Every fantasy football expert out there continues to harp on the need to look for, and find value in your fantasy draft. Despite so many people hearing this school of thought, most people still go for the brand name guys.
If you take a look at some of the players below you'll realize that there can be great fantasy football production from all of them. However, the price you pay for them can be wildly different.
RotoViz has an amazing article detailing how they view one of the guys as a "Store Name Brand" and the other as a "Brand Name". Quite frankly, I don't think I could do it any better. Which means I'll use it as well.
As you evaluate fantasy players for the 2014 season, don't simply base your decision off the name, look at the value and stats.
I'm not saying that every guy compared below will breakout or out-produce the one I'm comparing them to. I'm simply saying that they need further consideration than they are getting right now.
The ADP's I provide are based on 10-team leagues and are courtesy of Fantasy football calculator. The charts are courtesy of RotoViz.
Comparing Fantasy Football Value
Gio Bernard and Joique Bell
The Similarities: Both of these guys are going to be in a timeshare situation. Bell slightly more than Bernard, however they're both not the only back on their teams.
The Differences: Bernard is being drafted at 20th overall in 10-team leagues. Bell is being drafted at 61 overall. I'm not saying that Bernard can't/won't live up to his draft spot. In fact I wrote about him earlier this offeseason and absolutely love his fantasy value. I just question if there's more value in Joique Bell.
If I was looking at purely numbers without seeing the names, Geeze I sure would rather have Bell for the price.
Eddie Lacy and Ryan Matthews
The Similarities: Both Lacy and Matthews ran for a similar number of yards. Quite frankly that's all I've got.
The Differences: Lacy scored almost 2 times as many touchdowns as Matthews did in 2013. Quite frankly that's all I've got.
IF you take away the touchdowns they aren't all that different. Sure touchdowns are important, but they aren't all that predictable. It's possible they have more passing touchdowns in Green Bay with a healthy Rodgers. It's also possible that Philip Rivers regresses and Matthews falls off. Ryan Matthews also loves to get hurt. I'm not sold on his health, but his ADP of 52 overall seems like a better value in my eyes.
MJD and LeVeon Bell
The Similarities: Both Bell and MJD were nearly identical in their yards for 2013 and their touchdowns weren't that far off.
The Differences: Bell technically had 3 more touchdowns and less than 100 more yards. Honestly, they were so close.
Despite MJD taking a ton of criticism for his fantasy performance in 2013, Bell wasn't that much better. Sure I wanted the 3 extra touchdowns, but based on these comparisons I'm not loving the ADP of the 2nd round. I'm also a bit worried about the other backs with the Steelers. That to me means I'm avoiding Bell here and seeing more value in MJD, because I do assume that McFadden will get hurt. History has a way of repeating itself.
Julius Thomas and Martellus Bennett
The Similarities: The yards of Thomas and Bennett are super close. That's awesome.
The Differences: The touchdowns of Thomas and Bennett clearly aren't so close.
This isn't bashing the value of Julius Thomas. I love him for 2014 with Peyton Manning and the loss of Eric Decker. In fact, I'd love to own Thomas. I'm just seeing the value that Bennett can present in 2014. Plain and simple I expect big things from the Bears offense and theres a chance that Bennett gets a ton more touchdowns in 2014. I'll take a chance on Bennett in the 9th round of fantasy drafts.
Things to Remember
We are shopping for deals here. There's no way in good conscience I can tell you that any of these will pan out or that the "brand name guys" will meet their expectations. All I'm saying is that some of these guys can be bargains on fantasy draft day.
We're all here to win a championship and maximize our return on our investment. Even if you don't agree with the guys I've profiled here today, this is what the process looks like guys. Look for value where others don't see it.
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