Top 10 ADP Fallers for NFL Standard Leagues
The number of fantasy drafts taking place is really picking up now as we head into the third week of NFL exhibition games and the movement we are seeing in the ADP trend report is becoming increasingly more significant. Position battles are being won and lost and we’re starting to see how a lot of different players’ roles are being defined which, in turn, sends them up or down in the ADP rankings. For today, let’s take a look at some of the biggest fallers in the ADP ranks and see if they should truly be left to plummet further or if the drop could turn them into a better bargain for you in your draft.
Top 10 Fallers
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No one is dropping harder and faster than San Diego’s Ryan Mathews. Already tabbed with the injury prone label, the broken collarbone suffered during the first exhibition game has some people running for the exits before even thinking about drafting him. But should he be dismissed so quickly? Maybe not. According to the latest news, Mathews is expected to be held out until Week 3 which puts him out for a full six weeks. Once he’s back though, the Chargers fully intend to give him his pre-injury expected workload. His current ADP has him as a mid-third round selection and if people are still scared off, that could drop even further. For a starting running back who may miss a total of three or four games (including his bye week) that actually sounds like a pretty darn good bargain. He’s definitely worth the risk, but just make sure you handcuff him to Ronnie Brown later on in your draft.
The Lions are still wavering on putting Jahvid Best on the reserve/PUP list to start the season which seems to indicate that the team is just trying to stall and delaying the inevitable. Best has been ruined by concussions and from the sound of it, they seem more inclined to sit him now rather than have to go back and forth with further problems during the early part of the season. If/when they finally do throw him onto the PUP list, he will be gone for the first six games of the season.
The fluctuating ADP of Maurice Jones-Drew is quite interesting considering he has not ended his holdout, nor does he appear close to doing so. But if you look at his ADP in just the last week, you’ll notice that he actually jumped 23.9%. Apparently a rumor of him possibly being traded to Denver was enough to get people to buy back into the diminutive back. Unfortunately though, the rumors were put to rest and we’re back to square one with him. The longer this holdout goes on, the further he should drop, and even if he does plateau at some point, is he really going to be worth a selection within the first four or five rounds of your draft? We all remember how hard it was for Chris Johnson to get back into the swing of things after his holdout, right?
The Chargers lose another key component to their offense here in Vincent Brown after the wide receiver ended up requiring ankle surgery this past week. The team is optimistic about his ability to return this season, but with minor ligament damage, the odds sit at 50/50 right now. He’s been placed on the reserve/PUP list which means he’s a no-go for the first six games, but you should remember his name for later on in the year. If he does come back and is healthy, then he could make for an interesting sleeper in the second half of the season and in time for your fantasy playoffs.
A case of turf toe and the signing of Cedric Benson have really put a damper on James Starks’ prospects as a sleeper this season. Had it just been him and Alex Green in the backfield, then his value could have gotten pretty high, but now both backs will lay in wait while Benson gets the majority of work in an Aaron Rodgers-led attack. Starks is more of a handcuff now than anything else.
The drop for C.J. Spiller is a curious one as his status within the team hasn’t changed at all. In fact, he was just praised for his improvement in pass-blocking, something that used to be a bit of a struggle for him. Yes, Fred Jackson is the primary back in Buffalo, but Spiller should be in on passing downs and could find his way into some decent yardage if Ryan Fitzpatrick can’t find a receiver downfield and just dumps it off to him in the flat. He’s obviously a better pick-up in PPR leagues, but still, a twenty pick drop in a week seems to be a bit much for his talent level and potential. Given Jackson’s age, this could turn into a real nice bargain.
You can thank a weak shoulder for Mike Goodson’s 29.2% drop in just this past week. He seemed to be having issues early on in the Raiders last preseason game and ended up fumbling twice before finally being removed. He missed a couple of practices which helped prompt the drop in ADP, but has since come back and is fully expected to play in the next exhibition contest. He’s a talented back and is mostly a handcuff to Darren McFadden, but given RunDMC’s injury history, Goodson’s value could take off at a moment’s notice.
Rookie receiver Michael Floyd had so much potential walking into camp, but he hasn’t done anything to really set himself apart. His ADP is dropping because he’s still sitting behind Andre Roberts on the depth chart with Early Doucet hanging in as the primary slot receiver. There’s talk of more four-receiver formations in Arizona, but until Floyd impresses more, the only receiver worth his salt in this offense is Larry Fitzgerald.
It’s tough enough being a running back in a Mike Shanahan offense, but Roy Helu’s path is an even rockier one after missing the last week and a half with a sore Achilles. His ADP continues to drop and despite a recent return to practice, Helu is going to have to do some serious impressing if he wants to see any carries in the early part of the season. Shanahan has been very non-committal regarding Helu’s status for Week 1, and that really can’t be a good sign.
And finally, Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett insists that Miles Austin did not incur any setbacks while recovering from his most recent hamstring problem, but judging by his ADP drop, the fantasy community ain’t buying it. Hamstring problems are what ruined a very promising 2011 season and while it could very well be that the Cowboys are just being overly-cautious here, the fact that Tony Romo has had almost no time in the preseason to work with his starting receivers could prove to be an issue once the season begins. Keep an eye on Austin’s recovery and his ADP rank when you’re ready to draft. You won’t be getting the 2009 version, but he could still prove to be a great value if he comes back ready for action and his ADP continues to fall.
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.