In June of 2017, running back Kenyan Drake found himself buried on the Miami Dolphins depth chart, stuck behind Jay Ajayi.  Drake was barely getting drafted in dynasty football drafts and was carrying an ADP (Average Draft Position) of 229.5.  A mid-season trade of Ajayi, followed by a strong finish by Drake has spurred Drake’s ADP up 170 spots, a 14 round bump in 12 team standard drafts.  Was Drake merely underrated by the Fantasy community and since had his ADP corrected.  Or, has the market over-corrected and will Drake’s value drop, even slightly, again?

I’ve identified 3 other players who have seen similar 100+ ADP changes and tried to identify why the ADP has changed and if that change is a proper correction or an over-correction.  Coming back to Drake, while the path is clear for him in the Miami backfield, the Dolphins springtime additions to the RB depth chart in Frank Gore and Kallen Ballage indicate that the team might not be sold on Drake’s status as an RB1.  I think his current status is an over-correction in the market.

 

Alex Collins, RB BAL

2017 ADP: 238 2018 ADP: 68

If you play in dynasty leagues that roster 25 players or less, there is a good chance you could have picked Alex Collins up off the waiver wire early in the 2017 season.  Collins began the 2017 season being released by the Seahawks and was only signed to the Ravens practice squad when Kenneth Dixon went down with a meniscus injury.  Baltimore’s injury bug carried over to Danny Woodhead next, giving Collins a chance to back-up Terrance West and Buck Allen.  Collins would embrace this opportunity and eventually take over the starting role.  During the past offseason, the Ravens did not bring in any serious contenders; Woodhead retired and West is still a free agent.

With no serious competition in the Ravens running back room, I believe the market has corrected itself in Collins’ case.  People forget that Collins had a strong college career and was considered a top 5 running back coming into the draft.  I am not sure what exactly happened in Seattle, but Seattle spent early draft capital on an RB this year, perhaps they should have held onto Collins.

 

Jimmy Garoppolo, QB SF

2017 ADP: 192 2018 ADP: 82

Jimmy G entered the 2017 season as Tom Brady’s back up.  He had performed well in 2016 during Brady’s suspension, and the thought was New England was going to hand over the reins to Garoppolo when Brady retired.  Twitter was filled with “experts” trying to figure out how to fit both Brady’s and Garoppolo’s salaries into the Pats salary cap.  With another promising QB, Jacoby Brissett, traded to the Colts, it was not a matter of if, but when Jimmy would take control.  An unexpected midseason trade to the 49ers, followed by Jimmy starting/winning the team’s final 5 games put Garoppolo front and center as the NFL’s next great QB.

Jimmy is working with Kyle Shanahan.   Jimmy’s never lost a game.  Jimmy is getting drafted ahead of Cam Newton.  Wait, what?  Now, I know QB’s are undervalued in start 1 QB leagues, but to see Garoppolo is going in the 7th round of startup drafts and ahead of Newton, Ryan and other QBs with a better track record is an amazing over-correction by the fantasy community.  A QBs win-loss record often overshadows his actual fantasy stats, we’ve seen that historically with QBs like Bortles, Dalton and Rivers.  I think this is another case where people are valuing Garropolo’s winning percentage vs his ability to put up fantasy points.   Jimmy G should probably be right around QB 12 — until he can show he can produce over a full season.

 

Terrelle Pryor, WR

2017 ADP: 42 2018 ADP: 220

Terrelle Pryor finished the 2016 season with 77 catches and over 1,000 yards receiving, in pretty much his first full season as a WR after converting from quarterback.  The timing could not have been more perfect for Pryor heading into free agency.  If he could catch 77 passes from guys like McCown, Kessler and RG III, then surely he could excel in any other offense.  With no long-term offers forthcoming, Pryor bet on himself for the 2017 season and signed a 1 year deal with Washington.  One injury plagued season later where he caught only 20 balls, Pryor signed with the Jets for the 2018 season.

The only people more upset than Pryor about his 2017 campaign were the people who drafted him in the 4th rounds of startups.  Pryor’s gamble to show his WR1 skills in Washington did not work out and now he is stuck on a WR depth chart in New Jersey with a bunch of middling WR 2/3 types in Enunwa, Anderson and Kearse.  Despite this, I think the market over corrected here.  No, he’s no longer deserving of a 4th round draft position, but I think reuniting with McCown will be a good thing.  If he can stay healthy, Pryor could easily assert himself as the WR1 on the Jets.  Pryor’s ADP, should probably be in the 150 range, not the range of someone with one foot out of the league.

 

Conclusion

OK, now what does this all mean?  By leveraging ADP data you should be able to identify opportunities to improve your team.  If you had followed Collins you might have been able to see he would be able to be out Allen and West and become an RB1 based on his prior collegiate production.  With Jimmy G, you might take advantage of the current hype around him, especially in SuperFlex leagues and move him for Matt Ryan plus.  With Pryor, you might be able to move a 3rd round rookie pick, or soon enough use a waiver add to add a potential WR1 to the back end of your roster.  You can also start identifying players who could find themselves list next year.  My early candidates who might drop 100 spots are Dez Bryant and Martavis Bryant.  Going the other way, with a good year in New England, Jordan Matthews could climb 100 spots as could Josh Rosen in Arizona.

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