Throughout the offseason, RotoViz will take snapshots of high-stakes best-ball ADP using the FFPC Exposures and ADP app. Other entries in the series include a look at February ADP and movement after NFL free agency.
We’re now about halfway between the end of the NFL Draft and the start of training camps, when any bit of information – “Sony Michel isn’t practicing in May! Buy Damien Harris!” – can send a player’s ADP one direction or the other in a hurry.
High-stakes best-ball drafts are ever ongoing, so it’s worth looking at players and situations whose ADP has undergone a noteworthy dip or surge from the period before the draft to the six-plus weeks after.
BUYING THE CARDINALS OFFENSE
ADP Before Draft: 14
ADP After Draft: 7
ADP Before Draft: 116
ADP After Draft: 97
ADP Before Draft: 146
ADP After Draft: 96
Although it wasn’t a huge secret that Arizona was taking Murray with the first pick, it certainly seemed to boost the value of the stars of its offense once the selection became official. The excitement over head coach Kliff Kingsbury’s desert Air Raid means the end of being able to take Johnson in the second round, as his ADP is now in the mid-first, jumping from the ninth running back off the board to the fifth.
Kirk has made a leap of his own, now going as the 35th WR in best-ball drafts, which, when compared with the redraft rankings of RotoViz writers, is still slightly late. But the most dramatic jump belongs to Murray, whose ADP has risen from the start of the 13th round to the end of the eighth as the 11th quarterback being taken, a hugely optimistic projection considering RotoViz rankers have him as QB22.
How to play it: Johnson’s ascent brings him in line with where RotoViz rankings already had him, so he’s a fine pick at current ADP, as is Kirk. Murray could be more of a reach, but if you consider him a QB1, then you’ll have to draft him as one.
TODD GURLEY’S KNEE
ADP Before Draft: 5
ADP After Draft: 11
ADP Before Draft: 113
ADP After Draft: 78
“Freefall” might not be the most accurate description of Gurley’s ADP, but there is definite panic surrounding the condition of his knee and the selection of Henderson, whose rapid rise suggests he’s high-stakes drafters’ answer to the question, “What if Gurley is no longer Gurley?” Although Gurley’s after-draft ADP is 11th, even that is optimistic, because he has often dropped to the third round, a remarkable descent from someone who, at this time last year, was a top-three pick who finished as the overall RB3.
How to play it: Ben Battle goes into a lengthy explanation of why Gurley isn’t even worth a third-round pick. It’s unclear where to value Henderson; our pre-draft coverage of him was glowing, but it’s hard to know just how this backfield will shake out until we see it in action.
THE SIREN CALL OF PATRIOTS BACKFIELD
ADP Before Draft: 26
ADP After Draft: 39
ADP Before Draft: 55
ADP After Draft: 59
ADP Before Draft: 128
ADP After Draft: 140
According to 2018’s expected rushing points, the New England backfield is among the most valuable in fantasy football.
But the third-round addition of Harris, combined with the recent news that Michel was absent from the Patriots’ minicamp because of a knee scope, has sent Michel’s ADP downward about a round, from the third to the fourth. The interesting part is that none of Michel, White or Harris experienced a bump after the draft, suggesting that no one really knows what to do with the muddled backfield.
How to play it: White finished as the overall RB7 last year and is being drafted highly because of that. Interestingly, he might be the safest play here, considering he caught 87 passes last season and the Patriots have a whopping 233 vacated targets from a year ago. Michel is supposed to be ready for training camp, so you could be eyeing a discount if the recent news has other drafters scared. If you just want a piece of the backfield, take Harris last. Or wait even longer and take Rex Burkhead.
SAME AS ABOVE, JUST ON THE WEST COAST: THE 49ERS BACKFIELD
ADP Before Draft: 66
ADP After Draft: 73
ADP Before Draft: 63
ADP After Draft: 91
ADP Before Draft: 125
ADP After Draft: 150
Another valuable backfield (see above), another muddled mess. This time, it’s the 49ers, who return McKinnon after his preseason ACL tear in 2018 and have added Coleman, whom San Francisco coach Kyle Shanahan previously had in Atlanta when he was offensive coordinator. That’s in addition to Breida, who started 13 games last year.
Coleman’s ADP has been most consistent, and he was going after McKinnon when it was still unknown where Coleman would land in free agency. Since then, though, Coleman has consistently gone first, and his addition to the 49ers has caused McKinnon’s and Breida’s ADP to suffer multi-round dives. But the offense should return QB Jimmy Garoppolo, and all three backs have been involved in the passing game; McKinnon caught 51 passes in Minnesota in 2017, Coleman had 32 in Atlanta last year and Breida had 27, most of those from the 49ers backup QBs who took over after Garoppolo was hurt in Week 3.
How to play it: Since it’s best ball, and we still have no idea how the backs will be used, the safest path might be to take whoever’s there latest.
Image Credit: Kevin Abele/Icon Sportswire. Pictured: David Johnson.
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