I’m back for another installment of my draft value through a metric lens series and I hope you are too!
A few things I need to get out of the way:
In my last article I analyzed Round 1 according to average draft position (ADP) at www.myfantasyleague.com but in my own haste I took data from “anytime” meaning all drafts that have taken place since the end of the season last year. The problem with this is quite obvious – players are valued much differently now than they were even three weeks ago for various reasons. This year I think it’s more drastic than most with shortened camps and a free agent frenzy, because of this there’ll be some notes of who from Round 2 has moved into Round 1 on the MFL ADP.
Let’s get into Round 2 ADP and how my metrics rank the players in question.
*All data pulled from real drafts that have taken place after Aug. 1 of this year.
Movers – Darren McFadden dropped a spot to 13, Michael Vick moved from 12 to 8.
I will break my rankings down by position so you can compare and contrast according to your positional wants and needs.
Second Round RB Metric Rankings
Darren McFadden – Metric Score – 74.81 – McFadden is the fourth-ranked running back according to my metrics, so the fact that you can grab him at the end of the first or early in the second makes him an absolute steal. Read what I wrote about him here.
Peyton Hillis – Metric Score – 65.93 – Hillis is getting dogged on big time this offseason. From the “Madden Curse” to Montario Hardesty is going to steal carries, everyone has him pegged as one of the biggest busts of the year, but not my metrics. Even with a negative situation score because of a couple of able bodied running backs behind him in Hardesty and Jackson, Hillis clocks in as the seventh-ranked running back according to my metrics.
Matt Forte – Metric Score – 65.04 – I have a hard time with this one. My gut tells me he doesn’t belong here yet my metrics are telling me otherwise. Don’t get me wrong – Forte has great talent; in fact I think he’s one of the best running backs in the league. However, his offensive line is in shambles still (Buffalo sacked the Chicago quarterback nine times last Saturday) and Bears offensive coordinator Mike Martz just doesn’t believe in the run (Forte had 237 carries last season). Of course we’re talking about points per reception leagues and his three seasons of 50-plus catches help him secure the ninth rank on my metrics score.
Frank Gore – Metric Score – 64.12 – Gore is an elite talent … unfortunately he has a body made out of peanut brittle. If Gore could stay healthy for an entire season (something he’s failed to accomplish since 2006), he would be a first-round pick easily. Beyond my concerns of his body failing, I have major concerns about a new system being implemented. I don’t hear many people talking about the fact that there’s a new coaching staff in San Francisco. That’s not something to take lightly as there’s so much unknown there. Finally the offensive line has me really concerned. If they can’t keep whoever is throwing the ball for San Francisco upright this season I’m not too confident that the rushing attack will be very fruitful, although if anyone can do it it’s Frank Gore.
Steven Jackson – Metric Score – 54.80 – Jackson is another elite talent stuck in a bad situation. Before he was stuck in a horrible offense, and now he’s stuck in a Josh McDaniels offense – 398 attempts last season with Denver as a team! Sure they played from behind a lot, but as Lil’ Jon would say: that is low, low, low, low. The same concern I have for Gore applies here. Being in a new offense is a concern and it’s no secret that McDaniels isn’t a run-friendly offensive coordinator. The Rams also brought in a couple of back up running backs in Carnell ‘Cadillac’ Williams and Jerious Norwood that are sure to see more time than Keith Tolston saw last season.
Rashard Mendenhall – Metric Score – 52.92 – In my opinion – and my metrics as well – Mendenhall is being way overdrafted in points per reception leagues. In case you missed it earlier in the article, he’s going at 2.02, right behind McFadden, in front of PPR semi-studs Forte, Hillis and Gore. The guy doesn’t catch the ball people! Leave him alone in PPR drafts at that ADP, as he’s one of those players that are being drafted on his name. It happens every year and the reasons are always inexplicable. With him I constantly hear he’ll carry the ball 300 times. OK, but what if I told you that you can get the same running back a couple of rounds later in LeGarette Blount who’s only a couple of metric points off of Mendenhall at 48.11? Yea, I thought your ears may perk up.
