Every year there are one or two guys who can completely carry your team. You can ride them to the playoffs because a) they put up monsters points and b) you drafted them way later than their production indicates they should have gone. Last year, those players were Robert Griffin III and Doug Martin. In 2011, it was Rob Gronkowski. In 2010, it was Arian Foster and in 2009, it was  Chris Johnson.

I share a goal with the rest of the fantasy community: figure out a way to detect these high impact players so you can draft them on your team.

Well, I think I’ve come a little closer to reaching that goal. I introduce to you, Upside Ratios.

There are two main components we’ll look at to determine a player’s upside:

1) Similarity Score “Ceiling” Projection

2) Average Draft Position (ADP)

Once we have these two components, we can calculate a weighted average for each player. This final weighted average will allow us rank each player by their respective upsides.

If you want a detailed step-by-step breakdown of how the Upside Ratio is calculated click here, but all you really need to know is that the Upside Score is on a scale from 0-100, where 0 = a player finishing last in fantasy points selected first overall and
100 = a player finishing first in fantasy points selected last overall.

Also, one last important note: the similarity score app doesn’t know that Percy Harvis is no longer a Viking or that Larry Fitzgerald goes from Kevin Kolb/John Skelton/Ryan Lindley to Carson Palmer at QB. Basically, the sim. scores are blind to situational changes so this will distort certain players’ ceiling projection.

For a complete list of the WR Upside Ratios click here, otherwise these are a few notable names.


“Ceiling” Projection


Upside Score

Brandon Marshall




Calvin Johnson




Marques Colston




Josh Gordon




Danario Alexander




Vincent Jackson




Stevie Johnson




Pierre Garcon




Julio Jones




Percy Harvin




Randall Cobb




Quick Thoughts:
• Brandon Marshall and Calvin Johnson have the highest upside of any wide receiver according to the Sim. Score Projection app and their respective ADPs reflect this. However their upsides are so great that at picks 19 and 9, you can still get great value.
• Unlike BMarsh and Megaton, Julio Jones is being a bit overvalued. He certainly has stellar upside, but his current ADP of 22 allows very little margin of error for the third-year wide out.
• On the flipside, Danario Alexander has the exact same ceiling projection as Jones, but can be had about 60 picks later. Of course, this projection is reliant on DX playing all 16 games, something he is unlikely to do given his injury history, but again his ADP of 80 gives you some valuable wiggle room.
• Pierre Garcon has largely been a forgotten name this off-season considering he and RGIII was the league’s fourth-most explosive QR-WR combo in 2012.
Marques Colston and Vincent Jackson continue to be favorites of virtually every fantasy football metric on RotoViz.
Percy Harvin and Randall Cobb represent two of the biggest traps in this year’s draft. Both are electric, fun to watch players, who undoubtedly help their real teams win real football games, but the talent just doesn’t translate into the fantasy universe. Harvin and Cobb will likely be serviceable assets that are unlikely to ruin your team, but selecting them at their current ADPs just doesn’t embody a +EV strategy.
Josh Gordon should be on every RotoViz subscriber’s team this year. His two-game suspension is going to continue to depress his ADP, making Gordo an awesome pick in the 8th round.
• Finally, Stevie Johnson. I’m a little shocked that he’s going so late in drafts, but I’m also surprised to see him on a list of guys with big upside. Previously I thought Johnson was a very unsexy pick, but his Upside Score might just change that for me. He’s somebody I want to look into some more.

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