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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Jeff on Twitter @jeffpaur.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier has been impressed with rookie linebacker Devin Bush, who the Steelers traded up to get with the 10th overall pick. "I think he's going to make a lot of splash for us. He's going to be a big-time player for us," Shazier said. Shazier continues to make progress in his recovery from a spinal injury he suffered in 2017, but he will not play this year. Bush is the inside linebacking presence that Pittsburgh needs in order for their defense to return to the elite ranks among the NFL. They have the potential to become fantasy relevant this year, but fantasy owners can probably wait and see.
Pittsburgh Steelers tight end Vance McDonald won't be the full-time tight end, according to offensive coordinator Randy Fichtner. In an interview with Dale Lolley of DKPittsburghSports.com, the Steelers' OC said "He's never going to play the full game. That's never going to happen." Of course, this could be coach talk and McDonald ends up sees the majority of the time at tight end. His only real competition at the position is Xavier Grimble, who was undrafted out of USC and has just 22 career receptions. Don't look into this too much as the veteran McDonald is without a doubt the top dog at this position in Pittsburgh. His ADP has jumped up into the 7th round, which is fair for a player who should command 80-plus targets this year.
Indianapolis Colts running back Jordan Wilkins (foot) missed his sixth straight practice on Wednesday. Wilkins represents a change of pace from the two running backs, Marlon Mack and Nyheim Hines, that are in front of him. Mack is an explosive player that's developing into a 3-down player, and Hines has firmly established his role as a pass-catcher. Wilkins can find his way on the field, but the team's running back is getting crowded which drags his stock down.
Indianapolis Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri (knee) has been resting for much of the preseason and training camp. That remains true, but he is expected to be ready for Week 1. Vinatieri remains one of the top kicking options in fantasy. He plays on an elite offense, and he is arguably the best kicker in NFL history. The Colts should give Vinatieri plenty of opportunities to score this season as long as he remains healthy.
Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Parris Campbell (hamstring) is still being held out of practice after he suffered a setback last week in his recovery from the injury. The third-round pick can bring an exciting and explosive dynamic to this offense. The longer he's on the sideline though makes it more difficult for him to build chemistry with quarterbacks Andrew Luck and Jacoby Brissett. His stock continues to fall with every day that he misses practice.
Washington Redskins wide receiver Trey Quinn (thumb) will not play in the preseason game on Thursday against the Falcons, while wide receiver Paul Richardson (quadriceps) will "probably not" play either. Richardson played in just seven games and caught 20 passes for 262 yards and two touchdowns in his first year in D.C. He continues to be bothered by injuries and can be left alone in standard-sized leagues. Quinn, 23, had nine catches in three games in his rookie season. He is slightly more attractive in the slot in PPR leagues with quarterback Case Keenum likely to be the starter, but Quinn is no more than a late-round deep sleeper.
The Detroit Lions agreed to a one-year, $11 million extension with defensive tackle Damon Harrison on Wednesday. Snacks Harrison won't do much in the sack column -- he has just nine total sacks in his six years in the league -- but he's most known for being an elite run clogger up the middle with his size (6-foot-3, 353 pounds). The Lions run defense was much improved after they acquired Harrison from the Giants at midseason last year.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Denver Broncos LB Todd Davis (calf) is a bit behind schedule in his recovery from a calf injury, according to head coach Vic Fangio.