Check out my last ADP update here.
Now that most of the relevant free agents have signed, it’s time to analyze ADPs again, as they’ve shifted considerably. Who are some values? Who are some inexplicable reaches? Read on to find out.
As usual, ADPs courtesy of CBSSportsline
Knowshon Moreno, DEN
Where I’d Draft Him: As early as the top of round 4 in all formats
Analysis: People have been scared off by doom-and-gloom talk out of Denver regarding Moreno over the last few weeks. Here’s what Woody Paige had to say:
After the draft, McDaniels and the staff believed privately they made a big mistake on Moreno. He was not what they thought. He hasn’t been tough, smart, motivated, if that’s what you’re asking. He has been a bust. I’ve said it before. He’s not a great clubhouse guy. Interpret that how you want, and he’s been a wimp on the field.
A. I don’t give a skinny poo what Woody Paige says, ever. I think he’s retarded. And I don’t mean that like in a 12-year-old, calling you names sort of way. I really think he’s mentally handicapped.
B. Josh McDaniels is gone. Screw what his regime thought of Moreno.
C. The Broncos failed to sign DeAngelo Williams, and instead brought in Willis McGahee, who entered into “career backup” status over two seasons ago.
D. Moreno’s good. I don’t love him, and yes, his situation scares me, but there are very few lead backs out there. You do have to take a chance with him. Will he stop being a “wimp?” Will he take hold of the starting job and not let go? Hard to say. But what I do know is:
* He’s only 24
* He has only 494 career touches (or basically a season-and-a-third for Steven Jackson)
* Moreno’s new coach, John Fox, is known for his love of RB-tandems in Carolina, but that’s largely fallacious; during his tenure in Carolina, Fox always kept carries around a 70-30 or 60-40 split between his lead back (DeShaun Foster and DeAngelo Williams) and their primary backup (Williams and Jonathan Stewart). In 2006 Foster carried the ball 205 times to Williams’s 121 (59%/41%). In 2007 Foster got 227 totes to Williams 144 (63%/47%). In 2008 Williams saw 273 carries to Stewart’s 184 (67%/33%) and in 2009, Stewart’s breakout year, Williams got 16 carries per game (it was an injury-shortened season) to Stewart’s 13 (55%/45%). So I think you can safely assume Moreno will get no fewer than 60% of the carries in Denver under Fox. That’s just how he likes to split things up, and that’s pretty much in line with the typical featured back’s role these days (not counting your anomalous every-down studs like Adrian Peterson and Chris Johnson).
* There are also some eerie statistical similarities between Williams’ first two seasons and Moreno’s. In years one and two Williams totaled 1706 total yards on 321 touches with 7 total TDs, for an average of 5.3 yards per touch. In Moreno’s first two years he’s accumulated 494 touches for 2311 yards and 17 TDs, an average of 4.7 yards per touch. I’m not saying he’s the next DeAngelo Williams, or that their situations were even that similar, but I am saying that he’s done enough through two seasons for Fox to feel comfortable leaning on him as he did Williams in his third year.
* Despite rumors to the contrary and misinformation, Moreno actually improved in year two. He went from averaging 11.8 fppg in PPR as a rookie to 15.1 fppg in PPR last year. That’s huge. And he has big play ability, too, ranking among the league leaders in yards per reception at the RB position, which is something to keep in mind for leagues that award big play bonuses.
The bottom line is, like I mentioned with Matthew Stafford in my last ADP Update, you have to take risks to win big in fantasy. And a young RB who seems to have a 15+ carry per game guarantee for a solid, albeit not great, offense, ought to pique your interests more than the following guys who are being drafted in front of him: Jonathan Stewart (a backup), BenJarvis Green-Ellis (a guaranteed letdown) and Cedric Benson (a plodding malcontent who’s no better than average at anything).
Where I’d Draft Him: Late fourth to mid-fifth
Analysis: Fantasy football is all about opportunities for runningbacks, and Jones is definitively the #1 option for Dallas this year. His coaching staff is confident in him, so much so that the team cut long-time platoon-member and fan-favorite Marion Barber. Yes, the ‘Boys drafted Oklahoma speedster DeMarco Murray in the third round, but both he and third down back Tashard Choice are already hobbled with lower leg injuries. If the rookie can’t get any reps, and Choice can’t come back in a timely fashion, that leaves Jones the opportunity to finally show he can be a featured back in the NFL. So far, through three years as a part-time weapon in Dallas, Jones has averaged nearly 6 yards a touch, and has improved his total yards output in each of his first three seasons, but has never topped the 200-carry benchmark, which leads us to believe he’s got plenty left in the tank. In fact, Jones has increased his rushing attempts by an average of 56% per year since his rookie season, priming him for a breakout now that he’ll see the lion’s share of the touches from the backfield.
