Free agency is a busy time. Now that most of the dust has settled, how do you evaluate players who have shuffled around?
Around this time every year, you start to see fantasy free agency winners and losers. Risers and fallers. Buy and sell. All sorts of articles, columns, and blogs that talk about how value has risen and fallen for players in free agency. This is huge, RB’s signing to new teams or a WR being traded can really affect how they perform. Did a guy become a bell cow? Did a WR become his teams number 1 option? There’s going to be 100 articles discussing these things, but I would like to note something a little less obvious.
Of course these moves have a fantasy impact at the micro level, with each player’s stock rising and falling individually. But how about as a position group overall? How did players fair when moving to new teams? While it’s hard to predict the future, let’s take a look at the past.
|2019 Free Agent||ADP||Finish||Difference||2019 Free Agent||ADP||Finish||Difference|
|Lev Bell||6||21||-15||Antonio Brown||9||144||-135|
|Mark Ingram||22||6||16||Golden Tate||51||47||4|
|Carlos Hyde||53||20||33||John Brown||54||14||40|
|LeSean McCoy||36||40||-4||Odell Beckham Jr.||6||34||-28|
|Frank Gore||65||44||21||Jamison Crowder||56||38||18|
|Tevin Coleman||26||32||-6||Cole Beasley||94||29||65|
|Latavius Murray||34||31||3||Tyrell Williams||50||40||10|
|Average (Excluding Brown)||18.2|
|2018 Free Agent||ADP||Finish||Difference||2018 Free Agent||ADP||Finish||Difference|
|Dion Lewis||26||36||-10||Jarvis Landry||17||22||-5|
|Carlos Hyde||25||44||-19||Allen Robinson||25||41||-16|
|Isaiah Crowell||38||29||9||Sammy Watkins||39||62||-23|
|Doug Martin||57||35||22||Michael Crabtree||30||60||-30|
|Jerick Mckinnon||19||155||-136||Jordy Nelson||40||49||-9|
|LeGarrette Blount||54||50||4||John Brown||49||39||10|
|Average (Excluding Mckinnon)||4|
Ok, so I know there’s a bunch of information above, but let’s break it down. Looking at the last 2 years in fantasy for RB and WR, you can see how each of the players who changed teams performed against their ADP. Positive numbers here mean value, while negative numbers mean they didn’t perform up to expectations. I’m excluding McKinnon and Antonio Brown from my results, as they skew the data since they both missed nearly a full season.
What you see from this data is that on average, RB’s and WR both perform slightly above their ADP after changing teams. RB’s performed on average 5.5 spots better than they were drafted. This is good news if you are looking at Todd Gurley, Jordan Howard, and Melvin Gordon. You can find some value in these guys, since the change in scenery lowers their ADP since you aren’t sure what you are going to get. Mark Ingram II and Carlos Hyde were great examples of this last season. The same is true for WR’s, although not as extreme. While Brown and OBJ were outliers this year, all WR’s on the list above outperformed their ADP. Most had great value including John brown and Cole Beasley. With some big name WR’s on the move this offseason in Deandre Hopkins and Stefon Diggs, you may be able to capitalize on fantasy owners scared of change. Sometimes the grass is greener on the other side.
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