Photo courtesy of MCT Campus.

Photo courtesy of MCT Campus.

For about a month the RotoViz studisticians have been hard at work on a top-secret content project: The 2013 RotoViz Composite Rookie Rankings! Leading up to the draft, rankings for one position will be released each day. Today, you can survey the composite rookie WR rankings in this piece.

Check here for the RB rankings.  QB and TE rankings to follow.

These rankings were created by six different RotoViz writers, with the intention that they be used to help fantasy players in dynasty leagues. These rankings can be thought of as the distillation of all the content we have been producing since January into a compact set of four simple lists. Since we produced the rankings before the NFL Draft, certain assumptions accompany them, such as the rounds in which players are likely to be drafted, the roles they are likely to play in the NFL, etc. After the draft, some of us will likely put out some articles commenting on how a specific player’s draft status and team affect his value as a dynasty asset, but, in general, these are the rankings and we stand by them.

Note that the composite rank for any given player is not the mere average of the six different ranks he received from the contributors. Rather, in order to avoid the skewed effects of an outlying ranking, we used a simple point system of Frank’s creating to derive the composite rank. In other words, when you see that DeAndre Hopkins is ranked 1.0, not 1.67, don’t worry—that’s intentional.

Given that we balanced considerations of talent, opportunity, and style of play, I think we did a pretty good job. As Frank put it in an email, “This is pretty cool, I would actually probably use the composites before I would even use my own ranks.” For the most part I concur, and I speak on behalf of all the RotoViz contributors when I say that we hope (and anticipate) that you will too.

The six rankers were Frank DuPont, Matthew Freedman Jon Moore, Shawn Siegele, Davis Mattek, and Ryan Rouillard.  Without further ado, here they are—the 2013 Composite RotoViz Rookie WR Rankings!

Player FD rank MF rank JM rank SS rank DM rank RR rank Composite Rank
DeAndre Hopkins 1 1 1 1 2 1 1

To quote Ryan Rouillard, “What’s not to like?”  In a conference that has a strong track record of producing NFL receivers, Hopkins’ 2012 performance was one of the most dominant in ACC history.  Amazingly, he will be only 20 years old on draft night, which puts him in position to join a rare group of 21 year old rookies who contributed immediately.  While his physical profile isn’t elite, the RotoViz staff believes that “if he can play he can play.”  Need proof that Hopkins can play?  He ranks among the leaders in clutch catches and red zone dominance.  Matthew Freedman called Hopkins “the only WR I have no doubts about, if he goes in the first round.”  Watch for teams like the Steelers, Vikings, Texans, Patriots, or Ravens to fulfill that first round request and provide Hopkins with immediate playing time, with plenty of room for growth.

Player FD rank MF rank JM rank SS rank DM rank RR rank Composite Rank
Cordarrelle Patterson 4 2 9 4 1 3 2
Tavon Austin 2 3 3 11 3 2 3
Stedman Bailey 9 4 2 2 4 5 4

In case you missed it, we almost changed the name of this site to DebateCordarrellePatterson.com.  After Patterson received some dubious comparisons, Matthew Freedman set out to defend the Tennessee receiver.  Shawn Siegele countered and the debate raged on here and here.  As you can see, I bestowed the lowest grade on Patterson with the sincere belief that he will be out of the league in five years.  That said, I think the staff’s collective high grade is reflective of the fact that Patterson will get plenty of opportunities, regardless of whether or not he’s any good.  Davis Mattek says: “I assume my counterparts won’t be as high on him as I, but he is just too much of a physical specimen to not be successful.” Some people think Tavon Austin is another Dexter McCluster, and while that is a possibility, his list of NFL comparables is actually pretty strong.  I’m guessing Shawn Siegele is down on Austin because of his HaSS, but the rest of us seem to be in agreement that Tavon Austin will rack up yards and fantasy points from everywhere on the field. Ryan Rouillard says: “Adjusted DR for rushing alleviates the model’s concerns. The tape is borderline comical to watch.” Like DeAndre Hopkins, Stedman Bailey doesn’t have an elite physical profile, but the numbers are historically excellent.  Only three players have ever surpassed 25 receiving touchdowns in a college season: Troy Edwards (27), Randy Moss (26), and Stedman Bailey (25).  Bailey is also a metrics darling as his career graphs show upward trends in MSyards and MStouchdowns, in addition to elite red zone TD rates and yards/target totals.  Despite producing like a #1 WR, he will probably be utilized as a #2, which makes me like him even more.  Matthew Freedman is more concerned with his landing spot, saying, “I think he goes in the second round (and could become the next Isaac Bruce); if the third, this ranking changes drastically.”

