Quick off the topic question, should I title these or are numbers working?
This off season I noticed something, I have seen it before but for whatever reason it seems more prominent this year. When rookies are ranked in the fantasy community there are a few times during the off season when they make noticeable moves.
First we have ranks based largely on tape. The metrics community doesn’t have the best info yet and so most of what we have to go on is our eyes.
Second we have the combine. This is when the metrics can make small and big changes. A player can more firmly cement themselves in their current position. Or they could rise or fall depending on how they perform vs how we thought they would perform. This year, Treadwell took a hit after performing below what some expected. He went from the sure fire 1.02 to the 1.03 and later. This has happened to players before of course. It was interesting to me though because I thought a large part of his appeal was technique, not speed.
Third, we have draft rumors and the NFL draft itself. Will Fuller zoomed up boards when the first round rumors started flying around. Then again when he was drafted 21st overall by the Texans. We have seen this before also. Subsequently players who fall in the draft often fall in fantasy drafts as well.
There was some debate on “the good Michael Thomas vs the bad Michael Thomas”. Player Profiler even did an article on it. It seemed most believed OSU Michael Thomas was the “bad” one. Then he was drafted 47th overall to the Saints, a pretty good landing spot and the Colston comps started flying around. He moves up to the mid first round in some drafts. Mike Thomas doesn’t receive a combine invite and the fantasy community loses their minds. Then he goes 206th overall to the Rams and falls on everyone’s board.
The amount of time and money NFL teams put into scouting put me in the camp of “they know more than I do.” We should not totally disregard what we saw in the previous seasons though. If a player falls but still has good tape and metrics, why can’t they work their way into a starting role? Part of the fear is the amount of projecting it requires to see it. On a team like the Rams, with lots of meh at WR though, why did it all of a sudden become out of the question? Again with Treadwell, he is the 4th WR to go in the NFL draft and falls in fantasy. A guy who was, in some places, in a tier of his own goes to a team who is in need of a true WR1.
Some of the fluctuation is justified. I am not trying to say we should keep our boards the same. Talent, metrics, draft pedigree and situation are all factors to be accounted for. I am asking everyone to look at how you weigh those things and make sure you are not forcing it and the weight is justified.