When you get a significant increase in the amount of draft data you’re looking at, it’s always good to stop and analyze some of the fluctuations you see in ADP trends. Some of them, we’ve seen on more than one occasion, so they don’t come as much of a shock today as they did a few weeks ago. But there are certainly a few noticeable trends that not only will surprise you, but could end up altering your entire draft strategy.
|Current ADP||Change||1 Week Ago||Change||2 Weeks Ago||Overall Trend|
We’ve been watching Jimmy Graham climb the ADP ranks a little more each and every week since this series began a month ago, so to see him continue to rise shouldn’t be that surprising. Graham, for all intents and purposes is a wide receiver trapped in a tight end’s body. He’s a great route runner, has great hands, and has a vertical leap that actually puts most players to shame. His value goes even higher in a PPR league as he is, without question, Drew Brees’ number one target. And if he isn’t the primary on a particular play, he’s certainly the first guy Brees looks for if the primary is covered.
Given the injuries he’s suffered over the years, Darren McFadden’s meteoric rise in the past week is a bit of an eye-opener. He’s getting more attention with Michael Bush gone and apparently little faith in Mike Goodson or Taiwan Jones poaching carries, but a move into the first round in some leagues is questionable for a guy who played in just seven games last season, has never played all 16 games in a given year and has rushed for 1,000 or more only once in his four years in the NFL. He looks great in camp right now and he’s apparently 100% healthy. How long that lasts, though, is something we’ll just have to wait and see.
We covered Aaron Rodgers in our last PPR Risers piece. Nothing more we can say about the guy. He’s a bona fide stud and it’s quarterbacks like him that are changing the landscapes of all fantasy football drafts as people are more inclined to take the guarantee at QB than the risk at the running back or wide receiver position.
Darren Sproles continues to climb up the ranks in PPR leagues, obviously more than in NFL standard leagues as the game plan in New Orleans hasn’t changed with the absence of Sean Payton. It’s still the same crew in the backfield and Sproles will likely see the same number of touches he saw last year. If you were in a keeper league last year, you probably got him for a song, so coming into this season with him already rostered should give you a nice leg up.
Is there anything that really needs to be said about Calvin Johnson’s continued ascension in PPR leagues? Probably not. He’s been going as high as fourth in a lot of drafts and, based on the data, if you can get him at the eighth pick, then you should be thanking the fantasy gods for the bargain you’ve just received.
Larry Fitzgerald’s climb comes at no shock either as he continues to be one of the most frequently targeted players in the game. A healthy Kevin Kolb should be huge and the presence of Michael Floyd should help pull the double-teams off him. He’s a no-brainer second round pick in PPR leagues, but just how far into the second round you can go and still be able to find him is a different story.
The rise for Matt Forte will probably come more in PPR leagues than it will in NFL standard league due to the presence of Michael Bush. Forte should be a great guy between the 20’s and will certainly get his fair share of the 20-yard dump-offs for a touchdown, but when it comes to work inside the 10, he’s probably going to see a reduction in touches.
And finally there’s the salsa-loving Victor Cruz who has been making a steady climb over the last few weeks and it just about to climb into the second round for 12-team leagues. It shouldn’t come as much of a surprise either as his breakout year could just be the tip of the iceberg as the Giants transition into a much more passing-oriented offense.
|Current ADP||Change||1 Week Ago||Change||2 Weeks Ago||Overall Trend|
The most noticeable thing here is the large number of top running backs that are taking a hit in the ADP rankings here in PPR leagues. While normally, and by that, we’re referring to drafts over the last 10 years, the running backs are the first to go, no matter what. However, with the instability at the position growing – the injuries and the two-back systems being implemented – people are looking to alternatives with their first and second round picks. As stated before, a quarterback with the consistency of Rodgers is going to go ahead of a running back who may have an aura of doubt surrounding him. The same goes for the trusted receivers like Megatron, Fitz and even Graham.
That’s not to say that Arian Foster isn’t going to produce as strongly as he has, but with the Houston passing game intact right now and the presence of Ben Tate, perhaps he’s not as sure a thing as some of the aforementioned players at other skill positions. Foster is still a beast, but if you’re in a PPR league and Megatron can get you bigger points, then how does it make sense to stay with him?
