Darwin Thompson and Tony Pollard have been RotoViz favorites for months. Devin McIntyre is the foremost Thompson enthusiast in the fantasy community, while Ryan Collinsworth has been leading the charge on Pollard. Both players made the Zero RB Candidates Countdown last week, but both players have continued to rise in the interim.
If you want to buy Thompson and Pollard in competitive leagues this weekend, just how much will you have to pay? Let’s take a look at some different formats.
FFPC Redraft Command Center
Thompson went at 8.02 and Pollard at 8.03 in the Main Event that Curtis Patrick and I participated in on Friday. We can see that this isn’t unusual as both players have selections dotting the 75 range. Carlos Hyde’s impending release has been rocket fuel for Thompson’s ADP. In 56 drafts since Monday, Thompson has been the RB39. He’s gone as high as 51 and never lasted beyond 133. You have to jump up to RB32 (Derrius Guice) to find someone who’s gone earlier in a draft than Thompson.
Pollard is only a couple slots behind at RB41. His range is more palatable at least. He’s been selected between 72 and 168.
I find it can help to visualize ADP as a draft board, and that’s what the ADP Draft Grid within the Command Center is designed to do.
Pollard is certainly more intriguing in Round 9 than the other three backs going in that stanza.
Thompson and Pollard have been almost as popular in best ball, where they sit at RB41 and RB44 in 107 drafts since Monday. Thompson has gone anywhere from 58 to 161, while Pollard’s picks fall between 76 and 165.
Still a Value?
To select Thompson or Pollard on draft weekend, you’re going to have to pay up. Are they still a value in this range?
The two rookies were not ahead of Royce Freeman and Rashaad Penny on our board, two players who lasted until 8.08 and 8.09 respectively. Second-year RBs are the only class of RB that enjoys an increase in scoring, while the Thompson and Pollard have now moved up and out of the Rookie Priority Window and the RB Sweet Spot. That doesn’t completely eliminate them however.
If you’ve read Ryan Collinsworth’s series on the Passing Revolution and his series on RB Game Script, you’re going to take all of his RB recommendations seriously. In developing his Advanced RB Tiers for those users taking their draft preparation seriously, he has this to say about the rookies:
I’m much higher on those two rookies than most of the fantasy public, but each of them could provide supreme leverage this season. I’ve written multiple pieces on Pollard, and I don’t think it’s crazy to target him here. Sure, if you believe you can wait to draft him or Thompson in the next round, go for it. But, by targeting one of them in Round 8, I usually walk away with both of them on my roster at draft’s end.
If I’ve stuck to the playbook in the first seven rounds, this is the point at which I pivot towards upside. And, few players offer as much draft leverage as either Pollard or Thompson does this season.
I’ll take an even closer look at Thompson and Pollard in this week’s Zero RB Countdown Update, but Ryan’s recommendations should help you plan for competitive drafts this weekend.