I understand that it’s still just March and the NFL season seems way, way off in the distance—and that we as a site have just spent the entire week hyping up fantasy baseball—but as a man once tried to get a crowd to chant, “No days off”. Those are words I try and live by.
With that in mind, I decided to take a look at player’s initial average draft position (ADP) to start getting a feel for the 2017 fantasy football landscape.
For the most part, things are starting off where I’d expect them to. David Johnson and Le’Veon Bell are currently fighting it out to see who is the consensus number one pick and you can’t go wrong with any receiver from the law firm of Jones, Beckham and Brown. But, there are somethings that aren’t where I’d expect them to be and somethings that left me looking like the thinking emoji. Here are my random thoughts and musings while perusing initial ADPs:
- In some draft somewhere Le’Veon Bell got drafted with the 7th pick in the second round. Everyone in that league should never football ever again.
- I’m wary of Melvin Gordon. He’s ADP is 1.09 (8.9) which seems a little high to me. I understand he’s coming off a very successful sophomore season but that season was shortened by injury and he’s only a year removed from a very disappointing rookie campaign. But I also get the argument for him there as I don’t particularly think Jordan Howard (9.7) or Devonta Freeman (10.9) are substantially better.
- Michael Thomas is going to be big this year. Just you wait.
- Aaron Rodgers is clearly the first quarterback that should be coming off the board and while he’s currently coming off 2.07 (19.4), I think he’s easily worth a bottom first or early second. I wouldn’t rely on him being around if you’re holding out to get him towards the backend of the second.
- I love Rob Gronkowski and clearly he is the best fantasy tight end in the history of fantasy tight ends when he is healthy, which is becoming less and less often. I think 2.11 (23.2) might be a little rich for a guy who only played eight games last year. Is it crazy to take DeAndre Hopkins catching balls from the Texans’ non-existent quarterback over Gronk? I’m not thinking so...
- Really like Doug Baldwin’s value at 3.10 (34.0). He was a top 10 receiver in both Standard and PPR leagues last year and is head and shoulders above anyone else in Seattle in terms of targets (137 last year).
- LeGarrette Blount, despite having no home, is being drafted right after Baldwin. Gotta love what an 18 touchdown year can do for your fantasy value.
- I’m a big fan of the Eddie Lacy resurgence in Seattle but not big enough to draft him 4.07 (43.0). That’s crazy high to me for a back who has struggled with consistent production for the last two years and is coming off a season in which he played five games and totaled 38.8 points. I’m not taking him ahead of Demaryius Thomas (43.4), Andrew Luck (46.2) or Jordan Reed (48.1). I’d take Isaiah Crowell (58.1) and that revamped Cleveland O-line over Lacy.
- The dude who drafted Jamaal Charles 2.01 is clearly the friend you brought in to make your league a 12 person league who only knows popular names and since he’s heard a lot about Charles in the news recently he thinks that’s a good thing. Don’t be like this friend.
- Ty Montgomery at 6.11 (70.5) worries me simply because we have no idea what he’ll be in the Packers’ offense. Plus, if the Packers get someone like Christian McCaffrey in the draft, then Montgomery’s hybridity becomes useless.
- At first I thought it was weird that Dak Prescott was getting drafted ahead of Russell Wilson—6.08 to 7.01—but then you look over the tape and remind yourself that Wilson was not great last year and that Dak was pretty amazing.
- Here’s the reason I really wrote this article: Terrelle Pryor at 6.11 (71.4). WHAT? If I got Pryor at the end of the sixth round I would be ecstatic. Let’s start first with the reason he’s down the far: He’s a quarterback making the transition to receiver and has only had one good year of football. There, that’s out of the way. Here’s why you should be so lucky to get him in the sixth round: Firstly, he finished 18th in total points last year with 136.4 (8.5 PPG) above the likes of Demaryius Thomas, Julian Edelman and Dez Bryant (though Dez was mostly due to injury). This was of course done in Cleveland where they haven’t had a competent quarterback since I learned to walk. Washington let DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garçon leave in free agency and with them went 35% of last year’s targets. There is a huge opening in Washington’s offense for Pryor to come in and be very productive. And I think he’ll do just that. I’m circling him as a guy who could break out in a very, very big way.
- Like Rob Kelley at 8.01 (85.4). With a full offseason under his belt, I could see him taking a big step forward in Washington’s offense. That being said, most mock drafts have Washington taking some form of a running back with their 1st round pick. That certainly would put a big dent in Fat Rob’s fantasy stock.
- LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVE Jameis Winston at 9.12 (108.1). I’m probably way too high on him, but I got this feeling on a summer day that this is the year of the Jameis. Mike Evans and DeSean Jackson are going to be a lethal pairing for Winston and he’s got the skill to take full advantage. I might even be ballsy enough to have him be my starting quarterback. WHO KNOWS!
That’s what I’ve got for now. Let me know what you think of early ADP rankings or if you’re as high on young Jameis as I am in the comments.