2014 NFL Draft: Allen Robinson, Davante Adams, and the RotoViz Reach

Allen Robinson Recently I posited that the NFL Draft is easily beatable. The key is to figure out how to do that in the most effective way possible. The 2014 Draft is very deep at wide receiver, but I’m not sure there’s an undervalued player you have to have on every team. Psychological overconfidence is one of the big reasons the draft is beatable in the first place. If we fall into the same trap, then most of the potential value dissipates. The key to winning in fantasy football is a combination of humility and aggressiveness. It’s precisely because analysts don’t believe in the ability to “find the exceptions” that they relentlessly target the “rule” players. But just like every “exception” isn’t going to bust, not every “rule” is going to pan out. I think a pretty easy way to beat the 2014 Draft is to approach the players as stocks and try to create a portfolio across your various leagues where the “rule” players are heavily represented.

What are the rules?

Recently I looked at a 136-player sample of receivers drafted since 2006 and came back with some startling conclusions regarding the value of weight, receiving market share, and age. I thought all of these components were important going in, but the magnitude of the difference between hits and misses was larger than I expected. For that reason, I called these components the Wide Receiver Holy Grail. Age and Dominator Rating played such a large role that it seemed only natural that age at breakout was probably also important. A further study of that issue revealed breakout age to be something of a skeleton key. Age at breakout helped explain why Keenan Allen was an immediate NFL star and can also provide a glimpse into the likelihood of breakout for important second year players like Cordarrelle Patterson, DeAndre Hopkins, and Markus Wheaton. We’ll emphasize these four components in trying to build our sleeper portfolio.

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By Shawn Siegele | @ff_contrarian | Archive