Michael Turner – Metric Score – 47.74 – Turner went from averaging 4.9 yards per carry in his injury-shortened 2009 season to 4.1 yards per carry last season. Of course toting the rock 300-plus times masks that pretty nicely. Turner is rapidly approaching the dreaded age of 30 that is falsely linked as the age of demise for the running back. I’ll get into why it’s actually 28, and how running backs statistically decline from there on out at another time – most likely in my dynasty article section. As far as this season is concerned in redrafts, draft Turner as you normally would but pay attention to my metrics so you don’t overpay. As I said in my Mendenhall blurb there’s another running back going one to two rounds later in Blount that has a very similar metric score – in fact it’s higher than Turner at 48.11.
Second round WR Metric Rankings:
Greg Jennings – Metric Score – 65.99 – I know the argument that Jermichael Finley is going to come back and eat into his targets, blah, blah, blah. I ran the stats the other day and this simply isn’t true. When Finley was in the game Jennings got 22 percent of targets and Finley got exactly the same. When Finley got injured Jennings’ target percentage jumped by a whopping 1.7 percent. Yea, not that exciting. Jordy Nelson gained the most with an 11 percent increase in targets and James Jones got a paltry 3 percent bump. Anyway that’s not really the point, the point is the Jennings’ increase in production because Finley was out argument is debunked right here on FantasySharks folks! He’s my metric scores fourth-ranked wide receiver even with a negative situation score (Finley will probably take a touchdown or two away) and I firmly believe he belongs there. Also, it doesn’t hurt that Aaron Rodgers is throwing him the rock.
Larry Fitzgerald – Metric Score – 65.33 – I think Fitzgerald is the best receiver in the game and it was a shame to watch him suffer last season due to the ineptitude of the quarterback position as a whole in Arizona. This season is looking better with the signing of Kevin Kolb. Don’t get me wrong – I don’t believe Kolb is the second coming of Joe Montana by any means, but if you don’t think he’s a massive upgrade from Derek Anderson, Max Hall and John Skelton then please stop reading here. Fitzgerald finished 11th amongst wide receivers last season with that stable of studs throwing to him, just imagine what he’s going to do this season. Try to grab this guy everywhere you can.
Hakeem Nicks – Metric Score – 64.36 – This guy’s a man beast. If you haven’t watched him play yet, do yourself a favor and make sure you catch a New York Giants game this season. He’s like a hybrid of Andre Johnson/Terrell Owens and Michael Irvin. With another season under his belt with Eli Manning and the emergence of Mario Manningham to keep defenses honest, he should see another increase in stats. Unfortunately we didn’t get to see all that he could do last season because of injury. I can’t wait to see what he produces during a whole season. The Giants have a very sneaky fantasy relevant team, and just wait until we hit on Mario Manningham!
Second Round QB Metric Rankings
Michael Vick – Metric Score – 100.19 –* Vick is now going in Round 1 at Pick 8 in ADP. If you watched Vick last season I’m not sure how you can think he’s going to come back to earth. He went through his reads patiently, and if nothing was there he went to his legs. This is a big change from the Vick of old, who would have made one read and if it wasn't there he’d hit the turf running. His accuracy is much improved, and most importantly his maturity in the pocket. He has turned into a quarterback first and runner second, which makes him infinitely more dangerous. Everyone always said “if only this guy could throw accurately.” Well you got your wish, now sit back and enjoy. Vick comes in as the No. 1 ranked player in my metric rankings, and you’ll have to pay for him as such to roster him.
Tom Brady – Metric Score – 92.3 – Brady had another career year last season throwing for 36 touchdowns and sneaking in for one. He did that throwing to Wes Welker, two rookie tight ends and a has-been in Deion Branch. All the Patriots did this offseason was give him Chad Ochocinco to throw to, who I admit is not the receiver he once was, but he definitely still has a lot of game left in the tank. The addition of Ochocinco will help the entire offense but one guy more than anyone else benefits – Wes Welker, who will be covered in the Round 4 edition of this article series.
Drew Brees – Metric Score – 89.82 – What can I say about Brees that hasn’t been said? He’s one of the most consistent quarterbacks in the league and you should be happy to have him on your roster – just be prepared to scrap around the draft to make up value after taking a quarterback in the third. Take Rodgers, Brees, Manning, Brady and Rivers, throw them in a hat and pick one. There’s a good chance that name is the No. 2 quarterback this season, and as of now Rivers and Manning can be had at a better value, and yes I said No. 2, because no one’s coming close to Vick. Count it.
That will do it for this article.
Thank you for reading. I appreciate feedback and questions.