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FFL: Preseason | NFL: Week 1

Early ADP Trends

Tue Jul 16 4:14pm ET
By JEFF PAUR
Sr Fantasy Writer

Brady is 18th quarterback selected


It is very early, but trends are starting to form in drafts. There have been a ton of drafts on our site already, giving us a pretty good indication of ADP. We thought it might be a good time to take a closer look at the ADP numbers and what it might mean to you. 

First off, any of the big four running backs (Barkley, McCaffrey, Elliott or Kamara) are getting picked with the first four picks. But for now, Barkley is the consensus No. 1 overall pick, followed by McCaffrey, Elliott and Kamara. Either way, if you want one of these four backs, you better have a top-four pick.

The tight end position is an interesting one this year. The top three consensus tight ends are Travis Kelce, Zach Ertz and George Kittle. If you want one of these guys, you better act early. They are not lasting long. Kelce is even going in the first round in some drafts. He has an ADP of 14.94. Ertz is more of a second-round pick, having an ADP of 25.08. Kittle is a second or third round pick with an ADP of 30.47. The next tight end getting picked is O.J. Howard. His ADP is just 60.44, though, going 30 picks later than Kittle. 

Patrick Mahomes is the clear No. 1 quarterback in early drafts. He has an ADP of 33.66. He goes well before the second quarterback selected, which is Andrew Luck at 58.61. So if you think Mahomes is going to repeat and have another huge season, you better act early to get him. He is going in the third or fourth round of most drafts.

The Baker Mayfield hype is in full effect. He is the fifth quarterback off the board with an ADP of 85.21. He is getting selected ahead of players like Matt Ryan, Russell Wilson and Drew Brees. Another young quarterback that is getting early love is Kyler Murray. He is the 12th quarterback off the board and has an ADP of 115.51. Murray is getting picked as a low-end No. 1, showing that a lot of fantasy owners have faith in him for a big first season. 

Tom Brady might be the biggest surprise at quarterback right now. You never thought you would hear this, but he is currently the 18th quarterback getting selected in drafts. He has an ADP of 145.71 and is getting picked after guys like Mitch Trubisky, Dak Prescott and Kirk Cousins. It is a little surprising to see him falling, but Brady certainly has questions marks the year with his age and lack of depth at receiver and tight end for the Patriots. 

Toddy Gurley is a big question mark for the coming year because of his knee issue, which limited him down the stretch last year. You just don’t know how he is going to respond this year and if he will get the workload of past seasons. But even with that said, his ADP is 16.43. Owners are still taking him the second round of drafts because of his past history and huge potential if healthy and playing at a high level.

Josh Jacobs is the first rookie running back getting selected and also the highest rookie overall. He has an ADP of 31.34. Jacobs is the unquestioned starter in Oakland and has little competition for carries, which is driving up his price tag for the coming year. The next rookie back off the board is David Montgomery. He has an ADP of 50.50. Montgomery has more question marks than Jacobs for the coming year, but certainly has potential for big things if he gets the work. 

The receiver position has a few notable trends. First off, JuJu Smith-Schuster (15.12) is getting picked before Antonio Brown (20.26). Smith-Schuster is the clear No. 1 target for the Steelers with Brown gone. The move to Oakland has clearly hurt the value of Brown. We’ll see how it all plays out this coming season. 

Larry Fitzgerald is an intriguing fantasy receiver. He is dirt cheap right now, having an ADP of 101.65. The veteran receiver isn’t getting any younger but hasn’t shown a ton of signs of slowing down in recent years. And now he gets to play in a wide open, pass-first offense with a promising rookie at the helm. He could be worth grabbing at his current price.

Amari Cooper is another somewhat polarizing fantasy figure. He can be huge one week but disappear the next. A move to Dallas is supposed to help stabilize his production. We’ll see. For now, you need to act pretty early to get the Cowboys early No. 1 receiver. Cooper has an ADP of 32.86, making him a third-round pick. 

A couple injury and suspended players are worthing looking at too. Tyreek Hill is the big one. We aren’t sure how long or if he will be suspended at this point, causing him to be a huge fantasy question mark. Hill has an ADP of 52.98. This could end up being a wasted pick or a great one, depending on how the possible suspension plays out. 