Player FD rank MF rank JM rank SS rank DM rank RR rank Composite Rank
Keenan Allen 7 10 10 3 5 7 5
Justin Hunter 5 11 6 5 7 8 5
Terrance Williams 8 7 5 7 13 4 7
Da’Rick Rogers 3 12 8 6 11 6 8

And here we arrive at the “reasons for doubt” portion of our program: for Allen and Hunter, it’s knee issues; for Terrance Williams, it’s his age; and for Da’Rick Rogers, it’s his character. Long before his disastrous 40 time, I was skeptical of Keenan Allen.  The Pac-12 has struggled to produce NFL caliber receivers in recent years and even in his abbreviated season, Allen looked to have hit a plateau.  Ryan Rouillard says, “The production is good enough.  Major question marks surrounding health and its effect on measurables.” Tied with Allen is Justin Hunter, who looked like a slam dunk prospect before his knee injury, but is hard to project based on everything that’s happened since 2011.  Interestingly, he has the 3rd lowest variance of the wide receivers appearing in all six rankings, which I interpret to mean that we all like his upside, but haven’t seen enough to be too eager. Terrance Williams put up incredible stats, but has just an average physical profile.  He seems like a strong candidate to play early, but with little room to develop into an elite option. For Da’Rick Rogers, one has to wonder how his year at Tennessee Tech affected his development.  Can he build upon his outstanding 2011 season that saw him eclipse 1,000 receiving yards in the SEC, or will character issues hinder his transition?  As Matthew Freedman says, “He is hit or miss, only one game this year of over 100 yards, against inferior competition.”

Player FD rank MF rank JM rank SS rank DM rank RR rank Composite Rank
Markus Wheaton 11 5 4 10 12 14 9
Robert Woods 6 9 7 14 8 13 10
Ryan Swope 14 8 12 9 6 15 11
Quinton Patton 10 6 14 12 14 10 12

I call this group “solid but unspectacular.” Markus Wheaton is the biggest lightning rod for controversy in this tier.  I have him ranked 4th while Davis has him at 14th, saying, “Nothing special. Very inconsistent.”  For me, the 4-8 crowd was pretty bunched up, but Wheaton really impressed me during the Senior Bowl, so I pulled a Jonathan Bales move and decided he had the highest floor. When it comes to Robert Woods, this statement from Ryan Rouillard summed it up perfectly, “I question the relativity problem with DR – (Marqise) Lee is relatively A LOT better than Woods but Woods is pretty good in a vacuum.  But staying true to the numbers with this ranking.”  In other words, if Woods wasn’t even the #1 receiver on his college team, how can he be expected to be a solid producer in the NFL?  Well, probably because the other receiver on his college team (Marqise Lee) was otherworldly. About Ryan Swope, Freedman said that “He was perhaps the 2nd best WR in the SEC this year, and his 40 time was unreal” and Davis added that he is “Tavon Austin at a cheaper price.”  If true, those two statements lead me to believe that Swope is an undervalued dynasty asset. Quinton Patton is our highest rated receiver with no BCS conference track record, but the numbers seem to suggest that nothing about him is in short supply.  Rouillard said: “I love his tape, but the numbers tell a different story.”

Player FD rank MF rank JM rank SS rank DM rank RR rank Composite Rank
Kenny Stills 15 15 11 13 9 26 13
Charles Johnson 12 24 15 8 12 14
Marquess Wilson 20 13 21 27 18 11 15
Aaron Mellette 13 22 16 15 25 22 16
Josh Boyce 17 23 17 19 22 25 17
Cobi Hamilton 21 21 19 23 24 20 18
Marcus Davis 23 22 16 29 9 19
Chris Harper 26 20 22 10 23 20
Tavarres King 16 18 18 20 29 20
Chad Bumphis 18 14 25 25 21 22
Jasper Collins 19 13 30 26 17 23
Brandon Kaufman 27 24 17 21 16 23
Mark Harrison 26 29 18 19 24 25
Aaron Dobson 24 28 20 15 30 26
Denard Robinson 28 20 24 17 27
Darrin Moore 19 17 23 28
Martel Moore 16 29 18 29
Marquise Goodwin 30 29 26 23 27 30

