No song captures the end of a time period like Europe’s “The Final Countdown”. None.
And it doesn’t even matter that no human being can actually relate to the lyrics; the words aren’t the reason we love the 1986 tune. We love it because of the feeling we get when we listen to it. The synthesizer, man. We love the synthesizer.
We’ve reached the point in the NFL offseason where Europe’s song should be on everyone’s Spotify playlists. It’s the final countdown: Just a few more days until the start of the NFL regular season. Getcha popcorn ready.
But before we start looking at our lineup decisions, let’s take a peek – one final time – at the crazy happenings in average draft position land.
Rising to the Top
David Wilson, RB, New York Giants
Wilson’s had a great preseason, and when you factor in Andre Brown’s now fractured leg, you can see why the Giants running back is moving up draft boards. On August 18th, according to FantasyFootballCalculator.com, David Wilson was being selected as the first pick in the fourth round of 12-team drafts. Now? He’s the seventh pick in the second round.
This is why Matt Grasso explained that you should look to trade David Wilson. It’s not to say he’ll have a bad season – we still have him ranked as our RB21. However, given his ADP, it’s clear that there may be folks overvaluing him and not looking at his potential risk.
The upside is there with Wilson – he’s one of the most explosive young backs in the league. Just remember that there are some proven runners being selected at that point in a draft, and they may not be as much of a gamble.
Rob Gronkowski, TE, New England Patriots
The stud Patriots tight end has returned to practice, and although he’s not projected to play the first two weeks of the season, he could be back as early as Week 3. That’s great news for fantasy owners.
We haven’t seen a massive spike in his ADP (yet), but Gronk is currently being selected at the tail-end of Round 4 in 12-team leagues. That could be a great value, especially if you can snag someone like Zach Sudfeld late in your draft. We have Gronk as our fourth-ranked tight end, but that’s cumulative – he’s expected to miss the first few weeks of the season, so his year-end numbers don't look at nice.
Knowshon Moreno, RB, Denver Broncos
Ronnie Hillman gets the top running back spot on the Broncos Week 1 depth chart, and just a couple of days ago - for the first time all offseason - Knowshon Moreno officially passes him in ADP.
The Broncos have already said it’s going to be a committee system in Denver to start the season, so the Knowshon notion probably has more to do with preseason play than anything else. We’re not necessarily high on any of the Broncos running backs, and would advise not starting any of them in fantasy until a lead back is figured out.
Kenbrell Thompkins, WR, New England Patriots
What’s a “Rising to the Top” section without Patriots rookie wideout Kenbrell Thompkins?
As of now – and don’t adjust your computer settings when you read this – Kenbrell Thompkins is leaving the draft board as the fifth pick in the seventh round, the exact same cost as Jacksonville wide receiver Cecil Shorts. Thompkins is now being drafted over Anquan Boldin, Josh Gordon, Mike Williams, Greg Jennings and Miles Austin.
It’s not as though those wide receivers are flawless, but trusting a rookie receiver at this kind of cost is – to us – a little crazy. As the 28th receiver off the board, Kenbrell Thompkins would have to finish the season with over 900 yards and five or so touchdowns to return this investment, which has only been accomplished by a rookie receiver nine times since 2000. It’s not to say it can’t happen, especially with one of the best passers in the league, but we have to remember that Thompkins was an undrafted receiver. It’s not as though his talent was through-the-roof entering the NFL.
Thompkins is a good late-round flier, but at his current cost, it’s time to pass.
Dropping Like They’re Hot
Jonathan Dwyer, RB, Free Agent
After Le’Veon Bell’s injury, Jonathan Dwyer’s ADP reached the eighth round. Now he’s not a Steeler, so those who banked on him are surely hitting the Labor Day waiver wire.
We warned you – the Steelers running back situation is not something you want to invest in. It’s been reported that they’ll enter the season with a team of runners, and some are even noting that Felix Jones could be the starter. Just stay away from this headache, please?
Chris Ivory, RB, New York Jets
Ivory was once a trendy pick in fantasy drafts, and we saw his ADP rise to the late-third round. Today you can get the oft-injured runner at the end of the sixth.
The Jets have limited Ivory’s workload throughout the preseason, and he’s rotated with Bilal Powell as starter. There’s reason to believe that a split will continue into the season, but if Ivory is healthy, he can clearly break through as the starter in New York. Health is the biggest question mark.
We’ve marked down Ivory for 199 carries, which plays out to him being a low-end RB2 in 2013. That’s the kind of runner he can be. Luckily, in the sixth or seventh round, you’re not taking as much of a risk in getting him. He’s probably valued correctly there given his preseason woes.
Mike Williams, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Because of sexy rising wide receivers, the proven ones are dropping. Mike Williams is one of them, which makes zero sense to us at numberFire. Williams is our 24th-ranked receiver entering 2013, and his ADP has him as the 39th-ranked one. Talk about a steal.
This is a perfect example of non-hyped players being drafted at a bargain. There’s nothing incredibly special about Williams and his situation, but the fourth-year wideout produces. He’s a near lock for 60 receptions and 900 yards, something he’s done in two of his first three NFL seasons. Draft him with confidence.
Kyle Rudolph, TE, Minnesota Vikings
Kyle Rudolph had a seventh-round ADP a month ago. He’s now being selected in Round 10.
The reason for this is similar to Mike Williams’ situation. Though tight ends like Dustin Keller and Dennis Pitta have gone down to season-ending injuries, other ones are rising. Jordan Cameron now has a higher ADP than Rudolph, and Zach Sudfeld is being selected in the same round as him.
Rudolph is currently the 11th tight end being picked during 12-team drafts, which is a value considering he’s our ninth-ranked one. Like most tight ends, he’s going to be inconsistent, but he’s less risky than some of the other late-round selections.