Josh Gordon is another player with suspension issues. He is currently suspended but could be reinstated at some point this year. If that happens, he could play a huge role in a passing game looking for options. Gordon has an ADP of 174.10, meaning he is getting picked near the end of drafts.

Cam Newton is returning from offseason shoulder surgery and is currently the ninth quarterback off the board. He has an ADP of 109.68. Newton missed two games last year because of injury and was still 14th overall in fantasy quarterback scoring. His shoulder is a concern going forward but his current ADP and the depth of the quarterback position make Newton a risk that might be worth taking because of his past success.

Hunter Henry missed all of last season because of a torn ACL but his stock is pretty high despite returning from a major injury. He is the sixth tight end selected, having an ADP of 70.82. He seems to be an early target for all of those owners that passed on one of the big-three tight ends. 

So with this all said, don’t use ADP as your rankings. These are a tool to help you come draft day. The ADP gives you an idea of where players are being selected. Either way, we always suggest targeting some players for the season and grabbing them. You might have to go a round or two earlier to get them but that is alright. Get the players you want on your roster. Good luck in all your drafts!

Jeff Paur is a two-time finalist for FSWA Fantasy Football Writer of the Year and won the FSWA award for Best Fantasy Football Article on the Web in 2011. He also was the most accurate expert in 2012, winning the FSTA Fantasy Football Accuracy Award. If you have any questions for Jeff, email him at jeff@rtsports.com. Follow Jeff on Twitter @jeffpaur.

Player Notes
Marcus Kemp Aug 21 6:50pm ET

Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Marcus Kemp (knee) is done for the season after suffering a torn ACL and MCL. Kemp suffered the injury during the second preseason game versus the Pittsburgh Steelers on Saturday. He was great for the Chiefs on special teams last season, so losing him will hurt the team. He wasn't going to make an impact in fantasy leagues, but this will hurt the special teams unit for Kansas City.

From RotoBaller

Kevin White Aug 21 6:20pm ET

The Arizona Cardinals released wide receiver Kevin White on Wednesday, according to a source. White was a former first-round pick with the Bears and had recovered from a hamstring injury that kept him out the last week. It remains to be seen if another team will take a chance on the oft-injured wideout. His release is good news for rookies Andy Isabella and Keesean Johnson behind Larry Fitzgerald and Christian Kirk on the depth chart.

From RotoBaller

Adam Vinatieri Aug 21 6:00pm ET

Indianapolis Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri (knee), who has missed the first two preseason games and the last six practices, said he expects to return to practice on Thursday. Rookie Cole Hedlund has made four of his five kicks in Vinatieri's absence this preseason. The 46-year-old Vinatieri doesn't need many repetitions to be ready for the regular season at this point. On a Colts team that could be even better offensively, depending on the health of quarterback Andrew Luck, Vinatieri should have fantasy appeal as a low-end starting kicker if he's completely healthy.

From RotoBaller

Noah Fant Aug 21 5:30pm ET

Denver Broncos head coach Vic Fangio said that rookie tight end Noah Fant (ankle) will be ready for Week 1 after he suffered a minor ankle injury in the preseason game against the 49ers on Monday, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. That's great news for the Broncos, as they drafted Fant in the first round hoping that he could make an immediate impact in his rookie season alongside Jeff Heuerman and Jake Butt (if healthy). Fant easily has the most pass-catching upside of the group, but temper your expectations in Year 1 despite the fact that quarterback Joe Flacco often leans on his tight ends. Fant is a low-end TE2, at best. He's much more attractive in dynasty formats.

From RotoBaller

D.K. Metcalf Aug 21 5:10pm ET

Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll said that rookie wide receiver D.K. Metcalf's knee surgery showed minimal injury, and he's listed as week-to-week as the regular season approaches. Metcalf could miss a game or two to begin the regular season, which drops his fantasy value some, but when healthy he's expected to be a starter across from Tyler Lockett and has considerable upside in his first season. The hype is real and his size and athleticism are off the charts, but be careful not to overvalue him in fantasy drafts. The lost time this preseason could easily cause him to start out slow in his rookie year. RotoBaller has Metcalf ranked as the No. 64 fantasy wideout. Take a chance on him in the later rounds.

