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2012 ADP Analysis

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Updated, 8/30/12

 

If you’re not yet hip to all the fantasy jargon, ADP stands for Average Draft Position. Every year we analyze as many drafts as we can, usually 150+ of them, from a variety of sources, and come up with our own projections for when every fantasy option of relevance is being drafted overall, and then we break it down. 

 

If you’re going to start your fantasy research for the year with one thing, ADP may be the ticket. That’s because there’s no better way to quickly grasp the fantasy landscape than by getting a feel for when the year’s top and most interesting fantasy commodities are being drafted.

 

This year’s landscape seems fairly typical, and it looks like a pretty strong guideline, but things could get crazy after the top-75 or so.

 

Let’s take a look at see how things are stacking up right now.

 

Note: Our ADP analysis is based on 12-team non-PPR leagues, but we’ll always cover key differences between PPR and non-PPR ADP data. If you download the ADP excel file, you can see current ADP for both formats, in 10, 12, and 14-team leagues, as well as current average Auction $ values.

 

To view the current ADP chart, click here.

To download the whole file in Excel, with average Auction $ Values and PPR ADP, click here.  

 

Quarterbacks

 

Movement from last update on 8/24:

 

·         Cam Newton climbed 3.4 spots to 14.3. He’s gained ground on Matthew Stafford, and he’s now being drafted right after the Lion QB.

·         Matt Ryan jumped up 5.5 spots to 41.3. The Ryan express has now passed Michael Vick as the sixth QB off the board.

·         Eli Manning was the big mover of the week, jumping up 17.2 to 42.5. Manning is now the seventh QB taken, ahead of Vick.

·         Michael Vick dropped 4 spots to 43.6. Vick’s injury concerns have dropped him to the 8th QB off the board.

·         Peyton Manning jumped up 5.6 spots to 55.7. Peyton had an outstanding showing in the third preseason game, easing some of the concerns about his return.

·         Tony Romo moved up 7.8 spots to 57.5. Romo has received some improved news from his top three targets.

·         Philip Rivers vaulted up 7 spots to 65.33.

·         Ben Roethlisberger jumped 9.6 spots to 91.7. Big Ben got some good news this week when WR Mike Wallace ended his holdout.

·         Jay Cutler fell 6 spots to 92.5.

·         Mat Schaub jumped up 7.5 spots to 95.3.

·         Joe Flacco rose 14.2 spots to 123.2. Flacco had a stellar performance in the Ravens’ third preseason game.

·         Carson Palmer fell 10.8 spots to 139.2. Palmer’s receiving corps is a little dinged up with Denarius Moore and Jacoby Ford currently out.

·         Russell Wilson rose 90 spots to 145.7. Wilson was named the starter this week after another spectacular preseason peformance.

·         Alex Smith jumped 8 spots to 146.5.

 

Current ADP Analysis:

 

Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers is still the first QB off the board, as he should be. But he’s moved up in the world and is now considered a top-5 pick by most. He’s even vaulted to the #2 overall pick behind Arian Foster. That’s more than fair, since he appears to be the safest option on the board, at any position.

 

Tom Brady is still over Drew Brees. Brady checks in as the #2 QB off the board, with an ADP of around 5 with Brees now sitting at 7, so both are #1 picks in a 12-team league.

 

ADP is never 100% accurate for all leagues, obviously, but if Carolina’s Cam Newton’s ADP is about 14 and is very close to when he’s drafted in your league, he’s a tremendous value. It’s hard to be a “tremendous value” at 14 overall, but Newton’s rushing and passing potential would argue that he should be a high pick in the first round. If you can start off a draft with a stud at another position and then get Newton, you’re off to a fantastic start.

 

Detroit’s Matthew Stafford is now being drafted over Newton, with an ADP of 13. So he’s no longer the value he was when he was a 3rd-round pick. But he’s still very viable, even that high.

 

QB Trend: After Newton is the 4th QB off the board, there’s a 20+ pick wait for the next QB (Matt Ryan).

 

Michael Vick’s ADP is 44, which is 4th-round pick in a 12-team league. That’s not terrible, despite his issues this summer, given the upside. If on the field, Vick has a very realistic chance to finish in Newton’s 2011 range for PPG (27) in this offense, so the real question is health. He frightened fantasy players with scares in the first two preseason games, but X-Rays on his hand and ribs were negative.

 

Atlanta’s Matt Ryan is clearly a guy on the rise, especially over the two weeks. It doesn’t hurt that he has two absolute studs at WR and a reliable TE. He is now the 6th QB taken off the board after Newton. Ryan was 9th in scoring last season with a very nice TD total of 31. We have him over Vick now because he’s much safer.

 

DallasTony Romo was starting to get a little more love, and he’s now settled in at 58. The Cowboys are putting out some bad vibes with its top pass-catchers (Jason Witten, Miles Austin, and Dez Bryant). Romo’s had some injury-related setbacks the last couple of years, but he did show a lot of toughness in 2011 and managed to play all 16 games, despite suffering a shoulder injury. And yet again, the final numbers were pretty darn nice, his Week Sixteen dagger notwithstanding. But he’s slipping on the ADP board.

 

Denver’s Peyton Manning is in camp and practicing in pads and his encouraging return the last month or so is reflected in his ADP, which is up to 56 from 70. That still seems a bit too high, but we’re warming up to him due to some issues with other QBs. Manning’s on a new team and didn’t take a snap in 2011, plus no matter how able he is to play, you have to figure he has some health risks, especially at 36 years old. He’s a repetition and rhythm guy, and missing a whole season should result in a slower start for Manning. He did however look sharp in his first three preseason games, but he’s struggled a bit in the red zone. His ADP represents an late 5th-round pick, which is okay if 6-8 QBs go off the board earlier. Otherwise, that’s a little too high and there are several comparable options that are lower.

