Who to Draft Series Part 3: Michael Gallup v. Anthony Miller
Author: Jair Oglivie
Youtube: Fantasy Football Advice
Thanks so much for the support the first two editions of this series have received! It's honestly mind-blowing and I am forever grateful. If you missed the previous two parts, here you go: Part 1 Saquon Barkley v. Alvin Kamara. Part 2 Stefon Diggs v. Amari Cooper.
This is the final part of the three part Who to Draft series featuring the early, middle and late rounds. Each edition features a pair of players of the same position who are being drafted at comparable ADPs. This is the late round article discussing two rookie receiving phenoms, Michael Gallup and Anthony Miller. In the 11th and 12th round respectively, these two are being taken as fliers with breakout potential and depth chart questions on their teams. At this point, most of you are having your drafts this week and into this weekend. The late rounds can be hard to get right but it's important to be educated on the targets there and who you should be going for. Let me help with that. This will be fun. Let's get into it.
Michael Gallup, WR, Dallas Cowboys
Current ADP: 11.10
Dallas took WR Michael Gallup (Colorado State) in the third round of this year's NFL Draft in the third round after many fans (like myself) and media personnel expected them to take one earlier, especially since top talents Calvin Ridley (Alabama) and D.J. Moore (Maryland) were available at the Cowboys selection at 19th overall (Dallas instead opted to take LB Leighton Vander Esch from Boise State). Ridley and Moore were taken later in the first round by the Falcons and Panthers, respectively.
The Cowboys WR position has been the topic of much discussion since the drama-filled release of Dez Bryant from America's Team on April 13, just ~2 weeks before the draft. The Cowboys were active in the addition of wide receivers in the offseason, most notably with the addition of former Jaguar Allen Hurns on March 23. It was initially assumed that Hurns would be QB Dak Prescott's #1 option but there have been reports from Cowboys camp that Gallup has been turning heads.
There are a few people in coverage of fantasy football that I trust above all, and Matt Harmon is one of them. In this article , he said of Gallup:
In two years at Colorado State, Gallup recorded 176 catches for 2,690 yards and 21 touchdowns. That is just beastly production.
"But, Jair, he only played at Colorado State in the Mountain West!"
Well, in games against "higher" competition(Power 5), how do these numbers look to you?
- (2017) Pac-12 Oregon State. Gallup's line: 11 catches for 134 yards.
- (2017) SEC Alabama. Gallup's line: 5 catches for 81yards.
- * (2017) MWC Nevada. Gallup's line: 13 catches for 263 yards, 3 touchdowns.
*I know Nevada is not power 5 but it would have been criminal to leave that stat line out.
What's something that we preach on this site? Opportunity. Gallup has all the opportunity on this Cowboys offense. There is no clear #1 when you combine his emergence and the presence of Allen Hurns. Jason Witten and Dez Bryant are gone. The targets have never been more for the taking. Right now, there is a potential #1 receiver on a team with a playoff-caliber roster (arguably), being drafted in the ELEVENTH ROUND. I don't believe there is a better value in the entire draft then there is right now with Michael Gallup.
Gallup's metrics won't wow you but he draws physical comparisons to Justin Blackmon according to Player Profiler. Remember how dominant Justin Blackmon was when he was suspended for his own personal issues? Imagine a player of that caliber on the same team as Ezekiel Elliot and Dak Prescott. Yes please. I truly believe that if you take Gallup then you are getting a third round wide receiver talent in the eleventh round. Who's beating that?
Anthony Miller, WR, Chicago Bears
Current ADP: 12.02
Chicago selected Anthony Miller out of Memphis with the 51st pick of this year's draft to be a dynamic part of their new look attack. Mitch Trubisky is now at the helm, with three fresh new targets in rookie Miller, and signees Allen Robinson and Trey Burton. Chicago's new look offense have given many reason to hope in the Windy City that they can once again challenge Green Bay and Minnesota for division glory. What should we expect from Miller though? Is he going to come in right away and produce and be fantasy relevant? Let's talk about it.
Anthony Miller proved himself to be one of the best receivers in college football despite not being the huge name he probably deserved to be. In three years for the Tigers, he posted 238 catches for 3,590 yards and a stunning 40 all purpose touchdowns (37 receiving). His style presents itself to be very deadly on quickness, route running, and sure hands. Contrary to the above discussed Michael Gallup who appears to be gifted at bringing down 50/50 balls, Miller will not always out muscle opposing defenders (Though the 4th touchdown catch to the right might tell a different story of what he's capable of). His three most telling metrics support that hypothesis: 85th percentile Burst score, 83rd percentile Agility score, and a 74th percentile Catch Radius. His overall SPARQX score is at the 89th (!!!) percentile.
Summed up? This dude is an athlete.
His physical skillset and body type allow him to work efficiently out of the slot and burn nickel corners/linebackers or even work outside the hashes in screen plays. I don't expect him to work on the outside much yet however, given the presence of Allen Robinson, Kevin White, and Taylor Gabriel. This does not mean he is not capable of playing outside or that he might not get a few snaps out wide in different kinds of formations, but for the most part, he'll be a slot guy. I believe that working out of the slot will be Miller's fastest path to fantasy stardom as a rookie. His quickness will outmatch any linebacker in coverage and be able to make splash plays over the middle of the field and give tremendous yards-after-catch possibilities. According to Rotoworld, Miller has already locked up the starting position in the slot, making him a potentially very valuable fantasy asset.
With the expected step forward of Mitch Trubisky (7 scores, 7 picks last year), Anthony Miller will have a real opportunity to shine in a Bears offense that is expected to be much better this season.
Which of these studs should I take?
Tough call. Both of these guys are going to be studs and have Pro Bowls in their future, if you ask me. Since I have to choose, I will go with Gallup for a very specific reason: He has the easier path to more targets. As you know, in PPR scoring formats, targets are everything. There is no production without opportunity and Gallup simply has an clearer route (Receiver pun anyone? No? I'll show myself out) to more of it. Miller must compete with notables Allen Robinson, Trey Burton, Tarik Cohen, Taylor Gabriel and Kevin White for targets. While I believe he outshine most of those names outside of Allen Robinson, and maybe Trey Burton, it is certainly not a guarantee. As for Gallup, his competition for targets includes: Allen Hurns. Reports have been released that Dallas plans to use Elliot more in the passing game but that is a very "I'll believe it when I see it" kind of claim. Prescott needs a new go to option since the retirement of Jason Witten and I believe that Gallup will be that weapon.
With all of that said, if you have picks like 1, 2, 11, or 12 and are dealing with that wraparound? Take a shot at both of them at the end of your draft if you can! There is absolutely no way it can hurt you as most of your picks at that stage of the draft are dart throws and upside shots anyway. There aren't many guys that late in the draft with as much upside as these two. Be smart, be bold.
This marks the end of the Who to Draft series! I will be back soon with more content however!
Until then, happy drafting!
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*All statistics taken from Pro Football Reference, Sports Reference – CFB, Player Profiler, and ESPN Fantasy
**ADPs taken from fantasyfootballcalculator.com
***Thumbnail from Getty Images