Rookie running back Trent Richardson is taking a beating in the ADP ranks and a slightly bigger one than in NFL standard leagues. With so much uncertainty surrounding the Cleveland offense, it’s really a wonder that he’s still going in the first round. The free-fall may end with a strong showing in camp, but until the QB situation is 100-percent resolved and the offense is working ass close to a well-oiled machine as it can be, there’s always going to be some doubt.
As stated in the last article involving PPR fallers, the drop in the rankings that A.J. Green is taking is mind-boggling. It will be great for Green supporters as the lower he drops the bigger the bargain he becomes, but there’s always going to be a question of whether someone knows something we don’t. The research done on him here is complete and the Bengals offense has been well-studied, so it’s still a bit of a head-scratcher. He’s already fallen into the third round of 12-team leagues, and that there is already a huge bargain.
Marshawn Lynch is another guy we’ve discussed recently and while a slight drop for him in PPR leagues shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, it’s some of the reasoning that is. If you’re bypassing Lynch because he doesn’t do a whole lot of pass-catching, then that’s totally understandable. But if you’re bypassing him because of legal issues and a potential suspension, you are being misguided. The NFL cannot suspend without a guilty verdict and Lynch’s lawyers are dragging this one to court which means it could be several months before it even lands in front of a judge. Don’t draft Lynch in PPR leagues because he doesn’t catch passes, not because of a DUI.
The drop for Adrian Peterson is expected and he will probably continue to descend in the ADP rankings until we start getting some glowing practice reports. The knee surgery is a big factor and it makes him not just a risky play in PPR leagues, but in all leagues.
Cam Newton is starting to see a little bit of a drop as rumors are circulating that he won’t be grabbing as many rushing touchdowns as he did last season. And it’s difficult to not believe them. With the potential for injury and the presence of bruisers like Mike Tolbert and Jonathan Stewart, there is a strong chance that the Panthers become a lot more cautious about allowing their franchise QB to call that quarterback sneak at will.
The drop in PPR leagues for LeSean McCoy is easily explained when you put him next to Ray Rice and compare offenses. Michael Vick likes to scramble a ton and with receivers like DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin, his options are a lot wider than that of the sedentary Joe Flacco and the limited aerial attack of the Ravens. It look sa little different in NFL standard leagues, but for PPR, it’s almost a no-brainer. Almost.
And finally, the drop out of the first round for Drew Brees is simply a matter of players like Graham, Fitzgerald and even McFadden climbing up. Nothing more than that. Brees will still be highly coveted and those picking at the wheel could just as easily take him first.
Howard Bender has been covering fantasy sports for over a decade on a variety of web sites. You can follow him on Twitter at @rotobuzzguy or for questions, thoughts or comments, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By bondta, 8/3/2012 8:49 PM
It would be much more meaningful to show changes in actual draft position. For instance, Arian Foster dropping 12% or 0.2 draft positions is basically meaningless. However, someone who has shifted from a 12th round to a 10th round draft pick would indicate someone who is truly on the move.
By lvtdude, 8/3/2012 11:25 PM
It shows the previous ADP's and the current ADP. Did you not see that?
By Howard Bender, 8/4/2012 7:25 AM
The biggest shifts we are seeing right now are still found within the top 50 as people are still trying to figure out initial strategy and how they're going to lay out their first few picks. The further we make it into the preseason is when you'll start seeing a lot more shifting in the middle to later rounds as more sleepers emerge and position battles are won and lost in camp. You'll see plenty of round jumping soon enough.
By bondta, 8/4/2012 12:27 PM
Thanks Howard - I always find the riser/faller information to be very useful in drafts, so I look forward to additional updates.
Lvtdude - my point may have not been clear. To clarify, this list shows the top movers by percent of ADP. Because of this, someone who is drafted early barely needs to move to have a high percentage change (e.g. Arian Foster going from 1.3 to 1.5 or a 20% drop). Meanwhile, someone like Stevan Ridley, who is moving up 10+ draft spots, is left off the list because the percent change is less than 10%.
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