Tag Archives: average draft position

Updated ADP Analysis: Brady, Foster Overvalued; Gerhart Still Undervalued

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) during a NFL game between the Buffalo Bills and the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, MA. December 29, 2013; Photographer: Kellen Micah/Icon Sportswire

Tom Brady is a great player, but at this stage of his career he is overvalued in fantasy football drafts. Tony says there are plenty of quarterbacks typically drafted after Brady with more weapons and upside. Photo: Icon Sportswire

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.

Overvalued

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.

Draft these players instead: Colin Kaepernick, Tony Romo, Jay Cutler

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.

Draft these players instead: Zac Stacy, Andre Ellington

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.

Draft these players instead: Terrance Williams, DeAndre Hopkins, Golden Tate

Undervalued

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.

Draft him ahead of these players: Robert Griffin III, Cam Newton, Russell Wilson, Tom Brady

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.

Draft him ahead of these players: Trent Richardson, Ryan Mathews, Shane Vereen, Bishop Sankey

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.

Draft him ahead of these players: Percy Harvin, T.Y. Hilton, Jeremy Maclin, DeSean Jackson

Players to Target for 2014 Fantasy Football Drafts

Players to target for 2014 fantasy football drafts: Arizona Cardinals WR Michael Floyd, Atlanta Falcons QB Matt Ryan, Green Bay Packers WR Jordy Nelson and Houston Texans RB Arian Foster; Photographer: Icon Sportswire

In a roundtable format Dave, Tony, Tim and Mike tell us what players you should target in 2014 fantasy football drafts, including Arizona Cardinals WR Michael Floyd, Atlanta Falcons QB Matt Ryan, Green Bay Packers WR Jordy Nelson and Houston Texans RB Arian Foster. Photo: Icon Sportswire

Our website contributors – Dave Stringer, Anthony Fashoda, Tim Grinstead (who does more in-season writing at Fantasy Throwdown) and yours truly – each came up with our own top players to target and players to avoid lists for fantasy football, from which I summarized into two articles. This is our consensus Players To Target.

[August 14th update, here is the accompanying Players To Avoid.]

The categories are straight forward, as the players are organized into 4 Vote, 3 Vote, 2 Vote groups, plus some select honorable mentions that only received 1 Vote each. Most of the players listed are relative to their current average draft position, so keep that in mind as ADP can change between now and draft day for players, or be subject to local bias by your fellow fantasy owners.

4 Votes

Nary a one! With only four of us and a simple guideline to pick ten names from all significant players for the 2014 fantasy football season to choose from, perhaps this isn’t very surprising.

3 Votes

Michael Floyd (Dave, Tony, Mike)

From Dave, Floyd is currently being drafted as the 20th to 23rd wide receiver behind the likes of Michael Crabtree, Percy Harvin, DeSean Jackson and Cordarelle Patterson. He’s better than all of them and several other players ahead of him. Perhaps the best current value at WR based on ADP. I’ll add that I felt back in May when Dave and I discussed our initial rankings that Floyd’s ADP would rise closer to the season, but it is still at a comfortable level for an excellent return on your investment.

Jordy Nelson (Dave, Tony, Tim)

Dave has no qualms getting the Green Bay Packers top wideout and Aaron Rodgers‘ favorite player to throw to with a late 2nd round pick. Tim makes a great point that with James Jones and Jermichael Finley out of the picture, Nelson will see more targets than in the past. Tony thinks it is possible Nelson joins Top 5 WR discussion (no word yet on who falls out of the mix, however).

Philip Rivers (Dave, Tim, Mike)

Tim tells us Rivers was the number three rated overall passer by Pro Football Focus, and ranked first in accuracy last season. He tossed 32 TD and only 11 INT with no real superstars. Dave echoed Tim’s thoughts saying Rivers was a top five quarterback in almost all formats last season but is only the 14th quarterback off the board currently with a late 9th round pick. I’ll add, I continue to expect big things from Keenan Allen, and more than a few fantasy experts think Ladarius Green breaks out this year. Rivers supporting cast is improved, if anything.

