2022 R.C. Ruins Everything #4: R.C. Ruins The WRs Available in this 2022 Redraft
(Same intro as prior): I have been sick with COVID for 8 days (as of the writing of #1 in the series). It's a bad day. I started out the morning just taking some time away from football. Wrapped in a blanket, on the couch, channel surfing. I haven't had the chance to do that in years. I haven't been sick for years, and when I am…I just keep working…and napping…and working.
So, I'm all set for channel surfing, like a normal sick person taking some time off work…but I wasn't really sure what was on daytime TV anymore. Dr. Phil, OK…checking that out for a moment…grandma is dating her daughter's ex-husband…ehhh. Then I stumbled into an old fave that they don't produce new shows for anymore (but I hope is revised in the future)-- The Tru TV show: Adam Ruins Everything.
In this show/series (ran for 3 years/64 episodes), Adam (Conover) takes a common topic and totally, comically, but usually brilliantly/interestingly debunks a lot of common myths and misperceptions on it. Occasionally, the show is reaching/grasping at straws (to me), but many times have data that's a dagger to the heart/makes you think. I appreciate the challenge of my (supposed) sensibilities…the challenge of 'you know what THEY say'. So, I was sitting there on the couch sweating but freezing at the same time…and one of my favorite episodes of the show was on -- and it hit me what to name this series I was working on.
My sick day/morning on the couch inspiration: Adam Ruins Football
I am going to be direct, bombastic, and (hopefully) funny here as I try to rewire your brain on a few Fantasy things that I'm seeing now (and year-after-year). I want to discuss all these 'injury prone' players you are proclaiming…and not taking. My overall/starter question is -- do you even know what the hell you're talking about on all these supposed injury risk players? (see…bombastic and direct). Answer = no you don't…and neither do I.
I hope…I bet I (at least) stop and make you think with this report. If you're offended at the notion…good. It's meant to challenge your 'faith' in things you 'know'. At minimum, more study is needed vs. knee-jerk reactions from our gut.
My main goal is trying to free you from this prison of your own design…or at least question the construction of the prison. Come, take a journey with me…
You can do all the slick historical comparisons of measurables and college performances, but there has NEVER been a time in NFL/FF history where there has been so much WR talent that it can hardly fit on an NFL roster…or into an NFL starting lineup, etc. There has never been such athletic TEs. There's never been such depth of QB talent around the leagues. How can one WR really stick out for FF in this new era of WR inflation? How can we look at the past 5-10 years and try to make 2022 decisions on WRs with this rapidly changing environment/these rapidly changing variables?
There are not many OBVIOUS cases at WR1 for FF 2022, but there's a million contenders to consider for WR1s.
We all agree that some order of Cooper Kupp, Ja'Marr Chase, Justin Jefferson, and Davante Adams are an FF-cut above all the other WRs, right? Like there's no debate? If you think one of those four aren't the Mt. Rushmore of Fantasy WRs going into the 2022 redraft, then you're fooling yourself.
Tyreek Hill is the pivot point at #5…formerly a challenger to be a #1 FF WR, but now with Tua -- the crowd seems to have turned on him as not Mt. Rushmore (2022 pre-draft, redraft) worthy. I think he does belong, but I get the case where others don't. Whatever you think of Tyreek…those top four WRs are the top four.
From there we have Diggs-Deebo-Evans-Keenan, whom we all 'like' but they aren't worthy to be in the Mt. Rushmore of obvious pre-draft elite FF WRs. They are not locks to be WR1s. Keenan could get pushed past by Mike Williams. Diggs has a bad starting schedule and the most talent around him at WR in his Buffalo time. Mike Evans is surrounded by big/talented WR names. Many thought Brandon Aiyuk was better than Deebo this time last year, even though I was pushing that he wasn't…there were rare few analysts who pushed Deebo > Aiyuk a year ago. Still, I didn't think Deebo would go on to be a top 3-5 WR/RB for 2021. In 2022, there's the Trey Lance unknown effect now…there's the 'how much will he run the ball' issue. Deebo is not a slam dunk WR1, but he's worthy to be in the debate. Diggs-Deebo-Evans-Keenan are good…but those top four WRs are THE top four.
We have that holy top 4…and then a handful of stronger hopefuls ranked in most everybody's top 10. And then things get really weird at WR from there. You look at the WRs ranked #9-10-11-12 (universally) and go down through the top 20…the top 30, and there are a bunch of promising names who all have a case to be a WR1 (back-end WR1, mostly). Even outside the top 30, there are 3-4-5+ more names that could be in the debate.
There's a simple fact to have to deal with/plan for in this 2022 redraft, at WR… There are four obvious names at the top, maybe five with Tyreek…and then quality Evans-Keenan-Diggs and maybe Deebo…and then from the #9-10 ranked WR to number 30…and a few names out to the top 40, who all could have a claim to being a top 12/WR1 this season.
