Fantasy Football ADP Analysis: 7/30/2012
I’ve been mocking like crazy lately with the Cheat Sheet Wizard, and have finally come around to my third Average Draft Position breakdown of the summer. You can probably expect one more before the 2012 fantasy football season kicks off, but for now you’ll have to settle on three.
I’m still operating off of a 12-team standard format in regards to my findings, and instead of looking at each round, I’m only looking at the quality gems you can get in round 10 and beyond this time. These are the guys that will save a broken or otherwise dying draft, and could be the talk of the season if everything goes their way. And considering where you’ll be getting them, you’re really not risking much if they don’t pan out.
Here are some solid bets late in fantasy drafts based on recent ADP results over at the Fantasy Football Calculator:
Carson Palmer (Oakland Raiders)
Palmer will always be a guy who turns the ball over a lot, but he’s the rock solid starter in Oakland, and has loads of explosive talent around him. As long as he and his guys can stay healthy, he could easily top 4,000 yards and put up 25+ scores. He’s a risky guy, but I’ll take him as a QB2 in round 10.
Josh Freeman (Tampa Bay Buccaneers)
Freeman had a down year in 2011, but the Buccaneers will look to balance things out more in 2012, which should make life easier on the young quarterback. I think big-time additions such as rookie running back Doug Martin and true number one receiver Vincent Jackson could make him a major comeback player candidate. That sounds pretty good for a guy being drafted in round 11.
Andrew Luck (Indianapolis Colts)
If we’re going on interceptions and losses, sure, I’ll take Luck over RG3 this year. Otherwise, I’ll never do it. But that doesn’t mean Luck has no value. In fact, I think he’s going to have a better than expected rookie season and he can make for a fine QB2.
Matt Flynn (Seattle Seahawks)
Flynn doesn’t have a big arm or proven explosive weapons, but he’s a smart guy with good accuracy and leadership. I think he’s the starter in Seattle when the season starts, and he knows the WCO good enough to be a solid QB2 when you need him.
Jake Locker (Tennessee Titans)
Locker could explode in 2012 if given the chance. He’s shown off a rocket arm and elite athleticism for the quarterback position, and I’m a fan of a plethora of big-play weapons around him. He’s going undrafted in way too many leagues and is going to be one of the top steals of the year once he becomes the full-time starter.
Kevin Kolb (Arizona Cardinals)
Kolb is the Cardinals #1 quarterback at the moment, and only the worst preseason of all-time will change that. He is getting paid way too much coin for it to be any other way, and I truly believe he’s talented enough to take it to the next level. He has too much talent around him, too. This could finally be the year he lives up to his sleeper billing.
Tim Tebow (New York Jets)
Timmy Teebs was a solid fantasy asset most weeks in 2011, even though his accuracy was awful. I don’t have much faith in Mark Sanchez holding him off, and either way, Tebow could have some relevant value early depending on his role. He’s an interesting option to begin with, but he also could have a shot at the starting job eventually. That could make him worth a late-round flier in a lot of leagues.
Ronnie Hillman (Denver Broncos)
Willis McGahee is the top running back in Denver for now, but that could be a limited time offer. Hillman is smaller and inexperienced, but he’s more explosive and offers more as a receiver. McGahee is in his 30′s and could break down, too, so Hillman needs to be monitored and arguably drafted in most leagues. He’s a risk as a rook, but he could bring solid value and potential as a 10th-rounder.
Isaiah Pead (St. Louis Rams)
It’s pretty bleak at running back in 12-team leagues – especially after round 10. That’s why you need to take some shots in the dark and grab guys who are rookies, have unclear roles, or are potentially swings and misses. I see Pead as a true RB1 if he ever gets the Rams’ back-field all to himself. Steven Jackson is very much in his way, but Pead is a guy worth stashing to see what happens later in the year.
Shane Vereen (New England Patriots)
Vereen may never be able to stay healthy, but he’s also too talented to just pass up. He’s really only a Stevan Ridley injury away from being a stud in New England, while he figures to make Danny Woodhead pretty irrelevant in 2012. His role won’t be gigantic early, but his explosiveness could change that in a hurry. He’s a fine back to stash and wait on.
Justin Blackmon (Jacksonville Jaguars)
Blackmon is a rookie on a bad team with a skittish quarterback and he already has had off-field issues (dui). Still, he’s a big, physical guy who can make plays and will fight for yardage after the catch. He’s going to have a big role no matter what, and has the potential to be a decent WR2 if everything goes his way. He’s a risk worth taking in round 10.
