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WR By Committee - Update

Finding a Second Starting Wide Receiver by Committee for 2017

This year's series of "By Committee" articles sparked a few great questions from the readers, and that led to a recent article where I discussed using a few different approaches (such as Ben Roethlisberger only at home plus another quarterback).  At the end of the article, a table was presented to show several options at quarterback for committee pairs that involved quarterbacks that were higher than the cutoff line that I had drawn (QB13+ on the ADP list).  The readers asked why the line was drawn at QB12, and I felt that it was a good question and a different answer (and article) was needed.  Further investigation of this seemlingly arbitrary line led me to ask the question for wide receiver - should the line be drawn higher, and could better pairs result?  

So with this in mind, I revisited the arguments I made about the committee approach, and then I explored raising the line (and the bar) for better pairs.  Below are the results, which I hope help you on your fantasy draft day: 

ELIGIBLE RECEIVERS

I mentioned this the first time - 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. This time I decided that I would use the following criteria to decide which players to start with for evaluating:

CRITERIA #1 - WR11 AND BEYOND

This seems pretty simple. If we want to have a duo that puts up elite numbers, that means we want WR10 or better production - else we would just draft a Top 10 option and forget the whole idea. So here is the list of players with which I started, based on their Average Draft Position (ADP):

ADP Player ADP Player
WR11 Demaryius Thomas WR23 Golden Tate
WR12 DeAndre Hopkins WR24 Sammy Watkins
WR13 Brandin Cooks WR25 Jarvis Landry
WR14 Doug Baldwin WR26 Davante Adams
WR15 Tyreek Hill WR27 Kelvin Benjamin
WR16 Alshon Jeffery WR28 Brandon Marshall
WR17 Allen Robinson WR29 Stefon Diggs
WR18 Michael Crabtree WR30 Tyrell Williams
WR19 Keenan Allen WR31 DeSean Jackson
WR20 Martavis Bryant WR32 DeVante Parker
WR21 Emmanuel Sanders WR33 Terrelle Pryor
WR22 Larry Fitzgerald    

Table 1: Wide Receivers WR11-30+ Based on ADP

Now we have 23 guys to pair up and see how they do. That makes 253 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

Rather than keep Criteria #2 from the original article, I am allowing for more flexibility in your draft.  Let us let the results speak for themselves and then decide which pairs are the correct ones to select as the draft progresses.

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 17 weeks based on the strength of schedule. I call this result the "distributed fantasy points" for each receiver.

After I had all 23 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:

