ADP (average draft position) is one of the most common terms you will hear when preparing for fantasy football drafts. It is often considered a barometer of how fantasy managers feel about each available asset in the pool. While it is an oversimplification to equate ADP to rankings, it is still helpful for fantasy managers to utilize. I have compiled recent ADP data from 10 different sites to get a cross-section of fantasy managers on different platforms. The top 300 players are listed in the ADP report below. This is still very much an inexact science, as I will touch on shortly. But it should provide managers with another tool to use when making their player evaluations. I will also highlight some players who have seen a change in their perceived values in recent weeks to add some more context.
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Most of the time, ADP is largely dependent on league settings. As I mentioned, I pulled ADP data from 10 different sites to create this report. But there are often wide disparities from site to site. Keep that in mind when working on your rankings and cheat sheets. Though I have pulled a fairly comprehensive sample, there are major differences between leagues, and even sites themselves. Some of the outfits included in the report use standard scoring, while others prefer PPR. At least one of the sites features tight end premium scoring, while others incorporate SuperFlex into their platforms. Some have Best Ball leagues, and others have unceremoniously gotten rid of kickers and/or D/ST positions. All of these varying league settings have a direct impact on player value as well as ADP.
I listed the Fantrax ADP for both standard and PPR formats and separated them from the 10-site sample. I did this for a couple of reasons. First, I truly believe you should at least try out our leagues if you haven’t already. On top of ridiculously customizable settings, we are giving away an incredible trip for an entire fantasy football league! Secondly, we have ADP data for both standard and PPR leagues. Not every site does this. I think that seeing our data for both formats will help fantasy managers distinguish how a player may be valued in one format versus another. The other reason is to highlight why ADP data is flawed to a degree. Yes, even ours. One of the great things about Fantrax also leads to a bit of a glitch in our ADP.
Our leagues open early. Like, almost immediately after the Super Bowl early. A solid two months before the NFL Draft early. That is a great feature for fantasy managers seeking a constant fix of fantasy football. But it does skew some of the ADP numbers a bit. Six months ago, James Robinson was just coming off a rookie season in which he finished as a top-eight fantasy running back in nearly every format. We did not know at the time that Jacksonville would be drafting a running back in the first round of this year’s draft. In Fantrax leagues where drafts took place before the NFL Draft, Robinson was an understandably hot commodity. As a result, Robinson has a much lower ADP on our site than he does in the consensus. Some sites do not even open their platforms until late spring.
Other players are in a similar situation as Robinson. Examples include Raheem Mostert, Melvin Gordon, Tyler Boyd, Christian Kirk, and Jamison Crowder to name a few. The draft stock of these players began to dip following the NFL Draft based on the potential replacements (or at the very least players who will likely cut into their workload) drafted by their NFL teams. I do not find any of the rankings on the players I just mentioned to be egregiously out of whack, but there are a couple that are admittedly out there. Benny Snell is the most glaring example of this that I have found. His ADP is much lower on our site than on any other. Again, the primary factor is that Pittsburgh had not yet drafted Najee Harris, and it was widely known that they were not going to retain the services of James Conner.
