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Bears

Who to Draft: Alshon vs A-Rob – W. Sparling

by Will Sparling

The time is upon us and we will all have to make the tough decisions. Its draft season! Now, if you haven’t done any Mock drafts or Best ball drafts you may or may not know that while the running back position is flying off the board, there is immense value at wide receiver. However, while there is value, there is also a lot of risk. When we examine two wide receivers with near exact ADP without analysis you may just go with the player that has a higher ADP and be fine. You also might find yourself in a tough spot and lose out on a strong, every week starter or potential league winner.

Alshon Jeffery and Allen Robinson are on two exciting and explosive teams for the 2019 season that you should want a part of for fantasy in 2019. If you’re trying to decide just by looking at ADP’s, Jeffery is WR28 and Robinson WR30, it’s too close to call. But who do you want to take if you had to decide between the two?

When comparing Jeffery and Robinson, let’s look at last year to start. Not only did both receivers have problems staying on the field for the entire season (both only playing in 13 games), but both starting quarterbacks missed games as well. Jeffery ended the season with 92 targets, 65 receptions for 843 yards, and 6 touchdowns. Robinson ended the season with 94 targets, 55 receptions for 754 yards, and 4 touchdowns. If we look at targets per game and total target share from last year they are almost identical:

Jeffery: 7.1 tgt/g, 19.5% tgt share
Robinson: 7.2 tgt/g, 21.9% tgt share

The only big difference between the two from last year were their catch rates, Jeffery had a 70.7% catch rate while Robinson was at 58.5%. Now can Jeffery repeat 70.7% catch rate, I don’t believe so and am expecting some regression. Jeffery’s career average catch rate is 57.7%, and the 2017 season his catch was 47.5% (that’s with Carson Wentz playing until week 14).

Allen Robinson had a lot going against him last year. He was one year removed from a torn ACL, he was on a new team with a new system, the team had a quarterback in his second season while playing in a new offensive system. With all of that Robinson still finished with a 58.5% catch rate. A stat that I love to look at for WRs for efficiency is “Catchable percentage”. Just as it sounds, this is the percentage of passes that were deemed actually catchable for the player. Out of Robinson’s 94 targets, 64 were deemed catchable, giving him a true catch rate of 85.9% (PlayerProfile.com) while Jeffery had a true catch rate of 79%. This season, Mitchell Trubisky should feel more comfortable in year two of this offense, so we should see an increase in pass attempts compared to last year (or at least in increase in “catchable” pass attempts).

You may still be wondering – Who do I draft? Much like last year, the Bears have multiple passing options. They added a pass catching running back in David Montgomery, a gadget player in Cordarrelle Patterson, and drafted Riley Ridley. Robinson is still their WR1 and should still expect to see the same target share. Do not forget that in year one his catch rate was 58.5%, the best of his career, so the rapport is there. We might also forget that Robinson is also only 25 years old and has the ability to play a very high level. The downside is his quarterback, Trubisky has a lot to learn and currently has a bit of a limited skill set. He is not the strongest downfield thrower which is where Robinson has been his strongest. I have Robinson projected at 75 receptions for 1050 yards and 7 touchdowns.

When looking at the Eagles, I see similar qualities that the Bears have. They added quite a few offensive players, new running backs in Jordan Howard and Miles Sanders, a deep threat in DeSean Jackson, and the rookie wideout J.J. Arcega-Whiteside (possible future replacement for Jeffery). With all those additions I do not see anything affecting Jeffery’s role and target share. Everything really comes down to Wentz. All reports are pointing in the right direction. If Wentz can stay healthy, the Eagles are a highly efficient scoring team which gives Jeffery a very ceiling. I have Jeffery projected at 78 receptions for 1108 and 8 touchdowns.

When it comes down to it, I want to invest in the stronger team, and on paper right now that is the Eagles. Robinson should have a good season, but Jeffery, with Wentz back, should have the better season.

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