Melvin Gordon is the Top Rookie Running Back and More Post-Draft Analysis

We’re only a few days past the NFL draft and rookie valuations are moving quickly. It’s a little difficult to get a substantial sample to gauge post-draft ADPs, but Fantasy Douche has the data from around 35 dynasty rookie drafts. We also have a goldmine of public redraft data from My Fantasy League MFL10s. I scraped all the MFL10 draft picks since last Sunday, and we have around 20 picks for each player, a decent sample. Getting this data first and presenting it in a easily digestible fashion is what I’m doing here. Especially for running backs, redraft ADPs can be useful in dynasty since their useful lifespan is much shorter, increasing the importance of immediate opportunity in a rookie’s landing spot.

First, let’s take look at rookie RB pre- and post-draft ADPs side-by-side to get a better idea of the changing valuation landscape.

The Changing Landscape


I see a few takeaways here:

  • Melvin Gordon Todd Gurley. That’s the post-draft assessment so far, and it doesn’t seem like a silly notion considering Gurley’s ACL recovery and Gordon’s plum landing spot. In fact, I gave the MFL10 tiebreaker to Gordon already. The valuations for both don’t seem to have risen to out-of-control levels, so I’d continue adding exposure to each. In dynasty, Gurley’s ACL is less of a concern and he’s still tops in current rookie drafts.
  • TJ Yeldon has risen quite a bit, but still remains a decent price in the RB-dominant MFL10 format.
  • The other post-draft risers like Ameer AbdullahTevin ColemanDavid Johnson, and David Cobb look overvalued to me. Unlike Gurley, Gordon, and Yeldon, I think there is much more uncertainty about their roles, and they all are significantly overpriced at their respective draft positions versus the historical data. This might be a case of drafters pricing in some upside and discounting the uncertainty.
  • Duke Johnson and Jay Ajayi have fallen some, but not as much as I expected based on Johnson’s poor landing spot and Ajayi’s NFL draft free fall.

Rookie ADP Movement, Percentage Terms

The best way to think about how much rookie ADPs have moved is in percentage terms, not simply draft spots. Moving from 20 to 10 is obviously much more significant than 100 to 90. rb_adp_chg

It’s no surprise that Coleman and Yeldon had the biggest jumps, as both were drafted earlier than expected and have immediate opportunities to be starters. However, I would think that Yeldon’s chance of become the starter is quite a bit better than Coleman’s, yet the ATL offense presents more upside for Coleman. I overweight role-certainty in MFL10s, so I’d prefer to pay up for Yeldon at this point.

Gordon’s rise didn’t look that significant on the last plot, but in percentage terms it was. Gordon climbed from an overall ADP of around 38 to 27, or a little less than 30 percent. I’m still comfortable drafting him in the mid-20s as his workload should be sizable.

Again, I’m not sure why Duke Johnson and Ajayi have only fallen by 10-15 percent. Ajayi, in particular, had high hopes going into the draft and still appears extremely overvalued based on his NFL draft position. Either MFL10 drafters weren’t paying attention to the draft, or all rookies are benefiting from the exposure that comes along with it, even those that were disappointments.