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2014 Draft Prep: ADP review, 1.0

Senior Fantasy Writer
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Average Draft Position is one of the best tools you can use to study for your Draft Day. It gives you an idea of what the Fantasy community thinks of players you plan to target.

For example, you might be thinking Andre Ellington could be a great pick in Round 5, or Cordarrelle Patterson is someone you hope to get in Round 7. Well, based on ADP on CBSSports.com heading into the first weekend of preseason action, Ellington is being drafted in Round 3 and Patterson in Round 5.

You can still look to get Ellington and Patterson if you're so inclined. But now you have to adjust your planning since they likely won't last as long as you hope. And ADP is something you can use to gauge all your potential sleepers and breakouts and where you might have to draft them.

Along with our rankings, projections, updates and mock drafts, scan the ADP a few times prior to your Draft Day. Public perception is useful information that should help in your preparation to win your league.

The first round

1. Jamaal Charles, RB, Chiefs
2. LeSean McCoy, RB, Eagles
3. Adrian Peterson, RB, Vikings
4. Matt Forte, RB, Bears
5. Peyton Manning, QB, Broncos
6. Calvin Johnson, WR, Lions
7. Eddie Lacy, RB, Packers
8. Jimmy Graham, TE, Saints
9. Demaryius Thomas, WR, Broncos
10. Montee Ball, RB, Broncos
11. Drew Brees, QB, Saints
12. Arian Foster, RB, Texans

Barring an injury, the first four picks will likely remain the same, in some order, throughout the preseason. Charles, McCoy and Peterson will likely jockey for the No. 1 overall pick, with the knock on Charles being the changes on the offensive line, and McCoy detractors being worried about the addition of Darren Sproles. Peterson also has his flaws with injury concerns and fear of a potential breakdown based on career workload, but the Fantasy owners who believe in him tend to overlook that.

I don't mind Manning in the first round, but No. 5 overall is too soon. You're expecting him to again be 88 Fantasy points better than the No. 2 quarterback like he was last year (he outscored Brees 523-435 in standard leagues) and 170 Fantasy points better than the No. 3 quarterback (Andy Dalton scored 353 points). I'd prefer to see Manning in Round 2 personally, but if you want him in Round 1 it should be around No. 9 overall.

It will be interesting to see if Ball remains in the first round following his appendectomy. I'm fine drafting him there, but he could fall back to Round 2 behind other running backs like DeMarco Murray, Marshawn Lynch, Giovani Bernard and Le'Veon Bell.

I didn't mention Ball falling behind Foster because I also expect Foster's ADP to drop. He recently said he considered retirement prior to this year, and he's missed practice time with an undisclosed injury. After having a back problem last year, he might be too risky for some Fantasy owners in the first round.

Quarterback breakdown

Colin Kaepernick too high: I'm very much a Kaepernick supporter this season. The receiving corps is solid with a healthy Michael Crabtree to go with Vernon Davis and Anquan Boldin, and the 49ers added Steve Johnson, Brandon Lloyd and Bruce Ellington this offseason. The team invested in Kaepernick with a hefty contract, and the defense could be worse with NaVorro Bowman and Glenn Dorsey nursing injuries and Aldon Smith facing a lengthy suspension, meaning more passing for Kaepernick this year.

But he should not be the No. 5 quarterback off the board. And he should not be drafted in Round 4 of a 12-team league unless it's a two-quarterback format.

If someone wants Kaepernick that much then they can have him in that spot. I'll gladly pass on him there for a handful of quarterbacks going later in Tom Brady, Andrew Luck, Matt Ryan, Robert Griffin III or Tony Romo. Even though I have Kaepernick ranked higher than Brady and Griffin, the value for those guys is better than Kaepernick in Round 4 with the same type of upside.

Matt Ryan too low: Ryan is someone most Fantasy owners should target instead of avoid, and maybe the appearance on Hard Knocks during training camp will push up his ADP from his current spot as the No. 9 quarterback in Round 6. He should be a stud with a healthy Julio Jones and Roddy White and an improved offensive line.

Prior to Jones going down last year in Week 5, Ryan was on pace for more than 5,200 passing yards, 32 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. He would have been a Top 5 Fantasy quarterback, and I'm expecting him to reach those heights this year as long as Jones and White are healthy.

