ADP Watch: 5 Risers You Have To Consider On Draft Day
Don’t get me wrong; I’m happy that football is back. Preseason pigskin – albeit not nearly as enjoyable as the real thing – is still entertaining. You’re able to see how new offensive schemes will work, and which players spent the offseason eating cheeseburgers and drinking beer. You can get a glimpse of what the season may bring. That’s fun.
But man, the preseason frustrates me. The season-ending injuries are unfortunate, but that’s not the only reason. You see, I spend hours – like, a lot of them – researching and analyzing potential breakouts throughout the offseason. When those breakouts occur before fantasy drafts, I lose a competitive advantage.
Enter Jordan Cameron.
I know, I know – a lot of experts and writers were on to Jordan Cameron entering this season. But in casual leagues, he was a late-round selection that few were even aware of. Now? Well, your mom knows about Jordan Cameron. And that’s not good news for us Cameron hopefuls.
Rising to the TopJordan Cameron, TE, Cleveland Browns
Ugh. I was targeting Cameron in nearly every draft, especially after researching Norv Turner’s tight end tendencies over the last 10 years. I’ve been a firm believer that Cameron can be a top-10 wideout this season, performing at a similar level as Randy McMichael did during Norv’s years in Miami.
Cameron’s ADP was as low as the 13th round just a month ago, but according to FantasyFootballCalculator.com, that draft position is now in Round 10. Round 10!
Personally, I’m still fine with targeting him late(r) in your draft. But beware: Everyone knows about him after his multi-touchdown preseason game last week. Even Tony, the guy who comes to your draft thinking LaDainian Tomlinson is still in the league.Ryan Mathews, RB, San Diego Chargers
I’ve previously written about Mathews as a faller, but over the last week, things are looking up. Head coach Mike McCoy has been praising him for his work, and many analysts are promoting the fact that he looks like the 2011 version of himself.
As of now, Mathews has a late-fifth round average draft position. He’s the 26th running back off the board, which according to our rankings, is a value. He may be the standard "he's dead to me" poster child, but we foresee Mathews scoring almost six times with nearly 1,400 all-purpose yards. Given his ADP, you’re not paying an incredibly high cost for his obvious risk. Feel fine about drafting him there as your probable RB3.T.Y. Hilton, WR, Indianapolis Colts
It looks like the Darrius Heyward-Bey impact may have been greatly exaggerated. Second-year wideout T.Y. Hilton has looked fantastic in the preseason. In yesterday’s game against the Giants, Hilton grabbed two receptions for 36 yards, including a beautiful 18-yard score. It was the kind of balance and athleticism you’re looking for in a wideout.
Though the Colts have every intention to split time between Hilton and DHB, talent may - and should - win out in this one. Hilton’s 7th-round ADP seems fair given his current role in the Colts offense. If you’re willing to draft for upside, he should be a good target for you during your draft.Michael Vick, QB, Philadelphia Eagles
Alex Hampl wrote a great piece on why Vick’s upside is worth a late-round selection, and after his preseason performances, his fantasy outlook is looking even more appealing. However, keep in mind: Vick’s ADP has risen a lot over the last week. Instead of being a 13th- or 14th-round selection, Vick is being taken in Round 10. That may be a little too rich for us here at numberFire, as we see Vick as a middle-of-the-road QB2. Remember not to reach.Eddie Lacy, RB, Green Bay Packers
It’s about time to name Eddie Lacy the starter in Green Bay this season, eh? He’s been the talk of Packers camp, which is interesting considering the “fat picture” controversy that was littered through Twitter just a month ago. He’s been running hard, and has outperformed all Packer backs. If he ends up getting the starting nod, expect him to shoot towards the beginning of the fourth round ADP-wise.
I’ve pointed it out previously, but Lacy has fairly underrated opportunity in Green Bay this season. We often associate the team with a pass-first mentality, and because they haven’t produced a top running back in years, we assume it’s not possible. However, the Packers haven't had a consistent runner in the backfield for quite some time. Cedric Benson - yes, Cedric Benson - was producing at an RB2 level before going down last season, and if we consider that as Lacy's healthy floor, then he's a good bet in the fourth. He just needs reliable volume.
Dropping Like They’re HotRyan Tannehill, QB, Miami Dolphins
Some were excited about Tannehill’s second-year potential, but with the season-ending injury to Dustin Keller and the lack of rapport being built with Mike Wallace, Tanny is looking less and less attractive as a late-round option. We’ve got him slotted as our 25th fantasy quarterback, so even in two-passer leagues, Tannehill could be a waiver wire option. There are other quarterbacks rising to fantasy relevancy, so when it comes to Ryan Tannehill, you should probably stay away.Arian Foster, RB, Houston Texans
Arian Foster’s body is slowly turning into one that fits the mold of a 50 year-old man. There’s been talk over the last week that Foster could even miss part of the regular season with a back injury, making his second overall status a huge risk. His drop in ADP is already being noted, as he’s the eighth running back being selected as opposed to the second or third according to FantasyFootballCalculator.com.
We know what to expect from a healthy Foster; healthy, he'll be a top-5 back. You should still believe that he’s capable of doing that, but if you’re draft is tomorrow, you may want to look at one of the other stud backs. The ambiguity surrounding his injury should be enough to turn you away from him.
We still have Foster as our number two back in our rankings until more is found out about his health. Just know that there’s risk involved in drafting him today.Jonathan Stewart, RB, Carolina Panthers
Speaking of injury, Jonathan Stewart hasn’t done a thing this offseason to help his ADP. In fact, Stewart’s cost has dropped from the 7th round to the 11th in just three months.
Why? Well, he’s got two bad ankles, and had surgery on them over the summer. He’s been on the active/PUP list, but may not play a single snap until Week 1. In other words, he’s probably not worthwhile to select at draft time - unless he falls dramatically - given his health.
DeAngelo Williams, the now 30 year-old runner, will be the biggest beneficiary if Stewart misses regular season time. He’s our 42nd-ranked back right now, but that could change if Stewart’s ankles continue to give him issues. Williams has RB2 potential this year, but as I've written about before, don't overstate what he can do.Bryce Brown, RB, Philadelphia Eagles
Remember when Bryce Brown subbed in for the injured LeSean McCoy and rushed for almost 350 yards in two games last year? Well, don't expect that again in 2013. He missed the Eagles game against Carolina this past week, giving room for runner Chris Polk to make a name for himself. And now we shouldn’t expect Polk to go anywhere.
Considering Brown’s 9th-round ADP, it’s time to pass. Ben Tate is going just a few picks before him, and if you’re looking for a backup runner, Tate would be the better one to nab. Danny Woodhead and Pierre Thomas, too, are being drafted after Brown. Both of them should be better assets for your fantasy teams this year.