Wide Receiver #3 By Committee (PPR)
By Jeff Pasquino
August 25th, 2011

Over the past few years, there have been two very popular articles written by our very own Chase Stuart that look at an interesting approach to building a fantasy team with late value picks. Based upon the theory of using both Strength of Schedule ("SOS") and taking two players as a combination to build one very good player, he has discussed both Team Defense by Committee ("TDBC") and Quarterback by Committee ("QBBC") as a general fantasy league strategy. In general I think that this is a wise move because very early on in fantasy drafts there are a ton of RB and WR prospects to go after to build a great team. While there are a few studs at QB and also a few choice defenses, I do not see a huge need in leagues to pursue either too hard in the beginning stages of a fantasy draft.

So with this in mind, I started to think about what else can be done with the committee approach. Tight end? Perhaps. Running back? Maybe. Wide receiver? Hmmm, that's really intriguing, but we should probably look at say the third starting option - "Fantasy WR3". What if you could grab two wide receivers later in the draft that could combine to perform on a WR3 - or even WR2 - level, based solely on their current projections and their schedule? Now we're talking. This really got my attention, so I went after this. Let's take a look at how I went about this and then we can digest and discuss the results.

Eligible Receivers

So how to begin? Defenses and quarterbacks are relatively easy to "committee" together. There's usually only one QB and certainly only one team defense per NFL club, so the approach is pretty simple as far as picking out which players / teams to try and pair up. When it comes to wide receivers, the line is not quite so easy to draw, but I needed some basis to pick which players it made sense to try and combine for a decent committee. I decided that I would use the following criteria to decide which players to start with for evaluating:

Criteria #1 - WR37 and Beyond

This seems pretty simple. If we want to have a duo that puts up WR3 numbers, that means we want WR36 or better production - else we would just draft WR36 or higher and forget the whole idea. So here is the list of players with which I started, based on their Average Draft Position (ADP):

ADP
Wide Receiver
ADP
Wide Receiver
WR35
Michael Crabtree
WR48
Plaxico Burress
WR36
Johnny Knox
WR49
Deion Branch
WR37
Jacoby Ford
WR50
Robert Meachem
WR38
Danny Amendola
WR51
Roy Williams
WR39
Mike Williams
WR52
Greg Little
WR40
Jordy Nelson
WR53
Steve Breaston
WR41
Malcom Floyd
WR54
James Jones
WR42
Braylon Edwards
WR55
Jerome Simpson
WR43
Lance Moore
WR56
Danario Alexander
WR44
Davone Bess
WR57
Arrelious Benn
WR45
Steve Smith
WR58
Emmanuel Sanders
WR46
Mike Sims-Walker
WR59
Lee Evans
WR47
Hines Ward
WR61
Derrick Mason

Table 1: Wide Receivers WR34-WR60 Based on PPR ADP

Note that this year is a little different, so I had to expand the list a little (WR35-61 instead of the usual WR37-60) - and I did not include Randy Moss (WR60). Great, now we have 26 guys to pair up and see how they do. That makes 325 potential committees, so there had better be a decent one (or several, we hope) out of all of those couplets. Now, before I go over the method of how to pair them up and the results, we need one more rule:

Criteria #2 - No more than one WR from Round 7 and one from Round 8.

This could get tricky here, but understand the overall goal. The point of WR3BC is to "free up" the first 6 rounds of your fantasy draft to pursue 2-3 receivers (especially in PPR leagues) after grabbing a stud RB in Round 1. After six rounds you can have 2-3RBs, 2-3 WRs and possibly even a stud QB or TE, depending on your personal preference, or even to get your WR3 have the "WR3BC" be your WR4. Flexibility is the name of the game here. We all want value in our drafts, and having the ability to grab two WRs in Rounds 7 and 8 to act as our WR3BC gives us that ability.

The good news this year is that most of the players that will be under consideration for WR3BC will have ADPs that are not prior to Round 7. That should make life much easier to grab two wide receivers in Rounds 7-10 and not have to worry about them not being there when we make our move.

So what do we do now to figure out some WR pairs?

Criteria #3 - Use Footballguys' WR Strength of Schedule

This sounds pretty simple, doesn't it? Just take the WR Strength of Schedule to figure out when certain players are more likely to score well. What I did is similar to what the Projections Dominator and Draft Dominator do for you - take the projected fantasy points and slice them up over 16 weeks based on the strength of schedule. I call this result the "distributed fantasy points" for each receiver.

After I had all 26 wide receivers with distributed fantasy points on a weekly basis, I just compared all of the possible WR pairs to find the best duos for WR3BC. So here we are - time for some results.

