Fantasy Football ADP Comparisons
Renewed confidence in running backs has changed the fantasy football stock market for 2013.
It’s really early to be diving into Fantasy ADP, but all signs do show a swing in the top 25 overall picks in comparison to last year. In 2012, players like Darren McFadden, Chris Johnson, and DeMarco Murray were predominantly viewed as high risk players despite being drafted as top 10 RB’s. Like hot girlfriends with horrible laughs, fantasy owners tried to ignore all the red flags and hoped for the best. Captain Hindsight would’ve been the first to tell us that Adrian Peterson would bounce back, yet the history of the torn knee was on the mind on fantasy owners. Unfortunately the running back class as a whole in 2012 was filled with let downs and question marks. This vote of no confidence skyrocketed the value of Tight Ends Jimmy Graham and Rob Gronkowski. These man-crush fantasy targets could do no wrong in the eyes of some owners, and actually had average draft values as high as a first round selection. Graham and Gronkowski did not repeat their domination of the league, yet were better value picks than a player like “Are you made of glass?” Ryan Mathews.
This year the run on RB’s in fantasy Mock Drafts is forcing a completely different shake up of the first two rounds. Owners are grabbing whatever they can get, like Black Friday shoppers who have been sleeping in a tent out front of Best Buy for a week. The fear of being stuck without a running back, and recent upgrades of offensive lineman in the NFL draft has created a renewed love for the ball carrier. As a result, quarterbacks in particular are being pushed down the board. With such late value in the quarterback category, all recommendations from my point of view will be to wait as long as possible. Obviously if Drew Brees is available late after I’m able to obtain two stud running backs, I would snag him and spend the next 10 picks laughing hysterically. Yet overall, after the top 3 or 4 elite QB’s are off the board, I couldn’t see myself targeting one until a major part of my team was built.
Predictions in ADP Movement
Jones-Drew missed the final ten games of the 2012 season with a sprained foot. After successful surgery, the Jaguars RB says he’ll be “full speed” by the end of May, beginning of June. Fantasy owners will likely overlook Jones-Drew for much of the summer. Despite a disappointing 2012 season, MJD did average 4.8 per yards per carry, an average that was on par with his career statistics from years past. He has a brand new coaching staff including OC Jedd Fisch (who despite having an underrated resume did work with Mike Shanahan in Denver), who is determined to introduce a zone blocking scheme. Normally such a system tends to utilize smaller offensive lineman that are quick, but Fisch told Vito Stellino of The Florida Times-Union that bigger offensive lineman can adjust and that the Jaguars are on track. 1st round pick Luke Joeckel is a massive upgrade, and I think Jones-Drew would thrive in a zone blocking scheme. I wouldn’t be surprised to see MJD’s ADP value jump back into the top 12.
The Broncos snagged Montee Ball at April’s NFL draft. The former Wisconsin RB could become a workhorse bellcow for the Broncos if they give him the opportunity. Ball’s addition to the team at the very least should add another element in the already powerful offensive unit. Denver’s offense is clearly in the hands of Peyton Manning, yet even Manning (who loves to hog the ball) is smart enough to realize that if a running game is working, you don’t get away from it. Ball should be an interesting story line heading into training camp, but it’s the addition of Wes Welker that changes the complexity of the passing game and the fantasy value of Demaryius Thomas.
Manning doesn’t play favorites, and will spread the ball around. I see all three targets of Thomas, Decker, and Welker having solid seasons, but I am reluctant to select Demaryius Thomas 23rd overall as his current ADP sits.
As it seems, Fantasy owners are hesitating on drafting LeSean McCoy. Owners aren’t sure what they’re getting themselves into with the new Chip Kelly offense. I can certainly understand the uncertainty of drafting a guy like DeSean Jackson or Jeremy Maclin, but owners should realize the pass happy Eagles are now an aggressive hurry up high tempo running team. Sure Bryce Brown will get some snaps when McCoy needs a breather, but the overall value of McCoy should be just as strong as previous years, maybe even higher. Despite the uncertainly of what this offense will look like, the lure of McCoy must have been a small factor for Chip Kelly to jump ship in Oregon. I would select McCoy over Trent Richardson.
ADP Data taken: May 4th from Fantasy Football Calculator