2017 Fantasy Football Draft Prep: Marshawn Lynch is going too soon in our first Average Draft Position review
In our first ADP review, Jamey Eisenberg points out that players like Marshawn Lynch, Spencer Ware and Brandin Cooks, among others, are set up to fail this season relative to their lofty draft status.
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Injuries. Bleeping injuries.
Every year, injuries ruin a season -- in Fantasy and reality. And we've had no shortage of injuries at the start of training camp.
We've had season-ending injuries to Ryan Tannehill (knee), Kenneth Dixon (knee) and Quincy Enunwa (neck). And there are players dealing with lengthy absences like Andrew Luck (shoulder), Joe Flacco (back), Jay Ajayi (concussion), DeMarco Murray (hamstring), Jamison Crowder (hamstring), John Brown (quad), Donte Moncrief (shoulder), Corey Davis (hamstring), Jordan Reed (toe) and Eric Ebron (hamstring).
When you factor in some other prominent players on the shelf -- Mike Williams (back), Will Fuller (collarbone), John Ross (shoulder), Devontae Booker (wrist) and Josh Doctson (hamstring) -- you can build a solid Fantasy roster with the all-MASH unit.
But as long as these players are OK for the start of the season, the hope would be the injuries might improve the Average Draft Position for the guys who are banged up. For example, the uncertainty surrounding Luck in his recovery from shoulder surgery has dropped his ADP on Fantasy Pros from the No. 4 quarterback behind Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady and Drew Brees to No. 5 behind Matt Ryan.
And Luck might continue to fall if he's not on the practice field at 100 percent any time soon. You might luck into Luck at a reduced price (his ADP is No. 56 overall) if he remains out, but if he's ready for Week 1 then he could be a tremendous bargain on Draft Day. Clearly, that's what we all want as Fantasy owners.
We also don't want to reach for players who could end up as busts because they are being overdrafted. And that's what we'll examine here with our first ADP review -- the players being drafted too soon and the ones at great values.
Remember, ADP will change daily as more leagues start drafting. But using ADP is a great tool to help prepare for your Fantasy league. If you have a general idea of when a player should come off the draft board it will let you determine when you should reach for a guy you want or pass on someone you have little interest in.
Carr should be considered one of the quarterbacks you wait for on Draft Day and not reach for, and this qualifies as reaching. He's not significantly better than Kirk Cousins, Jameis Winston and Ben Roethlisberger, who are going two rounds later than Carr based on ADP.
Newton certainly has the chance to rebound this season from last year's bust campaign, but he's still dealing with his recovery from shoulder surgery, and that has limited his participation in practice. Coach Ron Rivera doesn't want Newton to run as much as he has in years past, and that should lower his Fantasy value this year. His ADP should also be lower since he's a questionable top 10 quarterback in 2017.
There should be some regression coming for Prescott after a tremendous rookie campaign, especially when it comes to his low interception total. He's still worth consideration as a No. 1 Fantasy quarterback, but like Carr, he should not be drafted ahead of Winston and Roethlisberger, who have just as much upside at a reduced price.
Great value: Jameis Winston, Ben Roethlisberger, Tyrod Taylor
Winston should get a boost in production with the additions of DeSean Jackson and O.J. Howard to join Mike Evans and Cameron Brate. It's the best receiving corps of his young career, and he's worth waiting for on Draft Day. However, we could see his ADP rise if he gets positive reviews on the upcoming Hard Knocks on HBO when we get an inside look at Buccaneers training camp.
Roethlisberger should be in line for a huge year with Martavis Bryant (suspension) back to join Antonio Brown and Le'Veon Bell, among their other weapons. The Steelers have a favorable schedule, and Roethlisberger is great value as the No. 13 quarterback. His value is lower in leagues with four points for passing touchdowns, but in leagues with six points he should be a star.
Taylor could be the best value at quarterback this year if Sammy Watkins stays healthy. With the addition of rookie Zay Jones and veteran Anquan Boldin to go with Watkins and LeSean McCoy, this offense could be a huge surprise this season, with Taylor leading the way. Don't be surprised if Taylor finishes the season as a No. 1 Fantasy quarterback in all leagues.
Lynch could be great this season in his comeback from retirement, but he could also fall on his face at 31 after sitting out for a season. It's way too risky to reach for Lynch in Round 2 in any league, and you should pass on him for sure at this price. He's not worth drafting until Round 5 in most formats this year.
It wouldn't be a surprise if Ware remains the best running back in Kansas City this year. But there's also the chance rookie Kareem Hunt is that guy, and you can draft him five rounds later based on ADP. Clearly, that's the better pick since this should be a timeshare. I wouldn't touch Ware at his current ADP unless Hunt suffers an injury.
Blount is 30 and just set career highs in attempts, yards and touchdowns while helping the Patriots win the Super Bowl. He has regression written all over him even though the Eagles have a quality offensive line and should make him the starter. Blount will probably produce closer to his 2015 stats when he had 746 total yards and seven total scores. That's not Round 5 material.
Based on ADP, Mark Ingram is the No. 22 running back off the board at No. 53 overall, and the disparity between the two Saints running backs should be greater. Barring an injury, Ingram should outproduce Peterson by a wide margin. While Peterson has been a force for most of his career, it's hard to trust him at 32 and playing in a reserve role. He's not worth this price in any league.