Rk
Wide Receiver 1
Wide Receiver 2
Value
1
Jacoby Ford
Lance Moore
179.9
2
Lance Moore
Roy Williams
178.0
3
Jacoby Ford
Robert Meachem
174.6
4
Jacoby Ford
Lee Evans
174.3
5
Jacoby Ford
Davone Bess
173.6
6
Jacoby Ford
Jerome Simpson
173.1
7
Lance Moore
Davone Bess
172.2
8
Jacoby Ford
Greg Little
171.8
9
Jacoby Ford
Malcom Floyd
171.7
10
Lance Moore
Mike Sims-Walker
171.6
11
Lance Moore
Greg Little
171.5
12
Lance Moore
Lee Evans
171.5
13
Jacoby Ford
Hines Ward
171.4
14
Jacoby Ford
Mike Sims-Walker
171.3
15
Jacoby Ford
Braylon Edwards
171.2
16
Jacoby Ford
Mike Williams
171.0
17
Lance Moore
Arrelious Benn
171.0
18
Lance Moore
Jerome Simpson
170.9
19
Braylon Edwards
Lance Moore
170.9
20
Danny Amendola
Lance Moore
170.8
21
Jacoby Ford
Danny Amendola
170.5
22
Michael Crabtree
Jacoby Ford
169.9
23
Jordy Nelson
Lance Moore
169.8
24
Jacoby Ford
Deion Branch
169.6
25
Jacoby Ford
Emmanuel Sanders
169.5
26
Lance Moore
James Jones
169.4
27
Johnny Knox
Lance Moore
169.3
28
Mike Williams
Lance Moore
169.3
29
Lance Moore
Deion Branch
169.2
30
Jacoby Ford
Steve Breaston
168.9
31
Malcom Floyd
Lance Moore
168.9
32
Michael Crabtree
Lance Moore
168.8
33
Lance Moore
Steve Breaston
168.8
34
Jacoby Ford
Steve Smith
168.5
35
Davone Bess
Roy Williams
168.5
36
Robert Meachem
Roy Williams
168.5
37
Lance Moore
Plaxico Burress
168.0
38
Lance Moore
Derrick Mason
167.8
39
Jacoby Ford
Roy Williams
167.5
40
Roy Williams
Lee Evans
167.4
41
Roy Williams
Greg Little
166.0
42
Lance Moore
Steve Smith
165.8
43
Roy Williams
Jerome Simpson
165.5
44
Jacoby Ford
Danario Alexander
165.2
45
Jacoby Ford
Arrelious Benn
164.9
46
Mike Sims-Walker
Roy Williams
164.7
1
Daniel Thomas
Fred Jackson
188.8

Table 2: PPR Wide Receiver #3 Committee Pairs

As we can see from Table 2, we have some very good pairs to select from for WR3BC. Picking a baseline wide receiver usually means going with WR36 (from projections, Pierre Garcon, 144.7 points) but as I said before, this is not a typical year. So if I went with a typical WR3 from both projections and ADP lists and used Chad Ochocinco as the baseline for comparison. With that choice there is not as huge of an amount (46 sets) of pairs that are worth more than Ochocinco (ADP WR29) by his lonesome, who is projected to come in with 164.5 (PPR) points, but it is a strong sign that a solid WR3BC is possible. Let's also take a look at how often some of these guys show up on the table:

Wide Receiver
Frq
Wide Receiver
Frq
Wide Receiver
Frq
Lance Moore
21
Braylon Edwards
2
Danario Alexander
1
Jacoby Ford
20
Danny Amendola
2
Derrick Mason
1
Roy Williams
8
Deion Branch
2
Emmanuel Sanders
1
Davone Bess
3
Malcom Floyd
2
Hines Ward
1
Greg Little
3
Michael Crabtree
2
James Jones
1
Jerome Simpson
3
Mike Williams
2
Johnny Knox
1
Lee Evans
3
Robert Meachem
2
Jordy Nelson
1
Mike Sims-Walker
3
Steve Breaston
2
Plaxico Burress
1
Arrelious Benn
2
Steve Smith
2

Table 3: PPR Wide Receiver #3 Committee Pair Appearances by Player

As we can see from Table 3, both Lance Moore and Jacoby Ford dominate the list, but six other WRs also show up more than twice - Roy Williams, Davone Bess, Greg Little, Jerome Simpson, Lee Evans and Mike Sims-Walker. As I said before, this is not a typical year so even the top names from Table 1 are suspect for a good committee. That is important to note as knowing this information can give you a decided advantage for your draft(s).