Fantasy Football ADP Report
|Player||Team||Consensus Rank||Position Rank||Minimum ADP||Maximum ADP||Fantrax Standard||Fantrax PPR|
|Los Angeles Rams||LAR||106||D/ST1||70||NR||105||107|
|Irv Smith Jr.||MIN||113||TE13||77||134||158||132|
|Michael Pittman Jr.||IND||115||WR46||85||174||112||113|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||TB||117||D/ST2||65||NR||140||134|
|Washington Football Team||WAS||119||D/ST4||75||NR||130||140|
|San Francisco 49ers||SF||146||D/ST6||97||NR||160||160|
|New Orleans Saints||NO||176||D/ST9||105||NR||239||224|
|New England Patriots||NE||177||D/ST10||138||NR||238||202|
|Amon-Ra St. Brown||DET||200||WR70||174||NR||183||198|
|Kansas City Chiefs||KC||201||D/ST13||141||NR||284||245|
|Green Bay Packers||GB||235||D/ST18||157||NR||230||253|
|New York Giants||NYG||240||D/ST19||178||NR||276||336|
|Los Angeles Chargers||LAC||247||D/ST22||210||NR||302||318|
|Benny Snell Jr.||PIT||275||RB74||226||NR||165||184|
“A” Stands for Average
I know, super helpful. For my next trick, I will explain what a touchdown is. We all understand that ADP is merely an average of where a certain player is being drafted. And yet you will constantly see fantasy managers who are afraid to pick a player because they don’t want to be “too early”. Here’s the thing, though. “Average” means just that – average. Pretend Player X was drafted 20th in three straight drafts, and Player Y was drafted 18th, 19th, and 22nd. If you relied solely on ADP, Player X would be considered the more coveted pick. But if fantasy managers drafted Player Y before Player X two out of every three times, wouldn’t it stand to reason that Player Y holds more value? Do not solely rely on ADP to make draft-day decisions.
Even though I have a large sample, there are still outliers that can have a profound impact on the results. For example, Justin Herbert is listed 55th overall and sixth among quarterbacks. But his stock is boosted to a degree because his ADP on one site is 18th overall. If not for that, he would fall below Russell Wilson overall on the consensus report. Damien Harris has an overall ADP of 96th. He is going inside the top-100 on eight of the nine sites I used in the sample. In the ninth, his ADP is 165. He would surely jump up a few spots overall if it were not for that outlier. If I can easily find examples of these outliers among a nine-site group, you can see how flawed a strategy it is to draft based on a singular ADP data point.
Timing is Everything
Another factor to consider is time, as in when these ADP data reports are generated. The site that has Damien Harris at 165th overall also has Cam Akers at 25th overall. Akers tore his Achilles tendon three weeks ago and is out for the season. And the site with him at 25th overall is not alone in their tardiness. Akers’ overall ADP in each of the nine sites I polled is as follows: 15, 21, 25, 50, 51, 54, 223, 254, NR. As you can see, some sites update their ADP data more frequently than others. Considering that ADP data is constantly changing, especially at this time of year, you are giving your league mates an edge on draft day if you are relying on outdated ADP numbers. For what it’s worth, we have adjusted our ADP on Akers.
With every sound bite from a coach or highlight-reel play from training camp (or both in the case of Bryan Edwards), the pendulum can swing on a player’s ADP. August is prime time for every buzzworthy sleeper to make a play that sends social media into a tizzy. To that end, I am submitting one more nugget in the ADP report below and giving credit to another site in the process. The NFFC has ADP data that is easily sortable by date range. So I took the last 21 days of ADP data and compared that to the prior 21 days to get a sense of the players who are rising and falling in recent drafts. I went by percentage relative to ADP rather than the number of places a player moved. Davante Adams rising from 15 to 10 is more significant than Emmanuel Sanders going from 176 to 166, for example.
NFFC Biggest ADP Risers
Randall Cobb (from 512 to 220) –Aaron Rodgers showed up at Packers training camp on July 27, and his return created several ADP ripples. His own ADP has gone from 84 to 74 in the last three weeks. That was not enough to crack the top-10 of this list. But Rodgers helped Randall Cobb to the top spot by orchestrating Cobb’s return to Green Bay. Cobb is not the only Packer who received a Rodgers bump, as we will see shortly.
Darrell Henderson (from 123 to 53) – When Cam Akers was lost for the season, fantasy managers gravitated towards Henderson. Henderson may not be able to fill Akers’ shoes by himself (teaser), the third-year back should be primed for a large role in a potent offense.
Marquez Callaway (from 455 to 234) – On July 23, word came out that Saints star receiver Michael Thomas would miss regular-season games due to his bum ankle. Thomas had surgery in June when many had assumed his ailment had progressed past the point where surgery was required. Thomas may very well be out until November. The Saints are not exactly flush with depth at wide receiver, and Marquez Callaway is a candidate to see a significant uptick in targets early on in the season.
