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2014 Draft Prep: ADP review, 2.0

Senior Fantasy Writer
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Draft Averages | Rankings | Prep with our podcasts | Draft Index

Fantasy leagues are starting to draft for real now as we head into the second week of preseason action. And as those drafts take place, the Average Draft Position data will start to look a little different.

The preseason performances and continued training camp reports will sway owners based on who is looking good and who is struggling. For example, some guys on the rise include Matt Ryan, Andre Williams and Kenny Britt. Guys who are dropping include Arian Foster, Sammy Watkins and Eric Ebron.

What happens this weekend can change the fortunes for these players and many others, and we encourage you to pay attention to ADP when preparing for your drafts. How the Fantasy community views certain players can help you on Draft Day.

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. DeMarco Murray, RB, Cowboys

The only change from last week to now was Foster falling from the No. 12 spot to No. 17. He finally returned to practice this week after being out with a hamstring injury, but his stock is on the decline after last year's back problem, his talk of retirement and his latest ailment.

We would still gamble on Foster in Round 2 if he doesn't suffer a setback with his hamstring or back, but it's a good sign owners aren't drafting him in Round 1. That price was too high given all his red flags.

Murray moving into Round 1 consideration is a good thing, and he's worth it. He had a breakout season last year with career highs in carries (217), rushing yards (1,121), rushing touchdowns (nine), receptions (53), receiving yards (350) and receiving touchdowns (one). He finished as the No. 7 Fantasy running back in standard leagues, and we're expecting another big year from him in 2014.

The addition of Scott Linehan calling plays should allow Murray to improve his receiving totals, and he has the talent to be an elite Fantasy option if he can stay healthy.

Quarterback breakdown

Tom Brady moving up: Fantasy owners are sometimes loyal to a fault, and we like to stick to what we know. It's comforting having a player on your team who has helped you to past success, and Brady fits the bill based on his history.

He has moved up to the No. 5 quarterback and is being drafted at No. 48 overall. That's way too high in standard leagues, although I can understand him going after Manning, Brees, Aaron Rodgers and Matthew Stafford.

I don't have Brady ranked that high, but it wouldn't surprise me if he finished in the Top 5, especially with a healthy Rob Gronkowski. If you're a Brady supporter and want him as your starter then definitely draft him ahead of Colin Kaepernick, Andrew Luck and Ryan, among others.

Matt Ryan moving up: Whether it's his appearance on Hard Knocks or our continued glowing endorsement, Ryan is starting to move up the quarterback ranks in ADP. It could just be Fantasy owners realizing he was too low before and has the chance for a big year.

Ryan moved up one spot to No. 8 ahead of Nick Foles, who had a dismal preseason opener against the Bears with two interceptions. Ryan, meanwhile, looked sharp against the Dolphins, and he's in line for a big season with a healthy Julio Jones and Roddy White.

Ryan is a quarterback I'm counting on for a Top 5 finish this year, and I would draft him ahead of Brady.

Ben Roethlisberger, Carson Palmer gaining momentum: Two backup quarterbacks to target this season are Roethlisberger and Palmer. They both have the chance to finish as Top 12 options.

Roethlisberger was actually the No. 10 Fantasy quarterback last season, and he was dominant down the stretch with at least 20 Fantasy points in five of his final seven games. He should pick up where last season left off.

Palmer also closed last season on a high note with at least 20 Fantasy points in four of his final seven outings. He also should stay hot with a dominant receiving corps led by Larry Fitzgerald and Michael Floyd.

Both quarterbacks have seen a rise in ADP (Roethlisberger is up to No. 117 overall and Palmer is at No. 131). You should target these guys as high-end No. 2 quarterbacks with starting potential.

Running back breakdown

Bishop Sankey slipping: Even though Sankey was OK in the first preseason game with 13 carries for 37 yards and three catches for 38 yards and a touchdown against the Packers, Fantasy owners are nervous because the rookie was third on the depth chart behind Shonn Greene and Dexter McCluster. Have no fear.

