We've got one week left until the first preseason game. Our writers at Fake Teams are busy preparing, updating and revising our rankings as training camps open and progress. As promised, I said that through the month of July I would update this Buy, Sell and Hold column every other week and then every week as we get into training camp. For those who haven't had the pleasure of reading version one you may do so by clicking here. If you are a new reader or choose not to click then let me refresh the rules of Buy, Sell or Hold:
I believe in a value based drafting system. I always look to find players that I believe have been under ranked by the consensus to find talent in later rounds. Likewise I look to identify players that consensus has ranked too high and leave them for others to draft. There are players, however, that I will "overpay" for based on my personal rankings vs. the consensus and knowing that they may not be there for me in later rounds. I may have to spend a few extra auction bucks on these guys as well. This sometimes works out quite well - 2012 Stevan Ridley and sometimes works out quite poorly - 2013 Stevan Ridley.
So, here then, is my second installment of Buy, Sell or Hold. In this column, I will look at ADPs and tell you who I feel is a buy - a guy being under ranked or a guy I will pay up for. I will identify who I feel is a sell - a guy being over ranked or a guy who I would pass up on at his current ranking. I will also identify a few holds - guys who I think are fairly ranked but have a wait and see attitude on.
My source for ADPs is fantasypros.com which gives you the ADPs for all the major sites - Yahoo!, NFL, ESPN, MFL as well as an average of all sites as well. These rankings are for standard leagues but I will mention PPR if applicable in my commentary. So here we go - BUY, SELL OR HOLD version 2.0:
LE'VEON BELL, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers - ADP 15.8 (RB10)
This isn't so much an endorsement for Bell as it is as a comparison to other RBs. Bell is one of the few true 3 down backs in the NFL and he really doesn't have anyone pushing him for playing time. He put up a 244/860/8 line last year while missing 3 games. You can also throw in 45 catches for 399 yards if you are in PPR leagues as well. He scored a TD in four out of his last five games so he is going to get the goal line work. Although he is considered a low yards per carry guy (and he is) in those last five games he rushed for 4+ YPC in four of them. I don't see Legarrette Blount as a threat. Mike Tomlin has been impressed with Bell early in off season saying he is "excited about taking the next step" according to Rotoworld. Bell is currently going behind guys like Montee Ball and Marshawn Lynch. Although I love Ball's talent and Knowshon Moreno -ish upside I believe Le'Veon is the safer play. As far as Lynch goes I am not paying attention to the holdout nor am I paying much attention (or AS MUCH) to Christine Michael. I am a little lower on Lynch because of the wear and tear of previous years. Based on opportunity I would look to draft Lev ahead of either of those two. I rank him a soft (due to already high ADP) BUY.
RODDY WHITE, WR, Atlanta Falcons - ADP 51 (WR21)
If you are a big believer in a comeback for the Atlanta offense then you would have to agree that Roddy is a great value at ADP 51. Before last season's injury plague, Roddy has been a virtual lock for 1,000 yards per season. In fact from 2007 through 2012 he never had less than 1,100 yards and never had less than 80 catches. Even last year after coming back from injury he posted a 43/502/2 line in five games. He is a workhorse WR in an offense that loves to pass with a rebuilt offensive line that will keep his QB in the pocket. What is there not to like about that? Although I love the explosiveness of Cordarrelle Patterson I would not rank him ahead of Roddy's consistency. Others I would rank Roddy higher than include DeSean Jackson, Michael Crabtree and Wes Welker. Roddy is a pretty solid PPR league BUY.
VERNON DAVIS, TE, San Francisco 49ers - ADP 45.8 (TE4)
Vernon Davis is the "smoke and mirrors" of the TE position. He is a tremendous talent no doubt but he also has a knack for making big plays, catching big passes and playing his best when the spotlight shines the brightest. But fantasy football is a grind it out week by week competition and Vernon may win you a few weeks but he will also come up empty just as often and that doesn't make for a good fantasy draft pick. Case in point: In 2013, VD sported a 52/850/13 line. He was very heavily touchdown dependent. He had a couple of MONSTER games like the opener in which he posted 6/98/2 or a week five game against Arizona in which he put up 8/180/2. That means that nearly one third of Vernon's fantasy points were posted in TWO games! He also put up clunkers like a week 16 shutout. In that week he didn't catch a single ball and he wasn't even targeted once! With new options in San Fran this year and a healthy Michael Crabtree, Vernon is going to have to compete for targets. If I don't get the top three TEs in the draft - Jimmy Graham, Rob Gronkowski or Julius Thomas - I can't justify a fourth round pick on Vernon Davis. I would rather wait until the 9th or 10th round for Kyle Rudolph, Martellus Bennett or Charles Clay. I could also pick up a Jordan Cameron in round six and spend my fourth or fifth round pick on another RB or WR. Vernon is a big time SELL.
