2012 Fantasy Football ADP: Final Average Draft Position Analysis
The 2012 NFL season is just two days away. If your fantasy football league’s draft hasn’t happened yet, it’s sure to within the next couple of days. And if you haven’t done your Average Draft Position research yet, you should brush up on it fairly soon.
If that is the case, then you’re at the right article. I’ll be using Fantasy Football Calculator’s ADP page to asses which guys are able to be had at great spots in 12-team standard drafts. Here’s what I discovered in my final review of 2012 ADP:
Round 4- Matt Ryan and Michael Vick are both lasting into the 4th round. Ryan is ascending from a strong preseason, and Vick dropped from 3rd to 4th because he exited two straight preseason games due to injury. I think both are knee-jerk reactions. With that said, Ryan will still be a stud and Vick is still a sick value in round four. For their value and potential, I’m taking Vick if I had to choose between the two in the fourth round.
Rounds 6 and 7 – You can wait until rounds six and seven to pull the trigger on Tony Romo and Philip Rivers, respectively. I think you’re getting quite a steal with either one. Romo’s o-line is weak and Jason Witten is less than 100%, but he looked great in his final preseason action and Dez Bryant and Miles Austin should be ready to rock. Rivers threw a slew of picks in the preseason, but he and the Chargers offense are poised for an explosive run again.
Round 8 – Wondering where you can get Robert Griffin III? In most 12-team leagues, it’s looking like the 8th round. Some aren’t too high on him after a so-so preseason, but this guy is just busting with talent. He’s going to be a tad under-valued, surprisingly, and you might even want to reach for him in the 7th to make sure you get him if you plan on using him as your QB1. Just make sure you draft a suitable backup.
Round 9 – Ben Roethlisberger and Matt Schaub don’t wow me, but they’re crazy reliable options coming at you in round nine. I personally won’t try to draft either of them, but it’s still great value.
Rounds 10-12 – Instead, I’m going after the likes of Jake Locker, Andrew Luck, Joe Flacco and Russell Wilson as high-end QB2′s with loads of potential. I feel I’m getting even more value with these guys, and they’re all 1-3 rounds later than Big Ben or Schaub. Locker brings dual-threat ability as a runner, while Luck looks very NFL-ready and Flacco is running that no-huddle effortlessly. Wilson is a risk as a rook, but he looks extremely NFL-ready, and offers potential with his legs, as well.
Round 13 – Sam Bradford is the final registered quarterback in the ADP analysis (13th round), and he’s a decent sleeper heading into 2012. He won’t be the steal of the draft or anything, but he’s looked sharp in preseason action and could be in for a solid bounce-back season. You could do worse at the QB2 spot.
Round 2 – Maurice Jones-Drew had slid to the third round and even further recently, but is now back up to the second round with his holdout coming to an end. That ADP is only going to rise. He isn’t a safe play for the first week or maybe two, but MJD will likely end up being a first-round value. If you can get him outside of the first round, you’re getting a steal. The same goes for Ryan Mathews. I know he’s an injury risk and may not play until week three (collarbone), but he’s a first-round talent who could be a beast in the 13 games he does play (fingers crossed).
Round 3 – Rookie running backs Doug Martin and Trent Richardson both are great values in the third round. I had T-Rich as a borderline first-rounder until he started having knee troubles again. If healthy, he can still live up to that draft grade. Martin, on the other hand, is simply ascending in drafts. You’ll be lucky to get him in the third as we get closer to the start of the season.
Round 6 – Peyton Hillis is one of my favorite mid-round backs to chase after in drafts this year. He’s sharing the rushing load in Kansas City with the more explosive Jamaal Charles, but the carries should be close to 50/50 and Hillis will be the main red-zone option. He’s running in a Brian Daboll system again (see: awesome 2010 season), so he could be back to being a beast again. He’s quality value in the 6th, even for a Flex or bench spot.
Round 7 – There’s some really fantastic value in round seven, and this is about where you better get your top or second best backup running back, it seems. David Wilson, Rashad Jennings, DeAngelo Williams and Ben Tate are all handcuff gems that can still offer Flex value by themselves. Jennings’ value is slipping with MJD’s return, but he still is a guy to target in rounds 7-9.
Round 8 – I really am a fan of Ryan Williams and think he has a great chance to supplant Beanie Wells in Arizona. Even if he doesn’t, he’ll work his way up to solid Flex value before it’s all said and done in 2012. That makes him a solid steal in round eight. Mark Ingram is the starter in New Orelans, yet he keeps getting drafted somewhere around the 8th round. That’s crazy. As long as he’s healthier than he was as a rook in 2011, he could be a decent RB2. Another weird trend that is starting is Jonathan Stewart sliding behind D-Will. I still prefer Stewart, and it looks like you might be able to get him after Williams in some drafts.
Round 9 – Roy Helu is a hot name ascending draft boards, but is still found in the 9th round. Even with Evan Roster as the ‘Skins starter for now, I doubt he lasts there for long. If you want him, you may have to pull the trigger 1-2 rounds sooner. Mikel Leshoure will miss the first two games of the year due to suspension, but I think I’ll take him over any other Lions running back. Finding him in round nine is a steal. Lastly, Toby Gerhart is the starter in Minnesota for week one, and depending how slow Adrian Peterson is to get to 100%, that could be the case for several other games. Either way, Gerhart will be more involved this year than he has been in the past. He’s a steal in the 9th round.
