If you go on Fantasy Football Calculator and look for Malcom Floyd, you’ll be scrolling for a while. He’s sharing company with the likes of Harry Douglas and just a few spots up from Justin Blackmon.
Grabbing a late-round guy who gives you early-round production is often key to fantasy success. Some of the early-round picks simply don’t pan out.
If you drafted Dwayne Bowe, Hakeem Nicks or Steve Smith last year, you spent a fourth-, fifth- or sixth-round pick, respectively. All three of those guys were fantasy fiascos. There’s always a handful.
When you draft quality players in late-rounds, it makes up for the Bowes and Nicks of the season. Malcom Floyd is one of those quality picks.
Floyd’s Supporting Cast
Antonio Gates/Ladarius Green
Gates and Green will cancel each other out this year. They both will be on the field and both have Rivers’ trust. It’s a coin-flip as to which one will finish the season with more catches, but I don’t see either one with more than 80 targets.
And their work is going to come from routes over the middle of the field, a place foreign to Floyd. Neither Gates nor Green should top Gates’ 11.3 yards per catch average from 2013.
Allen proved himself a viable fantasy asset in his rookie season. Drafters are rewarding him with a 3.08 ADP this season, which I think is too rich.
Allen is more of a precise route runner, someone who isn’t getting behind defenses or stretching the field. Only two of his 71 receptions were caught beyond 20 yards from the line of scrimmage—it’s outside of his safe-zone. Allen sported a decent, but not mind-blowing 14.7 yards per catch average last season.
He’s also not a target hog like other perceived WR1s. Allen ranked 38th in the league with his 105 targets, just 1 more than Nate Washington and Jamaal Charles.
While I wouldn’t put it past any rookie wide receiver who surpassed 1,000 receiving yards to improve, the feeling from Allen is: what you’ve seen is what you get.
Prior to the 2013 season, Vincent Brown was dubbed a WR3 with huge upside. The Union-Tribune San Diego even christened him as the receiver who has the potential to lead the Chargers in receiving.
Brown scored a touchdown in Week 1 and then never again, despite playing 946 of Philip Rivers’ 1128 snaps. To put that number into perspective, Keenan Allen played 971 of Rivers’ 1128 snaps.
Brown also underwhelmed in just about every other significant statistical category: 29.5 YPC, more than 50 receiving yards in only two games (Week 5 (117 yards & Week 15 (54 yards) and 11.5 yards per catch.
To put it plainly, Brown was a bust for the Chargers and your fantasy team.
Woodhead is a solid receiving threat for the Chargers—there’s no denying that. But his increased usage last season was somewhat due to Brown’s ineffectiveness. Woodhead had a career-high 76 receptions last year.
Either way, Woodhead serves an entirely different purpose for San Diego’s offense than Floyd.
It is unquestioned that Floyd will be starting opposite Allen this year.
All reports from the Bolts’ OTAs and minicamp were that Floyd hasn’t shown any signs of slowing. Training camp and preseason reports mirror that of the minicamp reports: Floyd has been outstanding.
Since 2010, Floyd’s catches have increased: 37 in 2010, 43 in 2011 and 56 in 2012.
Those catches were made while sharing the ball with a more effective Gates and target-commanding Vincent Jackson in 2011.
In 2011, Floyd led the NFL with 19.9 yards per catch. And in 2013 (although just in two games), he started the season with 6 catches for 149 yards. Of course the sample size is microscopic, but the trend is important here.
Floyd stretches the field and give Rivers a deep-ball threat—something Rivers isn’t afraid to utilize. And standing at 6’5” 225 pounds, (instead of Brown’s 5’11” 184 pounds), Floyd is an ideal red-zone target.
If we just plug Vincent Brown’s 2013 underwhelming numbers in for Floyd and use Floyd’s significantly higher yards per catch average, Floyd is in the neighborhood of 800 receiving yards. And that would be with just 41 receptions, something Floyd surpassed in 2011 in 12 games (43) and 2012 in 14 games (56).
The point is Floyd will be a fantasy factor this year, most people just don’t know it yet. So on draft day, spend a last-round pick on the guy—you’ll be beating everyone to the hottest Week 1 waiver wire add.
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