If you're a Ryan supporter like I am, you have to hope he doesn't look too good this preseason so his ADP remains this low relative to the other quarterbacks.

Cam Newton falling: Fantasy owners should get used to seeing Newton as the No. 12 quarterback being drafted in Round 8. And depending on your feelings on Newton this season that could either be normal or a great thing.

If you believe Newton will remain a Top 5 Fantasy quarterback like he was last year then you'll be happy he falls this far. Or if you're worried about his revamped receiving corps and offensive line and his expected reduced rushing totals then you'll pass on him altogether.

I have Newton ranked No. 13, but I don't mind drafting him and pairing him with someone like Jay Cutler or Nick Foles. I'd rather start Cutler or Foles, but if they falter then Newton could step into my lineup and hopefully shine.

Running back breakdown

Andre Ellington going too high? Ellington is someone I'm excited about this season, but his price tag might be too high in Round 3 at No. 31 overall. He's going ahead of guys like Alshon Jeffery, Julius Thomas and Randall Cobb, and that could be a mistake.

Now, I understand if you want to draft Ellington, you take him when he's available. But guys like Jeffery, Thomas and Cobb are safer picks in that range with similar upside. If you can draft Ellington in late Round 3 or early Round 4 then that's probably a better spot for him.

Rookie report: This rookie class isn't getting a lot of hype, but there are plenty of quality targets for Fantasy owners in Bishop Sankey, Terrance West, Devonta Freeman, Carlos Hyde, Jeremy Hill, Tre Mason, Andre Williams, James White and Charles Sims.

Their ADP is as follows: Sankey (No. 37), West (No. 88), Freeman (No. 105), Hyde (No. 125), Hill (No. 127), Williams (No. 132), Mason (No. 136), White (No. 137) and Sims (No. 144).

Sankey should be going in Round 4, I'm OK with West and Freeman in their spots, and I love the value for Hyde, Hill, White and Sims, although their ADP could rise. Williams' ADP will definitely rise after he had a nice preseason debut against the Bills in the Hall of Fame game, and Mason might fall since he's not shining in training camp.

Three failures from last year: Three running back busts from last year in C.J. Spiller, Ray Rice and Trent Richardson, who were first-round picks in the majority of leagues, have some interesting ADP this season. None are being drafted before Round 3.

Spiller is the highest at No. 36, and he could be worth the price tag based on his upside. Rice is next at No. 51, but I expect him to fall with his two-game suspension and expected shared role with Bernard Pierce. And Richardson is at No. 56 overall, but he should rise barring a disappointing preseason. Ideally, you'd get Spiller in Round 4, Richardson in Round 5 and Rice in Round 6 – not on the same team – but that's better value for these running backs considering what happened to them last season and what their circumstances are this year.

Late-round fliers: Some great bargain buys right now in Round 10 or later are Hyde, Hill, Williams, Chris Ivory (No. 133), Stepfan Taylor (No. 137), Mark Ingram (No. 146) and Dexter McCluster (No. 148).

Ivory could easily make the Jets a tandem backfield with Chris Johnson if he can stay healthy. Taylor could help replace Rashard Mendenhall's eight touchdowns for the Cardinals as the No. 2 running back behind Ellington. Ingram could end up being better than Khiry Robinson, who is being drafted in Round 9. And McCluster could play the role of Danny Woodhead in Ken Whisenhunt's offense in Tennessee. Whisenhunt was the offensive coordinator for the Chargers last year.

Wide receiver breakdown

Target elite receivers: Last year, there were five receivers drafted in the first two rounds in the majority of leagues with Calvin Johnson, A.J. Green, Dez Bryant, Julio Jones and Demaryius Thomas. Four of the five finished as Top 6 receivers with Jones missing out because of his foot injury.

This year, there are six receivers being drafted in the first two rounds (Brandon Marshall joins the previous group), with Jordy Nelson just outside the Top 24 picks at No. 25. Your Fantasy team would be in great shape if you can lock up one of those studs, and you could even try for two of them to guarantee an amazing roster.

Changing teams, changing values: Some high-profile receivers changed teams this offseason with DeSean Jackson, Emmanuel Sanders, Golden Tate, Eric Decker and Hakeem Nicks the biggest names. All are being drafted in Round 6 or later.

