Be Ahead Of The Market On These Six Players
By Jesse Moeller (Twitter @JMoeller05)
We received our latest batch of ADP from Dynasty League Football for July. I’m going to highlight six total players that I’m afraid I have to disagree with the current ADP of the player and give you some reasons why I feel that player is either worth more or less than the price tag.
3 WR To Trade For
Chase Claypool WR24 ADP 1QB: 56.33 SF: 77.00
What If I told you that there was a 6’4 238-pound wide receiver who runs a 4.42 forty-yard dash and comps closely to Brandon Marshall that was going outside the top 20 wide receivers in dynasty at the moment. This rookie just put up a stat line of 62 receptions for 873 yards and nine touchdowns on 109 targets. After hearing this, where would you rank this player in dynasty? For me, Claypool should be a lot closer to the top 10 dynasty wide receivers than he currently is. Let’s dig into the numbers to see why he needs to be perceived in a better light.
As a rookie, Chase Claypool was 28th in aDot (average depth of target) in 2020. While that may not seem impressive, compared to Diontae Johnson and Juju Smith-Schuster, who both finished outside the top 100, it stands out. Ben Roethlisberger also was 30th in the NFL in yards gained per attempt at 6.3. All this information tells us is that Claypool was the lone deep threat to an offense that dinked and dunked its way down the field in 2020. Claypool also managed to finish 3rd in the NFL in deep targets with 31, while JuJu and Diontae combined for 24 last year.
Chase Claypool managed to do this while earning a 62% snap share last season, best for 93rd amongst wide receivers. So the follow-up question is, how did Claypool achieve those numbers on such a low snap count? Well, Pittsburgh had over 500 pass attempts with 3 wide receivers on the field last year. So when Claypool was on the field, he was targeted at an extremely high rate. HOG Rate is the metric used to determine how involved a player is on the field. Simply put, the more targets per snap, the higher the HOG Rate. Claypool was top 10th in HOG Rate and 1st amongst rookie wide receivers last season.
There are concerns that Claypool has an oft-injured 39-year olf quarterback, and the team selected running back Najee Harris in the first round. However, do not let that information dissuade you from pursuing him in dynasty. As a recent study highlighting rookie wide receivers from 2014-2019 pointed out, 89% of them who produced a top 36 fantasy finish went on to deliver multiple top 36 fantasy finishes. Therefore, Claypool is a screaming buy at his current value in dynasty. If Claypool continues where he left off last season, his price will skyrocket.
Tyler Lockett WR33 ADP 1QB:73.17 SF:96.25
I don’t know if there is a more disrespected fantasy wide receiver at the moment. Lockett has produced three consecutive top 16 finishes and is considered an afterthought by dynasty managers. While Lockett is approaching his age 29 season, there is no indicator that he will slow down anytime soon. It is an open and shut case of ageism in dynasty. His value will never reach his production, which makes Lockett a dynasty buy to me.
The age apex for dynasty wide receivers shows that the cliff is from age 30 to 31. Following this trend, Lockett should have two more seasons before his production falls in line with his value. Although Lockett got off to a slow start in his career, as he did not break the 85% snap share barrier until his age 26 season, the peak age for a wide receiver, he will continue producing excellent fantasy numbers in the next few seasons.
Lockett took a step forward in 2020, as he led a team with D.K. Metcalf on the other side in targets, receptions, slot snaps, HOG Rate, and touchdowns. Go out and pay a second for Tyler Lockett as he and that entire offense will take a step forward in 2021 with Shane Waldron now calling the plays. Lockett will produce a 4th consecutive top 16 season in 2021.
Rashod Bateman WR37 ADP 1QB:76.17 SF:98.75
Bateman is the classic case of drafting talent over landing spot. The moment the Ravens selected Bateman’s name, the entirety of Twitter decided to drop him down the dynasty rankings. Bateman is one of the best receivers in this draft class. Yet he comes in as the fourth-ranked rookie wide receiver on DLF current dynasty rankings, falling behind Chase and the Alabama duo of Smith and Waddle mainly due to his landing spot.
Bateman is stepping into a passing attack with Mark Andrews, an elite tight end, and Hollywood Brown, a field stretcher who masqueraded as the alpha wide receiver in the passing attack. Outside of those two, there was no one else for Lamar Jackson to trust. Add in the Ravens had one of the best rushing attacks in football, and the passing game became an afterthought. As a result, Bateman will be the most talented wide receiver Lamar Jackson has thrown to during his collegiate and NFL careers.
