Weekly ADP Watch: Is Terrance Williams Worth His Current Cost?
With the NFL world in a lull before all hell breaks loose, fantasy footballers all over are hard at work figuring out who this year’s breakout players will be. They won’t have to wait much longer, as training camps are fast approaching and are set to begin as early July 18th when the Bills report to work.
Here at numberFire, we joined in on the fun by releasing our very own fantasy football cheat sheet last week.
Using this cheat sheet, we thought it'd be a good exercise to write up weekly average draft position reports to show discrepancies between our values and what the market is dictating. It'll tell you who's skyrocketing up the board, and conversely, who has fallen off the face of the fantasy football Earth.
All average draft positions (ADPs) referred to in the article are from FantasyFootballCalculator.com and are based upon a 12-team standard scoring leagues.
Rising to the TopToby Gerhart, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars
Gerhart’s ADP has risen from being taken as the ninth pick in the fifth round to the 12th selection in the third over the last month and a half (RB20; 36th overall.)
This shouldn't surprise anyone, as Gerhart should be fed the lion’s share of carries for a woeful Jacksonville Jaguars offense. However, his lack of career carries does raise concerns.
I’ve seen others compare his situation to that of Michael Turner who, after leaving San Diego for Atlanta in 2008, went on to become the second-best running back in fantasy. Both players, too, were rushing behind all-time greats.
But our Net Expected Points data shows that Turner averaged 5.27 Rushing NEP per campaign - the number of points added via the ground - in his four years with the Chargers. Gerhart came in at a -1.72. Though it seems like a small difference, it's fairly large at the running back position.
Though we have him listed as the 20th-best running back in our rankings, there's no need to reach given the players being drafted around him. We're not against someone like Rashad Jennings instead, who is currently going 41st overall.Marques Colston, WR, New Orleans Saints
I know what you’re thinking: "Really? Marques Colston?"
While Colston isn’t the flashiest option at wide receiver, he has only ranked outside of the top 20 wide receivers twice in his career. He's a model of yearly consistency. And, of course, we all know that the Saints have a prolific offense with quarterback Drew Brees.
Thus, Colston's spike from the fifth pick in Round 8 to first in Round 7 is justified.
With the exception of last year’s dip in production and 2008’s season in which he only played in 11 games, Colston has averaged 1,105 receiving yards and 8 touchdowns per season in New Orleans. With former pass-catching back, Darren Sporles, now in Philly, Colston shouldn't lose any volume.
In truth, his current ADP as the 30th-best wide receiver is a value given our projections, as he's currently ranked as our number 24 wideout.Terrance Williams, WR, Dallas Cowboys
Williams had a decent rookie season a year ago, totaling 46 receptions which led to 736 yards and 5 trips to the house. He finished as the 40th-best wideout in fantasy football as a result. He's currently slotted as the eighth pick in Round 7 (81st overall), which is up 11 picks from May 1st.
Williams certainly has a great opportunity playing in a pass offense that has produced good fantasy options such as Dez Bryant and Jason Witten. And he could end up being worth his current cost. However, it's interesting to see him ahead of guys like Reggie Wayne (87th overall) and Dwayne Bowe (108th overall). We have both of those wideouts ranked ahead of Williams.
Pass on him if his stock remains where it is. If he slides back in the draft, the upside is there to get him, as his ceiling as a young wideout is fairly high. Right now, however, we like safer options around his current ADP.
Dropping Like They're HotBen Tate, RB, Cleveland Browns
Many thought that, when Tate signed with the Browns, that he’d be the bell-cow back in Cleveland. After they drafted Terrance West in the third round of the NFL Draft though, the optimism for Tate was shattered.
It seems as though Tate should get a good crack at the starting gig though. The Browns' are now led by former Redskins' offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan, who produced two straight top 15 running back seasons with Alfred Morris. The approach and scheme fits Tate, too, who's coming from a zone-blocking background in Houston.
Prior to the draft, Tate was being selected at the tail-end of Round 3. Today, he's being drafted at the end of Round 5. His current cost fits much better with where we have him ranked, as the 28th-best running back in fantasy. He's not a bad option if you get him as your third running back.Aaron Dobson, WR, New England Patriots
Second-year Patriots' receiver, Aaron Dobson, could be the weapon that the Patriots have been lacking. The 6-foot-3, 210-pound receiver has excellent speed, showcased at Marshall's Pro Day when he ran a 4.4 40-yard dash.
He is currently being drafted as the 139th overall player and the 53rd-best wide receiver, behind rookies Kelvin Benjamin and Jordan Matthews. Since the beginning of May, his ADP has actually dropped over a round thanks to these newcomers.
It's great to take second-year, high-upside receivers ahead of the rooks. He didn't overwhelm last year, but he ranked sixth in the entire NFL in Success Rate - the percentage of passes that contribute positively towards a team's NEP - a season ago. He was also the most efficient Patriot wide receiver according to our metrics.
Our own JJ Zachariason pointed out in a column earlier this week that it's truly a crapshoot when trying to find the next big thing at wide receiver late in your draft. Given the offense that Dobson is in and the potential he showed a season ago, there's tremendous upside. At that point in the draft, it's better to ignore the floors of players and go for that upside. Dobson could be your guy, despite our conservative approach with his projection.