ADP Price Check: Fantasy Footballers Edition
Back in my day, fantasy football scores were calculated by hand using box scores out of the morning newspaper. Finding sleepers was an art form, and it usually involved a pair of binoculars and questionable access to team practices. We fantasy owners had to rely on our own intuition and gumption to build a team worthy of that #FootClanTitle.
Okay fine, that was long before my time — but the point remains! Fantasy football research is more expansive and available than our forefathers could have dreamed. And part of this revolution is the emergence of Average Draft Position (ADP), a magnificent tool that effectively ranks every player according to the consensus of the fantasy community at large.
The difficulty comes when players’ average draft positions clash with the rankings of your favorite fantasy analysts. Who do you trust: the hive mind of the general public or a trio of bearded podcasters and a grizzly bear?
To tackle some of these hard choices, I’ve compiled a quick hit list of players whose ADPs (per Fantasy Football Calculator) and Fantasy Footballers consensus rankings show the greatest disparity.
Here to help with these ADP price checks are fellow site writers Ryan Weisse (@TheFantasyFive), Keaton Denlay (@KeatonDenlay), and Ben Cummins (@BenCumminsFF). If fantasy football takes were antiques collectibles, you could consider us the Pawn Stars.
We are now open for business.
Ballers Rank: QB11, 106th overall / ADP: QB18, 139th overall
Simply put, the public is wrong on this one. Perhaps they are blinded by a somewhat lackluster season from Dalton in 2016. Perhaps they are blinded by his brilliant ginger hair. In any case, the Ballers are seeing clearly. Dalton is due for a heavy dose of positive touchdown regression in 2017 and has one of the most explosive offensive arsenals in the league. He is an excellent target for the late-round-QB drafters of the world, and has top-five potential if his supporting cast stays healthy. – Matt Okada
Ballers Rank: QB9, 108th overall / ADP: QB14, 114th overall
I definitely got sticker shock when I saw Dak Prescott as the No. 9 QB. Given the offensive philosophy in Dallas, the current ADP for Dak as a QB2 is much more palatable. Last season, the ‘Boys had the most run-heavy offense in the league with a 51:49 Pass to Run split. In a low volume offense, Dak fits better as a high end QB2 who will provide owners with a safe floor due to his contributions as a runner. – Keaton Denlay
Ballers Rank: QB13, 109th overall / ADP: QB8, 82nd overall
I won’t lie, this is a tough one. Clearly, the masses are intrigued by the new weapons in Tampa Bay — DeSean Jackson and O.J. Howard — and the fact that Winston is a year older and figures to mature as a passer. That said, the first overall pick from 2015 is also coming off an 18-interception season where he finished (fittingly) as the QB18. While I think Winston will take a step forward this year, it would take a freakish stride to step all the way into the top 10 in fantasy. – Matt Okada
Ballers Rank: QB17, 117th overall / ADP: QB5, 70th overall
This would be a rare case where I think ADP is too high and the Ballers are too low. Carr finished as the overall QB11 last year and that seems just about right for him again this year. He should benefit from the addition of Marshawn Lynch and his excellent offensive line, so we could see slight improvement, but I can’t imagine he makes it to the top five. – Ryan Weisse
Ballers Rank: RB27, 56th overall / ADP: RB16, 33rd overall
This one boils down to projected role. If Ty Montgomery is the featured back in Green Bay, he deserves to be RB16. If, however, he is going to split the workload and serve more as a passing down back next to Jamaal Williams, then the Ballers have the right idea in tempering expectations. Hopefully a few preseason games will help to clarify the roles for these runners. – Keaton Denlay
Ballers Rank: RB18, 43rd overall / ADP: RB33, 77th overall
Gore has outperformed ADP for five straight years and has been at least an RB2 every season since he was a rookie. Letting him fall to RB33 is just asking for trouble. You end up with a riskier player and your opponent ends up with one of the most consistent fantasy players ever! – Ryan Weisse
Ballers Rank: RB55, 173rd overall / ADP: RB40, 99th overall
With the news out of camp that Rawls is dominating first team reps, and his starter work in the first preseason game, it’s easy to see why the fantasy community is “high” on the 24-year-old. That said, the Ballers have him incredibly low, behind RBs with even less opportunity like Darren Sproles and Rex Burkhead. This is easily one of the hardest backfields to project for 2017, but I have to side with the ADP on Rawls. – Matt Okada
Ballers Rank: RB30, 73rd overall / ADP: RB44, 110th overall
The Jets are a mess, and I haven’t decided what that means for Forte yet. What does he even have to play for? He’s the wily veteran on a team that is essentially playing for the first pick next year. On top of that, he may be stuck in something of a committee with the much younger Bilal Powell. I don’t know where I’m comfortable drafting him yet, but I surely don’t consider him an RB2 or even an RB3. – Ryan Weisse
