ADP Battle: Keenan Allen, Amari Cooper, or A.J. Green?
ADP Battle: Keenan Allen, Amari Cooper, or A.J. Green?
Allen, Cooper, or Green? All Low-end WR1’s/high-end WR2’s who can win you your league or secure you last place. You could hit a home run and select a player like Tyreek Hill at the end of round two, or the beginning of round three. You may also select 2017 Amari Cooper and be wildly disappointed. Similar to Taylor Smith’s QB ADP Battle, fantasy draft boards often have a talented cluster of players who possess similar ADP’s. This ADP battle features Keenan Allen, Amari Cooper, and A.J. Green, three-wide receivers who’ve established themselves as premier NFL players.
The ADP data comes from fantasyfootballcalculator.com and according to them, the three receivers are all currently being picked at the beginning of the third round. Allen, Cooper, and Green are being drafted as wide receivers 11, 12, and 13 at the current moment. In this piece, we’ll evaluate each player, and based on the information presented, find out who should be drafted first.
Amari Cooper’s fantasy career has been a roller coaster, to say the least. In PPR scoring, he finished as WR21 and WR14 in his first two years. In his third year, one many expected to be a large one, he was utterly embarrassing finishing as WR36. Through six games in his fourth season with the Raiders, he was averaging just over 9 PPR points-per-game and was WR52. With Cooper’s reputation as a premier wide receiver slowly fading, his career was revived due to a trade with the Dallas Cowboys. In nine games with the Cowboys, Cooper was WR9. With Cooper now enduring a full offseason with the Cowboys, it makes sense that Cooper is being picked as WR 12, but if you take a deeper look into the numbers, Cooper wasn’t as good with the Cowboys as the initial numbers show.
The chart above shows Cooper’s splits in seven of the nine games he played with the Cowboys. If you remember, Cooper had two standout games with the Cowboys. One came on Thanksgiving vs the Washington Redskins where he had eight receptions for 180 yards, 2 touchdowns, and 38 fantasy points. The other performance came in an OT win vs the Philadelphia Eagles where Cooper had 10 catches for 217 yards, 3 touchdowns, and 49.7 fantasy points. If you take those two outlier games away, Cooper averaged just over 10 fantasy PPG. Based on where other wide receivers finished in 2018, that 10.69 PPG averaged out over a full season would’ve made Cooper WR33.
When picking a player at the beginning of the third round, you’re aiming for someone who you can trust to give you points week in and week out. Based on the numbers Amari Cooper has put up during his career, he certainly carries a high risk/high reward label.
Keenan Allen has been the exact opposite of inconsistent since returning from his torn ACL. He finished as WR3 in PPR scoring leagues in 2017 and was WR12 in 15 games in 2018. When deciding between these three players at this point in the draft, consistency, and volume are two factors you’re looking into, and Keenan Allen checks both those boxes.
The chart above shows the weekly finishes of Allen, Cooper, and Green throughout the 2017 and 2018 seasons. Allen showcases his consistency by winning both the Top 5 and Top 12 categories while also taking home 25-36. Amari Cooper loses almost every single category while A.J. Green wins just one. In 2018, Allen had 9 games where he had 6 or more catches and he caught a touchdown in five consecutive games. Cooper had 7 games where he had less than 4 catches and had 6 total touchdowns, 5 of which came in two games.
Allen also finished first in targets among the three players in 2018. Allen finished with 137 targets over 15 games while Amari Cooper (15 games) had 108 and Green(9 games) had 77.
Consistency, volume, and an electric offense give us reason to believe Allen will be incredibly effective in 2019.
A.J. Green has been one of the more underrated fantasy wide receivers of this generation. Even under a below-average coaching staff, Green was still able to produce impressive fantasy numbers. His lowest PPG in PPR leagues came in 2017 when he averaged 14.2.
In Green’s eight years, he’s been a top-10 wide receiver four times. Those four seasons were ones in which he played all 16 games. In years he didn’t play all 16 games, he fell outside the top 10 but his averages were still fantastic. While Green has been injury-prone in the past, you can’t let that affect your decision on whether or not you wish to draft him. He’s expected to be a full go for training camp. Past Injuries shouldn’t hold you back from taking Green because his fantasy career averages are too good to ignore.
This chart shows the average PPR PPG off the three receivers. Green entered the league in 2011 while Allen was drafted in 2013. Looking at the average PPG of the two receivers over six seasons, Green comes out on top in four of them. Since entering the league, Cooper hasn’t topped Green in PPG and has only beaten Allen once, which came in the season Allen lacerated his kidney.
As I’ve stressed throughout this article, this is a pick and position in your draft you can’t miss on. After digging through the numbers, it seems as if this is a two-horse race between Green and Allen. Cooper has been impressive at times, but his inconsistency throughout his entire career makes him an extremely high-risk pick compared to the other receivers available. Green and Allen, both of whom have an injury history, is extremely tough to call but I believe one slightly edges out the other.
- Keenan Allen
- A.J. Green
- Amari Cooper