ADP Comparison: Kendall Wright vs. The Field
By Jeff Brubach
Now that fantasy football draft season is in full swing, we can begin to get a handle on the true average draft positions (ADP) of the players we’re targeting for the 2013 season. No more 12-team mock drafts with seven “autodrafters” to skew the draft results. I have personally participated in a couple drafts over the past weeks with a couple pesos on the line, and aside from genuinely enjoying myself (as fantasy nerds generally do this time of year) I have noticed one player whocatches my eye. This player hasn’t lit the NFL on fire in his brief career, but he sticks out like a sore thumb compared to the wide receivers being drafted around him in the 13th and 14th rounds.
This player is Kendall Wright. Let’s take a brief moment to discuss Mr. Wright and then line up his fellow comparable (by ADP) wide receivers like tin cans on a fence post.
First and foremost, there are plenty of reasons to like Kendall Wright as a fantasy receiver. Last season, as a rookie, Wright caught a very respectable 64 passes in 15 games, tying him for 26th among NFL wideouts. Not bad for a rookie, right? Wright never showed explosive playmaking ability in only topping 50 receiving yards in a game three times, but shouldn’t he be given the same expectation of improvement as other second year players? Wright was highly regarded coming out of Baylor in the 2012 NFL Draft and hasn’t shown any glaring weaknesses yet while playing against the world’s best cornerbacks. The rub with Wright, of course, is quarterback Jake Locker. In 2012, Locker was as erratic as they come, completing a mere 56.4 percent of his passes. While most look at Locker’s poor precision as a reason to downgrade Wright, the young Titans receiver should be applauded for having a successful rookie year in spite of the weaknesses in his quarterback’s game. Fast forward to the current preseason, and Jake Locker has shown some improvement by completing 68 percent of his passes so far in the preseason. With any improvement from Locker and only an average second year increase for Wright, we will have a very productive fantasy player.
Now here are a few of Wright’s ADP companions:
Malcom Floyd: Floyd is a great example of a player NOT to draft over Kendall Wright. In the later rounds of fantasy drafts, we want upside instead of downside. Shocking, I know! Floyd will be 32 years old when the Chargers open their season. That is ancient compared to the 23-year-old Wright. In addition, Floyd has never caught more than 56 passes in a season while Wright caught 64 as a rookie. This one is too easy. Ditch the old man and go with Wright.
Mohamed Sanu: Sanu, like Wright, is a second-year wide receiver. While the Bengals offense can be given some credit for being better than that of Tennessee, just take one quick glance at both receivers’ rookie year stats. Sanu caught a whopping 16 passes. In 2013, Sanu cannot be expected to jump Wright’s production by any stretch of the imagination.
Aaron Dobson: While an intriguing rookie, Dobson is just that, a rookie. Handsome Tom Brady can support quite a stack of fantasy players, but while jockeying for targets behind Danny Amendola, Kenbrell Thompkins, Rob Gronkowski (when he returns), Zach Sudfeld, and Shane Vereen, there won’t be many scraps left for the newcomer. Move on.
Denarius Moore: While once an intriguing prospect, Moore is now muddled in the middle of an atrocious offense. Even with a decent (term used loosely) quarterback in 2012 (Carson Palmer), Moore didn’t perform quite as well as expected and is now subjected to either wobbly passes from Terrelle Pryor or the arm of Matt Flynn. The Oakland offense is going to be an ’88 Civic in the right-hand lane with its turn signal on and black smoke billowing from its tailpipe. Stand back for your own safety!
As you can see, while Kendall Wright may not possess Josh Gordon upside, he is a second year receiver that can definitely provide fantasy value in 2013. Couple that with the fact that both he and Locker could both conceivably improve simultaneously this season, and you’ve got a recipe for a breakout fantasy player. Compared to the wide receivers being drafted around him, Wright is an extremely appealing option for the upcoming season.