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This is my favorite time to break down Average Draft Position because we're really seeing movement when it comes to actual news happening and what took place in the third preseason games. With Fantasy drafts going on almost every day now, this is one of the best tools to help prepare for your leagues.
For example, with Julian Edelman, Spencer Ware and Cameron Meredith all going down with season-ending knee injuries in the third preseason game, replacement options like Chris Hogan and Kareem Hunt have seen a dramatic rise in their ADP. Conversely, Andrew Luck's shoulder injury has brought down his ADP, as well as his No. 1 receiver, T.Y. Hilton.
We'll look at several risers and fallers at each position here, but you should definitely be studying the player trends on the ADP page if your Draft Day is still coming up.
Newton made his preseason debut Thursday against Jacksonville, and that was all Fantasy owners needed to see. He's up nine spots in overall ADP, which has pushed him to No. 5 at quarterback in the fifth round. I think that's too soon, but I also moved him up in my rankings to No. 9. I still only want Newton at a bargain price, but this rise in ADP increases his bust potential. Still, it was good to see him healthy as he comes back from offseason shoulder surgery, and he should be fine for Week 1.
Wilson has looked great this preseason, and Fantasy owners are treating like him a bounce-back quarterback after he struggled in 2016. In his last two preseason outings against Minnesota and Kansas City, Wilson has 406 passing yards and three touchdowns, and he looks poised for a big campaign. I like Wilson as a top-five quarterback, but I wouldn't draft him in Round 5 like he's going here. If you can get him in Round 7 then that's the right move to make.
No one is going to draft Wentz in most 12-team, one-quarterback leagues as a starter. But he does have plenty of sleeper appeal if you're looking for a backup in those formats, and he's a starter in two-quarterback and super-flex leagues. Wentz played well in the third preseason game against Miami with 129 passing yards, two touchdowns and one interception, and he could easily finish the season as a top-15 quarterback, if not higher.
Winston has actually settled into a good draft spot at quarterback, but he's still going too soon in Round 5. Prior to the third preseason game, he was being drafted as a top-five quarterback, which is too soon. You can blame HBO's Hard Knocks for likely too much exposure, driving up his draft stock, but Winston should definitely be considered a top-10 quarterback this year. I would draft him in the Round 8 range.
Like Winston, I'm fine with Cousins at this spot, but he also should be drafted in Round 8 or later instead of Round 6. The Redskins offense has struggled in the preseason, and Cousins has 258 passing yards, one touchdown and one interception through three preseason games. But keep in mind his receiving corps has been banged up with Jamison Crowder, Jordan Reed and Josh Doctson battling injuries. When healthy, including Terrelle Pryor, Cousins should be fine. Don't give up on him yet.
It sounds like Luck is going to miss Week 1 against the Rams and might be out a few weeks to open the season with his shoulder injury. As a result, his draft stock is on the decline, and it's hard to argue for him being a top-10 quarterback given the uncertainty of when he'll make his debut. When healthy, Luck is a top-five Fantasy quarterback, so he could turn into a tremendous value pick. Just know that you're committing to carrying two quarterbacks early in the year if you draft Luck.
Fantasy owners are concerned about the workload for Anderson given the Broncos' offseason additions of Jamaal Charles and rookie De'Angelo Henderson to go with Devontae Booker. But Anderson should get the majority of touches, and if he can stay healthy then he has the chance to be a top-10 Fantasy running back this year. He has scored in his past two preseason games against San Francisco and Green Bay, and I'm drafting him as early as Round 4 in all leagues.
Hunt is one of the biggest risers after this weekend when Ware was ruled out for the year with a knee injury. He has moved up 36 spots with his overall ADP, and he's being drafted early in the sixth round. He will continue to climb, and I would draft him as early as the third round. He has the chance to be the best rookie running back this year given his role for the Chiefs in a good offense for running backs. I'm targeting Hunt in all leagues.
This could be a big year for Abdullah, who is being projected for at least 200 carries and 35 catches. If that happens, Abdullah is a candidate for about 1,300 total yards, and he could easily score about five touchdowns even if he's sharing work with Theo Riddick and Zach Zenner. I plan to draft Abdullah as a No. 2 Fantasy running back in Round 5, and I expect his ADP to climb into that range prior to Labor Day weekend.
Powell just had a huge third preseason game against the Giants with seven carries for 32 yards and four catches for 100 yards and a touchdown. There was just one problem: he did that with the backups. Powell played behind Matt Forte, and it may take another injury to Forte to help Powell reach Fantasy greatness. This might be too soon for him, even in PPR, although Powell is someone we like a lot. The Jets would be smart to lean on Powell -- and not Forte -- as much as possible.
