Fantasy Fade: A.J. Green
There have been a lot of articles and talk around A.J. Green being a high-upside pick in the middle rounds of fantasy drafts. The narrative is that he in those middle rounds you just can't find the kind of upside Green can provide you. I've even heard numerous places claim he has Top 5 upside. I'm here to say, I'm not one of those believers. The last time we saw Green put up a top 5 season was in 2013 when he was 25 years old. Green will be 32 when the season kicks off, and players of his 6'4" stature do not age well in the NFL. There are very few comps that even play that long, let alone play well. Below is the list of the only wideouts I could find of that makeup and their best statistical performances age 32 and older.
✅Randy Moss: age 32 = The WR2
❌Brandon Marshall: age 32 = The WR49
❌Marques Colston: age 32 = The WR56
❌Vincent Jackson: age 32 = The WR64
❌Plaxico Burress: age 34 = The WR39
Only Randy Moss, who is arguable the 2nd best wide receiver of all time and who also happened to be catching passes from the greatest quarterback of all time popped up as anything more than a wide receiver 4. The last time we saw Green play, he was only able to play in 9 games and finished as the WR15 in points per game. His injury risk is still there, but his upside in my opinion is nothing more than a WR2.
Current FantasyPros ADP has Green at pick 60, WR26. I actually don't hate him being drafted in that spot, but I don't think the argument that you're getting this elite upside in the 5th or 6th rounds is actually true. I’d prefer to wait a little longer to draft him. He is being drafted ahead of players like Kareem Hunt, Terry McLaurin, Marquise Brown, DeVante Parker, Evan Engram and Jarvis Landry. Even further down you can find rookies D'Andre Smith and Ke'Shawn Vaughn. All of which I'd prefer to draft in my fantasy drafts over Green. I think they provide better upside than Green. I could even make an argument that 34-year old Julian Edelman is a better pick given the role he is asked to play in his offense.
The positives I will give Green is that compared to the above-mentioned historical 6'4" figures, Green is a better player than those not named Randy Moss. I also do like the offensive situation he is in and think rookie Joe Burrow will be an upgrade over Dalton. But I don't think it's significant enough for Green to push WR1 territory at the high end. I still view him as a WR3 with WR2 upside. Like I said, I don't have a problem drafting Green in the 6th round, but I would temper expectations on his upside, because in my opinion, it's being exaggerated.
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