Shakespeare in Floyd

floyd

M Floyd

 

 

The Exposition

 

As the savvy dynasty owner thou art, devise the fittest time and striketh on player value before sunrise — the hour is almost come.  I almost didn’t follow this advice last year while shopping Alshon Jeffery prior to the 2013 rookie draft.  I had a plethora of wide receivers and had “pocket change” to spare.  I knew that Jeffery had a great opportunity to be a stud and should net a great return to help me balance a team that was in need of a running back I could depend on for a long time.  Jeffery was the player I put on the market: I wasn’t going to net a solid return on an aging Roddy White, I was counting on the production from Jordy Nelson, and I wasn’t parting with Demaryius Thomas.

 

I drove a stake in the ground and told myself I wasn’t going to sell Jeffery for anything less than a 1.5 rookie pick.  In full transparency, the player I was after was Christine Michael (yes I’m on that side of the fence.)  I ended up getting Michael with the 1.10 pick and was ecstatic; apparently I was higher on Michael than the rest of the league (and industry for that matter given his rookie draft ADP,) but I digress.

 

I fielded multiple trade offers for Jeffery, but I wasn’t able to close on anything higher than the 1.10 – I balked.  All the clues were in place from my perspective that the market for Jeffery was simply too low. Jeffery spent the off-season training with Brandon Marshall, Marc Trestman was to bring his high-octane west coast offense to Chicago, and Jeffery was primed for a break-out season in a new offense as the bona fide wide receiver 2.  I could not have been any luckier that I wasn’t able to get that deal done as he became so much more valuable to me in my lineup; it boiled down to market value.

 

I was bullish on my stance on Jeffery, and everyone told me I was too high on him.  He cost a late first round pick the year prior, and he hadn’t shown that he was worth any more than that to potential buyers.  My expected return on investment was high — I was selling based on his ceiling.  While many dynasty owners are willing to draft based on a player’s potential ceiling, the same might not be willing to trade at this expectation.  As it turned out, not only was I selling on his ceiling – I was selling on his future.

 

Jeffery could have arguably been the 1.1, 1.2, or 1.3 pick in 2013 depending on whether or not an owner needed or wanted Giovani Bernard or Le’Veon Bell.  The lesson for me was that if you possess a level of conviction about a player and you find yourself higher on a player than your league mates, you need to roll with the tide and put your eggs in this basket.  How willing you are to take risks plays into this as this approach can surely backfire, but you’re going to miss out on the players that hit after the sun rises if you don’t invest in the player at dawn.

 

Rising Action

 

Michael Floyd is entering his third year and while Jeffery burst onto the scene in only his sophomore season, the similarity of Floyd’s situation to Jeffery’s is written on the wall (albeit a season later.)  Michael Floyd isn’t a “buy-low” per se, but he can be had for much less now vs. what he will cost should he break out in 2014.  Many in the fantasy community like Floyd, but they might not be valuing Floyd based on his potential ceiling.  These are the types of situations you look for and let slip the dogs of war.

 

The Arizona Cardinals spent the 13th overall pick on Floyd in 2012 to finally provide much needed talent opposite-side Larry Fitzgerald and assume the heir apparent responsibility long-term.  Michael Floyd possesses everything an NFL team wants in a WR1 and everything dynasty owners look for in their lineups: he’s 6’3” 220 lbs and clocked a 4.47 40. While he isn’t a burner, he doesn’t need to be with his frame and ability to be a quarterback’s best friend in traffic. Floyd is just as good a route runner as he is explosive off the line, and he’s a nightmare for most corners in the league.  Since he’s only entering his 3rd year in the league, let’s take a look back into his college production at Notre Dame:

 

 

Receiving

Rushing

Scrimmage

Year

G

Rec

Yds

Avg

TD

Att

Yds

Avg

TD

Plays

Yds

Avg

TD

2009

7

44

795

18.1

9

1

8

8

0

45

803

17.8

9

2010

12

79

1025

13

12

1

9

9

0

80

1034

12.9

12

2011

13

100

1147

11.5

9

2

13

6.5

1

102

1160

11.4

10

 

 

Floyd’s production increased YoY in almost every metric with the exception of Y/C and TDs from his Junior year to Senior year.  This overall production combined with his measurables is exactly what you look for in a budding elite-level receiver talent. Let’s move forward from there and look into his first 2 season as an Arizona Cardinal.

