2018 Fantasy Football: ADP Draft Winners and Losers

Shawn Childs

For those Fantasy owners trying to get a feel for player flow and changes in ADP, I’m going to walk through the last ADPs at FFWC on August 8th compared to my first grouping in mid-July. Here’s a look at the first 30 picks for the upcoming 2018 Fantasy draft season:

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Most of the players in the top 30 remain in a tight range with only two players gaining or losing ground.

T.Y. Hilton has solidified his draft value with the positive news of the health of Andrew Luck in training camp. Hilton came up short in 2017 due to poor QB play, but Fantasy owners won’t catch a break on his draft value. For now, the decision owners are making at WR in the 2/3 turn is between Hilton and Mike Evans.

Doug Baldwin developed a knee issue in late July leading to the risk of the Seahawks' go-to man's possible downside. Seattle maintains that the injury is minor, but all NFL coaches lie. In a month in the live draft season in Vegas, Fantasy owners will have a better idea of his health.

Over the next round and half in 12-team drafts, the player flow can change a lot from draft-to-draft with many Fantasy owners taking different paths in their team development leading to a wider range of opinion on each player.

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The top three players in this grouping gaining momentum are Derrick Henry, Demaryius Thomas, and Golden Tate.

In the early draft season, Fantasy owners didn’t seem to trust Henry with Dion Lewis added to the Titans’ backfield. The coach-speak in Tennessee remains positive about Henry’s value in 2018. He’s moved up 9.1 drafts spots since the middle of July when he had a high of 28 and a low of 57 in his ADP. A Fantasy owner will be extremely fortunate to land Henry in the 4th round going forward in the FFWC.

Also in this grouping of ADPs, Demaryius Thomas has an amazing tight range (High – 34 and a Low – 38). He settled in as the 15th WR off the table with the skill set to offer upside in 2018 with better QB play in Denver.

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Golden Tate has a much wider range of value (High – 25 and Low – 47) than Thomas, but his ADP (36.4) is less than one draft pick behind him. Tate moved up 8.5 draft slots over the last three weeks.

The only other mover of value in this group is Derrius Guice, which may be fueled by the questions surrounding the early health of Chris Thompson.

Based on career resume and success in 2017, LeSean McCoy seems misplaced with an ADP of 39.1. His off-the-field drama due to a home invasion in his house in Georgia and the beating of his ex-girlfriend has Fantasy owners skittish with his possible downside due to a possible suspension if the news breaks in the wrong direction. McCoy will be either a great buy or a bust in 2018. Thankfully, Fantasy owners will have another month to gain more information on LeSean before the live draft season.

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Rashaad Penny drew some early draft excitement based on his expected opportunity and upside talent. The Seahawks have been pumping Chris Carson as the top dog at RB in training camp, which has led to Penny become less attractive as gamble breakout selection.

Josh Gordon remains in limbo on his status and timetable to return to the Browns. He’s dropped 9.5 draft picks in his ADP (45.1) over the last three weeks. Gordon has top five WR talent, but he has to be in camp with a possible report of his previous struggles before making an early draft bet in August.

The other RB fading is Kenyan Drake. His ADP fell 9.6 draft picks as Fantasy owner don’t seem ready to fight for him on draft day. There hasn’t been any negative news surrounding Drake this summer other than the dreamers trying pump up fellow backfield mate Kalen Ballage.

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The two biggest movers in the fifth round in the FFWC are Cooper Kupp and Jamison Crowder. Both players have moved up more than ten draft picks over the last three weeks. A Fantasy owner subscribing to ScoutFantasySports.com should have been ahead of the curve on both Kupp and Crowder based on the player profiles in the team outlooks. To give a Fantasy owner a taste of the upside of each player, here’s my write-up on both players in June:

Cooper Kupp (WR) – Based on his college resume (428/6464/73), Kupp looks like a star of stars. His game comes with exceptional route running with plus short area quickness, hands, and ball fakes. Cooper doesn’t have the flash and sleekness of the top WRs in the game, but he will get open while catching many balls thrown his way. In the open field, his speed isn’t enough to pull away from cornerbacks after the catch. Kupp plays with vision, which helps him after the catch. I’m seeing a Brandon Marshall type skill set with less size (6’2” and 204 lbs.), where controlling the first 15 yards off the line of scrimmage will be his calling card to success. Built to be a 100-catch receiver. His route running will be his ticket to an early starting job, but his release will dictate his upside. I have no doubt Cooper will know the playbook cold based on his career path and pedigree. In his rookie season, Kupp caught 62 of his 94 targets for 869 yards and five TDs over 15 games. Over his last eight games of the season including the playoffs, Cooper had 44 catches for 567 yards and three TDs on 60 targets. He finished with two games with over 100 yards receiving (8/116 and 5/118/1) and six games with five catches or more in the regular season. In 2017, there were multiple games when Kupp just missed securing a TD while being a top red-zone target. I expect him to a WR1A in this offense with a run at 90+ catches for 1,100+ yards and a chance at double-digit TDs. He will be the top scoring receiving on the Rams in 2018.