 

Giant QB Eli Manning is getting props from fantasy players based on his two Super Bowl rings, but we don’t love him as high as he’s going (around 43th overall), unless the QBs are flying off the board. Manning’s put up very good numbers the last two years, but he was more consistent than ever in 2011 because they got very little from their running game. If they can run the ball better, they will run it more, so his numbers/consistency may suffer a bit. His TD total and completion percentage were actually down in 2011, yet his pass attempts were up 49 in 2011.

 

Just as we suspected on the heels of a disappointing season, San Diego’s Philip Rivers has seen his ADP take a tumble from 24 in 2011 to 63 in 2012. That is a major drop-off of almost four rounds in a 12-team league, and do keep in mind the QBs are viewed as being more valuable right now than they were in 2012. Rivers is working with a revamped receiving corps, but while there’s definite potential, the vibes have been bad, so he’s not a value.

 

Due to the “Cam Newton” effect, fantasy players have no qualms using an 8th-round pick on Washington’s Robert Griffin III, whose ADP is 85. That seems a little high, and there are rock-solid options at other positions who might wind up as better picks, but considering Griffin has a realistic chance to crack the top-12 at QB in fantasy and has upside, he’s probably worth the risk if you need a difference-maker at QB. There’s some downside, but not a ton of it this late.

 

One player we’re struggling with this year is Pittsburgh’s Ben Roethlisberger. He’s taken a beating, and it’s a new offense with a lot of changes from 2011, plus he did not have Mike Wallace in for all of the OTAs and still doesn’t in training camp. Wallace finally reported to training camp this week, which will give Big Ben a boost. And  news that he’ll play this season with a torn rotator cuff sent his stock falling even further. His ADP isn’t bad at 92, but we’re not even sure we’d want to use a 8th-round pick on Big Ben.

 

Fantasy players are warming up to Chicago’s Jay Cutler, and we are as well, although he’s still going to be a lost cause if that OL doesn’t shape up and give him a semblance of protection. His ADP of 93 is fair, since he actually has some upside now with a revamped receiving corps.

 

Houston’s Matt Schaub is a “volume QB” in that he needs a lot of attempts to truly get it done for fantasy. But they have the best running game in the league and a very good defense, so we’re not sure he’ll get the volume he needs. So we think his ADP of 97 is too high.

 

Oakland’s Carson Palmer has been moving up our ADP chart, which could simply be a function of data correction because he was very low (150) in the spring. He’s up to 139, which sounds about right. We don’t love him, but if you feel you need a quality backup, an 12th-round pick in a 12-team league is very fair for Palmer.

 

Tampa’s Josh Freeman clearly burned some bridges last year, as his ADP is down to 133 from a final spot of 83 last year. As with many of these QBs, that will likely go down as the season draws near, but that’s still a good starting point for a potential value. He reported to camp slimmed down and with the team adding some quality players around him, so he could bounce back and go down as a value.

 

In the 11th- or 12th-round pick in a 12-team league, we see some players with solid potential in Ryan Fitzpatrick (143) and with Andy Dalton (130) in this range. Andrew Luck was previously in the 130s, but he’s vaulted to 108 after an impressive preseason.

 

One of our favorite true “sleepers” at QB is Tennessee’s Jake Locker, but he’s kind of off the radar with an ADP of 153. The Kenny Britt situation is a buzz kill for sure, but Locker is the Week One starter over Matt Hasselbeck. This offense is still pretty loaded, so he’s worth a shot if you can afford the roster space or want big upside behind your starter. That’s a 13th-round pick, which isn’t bad. Keep in mind he did very well on 8/23, and that performance isn’t reflected in our ADP (it will be next week).

 

Dirt cheap backup QBs whom you can get late in drafts include Alex Smith (147), Sam Bradford (157), Christian Ponder (174), and Matt Cassel (167). Ponder had a productive off-season and the coaches see dramatic improvement in him, so he’s someone to watch this summer. We kind of like SF’s Smith, since they have added some nice receivers in the off-season.

 

Best QB Values:

 

1.      Cam Newton, 14.29

2.      Matt Ryan, 41.32

3.      Ryan Fitzpatrick, 143.24

4.      Jake Locker, 152.84

5.      Jay Cutler, 92.50

6.      Andre Luck, 108.23

 

Super Value Alert:

These players aren’t in our ADP top-150, but they have a chance to surprise.

 

1.      Jake Locker, 152.84

2.      Alex Smith, 146.52

3.      Matt Cassel, 167.27

4.      Sam Bradford, 156.62

5.      Christian Ponder, 173.50

6.      John Skelton, 200+

7.      Russell Wilson, 145.68

 

Running Backs

 

Movement from last update on 8/24:

 

·         Steven Jackson fell 5.9 spots to 27.8.

·         Darren Sproles fell 5 spots to 35.7. Sproles has been limited with a knee injury, but he’s expected to be full go for Week One.

·         BenJarvus Green-Ellis fell 10.7 spots to 57.9. The Lawfirm is just getting back to practice after a foot injury slowed him down. He’s expected to be ready for Week One.

·         Willis McGahee dropped 6.7 spots to 58.9.

·         Donald Brown dropped 17.8 spots to 79.8. For as explosive as he looked in the first two preseason games, Brown logged a dud in the third preseason game.

·         Peyton Hillis fell 21.8 spots to 81.6 spots. Hillis didn’t see many carries at all this preseason as the team worked to get Jamaal Charles back into the loop.

·         Isaac Redman fell 9.9 spots to 85.4. Redman continues to battle a slew of injuries, and Jonathan Dwyer may be taking snaps away from Redman before Rashard Mendenhall gets back.