Bateman will be the number one receiving option during his rookie season. With the lack of an alpha wideout on the roster before this season, Bateman will certainly see 100+ targets as a rookie. By this time next year, Bateman will be a consensus top 20 dynasty wide receiver. Consequently, acquire him now, while his cost is at its lowest point for the next few years.
3 WR To Trade Away
Tyreek Hill WR3 ADP 1QB: 8.83 SF: 21.75
Think of the top dynasty wide receivers the last few years. Davante Adams, Michael Thomas, DeAndre Hopkins all shared that WR1 title within the previous three years and have fallen in dynasty rankings due to age, injuries, or some combination of the two. In addition, Tyreek Hill will be 28 years old in March, which means he will be on the backside of the age production curve. With names such as Jefferson, Brown, Metcalf, Lamb, Ridley, Chase, McLaurin already breathing down his neck, he will end up behind those players in the 2022 dynasty rankings.
Now is the perfect time to move Tyreek as he had 17.2% of his receptions go for a touchdown last year. Touchdowns vary from year to year, as it is improbable that Hill will produce touchdown numbers at a similar rate the rest of his career. Hill will still perform at an elite clip for the next season or two, but father time is undefeated and catches up with us all. Something you have to live with as a dynasty manager when trading away one of the best players at his position is that they will still be one of the best players in fantasy for the next year or two.
By moving Hill for a younger premium asset such as Brown, Metcalf, or Lamb plus something on top, you are acquiring a player with a brighter future than Hill, whose future looks worse than the production in the rearview mirror. It a winning strategy in dynasty that keeps your window as a contender open longer. By achieving this, you can avoid altogether rebuilding in any dynasty, no matter the format. Instead, you reload and stay a contender pursuing another championship. It is the way you establish a powerhouse team for years on end.
Mike Evans WR14 1QB: 38.83 SF: 65.25
Mike Evans is coming off of his seventh consecutive 1,000-yard season, an NFL record that Evans may end up breaking next year. However, all good things must come to an end, and now is the perfect time to move on from Evans in dynasty as his stock is pointing down. Nevertheless, Evans is thought of as one of the best talents in the last decade as his name still carries significant weight in dynasty circles.
Evans is also on the wrong side of the age apex, and with the younger names below that are likely to pass him, including a player on his team in Chris Godwin, it is time to get out and accept the best deal you can for him before its too late. Evans lived off touchdowns last season, as his target share was 51st in the NFL last season. Evans has lived off of being an athletic bully on the field during his career. As his athleticism slowly declines, he will need to revitalize his playing style if Evans wants to be still considered one of the best players at his position.
Evans will also be competing for targets with Chris Godwin, Antonio Brown, Rob Gronkowski, and others. It is unlikely Evans improves on his target share and overall numbers this season. The touchdown rate that propelled Evans in 2020 is guaranteed to fall in 2021. If you cut down his touchdowns to 9%, Evans would have finished the season with seven touchdowns and dropped to WR26 on the year. Evans is easily my most notable fade amongst wide receivers in the top 24. Get out while he still holds borderline WR1 dynasty value
I do not see a way he lives up to his current ADP. Evans will be outside the top 20 wide receivers in dynasty in 2022.
Kenny Golladay WR23 1QB: 54.83 SF: 80.75
Of the players listed, Golladay is the one that I would be moving asap, as he is only 74 days younger than Mike Evans, yet will not match Evans in name-value or performance moving forward. Golladay is the older wide receiver who younger players will continually exceed. Therefore it’s well within the range of outcomes for Golladay to finish outside the top 30 wide receivers in dynasty.
Golladay has never had an elite target share percentage in his career. His two best seasons are 2018, and 2019 where he hovered around the 21% range. Without ever achieving a target share at 25% or above, numbers below that range cap a player’s ceiling in the NFL and fantasy unless they experience a boost in touchdowns. So, allow me to highlight the differences for Golladay during the 2018 and 2019 seasons.
2019: 116 Targets, 65 Receptions, 1190 Yards, and 11 Touchdowns on 21.09% Target Share. 248 PPR Points Ranked WR9
2018: 119 Targets, 70 Receptions, 1063 Yards, and 5 Touchdowns on 21.25% Target Share. 207 PPR Points Ranked WR21
Now, these numbers are very similar, with one massive exception. The touchdowns accounted for an enormous difference in fantasy points for Golladay. It took him from a backend WR2 to a backend WR1 in fantasy. Given Daniel Jones has accounted for 35 passing touchdowns the last two seasons, Golladay is doubtful to repeat the high touchdown numbers he posted in 2019. Move him to a team looking for a perceived receiver upgrade in dynasty. There are countless players ranked below him in a dynasty league that I prefer.