The Wideout Report: Week 16, Michael Crabtree, and the Ghost of Old King Hamlet (Act III)
For the last few months I’ve done Tuesday rundowns of all the wideout situations. I’m doing the same thing this week. Also, since I’m not omniscient, check out RotoViz’s Buy Low Machine and WR GLSP Projections. Here we go.
Here’s what I said last week:
Since Michael Crabtree’s return in Week 13, he and Anquan Boldin have averaged 7.1 and 7.8 standard pts/g. That’s not winning anyone any championships. Having said that, I expect their Week 16 performances against Atlanta to be substantially better.
As Garth says, “It’s almost too easy.” Crabtree is now averaging 7.9 pts/g played. That means he’s basically done on a per-game basis what Kendall Wright has done throughout the season. That’s not great, but it should be good enough to help dynasty owners feel fine about his future.
Kendall Wright may be The Little Blue Engine That Could, but ever since he ran an official 4.61-second 40 time at 196 lbs at the 2012 Combine I knew he was unlikely to be on my fantasy teams; my WR model dislikes WRs under 200 lbs who lack speed. With Wright’s 2013 production, I had been wondering if I should rethink my model’s demands on smaller WRs—and then I saw Frank’s post on relative receiver efficiency. Faith in my system was affirmed. Wright could have a solid career, but in that case 2013 probably won’t be viewed as his breakout year.
Frank’s WR efficiency post examines WRs with a minimum of 75 targets. No Jets receivers (of any kind) appear in the post, because none of them have been healthy or good enough for Geno Smith to target that frequently. No wonder he’s been bad at times. I still think he’ll turn into a good QB, and whoever becomes his eventual #1 WR will be valuable.
Q: Which is the real Mike Wallace: 17.8 pts v. NE in Week 15?—or 3.8 pts @ BUF in Week 16?
A: Both. Through 15 games, he’s scored fewer than 5 pts eight weeks and more than 10 pts five weeks. In H2H leagues, a player like Wallace isn’t worth the pain.
Steve Johnson is out because of family reasons, Robert Woods is a rookie, Marquise Goodwin is injured, T.J. Graham sucks, Chris Hogan is an undrafted special teamer—and Marcus Easley still can’t get playing time?
Cordarrelle Patterson has scored 7 TDs this season: 3 receiving, 2 rushing, and 2 returning—just like he did in college. In the second half of the season, since he became more involved in the offense, he’s scored 5 TDs. I like C-Patz as a dynasty prospect. Perhaps I like him against reason, but he could be a lesser Josh Gordon in 2014. Speaking of which . . .
Is it that time already?
Who would you rather have right now? Calvin Johnson or Josh Gordon?
Who would you rather have right now? Josh Gordon or Megatron? Two weeks ago, when I asked this question for the first time, Fantasy Dirk Gordon was averaging 0.6 pts/g more than Megatron on the season. Now that number’s up to 1.2. In what can be described only as an act of the fantasy gods, the two men have finished Week 16 tied for #1 in non-PPR WR scoring with exactly 219.2 pts apiece. At this point, how can we not compare them?
Josh Gordon has scored 16.9 standard pts/g this season. A.J. Green, 13.1. Remember when those numbers used to be close? Quick question: Who do you think will have the higher ADP in 2014? Probably not the guy who deserves it. #Arbitrage
Stedman Bailey just scored his first NFL TD, and his role in the St. Louis offense continues to grow. Before the draft I compared Bailey to Mario Manningham. I still think they’re similar. In his second and third seasons Manningham was a top-30 WR.
Griff Whalen has 10.5 and 8 pts in the two weeks since returning to the active roster. That’s what I call “the beginning of a trend,” even if the trend turns out to be “No fantasy WR on this team is reliable.” In Week 16, we saw the “disappointing Hilton”—he takes after his cousin, Mike Wallace: They’re related through Bruce Arians. Week 17 against the Jaguars at home: This is the kind of game that “College Da’Rick” would dominate. Let’s see what he does.
In the preseason, I famously contemplated going RBx5 in my primary redraft league. Instead, I made Dez Bryant my first-round pick—and, even though my league mates mocked me during the draft, I loved the strategy I used and the team I selected. Sixteen weeks later? Champion. Thanks, Dez.
And, Julian, thanks for warming that bench. Who knows what you’ll do next year, but this year you were a champ.
I didn’t end up with Pierre Garcon on any of my teams this year, but that wasn’t because I didn’t want him. I just wanted Jordy more.
Person A: Marques Colston will finish the season as a low-end WR3.
Person B: He’ll be that bad?!
Person A: Marques Colston finished the season as a low-end WR3.
Person B: He was that good?!
Dominik Hixon led the Panthers WRs in Week 16 scoring. Think about that. I urge you to add Marvin McNutt in dynasty leagues. Get something for nothing. He has the upside of 2009-2012 Hakeem Nicks. He compared favorably to Michael Floyd as a prospect. He could be a Jordy-esque late-blooming receiver. Some preferred him to Rueben Randle when they entered the NFL. You get the point.
In Week 16, none of the four active Jags WRs was taller than 6’0” or heavier than 200 lbs. Three were undrafted free agents; the fourth was a fourth-round rookie. Is it any wonder they suck?
Not much to say. One of these WRs is great, another is pretty good, and yet another is overrated. By the way, did you heed the Welker warning?
Even with QBs self-destructing all around him, Andre Johnson has been a high-end WR2—again. And he’ll probably do it again next year. By the way, Ryan Griffin has some Gronk to his game. He’s not a WR, but he’s intriguing.
Jerrel Jernigan has led the Giants WRs in scoring for two straight weeks. What did my WR model think of him as a prospect in 2011? His raw collegiate totals were good (1144-11 as a Sr), but his 0.20 DR was subpar, and more importantly his official combine 40 time of 4.46 seconds at 185 lbs was slow. Yet at his pro day Jernigan had a 40 time of anywhere from 4.32 seconds to 4.40 seconds, numbers my model likes. So which is the real Jernigan?
I doubt that, after three years of nothing, Jernigan will leverage his season-ending hot streak into 2014 production—but it could happen. He could be the guy from his pro day.
Since Week 12, when Denarius Moore’s injury created an opening in the starting lineup, Andre Holmes has led the Raiders WRs in fantasy scoring with 8.4 pts/g. Even with Denarius back, Holmes could continue to produce. He has talent.
Whatever you think of Torrey Smith’s 2013, just don’t blame him.
Alshon Jeffery doesn’t believe in down weeks. Instead, he occasionally has weeks in which he decides not to score.
As great as Chip Kelly’s scheme has made LeSean McCoy look, hasn’t it done even more for DeSean Jackson and Riley Cooper? He may not win Coach of the Year, but Chip deserves serious consideration.
The Ghost of Old King Hamlet has had a solid run since Week 13. I bet Roddy White’s ADP will be relatively depressed in 2014. He could be a solid WR3 redraft target. “Remember me.”
Interested in RBs? Here’s my Week 16 RB Report.