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2014 Draft Prep: ADP review, 3.0

Senior Fantasy Writer
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Editor's note: FanDuel.com is hosting a one-week long $100,000 Fantasy Football contest for just Week 1. It's only $10 to join and first prize is $10,000. Starts Sunday, September 7th at 1 p.m. ET. Enter now

Draft Averages | Rankings | Prep with our podcasts | Draft Index

We're entering the third week of preseason action and Fantasy drafts are ratcheting up. The Average Draft Position is starting to show an accurate description of how your leagues are looking compared to just mock drafts. It's great data to study.

Some of the risers based on two full weeks of preseason action are Jay Cutler, Fred Jackson, Kelvin Benjamin and Zach Ertz. Some of the fallers are Colin Kaepernick, Stevan Ridley, Jeremy Maclin and Eric Ebron.

After this weekend, we'll find out how Fantasy owners feel about Le'Veon Bell, who was starting to decline with the news of a shared backfield with LeGarrette Blount. His stock could fall further after being charged with marijuana possession and a DUI. Blount also was charged with marijuana possession. I'd still draft Bell toward the end of Round 2, but I'd love for him to slip into Round 3. And Blount is worth a late-round pick.

The ADP will continue to change after preseason games this weekend, so stay on top of this information to help you prepare for your Draft Day.

The first round looks like this …

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

The quarterbacks are on the rise as Manning moved ahead of Forte for the No. 4 overall spot and Rodgers has crept into Round 1, bumping Montee Ball out. I hope this is because of owners in two-quarterback leagues because there's no need to draft a quarterback that early in one-quarterback formats.

Ball has fallen because he's been out with the appendectomy, but he could play in the final preseason game. I like that he's falling because there's a better chance I can get him in Round 2.

If you take the quarterbacks out of the first round, Ball, Dez Bryant and Marshawn Lynch would move in. While I don't like Lynch at his ADP of No. 15 overall, I wouldn't mind Bryant at No. 12. He could easily challenge Johnson and Thomas for the No. 1 receiver spot this year.

Quarterback breakdown

Andrew Luck moving up: There are some Fantasy owners targeting Luck this season expecting a breakout campaign. Then there are others who shy away from Luck because he was uninspiring last year.

I think Luck will be great this season with the addition of Hakeem Nicks and return to health of Reggie Wayne and Dwayne Allen. Trent Richardson is struggling to run the ball in the preseason and the Colts have talked about opening up the passing game. It's about time.

He's the No. 6 quarterback off the board behind the aforementioned top three, Matthew Stafford and Tom Brady. I'd rather take Luck's upside than Brady and I think No. 6 is a great spot for him. The only other quarterback I like better than Luck is Matt Ryan, who could be a steal as the No. 8 quarterback behind Colin Kaepernick.

Jay Cutler on the rise: Cutler looks locked in this preseason with two solid performances in the first two games. He played well last year in his first season for coach Marc Trestman and if he can stay healthy for 16 games, he could have the best year of his career.

He is currently being drafted as the No. 12 quarterback and he's the perfect passer to wait for if you don't like drafting a quarterback early. One guy who is going ahead of him is Nick Foles at No. 58 overall compared to No. 83 for Cutler. I'd much rather have Cutler at that value.

Cam Newton on the rise: Newton didn't play great in his preseason debut against Kansas City, but it was good to see him on the field after offseason ankle surgery. He is still the No. 13 quarterback off the board behind Cutler at No. 84 overall.

I don't consider Newton a top-12 quarterback coming into the year, but I would definitely gamble on him as a high-end backup, especially if I draft an injury-prone starter like Cutler, Tony Romo or Robert Griffin III. Newton will have plenty of positive moments and this is a good spot to draft him based on his ADP.

Running back breakdown

Running backs on the decline: Of the top 30 running backs on the ADP list, there are 13 with a red arrow showing their value is on the decline. The biggest one is Ridley, who has dropped to No. 79 overall. This came after he fumbled in the second preseason game against the Eagles. I hope Ridley continues to fall because eventually he'll be a steal on Draft Day. The fumbles are a problem, but he'll still have stretches of dominance for a good running team like the Patriots.

