Outliers: Where I Strayed the Furthest from the Consensus

Mario Adamo Jr. shares where he differs most from the consensus. "You have to be odd to be number one" - Dr. Seuss

As you’ve seen by now, QB List’s Consensus Draft Rankings are out. The greatest minds of QB List ranked their top 150 players to aid you with your drafts, but as with any consensus, there are outliers.

 

Which RB Runs it Back

 

Player Team Position Mario’s Rank QB List Rank
Derrick Henry TEN RB 1 10

 

Yes, it was me. I was the one who put King Henry atop my rankings. The RB7 according to consensus is my 1.01 pick. What drove me to such madness? I instead ask what happened that made everyone forget who Derrick Henry is.

Last year in eight games Henry averaged 24.16 fantasy points per game. In 2020 Henry finished as RB3, 4 points behind Dalvin Cook and they both fell short of Alvin Karama and his Christmas gift of 6 touchdowns.

Yes, Henry got hurt last year, but let’s look at a couple of RBs ranked ahead of him. Both Christian McCaffrey & Dalvin Cook have seen their fair share of the injury bug. We cannot let our fears of injury haunt our future.

I don’t worry about AJ Brown being gone, the offense has always flowed through Henry and it will continue to do so. I worry that the Baker Mayfield to DJ Moore connection will hurt CMC, but that’s another article.

 

Player Team Position Mario’s Rank QB List Rank
Najee Harris PIT RB 11 6

 

Najee Harris at 11?! Hear me out.

Last year Najee led all RBs in total snaps coming in at 929 vs the next closest, Zeke at 761. I don’t think Benny Snell Jr. threatens Najee’s production, but I can see him getting some snaps to lighten to load.

Lastly, and purely a gut feeling, I’m high on Mitchell Trubisky this year! Trubisky was named a captain this year and Big Ben was a shell of his former self last year. Mitch was a solid backup in Buffalo last year and is ready to move on from his Chicago days. I can see Tomlin letting Mitch air it out and drive this offense.

 

Will the Real WR1 Please Stand Up

 

Player Team Position Mario’s Rank QB List Rank
Michael Pittman Jr. IND WR 15 25

 

Pittman finished as WR17 last season and he’s just getting started.

Matt Ryan has produced a WR1 (top-12 finish) in 13 of his 14 seasons, with the only exception being last year. I see 37-year-old Matt Ryan as a huge upgrade over Carson Wentz. Ryan’s passer rating under pressure 77.2 and accuracy of throws with 15+ air yards 63.7% are both significantly better than Wentz’s 68.5 and 55.8% respectively.

Those numbers, combined with my expectation that teams will focus on stopping Taylor, open the path for Pittman to be a top 5 wideout.

 

Player Team Position Mario’s Rank QB List Rank
Davante Adams LV WR 22 14

 

Last year when Davante Adams posted a picture of “The Last Dance” on his Instagram story, it was about his years as the top fantasy wideout.

Without Rodgers, Adams won’t be force-fed like he was in Green Bay. Adams’ target share last year was 31% with the next closest being 11%. Derek Carr‘s most targeted receiver was Hunter Renfrow at 21%, followed by Darren Waller at 15%, and Zay Jones at 12%. Adams is going from being the belle of the ball to just another option. Waller only played in 11 games last year, but in a healthy 2020, Waller was second in the league in red-zone targets only behind new teammate Davante Adams. Can a single offense produce the top two red zone targets in the league? All signs point to no.

Adams is too talented to not be a top fantasy wideout, but I foresee him taking a big step backward in terms of production.

 

A Tale of Two Cowboys 

 

Player Team Position Mario’s Rank QB List Rank
CeeDee Lamb DAL WR 29 17
Michael Gallup DAL WR 102 135

 

Just because Mary had a little Lamb doesn’t mean your team should.

Yes, CeeDee Lamb is talented, but I don’t think he will finish that much better than Michael Gallup on a points-per-game (PPG) basis. Last season Lamb finished with 232.8 points (14.55 PPG) while Amari Cooper, the WR2, finished with 202.5 points (13.5 PPG). Gallup, who was set to become a free agent last offseason, signed a five-year deal with the Cowboys worth $62.5 million total while promoting him as the new WR2. They don’t pay a player that much money to not use them. It’s the same reason I’m high on Christian Kirk, follow the money!

Gallup is coming off an ACL tear and is expected to miss some time early in the year, but he should be fully healthy later this season. Think about this as you approach fantasy playoffs, if you could draft a player in the second round or the tenth round and get the same production, who are you targeting?

 

The Odd Couple

 

Player Team Position Mario’s Rank QB List Rank
Allen Robinson II LAR WR 35 42

 

Last year Cooper Kupp put up a league-winning 439.5 points and was the true bell cow WR of the Rams offense, but I think this year will look more like 2020 than 2021. A big reason Kupp put up those insane numbers was his target share, a massive 32%. Last year the WR2 slot was a revolving door for LA, Robert Woods played 9 games while OBJ tallied 7. With no true number 2, it’s no wonder Kupp saw the target share he did. With Robert Woods & OBJ gone Robinson is the clear number 2 in LA.

Let’s look back at 2020 when Kupp and Woods were viewed as a 1A & 1B situation, Kupp put up 208.7 points while Woods had 245.1 points. Even if Kupp continues to have breakfast every day with Matthew Stafford and remains his first read, I see LA bearing more of a resemblance to 2020 than last year.

Oh, how was Robinson’s 2020? He finished with 262.9 points, good for WR9.

 

Player Team Position Mario’s Rank QB List Rank
Travis Kelce KC TE 21 15

 

With last season’s WR6 and arguably the best deep threat in the league, Tyreek Hill, now in Miami, I predict the entire KC offense taking a step back.

We’re accustomed to a high-powered KC offense, one that averaged 4.1 red zone trips a game last year. Without the Cheetah’s speed and ability to stretch the field, I see a future with KC’s offense struggling to get to the red zone as often as we’re used to. Without those frequent red zone trips, Travis Kelce won’t have the same 15 red zone targets as last year and definitely not the 22 red zone targets as he had in 2020. He’ll still get his and finish as a top TE, but I expect him to finish closer to TE4 than TE1.

 

And there you have it, the method behind my madness. If even a handful of you decide to go against the consensus with me, then my job is complete.

 

 

(Photo by Jeffrey Brown/Icon Sportswire)

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