·         Mark Ingram dropped 6.1 spots to 90.

·         C.J. Spiller moved down 6.9 spots to 91.7. Spiller looks like the clear #2 RB in Buffalo.

·         Ben Tate fell 13.5 spots to 93.

·         DeAngelo Williams dropped 6.9 spots to 98.8. Williams suspiciously dropped despite Jonathan Stewart going down with an ankle injury.

·         Kevin Smith dropped 28.6 spots to 103. The oft-injured Smith suffered an ankle injury in the third preseason game, and the Lions are supposedly looking for some insurance at the position.

·         Michael Bush fell 8.8 spots to 105.9. Bush doesn’t look like an early down threat to Matt Forte.

·         Ryan Williams fell 19.8 spots to 111.5. This is kind of a shocker because Williams has clearly looked like the best RB in the Cardinal backfield.

·         Rashad Jennings dropped 8.6 to 116.5. Jennings drop is surprising given the news that he’s likely to be the Jaguars’ starter Week One.

·         Toby Gerhart moved down 16.1 spots to 121.5. Gerhart’s value drops with a healthy Adrian Peterson, but Gerhart is still likely to see the bulk of carries to start the season.

·         Rashard Mendenhall dropped 15.4 spots to 128. Mendenhall isn’t likely to be ready until October at the earliest.

·         Jacquizz Rodgers fell 17.7 spots to 118. HC Mike Smith continues to reiterate that Rodgers will see touches this season.

·         LeGarrette Blount tumbled 22.1 spots to 123.2. Doug Martin has beaten out Blount for the starting job in Tampa.

·         Mikel Leshoure fell 11 spots to 132.4. Leshoure will miss the team’s first two games because of suspension.

 

Current ADP Analysis:

 

In what is no surprise at all, the top three overall RBs this year are Arian Foster, Ray Rice, and LeSean McCoy. QB Aaron Rodgers and McCoy keeping flipping and flopping for the third overall draft spot, but now Rodgers has jumped Rice into the second spot. As we said at the end of 2011, if you’re going to use a #1 pick on a RB, he better present a compelling argument to do so, and these three guys are young, versatile, durable, and extremely productive. 

 

San Diego’s Ryan Mathews plummeted to 26 after he a broke his clavicle in his first carry of the preseason. Mathews will miss 4-6 weeks and is questionable to be ready for Week One.

 

Tennessee’s Chris Johnson is the fourth RB off the board, with an ADP of around 9. We like Johnson to rebound this year, but his weak showing last year is still in the back of our minds, so we’d much rather get him around 13 or 14, in the 2nd round. But that doesn’t appear to be possible.

 

Oakland’s Darren McFadden has moved into the 1st round around 10, likely due to his current health and overall upside. He’s looked quick and explosiveness in the preseason. We’re very high on McFadden, as long as he stays on the field.

 

We’re not feeling great about Chicago’s Matt Forte in the first round of a 12-team league, yet his ADP is right around there at 13.

 

Jacksonville’s Maurice Jones-Drew (16) is officially holding out of camp, and we’re very concerned that he hasn’t reported with just a week to go before the start of the season. It’s officially time to hold off on drafting Jones-Drew until after the first two rounds.

 

We like DallasDeMarco Murray and Cleveland’s Trent Richardson as picks in the 2nd more than we do Forte in the 1st. We’re convinced Murray will produce if he gets the touches, and we’re convinced he will get a healthy number of touches, so it’s simply a matter of health with Murray. We would have had no qualms taking Richardson late in the 1st round a few week ago, but that was before he went to visit Dr. James Andrews to get his knee cleaned out. We’re a little bit concerned, but we’d still be thrilled to get him late in the 2nd.

 

Kansas City’s Jamaal Charles is coming off ACL surgery, but he’s at least practicing in training camp, so it’s so far, so good. He’s getting more love lately, with an ADP that is around 21. That’s a tad early for a guy coming off his injury, so we’ll have to see nothing but good signs from him this summer, or else he might actually be a tad overvalued. But he is looking good as of 8/30, for sure.

 

Minnesota’s Adrian Peterson is coming off ACL surgery and opened camp on active PUP, so while that’s not a great sign, he’s off the PUP and practicing. We’re going to pass on AP in the 2nd round because we’re not going to see him take a hit before Week One. There’s clear downside to taking him in the top-20. If you take AP, you’re going to have to also get Tony Gerhart, whose ADP is about 121 now. That’s a 11th round pick in a 12-team league.

 

St. LouisSteven Jackson has settled into an ADP around 28, a early 3nd-round pick, which is a bit too high for us. He’s still productive at this stage of his career, but he’s eventually due to slow down a bit. We’d feel more comfortable picking Jackson in the 4th round at this point. But he does look very good this summer.

 

Seattle’s Marshawn Lynch is a late 2rd-round pick in a 12-team league, with an ADP of 21. He’s a tough call until we know if he will be suspended or not. It sounds as if his DUI case will be held off until the season ends. If he plays, that’s a solid 2nd pick for sure.

 

Of all the players who could be negatively affected by the absence of head coach Sean Payton in New Orleans, Darren Sproles stands out, given how well Peyton managed to utilize him (unlike Norv Turner, who we respect a lot). An ADP of 36 in a non-PPR is a little high to us. His ADP in a PPR is 23, which is also very high but more understandable, since he’s still basically a lock to be PPR gold. Keep in mind he’s had a knee issue this summer, although it’s not considered serious.

 

We’ve been thinking that Buffalo’s Fred Jackson could be a nice little value in 2012, since people are concerned with C.J. Spiller chipping into his production, but Jackson’s ADP, according to our figures, is around 30, which is pretty high. He’s not a value per se, but we do still like him, especially if he slips into the 4th round, which is very possible. As for Spiller, his ADP of 92 is about right.

