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ADP Showdown: Courtland Sutton vs. D.K. Metcalf


The draft season brings out a lot of controversial dichotomies between players who are being selected within a few picks of each other. Sometimes these are really easy decisions to make and other times it’s almost too close to call.

There are a lot of tough choices at the wide receiver position this year since it’s stacked from top to bottom with fantasy-relevant talent. A player’s skill set, injury history, and the offense he plays in affect how the player should be valued. However, when two players share many similar characteristics, it’s hard to decide which player to select when you are on the clock.

The fifth round is a pivotal point in most fantasy drafts. There’s still a lot of quality talent on the board, but there are some land mines that could blow up in your face if you are not careful. WRs Courtland Sutton and D.K. Metcalf are being drafted in this range within a few picks of each other. These are two young, gifted players who have flashed talent during the early stages of their careers. Now, the market is valuing them in a similar fashion, making it hard to distinguish which player is the most optimal option in fantasy.

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Courtland Sutton - Denver Broncos

The Denver Broncos selected Sutton in the second round of the 2018 NFL Draft after he finished his career at SMU with back to back 1,000-yard seasons. During his college career, he showcased excellent ball skills and the ability to win downfield in tough contested-catch situations.

Last year was his breakout season in the NFL where he posted 1,112 yards and six touchdowns. He was a key contributor to the passing offense, owning a 25 percent share of the passing targets while also a 41 percent share of the air yards. His receiving volume held a scalable floor.

Sutton was also very efficient by averaging 2.08 yards per route ran while also achieving a 104.7 quarterback rating when targeted. He’s not just a deep threat who makes splash plays, he’s actually reliable on a play-by-play basis.

Broncos quarterback Drew Lock is building a rapport with Sutton, who was his favorite target last season. The tandem has generated multiple highlight-reel plays during training camp. From the looks of things, it seems like Sutton is primed to take a step forward in 2020.

 

DK Metcalf - Seattle Seahawks

In the other corner, we have Seattle Seahawk D.K. Metcalf, the size-speed phenom who has WR1 upside tattooed across his chest. As a rookie last year, he caught 58 passes for 900 yards and seven touchdowns. He saw 50-yards or more in ten games while finishing the season as the WR30 in PPR.

Although he had a good rookie season, it was hard to rely on him in fantasy with just one WR1 week and two WR2 weeks. He did have six weeks where he hovered around the WR26-30 range in PPR scoring.

With over 100 air yards in six games, Metcalf saw enough workload to make him fantasy relevant. He owned a 19 percent share of the targets and a 26 percent share of the team’s air yards. Per PFF, 25.77 percent of his targets went for 20 yards or more and he was able to reel in 40 percent of those deep targets.

Last year, Seattle ranked 23rd in the league with 517 pass attempts while ranking third in the NFL with 481 rushing attempts. If the team sees game scripts that allow them to lean more on the passing game, then we could see a boost in Metcalf's workload, and with how he’s used in the offense and what he can do with the ball after the catch, he could possibly finish as one of the top wide receivers in the league.

Metcalf has been blazing the field at camp. Like Sutton, he also has been putting together a laundry list of incredible plays. It looks like he’s primed to have a big season. Another camp with Russell Wilson is only a positive.

Courtesy of PlayerProfiler

When we look at his combine metrics, Metcalf’s size-adjusted speed stands out like a red popsicle on white gloves. He’s a 228-pound wide receiver who can run a 4.33 40-yard dash. His speed allows him to easily separate from defensive backs off the line of scrimmage and downfield. Then, his size makes it easy to post-up on defenders at the catch-point to make the necessary separation to make the play.

Both of these players are tremendous prospects. We could easily see them be highly productive fantasy assets this season and possibly many years into the future. They have the size, speed, and athleticism to be alpha wide receivers for their teams.

