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Top 10 Risers in Standard Leagues

Written By: Howard Bender on 8/30/2013 2:19 PM

With the fourth and final preseason game out of the way and teams paring down their rosters to the mandatory 53-man maximum, position battles we’ve been tracking throughout the offseason have be decidedly won and lost. With that, fantasy football drafts are now kicking into overdrive as leagues that prefer to wait until the last possible moment are now squeezing in their drafts before the opening of the regular season this coming Thursday. Thanks to that push, we’re seeing some movement in the ADP data that is both reflective of roster moves as well as public perception of expected performances. Today we’re going to look at the top 10 risers in the ADP data for Standard leagues and over the next few days, we’ll hit the fallers in standard leagues and then the risers and fallers in PPR play. This is your final push if you haven’t drafted yet. Good luck!

Top 10 Risers in Standard Leagues

Player Pos Team Current ADP Change 1 Wk Ago Change 2 Wks Ago Overall Trend
Eddie Lacy RB GB 63.00 2.80% 64.76 12.30% 72.71 15.40%
Giovani Bernard RB CIN 77.33 4.40% 80.73 9.50% 88.39 14.30%
Jordan Cameron TE CLE 176.17 -6.30% 165.08 21.00% 199.79 13.40%
Kenbrell Thompkins WR NE 174.67 11.60% 194.92
-NR- ++
Reggie Bush RB DET 39.86 6.60% 42.48 4.70% 44.48 11.60%
Joique Bell RB DET 187.71 9.40% 205.31 1.80% 209.05 11.40%
Matt Forte RB CHI 18.83 -1.90% 18.47 13.40% 20.95 11.30%
Darren Sproles RB NO 74.33 -2.60% 72.37 13.60% 82.18 10.60%
Michael Vick QB PHI 172.74 1.30% 175.00 7.80% 188.73 9.30%
Jonathan Dwyer RB PIT 193.40 0.60% 194.48 7.90% 209.87 8.50%

With DuJuan Harris suffering a season-ending knee injury and the announcement that Eddie Lacy would see an increase in his role in the backfield, the young running back from Alabama has seen his ADP climb steadily, including a 15.4% increase over just the last two weeks. Lacy will assume the number one role in a Green Bay offense desperately in need of a running game to help take the pressure of both Aaron Rodgers and the offensive line and should see somewhere in the neighborhood of 20 touches per game to give the offensive attack some balance. The increased role has helped push him from a late seventh/early eighth round pick to a late fourth/early fifth round grab.

While BenJarvis Green-Ellis is still considered the starting running back in Cincinnati, Giovani Bernard continues to carve out a larger role for himself and fantasy owners are indeed buying, as evidenced by his 14.6% climb over these last two weeks. Bernard has three one-yard touchdowns here in the preseason and has established his presence as a goal-line threat and it might not be long before this now sixth-round pick takes over the primary role for the Bengals.

All it took was a two-touchdown game in the Browns second preseason game to put Jordan Cameron on the “sleeper” map and he’s been climbing up the ADP ranks ever since. He’s gone up by 13.4% over the last two weeks and went from a relative unknown, undrafted player to a late-round pick-up going somewhere in the 13th or 14th round of a 12-team draft. Should you land him late like this, then it makes sense, but should he be taken earlier, he’ll lose his sleeper status and truthfully any real draft value.

While I can take the blame for putting him on my sleeper list weeks ago, Kenbrell Thompkins has now become a household name thanks to his ability on the field. He’s racked up 15 catches for 166 yards and has been consistently praised by Tom Brady for his work as a receiver in the Patriots’ offense. He was undrafted in most league as early as two weeks ago and now, after an 11.6% increase in just this past week, he’s most commonly going in the 14th round. Unfortunately though, if you try to wait that long, he might not be available, so while I hate recommending a reach, it’s possible that he doesn’t make it past the 10th round anymore, and even that might be late for the fast-rising star.

The word is out that Reggie Bush is supposed to see somewhere in the neighborhood of 70 targets this season, in addition to his regular carries out of the backfield, and that’s just planned plays. That doesn’t account for potential dump-offs on broken plays and other scenarios where the Lions have to adjust on the fly. He’s more of a favorite in PPR leagues, but as you can see by his 11.6% increase over the last two weeks, he’s gaining immense popularity in standard play as well. The early third round is where you should be looking for him.

Bush’s teammate Joique Bell is seeing a very similar increase (11.4%) as those who now own Bush are guaranteeing themselves a lock on the Detroit running game. But even those who don’t own him are looking to get a piece of the action. Since Bush isn’t exactly the modicum of health, grabbing Bell at some point late in your draft could land you a starting back in a very potent offense.

While Matt Forte usually goes higher in a PPR league, his popularity continues to increase in standard leagues as well. His preseason has been absolutely phenomenal and reports claim that he’s looking faster than ever before. He’s averaging just under 10 yards per carry during the Bears first three preseason games and he’s apparently being given back the role of goal-line back as well. If this holds, then this two-pick, 11.3% increase he’s seen over the last two weeks could go higher in just a couple of days here.

Either there’s no faith in Mark Ingram seeing his role increase as the lead running back in New Orleans and Darren Sproles will see an increase in carries or standard league owners simply don’t care about the rushing yards and are content with getting credit for Sproles’ receiving work. His 10.6% increase amounts to just a handful of picks, but he’s certainly not falling out of favor, is he?

Philadelphia quarterback Michael Vick has seen a 9.3% increase over the last two weeks and is starting to go somewhere around the 13th or 14th round in many drafts. But while his ADP is climbing, he’s still considered just a back-up in fantasy as one of the things you always have to expect is that he will likely miss maybe four or five games during the season as his playing style opens the door for fearsome hits and potential injuries. Personally, I can’t recommend him as I don’t think he’s got the weapons anymore, what with so many season-ending injuries to the wide receiver corps, but hey…maybe that’s just me.

And finally, there’s good ol’ Jonathan Dwyer and his 8.5% increase. Unfortunately though, that number should head south soon enough as it was Isaac Redman and not Dwyer who was named the starting running back while Le’Veon Bell  remains out. But do yourself a favor and avoid this situation like the plague.


Howard Bender has been covering fantasy sports for over a decade on a variety of web sites. You can find his personal musings on and for questions, thoughts or comments, you can follow him on Twitter at @rotobuzzguy or email him at


By freakzilla154l, 8/30/2013 4:44 PM
I like Ingram and he is young. Anyone else like Ingram? Haha.

By Jutt, 8/31/2013 7:09 PM
Dwyer Cut