Ballers Rank: WR26, 54th overall / ADP: WR38, 94th overall
As long as Joe Flacco is healthy, I love, love, love The Dirty Cake in fantasy this year. My guess is the Ballers see many of the same things I do. Baltimore has attempted the most passes in the league for two straight seasons and has an NFL high 390 targets from 2016 up for grabs. Maclin will easily step in as the WR1 and play a role that shines even brighter in PPR scoring. He also has a solid sample size of fantasy success in the league to this point, and improved health after missing time last season. Check out Matt Okada’s Path to WR1 article on Maclin for more good eats. – Ben Cummins
Ballers Rank: WR23, 45th overall / ADP: WR16, 37th overall
Keenan Allen is a tough player to rank, because you have to decide if you think he’s going to be healthy or not. If he’s healthy, the Ballers’ ranking is way too low. If he gets hurt, the ADP is obviously way too high. You’ll have to decide which camp you’re in, because valuing him at WR23 means you won’t get him in your average draft. – Keaton Denlay
Ballers Rank: WR30, 70th overall / ADP: WR42, 107th overall
John Brown is the best WR value in fantasy in 2017. Despite dealing with a multitude of injuries last year, Brown still found a way to post a 10-catch game. Back in 2015, he topped 1,000 yards and scored seven times. Now reportedly healthy, Brown is locked in as the WR2 in Arizona. His quarterback play should be solid, in opposition to the Carson Palmer demise narrative — he was the QB8 over the final eight weeks of 2016. Plus, the Cardinals schedule for fantasy purposes is just plain awesome this year. – Ben Cummins
Ballers Rank: WR65, 155th overall / ADP: WR53, 140th overall
This is a clear case of a hype train that has left the station and then left the tracks entirely. Already guaranteed to be overvalued by virtue of being a rookie novelty, Ross ballooned his fantasy prospects with an NFL-combine record of 4.22 seconds in the 40-yard dash. Unfortunately, he is just barely coming back from a shoulder injury, and will likely start the season behind A.J. Green, Brandon LaFell, and Tyler Boyd on the depth charts. The Ballers have resisted the hype better than the rest on Ross and you’re better served leaving him for the waiver wire. – Matt Okada
Ballers Rank: TE9, 135th overall / ADP: TE14, 145th overall
I get it, the fantasy community is tired of buying into the promises of Ebron’s greatness and receiving a pile of disappointment in return. Patience, young Padawans. Tight ends take longer to develop in the NFL than almost any other position. Ebron was actually serviceable in 2016, and just needs to bring in the touchdowns to finally breakout. While Smooth Routes Kenny Golladay appears to be a potential red zone weapon, Ebron should get a Lion’s share of looks as well at 6’5″ and 250 lbs (pun very much intended). Join with the Ballers in giving Ebron one more chance. – Matt Okada
Ballers Rank: TE26, Outside Top 200 / ADP: TE18, 171st overall
I have Julius Thomas at No. 21 in my rankings and have very little fantasy interest in him this season. No one should be confident in Jay Cutler‘s abilities at this point in his career. Thomas projects to be fourth in line for targets (at best) behind Jarvis Landry, Devante Parker, and Kenny Stills, and the Dolphins are a run-first offense — they attempted the second fewest passes in the league last season. Situation matters immensely in fantasy football. Thomas isn’t playing with Peyton Manning anymore. Hard pass. – Ben Cummins
Ballers Rank: TE13, 138th overall / ADP: TE8, 84th overall
I have Walker at TE11, a little closer to the Ballers than the ADP. Eric Decker, Corey Davis, Taywan Taylor, and Jonnu Smith are all pass catchers brought in to aid Marcus Mariota in the passing attack. They join 2016 studs Rishard Matthews and DeMarco Murray — a great pass-catching RB — on a talented roster. Drafters aren’t adjusting for Walker’s projected reduction in targets this season. Tennessee’s identity is still centered in the run game, where they finished fourth overall in total carries a year ago. – Ben Cummins
Ballers Rank: TE17, 182nd overall / ADP: Undrafted
Differentiating between TE17 and an undrafted player is a little odd, because it is rare for a league to dive all that deep into tight ends in a draft. In fact, the Ballers do not endorse drafting Seferian-Jenkins due to his two-game suspension to start the season. This rank is more a way of showing that the Jets tight end is someone to keep on your radar as a potential Week 3 waiver claim. He’s the Jets’ best and last hope. – Keaton Denlay
If any other players are giving you ADP indigestion, hit up our crew on Twitter! And do yourself a favor and grab a copy of the Fantasy Footballers Ultimate Draft Kit to get more detailed breakdowns on many of these rankings and more.