I like the value for Sanders (No. 68) and Tate (No. 77) the best since they get an upgrade in offense. Sanders goes from Pittsburgh to Denver, and Tate moves from Seattle to Detroit.

I don't want Jackson in Round 6 at No. 62 overall compared to Sanders or Tate with his move from Philadelphia to Washington. Decker is probably fair value at No. 97 overall going from the Broncos to the Jets, but Fantasy owners recognize the downgrade coming in his production. And Nicks is only worth a late-round flier at No. 122 overall with his move from the Giants to the Colts since he's the No. 3 receiver behind T.Y. Hilton and Reggie Wayne.

Rookie report: This rookie class has plenty of talent with Sammy Watkins, Brandin Cooks, Mike Evans, Kelvin Benjamin and Odell Beckham since they were all first-round picks in the NFL Draft. But where do they stack up for Fantasy owners?

Watkins (No. 87) is being drafted in Round 7, Cooks (No. 99) and Evans (No. 108) in Round 9, Benjamin (No. 132) in Round 12 and Beckham (No. 145) in Round 13. My favorite receiver based on his opportunity and value is Cooks.

I'd be OK with Evans in Round 9 and Benjamin in Round 12. Watkins is being drafted a round too soon for my liking since I'm expecting his offense and quarterback to bring down his production. And Beckham is having trouble staying healthy.

The only other rookie receiver I'd consider drafting this year is Jordan Matthews, and his ADP is No. 143 in Round 12. He's well worth it in that spot.

Late-round picks to target: There are so many receivers being drafted in Round 10 or later that I'm excited about, including Benjamin, Marvin Jones (No. 132), Kenny Stills (No. 135), Matthews, Justin Hunter (No. 143), Jarrett Boykin (No. 144), Aaron Dobson (No. 147), Kenny Britt (No. 151), Rod Streater (No. 153) and Andre Holmes (no ADP data yet).

I wouldn't be surprised if all these guys exceed their ADP if they stay healthy.

Tight end breakdown

Gronkowski the steal of the draft? If Rob Gronkowski (knee) is 100 percent healthy and ready for Week 1, he could be the steal of the draft at No. 30 overall in Round 3. That would be more than 20 spots lower than Graham, and the two are basically equal when they play 16 games.

The difference between them is health since Gronkowski has suffered through forearm, back and knee injuries the past two years. But if you knew Gronkowski would play 16 games, and he appears on track for that this season, he will be better value than Graham based on their ADP.

Three worth discussing: Three tight ends stand out to me based on ADP with Vernon Davis (No. 49 overall), Jordan Cameron (No. 68 overall) and Dennis Pitta (No. 77 overall). I'd rather have Pitta over the other two.

He's healthy this season after last year's hip injury, and he's Joe Flacco's No. 1 target in arguably the best tight end offense in the NFL. Gary Kubiak, the Ravens' offensive coordinator, had more targets for tight ends over the past six years as the head coach for the Texans than any other team.

Now, Davis and Cameron are still Top 10 options, but Davis will regress this year and Cameron is being overhyped. Davis was the No. 2 tight end last year behind Graham with 13 touchdowns, but he averaged just six touchdowns the previous three years. If his touchdowns drop, which I expect, he'll suffer.

And Cameron, who is battling a shoulder injury, could struggle with the additional coverage he'll receive with Josh Gordon facing a season-long suspension. If Gordon's suspension is reduced then I'll change my opinion on Cameron and move him up in my rankings.

Late-round value: If you're looking for good value at tight end then put these names on your list since their ADP is in Round 8 or later: Kyle Rudolph (No. 98), Zach Ertz (No. 107), Eric Ebron (No. 111), Ladarius Green (No. 131) and Heath Miller (No. 135).

Rudolph benefits with the addition of offensive coordinator Norv Turner, who helped Cameron have a breakout season last year and has a great history with tight ends. Ertz could be a star this year as he helps the Eagles replace Jackson.

Ebron could be a red-zone threat for the Lions even as a rookie. Green is everyone's favorite breakout candidate even with Antonio Gates still on the roster. And Miller should rebound this year as the No. 2 target for Ben Roethlisberger behind Antonio Brown.

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Player News
Report: Stevan Ridley visiting Dolphins Tuesday
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(12:57 pm ET) Free-agent running back Stevan Ridley is visiting the Dolphins Tuesday, the Miami Herald reports.

