The superstars may be insulated, but for everyone else, livelihoods rest on the result of each training camp practice. Fantasy owners sit on the edge of their collective seats, waiting for each new highlight, each new beat report, each new coaching interview. Missing a single solitary revelation could be the difference between drafting D’Onta Foreman 15 minutes after he’s been released or waiting too long to grab Matt Breida after the latest Jerick McKinnon setback.
Depth charts churn. No-name rookies emerge. The news matters, even when occasionally it shouldn’t.
As we roll through the first week of preseason games, new developments will shake ADP again. To understand where we are now, let’s get into the FFPC Risers and Fallers.
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The Broncos nominal No. 1 wide receiver avoided the active/PUP list to begin training camp and immediately began to climb in drafts. His snaps have been rationed, but for many drafters he vaults back to the top of the Denver pecking order where he’s literally fighting Courtland Sutton for targets. Owners should still be wary. Beyond the difficulty of returning from an Achilles injury, Sanders faces age concerns as well. Bust rates explode for age-32 WRs.
On a more positive note, Ben Gretch’s RotoViz Overtime appearance included an argument for why Sutton and Sanders can both succeed in the Denver offense.
It was almost exactly two weeks ago when I argued that Sanders was going to be the 2019 Nick Chubb. He’s the best mix of talent, price, and opportunity among rookie RBs. He was a looming Zero RB superstar, and one who was slipping into the rookie RB target window. Unfortunately, Sanders immediately turned a corner in training camp, churning out wow plays on a daily basis as his ADP quickly rose amid a torrent of “Sanders is easily the best RB in Philly camp” articles. Consider this as great news for dynasty owners and a mildly disappointing development for all of the redraft leagues ahead.
FFPC veteran Larry Weinhauer was all over this several weeks ago when he labeled Westbrook one of 4 Late-Round Sleepers to Supercharge Your Fantasy Team. Neil Dutton took a deeper dive in April, explaining that Westbrook has been much better than you remember. He anticipates another step forward with Nick Foles at the helm.
With every day that Marqise Lee misses and every practice report praising Chris Conley, we move one step closer to Westbrook finishing as a solid WR2.
Miller’s ADP justifiably jumped on the surprise D’Onta Foreman release. I even wasted a part of a morning writing about his big move in my rankings. Wasted, because the important transaction occurred several days later with the arrival of Duke Johnson. Johnson belongs to a small band of erstwhile RB rock stars, the gang with the highest-leverage touches you’ll ever see. He eviscerates Miller’s value, and I now have the incumbent lower than before this whole saga began. Tyler Loechner has a slightly more restrained evaluation of Johnson’s impact in Houston.
Do you want a cheap, young vet who profiles as a much more productive version of Parris Campbell and Mecole Hardman? That was my recent pitch for the long-time RotoViz favorite. As was the case with Sanders, the Panthers’ breakout candidate wouldn’t comply on the price front. Is being merely good-but-not great in practice too much to ask?
You now have to pay for much of that almost limitless upside, but his risk/reward profile still trumps some of the other options at this ADP.
Neil Dutton loved Green as a serious veteran bargain, and his injury is a huge blow to my pick for 2019 breakout offense. It’s especially disappointing since Green and Tyler Boyd have worked so well together.1
Two days ago, the Indy Star reported, “Andrew Luck continues to make progress as he recovers from a calf strain, but there is no timetable for his return yet.” When you see the list of league-winning QBs who went undrafted in the Apex Experts League, you can understand why the uncertainty around Luck makes him a difficult selection.
You almost have to take Kalen Ballage in current drafts. That was my not-quite-all-in2 takeaway in breaking down the battle between two of the NFL’s top workout warriors. Ballage is one of the 8 Most Explosive Breather Backs in football. Drake is the poster boy for the 2019 RB Land Mines.
In pre-Week 1 Drake carried the ball four times for 12 times on the Dolphins opening drive. He then gave way to Ballage, who carried six times for 23 yards and a leaping goal-line TD.
Burton is missing time due to a sports-hernia surgery and may sit out the preseason. Drafters are justifiably leery of players who begin the year injured, and Burton’s ADP was already enthusiastic. It didn’t make the final article, but Burton’s ADP caused consternation in the TE edition of our Best Ball Round Table.
Sony Michel is healthy, and he may even catch passes! Harris has been generating rave reviews all offseason, but his prospect profile suggests a lower-ceiling back. The rookie may be a better all-around runner than Michel, James White, and Rex Burkhead without being their best back for any particular role. He needs a prolonged Michel absence to justify the slot.
Football is finally here. Enjoy the opening salvo of preseason games and have a good weekend everybody.