Sankey will still be the best running back for the Titans, and he's worth drafting toward the end of Round 3 or beginning of Round 4 in the majority of leagues. His ADP has dropped him into Round 4, which is great because the more he falls the better his value will be.

Still, we'd like to see the Titans use Sankey as the starter, but that move will come sooner rather than later.

Preseason stars on rise: Two running backs who have done well early in the preseason are Andre Williams from the Giants and Mark Ingram from the Saints. They are moving up in the eyes of owners.

Williams has two preseason games under his belt already with the Hall of Fame game, and he had seven carries for 48 yards and a touchdown against the Bills and then seven carries for 35 yards against the Steelers. He'll share playing time with Rashad Jennings, but Williams should be on your radar as a No. 3 running back in standard leagues. His ADP is now at No. 124 overall and rising.

Ingram will enter the season as the starter for the Saints, although that means little for that backfield with Pierre Thomas and Khiry Robinson. Still, Ingram started the preseason off right with eight carries for 83 yards and a touchdown against the Rams. His ADP is now at No. 140 overall, and we recommend drafting him with a late-round flier in standard formats.

Dolphins going in different directions: Knowshon Moreno was back at practice this week following offseason knee surgery, but he missed the first preseason game at Atlanta. With Moreno out, Lamar Miller has been gaining momentum, including a rise in his ADP to No. 92 overall. Moreno, meanwhile, is down to No. 101.

We would definitely draft Miller ahead of Moreno, but it will be interesting to see how Moreno does when he's back in game action. He could take away passing downs from Miller given his edge in pass protection.

But until we see Moreno shine and Miller falter then continue to draft Miller first, and he's a flex option on Draft Day. Moreno is only worth a late-round pick if you're drafting this weekend.

Wide receiver breakdown

Golden Tate's one catch a good one: Tate had just one catch for 14 yards in his preseason debut with the Lions against the Browns, but it was enough to sway Fantasy owners. His ADP is up to No. 76 and rising.

Should Tate continue to play well in the preseason, Fantasy owners will further buy into him as a breakout candidate. Playing for the Lions compared to the Seahawks will only enhance his Fantasy value, and he should have a big year in 2014.

He's currently being drafted behind DeSean Jackson (No. 63 overall), Emmanuel Sanders (No. 68) and Julian Edelman (No. 74), but I think Tate has a higher ceiling than those options.

Rookies going in different directions: Two high-profile rookie receivers in Watkins and Mike Evans are dropping in ADP. Watkins is down to No. 87 overall, and Evans is at No. 111.

The reason for the decline is Watkins has just three catches for 21 yards in two preseason games against the Giants and Panthers. And Evans had no catches in his preseason debut against the Jaguars. Now, both these receivers will definitely improve, but we'd like to see more from these guys in the preseason, since their offenses and quarterbacks are shaky at best.

Conversely, two rookie receivers on the rise include Brandin Cooks and Kelvin Benjamin. Cooks had five catches for 55 yards and a touchdown against the Rams, and that was without Drew Brees (oblique). And Benjamin had one catch for 29 yards and a touchdown against Buffalo, and that was without Cam Newton (ankle).

Cooks is now at No. 97 overall in ADP, and Benjamin is at No. 127. They should both continue to rise if the early preseason performances are any indication of what's to come this year.

Is Kenny Britt back? Britt had no catches or targets in the preseason opener against the Saints, but his ADP is on the rise to No. 150 overall. The early reports have been that Britt looks like his old self prior to tearing his ACL in 2011.

The Rams need help at receiver this season, and a rejuvenated and healthy Britt could be the answer. We'd like to see something from him this preseason, but he's definitely worth drafting with a late-round flier in all leagues.

Tight end breakdown

Greg Olsen on the rise: Olsen had just two catches for 22 yards in the preseason opener against Buffalo, and that was without Newton playing. But his ADP is up to No. 85 overall, and he's the No. 8 tight end off the board.