Perkins should be the best running back for the Giants, and he has the chance to be a solid No. 2 Fantasy running back in all leagues this year. But Fantasy owners are treating him like a No. 3 option based on his ADP. He closed last season running at a high level, and I plan on drafting him as early as Round 5 in all formats given his upside.
There's still a chance Kelley is outplayed by rookie Samaje Perine this year, but it appears like Kelley has done enough to keep the starting job heading into Week 1. If that remains the case, he has the potential to be a solid No. 2 Fantasy option in standard leagues (high-end No. 3 in PPR), and he's a great value pick in Round 8.
We should see West's ADP rise as we get closer to the season because he benefits greatly with Kenneth Dixon out. Danny Woodhead is still the Ravens running back to target, but if you can get West in Round 10, that's amazing value. Even Woodhead is a good price as the No. 34 running back in standard leagues at No. 91 overall.
It appears that Ty Montgomery will open the season as the starter for the Packers, but this could be a timeshare based on how Green Bay is using Williams in training camp. He's seeing plenty of time with the starting unit, and you definitely want to draft Williams in Round 13 compared to Montgomery in Round 5. I have drafted Williams in almost every league so far this year.
Cooks will have plenty of big moments with the Patriots, but there are a ton of mouths to feed in this offense with Rob Gronkowski, Julian Edelman, Dwayne Allen and the running backs. Cooks also has a bad history playing away from New Orleans, and it's hard to justify drafting him in the beginning of the third round. I'm not drafting him until Round 5.
Jeffery recently got over a shoulder injury that limited him in practice, and it's an indication that he's been injury prone the past two years with just 21 games played in 2015-16. He also has just six touchdowns over that span, and he should be considered a risky pick in Round 3 in most formats. I'm fine drafting him in Round 4, but it's doubtful he'll slide very far when healthy.
Robinson was a disaster in 2016, and he might not improve much this year with the Jaguars hoping to lean more on their ground game with the addition of rookie Leonard Fournette. Jacksonville's defense should also be better, which should mean less comeback efforts and less throwing late in games. Robinson is not worth drafting in Round 3.
Hill's talent is exceptional, and his role will definitely expand with Jeremy Maclin now in Baltimore. But the fourth round is too rich for a receiver depending on Alex Smith to help his Fantasy output. I'll look for Hill in Round 6 as a low-end No. 2 Fantasy receiver, but I don't want to depend on him as a starter. I'll only draft him in Round 4 if you get points for return yards.
We hope Crowder is over this nagging hamstring injury soon because he has the chance for a breakout campaign in his third year. With DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon gone, the Redskins are missing 216 targets, 135 catches, 2,046 yards and seven touchdowns. Terrelle Pryor, Doctson and Reed will help Crowder pick up the slack, but he has huge potential in this offense.
Like Crowder, the Saints have to replace production with Cooks gone. And Snead has plenty going for him with a big opportunity in his third season, which happens to be a contract year. Snead was plagued by a toe injury all season in 2016, but before getting hurt he had 14 catches for 226 yards and two touchdowns on 17 targets in his first two games. That's his upside this year.
Injuries are clearly a problem for Brown, but he should be fine with this quad injury soon. More importantly, he's over last year's sickle-cell issues, as well as having a cyst removed from his spine. We saw his potential in 2015 with 65 catches, 1,003 yards and seven touchdowns, and that's the receiver we hope to see all year. He will crush his current ADP if he's 100 percent healthy.
Williams won't be as good as his 2016 production with Keenan Allen back from last year's torn ACL, as well as Hunter Henry and Antonio Gates stealing production. But he definitely benefits if Mike Williams is out for the season, which is a possibility given his back injury. If that happens then look for Tyrell Williams' ADP to rise, but his current value is a steal given his upside.
Walker should lose production this year with the Titans adding Davis and Eric Decker in the offseason to go with Rishard Matthews and a strong running game. His production declined last year with Matthews coming to Tennessee, and it's hard to consider Walker a top-10 tight end this season.
Bennett did well as a replacement for Gronkowski in New England last year, and he should have plenty of big moments with the Packers. Give him credit for leaving Brady to play with Rodgers, which is a great career move. But there are plenty of mouths to feed in Green Bay, and Bennett's production could get lost on a weekly basis. He's a low-end starter at best.
Howard should not be considered a potential No. 1 Fantasy tight end this year, especially since the Buccaneers still have Brate as the potential starter. It's hard to rely on rookie tight ends for consistent Fantasy production, and Howard should be considered more of a No. 2 option on Draft Day with a late-round pick.
Fantasy owners are skeptical to count on Rudolph after his career season in 2016, but it might not be a fluke. His quarterback (Sam Bradford) and offensive coordinator (Pat Shurmur) have a history of leaning on their tight end, and Rudolph should continue to be the best red-zone threat for the Vikings. Another year of 80 catches, 800 yards and seven touchdowns is likely.
As long as Luck is healthy, Doyle has the chance for a breakout season this year. Luck loves leaning on his tight ends, and Doyle could score at least eight touchdowns with 70 catches and more than 700 yards. He's definitely worth waiting for on Draft Day, but he has the chance to be a top-10 tight end in all leagues.
The addition of rookie receiver Kenny Golladay could hurt Ebron this year, but he should be in line for a boost in touchdowns with Boldin gone. Last year, Boldin led the Lions with eight touchdowns, and we hope Ebron gets a good chunk of that production. He's a great tight end to wait for given his upside compared to his ADP.
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