2 Votes

Arian Foster (Dave, Tim)

This selection is our most controversial. As you’ll see in our forthcoming Players to Avoid article, Foster also received two votes there from Tony and myself. The pro-Foster camp, Dave and Tim, can’t believe this former super stud turns into a fantasy chump in one year. Their eyes light up forecasting the number of touches Foster is in line for in 2014, and they say he represents solid value in the middle of the 2nd round.

Matt Ryan (Dave, Mike)

Even saying good bye to Tony Gonzalez this year, a big welcome back to Julio Jones gives Matt Ryan one of the best WR duos in the league, plus decent third and fourth receiving options between Harry Douglas and the running backs. He’s in his prime and being drafted as about the 9th quarterback off the board, which is his floor. Great value when playing the waiting game at quarterback.

Andy Dalton (Dave, Tim)

Everybody’s favorite whipping boy was top five in most formats last season but is currently the 17th quarterback drafted, which is just too low given his weapons. When nearly every fantasy expert far and wide bashes a player, that is usually a good opportunity he’s going to exceed expectations.

Dennis Pitta (Tim, Tony)

Tim says Pitta was emerging as a top tier tight end before going down to injury last season, and he could easily fill the void that Anquan Boldin left in this offense when he departed. Tony adds that new OC Gary Kubiak relies heavily on his tight ends, and Pitta should be a primary target for Joe Flacco, especially with Ray Rice suspended two games.

Zach Ertz (Tony, Mike)

Ertz is a huge, athletic target that started coming on late last season, on a team that will run a ton of plays. Ertz and Brent Celek combined for 68-971, 10 TD last season, and now it is Ertz’s show to grab the majority of that output.

Honorable Mention (1 Vote)

Jimmy Graham (Dave)

New Orleans Saints have lots of potential at wide receiver but most of it is unproven and Marques Colston seems to be slowing down. Even if his touchdowns regress slightly, he’s still in line for lots of targets in 2014, and he gives owners a major advantage at tight end.

Dwayne Bowe (Dave)

Bowe got paid and promptly wet the bed last season but is definitely worth the gamble as the 40th ranked wide receiver based on his current ADP. There is not much competition for targets in Kansas City.

Andre Ellington (Tim)

According to Pro Football Focus, Ellington gained 47.9% of his yardage on runs over 15 yards (highest in the league), showing his breakaway ability. Add to that the 4th best elusiveness score and a top 15 all position 0.32 fantasy points/per snap, this kid has tons of big play ability. With good hands and promise of an increased workload, Ellington can pay big dividends.

Rashad Jennings (Tim)

Jennings had 2.8 yards after contact per attempt, ranking him 3rd in league, and was top 10 in breakaway percentage. He has power and speed, and David Wilson is gone. The New York Giants have done well with powerful runners with speed during Tom Coughlin’s reign. At his moderate to low ADP Jennings represents very positive risk-reward.

Shane Vereen (Tony)

Given the uncertainty surrounding the New England Patriots receiving corps, with or without Rob Gronkowski in the mix, Shane Vereen is going to catch a lot of passes. He accumulated 69 total targets and caught eight or more passes four times in only eight regular season games played last season. If Stevan Ridley struggles, which is a given, expect Vereen to take some of his workload, too.

Terrance Williams (Tony)

Williams had a strong rookie campaign and Miles Austin is out the door. New OC Scott Linehan loves the passing game, and with the Cowboys defense looking potentially record breaking bad, Dallas will be forced to pass a ton. The catches can’t all go to Dez Bryant and a trending downward Jason Witten.