 

New York’s Ahmad Bradshaw will be a good pick if he can stay on the field this year, but his foot issue is still a concern, and it’s been doing more than just “lingering,” so we’re not in love with him with a relatively high ADP of 42. But he is at least healthy as camp kicked off, so he is on track to merit that higher pick. Just keep in mind #1 pick David Wilson will be a threat if Wilson picks everything up quickly. Wilson’s ADP is pretty high at 100, but he does have a lot of upside.

 

Tampa rookie Doug Martin’s ADP continues to be pretty high (40) but that’s already been justified because he opened camp taking 1st-team reps, which is pretty revealing considering he’s a rookie. He’s a great option to target ideally in the 4th round as a #2 fantasy RB. He continues to battle Leg Blount for the #1 job, but we fully expect Martin to be the man.

 

Fantasy players are clearly starting to fear the worst with the aging Falcon Michael Turner, who was 6th in total RB scoring in 2011. His production should merit a top-20 pick, yet his ADP is 37. That is up from 46 in early July, so maybe people are starting to realize that he will still get the ball plenty. We’re not going to say he’s desirable at that spot, but if he slips to the 4th round, he’s not a bad pick.

 

San Fran’s Frank Gore is clearly slipping in the minds of the masses. We’ve seen him go as late as the 6th round this year, but his ADP is around 41, which is still pretty high. People notice all the other RBs on the roster and how Gore was very unproductive in the passing game last year. We’d probably pass on him at his current ADP unless we were desperate for a RB.

 

Miami’s Reggie Bush has an ADP of 52 in non-PPR, which is too high. It’s higher (45) in PPR leagues, according to our numbers, which is understandable. No one really knows Bush’s role definitely, but we do know he will catch passes and will get the ball, and that PPR ADP is decent enough. But those expecting him to continue what he did last year might be disappointed, unless Daniel Thomas is hurt again (and also Lamar Miller isn’t ready).

 

Pittsburgh’s Isaac Redman was on the radar early this preseason with Rashard Mendenhall unlikely to be ready to start the season. Redman was previously a 5th-round pick, which was way too high, but now he’s at 85 (still too high). Mendenhall was taken of the PUP list and it appears he’ll be ready by October. The Steelers could look to get someone else snaps if Redman proves to be fairly pedestrian. He is solid and will likely produce if he’s the guy, but will he be the guy all year? Probably not, and he’s been banged up in camp.

 

A pair of volume runners in BenJarvus Green-Ellis and Shonn Greene are being drafted 58 and 66 overall, which is a tad high to us. They might be desirable at some point a little later, but we don’t see them as 5th-round picks. We definitely like BJGE more than Greene, at least.

 

Washington’s Roy Helu has an ADP of 91, which is down from a peak of 54 in May, at least, but it’s still too high. We like Helu, but if Tim Hightower is healthy enough to start later on this year, that’s exactly what he might do. And as we wrote could happen a few weeks ago, Evan Royster has opened training camp running more with the starters, which is another concern. There’s upside with Helu, but he could be looking at another year as sporadic production, as the Redskins rotate through 3-4 backs again this year. So a 8th-round pick in a 12-team league still seems to be a little scary.

 

People are starting to wise up when it comes to Bronco veteran Willis McGahee, whose ADP has risen from 87.4 in May to 75.8 in early-July, to currently 59, so he’s not exactly a great value these days. The hype was rolling for Denver rookie Ronnie Hillman, but it has settled after a hamstring injury to start camp. He sits at 147. We understand the appeal, but we’d be careful not to go nuts with Hillman, unless he’s healthy and goes nuts himself in the preseason. Meanwhile, Knowshon Moreno has been practicing in camp. If Hillman has issues in pass protection and the like, and if Moreno makes the team, Hillman’s ADP will be fair. If Moreno is cut, then Hillman will be a value. 

 

There’s no way Arizona’s Beanie Wells is worth the 76th-pick overall in a fantasy draft, especially since his knee has still been an issue in training camp. Ryan Williams continues to creep up draft board and his ADP is now up to 112. Given the two ADPs, Williams is a way better pick. Williams is healthier and practicing, which gives him a leg up going into Week One.

 

Detroit’s Jahvid Best opened camp on PUP, which is not a good sign, so his ADP of 119 is just too high. Meanwhile, people have finally realized that Detroit’s Kevin Smith is a good bet to open the season atop the depth chart, as he’s risen to 103 (up from 150). He’s not someone to count on all year, but he’s pretty darn solid. As for Mikel Leshoure, he managed to avoid PUP, which is a good sign. He’s suspended the first two games, but he could emerge as a nice flex starter, so his 132 ADP is decent.

 

Green Bay’s James Starks is the incumbent for the Packers, but it looks he could get cut. Cedric Benson was recently signed, and he’ll eventually look to take over as the starter. His ADP of 88 is too high to us because the Packers don’t run the ball enough. And backup Alex Green has avoided PUP in training camp, so he’s still on track and could take away from Benson’s potential, what little he has.

 

Indy’s Donald Brown is the top back for now, but he will be challenged for snaps, so his ADP of 80 could be a tad high. Then again, Brown could possibly be the guy all year and go down as a value, so we suppose 80 is fair. Meanwhile, backup Delone Carter, Brown’s main competition, remains intriguing very late with an ADP of 181, which is obviously very low. Rookie Vick Ballard is now on the radar, but he’s not in the ADP world.

 

Panther RBs Jonathan Stewart and DeAngelo Williams were essentially even in the ADP department earlier this summer, both in the low-80s. But Williams has settled into an ADP in at 99, so he’s a nice value considering his high-end talent.

