The 7 Riskiest Players in Fantasy Football
7. Doug Baldwin, RB, Seattle Seahawks
2015 was really a tale of two halves for Doug Baldwin, and the Seahawks’ Week 9 bye split the two sides right in half.
|Category||First 8 Weeks||Second 8 Weeks|
|Targets Per Game||5||7.88|
|Receptions Per Game||3.88||5.88|
|Yards Per Game||43.13||90.5|
|Fantasy Points Per Game||5.81||18.05|
He certainly showed his upside during the second half of last year -- if his 18.05 standard fantasy points per game average was stretched out across a full 16 games, his 288.90 points would have finished as the 10th best overall player in fantasy football last season, behind only quarterbacks. Baldwin’s 12 touchdowns in eight games would average out to 24 in a full season, and once again be an all-time NFL record – one better than Randy Moss' 23 in 2007.
We certainly aren’t projecting him to keep up that pace for a full season – considering no NFL player has ever done so before – but his ceiling as the fifth-best wide receiver is a heck of a payoff for a late fourth-round draft pick, as his average draft position suggests.
But let’s circle back to the first half of his 2015 season before we crown him the steal of the draft.
Baldwin’s 5.81 fantasy points per game equates to 92.96 points over a full season, which would have left him as the 48th-best fantasy wide receiver least year, just behind Keenan Allen, who missed eight games due to injury. That means he would have been no better than a flex play on fantasy rosters. And, keep in mind, that’s a position where plenty of players end up every single year. His record-breaking pace from the second half of last year is something that no one in history has been able to do for a full season.
The variance we’ve already seen from Baldwin clearly explains the 57.18 gap in his CI range for 2016, but the potential reward of a top-five wide receiver could well outweigh the risk if he continues to fall out of the first three rounds.