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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
Christian McCaffrey Aug 22 3:00pm ET

Carolina Panthers head coach Ron Rivera and offensive coordinator Norv Turner are mindful of running back Christian McCaffrey's workload and want to minimize the punishment he takes this year. "We want him to have his 300 touches," Rivera said recently, referencing the fact that McCaffrey had 219 carries and 107 receptions last season. "We just don't want him to do all the other stuff." McCaffrey had 1,9625 total yards and 13 touchdowns last year, so he remains RotoBaller's No. 3 overall fantasy commodity going into the 2019 season. McCaffrey will still get plenty of touches, he just might not be in on as many snaps as he was last season.

From RotoBaller

Ezekiel Elliott Aug 22 2:20pm ET

The Dallas Cowboys most recent offer in negotiations with running back Ezekiel Elliott would make him one of the league's two highest-paid running backs, which suggests that the team is offering more than Le'Veon Bell and less than Todd Gurley money. With only two weeks left in the preseason, Elliott continues to hold out, but we'd be surprised if that lasts much longer after this most recent offer. Because of the holdout, Zeke has fallen a bit in the top running back rankings, but he remains worth taking in the first round as a high-end RB1. Elliott has gone over 1,000 yards in two of his three NFL seasons, with the lone exception coming in 2017 when he played in only 10 games due to his suspension. He's racked up 28 rushing touchdowns and six receiving scores in 40 games played.

From RotoBaller

Patrick Chung Aug 22 2:00pm ET

New England Patriots strong safety Patrick Chung was indicted on a cocaine-possession charge earlier this month, according to assistant attorney Keith Cormier. Chung knowingly possessed cocaine on July 25 in New Hampshire where he owns a home. He's scheduled to appear in court next Wednesday and will be facing a suspension at some point in 2019. The 32-year-old veteran defensive back had 84 tackles, half a sack, one fumble recovery and one interception in 15 games for the Pats last season. Losing him for any amount of time will take away a valuable veteran in the secondary. New England's defense has streaming appeal in the right matchups, but they fall outside of RotoBaller's top-12 fantasy defensive units to begin the year.

From RotoBaller

Keke Coutee Aug 22 1:50pm ET

Houston Texans wide receiver Keke Coutee (ankle) is still out with his sprained ankle. It's now fair to wonder if Coutee will even be ready for Week 1 or how effective he might be early in the year if he does suit up. The second-year wideout is quickly developing a reputation for being injury-prone and a slow healer. The 22-year-old is electric when healthy, catching 28 passes for 287 yards (10.3 average) and a score in six games in his rookie season. Coutee is currently ranked as RotoBaller's No. 44 fantasy wideout worth taking in the middle rounds, but his stock will continue to drop if he doesn't get back on the field soon. Will Fuller would be the main beneficiary if Coutee wasn't ready for the regular season opener.

From RotoBaller

JuJu Smith-Schuster Aug 22 12:50pm ET

Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster, who ranked among the NFL leaders in receptions and yards in 2018, is now the team's top target with Antonio Brown gone, and he wants to evolve to become more of a dangerous deep threat. Being able to catch the deep balls down the field, those go balls, those free balls that they send down the field where Ive got to go make those plays, Smith-Schuster said. Thats what Ive focused on a lot, catching the ball over the shoulder and being able to be a threat on the outside. He led the team with 111 catches for 1,426 yards and five catches of 40 yards or longer, ranking in the top six in the NFL in all three categories. The big question is whether Smith-Schuster will be as productive without Brown in the fold, but most fantasy owners think he will, as he's going on average early in the second round of drafts.

From RotoBaller

Amari Cooper Aug 22 12:40pm ET

Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Amari Cooper (foot) said he's confident he'd be effective if he had to play in the regular season. Real effective, Cooper said from his locker at the Star on Tuesday. Im not really worried. He's dealing with plantar fasciitis, something that he's had experience with before. Cooper has been seeking treatment the last two weeks, and he rated his pain on Tuesday as a three on a scale from one to 10. The team is hoping he will practice next Monday or Tuesday but will "still be a little deliberate with him," head coach Jason Garrett said. Cooper is confident he can perform if he's forced to play through the injury, but fantasy owners will be a little more hesitant now to take him as a high-end WR2. If his injury lingers into the start of the season, it could mean more work for Michael Gallup and Randall Cobb.

