ADP Watch: Tate’s Golden Cost

Percy Harvin's injury has shot up Golden Tate's cost. Will the trend continue?

Remember last week when I said the fantasy community often overreacted? Last night’s Hall of Fame Game was the perfect example.

Daniel Thomas wasn’t even on the field during the Dolphins first play from scrimmage, yet he instantly became fantasy football’s biggest sleeper. To the uninformed, at least. Lamar Miller fumbled – and actually, it was credited to quarterback Ryan Tannehill – the first Miami offensive play of the 2013 season, causing the fickle fans to swarm to Twitter Land in disgust.

Many poked fun at the quick, incorrect revelation, while others were serious. They really, genuinely thought the pre-camp Miller hype was just that…hype. A few solid runs later, and Lamar Miller returned back to his good ol’ third-round ADP self.

That was just one game, folks. Be prepared: There will be plenty of more overreactions throughout the preseason. Not to worry though. I’ve got you covered.

Rising to the Top

Vernon Davis, TE, San Francisco 49ers

After the Michael Crabtree injury, Vernon Davis began practicing more with the team’s wide receivers. And anytime a tight end lines up wide, fantasy footballers get excited.

Davis has seen a nice jump in ADP over the last four months, moving from the 7th to 5th round in terms of cost. With the injury to Dennis Pitta, fantasy owners just want the athletic tight end even more, thinking they’ll gain an edge at the position when selecting Davis.

Not so fast, my friends. Though Vernon Davis should see an uptick in targets, let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves. We’ve seen inflated Vernon Davis ADP before, as he usually comes through with strong playoff performances. Let’s not forget what he did prior to the NFC Championship game last year though. From Week 12 through the Divisional Round of the playoffs, Davis combined - combined - to catch seven passes. That’s an average of one per game. You want that type of production in Round 5?

The case for Davis is the classic overreaction to potentially non-news. Will he lineup more as a receiver this season? Perhaps, but that doesn’t mean he’s going to be a Jimmy Graham-type player. The 5th round is too rich, especially considering the value wide receivers you can snag at that point in the draft.

Eddie Lacy, RB, Green Bay Packers

Remember when Eddie Lacy was really overweight, and lacked the ability to be any good in Green Bay this year? Well, that was last week, just days before he dominated the Packers full-pad scrimmage. Now, folks are looking to snag the rookie in the middle of the 5th round of their 12-team drafts.

The value is there. At numberFire, we think Lacy is capable of a RB2-like season, listing him as our 27th-best fantasy running back entering 2013. If he continues to dazzle, his ADP will continue to rise, and should reach the cost of fellow rookie Montee Ball. At that point, you may be looking another way, but for now, Lacy is a decent buy.

Mike Williams, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Fantasy experts, including the ones here at numberFire, have been promoting Mike Williams as an extreme value pick since 2013 ADP data became available. According to, he’s jumped over a round in cost since the offseason began, showing an obvious upward trend.

As we wrote, Williams should be selected up to three rounds earlier than he currently is. That doesn’t mean you should, as his market value clearly hasn’t reached the beginning of Round 6. But keep in mind that, even though his ADP is increasing, he’s still a bargain. Draft him with confidence in 2013.

Golden Tate, WR, Seattle Seahawks

When Percy Harvin told us via Twitter that he was going to “half” to get surgery, the fantasy community scrambled for replacement answers. After reports stated that Golden Tate could – and should – be the new Seahawks X-factor, pretend pigskinners began selecting the wideout earlier and earlier with each draft. Not only was he the next man up, but Tate’s physical build is Harvin-like, making him an obvious replacement.

Now, just a week or so after the news broke, Tate’s ADP lies ahead of fellow receiver Sidney Rice. Yes, over the last four or five days, Tate’s ADP has risen four rounds, placing him in the middle of Round 10 of 12-team league drafts.

Because of the low cost, Tate’s value is still there. We were never high on Harvin or Tate to begin with, but the upside allure is there. If it reaches single-digit rounds, however, it may be time to pass on the Seahawks receiver.

Dropping Like They’re Hot

Rashard Mendenhall, RB, Arizona Cardinals

The Steeler turned Cardinal is already hurting in camp, filling the fantasy landscape with additional question marks surrounding his knee. If you recall, Mendenhall tore his ACL towards the tail-end of the 2011 season, and didn’t look the same in 2012 with Pittsburgh.

Many were hopeful for his potential as he’s reunited with old coordinator Bruce Arians, but this setback is causing his draft position to fall. When you combine that with the fact that three Arizona Cardinals runners finished in the bottom five in terms of rushing net expect points last season, you start to see the issue. The Cards line is bad, and Rashard Mendenhall may not be the same runner he was in 2010. That’s not a good mix.

His current ADP in 12-team leagues is in Round 6, and with all the question marks, that seems too high. He’s a flex play according to our rankings, but that’s assuming he can play as the Cardinals starter this season. Buyers beware.

Chris Ivory, RB, New York Jets

Chris Ivory’s roller coaster ADP looks to be in a recession, as a hamstring injury has sidelined him throughout camp. Given his biggest question mark entering New York as the Jets starter, health, fantasy owners are becoming more and more alarmed by his potential as the top runner. And it’s shown in his ADP drop.

Ivory has been selected as high as the beginning of the 4th round, but now, his price tag sits at the end of the 4th into the 5th. Perhaps this is a “buy low” situation for Ivory lovers, as the preseason is just getting started and his potential is sky high. We have him as our 22nd-ranked running back, making his current position a slight value. If the trend continues, Ivory could end being a huge steal for your fantasy team this season. His health, in the end, will mean everything to his ADP.

Russell Wilson, QB, Seattle Seahawks

The unfavorable Percy Harvin news has moved Russell Wilson from a middle-of-the-road QB1 to the worst starting quarterback in 12-team leagues. Wilson was an early-7th rounder less than a month ago, and now he’s being selected in Round 8, behind Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo.

We were never incredibly high on Wilson, ranking him as our 11th-best quarterback entering the season. The Harvin news doesn’t help, but we saw what Wilson could do without the versatile wideout during the second half of last season. Wilson could become a value if his ADP stays, but we do still like a guy like Tony Romo more. The quarterback position is probably deep enough to pass on Wilson.