Average draft position, also known as ADP in the language of the fantasy geek, is the vein that pumps blood through our selections. Without a clear understanding of where players are going to go – and if they’re worth that price – we are wandering through the wilderness without a flashlight.
Travis Kelce is a perfect example. It’s very easy to see he is a Gronkonian beast on his way to a breakout year. Because that’s so clear, you’ll likely need to use a fourth or early fifth-round pick to secure him. I think Kelce is worth that price, but his ADP leaves a lot of room for debate. He’s clearly not a sleeper.
Heading into Draft Week, realize that what our opponents think of players matters just as much as what we think of them. Here are some very good players who are simply too expensive:
LeSean McCoy is a naturally gifted runner on track for roughly 300 carries. Normally, that’s a formula for a strong second-round fantasy pick. But McCoy is draped in red flags that make him a risk. First and foremost, he was awful throughout the 2014 season, getting badly outplayed by Darren Sproles and losing late-season goal-line work to Chris Polk. That was in spite of playing in a RB-friendly Chip Kelly scheme and running behind an elite offensive line. Now McCoy will have to deal with one of the league’s worst O-lines and he now plays for a team that projects be among the league’s worst in redzone opportunities. Rob Gronkowski, Randall Cobb and A.J. Green are all better picks at similar ADPs.
Are we sure Alfred Morris is actually good? He was elite while playing for Mike Shanahan, whose legendary zone-blocking scheme also made guys like Mike Anderson, Olandis Gary and Tatum Bell fantasy studs. That also coincided with the presence of Robert Griffin III, a running threat who occupied defenses on every play. This year, Alf will be pushed by impressive rookie Matt Jones and is on a team littered with even more dysfunction than ever before. I wouldn’t take Morris in the fifth round, let alone the third where he currently goes. Give me Brandin Cooks, Jordan Matthews, Alshon Jeffery, Mike Evans, DeAndre Hopkins or Mark Ingram instead.
Would you rather have Peyton Manning in the fourth round or Eli Manning in the ninth? Before you answer, go back and watch Peyton over the final two months of last season, in addition to this preseason. Then think about a new Gary Kubiak scheme that is going to emphasize extreme balance and turn Peyton into more of a game manager that won’t be throwing in the fourth quarter of blowouts. Meanwhile, Eli projects to sling it in shootouts thanks to a brutal defense and loaded offensive weaponry. Peyton’s ADP is so high only because of his name.
BOX – ADP Undervalued
1. Sam Bradford, Eagles – Been an obvious late-round steal all summer as he enters the land of Chip.
2. Greg Olsen, Panthers – Going to be an absolute target monster now that Kelvin Benjamin is done.
3. David Johnson, Cardinals – Andre Ellington falling out of favor as a feature back, opening door for the hyper-athletic Johnson.