From RotoBaller

Richard Rodgers Aug 22 12:10pm ET

Philadelphia Eagles tight end Richard Rodgers will be forced to miss several weeks due to a foot injury. Rodgers is just a depth option behind starters Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert (who will both see plenty of the field thanks to Philly's two-tight end sets.) Rodgers was only going to see consistent playing time if one of those two were injured, and even then he'd be a massive downgrade. His absence won't make much of a difference in the fantasy football world.

From RotoBaller

Freddie Kitchens Aug 22 12:00pm ET

Cleveland Browns wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr (hip) is not expected to play in his team's third preseason game on Friday. Beckham has been dealing with a hip pointer since August 6 and unlikely to play any preseason snaps ahead of the regular season. The star wideout is likely to be fine for the regular-season opener as the Browns are just being extra cautious with Beckham. Most of the other starters are expected to play against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Friday, with head coach Freddie Kitchens stating that playing time will be determined on a "player-by-player" basis. Continue to target Beckham as a rock-solid WR1 in fantasy drafts.

From RotoBaller

Giorgio Tavecchio Aug 22 10:00am ET

Atlanta Falcons kicker Giorgio Tavecchio has struggled this preseason, hitting just four of his seven field-goal attempts. However, he has converted all three extra-point attempts. Tavecchio took over the team's kicking job for veteran Matt Bryant last year, giving him some big shoes to fill. Atlanta should have a strong offense this year and Tavecchio could be a solid sleeper kicker to target if he can put things together.

From RotoBaller

Devonta Freeman Aug 22 9:50am ET

Atlanta Falcons running back Devonta Freeman only saw six snaps and one carry in the team's last preseason game against the Jets, but tonight's game against the Redskins should be different. Freeman is coming off knee, groin and sports hernia surgery and only played in two games last year. Falcons head coach Dan Quinn discussed the importance of getting Freeman some game action this week, so look for Freeman to be heavily featured early on in Thursday's game before giving way to backups Ito Smith and Qadree Ollison.

From RotoBaller

Josh Allen Aug 22 9:40am ET

While several teams have yet to see their starting quarterbacks on the field this preseason, Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen has started both of his team's first two preseason games and has relished the opportunity. Allen was quoted saying there's nothing like live reps and also said that "The teams getting better and Im getting better." Through two games, Allen is 15-for-22 for 168 yards. He's yet to throw either a touchdown or an interception. He'll make his third start of the preseason on Friday against the Lions.

From RotoBaller

Michael Crabtree Aug 22 1:10am ET

The Arizona Cardinals officially signed free-agent wide receiver Michael Crabtree to a one-year deal on Wednesday. The 31-year-old will have to prove himself to make the roster in the next two weeks, but he does offer some intrigue in head coach Kliff Kingsbury's offense if he sticks around, although he'll have to compete with rookies Andy Isabella and Keesean Johnson. Crabtree will help replace rookie Hakeem Butler (hand), who could miss the rest of the season. The veteran had 54 catches for 607 yards and three touchdowns for Baltimore in 2018. You shouldn't be drafting him in standard leagues, but keep an eye on Crabtree's role if he makes the final squad. Trent Sherfield is also in the fold as well.

From RotoBaller

Anthony Miller Aug 22 1:10am ET

Chicago Bears wide receiver Anthony Miller (ankle) hasn't practiced since Aug. 10 due to a sprained ankle and also missed most of the team's work at organized team activities and minicamp while recovering from offseason shoulder surgery. The 24-year-old has plenty of potential but could start off slow in 2019 because of his lack of practice due to injuries in the offseason. He needs more time to learn the nuances of head coach Matt Nagy's offense and must become more detailed as a route runner. The biggest challenge is the timing with the quarterback, Nagy said Wednesday. Thats the No. 1 challenge. Temper expectations with Miller to begin the season. His fantasy stock is falling, and he's not even a lock to be ready for Week 1.

From RotoBaller

Nick Chubb Aug 22 1:00am ET

Cleveland Browns running backs coach Stump Mitchell talked up running back Nick Chubb on Wednesday. "I think hes going to be special like he was last year," said Mitchell. "Hell be used a little more in the passing game than he was last year. Nick just continues to improve on the skillset that he has, and I think he has a fantastic skillset." In a rising offense as the lead back that could see more work catching passes in his second season, Chubb has low-end RB1 appeal. The 23-year-old had 192 carries for 996 yards and eight touchdowns in his rookie season and caught 20 passes for 149 yards and two more scores. Chubb could lose some playing time on passing situations once Kareem Hunt returns from suspension in the second half of the season, but it shouldn't make him any less appealing.

