Back in mid-June, I wrote an Early Average Draft Position (ADP) Analysis article that mentioned some players that are overvalued or undervalued by fantasy football players. Now that preseason games are underway, we have a ton more player news to sift through, and ADP has changed over time based on that news, I thought it would be good to review ADP again and post an update.
Fantasy Football Calculator (FFC) and MyFantasyLeague.com (MFL) provide the ADP data. These lists are based on the thousands of mock drafts and real drafts that take place on their respective websites.
Here are some players I consider to be overvalued, where their ADP is earlier than they should be drafted, and undervalued, where their ADP is later than they should be drafted.
QB Tom Brady, NE
FFC ADP: 64 (6th Round, QB6) MFL ADP: 101.70 (9th Round, QB9)
Tom Brady is a great quarterback. He has the Super Bowl rings to back up that claim. However, in 2013 he was the 14th ranked quarterback in fantasy football, which translates to just average. He did not have his main weapons Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez. He also had to deal with player injuries that kept Shane Vereen and Danny Amendola out of the lineup. So, needless to say, it was a rough year for Brady.
2014 is shaping up to be better with Vereen and Gronk apparently more healthy to start the season, but much of the supporting cast is filled with uncertainty, which is not good for a team that is pushing for a Super Bowl. Brady is 37 years old, so he has that going against him as well. Looking at Brady’s ADP, being drafted as the 6th quarterback overall is too early. The MFL ADP of 9th is closer to where I would draft Brady. However, there are other quarterbacks going after Brady that have more weapons and more upside. Keep the expectations for Brady in line as his available weapons are limited.
RB Arian Foster, HOU
FFC ADP: 20.1 (2nd Round, RB11) MFL ADP: 22.47 (2nd Round, RB11)
Here are the stats for Arian Foster the last four seasons:
2010: 2,218 total yards, 18 touchdowns
2011: 1,841 total yards, 12 touchdowns
2012: 1,641 total yards, 17 touchdowns
2013: 725 total yards, 2 touchdowns
Foster only played 8 games in 2013 due to a ruptured disc in his back that required surgery. In 2014, he is looking for a huge bounce back year and many are expecting him to have one. I am not buying Foster’s stock at RB11.
Even outside of his 2013 back injury/surgery, he has always played through lingering injuries. This offseason, Foster has been making people scratch their heads with some of his remarks: repeating the same line over 10 times in a row during an interview and stating he contemplated retirement after the 2013 season and back surgery. Whenever a player is close to retirement and comes back to play, how much of his heart is still in the game? Even though Houston has two great wide receivers in DeAndre Hopkins and Andre Johnson to keep the defenses honest and Houston will still want to run the ball a lot, the quarterback situation is iffy and I cannot trust Foster playing a full workload and season without injuries.
WR Sammy Watkins, BUF
FFC ADP: 77.0 (7th Round, WR33) MFL ADP: 69.90 (6th Round, WR32)
Coming into the 2014 NFL Draft, Sammy Watkins was the number one wide receiver. He was taken by Buffalo, which to me, hurt his value due to E.J. Manuel still figuring out how to be a professional quarterback. Watkins has such unbelievable talent that Buffalo will figure out how to get the ball into his hands and let him show off his skills. However, being reliant on Manuel could make it a rough ride. Also, history shows that rookie wide receivers do not, except on rare occasions, have stellar seasons stats-wise, which is what we care about for fantasy football. Watkins has amazing talent and will be a great receiver in the NFL. However, in 2014, especially with Manual still trying to find his game, Watkins will be limited and should not be going as high as WR32.
QB Jay Cutler, CHI
FFC ADP: 94.9 (8th Round, QB12) MFL ADP: 114.44 (10th Round, QB12)
This past offseason we saw a lot of quarterbacks get paid. The one quarterback that I’m particularly a fan of for the 2014 fantasy football season is Jay Cutler. Before the season starts, Las Vegas already has Cutler listed with the sixth best odds to win the MVP award this season. I’m not saying that’s going to happen, however, if Cutler is in the running, it can only mean good things for the Chicago Bears. Cutler is not listed as a Top 10 quarterback when it comes to his ADP, but with two Top 10 wide receivers in Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery, a big TE in Martellus Bennett who is a solid red zone threat, and dual-threat running back Matt Forte, you have to think that Jay Cutler finds himself inside the Top 10 at seasons end if he stays healthy. With the defenses he’ll see this year and the passing offense that Marc Trestman brings to the table, Cutler is set up for a highly successful, and potentially career best, season.
RB Toby Gerhart, JAC
FFC ADP: 38.5 (4th Round, RB19) MFL ADP: 55.53 (5th Round, RB21)
Toby Gerhart made his season debut in Week 2 of the preseason. While Gerhart’s apperance was overshadowed by an impressive performance by rookie QB Blake Bortles, the story for fantasy is Gerhart. The 2014 season has good things in store for the former Minnesota Vikings running back. As stated previously, I compare Gerhart to Michael Turner: going from backing up a future Hall of Famer to landing a starting role on another team. Jacksonville stated that Gerhart would be their workhorse running back and will likely see 300 touches. Workhorse running backs with this many touches are becoming a rare breed in the NFL. Jacksonville certainly has never been known as an offensive powerhouse, but former Jaguar Maurice Jones-Drew more than lived up to his fantasy 1st round pick status prior to his injury shortened 2012. Gerhart should finish in the Top 15 based on volume, and perhaps well inside that depending on his output per touch.
WR Mike Wallace, MIA
FFC ADP: 75.1 (8th Round, WR31) MFL ADP: 66.93 (7th Round, WR28)
In 2013, the Miami Dolphins spent some money at wide receiver signing former Pittsburgh Steeler Mike Wallace. With the transition to a new team, new quarterback, and offensive coordinator, Wallace had a respectable year, but it certainly didn’t meet expectations. After getting a year under his belt with Ryan Tannehill, this is the year we see Wallace grab 75 balls for 1,000 yards and 8 touchdowns. These kind of numbers should put him amongst the Top 25 receivers. As we saw last year, Miami tried to run the ball with Lamar Miller and Daniel Thomas, but failed miserably. This year, the Dolphins brought in Knowshon Moreno, who already required knee surgery and finds himself behind Lamar Miller on the depth chart. With the uncertain backfield, Tannehill should throw a ton, which only bodes well for Wallace. Wallace’s second season in the league was his best to date, producing 1,257 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns. Tannehill is no Ben Roethlisberger, so I highly doubt we see those numbers, but an increased comfort level should result in a big improvement for Wallace.