Did you ever wonder how your mother is such a great shopper? I did, until I saw her big box of coupons and sale ads showing many items on sale.
This is how I feel about fantasy football as well. Some players are just "on sale" where they are being valued so low, how could they not give you more value than what you spend on them?
One guy this year that comes to mind is Detroit Lions wide receiver Golden Tate. Last season, Tate finished as the number 30th ranked wide receiver in ESPN standard scoring and yet, his current ADP on ESPN is the 34th wide receiver drafted in fantasy leagues. How does this make sense?
Not only did he out play his ADP last year, but Tate goes from the Seattle Seahawks who passed an average of 26.3 times per game, last in the NFL, to the Detroit Lions who passed 39.6 times per game last year, or third most in the NFL.
So not only does Tate go to a team that passed it significantly more than the Seattle Seahawks last year, but again, Golden Tate already surpassed this ADP last year on the lowest passing team in the NFL, a team that spreads it around like crazy as well, and Tate did so with under 100 targets. Also, he's going to get plenty of single coverage in Detroit being across from Calvin Johnson that Golden Tate sure would take advantage of.
For example, according to PFF, Golden Tate dropped 5 out of 143 catchable balls the last three years which was the lowest drop out of any wide receiver in the NFL over that time. Also, over the same time, Golden Tate has forced 50 missed tackles, which is 9 more tackles missed than any over wide receiver in football despite not getting more than 100 targets and only averaging 48 catches a year. On top of this, Tate averaged 7.9 yards after the catch last year which also led the NFL.
Not only do these stats show how truly talented Tate is as a wide receiver and playmaker, but also how under utilized Tate really was in Seattle. Also, one should notice the stat on making people miss, catch rate, and run after catch on few opportunities and realize that one on one coverage against him because of Calvin Johnson's presence should be fantasy gold for Tate and his owners.
The 5 year, $35 million signing of Golden Tate by the Detroit Lions finally gives Detroit the number two wide receiver they have been looking for. Not only have guys like Titus Young and Ryan Broyles been over drafted through the years for the outlook of being Detroit's number two, but they weren't nearly as talented as Tate. Now they finally have a ultra talented number two wide receiver so why is he being under drafted? Maybe it's people getting burned on others, I don't know.
Last year, Nate Burleson was Detroit's number two wide receiver until he broke his arm again, leaving Kris Durham to step in. Those two wide receivers combined for 139 targets last year, the same amount as Eric Decker did. However, while both were productive as fantasy football wide receivers, Kris Durham dropped 10 out of 48 catchable balls last year. How can people not think Golden Tate will be great in this offense when guys like Burleson and Durham were productive despite their talent?
While all these arguments are valid above, the stat that makes me very excited about Golden Tate is what he does when he finally gets volume in targets. In 8 of 16 games last year, Golden Tate had 7 or more targets. In those games he averaged 5.5 catches per game for 81.5 yards and had all 5 of his seasons touchdowns in those 8 games.
Furthermore, including playoffs last year, there was 11 games without 7 or more targets. In those games, Tate averaged 2.5 catches for 27.9 yards and 0 touchdowns with 7 of them below 30 yards receiving and 9 of 11 of those games below 35 yards receiving. On top of this, in those 8 games Tate had over 7 targets, he averaged 15.03 fantasy points per game with only one game under 9.5 fantasy points during that time.
Despite all of this, he was still the number 30th receiver last year with all this inconsistency and lack of opportunity. If he gets those 139 targets that lesser talented Burleson and Durham combined for as Detroit's number two wide receiver last year, he will have an average of 8.7 targets per game. If these stats continue to hold true in a pass first offense with talent everywhere, where Tate will be single teamed all game long, imagine what he will do!
Again, he finished as the number 30 wide receiver last year and is currently being drafted as the number 34th receiver after he went from Seattle (last in passing last year) to Detroit (third in passing last year), where he's across from Calvin Johnson, he's a steal! He is currently my WR23 with much more upside than this.
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