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Friday 24th Mar 2017

The 2013 NFL Draft has come to a close, and now everybody and their cousin is scouring the draft board to identify that rookie that will become the next big thing, as well they should. That’s what makes this hobby such a challenge and so much fun, trying to prove our analytical mettle to be above our peers. However, when it comes to fantasy draft day, those who want to finish in the winner’s circle will need to sift through the noise and identify those who will actually put up numbers. Those who draft rookies are just the fools that chase the shiny new toy, right? It seems that way, but let us look at some numbers from 2012, where the hot rookie wide receiver commodities went in High Stakes draft formats, and how they ranked in terms of actual point production against other wide receivers over the course of the season.

Rookie WR

Early NFFC 14 Team Satellite WR Draft Position

FFWC 12 Team WR Draft Position

Actual Point Production Ranking – WR’s

Justin Blackmon

50th

33rd

29th

Kendall Wright

53rd

40th

45th

Brian Quick

56th

69th

121st

Michael Floyd

62nd

76th

65th

Stephen Hill

69th

72nd

96th

Alshon Jeffery

65th

66th

82nd

Rueben Randle

66th

Not Drafted

89th

T.Y. Hilton

Not Drafted

82nd

31st

I feel that Justin Blackmon had his own tier all to himself. Looking at his tape, Blackmon was my standout favorite rookie at any position. One has to wonder what might have been if he hadn’t held out so long. Over the last five weeks of the season, the Jaguar phenom ranked 20th overall among WR’s, scoring at a 14.2 ppg clip (compare A.J. Green at 13.8 ppg). We all know the dangers of small sample sizes, but they are useful to illustrate possibilities. Land mines such as Brian Quick will always be there, but overall the market did a pretty decent job of pinpointing the proper targets.  Blackmon, Wright and Hilton all gave a good return and Floyd was closer to par value. Michael Floyd finished a relatively strong 34th over the last five games.  Don’t forget he’ll have Carson Palmer feeding him the rock in 2013. T.Y. Hilton was good enough to finish 27th over the final five matchups.

In a recent 2013 NFFC 14-team satellite, these sophomores were ranked thusly among WR picks: Justin Blackmon 21st, T.Y. Hilton 29th, Kendall Wright 46th, Michael Floyd 47th, Rueben Randle 58th, Alshon Jeffrey 61st, Brian Quick 63rd and Stephen Hill 70th.

It will be interesting to watch ADP data over the coming weeks. Clocking a 4.34 40 time, I can see visions of T.Y. Hilton dance in drafters heads as they ruminate on the impact Tavon Austin could have manning the slot in St. Louis. Before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s not forget the presence of Brian Quick and Chris Givens (4.41 40).  Sam Bradford threw 552 times for 3,702 yards while Andrew Luck tossed it 627 times for 4,374 yards. The Rams also lack a veteran like Reggie Wayne to pull away defenders. My eyes will be on Tavon in the preseason to see how he is deployed.  He’s got great top end speed and tremendous acceleration to go with it. He can also change directions in the blink of an eye and has excellent vision.

Cordarrelle Patterson stands 6’2”, weighs 216, and yet still boasts a 4.42 40. With Adrian Peterson and Greg Jennings begging for attention from defenders, Patterson lands in a great spot in the twin cities. The guy is a playmaker with the ball in his hands in the open field. If the league you play in gives credit for special teams TD’s, Cordarrelle gets a small boost in value as he was a great returner for the Volunteers.

DeAndre Hopkins lacks top end speed, but if he earns enough snaps he’ll have the benefit of Arian Foster pulling the defense into the box and Andre Johnson gobbling up the best cornerbacks.

At 6’4” with a 4.44 40, Justin Hunter is someone to track, but with Kenny Britt, Kendall Wright and Nate Washington already in house, his first year impact may be minimal.

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