Last Minute ADP Trends to Consider
We’re just two days away from the start of the NFL regular season which means just two days left to draft your fantasy football team. While most leagues have completed their drafts, there are some that like to wait until the very last minute in order to have as much information available to them when they do finally step into that war room and make their selections. This final look at some of the recent ADP trends is for you. Still trying to figure out who you’re targeting in the fifth round? Still wondering if that sleeper tight end is going to be available to you in the 14th? How about your decision to wait on a quarterback? Still think you can hold off until the 8th? Obviously we can’t talk about each and every guy, but here are some notable movers for you to check out as the clock ticks down.
Jimmy Graham/Rob Gronkowski, TE NO/NE – I lump these two together as they’ve basically gone hand in hand all summer long. You can’t mention drafting one without the other coming up in the same conversation. Obviously neither one is considered a sleeper, but for the sake of these ADP trend articles, these guys are the poster boy for ADP risers and should be singled out. When this series first began in the beginning of July, Graham and Gronk were 31st and 33rd, respectively, in the ADP rankings. Today, they sit at 11th and 12th overall. It doesn’t seem to matter if it’s an NFL Standard or PPR league, these two, over the last two months have gradually become first round picks in most 12 to 14 team leagues. It’s a new era for tight ends these days and if you want one of the best, you’re going to have to make a much earlier move than you used to make.
Ryan Mathews, RB SD – When we first started looking at ADP trends, Mathews was the fifth or sixth player off the board and I was over the moon after he slipped to seventh in our Rotowire staff league. Nothing like a fractured collarbone to take the wind out of our sails, right? Mathews has dropped as far down as 67th in some drafts and has a current ADP of 43.87 right now. But while some folks are just dismissing him outright, you might want to think about making a move on him, as well as his handcuff Ronnie Brown, during your draft. If you can wait until the fourth or fifth round to grab Mathews (who is probably still going that high due to rankings and auto-drafters right now) and then grab Brown down in the 11th or 12th, then you’re locking in, basically, the starting running back for the Chargers. Mathews is only supposed to miss the first two or three weeks, so you use Brown until then and then swap him out for a better free agent once Mathews is back and getting full-time carries. He [Mathews] probablky won’t drop much further in the ADP ranks over the next two days, so it’s probably safe to incorporate him into your strategy this way while you can.
Eric Decker, WR DEN – From relative obscurity to a top 30 wideout in both NFL Standard and PPR leagues, Decker has been steadily climbing the ADP ranks each and every week. While some are still thinking Demaryius Thomas is the go-to guy in Denver, the savvy fantasy owner has had Decker on his/her radar for some time now. Thomas is the deep threat for the Broncos, but Decker is the possession receiver on this team and likely the default receiver for Peyton Manning when he gets flushed out of the pocket and is looking to dump it off somewhere. But with so many people hot on his trail, Decker isn’t slipping through anymore and is coming off the board by the middle of the seventh round in a 12-team league. Unless he gets a lot of red zone looks, he’s probably going to be a better play in PPR leagues, but either way, waiting on him is no longer an option these days.
Felix Jones, RB DAL – Jones has really done himself in with a lackluster training camp and the once promising back has fallen way out of favor with the fantasy community. Back towards the end of July, Jones had an ADP of 130.86 and had been on the rise for most of the month. Expectations were growing with all the talk of him breaking out in the final year of his rookie contract and his presence was even dragging down the ADP of teammate DeMarco Murray. However, he has become increasingly disappointing since camps officially opened up and is now sitting with an ADP of 175.66 while Murray is now listed as a top six back. Jones is merely a handcuff these days and shouldn’t even be considered for a flex spot anymore as Murray, who has had an outstanding camp, is considered an every-down back in Dallas. You’ll be able to grab him late, so don’t worry about someone swooping in and stealing him from you a round or two too soon.
Randy Moss, WR SF – Back in late July, Moss was sitting on an ADP of 137.19 and had spent the majority of the month climbing up the ADP ranks. However, around the second week of August, a story broke which stated that Moss would be limited to 20-25 reps per game in an effort to keep him fresh. His stock, especially in PPR leagues dropped considerably and even in Standard leagues, is currently sitting with an ADP of 192.43, almost a five round drop in the overall. But that ADP decline should probably be looked at as a blessing rather than a red flag. While most will dismiss Moss now, you can now grab him as a “late-round sleeper.” Obviously there’s a chance that even in limited action, he proves to be worthy of a start each and every week, but for now, consider him a solid bye-week filler with potential to do more.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------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 email@example.com.