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Fri Jul 5th 2019

Where my rankings differ from the DLF rankings

Differences at WR

We're now in the month-long dead period between organized team activities (OTAs) and training camps.   Small nuggets of news came out during the few weeks of OTAs.  The bits of news led me to shuffle my rankings one last time before training camps begin.

During this month-long dead period, I'll compare my rankings with the consensus rankings found on the Dynasty League Football (DLF) website and write about players that I rank higher and lower than the experts at DLF.  I'll write about 10 players each week and explain why I rank them differently than the team at DLF. 

Two weeks ago, I wrote about the differences in QB and TE rankings.  Last week I wrote about the differences in the RB position. This week I write about differences in WR rankings.  I picked players where there was a difference of 10 spots or more in the rankings and I only looked at the top 60 WRs in our rankings because there is quite a lot of differences past that point. 

Players I Like More Than DLF

Mike Williams - My #20 WR - DLF's #31 WR

  • After being injured most of his rookie year, Williams stayed healthy and increased his workload for the Chargers last year.  He played in 62% of the team's snaps behind Keenan Allen (79%) and Tyrell Williams (76%).  Tyrell signed with Oakland so Mike Williams is poised to take his role and increase his snaps to 76% or more.  He was consistent throughout last year and broke out near the end of the year, averaging more than 6 targets per game during the last 6 games of the year (including the playoffs).  I remember because he and the next guy on this list cost me a semi-final playoff game week 15 when he had a two-touchdown game.  He's ready for the typical third-year breakout.  He's a better red zone threat than Keenan Allen who never scores many TDs.  Hunter Henry's return could cause some red zone target competition, but I am not too worried about that.  The Chargers offense is going to be one of the best in the league over the next few years too.  They were the 6th highest scoring team last year and are just getting better.  I wish I owned him on one of my teams but I don't since I have Keenan Allen on so many of my teams.

Robby Anderson - My #23 WR - DLF's #45 WR

  • It took some time for rookie QB, Darnold, to build a connection with Robby but at the end of the year, they were connecting well.  After the Jet's bye week, Robby was targeted more than 8 times a game and helped fantasy owners win Super Bowls with a 27 point showing in week 16.  So far in his young career, he's proven to be more of a boom or bust WR.  He'll have 3-4 point weeks and then have 20 point weeks.  He wins with speed and big plays.  I love to have this kind of WR as a WR #3 on my teams, especially in leagues requiring 3 WRs in the starting line-up.  I drafted him as my WR #3 behind Julio Jones and Brandin Cooks in my recent FFPC start-up draft.  There has been a coaching change in New York and Gase is known to bring fantasy players down with his coaching style.  However, Gase has already spoken well of Anderson's play in OTAs and on film.  Darnold is a great improvisational QB which can lead to broken plays resulting in long TD passes.  Robby will be the recipient of many of those this coming year.  The highest a single DLF analyst ranks him is #35.  Clearly, I disagree.

Donte Pettis - My #26 WR - DLF's #36 WR

  • I was higher on him than anyone except Matt Waldman last year, who had him ranked as the #1 rookie WR in the 2018 class.  Waldman's endorsement should count for something!  I've continued to have him ranked higher than other analysts even though he did not prove himself until the very end of the season last year.  His last 5 games of the year he averaged 14 fantasy points a game.  I believe he will be the highest targeted WR in San Fransisco next year and solidify himself as a top 15 WR in the league.  I drafted him in my recent FFPC start-up draft, I own him in two other leagues, and I have been trying to buy him in all of my other leagues but can't.  Players who standout on special teams in college get a significant bump in value for me and Pettis holds the college football record, returning 9 punts for touchdowns.  He's had a year to adjust to the NFL and Shanahan's offense, plus he gets his starting QB back this year after playing with backups all of last year after Garoppolo's injury.  His breakout year is coming!

Dede Westbrook - My #39 WR - DLF's #51 WR

  • Dede is another third-year breakout candidate.  He showed well last year in a run-first offense by catching 66 of 101 targets for 717 yards and 5 touchdowns.  He did this with a conservative offensive coordinator and a bad QB.  The changes at offensive coordinator to John DeFilippo will mean more passing.  DeFilippo was fired at Minnesota last year for throwing the ball too much. The change and QB to Nick Foles will mean more catchable passes, especially since DeFilippo was the QB coach with Foles in Philadelphia during their Super Bowl run.  Dede was an incredible college WR, winning the Biletnikoff award for the nation's best WR.  He can stand out again this year once he's given the opportunity.  He can move into an every-week starting WR in 3-WR leagues.