Some of the other running backs falling include Ball, Arian Foster, C.J. Spiller, Ryan Mathews, Frank Gore, Ray Rice, Chris Johnson, Richardson and Ben Tate. The ones who make the most sense are Foster, Spiller and Richardson based on their poor play or lack of action this preseason.

Like Ridley, eventually those guys will fall to a spot where it's good value to draft them, so keep an eye on their ADP this weekend. I still think you'll get good production from Spiller in Round 4 and Richardson in Round 6 if that's where they end up. Foster in Round 2 is still a little risky.

Jackson Bill-ding momentum: While Spiller continues to struggle, Jackson is picking up speed on draft boards. He is up to No. 92 overall and rising.

The Bills plan to use Jackson at the goal line and in the passing game even though Spiller will remain the starter. Jackson could end up as a tremendous value pick, but the concern is he's 33 years old and might break down from the extra work.

Prior to last year, Jackson missed six games in each of the previous two seasons. If he falters, Spiller's value would likely improve.

Saints going in different directions: Mark Ingram's ADP is on the rise to No. 137 overall and Khiry Robinson is falling to No. 126 overall. Ingram could pass Robinson this weekend with another solid performance.

The Saints have Ingram as the starter and Pierre Thomas will work on passing downs. Robinson is the hybrid of both, but his stock is dropping because Ingram has looked good through two games, including a touchdown in both outings.

Thomas is still the best running back in New Orleans, but Ingram is looking like a strong second option. He's easily worth a late-round flier at this point and should be taken ahead of Robinson.

Wide receiver breakdown

Receivers on the rise: As the top 30 running backs are dropping in ADP, the top 30 receivers are on the rise. Of that group, 16 have a green arrow pointing up next to their name.

The ones showing the biggest increases include Larry Fitzgerald, Roddy White, Golden Tate and T.Y. Hilton. It's interesting that veterans like Fitzgerald and White are gaining steam.

For Fitzgerald, he remains a solid threat for the Cardinals even with third-year receiver Michael Floyd pushing him for the No. 1 role. Fitzgerald is worth his ADP at No. 39 overall.

White will see more time in the slot this season with Tony Gonzalez retired and he should rebound after last year's injury-plagued campaign. He's a great value pick at No. 53 overall.

Young receivers moving up: Two young receivers on the rise are rookie Kelvin Benjamin and second-year sensation Justin Hunter. Benjamin's ADP is up to No. 117 overall while Hunter is at No. 135.

Benjamin scored a touchdown in his preseason debut against Buffalo and he almost connected on a big play from Newton against the Chiefs. He looks like the definitive No. 1 option for the Panthers and could be the best receiver of this loaded rookie class if he and Newton develop a quick rapport.

As for Hunter, he had a huge second preseason game against the Saints with four catches for 111 yards and two touchdowns. The result? Fantasy owners are buying in. He's gone from sleeper to breakout and we hope his ADP doesn't get overblown. He is currently at No. 135 overall.

New England's receivers: Julian Edelman is the Patriots' top receiver at No. 70 overall, but who comes after him on Draft Day? As of now, the second-best options are Danny Amendola at No. 137, Brandon LaFell at No. 158, Aaron Dobson at No. 159 and Kenbrell Thompkins going mostly undrafted.

Edelman's value is fair and we'll see who emerges from that next group. I'd gamble on Amendola next with Dobson as a nice sleeper if he can overcome his foot woes. Thompkins' value will rise if Dobson can't stay on the field. LaFell is someone to avoid.

Most likely, Edelman will be the only Patriots receiver drafted in the majority of leagues.

Tight end breakdown

Kyle Rudolph, Zach Ertz stars of preseason: Two tight ends playing well in the preseason so far are Rudolph and Ertz. Both have huge breakout potential.

