Comma-to-the-top?” – Jordan
“That’s a God’s Comma.” – Gus

These draft wrap-up columns are an attempt to help readers find all Banana Stand-related content on the recent NFL Draft. The following are the teams ranking between 11 and 22 in the grades I issued for RotoViz. Consider it flip-flopping or waffling or what-have-you, but as far as the draft day execution for these franchises goes, a decent argument could be made in either direction.

As the other Shawn would say, I’ve heard it both ways. (Just don’t get Other Shawn confused with Other Barry.)

11) Cincinnati Bengals B

Tyler Eifert is the clear cut top TE prospect, but is he an upgrade on Jermaine Gresham? Gio Bernard profiles as the second coming of Kendall Hunter, which might make it difficult to hold off Rex Burkhead.

12) Seattle Seahawks B

Christine Michael was the top-rated running back in my pre-draft Banana Stand rankings. He looks a lot like a more powerful version of Matt Forte. Most see his path blocked by Marshawn Lynch, but Skittles may not be long for the roster. Don’t sleep on Michael in dynasty drafts.

13) San Diego Chargers B

Jon Moore didn’t like Keenan Allen even before the pro day debacle, but I’m more impressed by his high impact 2011 in a bad offense. Philip Rivers desperately needs a true intermediate threat. Allen should beat out Malcom Floyd in the battle to start opposite Danario Alexander.

14) Cleveland Browns B

The Browns didn’t do much on offense, which gives a big vote of confidence to guys like Brandon Weeden, Trent Richardson, and Jordan Cameron.

15) Kansas City Chiefs B-

Nobody is going to be the next Rob Gronkowski, but Travis Kelce is a real sleeper. Knile Davis was better than Marcus Lattimore in 2010, just don’t tell that to those selecting the S. Carolina star in rookie drafts. If Jamaal Charles goes down, heaven forbid, the Chiefs finally have a guy who could step in.

16) Chicago Bears C

Marquess Wilson is a guy to keep an eye on if he doesn’t pull a Dwight Jones. Jay Cutler has to like the focus on upgrading the O-line.

Brief Interlude: The RotoViz apps are starting to take the internet by storm. Don’t be last to the party. Or the stream of consciousness version: Let me take this chance to opine app level twilight red twenty. Nonsense! You say. To a point, but with a purpose.

17) New York Giants C

According to the RotoViz composite QB rankings, the Giants’ play for future draft value would have worked better with Tyler Bray than Ryan Nassib. Eli Manning might have preferred a different skill position sleeper.

18) Tennessee Titans C-

Although a tantalizing athlete, Justin Hunter’s SEC comparables aren’t very strong. After sandbagging for two years, the Titans are finally ready to let Jake Locker air it out to Kendall Wright and company.

19) Arizona Cardinals C-

At least the Cardinals avoided Mike Glennon. How much confidence can you have in Rashard Mendenhall and Ryan Williams if you waste picks on Taylor and Ellington?

20) Atlanta Falcons C-

The Falcons could have used an upgrade on Jacquizz Rodgers, and Kenjon Barner would have been perfect for the role. Tony Gonzalez should have one more good season in him, but Levine Toilolo is a disappointing attempt at filling the eventual hole.

21) Indianapolis Colts C-

Ryan Grigson’s dubious offseason continued, but Kerwynn Williams was an intriguing selection. Vick Ballard isn’t a feature back.

22) Denver Broncos C-

The last time Denver drafted a high profile back with suspect athleticism they got stuck with Knowshon Moreno. Ronnie Hillman is the contrarian play for fantasy value in the Broncos’ backfield if he can grasp how to protect Peyton Manning.

 

* For those teams about which no dissembling was possible, check out 2013 Draft – Return to the Darkest Timeline.

