2018 Fantasy Football Draft Prep: ADP review heading into Labor Day weekend

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Labor Day weekend is typically the busiest time for Fantasy Football drafts, and we want to make sure you're ready. With that in mind, here's one last look at Average Draft Position, which is a great guide to help build your team.

Let's start by looking at what the first round is like now.

  1. Todd Gurley, RB, Rams
  2. Le'Veon Bell, RB, Steelers
  3. David Johnson, RB, Cardinals
  4. Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Cowboys
  5. Antonio Brown, WR, Steelers
  6. Saquon Barkley, RB, Giants
  7. Alvin Kamara, RB, Saints
  8. Kareem Hunt, RB, Chiefs
  9. Leonard Fournette, RB, Jaguars
  10. Melvin Gordon, RB, Chargers
  11. DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Texans
  12. Odell Beckham, WR, Giants

The first six picks are exactly the way I have it ranked in my top 200 for non-PPR leagues. I have the next six picks as Gordon, Fournette, Kamara, Hopkins, Hunt and Beckham. But I have no complaints on this ADP because these are the top 12 guys.

In PPR, I have it ranked Gurley, Bell, Johnson, Brown, Elliott, Kamara, Barkley, Hopkins, Gordon, Hunt, Beckham and Keenan Allen. And based on ADP, which is a compilation of all scoring formats, Allen is the No. 19 player off the board.

The second round of ADP looks like this: Dalvin Cook, Christian McCaffrey, Julio Jones, Devonta Freeman, Aaron Rodgers, Michael Thomas, Allen, Rob Gronkowski, Davante Adams, A.J. Green, LeSean McCoy and Jerick McKinnon

There's no way you should draft Freeman, Rodgers, McCoy or McKinnon in Round 2 unless it's Rodgers in a two-quarterback league. And in PPR, I have no problem if McCaffrey, Jones or Allen are drafted in Round 1.

Now, let's dive further into the ADP to find guys rising and falling at each position going into Labor Day weekend. And you can view all the ADP data here


On the rise: Ben Roethlisberger, Andrew Luck, Matthew Stafford, Eli Manning

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Ben Roethlisberger PIT • QB • 7
2017 stats
CMP %6,420.0

We haven't seen much quarterback movement in ADP of guys moving up, although Manning has climbed the most at six spots to No. 139 overall. Still, not many people are targeting Manning as anything more than a late-round flier as a No. 2 Fantasy quarterback.

Roethlisberger has only moved two spots to No. 69 overall, Luck is up No. 71 overall and Stafford is at No. 98 overall. Of these guys, I like Stafford's value the best because he's a top 12 quarterback that you can get in Round 9.

One quarterback without an ADP heading into Labor Day weekend is Andy Dalton, which is a mistake. Dalton has a tremendous Week 1 matchup at the Colts, and he's a perfect fallback option if Carson Wentz (knee) doesn't play. He can also be a good alternative if you don't want to start Patrick Mahomes (at LAC) or Jimmy Garoppolo (at MIN).

While it's risky to trust Dalton, he has played well this preseason and has healthy weapons with Tyler Eifert and John Ross joining A.J. Green and Joe Mixon. And the Colts could have one of the worst defenses in the NFL this year.

On the decline: Drew Brees, Carson Wentz, Jimmy Garoppolo, Marcus Mariota

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Drew Brees NO • QB • 9
2017 stats
CMP %7,200.0

Last week, Brees was rising in ADP to No. 44 overall, so it's good to see him decline slightly to No. 48. While I love Brees this year, it's still too soon to draft him in Round 4.

Wentz continues to decline as his availability for Week 1 is in question. He's now at No. 72 overall as the No. 9 quarterback off the board, and that's still too soon for me.

Garoppolo is still the No. 10 quarterback at No. 83 overall, and I'm not sure why he's ADP is falling. It could be because of his Week 1 matchup against the Vikings, but I still expect Garoppolo to have a big year in 2018.

And Mariota is down to No. 137 overall, which is great value if you want to take a flier on him as a No. 2 quarterback this year. He hasn't looked great in the preseason, but I wouldn't be surprised if he emerged as a low-end starting option this season.

Running backs

On the rise: Royce Freeman, Carlos Hyde, Jamaal Williams, Chris Carson, Peyton Barber

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Royce Freeman DEN • RB • 28
2017 stats at Oregon

A strong preseason has pushed Freeman up to No. 43 overall, and he might go even higher in drafts this weekend. The Broncos need to get Devontae Booker out of the way and give Freeman the full-time job -- as early as Week 1 against Seattle.

Hyde has proven to be the featured back in Cleveland this preseason, which is why his ADP is up to No. 75 overall. Like Freeman, look for Hyde to be drafted sooner than that, possibly as high as Round 5 in the majority of leagues.

Williams is a steal at No. 80 overall, but that's not realistic. After Packers coach Mike McCarthy praised Williams this week, as well as Aaron Jones (suspension) being out for the first two games, look for Williams to potentially be drafted as early as Round 4.

Carson (Seattle) and Barber (Tampa Bay) have solidified themselves as the best running backs on their respective teams, and they should see their ADP rise this weekend. Carson is currently at No. 95 overall, and Barber is at No. 103. Both will not be available that late in most leagues when you draft, and you should consider either one in the Round 6 range.

On the decline: Jay Ajayi, Chris Thompson, Sony Michel, Tarik Cohen, C.J. Anderson

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Jay Ajayi PHI • RB • 26
2017 stats

I was skeptical of Ajayi when he was being drafted toward the end of Round 3 or beginning of Round 4, but at No. 49 overall he's not a bad selection. I would prefer him closer to Round 6, especially in PPR, but he should get about 200 total touches in a great offense when everyone is healthy.

