It’s that time of year again, folks! Start printing out stat sheets, scribbling on note pads and bookmarking the news pages of your favorite players. Fantasy Football is right around the corner with some leagues already drafting or having finished drafted!
It’s still quite early but there’s already a lot to soak in. With the masses of players participating in mock drafts so soon, we have plenty of data to look at and judge. ADP, for those unaware, stands for Average Draft Position.
Today I’ll be using FantasyFootballCalculator as our mock draft tool, so all ADP numbers will be pulled from there. We’re going to assume that this is a standard 12-team league, QB/2RB/2WR/1TE/FLEX (RB/WR/TE)/DEF/K.
The gist of it is this. You’ll often find guys that slip through the cracks, you just need to know how to look for them. Typically if someone was hyped up last year but fell short of expectations they’ll see a drop in average draft position.
That’s common knowledge, right? Not always. Let’s see if anyone on my list surprises you. ADP is not positional, it is OVERALL.
Jonathan Stewart, RB, CAR | ADP: 44 | My Rank: 30
I am taking Stewart ahead of the likes of Ellington, Gordon, Gurley and Ingram. Are people ignoring the numbers he posted in the last 5 weeks of last season? 89 carries for 489 yards and a TD. Yes those opponents weren’t fantastic, but Stewart went on to play very well against the Seahawks and Cardinals. Now, I’m not going to say there aren’t concerns. He’s had a history of getting beaten up, Carolina has 3 other end-zone threats they might use before J Stew and reports say he’ll be “limited” to 15 carries a game. I don’t know the validity of that comment, but it’s worrisome nonetheless. Still, what do we have here? A guy that WILL get touches for a lack of competition and he’s part of a team that should focus heavily on the run game in a division with terrible defenses. Next to Morris I think he’s the safest RB2 on the board.
Chris Ivory, RB, NYJ | ADP: 85 | My Rank: 52
You’re telling me I have the potential to get a RB1 (yes you read correctly!) in the 7th round?! If I can nab this guy in the late 6th/early 7th I will be ecstatic. Now, let me advise caution. For you early drafters this may not be a guy you want to reach for. The Jets did in fact bring in Stevan Ridley and Zac Stacy, both of which run similarly to Ivory; heavy and hard. We will need to see how the carries fall within this potential RBBC. I am very confident, however, that Ivory comes out with at least 60% of the work. He showed receiving and blocking chops earlier this year and even late into last season. With Chris Johnson out of the picture maybe Ivory can get a real chance. The Jets need a weapon like him to step up. He averaged over 4 YPC last season and scored 6 TDs on less than 200 carries. Don’t let this guy make it to the 8th round.
Anquan Boldin, WR, SF | ADP: 123 | My Rank: 93
Yeah I’d take Boldin 30 spots ahead of where he’s going now. If I see him sitting there in the 9th I’ll snatch him up without a second thought. He’s criminally underrated every single year. Why? Because he’s boring. He doesn’t pop off and give you 35 points in a single game. In fact, he only had 1 game last season where he went for over 100 yards. So why do I like him so much? Well, ask yourself, what do you want from a WR3/FLEX play? Something positive, right? You’re looking at Marshawn or Antonio or Luck to hit a homerun, you just need your other guys to net you 7-10 points every week. That’s what Anquan can do for you. Michael Crabtree and Stevie Johnson are gone and although Torrey Smith has arrived, he isn’t a consistent, target-heavy threat. He’s a burner, a deep target that Kaep might look to occasionally but certainly not more than Boldin. I’m anticipating 85-90 receptions for ~1200 yards and ~7 TDs. If that’s not worthy of an 8th/9th rounder, I don’t know what is.
Delanie Walker, TE, TEN | ADP: 123 | My Rank: 64
Honestly, who else is going to score for Tennessee? Sure you can say Kendall Wright is the guy for the job if you know nothing about him. He’s about as inconsistent as you can get and, up until last season’s anomalistic result, was never a real scorer. It’ll be interesting to see how Mariota develops with these guys. I don’t trust Sankey or any other RB on this squad for that matter. When the Titans need points, they should look to Delanie. I fully believe he will be the focal point of their offense and rightfully so. If he stays healthy he has the potential to finish as a top 4 TE, which merits a late 5th/early 6th round pick.
So let me wrap up with a word of advice. While it’s okay to reach for some of these guys, don’t go about doing it poorly. If you’re confident that they’ll slide another round or two let it happen. Make some other picks to round out your roster then snag them up. They’re not shinier or more likely to do well this season the earlier you take them. Bide your time, be patient and have a plan.
Check back later this week for a recap of the first 2 rounds in MY first draft this season! Should be fun, thanks for reading!