Rudolph gets a boost this season with the addition of new offensive coordinator Norv Turner, who has done well with tight ends in his career going back to Dallas and Jay Novacek to as recently as last season with Jordan Cameron in Cleveland. Rudolph is being drafted at No. 94 overall and he's a great tight end to wait for on Draft Day.

Ertz showed flashes of his potential as a rookie last year, but his preseason performance this season suggests he could be a star. The Eagles need help at receiver with DeSean Jackson gone and injuries limiting Jeremy Maclin (hamstring) and Riley Cooper (ankle) to start the preseason. Ertz is another great buy at No. 100 overall.

Rob Gronkowski slipping: Gronkowski isn't expected to play this preseason coming off last year's torn ACL, so Fantasy owners are getting a little nervous, even though he's slated to play in Week 1. His ADP has dropped to No. 33 overall.

I would draft Gronkowski toward the end of Round 2 because when healthy he's a difference-maker. I know it seems like forever since he's been healthy, but if he's on track for the start of the season, don't be afraid to draft him. If he continues to fall with his ADP that only makes his value that much more appealing.

Eric Ebron fading: Ebron was being drafted as a No. 1 tight end when training camp started, but he's fallen to No. 13 with a pick at No. 127 overall. He might continue to drop if he doesn't do something dramatic in the final two preseason games.

I'm shying away from Ebron, preferring the tight ends being drafted after him in Antonio Gates, Heath Miller, Ladarius Green, Charles Clay, Delanie Walker and Dwayne Allen. All have a higher ceiling than Ebron this year in re-draft leagues.

Now, if we're talking dynasty or keeper leagues, I'd take Ebron for sure. He could be a star as early as 2015.

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Player News
Darren McFadden a worthy start?
by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer
(6:13 pm ET) Thanks to a season-high 80 rushing yards in one game and a rushing touchdown in the other, Raiders running back Darren McFadden has been at least passable in Fantasy the last couple weeks. In Week 8, he has a rare opportunity to be something more than that.

The Raiders are visiting the Browns, who rank dead last against the run, allowing 155.5 yards per game and 5.0 yards per carry. They were responsible for Denard Robinson's breakthrough 127-yard performance in Week 7 and Lorenzo Taliaferro's 91-yard effort that got everyone so excited back in Week 3. The Browns also don't have such an explosive offense that the Raiders will be forced to pass all day.

McFadden has a good enough chance of delivering respectable numbers that you should at least pay him a second thought as a flex option in a standard 12-team league. Both Jamey Eisenberg and Dave Richard rank him among their top 24 running backs for this week.


Raiders looking to get Maurice Jones-Drew more snaps
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(6:03 pm ET) The Raiders are looking to get running back Maurice Jones-Drew more snaps, according to the San Francisco Chronicle

Coach Tony Sparano said the club needs to start involving Jones-Drew more. Jones-Drew had hand surgery earlier this season, but Sparano said he's "as healthy now as he's been." Jones-Drew received just three carries Week 7. 


Colts RB Trent Richardson unable to go Thursday
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(5:59 pm ET) Colts running back Trent Richardson was unable to practice Thursday.

Richardson was expected to be back on the practice field, so the move comes as a surprise. Richardson is dealing with a hamstring injury. His status will be determined based on whether he can get out on the practice field Friday. 


Doug Martin at least has matchup going for him
by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer
(5:55 pm ET) Chances are most Doug Martin owners didn't really miss him with the Buccaneers on bye in Week 7. He has yet to rush for more than 45 yards in the four games he's played this season, and he's scored just one touchdown.

But for better or worse, he remains the Buccaneers' go-to running back, and that role keeps him relevant enough in Fantasy that you shouldn't ignore him when he has a favorable matchup. And he has such a matchup Week 8 against Minnesota.

The Vikings rank 19th against the run, allowing 118.1 yards per game, and have surrendered the sixth-most Fantasy points per game to running backs. Like the Buccaneers, their offense is a work in progress with an inexperienced quarterback at the helm, so they may not force the Buccaneers' into catchup mode so early, allowing Martin to get more than his usual dozen or so carries.