Ridley spent his first four seasons with the Patriots but struggled in 2014, rushing for just 340 yards and two touchdowns on 94 carries. He did rack up a career-high 1,263 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns in 2012. The running back underwent surgery to repair a torn ACL and MCL in November.


Pagano: Andre Johnson brings a 'big, physical presence' to Colts
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(12:43 pm ET) Colts coach Chuck Pagano sees wide receiver Andre Johnson as a big presence underneath for the team's offense, adding a complementary piece to the speed of T.Y. Hilton and Donte Moncrief, ESPN.com reports.

"He's a big body guy that can still separate, create separation," Pagano said. "He's got a big catch radius. But again, the contested catches that you see on tape. It's very difficult to match up. There are few corners in the league that have length and size to match up but most are aren't on that size and they get pushed around a little bit. He's going to be able to bring that big, physical presence to us."

Johnson managed just 936 yards and three touchdowns on 85 receptions in 15 games in 2014, marking the first time he's played at least 10 games but not reached 1,000 yards since 2005. However, Pagano doesn't think Johnson has taken a step back.

"You don't see a huge dropoff numbers-wise," Pagano said. "Maybe in touchdowns. But you still see a guy who is more than capable of stretching the defense. Certainly somebody who an opponent can't just line up and say, 'Don't worry about Andre Johnson.' They're still going to have to tend to him if you will. If they choose to double [Hilton] and take him out of the game, you have another guy on the other side, along with the rest of the guys on the roster who can still stretch the defense. He's a big, possession type guy. He makes contested catches in traffic. He's got a big catch radius. A big body. Those guys are hard to defend."


Report: Ravens interested in TE Rob Housler
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(12:34 pm ET) The Ravens and tight end Rob Housler have mutual interest, the Baltimore Sun reports.

The two sides have held contract discussions and while a deal has yet to be reached, both the Ravens and Housler will continue working toward a compromise. He could serve as an athletic pass-catching tight end in new offensive coordinator Marc Trestman's offense if signed.

Housler posted career lows in 2014, grabbing just nine passes for 129 yards.


Saints to start Jahri Evans, Tim Lelito at guard in 2015
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(12:29 pm ET) Saints coach Sean Payton said at the annual NFL meeting that he doesn't think the moves the team has made this offseason have opened any holes in the starting lineup, indicating specifically that Tim Lelito would join Jahri Evans as the team's starting guards after the departure of Ben Grubbs, Saints.com reports.

"Those aren’t holes," Payton said about losing Grubbs and middle linebacker Curtis Lofton. "We’re not moving a player if we feel like there’s no…we feel like we have a pretty good idea of how everything is lining up. We’ve got a center we know that starts in this NFL, we’ve got a guard, (Tim) Lelito will play left guard, Jahri Evans is the right guard. The same way at receiver. So we weren’t looking to make a move that created another 'must'."

Lelito played 294 snaps on offense last season, per Pro Football Focus, and graded out positively as a run blocker and negatively as a pass blocker.  He was an undrafted free agent out of Grand Valley State in 2013.


Lions' Caldwell expects Theo Riddick to have large role in 2015
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(12:19 pm ET) Lions coach Jim Caldwell expects running back Theo Riddick to help boost a rushing attack that ranked 28th in 2014 and cut Reggie Bush after the season, MLive.com reports.

"We try and give (the ball) to the guys who are going to do something with it, and I think he's going to be one of those guys who's going to force us to give him the ball more," Caldwell said last week at the NFL owners meetings. "I think you're really going to see him come along."

Riddick rushed for 51 yards on 20 carries in 2014 and added 316 yards and four touchdowns on 34 catches.

"I can't tell you he's going to carry the ball 50 more times, or I can't tell you he's going to get the ball thrown to him 30 more times, until we have a chance to work through this gauntlet. Know what I mean?" Caldwell said. "When we get to the end of the gauntlet, then maybe I can give you a little more of a view. But I'm never going to tell you, 'Hey, we expect this guy to do this or that.' What role he plays, how much he's going to get it, kind of depends on how well we move the ball and how many opportunities we get, what kind of game it is, are we playing great defense, that kind of thing.

"But I will say that he's going to improve. He has all the qualities. Here's the thing -- if you're smart, if you're tough, if you're disciplined, if you have a great work ethic, there's improvement ahead. And he has all those things. So I think he's going to improve, and I think he's going to force us to get him the ball a little bit more in some situations."