From RotoBaller

Justice Hill Aug 22 12:30am ET

Baltimore Ravens rookie running back Justice Hill caught a short pass from quarterback Lamar Jackson and darted upfield, causing two Eagles defenders to collide in Monday's joint practice. Hill is the Ravens leading rusher after the first two weeks of the preseason, amassing 82 yards on 20 carries. According to the Baltimore Beatdown, Hill forced a missed tackle on nine of 12 touches in Baltimore's Week 2 game against Green Bay. Hill's running style is intriguing; he's lightning-fast, he breaks tackles and he can catch the ball well. The first-year back currently sits fourth on the Ravens depth chart and likely won't see a ton of touches at the start of the season, but keep him on your radar toward the end of your drafts. He's being picked up in the 12th round of most drafts and poses as an exciting sleeper to handcuff to Mark Ingram.

From RotoBaller

Michael Crabtree Aug 21 11:19pm ET

The Arizona Cardinals are closing in on signing free-agent wide receiver Michael Crabtree, according to sources. The Cards released former first-rounder Kevin White on Wednesday, and it looks like Crabtree is who they'll replace him with. It remains to be seen how Crabtree might fit in head coach Kliff Kingsbury's offense behind Larry Fitzgerald and Christian Kirk, but the veteran wideout should make Arizona's offense more versatile and give them another weapon. He had 54 grabs for 607 yards and three touchdowns last year with Baltimore in a run-first offense. Crabtree is a nice red-zone option, but he'll have to battle for targets with rookies Andy Isabella and Keesean Johnson.

Justin Tucker Aug 21 11:00pm ET

Baltimore Ravens kicker Justin Tucker has been a top-five fantasy option for the last five years and holds the crown as the most accurate field goal kicker in NFL history. "I think we've got an if it ain't broke, don't try to fix it type of situation going on here," Tucker told the media after Tuesday's practice. Drafting a top kicker in your leagues might not win you the championship, but drafting one who has made 89.7 percent of his field goals in his seven seasons will obviously help. If you happen to catch the run for kickers at the right time in your drafts, Tucker is the best kicker you should be looking to target.

From RotoBaller

Sam Darnold Aug 21 10:30pm ET

New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold had another solid practice Wednesday as he prepared for what will likely be his last preseason action Saturday vs the Saints. Darnold completed 10 of his first 11 passes in team drills Wednesday and also threw four straight touchdowns in red-zone drills, a major area of weakness in his rookie season. Head coach Adam Gase said the starters will play the first half plus one series in the team's third preseason game Saturday so this is the best look fantasy owners will get at the sophomore QB before drafts. Darnold has been having a strong camp and has higher upside than a lot of the other quarterbacks expected to be drafted as backups in fantasy.

From RotoBaller

Chris Boswell Aug 21 10:20pm ET

Pittsburgh Steelers kicker Chris Boswell has had the cards stacked against him this preseason. After hitting just 13 of 20 field goals and only 43 of 48 extra point attempts in 2018, head coach Mike Tomlin was very vocal that he was going to test Boswell this preseason. However, the fifth-year kicker knows there's nothing wrong with a challenge. "It does bring out the best in everybody. Well see where it goes, he said. The team brought in rookie Steven Wright from UCF to challenge Boswell this preseason. However, the incumbent has answered all doubts, hitting both field goal attempts, including a 47 yarder, along with all three extra point attempts. If your fantasy league utilizes kickers, you can leave Boswell in the player pool on draft day, but if he proves he is capable of hitting the necessary kicks, he could be a solid streamer after the first few games.

From RotoBaller

Taylor Bertolet Aug 21 10:20pm ET

New York Jets kicker Taylor Bertolet is making a strong first impression on his new team. Bertolet was signed only a few days ago after Chandler Catanzaro abruptly retired but has already made an impression on the team. Bertolet went 4-for-4 on field goals during team drills connecting from 44, 40, and twice from 33 yards away. Bertolet won't be one of the top kickers drafted, but if he keeps this up could be worth a look on a Jets team that finished 30th in the NFL in red-zone conversion rate last season.

From RotoBaller