Fantasy Football ADP Risers & Fallers: Aug. 20
Ryan Hallam takes a look at the fantasy football landscape and gives us an idea who's rising and who's falling in drafts.
Half of the preseason is mercifully done as we inch closer and closer to the state of nirvana that we call the fantasy football season! With fantasy drafts happening fast and furiously now, even small things can effect players average draft position. In this crazy time where people have access to news and information 24 hours a day, even a beat writer’s opinion can drop a player two rounds. As always, ADP is just a guide and not something to live and die with, but it is also a barometer to gauge where you can take the players that you definitely want on your teams. Below are three guys who are looking more attractive by the day, three who are making fantasy players think twice before hitting that Draft button, and one to watch in the coming weeks.
Josh Gordon , WR New England Patriots - The definition of insanity is to do the same thing over and over and expect a different result. Many fantasy football players seem to be suffering from insanity since the announced reinstatement of Patriots’ Josh Gordon . No one is wishing ill will on the guy, but how many more times are we going to see him suspended or “taking a break from the game” for substance abuse problems before we give up on this? He had a few good games last year while he was able to play, but he is still a boom or bust kind of player. His ADP is skyrocketing from when he was a dart throw at the end of drafts a couple of weeks ago, and carpe diem, that’s buyer beware on this volatile, yet immensely talented receiver. The payoff might not be worth the risk.
Emmanuel Sanders , WR Denver Broncos - Just eight months from a torn Achilles injury, Sanders is looking pretty close to his old self again. He stayed off the PUP list, which was a great step in his recovery, and he felt good enough to get into the team’s second preseason game. He obviously wasn’t used heavily, but Sanders did take an end around for a 19 yard gain, and looked pretty decent doing it. It was a disastrous season last year for Denver’s offense, and while Joe Flacco certainly won’t cure all ills at quarterback, he is vastly better than everyone that Denver played at the position in 2018. With the performance against San Francisco, watch Sanders ADP rise a couple of rounds, and in PPR leagues he should return you great value.
Tony Pollard, RB Dallas Cowboys - This is a dangerous one. Pollard has done everything asked of him while Ezekiel Elliott ’s holdout has gone on, and looked fantastic in the Cowboys second preseason game. He rushed for 42 yards on five carries, including a 14 yard touchdown run. He even caught a pass for good measure. However, it is hard to envision Pollard having any sort of role that brings fantasy value if Elliott ends his holdout. And although owner Jerry Jones has continually praised Pollard, you know that he isn’t going to let a few million dollars come between him and having Elliott on the field, especially when he feels his team has a chance to compete for the Super Bowl. Pollard’s draft stock has continued to rise in the last week, but it is risky to use a meaningful draft pick on him. Not all surges in ADP equal good draft value, and this could easily be one that bites you in the end.
Kenyan Drake , RB Miami Dolphins - He was once the lock to be the starting running back for the Dolphins, but Drake certainly got a lot of competition from Kalen Ballage early in camp. Now, after suffering a foot injury in practice, it looks like we may have seen the last of Drake in the preseason. Ballage ran for a touchdown in the first preseason game, and has been all the talk of Dolphins camp. The new coaching staff is getting a long look at Ballage while Drake can only sit and watch, and this is driving his fantasy value understandably in the wrong direction. Even when Drake is healthy, it should be no surprise if he is in a 50/50 split, or at best a running back by committee slightly in his favor.
Golden Tate , WR New York Giants - Some thought that Tate had the chance to win his appeal from being banned for four games for taking an illegal substance that was in a fertility medicine. However, whether it be for an edge in the game or the noble cause of populating the Earth, the NFL says that players need to know what they are putting in their bodies. Tate has now tacked on a concussion to the mix, and while he will certainly be ready to go by Week 5 of the regular season, one concussion always brings concerns of more. Tate was wildly underutilized in Detroit and Philadelphia last year, and now missing all of this time on a new team with a questionable quarterback certainly will have his draft stock plummeting.
Dante Pettis , WR San Francisco 49ers - Pettis was the darling wide receiver early in draft season, but a lot has changed in the last week to ten days. In the Niners first preseason game he was out on the field long after the rest of the starters were pulled to rest. Head Coach Kyle Shanahan then said that Pettis still had a lot to prove and had to win his starting job. Rookies Deebo Samuel and Jalen Hurd have stolen the show so far through August and that has seemingly pushed Pettis to a smaller role. Be careful with coach speak in the preseason though. Sometimes they are just looking to light a fire under a player. And while Pettis has been going a little later in drafts, sometimes that just makes for an even better value and a chance for you to grab a dynamic player a round or two later than expected.
Hunter Renfrow, WR Oakland Raiders - The Antonio Brown “Helmetgate” just won’t seem to end. One day he is saying he won’t play, the next day he is at practice, the next day he files another grievance against the NFL trying to be able to use his beloved helmet. This is getting to be worse than Linus and his blanket. However, if the Raiders star diva wide receiver does decide to sit out games in protest, someone has to account for the vast number of targets that are due to come at AB this season. Tyrell Williams and J.J. Nelson are the two veterans that the Raiders brought in this offseason, but neither are high volume reception players. Both are speedy, big play guys who rarely top four catches a game. Both Head Coach Jon Gruden and Offensive Coordinator Greg Olson both are big fans of Renfrow and traded up in the fifth round to get him. Renfrow isn’t tall, and he isn’t fast, but he does great work over the middle and has great hands. If this drama doesn’t end with Brown, Renfrow could be the biggest beneficiary.