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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
Cardinals coach Bruce Arians: 'It's really (Fitzgerald's) decision'
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(10:33 am ET) Cardinals coach Bruce Arians told reporters Friday he really wants to see wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald back in Arizona next season.

"I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t," Arians said. "We definitely, desperately want him to stay. He knows that. It’s really his decision."

Fitzgerald has a salary cap hit of $23.6 million for 2015 and the team will work to get that number down in the offseason. Team president Michael Bidwill said this week contract talks won't start fully until after the Super Bowl.

"I’m hoping and praying every day that it does happen," Arians said. "I’ve expressed to him personally how much it means to us."

Fitzgerald has not reached 1,000 yards receiving in the past three seasons and totaled 784 in 2014 on 63 catches with two touchdowns.


Seahawks corner Byron Maxwell set to test free agency
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(9:25 am ET) Seahawks cornerback Byron Maxwell is ready to hit the free-agent market during the upcoming offseason and feels the Super Bowl will be his last game in Seattle.

"I’m the prettiest girl at the dance right now," Maxwell said. "But yeah, it’s one of those things I’m excited about it. I would love to be here, but I’m ready to see what’s out there and see how things work out."

Maxwell, who was heavily targeted this year with the Seahawks secondary filled with Richard Sherman, Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor, grabbed two interceptions and defended 11 passes.

"Coming into the season I already knew teams were going to try me," Maxwell said. "But it was cool. I accept that. That’s more opportunities for me to get the rock and put my name out there."


Report: Titans S Bernard Pollard wants to be released
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(12:52 am ET) Titans safety Bernard Pollard has requested a release from his contract, The Tennessean reports. He is scheduled to make $3.1 million in the final season of his two-year deal in 2015.

Pollard submitted his request to general manager Ruston Webster at the end of the regular season, per the report. He is recovering from a ruptured Achilles and wants to play in 2015, but said on The Tennessean's Bernard Pollard Show earlier this month that he was unsure of his future with the Titans.

"I am not getting any younger, so I want to win, I really do. I want to win,'' Pollard said. "Looking at how things took place this year, looking at where (the Titans) need to be for next year, that is a tough, tough question, and I don't even know if they can give me the answer. I have one year on my deal, but it is going to take some time."

Pollard has been out of his walking boot for a month and is making progress in rehab. He suffered his Achilles injury in Week 5 and was placed on injured reserve.


Patriots fairly healthy heading into Super Bowl Sunday
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(1/30/2015) The Patriots will be at nearly full strength for Sunday’s Super Bowl as the following players have been listed as probable: Tom Brady (ankle), Dont’a Hightower (shoulder), Chris Jones (elbow), Akeem Ayers (knee), Darrelle Revis (non-injury-related) and Sealver Siliga (foot).

All except Brady were limited participants in practice Friday. The only question mark is center Bryan Stork, who is questionable with a knee injury and was limited in practice Friday.

The Patriots are currently 1-point favorites against Seattle.


Seahawks unveil final injury report in preparation for Super Bowl
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(1/30/2015) The Seahawks have listed the following players as probable for the Super Bowl on Sunday: J.R. Sweezy (ankle), Justin Britt (knee), Marshawn Lynch (back), Earl Thomas (shoulder), Richard Sherman (elbow) and Kam Chancellor (knee).

Chancellor was a late addition to the injury report, when he fell on the next-to-last play of practice and missed the last play. He was not limping on his way off. All other players were full participants in practice Friday.

The Seahawks are currently 1-point underdogs against New England.


Saints tight end Jimmy Graham to avoid surgery on shoulder
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(1/30/2015) Saints tight end Jimmy Graham said Friday he will avoid surgery on his shoulder after testing it at the Pro Bowl. 

"I’ve been doing rehab and I’m going to start back on my rehab Monday and really there’s going to be no surgery," Graham told SiriusXM radio. "I’m just going to do rehab, strengthen the area. That’s what’s best — not having to take six months off and try to heal up with a surgery, but now have those six months to work on all things I need to to try and hopefully get to a place like (the Super Bowl) next year."

Graham, who had 85 catches for 889 yards and 10 touchdowns in 2014, fought off the injury for most of the season. He was still unsure about having surgery before the Pro Bowl last week.

"It was something that really needed some rest and unfortunately it wasn’t able to get that during the season," he said. "It happened early and then you have about 10 straight weeks of trying to make it to the game. Now after having about three or four weeks and last week kind of testing it at the Pro Bowl, it feels great."


Vikings' Greg Jennings: We all want Adrian Peterson back
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(1/30/2015) Vikings veteran wideout Greg Jennings said during a SiriusXM NFL Radio interview on Friday that embattled running back Adrian Peterson is wanted back by everyone in the organization, per ESPN.

"I don't know if he'll be back. I can't answer that question," Jennings said. "But what I do know is that if he does come back, he'd be accepted with open arms. As an organization from the Wilfs on down, we all want him back. So, I mean, it's a touchy subject and he's been the franchise player -- face of that team -- for eight years. So it will be a loss, a huge loss, if we can't get him back, and that's the nature of this business."

In November, Peterson was suspended by the league without pay for the rest of the season, making him ineligible for reinstatement until at least April 15. The move came after Peterson pleaded no contest to recklessly injuring his 4-year-old son last May. He is under contract with the Vikings for next season, and is set to earn $12.75 million.

It's unclear at this point if Jennings has talked to Zygi and Mark Wilf about the Peterson situation. What is clear is that the team is not allowed to communicate with Peterson during his suspension.


Eagles' Maclin believes contract will take care of itself
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(1/30/2015) Eagles wide receiver Jeremy Maclin believes he will be back in Philadelphia in next season. His representatives and the Eagles are in the process of negotiating a new contract for the 27-year-old, who will become a free agent in March unless he is re-signed.

"I'm excited about what the future holds," Maclin said on Friday. "Once again, both sides have made it known what we want to do. I think it will take care of itself."

He could be franchise tagged if a deal is not signed. The tag number for wide receivers is yet to be determined.

Maclin had 85 catches in 2014 for 1,318 yards and 10 touchdowns in Philadelphia.


Bears sign LB DeDe Lattimore to two-year contract extension
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(1/30/2015) The Bears have signed linebacker DeDe Lattimore to a two-year contract extension. He appeared in 10 games as a rookie in 2014, recording five special teams tackles.

Jaguars' Khan 'very optimistic' about WR Blackmon being reinstated
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(1/30/2015) Jaguars owner Shahid Khan said Friday he is "very optimistic" about wide receiver Justin Blackmon, who missed the 2014 season after being suspended indefinitely for a third violation of the league's substance abuse policy, being reinstated to the NFL.

"I think he's paid his dues and I think he's got his life together," Khan said, per The Florida Times-Union.


 
 
 
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