** Did you spot the pineapple? If not, here’s some bonus pineapple for the road.

 

 

Shawn Siegele has finished in the Top 10 of the NFFC’s Main Event Classic for two consecutive seasons and is one of only a handful of players to own three or more Main Event league titles. He also contributes to Rotoviz and works as the Lead Redraft Writer for Pro Football Focus Fantasy.

 

2013 Draft – Return to the Darkest Timeline

Constable: Those Blorgons nearly peppered our biscuits. We got out just in time.
The Inspector: More accurately, Constable, we got out just in space.

 

Over the last several months I’ve done a lot of work on the 2013 rookie class for RotoViz, the internet’s emerging football analytics power. Following the draft, I posted grades for each of the franchises as a means of aggregating the work done on the prospects by the entire RotoViz team.

A few of those pieces are experiencing existential crises of their own as they float helplessly in the vast stretches of ether. If you missed any of those columns, I hope this acts as a signpost to find your way. Click on the team names to get the full article on your franchise of choice, or on the other links to scout a future fantasy player.

If you’re looking for a strategy session on upcoming rookie drafts, take a quick gander at my contrarian review of the 2013 first round of the Pro Football Focus Dynasty IDP league.

Abed doesn’t see any reason to get all emotional about it, but he believes ten NFL squads have returned to the darkest timeline.

23) Miami Dolphins D+

Many still believe the Dolphins needs someone to push Lamar Miller other than the underwhelming Daniel Thomas. Mike Gillislee is all the rage in rookie drafts even though his comps don’t show up on NFL rosters.

24) Minnesota Vikings D+

Greg Jennings gives Minnesota a true intermediate receiver, and Jarius Wright may provide a deep threat. The Vikings agreed with Matthew Freedman on Cordarrelle Patterson, ignoring my worries over his market share miasma.

25) Dallas Cowboys D+

Dez Bryant is the superstar and Miles Austin the post-hype bounceback candidate. Terrance Williams probably doesn’t project as a fantasy viable player in his own right, but his presence should help the other receivers.

26) Tampa Bay Bucs D

This is a make-or-break season for Josh Freeman, but the Bucs didn’t make any progress drafting Mike Glennon. If Tampa wanted a Blaine Gabbert clone, they could have just waited for the 2014 offseason and picked up the real thing.

27) Carolina Panthers D-

The gap in perceived value between Gio Bernard and Kenjon Barner is surprising since the former Duck is probably the better player. Unless he can play WR, the Panthers still didn’t get a bargain. Cam Newton needs more opposite Steve Smith than Brandon LaFell.

28) Oakland Raiders F+

With a return to the power blocking scheme, Darren McFadden gets a big boost to his fantasy value. For all those concerned about his injury woes, Latavius Murray instantly becomes a fantasy sleeper. If you take Murray’s Pro Day numbers at face value, his Speed Score eclipses the incumbent. Even after a strong minicamp, Tyler Wilson doesn’t project as an immediate threat to Matt Flynn.

29) Philadelphia Eagles F

Zach Ertz may be a media creation. Matt Barkley doesn’t project as a future a star, but the Eagles see some Drew Brees.

30) New England Patriots F

Recent history suggests Bill Belichick can’t scout WRs. It may be the only thing he can’t do. Danny Amendola won’t face a lot of WR competition for targets from Tom Brady.

31) Jacksonville Jaguars F

The Jags drew some strange conclusions from their analytic work, but I applaud the effort. Meanwhile, Chad Henne projects as the Week 1 starter.

32) Buffalo Bills Z-

Time to stop blaming Buddy Nix and start worrying that new GM Doug Whaley was actually responsible for the egregious mistakes of the 2013 offseason. The Bills rank last despite selecting the underrated E.J. Manuel.

 

Shawn Siegele has finished in the Top 10 of the NFFC’s Main Event Classic for two consecutive seasons and is one of only a handful of players to own three or more Main Event league titles. He also contributes to Rotoviz and works as the Lead Redraft Writer for Pro Football Focus Fantasy.