As the calendar flips to August, with training camp in full swing, it's time to start looking at the CBS Sports Average Draft Position and see what's happening as Fantasy drafts start to take place. This is a good guide to use as your Draft Day approaches, and we'll be analyzing the CBS Sports ADP every Monday until the season starts.
Now, let's make something clear from the start: ADP is just a guide. This is not a crutch to help you draft your Fantasy team. If there's a player you like, you don't need to wait for his ADP to draft him.
This is just draft room data to show you when players are being selected in the majority of leagues on CBS Sports. You can see the entire list, broken down by position, right here.
For example, I like Ezekiel Elliott as the No. 5 player overall, regardless of format. But the early August ADP has him at No. 14 overall as the No. 10 running back off the board. I expect that to change as more Fantasy managers buy back into Elliott following a down year in 2020 when Dak Prescott and the offensive line dealt with injuries, especially with the Cowboys on HBO's Hard Knocks this season. But Elliott's ADP was glaring at first look.
Let's take a look at some more early ADP talking points by position. Hopefully, there are some things you can learn from this data as we get closer to your Draft Day.
When I look at the ADP for quarterbacks, I usually like to see the order instead of the overall selection because every league values the position differently. And with more Superflex and two-quarterback leagues starting, sometimes that alters the ADP for the position.
It was surprising to see Justin Herbert as the No. 3 quarterback with an ADP of 19.68. I like Herbert a lot heading into his sophomore season, but he should not be drafted ahead of Lamar Jackson, Kyler Murray and Dak Prescott since those quarterbacks have more upside. I would even select Russell Wilson ahead of Herbert.
Based on the ADP, Murray is the No. 4 quarterback at 25.76, Jackson is No. 5 at 26.69 and Prescott is No. 6 at 38.64. I recently ranked Jackson as the No. 2 quarterback behind Mahomes, simply because I like his ceiling a little better than Allen. But Jackson should be drafted ahead of Herbert this year.
One other quarterback ADP worth mentioning now is Trevor Lawrence as the No. 11 quarterback at 71.24. Lawrence has tremendous upside as a rookie for the Jaguars, but I would rather have Jalen Hurts (ADP of 79.94), Matthew Stafford (86.12) and Joe Burrow (73.47) over Lawrence heading into the season.
There are several backfields that have question marks about the starter heading into the season, including Arizona, Tampa Bay, Denver and San Francisco. Let's examine the ADP for those teams.
You'll likely see a theme here that I'd rather have the second running back at a better price, so waiting for Conner is something you might consider with the Cardinals. Edmonds has the higher ceiling of this duo for now, but Conner could easily be the best running back for Arizona and is significantly cheaper.
The ADP for the Buccaneers running backs is off in my opinion because I'd rather have Ronald Jones than Leonard Fournette. However, the early ADP has Fournette at 68.29, while Jones is at 115.14. Giovani Bernard is at 154.94, and you can make a case that Bernard is better than Fournette in PPR given Bernard's expected role in the passing game.
Fournette's ADP is likely higher than Jones because of what happened last year when Fournette helped Tampa Bay win the Super Bowl. But early reports out of training camp are that Jones looks great, and he's the running back to target in this backfield with a mid-round pick.
I'd rather have the upside of Williams here, but I have them ranked closely as well. Gordon should open the season as the starter, but Williams could steal the job during the year. If Gordon was a cheaper price than Williams then it would be easy to wait for the veteran, but I'm willing to pay for Williams in this backfield to see what happens during the season.
While Sermon might take over the starting job to open the season, Mostert is going to have a significant role when healthy. I like Mostert better right now and have him ranked higher, but I'd rather wait for Sermon if I can draft him later, even if it's a slight difference.
One other running back note is the current ADP for Darrell Henderson at 117.09. He's the biggest riser at the position following the Cam Akers (Achilles) injury, and Henderson is the No. 39 running back off the board.
I expect his ADP to be in the Round 4 range. Guys currently with an ADP in Round 4 include David Montgomery (38.04), Chris Carson (40.39), Miles Sanders (41.59), Josh Jacobs (41.89) and Travis Etienne (46.07).
The only running backs I would definitely draft ahead of Henderson now are Montgomery and Carson. You can make a strong argument that Henderson is better than the other guys in Round 4 since he's the new starting running back for the Rams.
The top four receivers based on the early ADP are Davante Adams, Tyreek Hill, Stefon Diggs and DeAndre Hopkins, and it's hard to argue that list given what they did in 2020 and are capable of doing again this season. Justin Jefferson comes in at No. 5 with an ADP of 29.21, and that's where things get interesting.
