ADP Hype Train: Wide Receivers
It’s officially summer time! Time to take a break from the 9-5 grind and go on vacation. Today, I will be taking a trip on the fantasy hype train. I will exam wide receivers whose average draft position (ADP) has been rising in the month of June. Recent news has fueled the hype train to faster speeds and these wide receivers need to be discussed. Currently, the conductors of the hype train are Curtis Samuel, Marquez Valdes-Scantling (MVS), and Dante Pettis. All ADPs mentioned in this article are from Fantasy Football Calculator 12-man, PPR leagues.
On June 1, Samuel’s ADP was 13.08. As of writing this article, his ADP has skyrocketed to 11.02. Why the increase?
Carolina Panthers PPR Data from 2018
Cam is Getting Better
Reports from Panthers training camp have been positive for Cam Newton. Joe Parson from The Athletic reported the surgeon who completed Cam’s shoulder surgery said, “the cartilage damage was not as extensive as we had feared.” On June 8th, Panthers reporter, Max Henson, said Cam was cleared to throw at mandatory minicamp. This is significant because maintaining Cam’s health is one of the most important factors for Samuel’s success.
Analyst Hype Train
Samuel’s ADP has also increased because I am not the only fantasy analyst who has been adding fuel to the fire. Matt Harmon, the creator of Reception Perception, said, “Samuel was the most stunning positive result from the 2018 charting process. He is clearly the best route runner and separator on the team. It is not a stretch at all to say Samuel looks like an early career Stefon Diggs.” These are very encouraging words from someone who grinds wide receiver data on a daily basis.
Devin Funchess moved to the Indianapolis Colts this offseason. This should increase Samuel’s overall opportunity because ESPN and CBS currently have him listed as the second wide receiver on the depth chart. In 2018, Samuel played two games without Funchess and his average PPR points increased from 11.14 to 13.70. Two games is not an ideal sample size but it is all of the data we have from last season.
It is worth noting, DJ Moore will also benefit from the absence of Funchess. However, Moore’s ADP is currently much higher than Samuel’s ADP. Moore’s ADP has remained fairly steady in the sixth round while Samuel is being drafted at the beginning of the eleventh round. I believe Samuel offers more value than Moore at their respective ADPs. I expect the Samuel hype train to gain more speed as the regular season approaches. Take advantage of his current price because I expect his ADP to get out of control in August.
On June 1, Valdes-Scantling’s ADP was 14.05. As of writing this article, his ADP has ballooned to 10.07. Why the increase?
Green Bay Packers PPR Data from 2018
Valdes-Scantling has made some positive noise this offseason. Aaron Rodgers said MVS, “had a fantastic spring.” However, you might want to take this news with a grain of salt because Rodgers also talked up wide receiver, Jake Kumero as well. Davante Adams said the new scheme in Green Bay, “is really catered for a guy like [Valdes-Scantling].” Currently, Aaron Rodgers and new Packers head coach, Matt LaFleur, are battling to determine who will have control of the offense at the line of scrimmage. These two have plenty of time to clash this offseason and I expect them to hash things out before the season starts.
MVS has a good chance to break out in his second year because his opportunity should increase significantly. Randall Cobb moved to the Dallas Cowboys in the offseason and as the table below shows, MVS performed better when Cobb was on the sideline. In 2018, MVS played 8 games with Cobb and averaged 5.89 points. MVS played in 7 games without Cobb and his average points scored per game increased to 9.13.
Davante Adams is still the clear number one wide receiver in Green Bay but MVS has made a solid push for the number two spot. ESPN reporter, Rob Demovsky said MVS is, “probably the number two receiver,” and has worked ahead of Geronimo Allison in two wide receiver formations. Allison’s ADP has remained in the eighth round while MVS is now being drafted in the middle of the tenth round. I am more than happy to spend a tenth round pick on MVS who is trending towards starting as the number two receiver in a high powered offense.
On June 1, Pettis’ ADP was 8.04. As of writing this article, his ADP increased to 7.06. The upward trajectory of Pettis’ ADP is not as dramatic as Samuel or MVS but it is still trending in a positive direction. Why the increase?
San Francisco 49ers PPR Data from 2018
A Quick Look Back
Prior to the 2018 regular season, San Francisco was a trendy pick by many experts to bounce back and make the playoffs. Things did not go according to plan when Jimmy Garoppolo tore his ACL in Week 3 and the 49ers finished with a 4-12 record. The good news is Garoppolo is back for redemption. ESPN reporter, Nick Wagoner, reported Garoppolo has been limited to individual drills in minicamp but is on track to play in the preseason.
San Francisco made a lot of changes to the wide receiver position in the offseason. The team moved on from Pierre Garcon by declining his 2019 contract option, drafted Deebo Samuel in the second round, and Jalen Hurd in the third round. Samuel is above Hurd on the depth chart but Samuel sat out minicamp with a hip injury. Marquise Goodwin is still with the team and will receive playing time but his time might be limited due to injury concerns. Goodwin battled injuries all of last season and only finished with 23 receptions and 395 yards. Head coach, Kyle Shanahan said he would like to, “get other guys in there to take the pressure off of [Marquise Goodwin].”
Pettis’ ADP took off when Athletic reporter, Matt Barrows, projected him to be the number one receiver. Barrows also projected Deebo Samuel to be the number two receiver. Currently, ESPN, CBS, and OurLads have Pettis as the number one receiver on the depth chart. Garoppolo also spoke highly of Pettis and said, “He’s coming out of breaks with power, he has speed. It doesn’t look like he’s moving very fast but he really is.” Pettis is rising to the top of the depth chart and fantasy football owners are starting to take notice. He has a lot of potential to succeed and showed glimpses of greatness near the end of last year. In Weeks 12-15, Pettis averaged 4.25 receptions, 84.5 yards, and 1 touchdown. Week 16 was omitted because he left the game with an MCL injury and also missed Week 17 with the same injury.
Samuel, MVS, and Pettis all have a good chance to shine this season. They can rise above the flashy headlines because they all play in good offensive systems and opportunity is trending in their direction. Take note of these players when you are completing early drafts because their ADP price tag might be too expensive in August. I will continue to be cautious with early season news but I believe all three of these players have great potential.
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