michaelredd9

Should Antonio Brown be numero uno?

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Elite running backs are back.  Todd Gurley was amazing last year.  He will probably be amazing again.  But should Antonio be the number one pick?  He is the safest, most reliable fantasy option possible.  His chance of busting is nil and his chance of getting injured is the lowest of any non-quarterback player.  His floor is 100 receptions.  His ceiling is 150 receptions.  Why take a gamble when you don't have to?

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There are a lot of factors that would go into this:

  • Lineup Requirements - How many required RB and WR? Is it a 2QB league?
  • Scoring - PPR or not? Anything else that adversely affects positional value?
  • League Size - In combination with lineup requirements, the number of required starters across the league is a bid determinant of positional value.
  • League Tendencies - Are the other owners likely to stock up on a single position early? 

 

It is impossible to say he is the #1 overall player as a blanket statement for all leagues. He should definitely be in the conversation for the majority of leagues, but in no way would I be comfortable saying he should be the #1 overall player drafted for most leagues.

 

 

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First, I don't subscribe to any "lowest chance of injury" arguments. This is a violent game, and any player could find himself on the shelf at any time. And though I don't think there is a safer WR either, it's not like Brown's situation remains completely unchanged. It'll be interesting to see how the departure of Todd Haley affects the play calling. There's a very small change that a new play caller will affect Brown much, but to ignore it completely is a mistake.

 

Regarding taking Brown over the stud RBs, I don't think there is a right answer to this question. Instead, ask yourself how your decision shapes the rest of your draft. If you take Antonio Brown #1 overall, then, using these ADP stats, your RB1 would then be among the likes of:

Joe Mixon

Christian McCaffrey

Derrick Henry

 

Or maybe one of these guys is there (because ADP data at this point isn't going to be indicative of how things look in mid-to-late August):

LeSean McCoy

Jordan Howard

Jerick McKinnon

 

Flip that against drafting Le'Veon or Gurley with that first pick. You then end up with a WR1 among the likes of:

Mike Evans

Doug Baldwin

Josh Gordon

Tyreek Hill

 

I don't see A.J. Green or Keenan Allen falling the the 2-3 turn, but maybe that could happen in some leagues. You can't count on it though. 

 

Let's talk best case for your Antonio Brown scenario... Would you rather have Antonio Brown and LeSean McCoy or Bell or Gurley and one of Mike Evans or Doug Baldwin? I am more in the Bell/Gurley and Evans/Baldwin camp, as RB feels like it falls off a cliff after the first 10 or 11 guys (around the Dalvin Cook / Devonta Freeman line somewhere). 

 

In general, I usually subscribe to the idea that, if I am taking RB with my first pick, I tend to go WR-WR with my next two unless some excellent RB value is there. So it becomes more like this:

 

Would you rather Antonio Brown, Jordan Howard, Doug Baldwin -or- Le'Veon Bell, Mike Evans, Doug Baldwin. I am way more comfortable calling Evans/Baldwin my co-WR1s with a stud RB than having Jordan Howard as a RB1 (or any of the other RBs with possible exception of McCoy even though I'm not loving it).

 

But if you like Antonio Brown enough and can accept how that impacts your RB situation, then go for it. 

 

 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, MTSuper7 said:

 

First, I don't subscribe to any "lowest chance of injury" arguments. This is a violent game, and any player could find himself on the shelf at any time. And though I don't think there is a safer WR either, it's not like Brown's situation remains completely unchanged. It'll be interesting to see how the departure of Todd Haley affects the play calling. There's a very small change that a new play caller will affect Brown much, but to ignore it completely is a mistake.

 

 

Running backs get hurt more often than wide receivers.  Running back's injuries are more often serious, more often season-ending.  And Brown is less likely to get injured than even other wide receivers.  He is so dexterous that he avoids big hits.  And he plays a lot near the sideline where the hits that receivers take are far less viscous.  And Brown is tip top shape.  Being in great shape gives a player a leathery toughness.  Guys like Barry Sanders and Jerry Rice didn't get hurt often.  I think Brown is in the same category of being in the best shape possible and having amazing agility to avoid hits.

 

I like the running backs available in rounds 5-10 more than the wide receivers available.  Their are 24 or 25 wide receivers that I like and they are all drafted in the first 4 rounds.  I think there is a mammoth gulf between the value of a tier 2 a tier 3 wide receiver.  Drafting a wide receiver in the 1st round makes it much more likely that I can draft 3 wide receivers in my first 4 picks.  So all things being equal, I would prefer a wide receiver to a running back.  But I am contending that Brown should be the number one pick in leagues where running backs and wide receivers are of equal value for roster purposes.

 

Edited by michaelredd9

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I'm with Big C and MT - you should also be able to figure out how fast RB and WR value declines in your particular league over the first 3, 10, and 20 positions. If RB point value decays faster, then that would be another reason to go RB than WR. If the value is equal then it boils down to a matter of your preferences.

