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Emily or Cinnamon?

By Steve Schwarz | 8/27/20

Amari Cooper & Michael Gallup

I’m a crazy all-sports fan watching almost anything (even curling), but I’m also a fan of the television series Big Bang Theory and in honor of one of my favorite storylines, this piece is call “Emily or Cinnamon?”

For those of you who hasn’t watched the series or needs a refresher, Howard Wolowitz played a game with the group of friends making fun of Raj and his love for both his dog (Cinnamon) and his girlfriend (Emily).

Howard would ask, “Was he talking about his dog or his girlfriend when he said, "I want you to know, the bed feels so lonely when you’re not in it." Another statement was “Check it out I got us matching sweaters.” And again, “It's just so perfect that we're both Libras." (By the way all the answers are Cinnamon).

Now we will adapt that game for fantasy owners. I’ll give you a pair of players’ statistics from 2019. Try to figure out why one player’s ADP is so much higher than the other despite their 2019 fantasy production being almost equal and whether they are worth the higher price.

Player ADP FPts/G Pa Yds TDs INTs Ru Yds Ru TDs
Quarterback A 62.1 25.7 4902 30 11 277 3
Quarterback B 111.6 25.9 2499 19 5 66 0

Quarterback A plays in the national spotlight frequently and quarterback B is in a non-descript Midwestern city where they donít win many football games, but they do get at least one national game every season. Both were on a pace to throw for almost 5,000 yards, but one managed just eight games before his 2019 season ended due to injury. They both have good pass-catchers to target, but the higher-ranked quarterback also has a superstar running back behind him to occupy the defense. They both averaged just under 26 FPts/G. Is that worth almost five rounds difference in draft position? Not for me.

Answer: Matthew Stafford over Dak Prescott

Player ADP FPts/G Pa Yds TDs INTs Ru Yds Ru TDs
Quarterback A 62.6 21.5 3722 20 12 544 4
Quarterback B 103.9 21.3 4039 27 7 243 1

Quarterback A’s team brought in one of the best wide receivers in the NFL to add to an aging Hall of Fame wideout and a young 2018 second-rounder who finished 34th in FPts/G last season. Quarterback B has an elite tight end, but returning injured veterans and three rookie wideouts have more questions than answers. Meanwhile, he played his best ball of the season with practice squad receivers. It’s therefore understandable that Quarterback A is getting the attention, but will it translate into four rounds better fantasy value, I’m not so sure. I also think the higher-ranked QB is going too early, so the gamble is more expensive.

Answer: Carson Wentz over Kyler Murray

Player ADP FPts/G Ru Yds Ru TDs Rec Red Yds Rec TDs
Running Back A 16.3 16.3 1494 8 36 278 0
Running Back B 47.0 16.2 1018 10 26 247 5

Running back A is less than proficient in catching the ball making him a tier under the elites. In fact, running back A, who is going three rounds sooner than running back B has a highly proficient pass-catching back right behind him on the depth chart. To counteract his lack of receiving, Back A has seen the third-most red zone rushing attempts, though he converted just eight of those 50 attempts into scores (16%). Meanwhile, running back B is in a much higher-scoring offense and has a better red zone conversion rate 8-for-27 (29.6%). He’d get more opportunities if his quarterback would stop running them in himself. Back B also converted five receptions into scores last season, but that seems like a fluke given his paltry 26 total receptions. Still, I think the lower ADP back has better value.

Answer: Mark Ingram over Nick Chubb

Player ADP FPts/G Ru Yds Ru TDs Rec Red Yds Rec TDs
Running Back A 8.9 14.8 1150 7 20 166 0
Running back B 24.1 14.8 464 4 34 251 3

Rookie running back A showed elusive rushing ability, but wasn’t much in the passing game in what was a pretty dull offense last season. How soon we forgot running back B? In 2018 he averaged over 21 FPts/G and ranked sixth among all fantasy running backs. Last season was a disaster, both for running back B and his team, but all signs point to a return to form with their injured two-time Super Bowl winning quarterback’s elbow feeling 100% for the first time in about a decade. If you’re willing to gamble on back B staying healthy, admittedly a big gamble since he’s played an average of only 11.7 games a season since 2017, he’s the better value.

Answer: James Conner over Josh Jacobs

Player ADP FPts/G Ru Yds Ru TDs Rec Red Yds Rec TDs
Wideout A 10.3 17.7 0 0 83 997 5
Wideout B 27.5 17.7 0 0 67 1157 8

Both wide receivers will be catching passing from an aging multi-time All-Pro quarterback, but only one of the signal callers is happy about his current situation. Wide receiver A is the only real viable target on his team so his disgruntled quarterback may once again look at him early and often and late and often. Unfortunately, his head coach and GM apparently want to become a run-dominant team. Wideout B will have to fight for his current target share with a rising star receiver opposite him and two tight ends who can catch, including a future Hall of Famer. In this case, I like the end-of-the-first round option.

Answer: Davante Adams over Mike Evans

Player ADP FPts/G Ru Yds Ru TDs Rec Red Yds Rec TDs
Wideout A 38.4 15.4 6 0 79 1189 8
Wideout B 75.1 15.2 0 0 66 1107 6

Strangely, they both play for the same team and both averaged just over 15 FPts/G. Yet the older, better known receiver A is being drafted in the fourth round and his younger counterpart in the eighth round. Wideout A is the better red zone target converting 5-of-9 targets into scores while wideout B was 2-of-7. Meanwhile, both receivers will have to deal with a talented rookie who wants his fair share of the targets too. The key for me is sharing targets with a third stud wide receiver making receiver A, a bigger gamble if the rookie is for real and reduces both veterans value.

Answer: Michael Gallup over Amari Cooper

Player ADP FPts/G Ru Yds Ru TDs Rec Red Yds Rec TDs
Wideout A 49.4 14.9 20 0 73 1008 8
Wideout B 94.0 14.9 0 0 62 779 9

Wideout A took a giant leap forward in Year 2 from 32 targets and 14 catches in his rookie season to 118 and 73 last season as the No.1 guy. But his team will have a new offensive coordinator and there are still questions regarding his quarterback and a conservative (read dull) offense. Wideout B isn’t his team’s No.1 guy, but has still averaged just under 14 FPts/G the past three seasons. Wideout A has the higher upside and lower floor, but unless you are risk-averse, go for the higher upside. When they work out, it wins championships.

Answer: D.J. Chark over Marvin Jones

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