Fantasy Advice

If You Don't Love Jordy Nelson, I'm Not Sure I Can Love You

By August 2, 2014No Comments

I've never been a big believer in drafting wide receivers in the earlier rounds in the draft. You could say I have always approached the draft with an old school mindset of drafting running backs early and often. However the thing is, the tides are changing. And no one else is changing my mind more than Jordy Nelson. I simply love his fantasy value for 2014, and quite frankly I need to own him.

I've done some reasearch across multiple fantasy sites and I've read countless fantasy experts thoughts on Jordy Nelson. Most of them are very high on him for 2014 and I'm ready to join the club.

Did you know that Jordy has been Aaron Rodgers' most efficient WR for Rodgers' entire career? Rodgers has averaged nearly 12 yards per attempt when Jordy Nelson was the target. In fact, in 2013 that number was just shy of 12.5 yards per attempt. That's absolutely crazy.

Why I Love Jordy Nelson for Fantasy Football in 2014

Lets take a look at Jordy Nelsons stats from 2011-2013, including his final rank on the season:

Year Games Receptions Yards TDs Standard Rank PPR Rank
2011 16 68 1263 15 2 4
2012 12 49 745 7 30 38
2013 16 85 1314 8 11 13

Lets throw out 2012, just for the time being (I'll come back to it). Those are two great performances where he nearly met or exceed his draft status both times. Currently Nelson is being drafted as the 2nd pick in the 3rd round, according to Fantasy Football Calculator. I simply don't understand the reasoning here. With Rodgers healthy Nelson should be going sooner, especially over suspect running backs. He's a fucking value at pick 22 in the draft. You're fooling yourself if you think otherwise.

I never thought I'd say the words but here I go...I might have to take a WR in the second round. Wow that took a lot to say, but damn wide receivers are starting to look better and better in the early rounds of 2014 fantasy drafts.

Now of course lets look at 2012, where he had what I'll consider an outlier of a season. He missed 4 games and was still playing injured through several others.

The guys over at RotoViz broke down some impressive numbers where they adjusted for both Nelsons and Rodgers' injuries. These stats and explanations are all them. I'll share my thoughts right after.

Year Games Receptions Yards TDs Standard Rank PPR Rank
2011 16 68 1263 15 2 4
2012 16 76.8 1176 11.2 7 12
2013 16 98 1,620 14 1 1
  • Here is how I arrived at those numbers: I took out the Arizona game in 2012,1 the first Minnesota game in 2012,2 and all the games Rodgers missed last year, including the first Chicago game.3 I simply prorated the numbers from there.
  • It may seem irresponsible to assume health for both Nelson and Rodgers, but really that’s what you’re doing anytime you draft a WR in the first two rounds. They’ve both been consistently healthy through their careers anyway. Nelson’s 2012 and Rodgers’ 2013 were the exceptions, not the rules.
  • Of course, I’m not saying these would have been Nelson’s exact totals, but they are well within the realm of possibility.
  • According to this exercise, Nelson has finished as a WR1 in all three years in standard, .5 PPR, and PPR leagues.
  • Perhaps more importantly, Nelson outperformed his current positional ADP everywhere except 2012 PPR leagues.
  • That being said, I’d focus more on the raw stats than the projected finishes. For those to be truly accurate you would have to apply a similar methodology to every player. For instance, if Josh Gordon and Johnson had played 16 games each instead of 14, they both likely would have finished above Nelson’s projected finish.

My Take:

Are you kidding me?! Look we can't assume health for anyone, but hot damn those numbers look tasty.

Look I know the risk we take when we "assume" or project numbers across a season, but if Jordy Nelson is going with pick 22 and I'm in that spot, I'm licking my chops.

The Reality of Jordy Nelson for 2014

Do I think Jordy Nelson will be the #1 WR in all of fantasy football? No. I can't in good conscience tell you that. But I surely wouldn't be surprised to see him finish higher than his draft slot. Remember, Jordy was the #2 WR in all of fantasy fooball back in 2011. I know you can't live in the past but it gives you hope for 2014. After all, Jordy and Rodgers will have 3 more years of experience together and those "edited" totals above lead me to believe they're getting pretty good together.

Jordy also has a tendency to score touchdowns. In 2011 he led the NFL, with his "edited" totals he would have tied for 2nd in 2013. The guy who led the league in touchdowns in 2012 just happened to be James Jones (yeah he caught the ball from Rodgers too).

The early rounds of fantasy football are all about minimizing risk. With Jordy Nelson you'll do just that.

You should still create your own fantasy football rankings and listen to various fantasy experts, but if you think passing on Jordy Nelson is a good're fooling yourself.

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Nick Schreck