Thompson has seen his value decline after the Redskins signed Adrian Peterson, who has an ADP of No. 107 overall. I don't want Thompson at No. 92 overall in non-PPR leagues, but that's a good spot for him in PPR. I still expect him to be Washington's best running back this season.

Michel (knee) could return for Week 1, but his status is in doubt after missing all of the preseason. Rex Burkhead (No. 81 overall) is the Patriots running back to draft first in the majority of leagues, but Michel has fallen to No. 93 overall and should continue to decline. It's not a bad idea to try and get both Burkhead and Michel on Draft Day.

Cohen didn't have a good preseason, which has caused his stock to decline, and he's at No. 96 overall. He still has plenty of potential in this Chicago offense as a complement to Jordan Howard, but Round 9 is the earliest you should consider him in any format.

And Anderson has seen his ADP plummet because Christian McCaffrey looks like a potential workhorse for the Panthers. I'd still gamble on Anderson at No. 130 overall, but Round 11 is a fair price for him after how McCaffrey has played this preseason. McCaffrey should be a top 15 overall pick in any league.

Wide receivers

On the rise: Emmanuel Sanders, Nelson Agholor, Keelan Cole, John Brown, Chris Godwin

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Emmanuel Sanders DEN • WR • 10
2017 stats - 12 games

Sanders is another player who had a strong preseason and has shown a good rapport with new quarterback Case Keenum. As a result, his ADP is up to No. 90 overall, and he's someone to consider as a low-end starting option.

Agholor should benefit with Alshon Jeffery (shoulder) expected to be out for at least two games, and he's at No. 105 overall, which could be a steal. The same goes for Cole at No. 135 overall, and he should be the best receiver in Jacksonville with Marqise Lee (knee) out for the year.

Brown played well in the preseason, and his ADP is up to No. 149 overall. He's an excellent late-round flier, and he could emerge as a quality weapon for Joe Flacco in Baltimore.

Godwin is one of my favorite sleepers this season, and his ADP is up to No. 152 overall. Word out of Tampa Bay is he should be the No. 2 receiver for the Buccaneers behind Mike Evans, and I like him as a potential No. 3 Fantasy receiver heading into the season.

On the decline: Sammy Watkins, Randall Cobb, Allen Hurns, DJ Moore, Rishard Matthews

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Sammy Watkins KC • WR • 14
2017 stats

Watkins was terrible this preseason, and his ADP is down to No. 94 overall. He will hopefully turn things around when the games count, but he's fourth at best in terms of touches behind Kareem Hunt, Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce. It could be hard for Watkins to produce like a Fantasy starter on a consistent basis this year.

Cobb is down to No. 102 overall, and he could end up as a great value pick at that spot. Still, he's been limited with his production the past two seasons and is hard to trust, even with Aaron Rodgers back from last year's collarbone injury and Jordy Nelson (Oakland) gone. 

Hurns could end up as the best Cowboys receiver this season with Dez Bryant gone, but I'd rather take a chance on Michael Gallup (No. 140 overall), who has been one of my favorite rookies since the NFL Draft. Hurns is down to No. 134 overall.

Moore (No. 142 overall) is falling like most of the rookie receivers. Calvin Ridley (No. 117), Moore and Anthony Miller (No. 153) have all dropped in ADP, and they are all just last-round picks at this point. There's upside with all three, but don't draft them as anything more than No. 4 Fantasy receivers.

I'm still hopeful Matthews will make an impact this season, but the knee injury that kept him out this preseason has caused his value to decline. Still, he's worth a late-round flier at No. 152 overall.

Tight ends

On the rise: Trey Burton, Jordan Reed, Austin Seferian-Jenkins

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Trey Burton CHI • TE • 80
2017 stats in Philadelphia

Burton is one of my favorite players this season, and it's good to see his ADP rise to No. 82 overall. He's the No. 9 tight end off the board, but I consider him a top five Fantasy tight end this year.

Reed is healthy and on track to play in Week 1 at Arizona. If he can make it through 13-plus games, he will contend to be a top five Fantasy tight end. He's a great value pick at No. 96 overall.

Seferian-Jenkins should benefit with Lee out, and he's worth a flier at No. 149 overall. He also has a great Week 1 matchup at the Giants.

On the decline: Delanie Walker, George Kittle, Benjamin Watson

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Delanie Walker TEN • TE • 82
2017 stats

Walker battled a reported toe injury in the preseason, but he should be fine for Week 1 at Miami. He's down five spots to No. 80 overall, but he's still a solid No. 1 Fantasy tight end in all leagues.

Kittle should be fine for Week 1 at Minnesota despite a shoulder injury that kept him out for most of the preseason. I don't plan to start him against the Vikings, but he's a steal at No. 138 overall. He still projects as a low-end starting option this season.

Watson is a great late-round flier despite his ADP dropping to No. 150 overall. Being reunited with Brees will help Watson produce like a low-end No. 1 tight end in 2018.

So what sleepers should you snatch in your Fantasy Football draft? And which huge running backs do you need to jump all over? Visit SportsLine now to get Fantasy Football cheat sheets from the model that called Alvin Kamara's huge breakout last season and find out.

Senior Fantasy Writer

Jamey Eisenberg has been a Senior Fantasy Writer for CBS Sports since 2006 with a focus on Fantasy Football. A University of Florida grad (class of '98), Jamey got his start in the newspaper business and... Full Bio

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