The majority of the outliers (more than five spots difference) were guys I was a little higher on than most, more on them in later articles. The one that really stuck out in the other direction was Kenny Britt. I don’t need to research why I have him as low as I do, I know why I do, I just want to convince you why I’m right and those other sites are wrong.
‘I don’t know how far away I am right now,’ is not something you usually hear from an athlete recovering from injury. The report is often a lot more rosy and unrealistic, but you want to hear that from players because you feel more comfortable that they’ll be back soon. They must believe they’re close before they really are back. This report matches Britt’s unfortunate off season. As you know he tore his ACL and MCL early in 2011 after a blazing hot start, he also had a follow-up procedure done in May as a return to football activities led to increased swelling. The new goal is for him to ‘hopefully’ be ready to return by Week 1.
This guy, who has only played 15 games in the last two seasons while battling two serious injuries and a laundry list of off the field problems, is being drafted as the 16th wide receiver off the board and must be taken by the early 4th round according to ADP’s on MFL. As the old saying goes, ‘The juice just isn’t worth the squeeze.’ There is no denying the Top 5 upside if he is on the field, but that ‘if’ is canyon sized. Similar upside can be found in guys drafted after Britt in the form of Miles Austin, Stevie Johnson, and Jeremy Maclin. Sure, they’ve battled issues before and like Britt there’s reason to believe their issues may resurface, but as of this writing (unlike Britt) they are healthy.
There are also much safer options in Steve Smith, Dwayne Bowe, and Marques Colston that routinely fall a round or more beyond Britt. Colston has four consecutive 1,000+ yard seasons with a low of seven TDs and a peak of 10 TDs. There’s no reason to expect Steve Smith’s numbers (79/1,394/7) to dive too much from last season with Cam Newton now in town. Bowe’s 15 TDs in 2010 are clearly an outlier, but you can expect similar numbers from him as you did Colston. It isn’t likely any of these are going to put up Top 5 numbers, but top 12? Absolutely, and again, unlike Britt they are healthy. There’s no reason to roll the dice and hope for ‘7’ on Britt and get maybe an extra couple TD’s and hundred yards when there are so many other dice combinations that bust.
I’m all for taking high upside gambles, again I’ll be writing about them later, but there’s a line I won’t cross when I’m searching for those gems. That line this year was drawn by Kenny Britt.