Martin worked behind Jacquizz Rodgers in the third preseason game because Rodgers will start the season as the No. 1 running back in Tampa Bay with Martin facing a three-game suspension. But Martin has looked good this offseason, and he should take back the starting job in Week 4. I love this ADP for Martin, and it's easy to pair him with Rodgers, who is going at No. 130 overall. This is a good backfield to lock up because the Buccaneers will run the ball a lot and should have a quality offense in 2017.
Elliott has finally settled in the spot he will go until the appeal of his six-game suspension is finalized, and we hopefully will have an answer prior to Labor Day weekend. If the suspension remains at six games then this is the right spot for him since you can pair him with a top-10 overall pick and then hopefully dominate your league in the second half of the season when Elliott is active. But if the suspension is reduced, then this pick could be a steal.
Woodhead has been dealing with a hamstring injury, which kept him out of the third preseason game. He's expected to be fine for Week 1, but it's not encouraging to see a 32-year-old coming off a torn ACL still struggling with injuries. When healthy, Woodhead should be a solid Fantasy option, especially in PPR, and the Ravens have more than 300 targets to replace this year with Steve Smith, Dennis Pitta, Kamar Aiken, Kenneth Dixon and Kyle Juszczyk no longer on the roster. Woodhead is worth drafting in this spot.
Perkins might be a good running back, or he could be terrible. We really don't know yet because he's playing behind one of the worst offensive lines in the NFL with the Giants. It's going to be hard for Perkins to have a breakout campaign even as the starter for the Giants because heading into the season, it doesn't look like he's going to get much help. He's worth drafting in this spot as a No. 3 running back, and it's doubtful his ADP is going to rise.
Blount's ADP should decline because it looks like it could be a long year for him. After leading the NFL with 18 rushing touchdowns last year, the Eagles backfield looks like a definite committee with plenty of moving parts, including Darren Sproles and Wendell Smallwood. It was hard to justify drafting Blount in Round 8 before training camp started, and through three preseason games he has 13 carries for 36 yards (2.8 yards per carry) and no touchdowns and two catches for 15 yards and a fumble. I'd rather gamble on Sproles at No. 121 overall or Smallwood at No. 160 overall than trust Blount at this ADP.
Peterson made it through training camp and the preseason without any setbacks, and he looks ready to go as part of the committee backfield in New Orleans. Mark Ingram should be considered the lead rusher for the Saints, but Peterson will get his touches and is worth drafting in this range. If he can stay healthy he could end up as a solid flex option this year. And should something happen to Ingram, Peterson's value would skyrocket.
Fitzgerald might have moved up a little bit because the Cardinals receiving corps was a mess prior to the third preseason game. Then John Brown came out and scored two touchdowns and looked like the guy we hope to see this year. I'm fine with Fitzgerald in this spot in a PPR league, but he's more of a No. 3 Fantasy receiver in standard formats. And he's a better fit in Round 7 than in Round 6. Fitzgerald is safe, but he's not sexy as a starting Fantasy option.
This is a great spot for Snead, and hopefully he can step up and play at a high level with Brandin Cooks gone. He's also in a contract year, in his third season in the NFL and catches passes from Drew Brees. Snead has struggled in the preseason so far with just three catches for 18 yards, and hopefully that's not a sign of things to come. But he's worth buying into at this spot as a No. 3 Fantasy receiver with upside.
Crowder is going too low here, and I hope he's a seventh-round pick in my personal leagues. He has the potential to be a top-20 Fantasy receiver this season, and I love his upside as a starter for the Redskins -- along with entering his third year in the NFL. Crowder is headed for 120-plus targets, and he should have at least 80-plus catches, 1,000-yards and eight touchdowns. He is one of my favorite breakout candidate this year.
I was surprised Parker only moved up this far after his 72-yard catch in the third preseason game against Philadelphia, and he looks headed for a big year. Jay Cutler helps Parker's outlook because he's not afraid to throw the ball downfield, and Parker is entering his third season in the NFL. Like Crowder, I hope Parker stays in this range in my leagues, although that's not realistic now that everyone has caught on to his upside. Parker's ADP will rise prior to Labor Day weekend.
We've likely found the winner of the biggest riser this preseason. With Edelman going down on the same night Hogan scored two touchdowns in the preseason game against Detroit, Fantasy owners are hoping he inherits a bigger role with Tom Brady. But just keep in mind that Brandin Cooks, Rob Gronkowski, Dwayne Allen, Danny Amendola and the running backs will also benefit with Edelman gone. I like Hogan as a No. 4 receiver with upside. But his ADP might get out of control with Edelman out.