From RotoBaller

Vance McDonald Aug 21 4:20pm ET

Pittsburgh Steelers tight end Vance McDonald has never played a full season in his six-year career, and the team doesn't plan on using him extensively in order to keep him healthy. McDonald played a career-high 564 snaps last year and split time evenly with Jesse James, who is now with the Lions. "He still won't," offensive coordinator Randy Fichtner said of McDonald's playing time increasing substantially this season. "He's never going to play the full game. That's never going to happen." That means that the Steelers plan to use Xavier Grimble quite a bit as the No. 2 tight end. While McDonald is still worth an investment as a low-end TE1, his production could be spotty and inconsistent.

From RotoBaller

Mike Evans Aug 21 4:16pm ET

Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians said that wide receiver Mike Evans (quadriceps) will not play in the third preseason game against the Browns on Friday. He has been out all week with what is believed to be a quadriceps injury. Evans' injury isn't believed to be serious, but the Bucs are playing it cautious with their No. 1 wideout. It's unlikely he'll see any preseason action in the final week of exhibition games, so we probably won't see Evans again until Week 1. He's a strong WR1 choice in Arians' aggressive offense and is ranked as the No. 18 overall fantasy player at RotoBaller.

Drew Brees Aug 21 4:16pm ET

New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton said that quarterback Drew Brees will start in the preseason game this weekend against the Jets. Brees is unlikely to play more than a half in the team's third preseason game. The 40-year-old hasn't shown any signs of slowing down, throwing for 3,992 yards and 32 touchdowns in another Pro Bowl season in 2018. While Brees should be solid once again this year in an explosive offense, the Saints could be more running-back centric to take some of the pressure off of him, which gives him a much lower ceiling as he nears the end of his career. The future Hall of Famer is still a QB1, but don't expect gaudy numbers week in and week out.

Todd Davis Aug 21 4:13pm ET

Denver Broncos LB Todd Davis (calf) is a bit behind schedule in his recovery from a calf injury, according to head coach Vic Fangio.

From TheHuddle

Melvin Gordon Aug 21 3:40pm ET

Los Angeles Chargers running back Melvin Gordon's contract holdout is expected to continue into the season, according to sources. Contract talks between Gordon and the team haven't progressed as hoped, and he'll continue to train in Florida for the foreseeable future. There's still time left, but it's looking like Gordon will miss regular season games for the Bolts. That will obviously hurt his fantasy stock quite a bit, as he came into the year as a surefire RB1 in an explosive offense. As a result, Austin Ekeler and Justin Jackson are set to become much more attractive, although Gordon is still worth a selection around the fifth round of drafts in case he misses minimal time.

From RotoBaller

Melvin Gordon Aug 21 3:33pm ET

Los Angeles Chargers RB Melvin Gordon is expected to continue his holdout through the start of the regular season since there has not been any progress made in contract talks, according to sources.

Fantasy Spin: Gordon's fantasy value will take a big hit if he decides to sit out regular season games and will drop on draft boards. Austin Ekeler and Justin Jackson will handle the carries while Gordon holds out, and both players had success last season. Ekeler can be considered a No. 2 or No. 3 fantasy back, while Jackson could be a possible handcuff or late-round option.

From TheHuddle

Joe Haden Aug 21 3:23pm ET

Pittsburgh Steelers CB Joe Haden (foot) is still considered day-to-day because of a foot injury.

From TheHuddle

LeSean McCoy Aug 21 2:33pm ET

Buffalo Bills RBs LeSean McCoy and Frank Gore will both see more playing time during the third preseason game Friday, Aug. 23.

Fantasy Spin: McCoy probably will keep the starting job this season, but Gore should also have a solid role in the running game. McCoy probably can be a No. 3 running back, while Gore could be a handcuff to McCoy or a No. 4 or No. 5 back on a fantasy roster.

From TheHuddle

Sam Darnold Aug 21 2:30pm ET

New York Jets head coach Adam Gase is still impressed with a throw that quarterback Sam Darnold made in last Thursday's preseason game against the Falcons. "The throw to Quincy, I dont know if Ive seen many that were better in my career," Gase said Tuesday. Darnold went 10-for-15 with no turnovers in practice on Tuesday. He's expected to play at least the first half of the preseason game this Saturday against the Saints. Darnold had his fair share of ups and downs in his rookie season, throwing for 2,865 yards, 17 touchdowns and 15 interceptions in 13 games. He should be better in his second year with Le'Veon Bell in the backfield, but he'll need to show more before fantasy owners use him for anything more than a low-end QB2.

