In the weeks leading up to the start of the fantasy football season, there’s an acronym that gets thrown around more than a football on third-and-long, and that’s ADP. For those new to fantasy, ADP stands for Average Draft Position, and essentially its a number every player carries before the start of the season to show where they are being drafted.
ADP can be, and is, a great predictor of where you can expect to draft a certain player. But as you read in my opening article, every draft is going to be different. Just because Player X is typically picked around say, pick 50, doesn’t mean they will necessarily go at that same spot in your league. ADP should be used as just one more tool to help you prepare yourself for draft day and building your team.
Another way ADP is commonly used, is in “Over-valued/Under-valued” discussion leading up to the season. You’ll see many analysts saying something like, “I don’t like Cam Newton this year based on where he’s being drafted.”
But what if I told you, there are entire teams that I’ll be avoiding this year?
You heard me. Now this isn’t an indication of how I think these teams fair this year record-wise. Some will likely even be playoff teams. But more a list of teams whose skill players I think are being overvalued. In a league of only 32 teams, these are the teams that I just don’t want any part of for fantasy purposes this year.
**Note: All ADPs and player stats are based off of PPR (point per reception) scoring
At initial glance, the Panthers look like a team poised for fantasy gold. Led by Cam Newton and Christian McCaffery, this offense should keep any opposing defensive coordinator awake at night. If not for one thing, well two; new offensive coordinator Norv Turner and their dreadful offensive line.
When Turner was hired to replace Mike Shula back in January, the hire was met with plenty of question marks, and rightfully so. Going back to his last year as Head Coach of the Chargers to his days as offensive coordinator of the Browns and Vikings, Turner has not called plays for a team ranking higher than 18th in yards or 16th in points, per Pro Football Reference. His five-year average finish as a playcaller since 2012 is 27th in total yards and 23rd in scoring.
Couple that with an offensive line that lost Andrew Norwell to the Jaguars, and recently lost two starters due to injury. Per the Charlotte Observer, Right tackle Daryl Williams is likely gone for the year and left guard Amini Silatolu just tore his meniscus. This is an offense that I do not want any part of.
Look, this is a team likely starting a developmental rookie quarterback behind a terrible offensive line. The only player even worth considering here would be starting running back m LeSean McCoy.
Throughout his career, McCoy has been an absolute fantasy stud. He has finished as an RB1 (12 team leagues) in all but 2 season since his rookie year per Pro Football Reference. Yet, the current legal issues surrounding him are well-documented. While we do not know what will happen to him, should he be convicted, he would surely be suspended for an extended amount of time.
His current ADP of RB16 and 27th overall directly reflects that uncertainty. But given the fact McCoy recently celebrated his 30th birthday, more commonly known as the end of a running back’s career, and the previously mentioned porous offensive line, I will gladly find an alternative RB2 and let someone else deal with the headache of if/when McCoy will be suspended.
Once thought of as perhaps the most feared team in the league, the Seahawks have had quite the fall from grace. The mighty “Legion of Boom” is no more with only an aging and disgruntled Earl Thomas remaining. Offensively, Marshawn Lynch is entering his second season in Silver and Black of Oakland after attempting to retire 2 years ago.
A front office that was once praised for such draft gems as Cam Chancellor and Richard Sherman, has failed to address their biggest need, offensive line.
Hey, there seems to be a theme here!
According to Pro Football Focus, none of their projected starters on the line finished better than 22nd at their position, and two of their starters weren’t even top-70 at their position. Despite Pro Football Reference ranking him as a top-10 quarterback in all but one season in his career, Starbucks couldn’t provide enough espresso to keep Wilson running behind that terrible line.
Factor in Doug Baldwin’s current knee injury, albeit minor, and the fact the staff can’t make up their mind on who’s playing RB, this is another team I just don’t want to deal with this season.
By now you have noticed the theme here that offensive lines matter. The Vikings are yet another team with major goals this season that could very well be held back by their offensive line. None of their starters ranked in the top-20 at their position for 2017, according to Pro Football Focus. That includes three of their five projected starters ranking 48th or worse at their position.
While many expect starting running back Dalvin Cook to breakout after an injury shortened 2017, he will be stuck running behind the aforementioned offensive line. That’s in addition to being just 10 months removed from an ACL tear.
Calling the signals this year will be Kirk Cousins. Is it just me or do the Vikings seem to start a new guy under center every week? The quarterback position is so deep this year, there is no need to waste seventh round (current ADP) pick on Cousins.
Instead, wait another couple rounds and grab Jared Goff, Matt Ryan, or Philip Rivers. All of them currently carry a 10th round ADP.
The most talked about position on the Vikings this offseason has been their wide receiver group. Many have ranked them among the top-five wide receiver corps in the league. Talent wise, this may be true, but when looking at ADP, both Diggs and Theilen are going in the third round. This is a full round ahead of Brandin Cooks, who has finished top 8 at the position the last 2 years.
While the Vikings skill players will be productive this year, there are guys just as valuable that can be had a round or more later than these guys are being drafted.
Detroit Lions (or whoever your local NFL team is)
I know. I know. I write for DSE yet I don’t want any of the Lions? If you’ve been following along, you’ll know that “hometown” teams tend to get over valued in drafts.
Using the Lions as an example, here are the main ADPs of the Lions draftable players: Golden Tate – 43; Marvin Jones – 57; Kenny Golladay – 146; Kerryon Johnson – 80; Theo Riddick – 148; LeGarrette Blount – 155; Matthew Stafford – 98.
I think all of those ADPs are fair, but when drafting against fellow Lions fans, assume everyone will go about a round earlier. Besides maybe Tate. Your fellow owners will be itching to own players from their favorite team and these guys will be gone well before their ADP. Don’t be the one that overpays.
ADP info from FantasyPros.com
Stats from pro-football-reference.com
Projected starters from NFL.com