Eddie Lacy (Mike)

Those following our rankings know I recently pushed Eddie Lacy into our top tier at running back amongst the big four. He deserves it. There are nothing but glowing reports out of Green Bay on Lacy, and while the Packers shifted to more run focus with Aaron Rodgers sidelined last year, they clearly love what this kid brings to the table. He’ll have even more opportunity to bolster his fantasy scoring with opposing defenses threatened by the Rodgers-led passing game.

Emmanuel Sanders (Mike)

Even if Peyton Manning regresses to a normal Peyton Manning season, there is no doubt I want a piece of this offense on my fantasy team. Across the board it is really expensive to acquire however, except Sanders. I honestly didn’t think much of Sanders in Pittsburgh, but the impression I’m getting from media reports out of Denver is the Broncos are going to prove they were right acquiring this guy. Considering the players getting drafted around Sanders, there is a ton of available upside here.

Early ADP Analysis: Hilton, Crabtree Overvalued; Gerhart, Pierre Thomas Undervalued

Indianapolis Colts wide receiver T.Y. Hilton (13) catches a touchdown pass during the AFC Wild Card football game between the Indianapolis Colts vs Kansas City Chiefs at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, IN. January 4, 2014; Photographer: Zach Bolinger/Icon SMI

Remember T.Y. Hilton’s huge game against the Kansas City Chiefs in the Wild-Card last season? Don’t expect that to be the norm. In fact he’ll have a tough living up to the early-20s ranking where fantasy football players are currently drafting him. Photo: Zach Bolinger

NFL training camps are scheduled to begin in a few weeks, and the itch to do some fantasy football drafts is upon us. Mock drafts are a great way to scratch that itch and help prepare for our real redraft league drafts in July and August. There are some excellent mock draft applications out there to participate in. Our favorites include Fantasy Football Calculator (FFC) and MyFantasyLeague.com (MFL).

The biggest benefit of mock drafts, outside of scratching that itch, is to identify players that are overvalued and undervalued based on where they are typically drafted, and our own expectations of the players. Where players are typically drafted is encapsulated in numerical data called Average Draft Position (ADP). Even if you can’t participate in 100 or so mock drafts, review ADP data to understand where players are drafted by the fantasy football community.

Here are some players I consider overvalued, where their ADP is earlier than they should be drafted, and undervalued where their ADP is later than they should be drafted. Post a comment if you agree or disagree, and list your own.

Overvalued

WR T.Y. Hilton, IND
FFC ADP: 57.0 (5th Round, WR23) | MFL ADP: 51.7 (5th Round, WR24)*

T.Y. Hilton certainly made a big splash late last season. However, he did it after Reggie Wayne was sidelined and with a surrounding cast of inexperienced wide receivers. Hilton was the only guy Andrew Luck could lean on extensively. Indianapolis Colts added Hakeem Nicks in the offseason, Wayne returns, Dwayne Allen returns, and the Colts will continue to try to establish a running game with Trent Richardson. Maybe a new and full year with his team, and some fresh thinking from the coaching staff, will get T-Rich going. These are all certainly factors that could limit Hilton from a repeat performance. Consistency will be an issue, especially since Hilton isn’t even a lock for the starting lineup.

Draft these players instead: Michael Floyd, Wes Welker, Roddy White

WR Sammy Watkins, BUF
FFC ADP: 72.2 (6th Round, WR29) | MFL ADP: 64.1 (6th Round, WR28)

Buffalo Bills fell in love with Sammy Watkins. So much so, they paid a handsome price to move up in the NFL Draft to acquire him, and shipped off their only proven veteran receiver, Stevie Johnson, to the San Francisco 49ers. Watkins is expected to be a star in the NFL, but until QB E.J. Manuel takes a big step in his development, Watkins’ production will be limited. Whether Manual is ready to take that step or not this year, or ever, is debatable. In addition to the quarterback play, Watkins would benefit from another productive receiver taking some pressure away from him. Robert Woods is only in his second year, and recently acquired Mike Williams can’t be counted on. As it stands, Watkins paying immediate dividends for fantasy players will be tough.