The one thing that separates Metcalf from Sutton is quarterback play. Wilson is one of the best quarterbacks in the league. Lock has some talent, but he’s still a questionable quarterback prospect who has a lot of developing to do before he can even touch Wilson’s level.

Metcalf’s ability to stretch the defense and make plays downfield works to Wilson’s strong arm, which allows him to sling deep passes. This is a match made in heaven. Metcalf is the weapon in the passing game that Wilson needed.

 

Verdict

We need Lock to take a massive stride forward for him to be a more consistent player. He had a lot of up-and-down performances throughout the season last year. Sutton could fall off if Lock experiences a massive sophomore slump which is in the arrange of outcomes. If this happens, the whole offense will struggle, making it a lost year for many of the skilled players in the Denver offense, including Sutton.

Again, both of these players are very talented. It’s a much safer bet to place some chips on Metcalf because he’s backed by one of the most reliable quarterbacks in the league. Sutton has the potential of being a multi-year pro bowler, but his quarterback carries all the risk.

Metcalf doesn’t have as much competition for targets. The Broncos spent a first-round pick on TE Noah Fant in last year's draft and they turned around and drafted WR Jerry Jeudy, a pro-ready route runner, in this year’s draft. On top of that, they drafted WR K.J. Hamler this year as well. He is a speedy slot receiver with the potential of developing into a dynamic playmaker.

Sutton is pegged as the main passing target in the Broncos' offense, but the competition for targets has gotten steeper over the last couple of months. Metcalf doesn’t have to deal with this situation. WR Tyler Lockett is his main competition within the offense. On the contrary, Metcalf is entering his second season in the league and should siphon more of the target share as he develops. If anything, these two can be thought of as a one-two punch, not threats to one another’s workload.

We're splitting hairs trying to figure out which player is the better option in fantasy. These are two fantastic young wide receivers. Nevertheless, Metcalf is a safer option. Only injuries can prevent him from being a productive fantasy asset. We have to worry about external forces derailing Sutton’s production. Bad quarterback play can interrupt Sutton’s chances of posting another top-shelf season. If the quarterback situation runs bad for the Broncos, Sutton is still talented enough to make himself fantasy viable. On the other hand, Metcalf's QB-situation will only fuel him and elevate his game.



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The 2020 MLB season will always be one for the record books, even if everything that took place will have multiple asterisks attached to it. Evaluating Statcast numbers is a nice way to find hot and cold hitters, as well as underachievers and overachievers. Now that the regular season is over, let's reflect on the... Read More


Daily MLB Injury Roundup for October 16th, 2020

RotoBaller has assembled a list of daily MLB injury updates to help you prepare both your seasonal and daily fantasy baseball (DFS) lineups, every day of the MLB season. Below is our updated list of injured MLB players for October 16th, 2020. Only players on teams that are scheduled to play today will appear below... Read More


Daily MLB Injury Roundup for October 15th, 2020

RotoBaller has assembled a list of daily MLB injury updates to help you prepare both your seasonal and daily fantasy baseball (DFS) lineups, every day of the MLB season. Below is our updated list of injured MLB players for October 15th, 2020. Only players on teams that are scheduled to play today will appear below... Read More


Daily MLB Injury Roundup for October 14th, 2020

RotoBaller has assembled a list of daily MLB injury updates to help you prepare both your seasonal and daily fantasy baseball (DFS) lineups, every day of the MLB season. Below is our updated list of injured MLB players for October 14th, 2020. Only players on teams that are scheduled to play today will appear below... Read More


Bubba and Bat Flip 53: 2 Early Mocks APD Trends & More - Benched with Bubba (Episode 315)

Bubba (@bdentrek) is joined by Bat Flip Crazy (@BatFlipCrazy) to take a deeper look at the 2 Early Mocks ADP. They dig into trends, some interesting risers/fallers, and much more. They also go over some listener questions at the end to keep the Fantasy Baseball information coming even in the offseason. Be sure to subscribe... Read More