Best & Worst: Value Players Through Week 14

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December 10th, 2013 by Michael Ginnitti

USATSI_7607101_160074578_lowresIn lei of our recent Week 14 Team Value Rankings, we’ll take a closer look at which player is performing with the best and worst value at each position.

Offense

Passing
Peyton Manning is running away with the league MVP award this year, but his $17.5 million cap grounds him slightly in terms of value…very slightly (he’s 2nd). Russell Wilson is not only playing at an elite-level, but his $681,085 cap figure continues to make him an absolute steal. On the flip side rookie quarterbacks E.J. Manuel (BUF, -19.37 TVS), and Geno Smith (NYJ, -25.13 TVS) sit at the bottom of our passer-value rankings through Week 14.

Rushing
For the first time in 14 weeks,  Giovani Bernard (CIN, 16.82 TVS) has been passed as the best value running back in the league. The honor now goes to 2nd round draft pick Eddie Lacy (GB, 17.34). In similar but contrary fashion, Ray Rice (BAL, -26.90 TVS) is no longer then worst-valued RB in football – a title that now goes to Titans former all-pro Chris Johnson (-31.45 TVS)

Passing
After back to back breakout performances, 2nd year Bears WR Alshon Jeffery (20.26 TVS) is now the best-value wideout in football, edging out his veteran teammate Brandon Marshall (18.00 TVS). Roddy White’s lack of production (-15.75 TVS) is just one of the reasons the Falcons have fallen from grace in 2013 and  Santonio Holmes (-12.30) has all but busted in New York.

Offensive Line
Two of the five best value offensive linemen belong to the Denver Broncos, and both Louis Vasquez and Manny Ramirez are in the first years of their respective contracts. Joe Staley makes his first appearance on this list and comes on the heels of a much improved 49ers in recent weeks.

POS BEST WORST
QB Russell Wilson (SEA, 26.18) Geno Smith (NYJ, -25.13)
RB Eddie Lacy (GB, 17.34) Chris Johnson (TEN, -31.45)
WR Alshon Jeffrey (CHI, 20.26) Roddy White (ATL, -15.75)
TE Vernon Davis (SF, 20.45) Ed Dickson (BAL, -15.69)
LT Joe Staley (SF, 26.65) Bradley Sowell (ARI, -30.25)
LG Evan Mathis (PHI, 37.96) Will Rackley (JAC, -32.77)
C Manuel Ramirez (DEN, 19.59) Gino Gradkowski (BAL, -15.73)
RG Louis Vasquez (DEN, 29.50) Lucas Nix (OAK, -46.50)
RT Zach Strief (NO, 22.45) Jordan Mills (CHI, -28.82)

 

Defense

Defensive Line
Texans J.J. Watt is a force to be reckoned with, more than doubling the value of any other player in the NFL. Conversely, soon to be free agent Jared Allen is having one of his worst seasons with the Vikings, a note that should make for an interesting offseason for the longtime pass rusher.

Linebackers
Von Miller has come along way from a complicated offseason and a 6 game suspension early this season. He’s rounded himself out to All-Pro form and is outperforming his $4.9 million cap for 2013. 38 year old London Fletcher (WAS) has been the worst-valued linebacker for the duration of the year and will most likely have a difficult time finding suitors for a new contract this offseason.

Secondary
Even as the highest paid cornerback ($16 million) in football, Buccaneers Darrelle Revis is the best value. The 28 year old appears all the way back from injury at this point of his career. The Patriots defense has been riddled with injury, but Devin McCourty has been a consistent mainstay at the safety position.

POS BEST WORST
S Devin McCourty (NE, 17.38) Major Wright (CHI, -24.26)
CB Darrelle Revis (TB, 12.51) Ike Taylor (PIT, -13.67)
LB Von Miller (DEN, 36.74) London Fletcher (WAS, -22.42)
DE J.J. Watt (HOU, 97.34) Jared Allen (MIN, -39.10)
DT Damon Harrison (NYJ, 35.75) Haloti Ngata (BAL, -28.75)

 

Special Teams

Graham Gano has been one of the key components in the success of the Carolina Panthers in 2013, and his leg will be much needed should they expect a postseason run. Conversely the one positive note in years of  bad Raiders’ seasons has been Sebastian Janikowski. But even he has made a turn for the worst in 2013.

POS BEST WORST
K Graham Gano (CAR, 42.19) Sebastian Janikowski (OAK, -47.97)
P Johnny Hekker (STL, 35.46) Adam Podlesh (CHI, -8.65)

 

What determines a player’s True Value? Spotrac’s True Value Statistic is determined by comparing an individual player’s current statistical production to the average player’s production for his particular position. The same comparison is made in terms of financial figures (2013 cap value).

 

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