 

RB Trend: The first NFL backup RB off the board is Ben Tate, which is no surprise. However, his 93 ADP is a lot higher than usual for a player who is clearly a #2 back for his team, yet we all know his upside is massive, and he gets flex consideration even off the bench along with a healthy Arian Foster.

 

Before the team cut veteran Joe Addai, an ADP of 87 was simply too high for New England’s Steven Ridley, but with Addai gone that ADP looked better. But Ridley has shot up to 80, which is a little too high for any Patriot RB. Ridley is a talented back with size and some receiving ability, but keep in mind they rarely commit to one guy. That said we still like Shane Vereen as a decent value here, with an ADP of 160.

 

New OrleansMark Ingram is a player we like, but while he was able to practice early in training camp, which is a good sign, his role is still unclear. They will likely keep 4 RBs here, and they could all play (including Chris Ivory). So Ingram’s ADP of 90 is a tad high.

 

KC’s Peyton Hillis has a lot more value in our minds than Ridley and Ingram, so Hillis with an ADP of 82, up from 94, is a decent value for sure.

 

RBs with serious injury or playing time issues should not be drafted until after the 10th round, as guys like LeGarrette Blount (131) and Rashard Mendenhall (128) have ADPs that reflect their concerns, but we think they should be even lower on the board. Blount though, is starting to show some life as he continues to battle for the starting job with Doug Martin. But we bet 131 goes down at too high for Blount.

 

RB Trend: Some of the league’s better complementary backs start going off the board around the 10th round. This includes Jacquizz Rodgers (129), Isaiah Pead (154), Kendall Hunter (150), Lamar Miller (185), and Pierre Thomas (145).

 

Oakland’s Mike Goodson’s ADP has been all over the place, but he’s still the McFadden handcuff most likely with Taiwan Jones a satellite player. Goodson’s ADP is 159 with Jones at 176.

 

It’s not unrealistic to think that two backs with ADPs higher than 170 will lead their teams in RB touches this year in Delone Carter (181) and Alex Green (181), so they are all values. Green may start moving up the board. Carter, though, may have fallen behind Vick Ballard, so that low ADP may be more than fair.

 

I don’t think he’s more than a specialty player, and he doesn’t do much in the passing game for some reason, but Bernard Scott is certainly a value with an ADP of 176.

 

Best RB Values:

 

1.      Trent Richardson, 28.12

2.      Ryan Williams, 111.54

3.      DeAngelo Williams, 98.77

4.      Kevin Smith, 102.96

5.      Peyton Hillis, 81.64

6.      David Wilson, 100.30

 

Super Value Alert:

These players aren’t in our ADP top-150, but they have a chance to surprise.

 

1.     Kendall Hunter, 149.50

2.     Montario Hardesty, 179.89

3.     Vick Ballard, 200+

4.     Alex Green, 28.04

5.     Lamar Miller, 184.83

 

Receivers

 

Movement from last update on 8/24:

 

·         Brandon Lloyd fell 11.4 spots to 57.1. The Boston Globe recently reported that Lloyd and QB Tom Brady haven’t shown an instant chemistry this preseason.

·         Steve Johnson fell 5 spots to 67.5. The Bills offense has failed to click on all cylinders this preseason.

·         Reggie Wayne fell 7 spots to 79.8. Wayne has been QB Andrew Luck’s top target, but the offense will struggle at times behind a suspect offensive line.

·         Pierre Garcon slipped 8 spots to 80.2.

·         Kenny Britt fell 7.2 spots to 87.6. Britt will be on a limited snap count to start the season as he comes back from knee surgeries, and he’s also awaiting word from the NFL on a possible suspension.

·         Robert Meachem dropped 7.5 spots to 92.7.

·         Titus Young fell 17.3 spots to 100.1. Young may be on the verge of a breakout year, but it’s still hard to figure out where he’s going to fit into the offense.

·         Denarius Moore slipped 7.9 spots to 100.2. Moore has almost the entirety of preseason because of a balky hamstring.

·         Malcolm Floyd dropped 12.2 spots to 104. Fantasy owners are shying away from the Charger wideouts.

·         Darrius Heyward-Bey dropped 21.1 spots to 108.3. This seems to be a more reasonable spot for DHB to be drafted.

·         Michael Crabtree jumped 8.5 spots to 110.3. Crabtree looks to be the #1 WR target in San Fran.

·         Greg Little fell 7.2 spots to 119.3. Little is the #1 WR in Cleveland, but owners may be a little frightened by QB Brandon Weeden’s less than stellar preseason.

·         Nate Washington dropped 9.8 spots to 121.8. Washington’s value seems to be leveling back off after a spike at the start of the preseason.

·         Randy Moss dropped 16.4 spots to 123. Moss will see only 20-25 snaps a game this fall.

·         Mike Williams fell 12.4 spots to 130.6.

·         Randall Cobb slopped 20 spots to 140.5. Cobb looks like he’ll start the season as the #4 WR for the Packers, at best.

·         Danny Amendola fell 13.6 spots to 143.5. Amendola will be the top target for QB Sam Bradford this season.

·         Brandon LaFell dropped 17.1 spots to 145.4. A surprising drop because LaFell locked up the #2 WR spot.

·         Austin Collie fell 36.5 spots to 152.4. Collie sustained yet another concussion, but he’s said to be ready to play for Week 1.

·         Alshon Jeffery dropped 10.6 spots to 153.4. Jeffery hasn’t yet cracked the Bear starting lineup.

 

Current ADP Analysis:

 

The ADP numbers at the very top fall right in line with how we think a fantasy draft should go: three stud RBs and Aaron Rodgers. Detroit’s Calvin Johnson, has now dropped out of the top 5 behind Tom Brady.

