Fantasy Football Equity Scores: Eric Decker, Michael Floyd And The Value Tier
June 13, 2016 | C.D. Carter
Every player tier is going to present some sort of market inefficiency, but you’ll be hard pressed to collect a truck full of value in the opening few rounds of a fantasy draft.
It’s in the fifth, sixth, and seventh rounds that we’ve traditionally scene massive equity scores present themselves. Very often the equity can be found in a guy’s best-case scenario, as indicated by his high equity score (using the Rotoviz similar score app as a baseline tool). We should, however, be maniacal about spotting high median equity scores in this part of the draft. We’re certainly not in oh-well-he’s-a-flier mode, so a nice, high median score remains important.
Many of the wide receivers listed below appear to be safe investments at their current ADPs. Several, including Kevin White, Allen Hurns, and DeVante Parker don’t appear to offer much in the way of upside, though I think there’s an argument to be made for two of those guys — Parker and White — to have better high-end prospects.
For White, the assumption would have to be that Chicago will be such a stinking dumpster fire that Jay Cutler will be forced to the air as the team abandons its run-first fundamentalism from 2015 (only seven teams had a lower percentage of passing plays). This would surely be ruinous for Cutty, but I would be happy to chase that potential receiver volume for White and Alshon Jeffery if I was comfortable in the assumption that the Bears would be a bottom-barrel team in 2016.
Parker has a higher ceiling than the one listed below if you believe he’ll take away a good chunk of the 23 red zone targets Jarvis Landry saw in 2015. At four inches taller and 10 pounds heavier than Landry, Parker profiles as a more traditional red zone threat. That sort of touchdown upside could easily lead to Parker skyrocketing through that high equity score of six.
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* I suppose Decker’s ADP is squashed in mid-WR3 territory because of the Jets’ uncertainty at quarterback. Well, remember thatRyan Fitzpatrick is not good, while Decker is the opposite of not good. Decker has managed 13.7 fantasy points per game in 14 games with Geno Smith under center for Gang Green. Decker in 2014 — serving as the team’s No. 1 receiver — saw double digit targets from Smith six times. He averaged 87.6 yards and 0.6 touchdowns in those contests. In other words, he’s done just fine when Geno is dropping back to pass and he’s a central part of New York’s game plan. It doesn’t really matter if Decker doesn’t hit his high projection here — his median prospects would make him something close to a season-changing value for your fantasy squad. You’d be hard-pressed to find another receiver who is sure to see 130 targets in this part of the draft. Equity scores begged us to take Decker at WR49 in 2015. I’ll target the ultra-efficient red zone maven once again in 2016.
* Floyd, a fantasy non-factor for most of the first half of the 2015 campaign, managed WR22 numbers over the second half of the season (on just 6.5 targets per game). Floyd’s 2016 player comps are on the hideous side until you (admittedly) cherry pick a little bit and throw out the first half of the 2015 season. Then you get comps like Jordy Nelson in 2014 (WR2) and A.J. Green’s 2015 (WR8). While Floyd’s median prospects don’t exactly leap off the page and punch you in the eye socket, his high equity score might be too good to pass up in this part of the draft. Something that surprised me in evaluating Floyd: his yards per target (YPT) is much lower than I thought. He notched a 9.6 YPT in 2015, which ranked 22nd in the league. Floyd was 26th in YPT in 2014. That lends some credence to the thought that Floyd could be more than a boom-or-bust deep ball receiver who proves maddening in every format but best-ball, as it’s very unlikely he’ll eclipse the 17 percent target market share he saw in 2014-15.
* The Moncrief hype train — the name of my next album, for what it’s worth — has a thousand conductors, all frothing at the mouth and pumping up the third year receiver’s ADP with every passing summer day. Probably Moncrief will be taken in the WR25 range in sharper leagues, but here, at his deflated WR35 ADP, he is an irresistible bargain if you trust that Andrew Luck will be upright and throwing throughout 2016. Moncrief, the sturdy 222-pounder, saw a whopping 20.6 percent of the Colts’ targets during the first six weeks of 2015, including six red zone looks. Moncrief was WR20 when Luck was declared out for the season. Indy ranked 6th and 10th in passing play percentage in 2014 and 2015, respectively. Luck will continue to throw plenty of passes in 2016, barring some unforeseen and drastic change in offensive philosophy. Moncrief was on pace for 130 targets in 2015 (he ended up with 105). I’m very much into any pass catcher who could see that much opportunity in a Luck-led passing attack, available in the middle of the seventh round. This wouldn’t be the first time that equity score analysis pointed us in the right direction on Moncrief.
* One would have to have a lot of faith in Seattle converting from one of the NFL’s run heaviest teams to one of its pass happiest to believe Lockett’s best-case scenario will be a whole lot better than the one listed above. Lockett saw 14.6 percent of the team’s targets in 2015. Even if you bump that to 20 percent — a rather big assumption — the little receiver will see less than 100 targets. He’ll have monster weeks, I have no doubt. But I can pass on Lockett at this ADP and sleep without night terrors.
* I believe equity scores are down on Hurns for the same reasons they were down on Allen Robinson. And if you project the Jaguars to be better this year than they were in 2015, it could be not-so-great news for Jacksonville’s No. 2 receiver (though the below out of split numbers would still put Hurns in the WR25 range). Does he project to be a disaster? No. Will he win leagues? No.