I like Calvin Ridley (ADP of 30.18) slightly better than Jefferson, but that is likely a personal choice on which receiver you would rather have. Jefferson was amazing in his rookie campaign last year, but I expect Ridley to build off his breakout third season from 2020 with an even bigger 2021 now that Julio Jones is no longer in Atlanta. These two receivers should be drafted in Round 2.
A.J. Brown (30.86), D.K. Metcalf (33.61), Keenan Allen (37.52), Allen Robinson (45.85) and Terry McLaurin (46.32) are the next five receivers off the board, and I love this group, especially if I can get Robinson or McLaurin in Round 4. Those are two receivers I plan to draft in Round 3 in most leagues this year, with McLaurin one of my favorite targets. I also plan to select Brown and Metcalf in Round 2, regardless of format.
Fantasy managers might face a tough decision when it comes to Amari Cooper (51.46) vs. CeeDee Lamb (51.89). Cooper should come off the PUP list soon after dealing with an ankle injury, while Lamb has been a training camp star so far. I'm currently drafting Lamb ahead of Cooper because I expect Lamb to have a higher ceiling this year, but both of them are back-to-back in my rankings. I would be thrilled to draft either of them in Round 5, but both are borderline third-round picks for me.
I was surprised to see Mike Evans (61.74) and Chris Godwin (62.14) fall into early Round 6, and they could go from potential bust candidates to bargains at this price. Both are still worth drafting as starting Fantasy options, but Tampa Bay bringing back Antonio Brown could be a problem for Evans and Godwin this season. I like Evans better in non-PPR leagues given his touchdown potential, but I would rather have Godwin in PPR since he should lead the team in receptions. Brown's ADP is 124.71, and he's easily the best value of the Buccaneers' receivers.
Ja'Marr Chase (60.29) is the top rookie receiver being selected based on the early ADP. Chase could be a little expensive in Round 5 given Cincinnati's loaded receiving corps, and Tee Higgins (73.15) and Tyler Boyd (100.52) might be better value selections if you want one of the Bengals pass catchers. I love targeting Boyd this year.
DeVonta Smith is at 92.57, but it will be interesting to see what happens with him following his knee injury. I still like Smith as a No. 3 Fantasy receiver, and he's worth drafting with a mid-round pick as long as he's healthy by the middle of August.
The ADP for the other prominent rookie receivers are Jaylen Waddle at 110.0, Rashod Bateman at 133.53, Rondale Moore at 134.12, Elijah Moore at 138.33, Terrace Marshall at 139.12, Kadarius Toney at 145.1 and Amon-Ra St. Brown at 145.8. Of this group, I plan to draft a lot of Elijah Moore, Marshall and St. Brown given their potential and cost this year.
The discussion at tight end starts at No. 2 following Travis Kelce, and it's fun to debate George Kittle vs. Darren Waller. Kittle has the higher ADP now at 24.64, with Waller at 33.21, and I would rather have Waller at that price. I have Waller ranked ahead of Kittle already, so it's easy to wait for him in Round 3 if given the choice.
The real excitement at tight end starts at No. 4 with Kyle Pitts (ADP of 50.15), Mark Andrews (51.68) and T.J. Hockenson (70.83). I like Hockenson the best of this trio, so his ADP is easily my favorite, and I plan to draft him as early as Round 5 this year.
I would also draft Andrews ahead of Pitts, but Pitts is the one with the most hype. He should be second on the team in targets behind Ridley, and he could be a star in his rookie campaign. I would prefer to draft him in Round 6, but all three of these tight ends have immense potential this season.
I was excited about Dallas Goedert coming into the season, but that was with the expectation of the Eagles moving on from Zach Ertz. He's still with the team at the start of training camp, so it's hard to draft Goedert as the No. 7 tight end at 77.68.
I dropped Goedert in my rankings behind Irv Smith (110.13), Noah Fant (89.71) and Adam Trautman (134.67), but I'll move Goedert back up if Ertz is somehow off Philadelphia's roster before the start of the season. Smith and Trautman are two of my favorite late-round targets this year.
Another surprise tight end based on ADP is Tyler Higbee, who is No. 9 at 102.17. I like Higbee as a low-end No. 1 tight end, but I would also draft Smith, Fant, Trautman and Goedert ahead of him.
The nice thing about Higbee this year is new Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford should be good for him. Higbee should also benefit from Gerald Everett now in Seattle.
So which sleepers, breakouts and busts should you target and fade? And which QB shocks the NFL with a top-five performance? Visit SportsLine now to get Fantasy cheat sheets for every single position, all from the model that called Josh Allen's huge season, and find out.