Don't tell me Kadarius Toney, the current #45-50 WR in universal ADP, would shock you if he were a WR1 this season. And I'm not talking in a 'well, anything can happen' way -- I mean, you know, and I know, he's a top 10 NFL WR talent. I would tell you that if you told me (from the future) that Toney played all 17 games and started them all and played 75%+ of the snaps each 2022 game -- I would then assure you he was a top 5-10 FF WR.
What if WR #30 +/- Michael Thomas returns to old form?
What if Kyler pushes BFF Marquise Brown to big numbers for a contract help for him?
What if Russ cooks for Sutton?
What if Big Mike Williams stays healthy all year?
What if Chase Claypool in the slot is revolutionary?
What if Baker unlocks D.J. Moore?
I could make a 'pro' case, and name at least one fear on approx. 30 WRs who could wind up the WR #6-12 overall/as a WR1 this season.
There's so much talent at WR in the league. There are more and more teams that are not only two-deep in great WRs…now there are some three-deep with stars across the board. And there's never been more high-end QBs throwing to these guys.
My point of this note/guidance is…
After the top obvious WRs…there's a growing/big basket of similar projecting WRs. I have to put them in some order, but honestly…one little adjustment to the #26 or #32 WR could send them up into the top 15 in a blink or, conversely, drop one of them down in a hurry.
There are WRs you like better than others among the top 20-30-40, but you should accept the notion -- that among the top 30+ WRs…that the difference between WR #7-8-9 and #25-30 is not far at all. And if that's true, you have a lot of freedom at WR planning/drafting…once you're past the top 4-5-6 WRs available taken off the board.
There's no award for you to draft a WR in the 3rd-round if there are WRs in the 6th, 8th-round, etc. that you see as pretty similar to the 3rd-round WR option. Just because your 3rd-round WR grab is highly rated by the mainstream, it's meaningless (potentially) big picture…if you coulda matched or beat that WR in the 6-9th rounds. It might make you feel better that the WR has a '3rd-round' label on it and gets thumb's up for the draft grades and the league mates don't laugh at you, but you'll forget about it in 1-2-3 weeks…forgetting about the blown opportunity to do other things in the 3rd-round instead of chasing generically good WRs, a deep pool caused by the shifting sands of the WR talent flood.
I would propose that you're 3rd and 4th-round WRs you would take…I could hang with/beat them with four WRs taken 6th-11th round -- not just a straight up beat man v. man, but because if I am right that the top 30+ WRs could all fight for back-end WR1 hopes, then my collection of 4-5 good WRs can be played for matchups and thus my ever-changing WRBC (by matchups) starting two WRs every week might beat or just hang with your always-start duo.
Drafting WRs (outside the top 4-5 names) that the mainstream ranks highly, might make you feel good post-redraft to look at/have hope in -- but it's gonna be meaningless once we start playing the game for real if there is little separating the #7-8-9 WRs (pre-draft) and the #25-30…35 WRs.
There's a redraft plan, a redraft freedom in taking legit WR1 hope WRs in rounds 6-10/11 while others are taking junk TEs, back-end QB1s, and rookie RBs and handcuff RBs…while you're taking strong WR1-2 plays to mix & match week-to-week.
The depth of WR talent is your friend in the 2022 redraft, but you need to plan for it/around it…and not fear it because you are secret slave to the post-redraft grade the system gives you…which is the worst way to manage your FF team in the history of competitive gaming. If your worried about the system grade from the mainstream -- you've already lost…you're trying to beat THEM at their own game, and then the winner is the one who didn't get the most injuries.
The depth of WR talent and hope and opportunity provides a world of possibilities…but you have to embrace it and then plan on it/trust it. Trust your middle draft WR pulls. Some will work (and didn't we crush it on many of those last season?) and some will fail, and some will snag a star off waivers as we go, and some will trade for a fallen hero WR from a panicked owner when said WR has two games in a row without a TD. There's a lot of WR depth/firepower out there. Being a good little boy or girl and taking the WRs the mainstream likes for the sake of acceptance and feelings -- you're not as likely to win big picture, but you will FEEL good that the mainstream pats you on the head for your compliance drafting…you'll FEEL good until around Sept 14th+, and then all hell will break loose, as it does every year after Week 1.
Don't judge your WR redraft by what the mainstream thinks.
Take advantage of this unique, ever-changing, deep WR market.
Who cares if THEY laugh at the WR you take two rounds ahead of ADP? You gotta get over drafting every player where THEY say you should.
The WR depth in 2022 is your friend…an asset, a secret insight/advantage. Plan for it wisely. Make it to your advantage.
I know we're conditioned to try to have/plan a redraft where every player we take is a 'bargain', someone who fell/was supposed to go a round or two prior -- you think getting these 'bargains' is a signal of redraft success? I propose to you that the number of players you take 1-2+ rounds ahead of the ADP is more a sign of redraft success…it's the sign of a PURPOSED PLAN not a sit around and wait for 'deals' plan where the draft 'plays you'.
WRs 7-8-9 are not much better than WRs 20-30-35, so the bargains are the later WRs…not the earlier ones who slipped in the draft a little.
Take advantage of this new frontier of deep pool WR economics. Don't panic into the D.J. Moore's of the world in the 3rd because the draft platform says it's a good idea.