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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.