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Dating The Younger Sister

In

Hollywood
, the landscape of the younger celebrity sister is usually a bleak and desolate land. For every Britney, Lindsay, Jessica, and Beyonce the public is often subjected to the less talented and far less attractive version being force fed to us by money hungry parents. However, every once in a while there’s one that makes mama proud. You know the one I’m talking about. She’s just as good looking and has just as much to offer, maybe more. So why am I engaging in conversation better left for TMZ and what does it have to do with fantasy football? Well, I’ll tell you …

In every successful passing game there are usually two stud receivers who help to boost the quarterback’s numbers. They work symbiotically, because shutdown corners are rare and no team has the ability to double team both of them. Of course, there are other factors such as an all-pro quarterback, a strong run game and a stud tight end drawing coverage.  But, for the sake of this article, we’ll just stick to looking at the wide receivers. No matter what the reason for the success, these guys are at the top of the list of every fantasy football team. At the end of the year their numbers are nearly identical, but for some reason drafters value one much more than the other. So much so, that there is sometimes an average draft position difference of five rounds or more. I’m here to present you with some numbers in order to show you the value of patience, and to prove to you why waiting on the younger sister isn’t all that bad. These numbers are for points per reception leagues Thanks to the guys at www.profootballfocus.com for providing the data.

For starters, let’s look at last year’s Top 12 fantasy passing teams (yards and touchdowns):

Rank

Team

POINTS

1



Indianapolis

Colts

385

2



New Orleans

Saints

378

3



Minnesota

Vikings

370

4



Houston

Texans

360

5



San Diego

Chargers

348

6



Green Bay

Packers

347

7


New England

Patriots

345

8



Pittsburgh

Steelers

334

9



New York

Giants

329

10

Dallas Cowboys

327

11

Philadelphia Eagles

326

12

Arizona Cardinals

323

At least half of these teams will repeat in the Top 12 and there a few notables that we can safely venture to guess will not repeat. For the sake of this article though, we’re going to look at the teams with wide receivers who fit the theme. The teams I want to look at are the Saints, Vikings, Packers, Giants and Patriots. These are the teams that provide the clearest picture.


KEY:

#=2009 rank, TA=Targets, %CT=Passes caught %, In=INT that happened while being thrown to, YAC=Yards after catch, DP=Dropped Passes, PTS=Total Fantasy Pts, PPS=Points per snap taken

SAINTS:
Marques Colston and Robert Meachem

2009 stat comparison

#

Name

Snaps

TA

Rec.

% Ct

Yds

Yds / Rec.

YAC

YAC / Rec.

TD

In

DP

PTS

PPS

27

Robert Meachem

614

61

45

73.8

725

16.1

169

3.8

9

0

0

172

0.28

15

Marques Colston

850

102

70

68.6

1074

15.3

366

5.2

9

2

10

231

0.27

Despite having nearly 250 less snaps, Meachem was still able to rank 12 spots lower than his counterpart Colston. Production per snap was nearly identical. Meachem came on in the second half of the season last year and seem to be the new go-to guy for Drew Brees. Meachem is currently going a full four rounds later than Colston and projects to have the same if not greater production than him next year. Save the third round for another running back whose production won’t match one you can get in the seventh and target Meachem.

VIKINGS:
Sidney Rice and Percy Harvin

#

Name

Snaps

TA

Rec.

% Ct

Yds

Yds / Rec.

YAC

YAC / Rec.

TD

In

DP

PTS

PPS

26

Percy Harvin

520

86

60

69.8

790

13.2

370

6.2

6

1

4

175

0.34

10

Sidney Rice

950

120

84

70

1322

15.7

381

4.5

8

1

3

264

0.28

As you can clearly see, the rookie phenomenon was more productive with his snaps, and this is just his receiving numbers! If you’re in a league that rewards return yards, you definitely have to go after Harvin. Rice is currently going two rounds higher than Harvin. Bernard Berrian isn’t a well-rounded receiver and he’s starting to breakdown more and more. It’s only a matter of time before his snaps start going to Harvin. Harvin is a threat to score from anywhere on the field and will enjoy tons of dumpoffs, slants, screens and be allowed to work in open space.

PACKERS:
Greg Jennings, Donald Driver, and James Jones

#

Name

Snaps

TA

Rec.

% Ct

Yds

Yds / Rec.

YAC

YAC / Rec.

TD

In

DP

PTS

PPS

19

Donald Driver

891

109

70

64.2

1061

15.2

376

5.4

6

3

8

212

0.24

20

Greg Jennings

857

107

68

63.6

1113

16.4

470

6.9

4

3

4

203

0.24

68

James Jones

596

60

32

53.3

440

13.8

187

5.8

5

2

9

106

0.18

Things get interesting with this team. Jennings and Driver were nearly identical in every stat last year. Jones wasn’t nearly as productive with his snaps. ADP puts Jennings in the second round, Driver in the eighth, and Jones all the way in the 17th. Driver’s had offseason surgery on his knees and is getting older, while Jones is an absolute physical specimen. If thrust into the No. 2 spot of this offense, there’s no telling what he would do. Pass on Jennings, grab another running back to pair with Maurice Jones-Drew or Ray Rice and nab Driver later. Handcuff him with Jones near the end of the draft. You won’t be disappointed.