We like Olsen as a No. 1 tight end, especially with the Panthers needing him more this season with a revamped receiving corps. I'd rather have Jordan Reed, who is going after Olsen in ADP at No. 86 overall, but Olsen is still a solid option in all formats.

Eric Ebron has disappointing debut: Ebron has been a disappointment so far through training camp and the preseason. He's struggled with drops in camp and had just one catch for 2 yards against the Browns on four targets.

As a result, Ebron's ADP is down to No. 117. We expect him to improve, especially as the season goes on, but he should be considered a No. 2 Fantasy tight end instead of a starting option.

Delanie Walker moving up: Walker didn't catch a pass in the preseason opener against the Packers, but his ADP is on the rise to No. 149 overall. He's had a good training camp, and the Titans are expecting a big season after he had 60 catches for 571 yards and six touchdowns last year.

Walker could easily be a Top 12 tight end in 2014. There are 11 tight ends worth drafting in all leagues with Graham, Gronkowski, Julius Thomas, Jason Witten, Vernon Davis, Jordan Cameron, Dennis Pitta, Olsen, Reed, Kyle Rudolph and Zach Ertz. But after that group there are a number of tight ends who could be a starting-caliber option.

Those tight ends include Walker, Ebron, Martellus Bennett, Ladarius Green, Heath Miller, Antonio Gates and Charles Clay. If you're into streaming tight ends, this could be a fun year with plenty of alternatives.

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Player News
Andre Williams could surprise again
by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer
(6:58 pm ET) Though I don't know that he's ready for a platoon role, believing his strong showing Week 4 at Washington happened mainly because the Giants saw fit to rest their starting running back in a blowout, rookie Andre Williams has the perfect matchup to make the most of whatever opportunities he gets Week 5 against Atlanta. The Falcons rank 28th against the run, allowing 153.5 yards per game, and have given up nine touchdowns on the ground, four more than any other team.

Even better, they've been sort of the magic elixir for running back tandems this season. Not only did the Vikings' Matt Asiata and Jerick McKinnon both have big games against them last week, the former rushing for 78 yards and three touchdowns and the latter rushing for 135 yards, but the Bengals' Giovani Bernard and Jeremy Hill both had big games against them in Week 2, the former rushing for 90 yards and a touchdown and the latter rushing for 74 yards and a touchdown.

Of the two lead CBSSports.com Fantasy Football analysts, Jamey Eisenberg ranks Williams the highest for this week, placing him 28th among running backs, so we're talking little more than an emergency flex option in standard 12-team leagues. Still, you wouldn't be completely out of your mind to play him coming off last week's performance.


Rashad Jennings should come roaring back
by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer
(6:39 pm ET) After being limited to just three touches in the second half of a blowout victory Week 4 at Washington, Giants running back Rashad Jennings has a chance to get back in his Fantasy owners' good graces in Week 5. He'll be facing a Falcons defense that just gave up 241 rushing yards to the Vikings, making them 28th against the run. They've also allowed nine touchdowns on the ground, four more than any other team.

Because rookie Andre Williams performed so well in relief of Jennings last week, rushing for 66 yards and a touchdown on 15 carries, you may be worried the two will split carries in some form or fashion going forward. While I don't think that's much of a concern -- Williams was already getting 5-10 carries a game and not doing much with them -- I'm not sure it really matters with this matchup. The Falcons have been the magic elixir for running back tandems this season. Not only did the Vikings' Matt Asiata and Jerick McKinnon both have big games against them last week, the former rushing for 78 yards and three touchdowns and the latter rushing for 135 yards, but the Bengals' Giovani Bernard and Jeremy Hill both had big games against them in Week 2, the former rushing for 90 yards and a touchdown and the latter rushing for 74 yards and a touchdown.

Jamey Eisenberg and Dave Richard both rank Jennings among their top six running backs for Week 5, and I agree wholeheartedly. He remains a must-start despite the disappointment of last week.