From RotoBaller

David Moore Aug 21 2:10pm ET

Seattle Seahawks wide receiver David Moore has been quiet overall in training camp and seems to be behind rookie D.K. Metcalf on the depth chart when he's healthy. Jaron Brown also played with the first-team offense over Moore in the last preseason game. Moore had 26 catches for 445 yards and five touchdowns last year and caught just four passes for 32 yards over the final five weeks. NBC Sports Northwest's Joe Fann doesn't think Moore will have much more than the 53 targets he saw in 2018. The 24-year-old could be useful in deeper leagues to begin the year if Metcalf isn't ready, but you can probably ignore him in standard-sized leagues.

From RotoBaller

Rashaad Penny Aug 21 2:00pm ET

Seattle Seahawks running back Rashaad Penny has just 13 yards on 12 carries through two preseason games and hasn't shown much burst. The 2018 first-rounder could still have a breakout campaign in his second season, but he's falling further behind Chris Carson as the No. 2 option. Head coach Pete Carroll has blamed Penny's lack of production in the preseason on the team's offensive line. The 23-year-old looked pretty explosive at the end of last season, and he's more attractive in PPR leagues, but don't reach for him solely based on Carson's injury-prone ways. RotoBaller has Penny ranked as the No. 35 fantasy running back, and you should consider drafting him around the eighth or ninth round.

From RotoBaller

Tarik Cohen Aug 21 1:50pm ET

Chicago Bears head coach Matt Nagy regrets using running back Tarik Cohen so much down the stretch last season. The running back was used in the backfield, as an outside receiver and inside in the slot. We moved [Cohen] around a lot last year, and I do feel like there was a time probably later in the season where we probably gave him a little bit too much, Nagy said before practice Tuesday. And when you mentally drain them, it pulls them back physically. It's not to say that Cohen won't get his opportunities this year, but Chicago may elect to keep him fresh, especially with tons of other weapons in rookie David Montgomery, Mike Davis, Cordarrelle Patterson, Allen Robinson, Trey Burton and Taylor Gabriel. Cohen is a home run hitter on any given play, but be careful not to overvalue him in an offense that has a ton of moving parts.

From RotoBaller

Rashaad Penny Aug 21 1:23pm ET

Seattle Seahawks RB Rashaad Penny has 13 yards on 12 carries in two preseason games, and he has fallen further behind RB Chris Carson, in the opinion of NBC Sports Northwest's Joe Fann. Head coach Pete Carroll backed Penny by saying: 'We've got to block for him better. He didn't have a chance.'

Fantasy Spin: Penny will need a strong second half of the preseason to be worth more than RB5 or handcuff at this point. Carson looks like a solid RB2.

From TheHuddle

Corey Davis Aug 21 1:20pm ET

Tennessee Titans wide receiver Corey Davis has been named the training camp MVP by ESPN's Turron Davenport following an excellent offseason. Davenport praised Davis for his improved route running and footwork, both of which have helped him gain extra separation throughout camp. Although many fantasy owners have already written Davis off, some context is needed when analyzing his second year. Davis posted a team-leading 65 receptions for 891 yards and four touchdowns all while playing with a quarterback who had nerve damage in his throwing hand. On top of this, Davis lined up against top-25 corners on 43 percent of his routes, the highest percentage of any receiver in the league. Davis should benefit greatly in 2019 from both better quarterback play and an upgraded surrounding cast, making him a prime post-hype sleeper buy going into his third season.

From RotoBaller

Dion Lewis Aug 21 1:20pm ET

Tennessee Titans running back Dion Lewis has become an afterthought to many drafters in 2019 due to his lackluster finish to last season. The ineffectiveness of Lewis paired with Derrick Henry's late season breakout has dropped his ADP outside the top 50 running backs being drafted. With Henry (calf) missing most of training camp, Titans running backs coach Tony Dews has continued to praise the positional versatility of Lewis in the offense. Although Henry is expected to be the feature back to start the season, Lewis is too talented to be kept off the field. Expect the Titans to find creative ways to get Lewis involved in both the rushing and passing game, making him a good value pick in the late rounds.

From RotoBaller