What is the most valuable tool when deciding to draft or wait on a player? ADP, which stands for Average Draft Position. It is simply the average draft pick that a player is getting drafted in recent mocks. For example, Calvin Johnson's ADP is 5.61 and when you rank that value against the value of all other players, he is the 5th selection or a No. 5 ADP. Why does it matter? Because, reaching on a player because you did not know that you could have waited two rounds to get him is the best way to ruin the value of your draft.
Every other week since May, I have been compiling ADP data from over a dozen sources. These sources are Expert Drafts, Top 200 Lists and Amateur Mock Draft results. It's a valuable tool for me, but I have found that tracking the movement from week-to-week is most telling. So, every two weeks I compare the results to find the players on the rise and those falling. I want to find the trends.
And as per usual, the final ADP report of the year is the one that shows the most movement. Whereas up until August, movement was based on injuries, suspensions, hearsay and speculation, now, movement is based on play on the field and camp reports. Below, I have listed the biggest movers of the week.
On the Rise:
Evan Royster, Redskins - UP 49 spots to ADP: 110 - The Washington backfield has always been a murky situation, and the trend continues in 2012. With Roy Helu's nagging injuries, Royster is starting to get some love from mock drafters. But, watch out for the ever-present Tim Hightower and Alfred Morris (who?) to steal touches. Evan could be a late-round flier for RB depth.
Kevin Smith, Lions - UP 43 spots to ADP: 76 - Kevin has been rising for a month, but with news about Jahvid Best's health, or lack thereof, coupled with Mikel Leshoure's early season suspension, Smith is primed to get a ton of carries and catches to start the year for Detroit. He is a great mid-round sleeper RB. And he's valuable when coupled with an early pick of MJD or Trent Richardson or Ryan Mathews or Adrian Peterson. All of these guys could be sidelined for a few weeks, which are the very same weeks that Smith could be carrying the load for the Lions.
Rashad Jennings, Jaguars - UP 38 spots to ADP: 119 - Every day that MJD's holdout continues is another day that Rashad's draft stock is rising. Fantasy greatness is achieved through many factors, but opportunity and talent are two very important ones. Rashad is showing off both this preseason. I will be saying the name "Rashad Jennings" a few times in my drafts next week.
Danny Amendola, Rams - UP 35 spots to ADP: 145 - His 2011 was cut very short with a triceps injury, but he's looking more and more like a go-to for Sam Bradford and the Rams. If you are in a PPR league, then target Danny with a late pick. He'll be a great spot starter for you as a bye week fill-in.
Andrew Luck, Colts - UP 28 spots to ADP: 112 - Rarely does a rookie live up to the hype. Need we think back to Ryan Mathew's rookie campaign? But, Luck looks like the real deal for the Colts. Yes, he is a rookie and yes, he has limited weapons, but his stock is rising to a solid, top-end QB2 level. And, if you're in dynasty/keeper leagues, this guy could be your starter for the next decade!
Randall Cobb, Packers - UP 25 spots to ADP: 133 - As mentioned earlier, fantasy greatness is driven by many factors, but opportunity is a big one. And with Greg Jennings battling a concussion, mock drafters are starting to wonder if Cobb is the 2012 version of Jordy Nelson circa 2011. And for the cheap cost of a tenth round pick he is worth a shot! He is especially valuable in leagues that award points for return yardage.
Jacquizz Rodgers, Falcons - UP 23 spots to ADP: 121 - Few players have underwhelmed during the preseason like Michael Turner. It's clear to me and anyone that has watched the Falcons on offense, that the "burner" is burned out. Matt Ryan and the boys just seem to be performing at a higher level with Jacq on the field. Could he possibly fill the Reggie Bush/Darren Sproles role for Atlanta this year?
Look Out Below:
RB Jahvid Best, Lions - DOWN 69 spots to ADP: 160 - Jahvid is nearly unrosterable at this point as concussion worries may end his career. I wouldn't spend more than a fifteenth round flier on this Lion, who has lost his roar.
RB James Starks, Packers - DOWN 48 spots to ADP: 125 - The latest word out of Green Bay is that Starks may be in jeopardy of not even making the Packers' 53-man roster. Let's just say, the addition of the nearly 30 year-old Cedric Benson was not a good sign for Starks. He is off of my radar.
RB Roy Helu, Redskins - DOWN 27 spots to ADP: 89 - As I've mentioned in previous ADP Trends articles, every move by one player's value affects the value of one or more other players. This theory is evident this week. As Roy Helu is injured and falling out of grace, we see Royster and Hightower and Morris all on the rise. Given the philosophy of their head coach and his son the play-caller, and the Redskins lack of offensive pop, I won't be drafting a Washington runner in the single digit rounds.
Michael Floyd, Cardinals - DOWN 26 spots to ADP: 169 - His ADP suggests that this Cardinal rookie receiver from Minnesota may be waiver wire bait in your league come draft day. News out of Arizona is that he will most likely not be starting opposite Larry Fitzgerald to begin the season. But, he is one of the few guys in this section that I will be targeting late. He has size and speed, once he gets opportunity, he could blossom.
WR Sidney Rice, Seahawks - DOWN 22 spots to ADP:131 - Sidney has been a walking injury report all off-season. Rice has missed 17 games over the past two seasons, with 2011's missed games led by a concussion and shoulder injuries which led to surgery. The additions of Terrell Owens and Braylon Edwards show us how confident the Seahawks coaching staff is in Rice. I'm staying away.
RB Ryan Mathews, Chargers - DOWN 18 spots to ADP: 24 - The title of ‘Sexy First Round Pick' has moved from Ryan Mathews to Darren McFadden with just one preseason carry. Mathews' injury has solidified what we already knew about this fragile back. But, at what point, will he fall into the value range? I like him as an RB2 in the late-second or early-third. Drafting him is a risky, "play to win" type of move!
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