Alfred Morris running into tough matchup
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(5:57 pm ET) For as good as Alfred Morris is, owning him in Fantasy can leave you disappointed at times, given the Redskins' sometimes-inconsistent usage of him. You might want to skip the headache in Week 5, with the Seahawks on the way Monday night.

Morris has been productive in each game so far, and currently ranks fifth in the NFL in rushing yardage through four games. Unfortunately, he faces one of the toughest tests in the league this week. The Seahawks have yet to allow an opposing running back to score even six points this season, and their lone touchdown allowed came from little-used Packers fullback John Kuhn in Week 1. Morris has yet to face Seattle in his career, and they are unlikely to give him a very warm welcome.

Morris is nearly a must-start Fantasy option on a weekly basis, but this is one time you might want to avoid relying on him. The workload should be there, but Morris ranks outside of the top-30 for running backs in both Jamey Eisenberg and Dave Richard's Week 5 rankings.   


Jets add LeQuan Lewis, subtract Brandon Smith
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(5:55 pm ET) The Jets signed cornerback LeQuan Lewis to their practice squad and released corner Brandon Smith from the squad, reports the New York Daily News.

Panthers add Tauren Poole, Horace Miller to practice squad
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(5:50 pm ET) The Panthers signed running back Tauren Poole and linebacker Horace Miller to their practice squad.

Austin Seferian-Jenkins an interesting long-term prospect
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(5:48 pm ET) Buccaneers tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins returned from a foot injury and immediately served as a key part of the offense in Week 4. Does the rookie second-rounder have sleeper Fantasy potential moving forward?

Seferian-Jenkins was targeted on seven of quarterback Mike Glennon's 42 throws in Sunday's game, a number that left him third on the team. He brought in three of those passes, a decent number considering Glennon struggled with his accuracy all game. The fact that Glennon looked his way so often might be a good sign, since it was the pair's first game together.

After a collegiate career that saw him total 1,840 yards in three seasons, Seferian-Jenkins has a chance to become a big part of this Tampa Bay offense. However, he obviously has a lot to prove before you want to rely on him. Keep an eye on Seferian-Jenkins' play in Week 5 against the Saints, and consider adding him if he and Glennon show a good rapport. 


Lions put Montell Owens on IR
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(5:47 pm ET) The Lions put running back Montell Owens on injured reserve with a hamstring injury, ending his season.

LaMichael James signs with Dolphins
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(5:42 pm ET) Former 49ers running back LaMichael James signed with the Dolphins, reports Fox Sports. San Francisco released the oft-injured back following the season opener.

Luke Willson has a lot to prove with increased role
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(5:35 pm ET) The Seahawks will turn to Luke Willson to start at tight end in the coming weeks, with Zach Miller sidelined by ankle surgery. Should Fantasy owners take notice?

Miller had logged 83.5 percent of the team's snaps through three games, so Willson should be in line for a much larger role as the starter. Of course, Miller was nearly a nonfactor in the passing game so far, having been targeted just seven times. Between he and Willson, quarterback Russell Wilson has targeted tight ends just eight times on 87 attempts, after 20.6 percent of his passes went their way a year ago.

Willson might be the better pass catcher of the Seahawks tight end tandem, but we don't have much to go on here. There are better tight end options worth targeting on waivers, at least until Willson proves himself. 


Christian Ponder preparing to start
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(5:28 pm ET) Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder took the first-team reps Monday and Tuesday while rookie Teddy Bridgewater watched with an ankle injury. "I'm preparing to play, but we're hoping the best for Teddy," Ponder told reporters.

"I've talked to Teddy. He's doing everything he can to prepare and be ready to play."

Ponder has started 35 games, but none with Norv Turner as offensive coordinator. He could be under center Thursday in Green Bay. "It's a very different style of offense than what we've ran the previous three years," Ponder said. "Without Adrian [Peterson], it's different. Defenses play us differently without Adrian. I'm comfortable and fit well in it."


 
 
 
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