You're probably still not excited about starting Martin this week, but if you don't like your other options for the flex spot, he may be your best choice.


Texans refuse to rule out Brian Cushing yet
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(5:53 pm ET) The Texans have not ruled out linebacker Brian Cushing just yet, according to ESPN.

Cushing missed practice for the second straight day Thursday, but coach Bill O'Brien wasn't willing to rule him out for Week 8. "He's day to day," O'Brien said. "We'll see how he is tomorrow. We'll bring him to Tennessee and see how he is before the game."

O'Brien also denied a previous report that Cushing would be out until after the team's bye week. Cushing is dealing with a knee injury.


Jerick McKinnon a clear start for once
by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer
(5:45 pm ET) You may have been tempted to start Vikings running back Jerick McKinnon in Week 7 after he appeared to wrestle the starting job away from Matt Asiata in Week 6, but a bad matchup coupled with a shortage of information made it too risky to justify in most leagues. But after he once again carried the load with 19 rushes for 103 yards -- and against the Bills, no less -- the time has come to activate McKinnon in Fantasy.

And you couldn't ask for a better matchup for it. In Week 8, the Vikings visit the Buccaneers, who rank 25th against the run, allowing 128.3 yards per game. Prior to their bye in Week 7, they gave up 172 yards to the Ravens' trio of Justin Forsett, Bernard Pierce and Lorenzo Taliaferro in Week 6 and 124 yards to the Saints' duo of Khiry Robinson and Pierre Thomas in Week 5. Not exactly household names there.

McKinnon might have more potential than all of them, if only because he has the role mostly to himself. Of course, you'd like to see the Vikings put him in a position to score, but the yardage potential alone makes him worth starting in all Fantasy leagues. Keep in mind the Buccaneers have surrendered the fourth-most Fantasy points per game to running backs this season.


Denard Robinson looking more like a Week 8 sleeper
by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer
(5:32 pm ET) With the news Thursday that Week 7 breakout Denard Robinson will get the bulk of the carries Week 8 against Miami even with the return of Toby Gerhart from a sprained foot, Robinson goes from a shaky start in Fantasy to at least a decent one.

Working behind the same offensive line with the same supporting cast that has reduced Toby Gerhart, Storm Johnson and Jordan Todman to a combined 2.7 yards per carry this season, Robinson had 127 yards on 22 carries in Week 7. Granted, that was with an especially favorable matchup against the Browns, who rank 32nd against the run, and this is with a not so favorable matchup against the Dolphins, who rank 10th. But still, a running back with a big workload is a valuable thing.

Before that news, Jamey Eisenberg and Dave Richard barely had Denard Robinson in their top 30 running backs for Week 8, but with it, he jumps to about 20th for me, ahead of Doug Martin, Tre Mason and Chris Ivory, among others.


Report: Broncos cut safety Boyett from practice squad
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(5:31 pm ET) The Broncos have parted ways with safety John Boyett, according to the Baltimore Sun.

Boyett was arrested for misdemeanor battery, and the team quickly decided to part ways with him after looking into the situation. Boyett was on the team's practice squad, and did not appear with the club this season.


Vikings C John Sullivan passes concussion protocol
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(5:28 pm ET) Vikings center John Sullivan passed the league's concussion protocol and is on track to play Week 8 against Tampa Bay, according to ESPN. Sullivan was a limited participant in practice Thursday, but coach Mike Zimmer told reporters he "did everything."

Cardinals DE Calais Campbel limited in practice Thursday
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(5:20 pm ET) Cardinals defensive end Calais Campbell practiced in a limited capacity Thursday, according to the team's official website. He has missed the last two games after suffering a Grade 2 MCL sprain against Denver in Week 5. Campbell, who practiced for the first time since the injury, told reporters earlier in the week that he's hopeful of playing Week 8 against Philadelphia.

 
 
 
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