 

 

Year

Age

G

GS

Rec

Yds

Y/R

TD

Lng

R/G

Y/G

2012

23

16

3

45

562

12.5

2

53

2.8

35.1

2013

24

16

16

65

1041

16

5

91

4.1

65.1

 

 

The Turning Point

 

Floyd didn’t jump-start his pro career as quickly as many had hoped.  In Floyd’s defense, it must be a difficult learning curve when you’re trying to catch passes from John Skelton, Kevin Kolb, and Ryan Lindley.  This situation would leave any potential fantasy commodity for dead – just ask Larry Fitzgerald as he fell victim to the anemic Cardinal passing game in 2012 all the same.

 

 

2012

Targets

Catches

Yards

TDs

FPS

PP/O

Michael Floyd

79

45

562

2

112.7

0.28

Larry Fitzgerald

148

71

798

4

174.8

0.26

 

 

In his rookie campaign, Floyd didn’t do much with his limited opportunities, but neither did Fitzgerald.  In fact, Floyd was nearly as effective with his limited opportunities in comparison to the perennial pro-bowler in terms of fantasy points per opportunity.  Let’s take a look at how this plays out in terms of overall target percentage and fantasy point share:

 

 

Floyd 2012

 

 

Floyd managed to snag just under 40% of the fantasy points between the 2 receivers.  He also pulled down less than 15% of the targets per pass attempt as well as total receiving yards per pass attempts.

 

 

2013

Targets

Catches

Yards

TDs

FPS

PP/O

Michael Floyd

107

65

1041

5

199.1

0.35

Larry Fitzgerald

129

82

954

10

237.7

0.39

 

 

Untying the Knot

 

In 2013, Fitzgerald managed to out produce Floyd in points/ opportunity once again, but it was close.  While Floyd was targeted less and caught less, he managed to out produce Fitzgerald in total yardage. He also finished the season playing less than 100% on a hobbled ankle while the Cardinals hoped to somehow lock up a wild card spot.

 

 

Floyd 2013

 

 

In 2013 we saw Floyd’s share of the fantasy production between the two increase from 39% to 46%. His target per pass attempts increase YoY from 13.98% to 18.71%.  His yardage %/ PA also increased YoY from 13.99% to 24.36%.  Cleary Floyd carved out a larger role in the offense and did so at a rate that almost matched that of Fitzgerald. At this point, we could say that this may be the plateau of the production distribution between the two receivers, but is the YoY shift in fantasy distribution between the two a sign of what’s to come?  This is when you have to decide whether or not you buy-into Floyd taking that leap to the next tier of fantasy elite.  If you invest and the ceiling isn’t reached, you already know what you have in terms of the floor.  If it pans out, you now own stock in an elite dynasty commodity, and you paid a fraction of the eventual cost.

 

 

Dénouement

 

Floyd was taken under Fitzgerald’s guidance and attended his off-season training, much in the same way Alshon Jeffery did with Brandon Marshall.  There is more room for Floyd to grow as the Cardinals sustained a devastating loss when Left Guard Jonathan Cooper went down for the season.  The Cardinals are likely to spend their first round pick adding talent to the line; they’re quite possibly a healthy offensive line away from being immediate contenders in the NFC.  The Cardinals bought some time by restructuring Fitzgerald’s contract, but $16 million in 2015 and $15 million in 2016 might be a tough pill to swallow for the Cardinals knowing they have Floyd to assume the top WR role.

 

If Fitzgerald stays, there’s still room for Floyd to advance onward to low-end WR1 upside as he was a hands-length away from a few more TDs in 2013.  If Fitzgerald isn’t in the long-term picture, there isn’t a question as to whether or not to own stock in Michael Floyd.  If Fitzgerald remains in the picture, the Chicago Bears have shown that a team can have two receivers be WR1 fantasy assets, and it’s a great way for NFL teams to increase their odds of winning.  While Floyd can’t be had for cheap, it’s a lot cheaper than what he’ll cost when he potentially becomes the 2014 Alshon Jeffery.

 

Come you now, for gained knowledge with surrounding ambiguity lets thou snipe the purse of the fool.

 

~Fantasy Gumshoe

 

Sources:

*Pro-football-reference.com

*profootballfocus.com

*rotoworld.com

 

 

 

 

3 Comments

  1. Paul

    March 2, 2014 at 6:29 am

    I have been after Floyd in leagues. I would agree with you that he is not a buy low, but he can be had for a decent price. He went three dollars less than Alshon in a startup auction.
    Traded Montee Ball and Martellus Bennet for Floyd, Woods and D. Allen. I thought that was probably a little low for Floyd.
    I hope your prediction comes true, as the Alshon one did.

    • Fantasy Gumshoe

      March 2, 2014 at 9:43 am

      I would say that was a great deal for you! I’m of the mindset to sell Ball as well, and you got a nice pull for him. Here’s to Floyd! Thanks for the note, and thanks for reading!

  2. diane

    March 3, 2014 at 6:20 pm

    great info! love the inclusion of all the stats!

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