NFL Preseason News & Notes: Soaring ADPs, Camp Battles, and Fantasy Draft Values
Soaring (ADP) Falcons
Down with ADP? Not in the case with the Atlanta Falcon skill players, specifically Julio Jones and Matt Ryan. There's been plenty of hype (most of which has been justified) for the freakishly talented Jones and fifth year QB Ryan, who appears to be primed for a breakout season. The only problem? Both of their ADPs have exploded to absurd levels. Jones went from (3.4) to (1.12) in a matter of weeks, Ryan from a cushy value of (7.5) to a teeth gnashing (3.5)! I don't know about you, but I wouldn't shocked to see Ryan as the 4th QB off the board by September, and Jones muscle his way into the middle of the 1st round. That's too rich for my blood. Ryan will push values like Stafford, Vick, Romo and Eli even further down the ADP ladder, and grabbing one of them is a savvy move if you still hope to get your RBs and WRs early. Jones? I love the kid, but when he pushes teammate Roddy White into the (3.5) range, I'm pouncing like Mike and Maurkice. In PPR formats, White presents a better value.
Your weekly Patriot RB update? Sure, WTF not, right? The "it" guy at the moment is Shane Vereen (Rummy told ya' so!), but like all things Patriot, you can't carve anyone's name in stone, but here's why you can be hopeful about Vereen.
- He's been better than Ridley in pass pro, and is protecting the ball better (Ridley is still having some fumbling issues).
- He's a perfect RB for the NE offense. Big enough to not get blown up on blocks (See: Woodhead, Danny) and be a goal line back, and elusive enough to be a threat in the passing game.
Is that enough to recommend taking him high? No. I'd never recommend taking a Patriot RB when there are more reliable every week options, but with Vereen's ADP several rounds lower than Ridley, he's certainly worth a late flier (13.0-14.12 ADP).
So what about the speedy Jeff Demps? Well, the insanely fast Demps (think Chris Johnson in space) just signed with NE, and my feeling is that he fills a glaring hole on the NE special teams as a returner. Explosive in space, his upside is Devin Hester-like on special teams, and potentially a Reggie Bush-like weapon in the passing game if he's able to absorb the NE playbook quickly. The downside? He's slight (5'-9/180) and generally will get blown up if he has to create his own lanes between the tackles. In any case, he's an interesting prospect, so stay tuned.
Our guy Forbes recently repped the Mugs in a @fftoolbox mock, and employed the RB/RB in the first two rounds. The results thus far? Very strong.
QB: Peyton Manning
RB: Forte, Peterson, Hillis, R. Williams
WR: Nicks, Lloyd, A. Brown, Collie
Forbes decided on a sure thing (Forte) and a returning injured stud (Peterson), but padded those RBs with Hillis and Williams, two undervalued backs who are in split time situations, but can far exceed their respective projections when it's all said and done. Personally, I'd be thrilled to field that RB corps in September.
Forbes then took advantage of the values at WR, with stud Hakeem Nicks set to return to form after coming back from an injury last year, and added borderline (potential) number one WRs Brandon Lloyd and Antonio Brown. All three have tremendous value in either PPR or standard scoring.
Let's take a quick look at draft values round by round, using the footballguys.com consensus ADP chart...
(1.11) Matt Forte - As Forbes can attest, one of the safest picks in the draft. As you've heard many times from the Mugs, he makes his cake in the passing game, averaging 60+ catches a year.
(2.11) Trent Richardson - Hardesty looks good, but he's no TRich. He went from the end of the 1st round to the end of the 2nd. Take advantage of that value if you can.
(3.5) Roddy White - See the aforementioned blurb. If he nears his usually PPR totals? Thievery.
(4.11) Doug Martin - This won't last, trust me on this, even if Blount's groin injury is minor. Martin is far and away the more complete back in the Buc's rotation, and he should earn the majority of carries in no time. Get him NOW!
(5.8) Brandon Lloyd - Forbes knew better, and took this draft value at his current ADP. Brady will look for this stud in the red zone a ton this year.
(6.6) Jermichael Finley - I wasn't a big proponent of Finley this year, mainly because his ADP was too high this Spring. Flash forward a few months, Jennings has serious concussion concerns, and some folks may have overblown the Randall Cobb breakout hype. If he continues to slip, he could be a steal.
(7.7) Peyton Hillis - Another reason I loved Forbes' most recent mock, the ridiculous value of Peyton Hillis. Brian Daboll is on record declaring a fairly even workload for Hillis and Charles, and with an ADP significantly lower than Charles (and a good bet for goal line carries), Hillis may be the steal of your draft.
(8.9) Jay Cutler - What's not to like? No more Martz and the seven step drop. Add good buddy and PPR machine, Brandon Marshall in free agency, re-sign Matt Forte to an extension, draft stud WR Alshon Jeffery, and the Bears quietly look like a potent offensive machine. I know, I know, the OL is still a concern, but I'll take my chances on a talent like Cutler, and his shiny new toys.
(9.10) Darius Heyward-Bey - Sure he had some dropsies in the preseason, but with the fragile nature of both Ford and Moore, DHB could be one of those depth WRs on your bench that could emerge and have a stellar fantasy season. Palmer looks great, and as long as McFadden stays healthy, there's plenty of upside here.
(10.6) Ryan Williams - Sensing a theme here? Yeah, I know Larry Fitzgerald is living a personal hell in that offense, and Kevin Kolb is making Blaine Gabbert look like Joe Montana, but at this value, I love this pick. Beanie Wells is a waste of a roster spot, and Williams looked good in his first game back. Skelton should win the starting job, and in the very least, the offense shouldn't be quite so scary...hence the value.
(11.2) Carson Palmer - What can I say? I like the way this old fart is spinning the rock. As a QB2, you could do much worse with the pedestrian number of Joe Flacco (for example). If Rod Streater steps up in the wake of the dinged up Moore and Ford, Palmer won't have much problem putting up decent numbers as your backup.
(12.6) Jared Cook - While Jake Locker isn't doing much to secure the starting gig in Tennessee, Hasselbeck can still deliver the ball...especially to his TE. If you wait on a TE, there's plenty of upside here for Cookie-Puss.
(13.3) Rashad Jennings - This won't last. If you grabbed him in an early draft? Bully for you, wise sage. News of the hard line stance of the Jags with MJD's contract, and new HC Mike Malarkey essentially promising a big share of the workload to Jennings, even upon MJD's return, the talented back out of Liberty, is downright thievery. Get him while he lasts, because his ADP is about to rocket to the moon.
(14.1) Austin Collie - Oddly enough, another one of Forbes' picks, and he might very well be the best value of the year if he can avoid another concussion. Tremendous health risk? Yes. Risk to you? No, not in RD14. If he leads the team in catches, which is entirely possible, there's no argument against his value. *Update* Sure enough, Collie left early in the 1st quarter (vs. PIT) after suffering a blow to the head. Again, the risk is there.
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