Marquez Valdez-Scantling (MVS) - My #47 WR - DLF's #57 WR

  • Reports have been all over the place this offseason, but it seems that the steady drumbeat (to use a Football Guys term) is that MVS is going to be the starting outside WR opposite Devante Adams.  I believe it.  He broke out in the middle of the year last year before apparently getting into Aaron Rodger's doghouse.  The whole vibe in Green Bay was messed up from the mid-point of last season to the dreadful end.  It remains to be seen if coaching changes at Green Bay will result in a new attitude in Green Bay after the scathing article written by Bleacher Report.  MVS is the second most talented WR in Green Bay without a doubt.  I'd rank him even higher if I was confident that the coaching changes and scathing report result in an attitude change for Rodgers and his teammates.  I traded for him already this offseason and am eager to see him prove me right.

Players I Like Less Than DLF

N'Keal Harry - My #35 WR - DLF's #18 WR

  • This may be more of a rankings philosophy for me.  With few exceptions, I do not rank rookie WRs high until they have proven something.  There are too many variables at WR that can contribute to a rookie WR's downfall.  The learning curve is harder for WRs compared to RBs, their success is tied too closely to their QB, and the college passing game does not compare well to the NFL passing game.  Harry was my #2 rookie WR behind AJ Brown this year, but I cannot move him ahead of guys like Kupp, Woods, Landry, Davis, Ridley, Watkins like the guys at DLF do.  Brady is likely only playing 1-2 more years so that dramatically impacts Harry's dynasty value.  New England runs a complicated offense requiring intelligence and chemistry.  Harry is a huge talent, but I am unsure that he has what it takes to be a star in that offense before Brady retires.

Chris Godwin - My #31 WR - DLF's #21 WR

  • Godwin might be the most hyped player of the offseason.  The hope of Bruce Arians coming in and revamping the offense has led to a lot of hope but the hype has gone too far in my opinion.  I see him much like I see Robby Anderson.  He's a great WR-3 because he's going to be a good boom and bust player week to week.  Anderson is at least the presumed #1 WR for the Jets while Godwin will never become the #1 WR in Tampa Bay while Mike Evans is there.  I have him ranked in the WR-3 territory at #31 while DLF has him ranked in the WR #2 territory at WR #21.  I don't believe he can ever move into the #2 level.  The differences in our rankings are almost exactly the opposite as how we see Mike Williams.  The difference for me is that Williams can be a better red zone threat than Keenan Allen.  Godwin is a great red zone threat but not near as good as Mike Evans, which is why I cannot rank him as a WR-2.

DK Metcalf - My #41 WR - DLF's #27 WR

  • Here we go again with the rookies.  See the points I made above regarding N'Keal Harry.  I have more proven players like Lockett, Boyd, Fuller, Kirk, Jeffery, and Pettis ranked ahead of Metcalf.  I had Metcalf as my #3 rookie WR this year, and I loved his landing spot in Seattle while being a run-first team also know how to target big WRs and TEs in the endzone.  I thought I was higher on Metcalf than many of the doubters but I guess I am way lower on him than others.  I was surprised by this.  I cannot rank him as high as #27.

James Washington My #56 WR - DLF's #41 WR

  • I was higher than most analysts on Washington in last year's rookie draft, but the offseason moves by Pittsburg have made me question their confidence in him.  Trading Antonio Brown certainly boosted Washington's dynasty value, but free agency and the draft made me realize Pittsburg made the Brown trade not so much because they believed in what they had behind him but because Brown had simply worn out his welcome in Pittsburg which is certainly understandable.  The trade proved that they love Juju, but free agency and the draft proved that they question the guys behind Juju.  They picked of Donte Moncrief in free agency and drafted Diontae Johnson in the 3rd round.  I think the WR-2 position in Pittsburg is really up for grabs and the news that Montcrief (whom I've always liked) was doing well in OTAs caused me to move Washington down a bit in my rankings.

Courtland Sutton- My #48 WR - DLF's #30 WR

  • I was not as high on Sutton coming into last year's rookie drafts and I remain lower on him after his rookie year.  I still have other second-year players like Anthony Miller, MVS, and Kirk ahead of Sutton in my rankings. I would not be surprised if DaeSean Hamilton becomes Flacco's primary target in Denver ahead of Sutton.  Hamilton out-snapped Sutton the last 5 weeks of the season last year after Emmanuel Sanders went down with an injury.  The new coaching staff does not care about the difference in draft capital between Sutton and Hamilton.  I must but just a bit because I still have Sutton ranked #48 while Hamilton is ranked #53.  DLF, however, has Sutton Ranked #30 and Hamilton ranked #58.  Clearly, I see it as a much closer battle.

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