 

Antonio Brown may not get injured much but Ben the Rapist does. When that happens, I can tell you from experience that AB's value goes straight into the tank.

 

The #1RB can be worth, point-wise, almost as much as a running back and a half when compared to the #5 or #10RB in a standard league. PPR will be different - you can do the calculations for your league and make the most informed decision.

 

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On 7/9/2018 at 12:08 PM, michaelredd9 said:

 

Running backs get hurt more often than wide receivers.  Running back's injuries are more often serious, more often season-ending.  And Brown is less likely to get injured than even other wide receivers.  He is so dexterous that he avoids big hits.  And he plays a lot near the sideline where the hits that receivers take are far less viscous.  And Brown is tip top shape.  Being in great shape gives a player a leathery toughness.  Guys like Barry Sanders and Jerry Rice didn't get hurt often.  I think Brown is in the same category of being in the best shape possible and having amazing agility to avoid hits.

 

I like the running backs available in rounds 5-10 more than the wide receivers available.  Their are 24 or 25 wide receivers that I like and they are all drafted in the first 4 rounds.  I think there is a mammoth gulf between the value of a tier 2 a tier 3 wide receiver.  Drafting a wide receiver in the 1st round makes it much more likely that I can draft 3 wide receivers in my first 4 picks.  So all things being equal, I would prefer a wide receiver to a running back.  But I am contending that Brown should be the number one pick in leagues where running backs and wide receivers are of equal value for roster purposes.

 

 

The "he is the least likely WR in the league to get injured" argument just sounds like you are digging for reasons to support your position. The guy got hurt early in week 15 last year, missing the rest of the regular season (and essentially torpedoing the playoff hopes of fantasy teams who had him). Nobody knows when injuries will strike. It's that simple.

 

I don't even think you have to bring up injury/health to defend yourself here. As you said, he is a lock for 100 catches. And if he meets his averages over the last five years, he'll eclipse 1400 yards and 10 TDs. He's the safest pick out there, and in a PPR league, he very rarely has a down week to hurt you.

 

Again, this question is more about personal preference. The biggest argument against drafting Brown with the #1 overall pick is the opportunity cost. If you take Antonio Brown with the #1 overall pick, you have to be comfortable with the impact that has on your RB situation. If you like a lot of the mid round RB options, then draft WR early and take who falls in those mid rounds at RB. 

 

Actually, based on mock trends, this strategy might be pretty smart. It seems like people are in love with the RB once again, meaning there will be a lot of WR value likely to be there at the 2-3 turn. Starting your draft with 3 Top 10 WRs, then taking some lottery tickets at RB in the back half of your draft could work out well. Especially in PPR formats.

 

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, MTSuper7 said:

 

The "he is the least likely WR in the league to get injured" argument just sounds like you are digging for reasons to support your position. The guy got hurt early in week 15 last year, missing the rest of the regular season (and essentially torpedoing the playoff hopes of fantasy teams who had him). Nobody knows when injuries will strike. It's that simple.

 

I don't even think you have to bring up injury/health to defend yourself here. As you said, he is a lock for 100 catches. And if he meets his averages over the last five years, he'll eclipse 1400 yards and 10 TDs. He's the safest pick out there, and in a PPR league, he very rarely has a down week to hurt you.

 

Again, this question is more about personal preference. The biggest argument against drafting Brown with the #1 overall pick is the opportunity cost. If you take Antonio Brown with the #1 overall pick, you have to be comfortable with the impact that has on your RB situation. If you like a lot of the mid round RB options, then draft WR early and take who falls in those mid rounds at RB. 

 

Actually, based on mock trends, this strategy might be pretty smart. It seems like people are in love with the RB once again, meaning there will be a lot of WR value likely to be there at the 2-3 turn. Starting your draft with 3 Top 10 WRs, then taking some lottery tickets at RB in the back half of your draft could work out well. Especially in PPR formats.

 

 

This is what I did recently in a 12 man redraft. RBs were decimated by the time I picked. Had the 8th pick, AB went right before me, landed Hopkins, Julio fell like a rock for some reason as more rbs fell (McCaffery went right before me) and picked him up at the 2.05, then scooped up Howard as my 1st rb at the 3.08. That being said, I have had AB fall in several ppr redrafts as rbs are going early and often. I don't think I would take him no.1, but after Gurley and Bell, sure, why not. 

Edited by heehawks
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11 minutes ago, heehawks said:

 

I have had AB fall in several ppr redrafts as rbs are going early and often. I don't think I would take him no.1

 

 

I've decided to draft Gurley over Brown for this reason.  I'll have the opportunity to draft Antonio in several drafts with picks 3-7.  I don't need to load up on Antonio on every team.  It'd be nice to have at least one team with Gurley.