Davante Adams (from 15 to 10) – Adams had slipped into the second round with fantasy managers fearful that Rodgers would not suit up for the Packers this year. Those who were able to secure Adams at that spot should enjoy the bargain because that window has slammed shut. Adams has an ADP of 10 over the last three weeks, and his ADP is 7th overall since the day Rodgers showed up at camp.
Xavier Jones (from 286 to 196) – This is another byproduct of the injury to Cam Akers. Darrell Henderson figures to be the primary beneficiary, but many question whether he will be able to handle a full workload. Xavier Jones was an undrafted free agent who played exactly zero offensive snaps for the Rams last year. I do not believe he has very much upside, but he could be an asset depending on how much weight Sean McVay chooses to put on Henderson’s shoulders.
Donovan Peoples-Jones (from 474 to 325) – Everyone else on this list has seen their ADP rise in recent weeks due to a football transaction that correlates to their on-field opportunities. Donovan Peoples-Jones, however, is a product of the good ol’ hype machine. The second-year Browns wideout has been one of the stars of training camp. DPJ was rarely used last season but produced when called upon as a situational deep threat. He turned 20 targets into 304 receiving yards as a rookie. Extrapolating that to a bigger role is enticing, but I’m just not convinced that happens this season. Odell Beckham is back to command the lion’s share of targets, and Jarvis Landry and Rashard Higgins remain. The Browns are also still a run-first offense. Peoples-Jones has the kind of upside we want at the tail end of drafts. Just don’t draft him assuming full-time snaps or targets.
Green Bay Team Kicker (from 399 to 286) – This is easily my favorite ADP riser. Yes, I support kickers being included in fantasy football. People complain that kickers are too random. Guess what? So is almost everything else in football. How many times does a backup running back or tight end vulture a touchdown? How often does a team give up two early scores, thus relegating their running backs into glorified bystanders while their passing game goes into overdrive while operating in catch-up mode? Stuff like this happens all the time, so stop complaining about kickers. Do you know why Green Bay’s kicker has jumped over 100 spots in the last week? It’s because Aaron Rodgers is back. An offense’s general prowess has just as big an impact on kicker scoring as it does for other positions. Hence, not random.
Tre’Quan Smith (from 183 to 145) – As was the case with Marquez Callaway, Tre’Quan Smith should directly benefit from Michael Thomas’s missing early-season snaps. Callaway is just ranked higher because he had more wiggle room to climb. Smith is currently battling a leg injury, so his status as the team’s de facto number-one wideout could be a bit tenuous depending on the severity. But if he is healthy come Week 1, I would favor him slightly over Callaway.
Aaron Jones (from 16 to 13) – Not a huge leap here, but Aaron Jones has started to creep back to being a first-round fantasy pick with his starting quarterback back in tow. As with Davante Adams, anyone who was routinely getting Jones in the second round in July should reap the rewards.
Anthony Miller (from 449 to 377) – The Bears traded wide receiver Anthony Miller to Houston back on July 24. They did so once it was obvious that Darnell Mooney was their best option behind Allen Robinson. Most fantasy managers are in on Mooney as well, which is why he is not on this list. His ADP has only risen from 118 to 115 in the last 21 days. But Miller could see more opportunities now that he is in Houston. The Texans’ receiving corps after Brandin Cooks is unproven, so Miller could make a name for himself. He is still going outside the top 300, so I would not get carried away. But there could be some volume here on a team that figures to play from behind quite a bit.
NFFC Biggest ADP Fallers
Cam Akers (from 11 to 265) – This one is fairly obvious. Cam Akers is out for the year after tearing his Achilles. He is still listed on the ADP report because there is still data there, but do not draft him under any circumstances.