ANDREW LUCK, QB, Indianapolis Colts - ADP 47 (QB5)
I am all about Andrew Luck's talent. This is strictly a call on ADP. In what may be the deepest QB talent pool ever I can't justify using a fourth round pick on a QB like Luck if I can get the likes of Tony Romo, Jay Cutler, Ben Roethlisberger or Russell Wilson in the 9th round or later. Heck, even Cam Newton, who has been a top four fantasy QB every year he has been in the league has a lower ADP than Luck. People say (who are these "people" anyway?) that Luck can beat you rushing the ball as well. This is true. He will get some rushing TDs but Cam Newton, Russell Wilson, Colin Kaepernick, RG3 and even Alex Smith all rushed for more yards than Andrew Luck last year. Sorry Andrew this drafter is waiting on his QB this year. No luck for Luck at a fourth round ADP. I rank him a hard SELL.
SEATTLE SEAHAWKS, D/ST - ADP 60.8 (DST1)
This is a public service announcement. Please don't take a defense in the sixth round of your fantasy draft. JUST. DON'T. DO. THAT. Thank you. SELL. Now back to our regularly scheduled column.
THE HOLD FILE - This is a list of guys whose ADPs I am watching closely. These are guys who would be great late round flyers but who may get overbid or overhyped in training camp. Let's call them the +100 because all of their ADPs are over 100 but I would draft them as high risk, high upside players that could win me my league if they hit.
RUEBEN RANDLE, WR, New York Giants - ADP 139.2 (WR47)
Glowing reports out of Giant training camp on Randle who is the Nuke LaLoosh of WRs - million dollar talent but a five cent head. I have written before of his disconnect with Eli Manning but if new OC Ben McAdoo's simpler scheme can create a love connection Roobs (as @evansilva likes to call him) can beast in the high flying, comeback offense of the New York Giants.
KENNY BRITT, WR, St. Louis Rams - ADP 246 (WR75)
Britt is a guy with other world talent but can't keep himself on the field. It is worth watching, however, that his best production came in Tennessee under coach Jeff Fisher. One of these Ram WRs is going to break out. My money is on Britt or Tavon Austin but I am not willing to bet on Austin until the Rams staff learns how to use him. IF Britt makes the team, IF Britt can stay healthy and IF Britt can stay out of trouble off the field - and those are big IFs - he can be a fantasy star once again.
DEANDRE HOPKINS, WR, Houston Texans - ADP 131 (WR47)
Call me crazy but even though Andre Johnson reported to Texan camp today I still think he doesn't play for the Texans this year. I have predicted earlier that he ends up in New England and that will give a big boost to Hopkins (AKA Nuk) as he is now the primary target for QB Ryan Fitzpatrick. Last year's 52/802/2 was just a taste of what's to come. Even if Andre stays I see Nuk becoming his Alshon Jeffery. He fits the mold of a second year breakout WR. We saw flashes of talent last year and with the right opportunity he could become a star. According to Pro Football Focus he only dropped one out of 53 catchable balls. Good hands, lots of skill and possibly increased opportunity have me keeping a watchful eye on DeAndre Hopkins through training camp.
TWO RBs TO WATCH WITH UNDRAFTED ADPs -
BRYCE BROWN, RB, Buffalo Bills - ADP Undrafted
Brown has been on my radar screen since he sliced through the Cowboys with a 24/169/2 line in 2012 to hand me a defeat the very week I was diagnosed with Cancer. Memories! The Bills spent a 4th round pick on him that can turn into a 3rd in 2015 so they saw something in him. With C.J. Spiller's injury history and Fred Jackson's age I look for Brown to take over during the season as the lead back in Buffalo. In addition, Peter King of MMQB was asked which unsung player surprised him during his visit to Bills camp and his answer was Bryce Brown.
LACHE SEASTRUNK, RB, Washington Redskins, ADP Undrafted
Call it a hunch but I am keeping an eye on Lache this preseason. With two 1,000 yard rushing seasons at Baylor to his credit I see Seastrunk taking on the Giovani Bernard role in the new Redskin offense under Jay Gruden if Roy Helu doesn't have the chops. Helu has never shown an ability to carry an offense so I think Seastrunk will get the opportunity in camp to fill that role. If the Skins can get him the ball in space against the weak NFC East defenses he can add a new dimension to the offense that Helu and Alfred Morris can't. I'm not drafting him...but I am anxiously watching.
So there is Buy, Sell and Hold version 2.0. As always, your comments below are appreciated. You can also find me on Twitter (@iambradstrong) and via email firstname.lastname@example.org. My updated rankings will be out next week and version 3.0 of Buy, Sell and Hold will come after the first preseason game. You can check out all of our fantasy football coverage on Fake Teams right here. Good luck in your drafts!