 

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My only issue with a WR #1 is that on a good day he has the ball in his hands 8-10 times roughly.  Where as a good RB is touching the ball about 22 times in a game.  To me, more opportunities lead to more pts.

 

So if I have the #1 pick I'm always going with a RB.  Am I way off base on this?

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13 hours ago, NAUgrad said:

My only issue with a WR #1 is that on a good day he has the ball in his hands 8-10 times roughly.  Where as a good RB is touching the ball about 22 times in a game.  To me, more opportunities lead to more pts.

 

So if I have the #1 pick I'm always going with a RB.  Am I way off base on this?

 

That might generally be true but Antonio might be the exception to the rule.  In the last 4 years, Antonio has finished twice as the top scoring rb/wr and twice as the 4th top scoring rb/wr.

 

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3 hours ago, michaelredd9 said:

 

That might generally be true but Antonio might be the exception to the rule.  In the last 4 years, Antonio has finished twice as the top scoring rb/wr and twice as the 4th top scoring rb/wr.

 

Do you think he's less risky than Gurley though?  Have to agree you make a strong argument for him and he's a top 3 pick in any league but I'm not sure he's less risky than the #1 RB.

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in the redraft PPR league that's drafting now, Gurley went 1 and Brown 6. The first 5 were all RBs

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Posted (edited)
43 minutes ago, NAUgrad said:

 

Do you think he's less risky than Gurley though?  

 

 

Injury is probably the only risk either of them have.  But running backs get injured more often than wide receivers.  A running back like Gurley gets tackled 20 to 25 times a game with the tackler often being a linebacker running with a full head of steam.  Brown only gets tackled 5 or 6 times a game on average and it is usually a small cornerback just pulling him down to the ground.  His knees are not getting hit the way a running back's knees are getting hit.  Brown has missed 3 games over the last 5 years.  One of those 3 games was a week 17 game that had no relevance so he was sat to keep him fresh for the playoffs.

 

Edited by michaelredd9

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One thing you have to also consider, and it's also one of the hardest things to factor, is the opportunity cost of drafting him and how that affects your overall team scoring potential. If we work on the assumption that it is either Gurley as the RB1 or Brown as the WR1 that we consider with the #1 pick, and that we draft the opposite position in the next round, then we need to try and factor in what the point differential is between Gurley and the RB we are looking at the end of the 2nd round compared to the difference between Brown and the WR we are looking at the end of the second round.

 

Looking at ADP data (MFL link from Huddle was not working, so used a competitors ADP data for PPR as source, so won't link), the RBs available in the 21-28 range are McKinnon, Howard and Mixon. The WRs available in that range are Evans (barely), Baldwin, Hilton, Thielen and Tyreek. So we're looking at a combo of Gurley and most likely a Hilton/Thielen type or Brown with a McKinnon/Howard type.

 

Obviously this is a bit simplistic only looking at the first two picks, but it is an extremely important exercise to go through when planning out a draft strategy. Each pick is not made in a vacuum, but needs to be part of an overall draft strategy to build the team that scores the most points.

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5 hours ago, michaelredd9 said:

 

That might generally be true but Antonio might be the exception to the rule.  In the last 4 years, Antonio has finished twice as the top scoring rb/wr and twice as the 4th top scoring rb/wr.

 

 

Was looking at his stats over the past, especially those 4 years and see that both his targets and receptions have dropped by a good margin, and not just for the 1-2 games missed per season, from AB stats

year   target   rec

2014   181     128

2015   193     139

2016   154     106  - missed 1 game

2017   163     101  - missed 2 games

 

per game stats first 2 years, 11.8 targets 8.3 rec, last 2 years 10.9 targets, 7.1 receptions  about one fewer target and reception. Not huge.

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1 hour ago, Big Country said:

One thing you have to also consider, and it's also one of the hardest things to factor, is the opportunity cost of drafting him and how that affects your overall team scoring potential. If we work on the assumption that it is either Gurley as the RB1 or Brown as the WR1 that we consider with the #1 pick, and that we draft the opposite position in the next round, then we need to try and factor in what the point differential is between Gurley and the RB we are looking at the end of the 2nd round compared to the difference between Brown and the WR we are looking at the end of the second round.

 

Looking at ADP data (MFL link from Huddle was not working, so used a competitors ADP data for PPR as source, so won't link), the RBs available in the 21-28 range are McKinnon, Howard and Mixon. The WRs available in that range are Evans (barely), Baldwin, Hilton, Thielen and Tyreek. So we're looking at a combo of Gurley and most likely a Hilton/Thielen type or Brown with a McKinnon/Howard type.