Even if he just gets about 15% more touches in 2011, he’ll be in line for over 1500 total yards, given his near-6 yards per touch career average. Like Frank Gore and Steven Jackson, short yardage situational effectiveness may always elude him, but with Marion Barber gone, the Cowboys have few other options; it looks like Jones will see even goal-line touches. My biggest concern with him his first two seasons was his pass-protection and receiving ability, but his 48 catches last year and 3-down work (at times) quelled those fears. In PPR, he should be a viable RB3 with a real shot at finishing with near-top-10 numbers. Can you say the same about rookies Mark Ingram and Daniel Thomas, both in the midst of deep, back-by-committee quagmires? Ingram’s going a full round ahead of Jones and Thomas is going right around the same pick (and probably even improving his stock, now that the Dolphins have clarified that they want him to be the featured back…I’ll believe it when I see it).
Where I’d Draft Him: Not interested…not even a little
Analysis: I don’t know what it is with Jacobs. I mean, I guess he’s still fun to watch. He’s big and “punishing.” And I guess there was some lingering uncertainty regarding Ahmad Bradshaw’s contract up until a couple days ago (but as I’ve said before, D.J. Ware, not Jacobs, is the Giants RB to own in case Bradshaw is out for any reason). But since 2008, when has Jacobs given us any reason to consider him even as an RB3/flex player in standard leagues, let alone PPR leagues where he’s been near-useless his entire career? Over the last two seasons Jacobs has averaged under 10 fppg in PPR! Yes, he scored 9 times last year, and appeared in every game, but his inconsistency was maddening. For every TD he scored, he had a game without a TD. He recorded fewer than 50 rushing yards in all but 6 games! He had seven receptions (tallying a catch in just five contests)! His two 100-yard outings were impressive, especially his December 5 romp against Washington, where he ripped off 103 yards on 8 carries, scoring twice. But that’s essentially what you’re paying for: two 100 yard games a season (before that December 5 game he hadn’t rushed for 100 since November 9, 2008!) and some goal-line work.
Can he be valuable? Yes. But barring your involvement in a prehistoric TD-only league, he’s virtually unusable. But yet he’s being drafted before promising rookies Mikel LeShoure, Roy Helu and DeMarco Murray, and San Diego short-yardage guy Mike Tolbert, who essentially gives you the same thing with four times as many catches (and oh yeah, he plays for a better offense)! On average, you can have the much more complete (and featured) back, Marshawn Lynch, just one round ahead of Jacobs. For comparison’s sake, if you really want an RB who isn’t good at anything but being huge, you can have the equally useless Beanie Wells four rounds later. Sorry for all the exclamation points. I just don’t get it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Where I’d Draft Him: No sooner than the 10th in leagues that award points for return yards.
Analysis: It’s well-known among fantasy nerd crowds that third-year receivers tend to breakout. Percy Harvin’s stupid fast, is sure-handed and has improved to some extent over his first two years. His catch rate (65%) is even pretty good. So what’s not to like?
I guess for me there are two major knocks on him, and I can’t seem to shake them. First, he’s somewhat inconsistent, to the point that he’s a bit of a liability in PPR leagues. In his career he’s had games of four or fewer receptions 14 out of 29 times. Granted, 10 of them came his rookie season, so I can get past that. The biggest problem, for me, is that suddenly he’s playing in a brand new system, with a brand new QB, and will see loads of double-teams; as of this writing he’s his team’s only discernible receiving threat. That was the case last year, and he put up 71/868/5…pretty decent numbers. But I don’t see much improvement on the horizon for him, given his current offensive situation. As of right now, he’s going around the same time as Pierre Garcon, the #2 WR on a very potent passing offense (that attempted 42 passes a game last year!). He’s going a few picks ahead of Mario Manningham, another WR2 from a very good passing offense, poised for a third year breakout. He’s going more than a round ahead of Johnny Knox, Jay Cutler’s #1 WR. I like Donovan McNabb; I don’t think he’s quite yet washed up. But I also doubt he’s going to easily step in and re-vamp the Vikings passing game with T-Rex-armed former Colt, Charlie Johnson protecting his blind side, and Harvin trying to out run double coverage. Just doesn’t seem safe. And at that range in the draft, you shouldn’t quite be ready to start taking big risks unless your team’s already pretty stacked. Will I be shocked if Harvin gives us another 800-yard season? No. Will I be shocked if he does much more? Yes.