Putting It All Together

Now that we have 46 possible pairs that are better than Chad Ochocinco, what exactly does that mean? Should Chad Ochocinco be the basis of our comparison? Of course not. Remember our goal - find a pair of wide receivers that can combine for WR3 (or better) fantasy production. To figure that out we need a better metric, so here are the projections for WR13 through WR36, using PPR scoring, sorted by projected fantasy points:

ADP
WR Rk
Wide Receiver
FPs
FP Rk
35
14
Brandon Marshall
218.1
12
50
18
Santonio Holmes
214.4
13
32
12
DeSean Jackson
214.1
14
38
15
Mike Williams (TB)
212.3
15
41
16
Dez Bryant
210.7
16
57
22
Percy Harvin
210.4
17
48
17
Brandon Lloyd
208.8
18
34
13
Wes Welker
204.3
19
70
27
Mario Manningham
200.4
20
52
20
Steve Johnson
199.1
21
60
24
Austin Collie
198.4
22
58
23
Anquan Boldin
193.6
23
51
19
Marques Colston
191.4
24
88
34
Mike Thomas
183.3
25
66
26
Kenny Britt
183.2
26
82
33
Santana Moss
181.9
27
80
31
A.J. Green
176.9
28
81
32
Julio Jones
175.0
29
61
25
Sidney Rice
170.4
30
78
30
Steve Smith (CAR)
170.3
31
77
29
Chad Ochocinco
164.5
32
99
37
Jacoby Ford
162.1
33
117
43
Lance Moore
160.4
34
130
51
Roy Williams
154.3
35
76
28
Pierre Garcon
144.7
36

Table 4: Projected PPR Fantasy Points for WRs 13-36

Based on Table 4, we see that WRs beyond the Top 16 are really jumbled all over the place. Some are going to early in drafts (Brandon Lloyd, Wes Welker) based on current projections, while others are available at what appears to be a discount. Filtering through all of this "noise", we see some players that catch our eye. Sidney Rice (WR30, 170.4 fantasy points projected) and Carolina's Steve Smith (WR31, 170.3) are the last of the "upper tier" of wideouts that are projected to top 170 fantasy points in 2011. Looking at our possible pairs, we have 21 duos that beat 170 fantasy points, while the top pair lines up well against AJ Green (WR28) and Julio Jones (WR29). This tells us that choosing the correct pair can give us the result we wanted - WR3 production (and nearly WR2) on the cheap.

Considering all of the results, the recipe looks very clear - get Jacoby Ford in Round 8 and then come right back and snag Lance Moore in Round 10. Grabbing Ford in Round 8 allows you to choose from several other WRs that will post numbers comparable to a WR3. The best duo, in fact, will post numbers similar to a moderate value WR2. With such frequency of appearance for both Ford and Moore and with both of them likely to start right away, grabbing both seems like the way to go. That is why I am recommending Jacoby Ford and Lance Moore as the WR3BC for 2011.

For thoroughness Table 5 should be your guide on Fantasy Draft Day if you attempt to use WR3BC. One option is to take Ford in Round 8 and then grab the next WR on the list that you like, with a strong preference to Lee Evans.

Rk
Wide Receiver 1
Wide Receiver 2
Value
ADP1
ADP2
1
Jacoby Ford
Lance Moore
179.9
37
43
2
Lance Moore
Roy Williams
178.0
43
51
3
Jacoby Ford
Robert Meachem
174.6
37
50
4
Jacoby Ford
Lee Evans
174.3
37
59
5
Jacoby Ford
Davone Bess
173.6
37
44
6
Jacoby Ford
Jerome Simpson
173.1
37
55
7
Lance Moore
Davone Bess
172.2
43
44
8
Jacoby Ford
Greg Little
171.8
37
52
9
Jacoby Ford
Malcom Floyd
171.7
37
41
10
Lance Moore
Mike Sims-Walker
171.6
43
46
11
Lance Moore
Greg Little
171.5
43
52
12
Lance Moore
Lee Evans
171.5
43
59
13
Jacoby Ford
Hines Ward
171.4
37
47
14
Jacoby Ford
Mike Sims-Walker
171.3
37
46
15
Jacoby Ford
Braylon Edwards
171.2
37
42
16
Jacoby Ford
Mike Williams
171.0
37
39
17
Lance Moore
Arrelious Benn
171.0
43
57
18
Lance Moore
Jerome Simpson
170.9
43
55
19
Braylon Edwards
Lance Moore
170.9
42
43
20
Danny Amendola
Lance Moore
170.8
38
43
21
Jacoby Ford
Danny Amendola
170.5
37
38

Table 5: Top 21 PPR WR3BC Options for 2011

Here is a final summary of the combined schedules for Jacoby Ford and Lance Moore, and when the committee approach suggests starting each one:

Wk
Suggested Starter
Opponent
1
Jacoby Ford
at Denver
2
Lance Moore
Chicago
3
Lance Moore
Houston
4
Lance Moore
at Jacksonville
5
Jacoby Ford
at Houston
6
Jacoby Ford
Cleveland
7
Jacoby Ford
Kansas City
8
Lance Moore
at St. Louis
9
Jacoby Ford
Denver
10
Lance Moore
at Atlanta
11
Jacoby Ford
at Minnesota
12
Jacoby Ford
Chicago
13
Lance Moore
Detroit
14
Lance Moore
at Tennessee
15
Jacoby Ford
Detroit
16
Jacoby Ford
at Kansas City

Table 6: Suggested PPR WR3BC Schedule Plan

Questions, suggestions and comments are always welcome to pasquino@footballguys.com.

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