Kenny Stills had the greatest variance of any player.  Davis Mattek loved him, saying that the“physical skills are there, 100%.” While Ryan Rouillard graded him much lower. It’s interesting to see Charles Johnson rank 14th on this list.  Apparently everybody except Davis read (and believed in) the article I wrote about him.  My only word of caution on CJ is his age.  Because he took a turbulent route to the NFL, he will be 24 in his rookie season. Despite his rocky exit from Washington State, Marquess Wilson still has fans on the RotoViz team.  Freedman said: “I give him credit for what he did as a freshman and sophomore. I think he can still play.”  Interesting to his dynasty value is the fact that Wilson will still be 20 years old for week 1 of the 2013 season. Aaron Mellette seems to land here as a “why not?” type of pick. Josh Boyce is here because of his combination of play and physical attributes leading Freedman to say: “Great speed for his thick size” Cobi Hamilton has the second lowest variance behind only DeAndre Hopkins.  That said, he’s not getting anyone too fired up with his “lots of yards and almost no TDs,” as Feedman put it. Surprised to see Marcus Davis here?  Ryan Rouillard calls MD his “Prospect crush. Dominator Rating + Measurables is tantalizing.  He’ll have to show he can learn technique.” Skipping ahead, we arrive at my man Chad Bumphis.  It’s not too late if you or Davis Mattek want to get on the Bumphiswagon. I have a hunch that Frank doesn’t care about non-FBS prospects.  If so, Jasper Collins and Brandon Kauffman might have appeared a bit higher.  For Collins, he is the Mt Union “guy following Pierre Garcon and Cecil Shorts, with great stats,” as Freedman said.  For Brandon Kaufman, he has a 6’ 5’’ frame with strong production at the FCS level. Closing out the top 30, the most interesting names are Mark Harrison, Denard Robinson, and Darrin Moore.  For Harrison, he has freak measurable and one year of outstanding production that leads some to see the upside.  Davis Mattek said of Harrison: “Big and fast. Potential is there.”  With Denard Robinson, the staff was split with some ranking him as a wide receiver and others viewing him as a running back.  Regardless of his NFL position, we’re not very high on him.  Finally, Darrin Moore had outstanding production while also showing strong skills in the red zone and in clutch situations.

Below is the full table of rankings:

Player FD rank MF rank JM rank SS rank DM rank RR rank Composite Rank
DeAndre Hopkins 1 1 1 1 2 1 1
Cordarrelle Patterson 4 2 9 4 1 3 2
Tavon Austin 2 3 3 11 3 2 3
Stedman Bailey 9 4 2 2 4 5 4
Keenan Allen 7 10 10 3 5 7 5
Justin Hunter 5 11 6 5 7 8 5
Terrance Williams 8 7 5 7 13 4 7
Da’Rick Rogers 3 12 8 6 11 6 8
Markus Wheaton 11 5 4 10 12 14 9
Robert Woods 6 9 7 14 8 13 10
Ryan Swope 14 8 12 9 6 15 11
Quinton Patton 10 6 14 12 14 10 12
Kenny Stills 15 15 11 13 9 26 13
Charles Johnson 12 24 15 8 12 14
Marquess Wilson 20 13 21 27 18 11 15
Aaron Mellette 13 22 16 15 25 22 16
Josh Boyce 17 23 17 19 22 25 17
Cobi Hamilton 21 21 19 23 24 20 18
Marcus Davis 23 22 16 29 9 19
Chris Harper 26 20 22 10 23 20
Tavarres King 16 18 18 20 29 20
Chad Bumphis 18 14 25 25 21 22
Jasper Collins 19 13 30 26 17 23
Brandon Kaufman 27 24 17 21 16 23
Mark Harrison 26 29 18 19 24 25
Aaron Dobson 24 28 20 15 30 26
Denard Robinson 28 20 24 17 27
Darrin Moore 19 17 23 28
Martel Moore 16 29 18 29
Marquise Goodwin 30 29 26 23 27 30
Corey Fuller 25 28 26 31
Alec Lemon 22 30 27 31
Emory Blake 19 33
*Ace Sanders 27 27 34
*Courtney Gardner 25 35
Rodney Smith 28 36
Tyrone Goard 28 37
T.J. Moe 28 37
Conner Vernon 29 39
Dan Buckner 30 39
Sam McGuffie 30 41

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