GIANTS:
Steve Smith and Hakeem Nicks

#

Name

Snaps

TA

Rec.

% Ct

Yds

Yds / Rec.

YAC

YAC / Rec.

TD

In

DP

PTS

PPS

33

Hakeem Nicks

528

71

47

66.2

790

16.8

424

9

6

2

2

162

0.31

8

Steve Smith

908

151

107

70.9

1220

11.4

249

2.3

7

4

6

271

0.30

While battling injury and splitting time with Mario Manningham last year, Nicks was obviously not close to scoring the way that Steve Smith was able to do all season, especially in PPR. However, there’s still much to be gained from looking at last year’s numbers. Nicks was similarly productive per snap, having nearly as many touchdowns, with a third of the drops that Smith had. Nicks is a large, imposing wide receiver in the mold of Michael Irvin who can make things happen after the catch as shown by his yac of nine yards. I don’t need to explain to you what having a huge receiver like Plaxico Burress did for Eli Manning. Nicks will improve, and more. Currently, these two receivers are only separated by two rounds of ADP, but given the choice I’d opt to take Nicks who could easily become the No. 1 receiver on his team. Next year, however, I think that Nicks will take over the older sister role while Smith falls into the wait and grab role.

PATRIOTS:
Randy Moss, Wes Welker, and Julian Edelman

#

Name

Snaps

TA

Rec.

% Ct

Yds

Yds / Rec.

YAC

YAC / Rec.

TD

In

DP

PTS

PPS

5

Wes Welker

719

153

123

80.4

1348

11

730

5.9

4

1

6

282

0.39

2

Randy Moss

983

136

83

61

1264

15.2

346

4.2

13

8

8

287

0.29

81

Julian Edelman

326

50

37

74

359

9.7

271

7.3

1

0

3

79

0.24

The ADP for these receivers are as follows: Moss in Round 2, Welker in Round 5 and Edelman in Round 10. Welker has been PPR gold for three years straight, but a late-season injury to his knee could interrupt that this year. Edelman’s limited time filling in for Welker has not been too shabby. His yards after the catch was considerably better, his catch percentage is nearly as high, but his points per snap are considerably lower. I wouldn’t worry much considering that he was a rookie who played quarterback in college and was learning how to play wide receiver in the NFL from live action reps. Another offseason and some time spent running with the No. 1’s and he could get the experience he needs to fully function as Welker’s “mini-me”. Wait on Welker until the fourth or fifth and ensure that you get Edelman for insurance later. That’s not much to ask to lock up an automatic Top 5 PPR stud.

Don’t always draft based on name recognition. The older sister is not always the best one to go after. Always look at the numbers and see where the value is located. More often than not you’ll screw yourself out of a championship run because you focused on getting the wrong guys.

HONORABLE MENTIONS:


COLTS


Reggie

Wayne is going considerably higher than Austin Collie or Pierre Garcon, but with Anthony Gonzalez coming back who will take the back seat and who will be the benefactor?


EAGLES –

Does second-year Jeremy Maclin have what it takes to make the next step and be a viable receiver? Philadelphia has a new quarterback, their leading receiver last year was the tight end, and they also have Jason Avant who was Kevin Kolb’s go-to receiver when he started. There are too many variables for him to attempt a coup.


CHARGERS –

Malcom Floyd showed promise last year as the number two, but could possibly be the number one guy in town if Vincent Jackson holds out or is traded.  But, there’s no telling whether he’ll benefit or even if he can handle the No. 1 spot. This might be the only player in the honorable mentions who I will wait for while passing on his counterpart.


TEXANS –

Jacoby Jones was an absolute beast last year as the No. 2 most productive receiver per snap in the Houston offense. Does he increase his playing time or was he just a product of the absence of Owen Daniels? Return yardage leagues are where he becomes more valuable, but I definitely wouldn’t pass on Andre Johnson in order to wait for Jones.


COWBOYS –

Questions are swirling as to whether Roy Williams will attempt to defend his No. 2 spot behind Miles Austin or whether he’ll give way to Jerry Jones’ new toy in Dez Bryant. Williams is going incredibly cheap right now, while Bryant (a rookie who’s been out of football an entire year) is going three rounds lower than Austin. He’s too pricey for me.


DOLPHINS –

Quarterback-proof Brandon Marshall is new to town. The possible Welker to his Moss is Davone Bess who can be had all the way in the 15th round. I’m not so sure the younger sister is the one to wait around for in this situation. Bess did get 75+ receptions in this offense last year, but whenever Chad Henne needed a big play or a third-down converted he usually looked to rookie Brian Hartline (team leading 16 yards per catch). Hartline also found the endzone one more time than Bess. Depending on where Bess and Hartline are moved in this offense it’s anyone’s guess as to who will be the one to receive the PPR scraps from the table of Brandon Marshall. I don’t think I’ll pass on him to find out.

About Fantasy Sharks

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