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Thursday, July 17, 2014

The Overrated Dez Bryant

People's love for Dez Bryant is just astounding to me. My friends can't stop raving about him. Yahoo! has Bryant ranked as the 3rd best wide receiver over both Chicago guys and A.J. Green. ESPN is a little better and has Bryant ranked 4th. Even still, Bryant at best needs to be 5th maximum. So for all of my Dez Bryant bashing  that I'm going to do in this post, I still have him as a top wide receiver, but he needs to be lower in both people's Wide Receiver and ADP ranks.

I think everyone can agree that Calvin Johnson and Demaryius Thomas needs to be ahead of Dez Bryant. Megatron is the consensus #1 wide out because he's the best wide receiver in the game and Thomas has just been so consistent over the past two years while playing in the best system in the league. But the next few wide receivers is where it gets dicey.

The no-brainers that need to be ahead of Dez Bryant are Brandon Marshall and A.J. Green. Brandon Marshall is an elite wide receiver in one of the best pass-first systems in the league. He can catch a 5 and a 50 yard pass; he can get the short and long stuff, and his off-the-field issues seem to be over now that he's receiving medical treatment for a legitimate mental issue. But even better for Marshall, he's had better numbers than Dez Bryant for the past two years. For as amazing as a season as Bryant had two years ago, Marshall had a better season. The same held true last year. The only knock I've heard on Marshall is that Alshon Jeffrey is there to steal production away from Marshall. However, that was true last year, and Brandon Marshall still ended up with better fantasy numbers than Dez Bryant.

The other wide receiver that needs to be drafted ahead of Dez Bryant is A.J. Green. Green was a first round draft pick with the highest pedigree imaginable and has been a monster in this league. Green was another wide receiver who performed better than Bryant last year, and while Dez Bryant did finish better than Green in 2012, it was only by 2 points. I remember that season. Dez Bryant did very little for the first half of the year and exploded during the second half. That second half happened to be spectacular, but A.J. Green was just consistently elite for the entire year. Fantasy football is played week to week, and I'd rather have a consistent performer like A.J. Green versus the few good weeks of Dez Bryant. A.J. Green has been an elite weekly performer for two years now, and needs to be ranked ahead of Dez Bryant.

Calvin Johnson, Demaryius Thomas, Brandon Marshall, and A.J. Green are four receivers that absolutely need to be ranked ahead of Dez Bryant. Two receivers that you can make arguments for being drafted ahead of Dez Bryant (but you probably won't) are Alshon Jeffrey and Antonio Brown. The easiest argument you can make for Jeffrey and Brown over Bryant? They both put up better fantasy numbers than Dez Bryant last year!

Listen, Dez Bryant is a stud receiver and with my luck, he will finish as the best receiver in fantasy in 2014. But the point is there is a lot of risk you take on when you draft Dez Bryant, and you lose all of that risk when you take him as the third best receiver. Dez Bryant has only put up elite, elite numbers during the second half of 2012 and put up good, but not shit-in-your-pants incredible fantasy numbers in 2013. Dez Bryant finished as the EIGHTH best receiver last year. Plus, he has some legitimate off-the-fields issues that seem to be under control, but are not completely resolved. I'm just giving you fair warning if you decide to draft Dez Bryant as high as he's going in fantasy drafts.



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