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:
|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%|
|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.
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.
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.
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