Draft Strategy

Historical Comps for Cody Core’s Rookie Season

If you’ve been around RotoViz for any length of time, you know we like making range of outcome-based projections. And we’ve got a fantastic Screener to facilitate that. My goal is to set some expectations for the 2016 rookie wide receivers.

To do that, I set the Screener to find rookies from 2010 – 2016, and selected some basic production and usage numbers as variables. I also included draft pick. The influence of draft pick on a player’s opportunity declines over time, but it’s still relevant heading into a player’s second season. Then I asked the Screener to find seasons comparable to my target player.1 Up next, Cody Core.

The Comps

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Leonard Hankerson had a five-year career, though he was never really fantasy relevant. Albert Wilson was a player we thought had sleeper potential back in 2014, but hasn’t emerged yet. Marvin Jones has been a consistent double-digit per game PPR performer. Rishard Matthews took a while to get going, but has back-to-back seasons over 12 points per game. And of course Antonio Brown has become one of the game’s premier WRs.

As second-year players, these players averaged 9.4 points per game, which is borderline relevant. For their post-rookie careers, this cohort has averaged a very healthy 13 points per game.

Pros

On a much smaller sample size, Core made for a more efficient target than fellow rookie Tyler Boyd. 

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Core managed to get on the field in the second half of the season and at least one target in six straight games, including a 14-target game.

Cons

Core wasn’t a high profile rookie, and even on his own team is over shadowed by Tyler Boyd. But the presence of Antonio Brown in his comps tends to grab your attention. Let’s step through this carefully. Core only played in eight games, and totaled just 17 receptions. That’s not a lot to go on, and even his most favorable comps took time to develop. And if there’s any credit to helping Andy Dalton to a higher AYA than Boyd, then he should receive a demerit for under performing Brandon LaFell. 

Outlook

With so little to go on, we might consider Core as still somewhat of a prospect. His market share and raw numbers aren’t that exciting, but Kevin Cole identified him as a combine winner, while Jon Moore praised his efficiency, which offers some hope for the future. The Bengals have jettisoned LaFell, which means Core has a decent shot at being the Bengals WR3 behind A.J. Green and Boyd. The previous occupier of said role, Mohamed Sanu, was frequently on the cusp of relevance, especially when a player in front of him was injured. But Sanu only averaged over 10 points a game in one season as a Bengal, and was frankly a better prospect coming into the league than Core. There’s not much in Core’s background to like, so I think he’s fine to ignore for fantasy purposes.

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  1. The app provides 20 comparables, but I’m limiting myself to the top five. I’m also excluding fellow 2016 rookies from the comps.  (back)
By Charles Kleinheksel | @ | Archive

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