Michael Thomas (from 29 to 61) – As previously mentioned, Michael Thomas is likely to miss at least a month of regular-season action following surgery on his ankle. The Saints have an early bye (Week 6) so we may not see him take the field until after the bye. Thomas has made waves on social media for seemingly complaining about how the Saints handled his injury, but that should not matter once he is medically cleared.e
Saquon Barkley (from 7 to 11) – There is a lot of talk about the health of Saquon Barkley. Many want no part of the Giants running back in the first round following his ACL tear from last season. Others are willing to gamble on the talent. He has the kind of upside and all-around ability that fantasy managers cherish. Barkley has averaged 114.9 scrimmage yards per game in his NFL career. His is not a skill set you can find often at the end of the first round. Considering that the Giants activated Barkley off the PUP list on Monday, I am willing to bet that Barkley’s ADP begins to climb back up to the single digits in the coming days.
Jordan Love (from 290 to 446) – Many fantasy managers were afraid that Aaron Rodgers would dig his heels in and refuse to play for the Packers this season. As a result, some drafted Jordan Love, who would have been poised to step in as the team’s quarterback. That will obviously no longer be the case now that Rodgers has returned. Love’s ADP has understandably taken a nosedive, and there is no reason to target him in redraft leagues.
Jack Doyle (from 287 to 416) – Jack Doyle has seen his ADP slip in recent weeks for a couple of reasons. First, there was the report that Doyle could be used more as a blocker than a receiver. That scenario could limit Doyle’s potential for touchdown receptions. But the real gut punch is the injury to Colts quarterback Carson Wentz. The former Eagle suffered a foot injury in late July and underwent surgery. He could be out anywhere from 5-12 weeks. it is not like Doyle was a highly sought-after fantasy commodity with everything working in his favor. Now that there are obvious roadblocks to his potential production, fantasy managers have simply moved on to players with more upside when fishing for tight ends late in drafts.
Elijah Mitchell (from 282 to 395) – The San Francisco 49ers selected Elijah Mitchell in the sixth round of this year’s NFL Draft. Given the team’s prolific rushing attack, fantasy managers were willing to take a flyer on the rookie. It seems many have soured on him in recent weeks, but I still like the Louisiana Lafayette product. He has high-end speed and excellent burst as well. I would still rank him a distant third on the depth chart behind Trey Sermon and Raheem Mostert. Because of that, I can see why fantasy managers are unwilling to invest. But in deep Best Ball leagues, Mitchell is an intriguing target in the latter stages of drafts.
Atlanta Falcons D/ST (from 292 to 394) – To be honest, I’m not sure why people were drafting Atlanta’s defense to begin with, so I have no issue with them on this list. There is no reason to be selecting a backup defense in fantasy as long as you can stream them off the wire each week.
Carson Wentz (from 132 to 175) – Carson Wentz will be out for the foreseeable future following his foot surgery. Fantasy managers had been valuing Wentz as a mid-range QB2 in 12-team leagues before his injury. So he has not fallen as far as he might have had he been going as a top-10 option. Over the last couple of weeks, his stock has plummeted into the dreaded late QB2/early QB3 range. Essentially, you can ignore him for now if you play in a one-QB league. It is a bit trickier if you play in SuperFlex formats. Wentz has the upside of a solid QB2, but you will likely have to navigate the first few weeks of the season without him.
Zach Pascal (from 332 to 438) – Pascal is yet another ancillary piece of the Indianapolis passing game adversely affected by the injury to Wentz. There are only so many pass catchers that Jacob Eason or Sam Ehlinger will be able to support. The Colts’ top three receivers (T.Y. Hilton, Michael Pittman, and Parris Campbell) have seen slight hits to their ADP in recent weeks, but not to the point where they are featured on this list.
Benny Snell (from 277 to 360) – I discussed Snell earlier when highlighting our ADP data, so the cliffs notes remain the same. Many felt there would be an opportunity for Snell in Pittsburgh’s backfield. But as the summer rolls on, it appears more and more like rookie Najee Harris will be a workhorse running back. Snell is destined for handcuff status and little more than that at this stage.
For more Rankings and Analysis please check out our full 2021 Fantasy Football Draft Kit.
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