 

Obviously this is a bit simplistic only looking at the first two picks, but it is an extremely important exercise to go through when planning out a draft strategy. Each pick is not made in a vacuum, but needs to be part of an overall draft strategy to build the team that scores the most points.

Great stuff here.  So is your point that if you draft Brown #1, then your potential points drop more due to fewer high end players available at the end of the 2nd vs drafting Gurley #1.  I would think that would equal out.  No?  Would you rather have Gurley/Balwin or Brown/McKinnon.  Tough call in in my opinion.

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50 minutes ago, NAUgrad said:

Great stuff here.  So is your point that if you draft Brown #1, then your potential points drop more due to fewer high end players available at the end of the 2nd vs drafting Gurley #1.  I would think that would equal out.  No?  Would you rather have Gurley/Balwin or Brown/McKinnon.  Tough call in in my opinion.

 

The simplistic equation is comparing the combo of Gurley/Baldwin to Brown/McKinnon - highest scoring combo is what wins. If we think the difference between Gurley and McKinnon will be 60 points, but the drop from Brown to Baldwin is 80 points, then we take Brown and McKinnon and would outscore our opponent by 20 points.

 

Let's say our projections for those 4 players are this:

Gurley - 300 points

Brown - 280 points

McKinnon - 240 points

Baldwin - 200 points

 

Even though Gurley is our projected highest scoring player with 300 points, by taking Brown first and then McKinnon, our team will score 520 points, compared to the 500 points we would get by taking Gurley and Baldwin. Now, this is a very simple example to illustrate the point.

 

When applying it in reality, it is a lot more complicated, as lineups are deeper than 2 players, there are more than 2 positions (QB/RB/WR/TE), and if there is flex you also have to consider not just value within a position but also the flex value of players, as that is a different baseline, but the underlining theory is the same - you need to put together the combination of players that will score the most points. So if our lineup is 1QB, 2 RBs, 2 WRs and 1 TE, we have to do an on the fly calculation of what value we lose at each position by not drafting them at each pick, taking into consideration the required number of players per position, how many we expect to be taken between each of our picks, and so on in an effort to craft the starting lineup that scores the most points.

 

And, with all that said, we have to hope that our projections are fairly realistic and that we hit on a few hidden gems later in the draft.

 

 

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2 hours ago, Big Country said:

 

The simplistic equation is comparing the combo of Gurley/Baldwin to Brown/McKinnon - highest scoring combo is what wins. If we think the difference between Gurley and McKinnon will be 60 points, but the drop from Brown to Baldwin is 80 points, then we take Brown and McKinnon and would outscore our opponent by 20 points.

 

Let's say our projections for those 4 players are this:

Gurley - 300 points

Brown - 280 points

McKinnon - 240 points

Baldwin - 200 points

 

Even though Gurley is our projected highest scoring player with 300 points, by taking Brown first and then McKinnon, our team will score 520 points, compared to the 500 points we would get by taking Gurley and Baldwin. Now, this is a very simple example to illustrate the point.

 

When applying it in reality, it is a lot more complicated, as lineups are deeper than 2 players, there are more than 2 positions (QB/RB/WR/TE), and if there is flex you also have to consider not just value within a position but also the flex value of players, as that is a different baseline, but the underlining theory is the same - you need to put together the combination of players that will score the most points. So if our lineup is 1QB, 2 RBs, 2 WRs and 1 TE, we have to do an on the fly calculation of what value we lose at each position by not drafting them at each pick, taking into consideration the required number of players per position, how many we expect to be taken between each of our picks, and so on in an effort to craft the starting lineup that scores the most points.

 

And, with all that said, we have to hope that our projections are fairly realistic and that we hit on a few hidden gems later in the draft.

 

 

 

Great info, just wanted to say regarding the bolded best to not even talk about what your opponent scores, while you need to outscore them to win, its about comparing the two players you get to the other two.

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7 minutes ago, stevegrab said:

 

Great info, just wanted to say regarding the bolded best to not even talk about what your opponent scores, while you need to outscore them to win, its about comparing the two players you get to the other two.

True - not really opponent - more the combo we selected outscores the other route we could have gone. 

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To me, it comes down to which player in the 2nd round (i get there are all sorts of things to consider throughout the draft) has the higher upside and lower risk.  In my opinion, McKinnon has a higher upside but higher risk than Baldwin.  Am I willing to take that risk in the 2nd round?  I would, but again I favor RB's especially in a PPR league.  Baldwin is a more consistent player over the years so it might be smarter to go with a Gurley/Baldwin duo even though projection wise it looks like they will score 20 less points potentially.

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AB got the Madden cover, that's enough for me to pass at #1

 

:unsure:

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16 hours ago, Zooty said:

AB got the Madden cover, that's enough for me to pass at #1

 

:unsure:

 

I thought that silly curse died a few years ago. Brady was on the cover last year, what happened to him, other than losing the SB?

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