 

Arizona’s Larry Fitzgerald checks in as the #2 WR off the board, which is also in line with our rankings. I’d probably want him a little later than he’s going (20), but we agree he’s the #2 WR.

 

Houston’s Andre Johnson continues to battle injuries, this time a groin injury to start camp, so his ADP of 24 might actually be a little high. He’s clearly off the grid in terms of being a #1 pick in even a 16-team league. Those days are likely over, but he does look healthy now so we are more than fine with him in the 3rd.

 

WR Trend: Only two WRs go off the board before TEs Jimmy Graham and Rob Gronkowski.

 

New England’s Wes Welker is the 6th WR off the board, and he’s the 4th guy off the board in PPR leagues. Perhaps the addition of Brandon Lloyd was making people cautious, as the contract probably isn’t an issue, but Welker is moving up a little.

 

WR Trend: The 3rd round looks like a huge round for WRs, as 8-10 WRs will likely get drafted in that round.

 

Cincy’s A.J. Green is taking off in his second off-season and is becoming a team leader, and fantasy players are ready to snag him now as early as the 2nd round.

 

The hype train for Atlanta’s Julio Jones is clearly a high-speed rail line, and he’s now soared past veteran Roddy White in standard scoring leagues (18 and 30, respectively). It picked up even more speed after Jones hauled in 6/109/1 in the 1st quarter of the preseason opener. We like Jones a ton, but we’re not yet convinced he’s a better pick than Roddy in a PPR format.

 

New York’s Victor Cruz has settled into being a guy who’ll be drafted around the early-to-mid-30s overall (33 ADP), which is understandable based on his 2011 season, but I would prefer to get him a round later.

 

Pittsburgh’s Mike Wallace (44) dropped quickly once he was officially a holdout from training camp. Meanwhile, fantasy fans are all over Pittsburgh’s Antonio Brown, especially with Wallace’s holdout situation. Although he doesn’t score much, we have no qualms with an ADP of 57 for Brown, who was great in 2011 and just got paid big money (7/27) by the club with a contract extension.

 

New OrleansMarques Colston (47) and Carolina’s Steve Smith (47) still look like very solid options in the 4th round.

 

Fantasy players have been enamored with DallasDez Bryant, but his latest incident caused him to drop a little (44, from 35 in early-July). That’s understandable, but he seems to have rebounded a little bit. Yet, here again, he is slowed now with a knee injury, so he’s a tough call. Miles Austin’s continuing troubles with hamstring injuries is a concern though. We understand being enamored with Bryant’s ability, but he hasn’t put it together yet and is more about spectacular individual plays than consistency, and the off-field issues linger.

 

We understand why Denver’s Demaryius Thomas has a high ADP of 54, but in June we made the move to rank Eric Decker over him, and Decker’s ADP is 61, so he’s clearly the better value. Through the first weeks of practice in Bronco training camp, Decker has been Peyton Manning’s guy, and we’re not in the slightest bit surprised by that. But Thomas has been coming on as of late, so his ADP isn’t particularly bad.

 

New England’s Brandon Lloyd may be a little hit-or-miss with all their weapons, so we don’t love his new ADP of 57. He should quickly get on the same page as his QB in an offense he knows well, and it’s a great offense, but we’d rather get Lloyd in the 6th round. Not a huge problem, but in the 5th round is a tiny bit too high, we think.

 

Tennessee’s Kenny Britt had a cleanup procedure on his knee in the spring, another procedure on his other knee in June, and then a DUI arrest in July. So we’re not sure if his current ADP of 88 makes much sense, but we’d rather get him in the 90s because there’s big downside. Veteran Nate Washington’s ADP has soared due to Britt’s issues, and he’s now getting picked around 122 overall, which is still a value.

 

KC’s Dwayne Bowe continues to look like a rock-solid pick with an ADP of 62, especially now that he’s under contract. But the guy has been very productive the last two years, even in 2011 with a terrible QB situation. He’s a good 5th-round pick in a 12-team league.

 

Tampa’s Vincent Jackson has fallen a couple of rounds from 2011, and rightfully so, but we’re not in love with him as a 5th-round pick, but he’s more appealing at his current ADP of 60. He’s clearly going to be the guy, so that’s not bad.

 

Philly’s DeSean Jackson is going later than Jeremy Maclin (61 versus 61), but Jackson should be going a little later than he is. That said the vibes thus far on Jackson have been very good, so he might be worth a 5th-round pick. For good measure, though, we’d prefer him in the 6th.

 

It seems fantasy players are expecting a fairly big breakout for Baltimore’s Torrey Smith this year, as his ADP of 72 represents a late 5th-round pick. We like his potential, but he’s still a bit raw and we’re not exactly sold on him as a breakout guy just yet. He definitely has upside, but we’d prefer taking a shot with him 1-2 rounds later. But he did go off on 8/23, so we can see the appeal.

 

It happens every year with rookie WRs; the first 2-3 guys drafted go way too high based on the “sexiness” of the pick, and that’s what was going on with Jacksonville’s Justin Blackmon in May, with an ADP of 85. He’s now going at 92, which is still way too early (8th-round pick). Arizona’s Michael Floyd was a little better at 116 and he’s fallen further to 145, likely on news that he won’t even start over Andre Roberts. So he’s also overvalued.  

 

Fantasy owners were paying attention last year in Oakland, and they clearly recognize Denarius Moore’s potential as a playmaker in this offense. There are a few very viable guys here, but QB Carson Palmer clearly liked throwing it to Moore, so we have no problem with his 100 ADP. A 7th or early 8th round pick is high, but if you’re going to be proactive about a player, he better have something special going for him, and we think Moore does.