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Jamison Crowder (WR) – 2017 was a frustrating season for Fantasy owner who drafted Crowder. He looked poised for a breakout season after catching 67 balls for 847 yards and seven TDs on 99 targets in 2016. Terrelle Pryor ended up being a bust last year, which was another plus for Jamison to have success. In the end, Crowder finished with 66 catches for 789 yards and three TDs in 103 targets to rank 33rd in WR scoring in PPR leagues. Jamison did flash in two games at home midseason (9/123 and 7/141/1). Over his nine games, he caught 47 passes for 640 yards and three TDs on 73 targets, which projected over 16 games would have delivered 84 catches for 1,138 yards and five TDs. He missed one game last year with a hamstring injury. Crowder isn’t a big WR (5’9” and 177 lbs.), so a heavy workload may lead to some injury risk. I expect him to be the top receiving option in this offense, and Alex Smith likes to get the ball out quickly if a play breaks down, which works in Jamison’s favor. Excellent value WR3 with a chance to catch 90+ balls for 1,100+ yards with five to seven TDs. His offseason reports have been positive, and Crowder looks motivated to become a better player.

The lack of health of D’Onta Foreman has helped Lamar Miller gain back some draft value over the last couple of weeks. Miller has a high ADP of 41 and a low 57 in the last ten drafts in the FFWC.

Hidden in this group of ADPs in the fading value of Sony Michel. His ADP looks to be neutral based on his slight drop in ADP (-0.7). Over the last six drafts, Michel has an ADP of 58, 52, 89, 76, 44, and 63 as Fantasy owners try to get a feel for his proper value after Sony’s recent injury news. His true ADP in early August looks to be about 64 until there is a better report of his health.

The push to own RBs in 2018 led to Royce Freeman drifting forward in drafts since the middle of July. Freeman moved up almost a half round in the last ADP report.

Chris Hogan started to climb up draft boards after the injury to Jordan Matthews. The WR core in New England will be a work in progress early in the season with Julian Edelman out for the first four games. Chris now has a high of 37 and a low of 74 his ADP over the last ten drafts.

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The big winner in this group of ADPs is Randall Cobb. The number two WR in Green Bay should have a winning opportunity, but Cobb needs to regain his separation skills after a couple of disappointing seasons in Green Bay. A piece of Aaron Rodgers in the seventh round can’t be a bad thing for a Fantasy owner.

About this time of the year, Fantasy owner start to change the order of their picks to help improve the strength of their starting lineup. A Fantasy owner can see this with Greg Olsen. I can see some sharp owners seeing the decline in the options at TE after the seventh round leading to Olsen being pushed into the late sixth round in more drafts going forward. Basically, Fantasy owners are just flipping the order of their sixth and seventh picks from a front draft position in the FFWC. Olsen moved up eight draft picks since the last group of ADPs.

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The big faller in his set of ADP is Ronald Jones. He’s lost ten spots in draft value, which may be tied to a report that Jones has struggled in his pass protection skills.

Here’s a look at the ADPs for the next two rounds:

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The biggest gainer over the next two rounds is Rex Burkhead due to the injury news with Sony Michel. I’m still torn on the value and opportunity of Burkhead.

Isaiah Crowell moved up more than a round in drafts after an injury Elijah McGuire. Even with a jump in draft value, Crowell will still split touches for the Jets.

The injury to Doug Baldwin and lack of receiving threats in Seattle led to Russell Wilson becoming less attractive in drafts. His ADP slipped by more than eight picks over the last three weeks with more bleeding of value expected.

In the early draft season, Mike Williams may have been overpriced leading to him giving back some of his draft value as Fantasy owners try to find the baseline to finesse him on draft day. His next push in value will come when he plays in the preseason game.

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The Fantasy owners that weren’t in tune with the 2018 roster structures in the NFL may have overpriced Robert Woods in July. He continued to slide in drafts with Cooper Kupp and Brandin Cooks gaining momentum.

I’m not sure of why Devin Funchess has lost so much value over the last couple of weeks. There’s going to be plenty of competition for targets in Carolina, which gives Funchess a chance being a viable WR4.

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With each bit of training camp news and injury update, a player after round eight can move up quickly or even fall off the table. Finding the right rhythm in draft order from the 8th to the 12th round will be key for a Fantasy owner building the depth of his Fantasy football roster.

Understanding ADPs and draft trends is a key part of a Fantasy owner arsenal in the high-stakes market. Even with a feel for draft flow, a Fantasy owner still has to take the draft wheel to help his decision making when on the clock. To get in the game, a Fantasy owner has to look no further than the draft lobby at Fantasy Football World Championships.

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