Draft these players instead: Mike Evans, Julian Edelman

WR Michael Crabtree, SF
FFC ADP: 47.5 (4th Round, WR19) | MFL ADP: 42.8 (4th Round, WR18)

Michael Crabtree had a breakout season in 2012 when second year QB Colin Kaepernick took the field. With the aid of the dual-threat Kaepernick, Crabtree was able to use his speed and moves to lose defenders to accumulate 1,105 yards and 9 touchdowns. In 2013 Crabtree was hurt, but played the final 5 games and was moderatly productive, including scoring 10 fantasy points in each of Weeks 15 and 16. Unless Kaepernick tosses for a lot more passing yards than we’ve come to expect from the 49ers normal gameplan, it will be difficult for Crabtree to excel. There are a lot of mouths to feed between Crabtree, Anquan Boldin, Vernon Davis and newly added Stevie Johnson. There are plenty of better, less risky options available in the same ballpark as Crabtree’s ADP.

Draft these players instead: Michael Floyd, Wes Welker

Undervalued

RB Toby Gerhart, JAC
FFC ADP: 44.0 (4th Round, RB22) | MFL ADP: 57.3 (5th Round, RB23)

This former Heisman Trophy finalist backed up a future Hall of Famer for the first four years of his career with the Minnesota Vikings, resulting in little opportunity for significant carries. When his contract ended it came as no surprise Toby Gerhart didn’t need to settle for another backup role. With the departure of Maurice Jones-Drew, the Jacksonville Jaguars needed a running back with experience, but one without a lot of wear and tear. This scenario is very similar to Michael Turner, who backed up LaDainian Tomlinson for years in San Diego before heading to Atlanta to join a team with a good offensive line and young quarterback. I’m not suggesting Gerhart is an instant star, but he will earn a ton of carries and as a result outshine where he is currently getting drafted.

Draft him ahead of these players: Ryan Mathews, Bishop Sankey, Trent Richardson

RB Pierre Thomas, NO
FFC ADP: 74.1 (7th Round, RB32) | MFL ADP: 74.2 (7th Round, RB30)

With the departure of Darren Sproles, more opportunities are in the cards for Pierre Thomas. As we’ve seen in the past, Pierre Thomas can be a dual threat back as he is a quality runner and receiver. The Saints philosophy was always to limit any one runners touches utilizing a constant rotation, but no one was brought in to fill the receptions that Sproles left behind. Last season Thomas ran the ball 147 times while accruing 549 yards and caught the ball 77 times for 513 yards. He finished RB23 in standard scoring leagues and RB16 in point-per-reception leagues. Even though Thomas is approaching the big 3-0, his chemistry with Brees, knowledge of the system, and opportunity for additional touches, Thomas should easily match last season, and possibly exceed it, which makes him a tremendous value from his average draft spot.

Draft him ahead of these players: Knowshon Moreno, Stevan Ridley, Joique Bell

Julian Edelman, NE
FFC ADP: 66.6 (6th Round, WR27) | MFL ADP: 55.1 (5th Round, WR26)

Julian Edelman is certainly coming off his best season in the NFL. Of course, when a team’s best wide receiver leaves via free agency, not one but two top receiving tight ends go down via injury and legal issues, respectively, and the veteran WR signed as a free agent can’t stay healthy, the opportunities are endless for the player still standing. That was Edelman last season, and he delivered, becoming Tom Brady’s most reliable and regular target. Given similar circumstances as last season, I only see this connection getting better. Tom Brady will most definitely continue to rely on Edelman. With an ADP hovering in the low-20s amongst wide receivers, Edelman is a value capable of cracking the top 20, particularly in point-per-reception leagues.

Draft him ahead of these players: Torrey Smith, Michael Crabtree

* ADP shown from Fantasy Football Calculator (12 team, standard scoring on June 13, 2014) and MyFantasyLeague (12 team, public league drafts started after May 15 as of June 13, 2014).