Nate Washington (Tennessee Titans)
Kenny Britt is dealing with knee and off-field issues, and could easily be looking at a lost 2012 if things keep going at their current pace. Washington already proved his ability last year with a nice 1,000-yard season and seven scores, so a second year as the top receiver would mean he has quality WR2 value. Start bumping him up your draft boards.
Michael Floyd (Arizona Cardinals)
Floyd opened camp as the team’s #4 option and will battle with Andre Roberts all summer for the #2 gig. He’s too big and talented to lose that competition, so I don’t get why he’s going to late in drafts. If he is starting opposite of Larry Fitzgerald by week one (and I fully expect him to be), he could make for a fine WR3.
Kendall Wright (Tennessee Titans)
Same deal with Nate Washington applies here. If Kenny Britt is down and/or out, Wright’s value sky rockets, even if he’s a rookie. I think he’s immensely talented and his abilities are perfect for a Tennessee offense that will go down the field plenty if/when Jake Locker takes over under center.
Doug Baldwin (Seattle Seahawks)
Baldwin was very impressive as a rookie, yet he continues to be over-looked even though Mike Williams is gone and the Seahawks still aren’t confident in Golden Tate. I know Seattle doesn’t remind you of an elite passing offense, but as long as Tarvaris Jackson isn’t the final starter come week one, Baldwin will have some nice surprise value.
Randall Cobb (Green Bay Packers)
Donald Driver is aging and James Jones is not reliable. That means Cobb, a versatile and explosive weapons the Packers love, could be ready to emerge as Green Bay’s third best receiver. He adds value as a return man, too, and continues to be a rising guy you need to keep an eye on.
Devery Henderson (New Orleans Saints)
Robert Meachem is gone, and the Saints still love to pass the ball. That could easily mean that the team’s new #2 receiver, Henderson, could be ready to be really relevant in fantasy football again. He’s still not a big touchdown guy and he won’t be the most consistent option out there, but anyone with a decent role in this offense needs to be owned. Consider Henderson one of those options.
Austin Collie (Indianapolis Colts)
Am I the only one who loves Austin Collie? I saved him for last because I find it astonishing that no one gives him credit for his first two solid seasons, or the fact that he racked up 54 receptions in a 2011 season torn down by incompetent quarterbacks in Indy. With Andre Luck providing an upgrade under center, I think Collie comes back in a big way. He’s a guy you can get in about round 14 that could end up being a surprise WR3 option.
Tony Gonzalez (Atlanta Falcons)
It’s Gonzo’s final season, but he’s coming off his best year in Atlanta in 2011. I think he’ll aim to go out on a high note in more than one way, but that should mean quality stats. He can’t do a whole lot after the catch, but he’s still a reliable receiver who runs solid routes and is a threat near the goal-line. He won’t rival Gronkowski or Graham, but for round 10 (where he’s going), he should be able to provide better than expected TE1 numbers.
Jared Cook (Tennessee Titans)
Cook is an athletic beast just waiting to become the next Jimmy Graham or Antonio Gates. He showed spurts again last year and now with Kenny Britt facing an uncertain future (knee/legal issues), Cook is looking more enticing than ever.
Kyle Rudolph (Minnesota Vikings)
Rudolph is going undrafted in the majority of leagues because he’s on a terrible team and could be sharing targets at his position with John Carlson. I’m not as worried and think his size and ball skills could have him as this year’s Rob Gronkowski – with limitations, of course. He may not blow up on that level, but I really like his potential, making him worth a flier with one of your final picks.
I’m changing my stance a bit on team defenses this year. In 8-10 team leagues, I won’t bite on a defense until the second to last round in most drafts. But in 12-team leagues and beyond, I’ll consider it. If you follow suit after the 49ers unti gets plucked off the board, you should find yourself drafting your only defense in round 10. My drug of choice has been the Baltimore Ravens, while the popular steal is Pittsburgh and Chicago in the 11th round. Wait a little longer and you can get the Jets, who I still think can be a top-five unit, in round 13.
No changes here. I rank kickers and prefer some above others, but I will never take one before the final round (save for two-kicker leagues). There is just too much parity in the average season, and offensive changes can easily flip the script on a supposedly reliable 50+ field goal kicker.