Where I’d Draft Him: The early-to-mid 7th
Analysis: Okay, so you just read that, unless you’re stacked and can afford it, rounds 7-9 is a smidge too early to take huge risks. So why am I advocating Collie, the head-injury prone quintessential picture of high risk/high reward? It all goes back to the offense. Collie is risky not because his team may very well fail to get him the ball on any given week, he’s risky because of circumstances beyond his control (head injuries, that very seldom become chronic, as they are due to unfortunate hits). Collie says the concussions are behind him, and even though he is technically his team’s third WR, and is still probably behind even Dallas Clark in the reception pecking order, I still am totally comfortable with him, and I’ll tell you why. It’s clear people who are drafting him this low weren’t watching last year. The man is a beast. His season line looks good, but not great, from afar: 58/649/8 in “9 games.” But let’s look at his game log to really see how amazing his 2010 was.
Collie technically played in 9 games, but was healthy enough to contribute in only 7.5 of them. He was knocked out with a concussion in Week 9 on his first target, and didn’t play the second half of Week 11 thanks to another one. If we’re going to get nit-picky, he left early in week 15 too, but he had already scored two TDs at that point, so I’ll give him that week as a “full game.” So now let’s extrapolate, and pretend those concussions never happened.
Collie’s extrapolated line: 89 catches, 993 yards, 12 TDs. He also had freakish advanced stats in his limited season. His
catch rate was far and away the best in the NFL among players with 50 or more catches. He caught 82% of the passes thrown his way. The next two guys on the list, Jordan Shipley and Lance Moore, caught 70%. Collie was also 13th in the NFL in DYAR and third in the NFL in DVOA (advanced stats courtesy of Football Outsiders, who can explain all that jargon to you here on their WR page). In short, he was really good last year. Almost historically good. In PPR leagues, he was essentially Wes Welker at his best, with more TDs. And that made him a PPR monster. Taking out the Philly game when he suffered his first concussion, he caught 5 or more passes on all but one occasion (saving that 4-catch performance against the Giants with a TD), and caught 7 or more four times, including two double-digit outings in the first three weeks of the season.
It’s impossible to predict if Collie will even be as targeted this coming season, but as a Colts fan I can tell you that once Manning finds a receiver he can trust, he loads him up with targets, so don’t be surprised if Collie is a PPR gem, again. And oh yeah, draft him ahead of Percy Harvin, Sidney Rice and maybe even his teammate, Pierre Garcon (who outscored Collie by only 0.5 points in PPR and played 5 more games!).
Where I’d Draft Him: I’d consider him in the late first of 12-team leagues, but probably not until the mid-second.
Analysis: Let me lay this out for you, even though it seems like I’m repeating myself, and going over and over what I’ve already told people thousands of times when they’ve tried to convince me to take a QB in the first (imagine I’m talking to you in a really offensive “making fun of deaf people” voice):
You have the 8th pick in a 12-team draft. You get the chance to draft Rodgers or LeSean McCoy (ADP: 9.5).
You take Rodgers. He scores similarly to how he did last year (330ish points). You pass on McCoy, and he scores similarly to how he did last year (just shy of 300 in PPR).
Your next pick rolls around, the 17th, and now your best bet for an RB1 is Frank Gore (17.06 ADP), but you’re worried about his injury history, so you go with Matt Forte (19.11) and he scores similarly to how he did last year (about 260 in PPR…no offense to Gore, but I wanted to use an example who actually played a significant amount of games in 2010).
So far you’re at a 40-point net loss at the RB position, or about 2.5 points per game. Is it worth it? You tell me. How many of those games last year could you have won if you had 2.5 extra points from a slightly more reliable RB, you QB-loving amateur?
Anyway, let’s say you grab McCoy in round 1, and decide to draft a QB in round two. You have your pick between Drew Brees (18.44), Peyton Manning (18.72), Tom Brady (23.61) or Philip Rivers (24.50). Let’s say they all perform how they did a year ago:
Brees: 302 points
Brady: 335 (actually more than Rodgers, almost 20 picks later)
Let me state that a different way (turning “deaf person” voice back on):
* Rodgers over McCoy and Forte over Brees gets you 28 points at QB and costs you 40 at RB, thus leaving you with a net -12…and that’s the best deal of the four. It gets worse.
* Rodgers over McCoy and Forte over Manning gets you 11 points at QB and costs you 40 at RB, thus leaving you with a net -29
* Rodgers over McCoy and Forte over Brady costs you 5 points at QB and costs you 40 at RB, thus leaving you with a net -45
* Rodgers over McCoy and Forte over Rivers gets you 6 points at QB and costs you 40 at RB, thus leaving you with a net -34
So it’s not really about how I don’t think Rodgers is worth it. It’s more about how I don’t think the sacrifice you have to make to take Rodgers is worth it. And I (we fantasy “experts”) say this every year. There’s a reason all those fat, sweaty fantasy guys advise you not to take QBs early; it doesn’t matter if it’s Vick-numbers or not.
