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2016 Fantasy Football ADP Analysis - Larry Fitzgerald vs. Michael Floyd vs. John Brown

It's never too early to start preparing for your fantasy football drafts, and RotoBaller is here to help. In this series, two RotoBaller experts will discuss the merits of players with similar value and average draft position (ADP). Remember that situations will change for all players over the course of the preseason and it may impact where they are selected in drafts.

Oh hot damn, it's a three-fer. This article comes from RotoBaller featured columnists Bill Dubiel (@Roto_Dubs), Ben Ruppert (@Ben_Ruppert_21)and Nick Mariano (@NMariano23). Bill will defend big-game specialist John Brown while Ben defends future Hall-of-Famer Larry Fitzgerald, and Nick tells you why you should draft Michael Floyd.  Feel free to reach out to them with questions or opinions.

Editor's Note: Purchase a full season NFL Premium Pass (including Draft Kit + DFS Premium), and also get MLB Premium + DFS for free through October. Premium DFS lineup picks, expert lineups, tools and more - seven days a week. You can see screenshots of our NFL Premium and MLB Premium and DFS tools. What are you waiting for?


Michael Floyd (WR, ARI) - Nick Mariano

Floyd’s overall line of 52-849-6 isn’t going to wow anybody, until one remembers that he did that after losing much of the early season to a hand injury that left three of his fingers dislocated, prompting Larry Fitzgerald to say: “It’s one of those things you wish you hadn’t seen.” Gross. But it’s a new season now, and Floyd is not coming off of finger surgery, so here’s why you need him.

In his last 10 games of the season, Floyd turned in a 44-745-6 line where he either topped 70 yards or scored a touchdown in eight of those 10 games (100+ yards in five of them). The two games where he didn’t? One saw him be limited with a mild hamstring injury, and the other was a matchup with Richard Sherman (after burning SEA for 7-113-2 in Week 10, they locked onto him). No owner paying attention should’ve been burned by either of those games. Folks, Floyd exemplifies a player with both a high ceiling and a consistent floor to him.

Here are the current average ADPs for all three wide outs in standard formats: Floyd (57.7), Fitzgerald (58.8), Brown (74.2). Good on the wisdom of the crowd for recognizing that Floyd is the talent to snag first in a vacuum, but now many of you may be saying “why shouldn’t I just wait to get Brown a round or two later?”

Well, Brown only topped 100 yards twice on the season and operated fairly close to his “red-zone ceiling”, with six of his seven TDs coming from within 20 yards. I personally like how Floyd hauled in 4-of-6 TDs from outside of the red zone, meaning he may see a little uptick in red-zone TD regression while Brown’s range of outcomes may shave a TD or two off. It’s a small nitpick, but it’s worked out for me in the past.

So what about Larry? Those of you who owned him can probably tell you their biggest concern: the end-of-season fade. After beasting to open the season (while Floyd wasn’t there to absorb targets, ahem), Fitz only posted a 36-289-2 line over the last six games. He’ll be turning 33 on Aug. 31, and one has to truly wonder whether he can stay fresh throughout an entire season. With his ADP back-to-back with Floyd’s, give me the guy who is only 26 years old and entering his prime seasons.

Give. Me. Floyd!


Larry Fitzgerald (WR, ARI) - Ben Ruppert

People enjoy looking forward to youth and the future, but for this season the Arizona Cardinals best WR is still Larry Fitzgerald. Last season, Fitz was Arizona's top statistical receiver, hauling in 109 passes on 145 targets for 1,215 yards and nine scores. It was easily his best season in the past four years, partly due to his move to the slot at the beginning of last season. He finished as the #11 WR in standard scoring, and #7 in PPR leagues. Why after this high level of production is Fitz being drafted as the #30 and #28 receiver in standard and PPR leagues respectively this season?

Fitzgerald will enter the season at 33 years of age. Only he and Brandon Marshall are still going strong this late in their careers. According to ESPN, since 2010, only four receivers have had 1,000-yard seasons at the age of 32. Their names are Andre Johnson, Steve Smith, Reggie Wayne, and Larry Fitzgerald (Marshall was 31 last season, Fitzgerald will turn 33 on August 31st). Fitz may have lost a step, but you can take body strength with you much later into your career than speed. He attributes his success to lateral quickness (gaining separation), strong hands (helping to reel in inaccurate passes), and football intelligence (reading coverages). Fitz has a ridiculous workout routine that he learned from watching some of the best of all time, most notably Jerry Rice.

Starting quarterback Carson Palmer has plenty of options he can throw the ball to, but none of them can match Fitz in the middle of the field and out of the slot. He will be the team’s most consistent red-zone target (18 targets last season, led the team) based on his strengths: his route-running, football IQ, and his huge catch radius. He also had the highest catch rate on the team last season at 75%, better than John Brown’s 64% and Michael Floyd’s 58%. He had one recorded drop last season, giving him a 0.7%(!) drop rate. Floyd and Brown each had five drops, and have drop rates at 5.6% and 5% respectively.

Fitzgerald is still the top receiving option on the Cardinals, and he should be a steal on draft day one more time.


John Brown (WR, ARI) - Bill Dubiel

Through his first two seasons John Brown has become one of the deadlier deep threats in the NFL. As such, he's gained a reputation as a "boom-or-bust", and that narrative has his ADP a bit lower than his two fellow Arizona receivers. But when you look at the numbers you'll see that that's not necessarily the case--Brown is much more consistent than he gets credit for. Did you know that Floyd finished as a top-30 WR in nine separate games last year? Now you do. In fact, he never had a game where he disappeared completely, posting at least four catches for 45 yards or a touchdown in every game he played in.

It's no secret that Larry Fitzgerald dominated in the early part of the season with Michael Floyd banged up, and Brown also thrived in that time frame. He posted four or more catches in six of the first seven games, and averaged over 80 yards per game in that span (to be fair, a 196-yard performance in Week 6 skews that number up a bit, but the point remains). While his second half was slightly less impressive, he did notch four touchdowns over the last seven games, and finished the season with a 65-1,003-7 line. That's kind of bonkers for a third wide receiver, and here's the big thing--he's only getting better.

I don't buy Larry Fitzgerald for a second in 2016. He'll be 33 in less than a week, and I don't see how he stays relevant with the two younger receivers fully healthy. We saw the beginnings of his demise last season: he posted a remarkable 30-432-5 line in the first four games of the season, then a dreadful 18-168-2 line in the final four games. There is no way Carson Palmer continues to pepper him with targets, and as Fitz loses looks Brown and Floyd will pick them up--and Brown is cheaper.

As Fitzgerald's demise approaches, Brown and Floyd are both poised to become a dominant 1-2 combo, not unlike Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb. Brown would be Cobb in that scenario, but is there anything wrong with that (last year notwithstanding)? I've got Brown pegged for 1,100 yards on 75 catches with six or seven TDs this year, making him a solid WR2.

Why pay for Floyd or Fitz when you can get this young dynamo later in the draft?


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