Studying the ADP Trend Report can be one of the most helpful tools when determining exactly what picks you are going to make and at exactly what time you’re going to make them. If you see that the rest of the fantasy world is all about running backs (as they should be) then you know you can wait a few rounds and still find yourself a top five quarterback a little later. If there is a strong increase in wide receiver movement, you know that you may have to act a little quicker on a wideout than you may have originally planned. The trend report is not an exact science by any means, but it certainly gives you a strong barometer for the direction your draft may take. Every league is different and you’ll have owners making some oddball picks, for sure, but for the most part, the sheep tend to not stray too far from the flock.
Below is a breakdown of what the first three rounds of a 12-team NFL Standard League draft could look like based on the most recent ADP Trend Report. The data used to determine the percentages of movement is based on a rotating series of mock drafts that take place over a two week span. The closer we get to the start of the season, the more drafts and the more raw data we will have to work with, but now is a great time to start as those that are participating in drafts here in July are usually the hardcore owners that are trying to gauge the market and see where some of their potential favorites will go.
|Current ADP||Change||1 Week Ago||Change||2 Weeks Ago||Overall Trend|
One of the most important things to remember when looking at the trending data here amongst the top 12 picks is that even the slightest move within this group can result in a high percentage differential. Take a look at Ryan Mathews, for example. Over a two week span, he went from being the seventh or eighth pick in most drafts to the fifth or sixth pick. Not an immense jump, by any means, but this high up in the ADP rankings, it results in a 40-plus percent jump. So while keeping an eye on some of the numbers here can be useful, it’s the general positive or negative swing that is most important.
With 10 of the 12 potential picks being running backs, it’s very easy to see which way might be best for you to go when deciding upon your first pick. With so many teams moving to a two-back committee approach – one to run on the outside (pass catcher, third down back) and one to run in between the tackles – it’s the guys that sit alone in their backfields that become the most valuable.
While both Aaron Rogers and Calvin Johnson are easily the top players at their respective positions, both are seeing a drop in their rankings with such a strong desire to roster a full-time back. Both Trent Richardson and Chris Johnson recently leapfrogged them both and it should only be a matter of time before both Marshawn Lynch and Adrian Peterson come close to doing the same.
Dallas RB DeMarco Murray has taken a strong increase over these last two weeks, but it might not be a trend that sticks for too long. Training camp will have a serious impact on where he ultimately lands in most drafts. Murray sits atop the depth chart for the Cowboys, but Felix Jones is still there and could compete for serious playing time. Jones is in the final year of his rookie contract, so he’ll obviously be looking to showcase his talents as much as possible with the hopes of a big pay-day after the season. If both manage to stay healthy this year, we could see a move to a more committee-like approach.
|Current ADP||Change||1 Week Ago||Change||2 Weeks Ago||Overall Trend|
This is where we start to see the influx of other players at different positions. Running backs are still dominating the list of players taken, but we’re moving closer to multi-back approaches which obviously reduces the potential for fantasy points.
But looking in the Overall Trend column, it’s easy to see where most owners are still leaning. Save for WR A.J. Green, each non-RB player has seen a drop in their recent ADP rankings as more and more people are in need of a solid rusher. Especially in the top half of the second round as the guys picking here are the ones that likely bypassed a running back in the first round and went with someone like Rogers or Megatron. Being “on the turn”, as they say, is a great place to pick as you’re able to fill both a thin position and grab a number one player at a different spot with two successive picks.
While Michael Turner has seen the largest overall increase in this round, he could start to trend downwards once camp starts up and the Falcons start giving more work to Jacquizz Rodgers and Jason Snelling. It was recently announced by the team that it was likely a direction they were leaning towards given Turner’s age and heavy workload over the last few seasons. Turner is still their main guy, but a reduction in carries could lead to running backs like Doug Martin and Frank Gore jumping over him.
Another interesting situation to watch will be in New Orleans and how the public views the team on a personal level. Fantasy sports should be treated like a business, but because it is also a game, personal feelings always come into play. How much of an impact will the suspensions from Bounty-Gate have on the mental make-up of the Saints? What about the changes in coaching staff? Do people feel that this will have a negative impact on the offensive production of the team or will it be business as usual for the high-octane offense of New Orleans? Drew Brees has taken a recent 13.7 percent drop, but is all of that due solely from a desire to own a running back? Tracking the Saints will be something we continue to re-visit throughout the offseason.
|Current ADP||Change||1 Week Ago||Change||2 Weeks Ago||Overall Trend|
The names might be different, but the overall sense you should be getting is that it’s really not much different than round 2. The first round was virtually all RBs. The second was about half as some owners locked themselves into two strong rushers while others spread it out a little more. Here in round three, it’s more of the same. Those that grabbed themselves two top rushers in the first two rounds are now branching out to the remaining top five quarterbacks, high-end wide receivers and even a top pass-catching tight end like Jimmy Graham, and Rob Gronkowski. Those that split their positions early are now trying to lock in the best available running backs and solidify themselves at the position.
The departure of Brandon Jacobs has certainly increased the appeal of Ahmad Bradshaw, as evidenced by his 20.3% increase, but the fact that he remains down here in round three indicates that not everyone is sold on him. There’s obviously the injury risk as we’ve seen Bradshaw go down a few times over the years, but also because the Giants are steadily moving away from being a run-first team as Eli Manning has an incredible arsenal of top receivers at his disposal.
Arizona RB Chris “Beanie” Wells has also seen a fairly sizable increase, but you’ll really have to watch that trend as we move closer to the season. The coaching staff was recently raving about the fact that Ryan Williams (patellar tendon surgery) seems so far ahead of schedule in his workouts and have officially “challenged” Wells to do more as the other backs have looked so good during their offseason campaigns. Wells is also coming off of knee surgery, so pushing himself this early could possibly hurt him in the long-run if he tries to do too much.
The player to watch in this group could be Steven Jackson who is surprisingly down here in the third round. There was talk back in late April of him being dissatisfied with his contract and trade rumors swirled, especially if the Rams were to trade up to grab Trent Richardson in the draft. But nothing ever materialized from that and Jackson holds the starting job all to himself right now. A possible increase in ADP ranking could/should be on the horizon.
Come back over the weekend as we’ll be taking a look at the next three rounds and discuss the trend fluctuations as people decide whether it add depth or continue building their starting roster. Sometimes it’s not always about taking the best player on the board.
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