And yes, I know it’s hard to predict which top-10 drafted RB is going to end up in the top 10 at their position in scoring (usually only 4-5 end up there), but it’s not hard to predict the 4-6 QBs who will end up in the top 4-6…barring an unpredictable Vick-like fluke, they’re from the same group nearly every year. You have to roll the dice on the RB you love the most in round one, unless you’re drafting at the end of a 12-man round, where the value sacrifice is more negligible (because you may have already missed out on all the RBs you love).
Where I’d Draft Him: Ha!
Analysis: I don’t know, I guess we’re assuming Cam Newton, who is nothing like Michael Vick, can somehow be the next Michael Vick? I don’t even buy into him in keeper leagues. The only thing he has going for him is that he can almost certainly win the starting QB job in Carolina sometime in the first few weeks of the season. But as far as the probability that he actually succeeds as an NFL player, let alone a member of your fantasy squad? I’ll let the actual scouting reports do my talking:
An overhyped, high-risk, high-reward selection with a glaring bust factor, Newton is sure to be drafted more highly than he should and could foreclose a risk-taking GM’s job and taint a locker room.
Newton will have to greatly refine all of his mechanical flaws if he wants to succeed in the pros. His field vision and pocket poise are average, at best. Then there are the questions about his character – fair or not. He’s had multiple off-field issues and has bounced around from Florida to Blinn Junior College to Auburn.
Cam Newton is as physically gifted as any quarterback ever to come out of college; however the down side is scary. History of theft, cheating, being kicked out of school, and questionable intelligence could cause him to be a bust in the NFL.
Blah, blah, blah, he’s the next Akili Smith or JaMarcus Russel or Cade McNown (if you’re going to accuse me of being racist). Who cares? The fact is there’s a ton of better options even later who are bound to start sooner (and maybe all year, if they’re lucky) and some will even have higher ceilings this season (as Newton may ride pine in 2011 for all we know). They are: Kevin Kolb (ADP 148, but it’s rising and he’ll be safely ahead of Newton by the time you draft), Kyle Orton (150.17), Jason Campbell (153.5), Colt McCoy (161.25…yeah, I kind of like him, can’t say why), Ryan Fitzpatrick (181.14), Matt Hasselbeck (218) and Donovan McNabb (246.5). If you’re really desperate enough to draft Newton, punch yourself in the face until you change your mind and draft one of those guys first.
Where I’d Draft Him: I probably shouldn’t need to. A backup TE is a backup TE, and of the 20-some-odd drafts I’ve done already, I’ve never found a reason to draft him. But if you’re in a 12+team league that requires two TEs, or you just want some late round insurance, you could apparently safely take him anywhere, and I like him better than some of the options going ahead of him.
Analysis: I’m not sure why the fantasy community is so down on Keller. I mean, I get that he didn’t score a TD over the final 12 weeks of the NFL season. That’s true. But he probably won you a game or two, if you started him the right week. That’s all you’re asking for from your backup TE, and it’s more than you can say for the likes of Jared Cook (going 8 rounds earlier, and has literally had two good games in his life) and Aaron Hernandez (going eight rounds earlier, and has a pretty identical line, only somehow less consistent with 1 or no catches on five occasions last year). His ADP is like some sort of perverse exaggeration. Can you even draft 21 rounds in a fantasy league? It’s like he’s being black-balled. I had to read a bunch of articles on him just to figure out if he had some sort of testicular injury we hadn’t heard about. Nope, balls seem fine. People just hate him. You shouldn’t. You should at least be ambivalent about him.
Where I’d Draft Him: By the mid-11th or just a bit later in 12-team leagues
Analysis: Pettigrew isn’t a great value anymore because people seem to be catching on that he’s got that JerMichael Finley/Vernon Davis swag and is part of a high-powered offense. Even with his shaky QB situation last year he put up decent stats for a low-end TE. I’m not even convinced he can, or should, start for you. I just think of the crap-heap that is this year’s TE rankings, you could find a treasure in Pettigrew, who’s got about as much potential as you could ask for in a guy available so late. Take him ahead of Marcedes Lewis (one dimensional fat guy), Kellen Winslow (injury waiting to happen) Chris Cooley (somehow part of a tight end platoon now?) and maybe even the HOFer Tony Gonzalez (older than Al Davis). They’re all being drafted ahead of Pettigrew, none are starting-caliber TEs. Pettigrew sort of is, with the potential to be so much more. Take him instead. Oh yeah, and Rob Gronkowski sucks (but don’t take Pettigrew over him).