ADP review: Vereen's RB1 potential; Broncos' Sanders worth the price?
Average draft position can move sharply as the summer progresses, and understanding it is crucial to constructing an effective draft strategy. For the rest of the fantasy draft season, we’ll take a look at changes in ADP with some of fantasy’s most intriguing players to help you get the most value out of each and every one of your draft picks. This week, we examine four players who have experienced sharp increases or decreases in their stock during the month of August. All ADP numbers are courtesy of Fantasy Football Calculator as of September 1.
Shane Vereen, New England Patriots
Player before:Cordarrelle Patterson (34.5)
Player after: Vincent Jackson (35.5)
One month ago, Vereen was going at the end of the fourth round of a 12-team draft. Ten days ago, he had dipped into the early-fifth round. Now you’ll have to use a late-third rounder to get him. Vereen’s meteoric rise, while unfortunate for some drafters, makes all the sense in the world. Even with Stevan Ridley surviving cut day in New England, Vereen is the best fantasy option in the Patriots’ backfield.
He inhabits a significant role in the New England offense, likely trailing only Rob Gronkowski in terms of importance for guys not named Tom Brady. Ridley may be the primary runner in New England, but that doesn’t have any real effect on Vereen’s role or workload. He has true RB1 potential, and has a strong chance to end as a top-20 guy at the position.
Emmanuel Sanders, Denver Broncos
Player before: Ryan Mathews (42.7)
Player after: Victor Cruz (43.3)
Wes Welker suffered his third concussion in 10 months on August 23. On that day, Sanders’ ADP sat at the sixth pick in the sixth round. Two days later, he had moved up to the late-fifth round. By the time the calendar turned to September, he was up into the fourth round. This is clearly a speculative bet on Welker’s potential availability, and one that fantasy owners with drafts in the next two days need to approach with caution.
There is no guarantee, though, that Welker indeed misses enough time for that to happen for Sanders. Welker returned to the practice field on Monday, but he still has not been cleared for contact. While his status remains in doubt for the season opener against the Colts on Sunday night, the fact that he was able to work out on Monday was a step in the right direction. If Welker misses, say, four games, Sanders likely would not justify a late-fourth-round price tag. Even if Welker misses more time than that, drafters may be being a bit too ambitious grabbing him that early.
Reggie Bush and Joique Bell, Detroit Lions
Bush ADP: 32.7
Player before Bush: Keenan Allen (31.3)
Player after Bush: Cordarrelle Patterson (34.5)
Bell ADP: 51.4
Player before Bell: Ray Rice (50.3)
Player after Bell: Michael Crabtree (52.4)
Bush has one of the most boring ADP charts in the entire league. Fantasy owners have considered him a late-third rounder for the whole summer. One month ago, he was coming off the board as the ninth pick in the third round in a typical 12-team league. On September 1, he was the ninth pick in the third round in a typical 12-team league. Interestingly, though, his chief foil in Detroit has experienced a rise over that same timeframe.
In the 14 games both Bush and Bell played, they both finished in the top 24 among running backs just three times. That’s likely to be a reality again this year. Bush and Bell have similar skill sets, and that makes it hard for both to register as starters in the same week. It’s not the same balancing of duties like we discussed earlier with Vereen and Ridley. While Bush and Bell are both worth drafting at their ADPs, owners will have to decide which one they prefer at their respective prices.