Jaguars waive FB Bradie Ewing
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(11:22 am ET) The Jaguars waived fullback Bradie Ewing on Tuesday, according to ESPN. Ewing, 25, has not played since 2013 when he was a member of the Falcons. The moves leaves Jacksonville without a fullback on the roster.

Report: Buccaneers bringing in Dan Connolly for a visit
by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(3/30/2015) Former Patriots offensive guard Dan Connolly will visit the Buccaneers on Tuesday, per a report by Fox's Ross Jones, citing a source. 

Connolly has played in 87 games for the Patriots in the last seven years and hasn't played in fewer than 13 games in a season since 2008. 


Steelers RB DeAngelo WIlliams says signing was easy decision
by Dave Peters | CBSSports.com
(3/30/2015) After playing his first nine seasons with the Panthers, running back DeAngelo Williams signed a two-year, $4 million contract with the Steelers this offseason. Among his many thoughts on the signing, he called it an easy decision, according to the Sporting News.

“I didn’t know they wanted me. I had never been on a visit before,” Williams said. “I was with the same organization for nine years. When I got the call and they said, 'hey we want to bring you in for a visit' I took it as that. Had they said we wanted to bring you in for a signing I would have had a different mindset. I had no idea what was going to transpire when I got here.”

Williams added that he is willing to do whatever it takes to get the team to the next level.

“It’s the opportunity to take maybe one or two reps or whatever it takes to make this team better,” Williams said. “That is what I will do. I want to make it to a Super Bowl and win it. I know this team has that potential and they can do it.

“Coming here was an easy decision. This is a Super Bowl contending team. Every veteran out there, veteran or rookie, they want to go to the Super Bowl and win it and get the best opportunity. I think the best opportunity is here in Pittsburgh.”

Williams has rushed for 6,846 yards on 1,432 carries with 46 rushing touchdowns in his career.


Lions WR Golden Tate doesn't feel pressure due to loss of Suh
by Dave Peters | CBSSports.com
(3/30/2015) Although Lions wide receiver Golden Tate feels the loss of Ndamukong Suh is a blow to the team, he doesn't believe it puts more pressure on the offense, reports ESPN. 

When asked specifically about the subject, Tate was clear about his thoughts.

"No, I don't think it adds any pressure," Tate said by phone Monday. "We just need to be who we are. We know that we have a lot of weapons all over the field. We just need to reach our potential each and every week.

"We just need to go out there and play fundamentally sound football and I have no doubt our defense is going to be really good again this year and we just got to do our jobs. There's no pressure on anyone but to be ourselves and to play good football."

Additionally, Tate recognizes that Suh was a game-changing player for the Lions, but he likes the addition of Haloti Ngata.

"Obviously, losing Suh is a big hit," Tate said. "I don't care what team you are, he's the guy that can change the game. Change an opposing offense's game plan. He affects the game so much. But with that being said, I'm thankful to have [had] the opportunity to play with him for a year and be a part of something special. But the show must go on.

"The guy we got, [Haloti] Ngata, is a heck of a player. I think it's a good pickup for us. I know he has a past with coach Caldwell so he knows the ins and outs of the system, probably. But we're ready to move forward. We can't live in the past and football season must still go on. We're preparing to have a great year and build from last year."

The 26-year-old stated that he plans on focusing on the intricacies of the offensive playbook heading into this season.

"One thing I really want to focus on is learning the playbook a little bit better," Tate said. "I felt like I knew it for the most part, but details, running the plays exactly how Joe Lombardi draws them up, could help us win more games and create more opportunities for myself and our team."

Tate finished his first season with the Lions catching 99 passes for 1,331 yards and four touchdowns.


Report: LB Rolando McClain ends Patriots' visit without contract
by Dave Peters | CBSSports.com
(3/30/2015) After visiting the Patriots on Monday, linebacker Rolando McClain and the team did not agree to terms on a contract, according to NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport. The same report states that the visit was a positive one.

McClain played in 13 games last season for the Cowboys, collecting 81 total tackles and one sack. Over his four-year career, the 25-year-old has accumulated 327 total tackles, 7.5 sacks, 23 passes defensed, three interceptions and two forced fumbles.


 
 
 
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