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Misvalued wide receivers according to PFF's fantasy football rankings and projections

Now that the major pieces have re-sorted in free agency, we have a good idea of the locations for veteran players and can start to piece together what their 2020 will look like. Our Jeff Ratcliffe has had his fantasy rankings ready for awhile now, and we’ve added fantasy projections, which leverage the modeling capabilities of Eric Eager and our research and development team. This series of articles — which started with  running backs and quarterbacks and now moves to wide receivers — will go through the top fantasy players by best ball ADP and compare their relative positional value according to our rankings and projections.

It’s not intuitive, but projections and rankings aren’t interchangeable. Each provides valuable insight but through different methods. Our projections are based on a combination of model-based efficiency projections and analyst-informed share assumptions. Rankings are informed by projections, but the former combines more nebulous effects like upside, floor and contingency value that are more difficult to model. 

While acknowledging that projections aren’t a substitute for rankings, in this piece I’ve translated our projections into positional rankings for comparison with our current rankings and ADP ranks. Projections aren’t a better way for ranking players, but they aren’t as influenced by market sentiment and can be a more independent view of player value. 

Below, I’ve visualized the top 24 fantasy wide receivers by current ADP, contrasting their ranks by ADP, PFF rankings and PFF projections. Often our rankings and projections are in agreement about the valuation of players relative to ADP, identifying players who should be prioritized or faded in drafts. What we find are some substantially misvalued players, and the visualization provides an easy way to judge the magnitude of the differences in rankings.

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