 

New York’s Santonio Holmes has fallen off the radar, as evidenced by his 113 ADP, but that is up from early July. That’s a 10th-round pick, which is a fair price to pay for the #1 WR in an offense, and someone who can definitely play. We’re not sure about his attitude, the QB, or his rib injury, but Holmes can play.

 

Fantasy players have grown weary of Anquan Boldin’s (105) inability to make plays and Malcom Floyd’s (104) inability to stay healthy, so they are at least affordable commodities, especially Floyd, who at least has some upside.

 

Tampa Bay’s Mike Williams is down from an ADP of 41 last year to 131 this year, quite a precipitous drop. We can’t even say he’s a value at this point, but it’s certainly possible he can be, and he’s had a good camp.

 

If you want a potentially emergent second-year receiver like Titus Young (100) and Greg Little (119), you’re going to now use a decent pick for them. There’s no way we’d draft Young that early, but Little is a nice pick at 119.

 

St. LouisBrian Quick is definitely on the radar as a potential sleeper. If he’s up for it mentally, and if he develops something big with Sam Bradford quickly, Quick could be the definition of a sleeper, and his ADP of 159, which is fairly high for a raw rookie, reflects that. Fellow rookie Chris Givens isn’t even on the radar (200+ ADP), and he’s actually a better pick right now. Meanwhile, Danny Amendola is a great value at 143.

 

Fantasy players aren’t very impressed with a few guys who’ve moved on to new teams, as Jacksonville’s Laurent Robinson (155) and San Fran’s Mario Manningham (159) aren’t commanding a lot of attention. We do have Robinson ranked higher than Blackmon, so Robinson could still go down as a value.

 

Carolina’s Brandon LaFell is a viable sleeper, but his ADP is up to 145 from 159 in early July, so he’s not exactly a value, especially with Louis Murphy added. But he has the inside track on the #2 job for the Panthers, and he has some talent and projects nicely alongside Steve Smith. Plus, the QB there is pretty good and the TEs aren’t.

 

We took a strong liking to Seattle’s Doug Baldwin last year, and he’s expecting some pretty big things this year. If things roll right, he’s capable of surprising people, and will go down as a big value, with an ADP of 173 (although that’s up from 168.3).

 

Miami’s Davone Bess was alive and well in 2010, when he pulled in 80 balls, but he’s in critical condition in the fantasy world, with an ADP of only 170. He may move up once we know more about his role, of course.  Of all the Miami receivers, we feel best about him.

 

Best WR Values:

 

1.      Steve Smith, 47.07

2.      Marques Colston, 47.06

3.      Antonio Brown, 56.65

4.      Eric Decker, 61.32

5.      Nate Washington, 121.79

6.      Greg Little 119.28

7.      Danny Amendola 143.48

8.      Kendall Wright, 133.95

 

Super Value Alert:

These players aren’t in our top-150, but they have a chance to surprise.

 

1.      Doug Baldwin, 173.12

2.      Jerome Simpson, 160.32

3.      Chris Givens, 200+

4.      Josh Gordon, 180.70

5.      Earl Bennett, 200+

6.      Keyshawn Martin, 200+

 

Tight End

 

Movement from last update on 8/24:

 

·         Antonio Gates fell 4.5 spots to 50.5.

·         Brandon Pettigrew vaulted up 6.2 spots to 85.6.

·         Fred Davis fell 4.9 spots to 96.46. Davis has had a quiet preseason with rookie QB Robert Griffin.

·         Jacob Tamme fell 21.1 spots to 108.3. Tamme has seen limited targets from QB Peyton Manning and he appears to be the second-TE option in the red zone, behind Joel Dreessen.

·         Greg Olsen jumped up 12.1 spots to 136. Olsen has received rave reviews from HC Ron Rivera, and he’ll certainly be the featured TE this season.

·         Greg Olsen vaulted up 7.9 spots to 137.4.

 

Current ADP Analysis:

 

We thought at the end of the 2011 season TEs Rob Gronkowski (19) and Jimmy Graham (18) might make it into the top-12, but they’re going a little later and are both 2nd-round picks in 12-team leagues or smaller. That’s pretty good value for a couple of serious impact players.   

 

There’s about a 30-pick wait for the next TE after the top guys are off the board, as San Diego’s Antonio Gates (50), Green Bay’s Jermichael Finley (63), San Fran’s Vernon Davis (61), and New England’s Aaron Hernandez (52), are typically 5th- or 6th-round picks. Gates if he can manage to stay relatively healthy is a very solid value. Hernandez probably doesn’t have Gates’ upside, but he’s also a safer option, given his youth and health. Davis was very frustrating last year, and the team has added several other receivers, but he’s an elite player who’s also still young and durable, so he’s probably the best overall option of the three.  At his peak perceived value, back in 2010, Finley was pushing into the 4th round, but he’s now back to being a 6th-round pick, so there is some upside there from that spot. Of course, he did suffer a mild concussion very early in training camp this past week, which wasn’t a great sign.

 

DallasJason Witten had an ADP of 72, but it slipped to 82 when he suffered a lacerated spleen. The good news is that the injury won’t require surgery, and there’s an outside chance he could be ready for Week 1. We know he’s going to be active if healthy, but he’s had 5 or fewer TDs in three of his last four years, so he’s not a fantastic option.

 

Washington’s Fred Davis does make a lot of sense in the 8th round of a 12-team league with an ADP of 96, but we’re a little concerned about Davis on a few fronts. For one, one more slipup in the league’s substance-abuse program and he could be screwed. And while we can’t say right now that QB Robert Griffin III will be bad for Davis, but RGIII didn’t throw much to the TE in college, and this offense should be more about the WRs than we’ve seen.

