Donte Moncrief Wet Blanket Part II

Donte Moncrief Wet Blanket Part II

Back in April of 2016, I wrote an article illustrating why Donte Moncrief was overvalued, a trap and would underperform even on a redraft level. Fast forward and Moncrief falls slightly above my “Low” Projection if we extrapolate out his per-game numbers for 2016. However, I understated how bad it really would be for Moncrief, and now there is even less optimism for the future.

Moncrief ran into a whirlwind of injuries, poor production and worst case scenarios in 2016. Jack Doyle walked into Coby Fleener’s old target share. Phillip Dorsett took a dramatic step forward in efficiency and Moncrief had the worst season of his career, held up solely by the ridiculous 7-touchdowns he scored.  

First, let’s look at target distribution:

2013 TGTs %TGTs 2014 TGTs %TGTs
TY Hilton 139 23.9% TY Hilton 131 21.1%
Reggie Wayne(7gms) 58 22.7% Reggie Wayne 116 18.7%
Darius Heyward-Bey 64 11.0% Hakeem Nicks 68 10.3%
Griff Whalen 40 12.2% Donte Moncrief 49 7.4%
Coby Fleener 87 14.9% Coby Fleener 92 13.9%
2015 TGTs %TGTs 2016 TGTs %TGTs
TY Hilton 134 21.6% TY Hilton 155 26.5%
Donte Moncrief 105 17.0% Donte Moncrief(9-gms.) 56 17.0%
Andre Johnson 77 12.4% Phillip Dorsett 59 10.8%
Phillip Dorsett 39 9.2% Jack Doyle 75 12.8%
Coby Fleener 84 13.6% Dwayne Allen 52 10.2%

We can see that Donte didn’t lose any market share of targets, hitting 17% for the 2nd straight year. While injury kept him off the field he did resume his previous workload. Last year, his precipitous drop-off in efficiency was blamed on starting QB Andrew Luck missing nine games.  With Luck only missing one game this year, Donte does not have the same excuse. Below are some basic figures we used previously to judge expectations, with 2016 included.

Year TGTs Rec Yards TDs Ctch% TD% FP/T
2014 49 32 444 3 65.3% 6.1% 1.93
2015 105 64 733 6 61.0% 5.7% 1.65
2016 56 30 307 7 53.6% 12.5% 1.83

Well that doesn’t look too bad, does it? 1.83 FP/T is much closer to his efficient 2014 than to his mediocre 2015. Unfortunately, it’s tied to a completely unrealistic 12.5% TD Rate that is simply not sustainable. To make certain that it is not repeatable I dug into the Pro-Football-Reference.com database for all WRs with a minimum of 50 Targets who posted at least a 12% TD Rate. I then checked the following season(N+1) and verified the TD Rate.

Since 2000 there has been a total of 23 Wide Receiver seasons of at least 12% TD Rate. Of those, only Chris Henry and James Jones managed to maintain a double-digit TD Rate. Randy Moss is the only other player to have two such seasons; however, they were not back to back. The average regression was by 7.5%. This doesn’t bode well at all for Moncrief. Interestingly, Moncrief was also the least effective WR of the group by a massive margin, with no other receiver posting below a 2.01 FP/T and a Cohort Average of 2.40 FP/T.  

Player Year Tm TGTs Rec Yds Y/R TD Y/Tgt FP/T TD% TD% N+1
Chris Henry 2005 CIN 50 31 422 13.61 6 8.44 2.18 12.0% 12.0%
Chris Henry 2006 CIN 75 36 605 16.81 9 8.07 2.01 12.0% 5.3%
Donte Moncrief 2016 IND 56 30 307 10.23 7 5.48 1.83 12.5% ??
Doug Baldwin 2015 SEA 103 78 1069 13.71 14 10.38 2.61 13.6% 5.6%
Greg Jennings 2007 GNB 84 53 920 17.36 12 10.95 2.58 14.3% 6.4%
James Jones 2011 GNB 55 38 635 16.71 7 11.55 2.61 12.7% 14.3%
James Jones 2012 GNB 98 64 784 12.25 14 8.00 2.31 14.3% 3.2%
Javon Walker 2003 GNB 74 41 716 17.46 9 9.68 2.25 12.2% 8.3%
Jerricho Cotchery 2013 PIT 76 46 602 13.09 10 7.92 2.19 13.2% 1.3%
Jerry Porter 2002 OAK 70 51 688 13.49 9 9.83 2.48 12.9% 1.8%
Jordy Nelson 2011 GNB 96 68 1263 18.57 15 13.16 2.96 15.6% 9.6%
Kenny Britt 2010 TEN 73 42 775 18.45 9 10.62 2.38 12.3% 4.4%
Laurent Robinson 2011 DAL 80 54 858 15.89 11 10.73 2.57 13.8% 0.0%
Lee Evans 2004 BUF 74 48 843 17.56 9 11.39 2.52 12.2% 7.6%
Marvin Jones 2013 CIN 80 51 712 13.96 10 8.90 2.28 12.5% 3.9%
Randy Moss 2004 MIN 86 49 767 15.65 13 8.92 2.37 15.1% 6.5%
Randy Moss 2007 NWE 160 98 1493 15.23 23 9.33 2.41 14.4% 8.8%
Reggie Williams 2007 JAX 60 38 629 16.55 10 10.48 2.68 16.7% 4.8%
Robert Meachem 2009 NOR 64 45 722 16.04 9 11.28 2.68 14.1% 7.6%
Santana Moss 2012 WAS 62 41 573 13.98 8 9.24 2.36 12.9% 2.5%
Taylor Gabriel 2016 ATL 50 35 579 16.54 6 11.58 2.58 12.0% ??
Terrance Williams 2014 DAL 66 37 621 16.78 8 9.41 2.23 12.1% 3.2%
Torrey Smith 2014 BAL 92 49 767 15.65 11 8.34 2.08 12.0% 6.5%

If Donte Moncrief had matched his previous career high of 6.1% TD Rate – higher than the 5% the data above suggests is likely for 2017 – he would have 3-TDs, which would have given him a pathetic 1.46 FP/T.

With career fantasy finishes of WR80, WR34, and WR74, and a production profile that is on the verge of major regression, I can’t find much optimism for Moncrief. Yet Dynasty League Football has an ADP of WR25, and Dynasty Nerds shows WR20! Even if he played a full 16 games, and hit his career high 1.93 FP/T, at his current 17% Target totals he would have finished at 193 FPs – just barely hitting that WR25 mark. At the 1.46 FP/T mentioned above, that would have made him WR50 if he played all 16 games.

Additionally, Phillip Dorsett still stands in the wings and performed well – if limited in opportunity. Outperforming Donte Moncrief in every possible way outside of the outlier TD Rate, Dorsett is also extremely athletic, is a 1st Round Pick and could very well steal away a good chunk of Moncrief’s Role next season.

With a doomed combination of regression, poor performance and competition for targets, Donte Moncrief is virtually guaranteed to disappoint again this year. I highly recommend selling while the price is still high. His only real chance to return value is on a second contract with a new team.

You can follow me on Twitter: @ChristipherBean

cbean

Amateur Analytics nut. WR AY/T tracking (see Google Doc). JANIS GAWD 4EVA. CARROOOOO!!!! Writer for Dynasty Football Factory & PlayerProfiler.

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