Rank Wide Receiver 1 Wide Receiver 2 Value
1 Demaryius Thomas Brandin Cooks 180.09
2 Brandin Cooks Doug Baldwin 178.2
3 DeAndre Hopkins Brandin Cooks 177.04
4 Demaryius Thomas Doug Baldwin 176.03
5 DeAndre Hopkins Tyreek Hill 174.95
6 Demaryius Thomas DeAndre Hopkins 174.29
7 Demaryius Thomas Tyreek Hill 174.08
8 DeAndre Hopkins Doug Baldwin 173.84
9 Demaryius Thomas Allen Robinson 173.81
10 Doug Baldwin Tyreek Hill 173.62
11 Brandin Cooks Golden Tate 172.37
12 Demaryius Thomas Michael Crabtree 172.24
13 DeAndre Hopkins Michael Crabtree 172.13
14 Brandin Cooks Tyreek Hill 172.06
15 DeAndre Hopkins Allen Robinson 171.96
16 Demaryius Thomas Alshon Jeffery 171.67
17 Doug Baldwin Alshon Jeffery 171.25
18 Doug Baldwin Allen Robinson 171
19 Brandin Cooks Kelvin Benjamin 170.95
20 Brandin Cooks Emmanuel Sanders 170.9
21 DeAndre Hopkins Alshon Jeffery 170.68
22 Brandin Cooks Allen Robinson 170.68
23 Brandin Cooks Michael Crabtree 170.6
24 Brandin Cooks Brandon Marshall 169.39
25 Demaryius Thomas Jarvis Landry 169.16
26 Doug Baldwin Michael Crabtree 169.09
27 Demaryius Thomas Golden Tate 169.06
28 Brandin Cooks Jarvis Landry 169
29 Demaryius Thomas Martavis Bryant 168.96
30 Brandin Cooks Davante Adams 168.92
31 Demaryius Thomas DeVante Parker 168.81
32 Brandin Cooks Larry Fitzgerald 168.68
33 Demaryius Thomas Larry Fitzgerald 168.58
34 Brandin Cooks DeSean Jackson 168.22
35 Demaryius Thomas Davante Adams 168.14
36 Brandin Cooks DeVante Parker 168.12
37 Demaryius Thomas Keenan Allen 168.03
38 Demaryius Thomas Kelvin Benjamin 167.99
39 Demaryius Thomas Stefon Diggs 167.7
40 Tyreek Hill Allen Robinson 167.49
41 Demaryius Thomas DeSean Jackson 167.48
42 Demaryius Thomas Sammy Watkins 167.47
43 Brandin Cooks Terrelle Pryor 167.44
44 Allen Robinson Michael Crabtree 167.39
45 Demaryius Thomas Tyrell Williams 167.37
46 Demaryius Thomas Brandon Marshall 166.83
47 DeAndre Hopkins Terrelle Pryor 166.79
48 DeAndre Hopkins Sammy Watkins 166.65
49 DeAndre Hopkins Davante Adams 166.54
50 Doug Baldwin Stefon Diggs 166.42
51 Doug Baldwin Keenan Allen 166.13
52 DeAndre Hopkins Stefon Diggs 166.07
53 DeAndre Hopkins Larry Fitzgerald 165.92
54 Brandin Cooks Sammy Watkins 165.87
55 Doug Baldwin Golden Tate 165.87
56 Doug Baldwin Martavis Bryant 165.84
57 Brandin Cooks Alshon Jeffery 165.68
58 Tyreek Hill Golden Tate 165.62
59 Doug Baldwin Jarvis Landry 165.56
60 Alshon Jeffery Allen Robinson 165.4
61 DeAndre Hopkins Kelvin Benjamin 165.3
62 DeAndre Hopkins Jarvis Landry 165.27
63 Doug Baldwin Larry Fitzgerald 165.22
64 Tyreek Hill Martavis Bryant 165.15
65 DeAndre Hopkins Brandon Marshall 165.07
66 DeAndre Hopkins DeVante Parker 164.96
67 DeAndre Hopkins Keenan Allen 164.96
68 Doug Baldwin Tyrell Williams 164.96
69 Doug Baldwin Terrelle Pryor 164.82
70 DeAndre Hopkins Emmanuel Sanders 164.64
71 Doug Baldwin DeVante Parker 164.61
72 Doug Baldwin Emmanuel Sanders 164.39
73 Doug Baldwin Sammy Watkins 164.37
74 DeAndre Hopkins DeSean Jackson 164.16
75 DeAndre Hopkins Tyrell Williams 164.16
76 DeAndre Hopkins Martavis Bryant 164.07
77 Doug Baldwin Kelvin Benjamin 164
78 Doug Baldwin DeSean Jackson 163.92
79 Doug Baldwin Davante Adams 163.66
80 Tyreek Hill Jarvis Landry 163.55
81 Tyreek Hill Kelvin Benjamin 163.47
82 Tyreek Hill Emmanuel Sanders 163.35
83 Tyreek Hill Keenan Allen 163.21
84 Allen Robinson Golden Tate 162.49
85 Tyreek Hill Tyrell Williams 162.36
86 Tyreek Hill DeVante Parker 162.28
87 Allen Robinson Emmanuel Sanders 162.2
88 Allen Robinson Kelvin Benjamin 161.62
89 Tyreek Hill DeSean Jackson 161.06
90 Allen Robinson Jarvis Landry 161.04
91 Allen Robinson Martavis Bryant 160.96
92 Tyreek Hill Davante Adams 160.74
93 Brandin Cooks Keenan Allen 160.71
94 Tyreek Hill Stefon Diggs 160.62
95 Brandin Cooks Martavis Bryant 160.47
96 Doug Baldwin Brandon Marshall 160.42
97 Demaryius Thomas Terrelle Pryor 160.19
98 Brandin Cooks Tyrell Williams 160.16
99 Allen Robinson Terrelle Pryor 160.12
100 Alshon Jeffery Golden Tate 160.09
101 Tyreek Hill Larry Fitzgerald 159.9
102 Demaryius Thomas Emmanuel Sanders 159.79
103 Demaryius Thomas n/a 159.79

Table 2: Wide Receiver Committee Pairs

Okay, that is a really big table, but I wanted to be thorough.  As you can see, we have some very good pairs to select from for an elite WRBC. So digging in, there are 102 pairs ot Table 2 to consider, so there are a number of options.  Rather than looking at the frequency of appearances, let's just jump right into the comparison to the original table for our Top 12+ wide receivers from the original article: 

ADP WR Rank Player Team FPs
1 1 Antonio Brown PIT 205.12
2 2 Odell Beckham Jr NYG 197.71
3 3 Julio Jones ATL 190.24
4 4 Mike Evans TB 187.15
5 6 A.J. Green CIN 175.52
6 5 Jordy Nelson GB 182.35
7 8 Michael Thomas NO 168.64
8 7 T.Y. Hilton IND 172.16
9 10 Dez Bryant DAL 161.44
10 9 Amari Cooper OAK 163.47
11 15 DeAndre Hopkins HOU 150.03
12 13 Doug Baldwin SEA 153.39
13 12 Brandin Cooks NE 154.88
14 14 Demaryius Thomas DEN 151.15
15 17 Alshon Jeffery PHI 144.62

Table 3: Projected Fantasy Points for Elite Wide Receivers

PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER

Based on Tables 2 and 3, we see that some combinations of wide receivers can afford elite production at a reduced price.  Taking two wide receivers in the WR15-24 range with the right combined schedule gives 175+ fantasy points, which is equivalent to Michael Thomas (WR7 or WR8) along with seven points for a bye week filler. Not all of the pairings may fall into place in each draft, but having a chart like Table 2 can give you a leg up on the competition.  

The committee approach is not a perfect one, but having this knowledge prior to your fantasy draft can prove to be invaluable if you decide to adopt this approach.  If all the players on your starter list are gone, goiong with a committee can save your team and help you deal with the loss of bigger names.  The method is also a big help in "Best Ball" leagues, where lineup decisions are not necessary every week.  That's exactly where a committee can do the best, as either player can count for you each week.

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