 

We like Denver’s Jacob Tamme, but we thought people were going a little overboard with him if his ADP of 97.8 in May was accurate – and he’s actually up to 87 in early August. He’s back down to 108 at the end of preseason. We all know what he did with Peyton Manning in Indy back in 2010, but Tamme has some durability issues, and this is a new team with several other viable options at TE, plus Manning could be a little slow off the mark. That is way too high for Tamme.

 

A couple of breakout candidates, Cincy’s Jermaine Gresham (120) and Tennessee’s Jared Cook (133), are solid picks in the 10th and 12th rounds, respectively. Gresham is probably our #1 pick for breakout TE, so keep that in mind if you hold off on drafting one.

 

At the end of 2011, we were enamored with Minnesota’s Kyle Rudolph, and while the presence of veteran John Carlson is an issue, we’ve warmed back up to Rudolph, especially since his ADP has gone from 132.7 to 142 to 153, which helps. He’s very undervalued.

 

Houston’s Owen Daniels is a tough call this year. In theory, he could do very well in a good offense and with Joel Dreessen gone. On the other hand, he’s getting up there in age, and there seems to be a residual effect from his various injuries over the last few years. His ADP is 143, though, which is decent enough to take a shot with him as a backup.

 

Philly’s Brent Celek isn’t a player we have 100% confidence in, given his history with Michael Vick, but Vick clearly started looking for Celek more last year, and his numbers were very good. If Vick continues to look Celek’s way, then he’ll go down as a fantastic value with an ADP of 137. In fact, he’d have to really flop to not go down as a value at that ADP, assuming he and Vick are relatively healthy.

 

We’re certainly not expecting a coming-out party from New York’s Martellus Bennett, but one is certainly possible in this excellent situation. He’s in a one-year “prove it” deal, and he has the tools to post pretty big numbers in this offense, so he could be a fantastic value with an ADP of 171. He did report to camp in relatively good shape, so that’s good. And keep in mind they coach up the TEs very well in New York.

 

Tampa’s Dallas Clark had an ADP of about 170, a number that has gone up over the last month. He’s not only a Buc now, but he should be their top guy if healthy.

 

Chicago’s Kellen Davis isn’t an exciting pick by any stretch, but his role should be expanding this year, and he could certainly go down as a value in 2012 in deep leagues, with an ADP way up there at 200+.

 

Jacksonville’s Marcedes Lewis couldn’t catch a TD pass to save his life in 2011, and his ADP has been adjusted accordingly. Coming off a 10-TD season in 2011, Lewis’ ADP was 98 last summer. Today, it’s a pathetic 191.

 

Best TE Values:

 

1.      Antonio Gates, 50.45

2.      Tony Gonzalez, 98.23

3.      Jermaine Gresham, 119.72

4.      Kyle Rudolph, 152.86

5.      Brent Celek, 137.40

 

Super Value Alert:

These players aren’t in our top-150, but they have a chance to surprise.

 

1.      Martellus Bennett, 170.53

2.      Rob Housler, 200+

3.      Lance Kendricks, 187.33

4.      Kellen Davis, 200+

 

Team Defenses

 

Your first defense checks in with an ADP of 86, and it’s the San Francisco 49ers. I really like the Niner defense this year as an impact starter based on their great personnel and the fact that they’re returning all 11 starters and managed to do very well despite a lack of TDs. But the 8th round is too early, so I would hope they slip a few more rounds. I’ve been burned in the past by recommending a proactive DT pick, but I do really think SF will be a great impact starter, and that’s what I’m looking for in the draft – but not that early.

 

The next defense off the board, according to this ADP data, is the Houston Texans at 110. There’s absolutely no way they should be drafted in the 11th round of a 12-team league. They are also dealing with some injuries in camp.

 

One of the best values in terms of DTs is the Philadelphia Eagles, who should get 50+ sacks again this year and have seemingly addressed all their issues from 2011. With an ADP of 119, they may not be a great value, but they are certainly better than the DTs going before them (Houston and Baltimore).

 

Despite being next-to-last in a typical DT scoring system in 2011, the Pittsburgh Steelers are the fifth defense off the board, with an ADP of 123. They may look good on a roster based on their Brand Name, but the Steeler defense has been pretty terrible for fantasy lately, unless your league places a big emphasis on points/yards allowed, so that’s too high. In our default scoring system, which is basically everything but points/yards allowed, the Steelers finished 31st in scoring last year, so I’ll pass on this aged unit.

 

The Green Bay Packers are clearly desirable and they are a little cheaper at 121. We’re encouraged by GB’s ability to get it done this year, since they have addressed their pass rush and should be healthier this year. They know that this defense has to improve, and it likely will.

 

Once they got their pass rush going in 2011, the New York Giant defense was very good, and they held up well on the back end. It’s been a while since they were consistent producers for fantasy, but they are a solid option if you hold off on your defense, and their ADP of 134 indicates you can definitely hold off on your D and still get a very serviceable unit in the Giants.

 

Another tremendous value is the Seattle Seahawks, who got it done for fantasy last year and are looking good again this year, as their pass rush has improved. I highly doubt their ADP will stay as high as it is (152), but anything lower than 140 is good for Seattle.

 

If you decide to wait until one of your last picks, which has definitely been advisable the last 2-3 years, then there are several options, such as the Buffalo Bills (155), Dallas Cowboys (164), Denver Broncos (167), Cincinnati Bengals (173), and New England Patriots (158). 

 

Best DT Values:

 

1.      GB, 121.70

2.      SEA, 151.82

3.      PHI, 119.24

 

Super Sleeper Alert:

 

1.      BUF, 155.18

2.      DEN, 167.08

3.      DAL, 164.44

4.      NE, 158.13

5.      CIN, 173.46

 

To view the current ADP chart, click here.

To download the whole file in Excel, with average Auction $ Values and PPR ADP, click here.  

 

 

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