It's justified to some regard that Hilton is falling because Luck is hurt, and we don't know when he's going to play. But Luck also hasn't been ruled out for the season, so it's not like Hilton is stuck with Scott Tolzien or Stephen Morris for 16 games. Yes, Hilton's stats have been bad without Luck -- he has one game with a touchdown in the past 10 outings Luck has missed -- but Luck could play as early as Week 2. Let Hilton fall to you in Round 3 because it could end up as a steal on Draft Day.
With Parker's rise has come Landry's fall, and it's justified given the quarterback change from Ryan Tannehill (knee) to Cutler. Landry will still be a solid No. 3 Fantasy receiver, and he could be a low-end starter in PPR leagues. But he's no longer a candidate for 100 catches with Cutler, and he's never scored more than five touchdowns in a season in the first three years of his career. I like Parker better than Landry in standard leagues.
Robinson will hopefully settle into a good spot where he's worth the risk of playing with a bad quarterback in Blake Bortles, who has been named the starter for the Jaguars in Week 1. We saw the high of Robinson in 2015 when he was the No. 4 Fantasy receiver in standard leagues, and he was the No. 28 receiver last year. He had Bortles both years, so we have to see which Robinson shows up this season. I like this ADP for Robinson right now.
It's good to see Cobb fall with his ADP because going in the first 75 picks is going to make him a bust. He's behind Jordy Nelson and Davante Adams in the pecking order for targets in Green Bay, and Martellus Bennett might be more involved than Cobb this season, especially in the red zone. I would draft Cobb as a No. 4 Fantasy receiver with a late-round pick, but I don't want him in the seventh round.
Watkins is going to end up as a value pick if he continues to fall with his ADP. If I can draft him as the No. 34 receiver, I will take that whenever possible because he will be much better than that. He still has breakout potential, and he's still worth drafting as a low-end starter. Yes, the trade from the Bills to the Rams could limit his upside, but there's also a chance that Jared Goff is better than Tyrod Taylor. Draft Watkins in Round 5, and this ADP should be ignored.
Graham was great in 2016 in his comeback from last year's knee injury, and he has the chance to be better this season. He's well worth drafting as a top-five tight end, and No. 52 overall is a great spot for him. I like Graham better than Greg Olsen in standard leagues, but Olsen is better in PPR. Graham, however, could easily be the No. 2 Fantasy tight end this year behind Gronkowski if he continues to build off last year's campaign.
Bennett scored a touchdown in his second preseason game, and that will make Fantasy owners excited for him this season now that he's catching passes from Aaron Rodgers. Bennett is worth consideration as a top-10 tight end, although there is some downside. Remember, Rodgers has plenty of weapons, and he doesn't have the best track record of leaning on his tight ends when his receiving corps is healthy. But Bennett might be the best tight end Rodgers has ever had. Hopefully, he delivers this year.
I like Ertz as the No. 6 tight end this year, and this should be his best season in the NFL. When Jordan Matthews was traded to the Bills, that opened up more targets for Ertz, and he should be the No. 2 weapon in the Eagles' passing game behind Alshon Jeffery. Ertz has top-five potential, and he's been a top-10 tight end each of the past two years. We hope Ertz's ADP doesn't get out of control, and this is a great spot to draft him.
I'm not sure why Olsen is declining with his ADP. While I like him No. 5 at tight end behind Gronkowski, Travis Kelce, Jordan Reed and Graham, he is in the discussion to be the No. 2 player at the position for the season. I view Olsen as the tight end in the top five to settle for because I think the other four guys offer more upside, but he still has the potential for 75 catches, 1,000 yards and five touchdowns. That's worth it in Round 5.
Walker is another tight end to settle for, but he's below the group with Olsen. Walker can still be a top-five tight end this year, but his targets, catches and yards declined last season when just Rishard Matthews was added. Now, the Titans have Eric Decker, Corey Davis and Taywan Taylor to go with Matthews, and Walker could suffer. He's still a No. 1 Fantasy tight end, but he's going in the right spot as the back end of the starting group.
Ebron is falling because of a hamstring injury, and hopefully he'll be ready for Week 1. I like him better as a No. 2 tight end with upside, so this is a good spot for him. He does have plenty of potential in his fourth season, and the Lions have eight touchdowns to replace with Anquan Boldin gone. Some of those could go to Golden Tate, Marvin Jones or rookie Kenny Golladay, but if Ebron can improve on his one touchdown from last year, he has top-10 potential in 2017.