Rounds 12-14 – Robert Turbin is a hot name that should be on the rise over the next two days. Marshawn Lynch has had a back issue and even though he’s ready to go in week one, he could have problems later in the year. Turbin is a fine back that is shaping up to be a heck of a sleeper (and handcuff) as a rookie. In round 13, you’ll find Evan Royster and Isaiah Pead. Royster should jump up quite a bit now that he’s listed atop the depth chart, while Pead is the top handcuff for Steven Jackson. Both have questionable immediate value, but their long-term value can’t be ignored. If Royster fares well as the starter, he could be the steal of the draft in round 13. Lastly, Shane Vereen has been sliding all the way to round 14, even though he’s only a Stevan Ridley injury away from being New England’s top back. He could have Flex value as Danny Woodhead’s replacement on third downs, but his value is all in his potential if he ever sees the starting gig.
Round 2 – If you thought you were going to be really sneaky and grab Julio Jones with no one even thinking about doing the same, you can forget about it. That may have been the case in June, July and early August, but just about everyone is buying Jones as the #2 fantasy receiver these days. As they should.
Round 3 – Am I the only one who thinks Andre Johnson is going to have a huge 2012? I know Houston runs the ball, but it’s not like this guy has had bad numbers ever since Arian Foster came to the Texans. I think he’s in for a big year, and it’s a joke that anyone has him outside of their top-5. Getting him in round three is a major steal.
Round 5 – I think Torrey Smith is a top-20 receiver, and I’m not sure everyone else knows it just yet. At his current ADP of 5.12, Smith comes off most draft boards as the #23 overall wide receiver. If you can get him in that range, you’re getting a solid steal.
Round 6 – I know he has hammy woes again, but it looks like Miles Austin should be ready for week one and if he can stay healthy, he figures to be a major steal in the 6th round. Staying healthy obviously is easier said than done, but the value is certainly there this year. You can find Dwayne Bowe and Vincent Jackson in round six, as well – both of which I like at their current ADP’s.
Round 7 – I llove the value at receiver at about round seven. The actual placement of these guys varies from draft to draft, but the recent ADP averages suggest round 7 is an excellent spot to grab a WR3 or a bench wide receiver that you can rotate in with confidence. Kenny Britt will miss week one with a one-game suspension, but that also works in his favor as he continues to return from knee surgery. There’s a good chance he ends up being a major steal here. I really like Justin Blackmon, Reggie Wayne and Titus Young in the 7th, as well.
Round 10 – If he can stay healthy, Sidney Rice could be a heck of a steal in the 10th round. He’s healthy at the moment, but no one can be sure how long that will last. The one season he played 16 games in his career, he was one of the league’s top receivers. Kendall Wright is another nice find in round 10. He’s a rookie, but he’ll start week one with Kenny Britt out, and he could be a big part of the Titans’ offense from that point on. He’s a nice handcuff to Britt, too.
Rounds 11 and 12 – This is where you could think about taking a flier on Randy Moss, or reach a little fro Randall Cobb, Brandon LaFell or Alshon Jeffery. Moss sat out last year, but we all know what he’s done in the past. If he can come even close to returning to form, he could chase 10 scores. Cobb, LaFell and Jeffery are all young talents with great potential, and they’re operating in offenses that can be very explosive. Austin Collie is my last guy in rounds 11 and 12. I know his concussion woes can scare people off, but he’s ready to play in week one, and he’s a favorite target of Andrew Luck’s. Don’t sleep on him.
Round 14 – Even with Robert Meachem gone, Devery Henderson is finding it hard to get some love in the fantasy realm. He’s never going to be a PPR demon, but when forced into a starter’s role, he was very solid in 2011. Either way you look at it, he’s got major big-play ability and he goes to work in one of the league’s most explosive passing games. He’s absolutely worthy of a 14-th round flier, if not a pick 1-2 rounds earlier.
Round 3 – I still find it very funny that my #3 tight end, Antonio Gates, can be drafted two rounds after the top two tight ends. Gates may be third behind Rob Gronkowski and Jimmy Graham, but I doubt it’s by much. If you can’t get Gates, I’d wait a few rounds to take the plunge.
Round 7 – You can find PPR beast Brandon Pettigrew here, but I’d rather toss caution to the wind and grab Jason Witten. The whole spleen issue and rust makes him a risk, but he’s still an elite tight end when healthy – especially in PPR formats. No Laurent Robinson in Dallas gives Witten some much-needed value back. Just make sure you grab a solid backup if you take Witten, as he’s no lock to play in the first week or so.
Round 9 – I like Jacob Tamme as a sleeper this year, but I’ll try to get him a round or two later then the 9th round. He’s still good value here, as he has a nice connection with Peyton Manning. I just don’t like what I’ve seen out of him in preseason.
Rounds 12 and 13 – Jared Cook is primed to blow up in his fourth season, especially with Jake Locker under center. He could be a top-10 option, and you can get him in round 12. Kyle Rudolph is another guy with loads of potential. With no Jerome Simpson suspended through the first three games, Rudolph could be a huge early season option.
I don’t care about kickers and their ADP. I promise you, if you wait until the final round, you’ll be perfectly content with the kicker you pick. Or you can upgrade off your league’s waiver wire. Yes, there is some difference between the top kicker and the 10th, but it’s normally a crap-shoot and your late-round picks should be spent trying to find that gem that normally finds it’s way to the waiver wire – not scrambling to grab an “elite” kicker. The only time I ever was sad about the kicker I got was when I had the final pick in a 20-team league, and I still was okay with landing Mike Nugent. Wait until the final round in 12-team leagues to get your starting kicker.
Rounds 8 and 9 – The 49ers go in round eight, generally followed by the Texans in round nine. Good to know. I say wait until round 10 and pick of the litter of 4-5 elite defenses remaining.
Round 10+ – My choice is the Baltimore Ravens, and round 10 is where you’ll find them. Losing Terrell Suggs for what figures to be half the year hurts, but they’re still a top-five unit. If you’re not hot for the Ravens elite units in the Bears, Steelers and Seahawks can all be found from this round on.