With training camps starting to open up, real football is getting closer. It’s also the time for fantasy leagues to start actually drafting and as such, I wanted to dig in on current ADPs and highlight a few guys I’m feeling good about at their current draft status and some others I feel are too high for their 2018 fantasy potential. Using the ADPs compiled over at fantasyfootballcalculator.com (non-ppr), I’ve gone round by round with my most and least favorite picks to help you with who to select in your draft.
Love - Ezekiel Elliot, RB (ADP 1.04)
It feels odd there’s a draft steal in round one but Zeke is my number one overall player in 2018 in all formats. I love his consistency and the Cowboys’ receiver issues suggest a huge workload for Zeke in 2018, and volume equals POINTS.
Hate - Leonard Fournette, RB (ADP 1.08)
Fournette is in the second tier of first round running backs and though I love the number of touches he’s lined up for, he just doesn’t quite offer what other top backs do in the passing game. I think more rounded players like Kareem Hunt and Melvin Gordon offer better value at this pick, which would put Fournette as a borderline first rounder.
Love - A.J. Green, WR (ADP 2.08)
In a relatively down year in 2017, Green still managed 75 catches, 1078 yards and 8 touchdowns. On an improved Bengals offense, his current ADP of the WR8 feels undervalued and it means someone picking in the top 5 and snagging one of the top tier running backs, can also pick up a premier WR1 with their second pick.
Hate - Jerick McKinnon, RB (ADP 2.07)
This just feels like a projection based on the strong end to the 49ers season in 2017. McKinnon performed well in spot duty for the Vikings last year, but compared to some of the more established backs available in the second round, I’m avoiding, but may consider him if he’s still there a round later.
Love - Doug Baldwin, WR (ADP 3.03)
This feels like a consensus pick for the Fake Teams staff as we’re all really high on Doug Baldwin. With the 100 catches vacated by Jimmy Graham and Paul Richardson last year to go around, and a quarterback who remains in an ascendant phase, Baldwin cold be in line for a 100 catches and 1300 yards in 2018. This would put Baldwin in the region of a top-5 fantasy WR this season.
Hate - Adam Thielen, WR (ADP 3.11)
Last year Adam Thielen saved me in a dynasty fantasy league, where I picked him up from waivers late in the season before. His breakout last year was somewhat aided by the injury suffered by Stefon Diggs who wasn’t the same player after his return. I have Diggs rated as the higher recruit in this year’s drafts as he has a better all round game and higher touchdown upside, which makes me think Thielen will have a drop off from his 92 catch, 1300 yard season in 2017.
Love - Lamar Miller, RB (ADP 4.05)
Miller is a nice dual threat RB1 pick up in the middle of the 4th round, and with a healthy Deshaun Watson returning , Miller could be primed for a breakout season. His 2017 season was strong up until the Texans fell out playoff contention over the final few weeks of the season and he had his two best weeks with Watson under center in weeks 4 and 8.
Hate - Kenyan Drake, RB (ADP 4.07)
Drake feels like a flash in the pan. He had three good weeks at the end of the season, but nothing about the Dolphins’ offense gets me going heading into 2018. Opponent’s have had a whole off season to study him and with a potential rookie upstart behind him in Kalen Ballage, as well as the ‘inconvenient truth’, Frank Gore lurking in the RB room, Drake’s potential is not one I’m banking on.
Love - Brandin Cooks, WR (ADP 5.03)
Love, love, love this ADP. Cooks’ role in the Rams’ offense is going to be similar to the one undertaken by Sammy Watkins in 2017. The difference is Cooks is a better player. He’s faster and more explosive than Watkins, and is a guy Sean McVay has sought for over a year to fit his system and has paid him accordingly. The sky is the limit for Cooks this season.
Hate - Carson Wentz, QB (ADP 5.12)
This was a tough one as I don’t particularly hate any of the current 5th round ADPs. This feels harsh on Wentz as he was such a strong player in 2017 before his injury. The ADP just feels a bit rich given his uncertain injury status. I’d be more comfortable taking him a couple of rounds later and quickly circling back for a strong backup if Wentz is not ready to go week 1.
Love - Dion Lewis, RB (ADP 6.02)
Dion Lewis is the player I feel is most likely to have the Alvin Kamara type season in 2018. Playing as the lightning to Derrick Henry’s thunder, Lewis showed in the back half of last season he can play the dual role and run inside if necessary as well as being a receiving option out of the backfield. In a new offense that will showcase his talents, I have Lewis as a top-40 player so if he’s there around pick 60, don’t hesitate.
Hate - Marlon Mack, RB (ADP 6.12)
Mack was little more than a role player in 2017 behind the ageless but plodding Frank Gore. The Colts have signalled their thoughts on Mack by drafting two rookies this year in Jordan Wilkins and Nyheim Hines. At best he’s heading into a committee, at worst he’ll continue to be a role player behind one of this year’s draftees who take the heavy load.
Love - Delanie Walker, TE (ADP 7.04)
Delanie Walker is Mr Consistent, delivering 100 point fantasy seasons in each of the past four seasons. He has been Marcus Mariota’s safety blanket in each of his first three seasons and is the perfect safety blanket for your fantasy team. As the current TE8, Walker is the last of the high floor tight ends in fantasy, so if you value a balanced roster, Walker is your man in round 7.
Hate - Jordy Nelson, WR (ADP 7.05)
I cannot get excited about Jordy Nelson in Oakland. Not only is he moving away from Aaron Rodgers, one of the top quarterbacks in the league who he has played with for a decade, but he moves to a team that is changing it’s offensive philosophy and trying to go more run heavy. Add to that he’s 33 and has not been the same player physically since his ACL injury in 2015. I’m avoiding Nelson at any ADP this year.
Love - Marquise Goodwin, WR (ADP 8.05)
Goodwin showed down the stretch last season that he had some serious chemistry with Jimmy Garoppolo and he established himself as the 49ers’ number one receiver. Add a full off-season of practice together and Goodwin has the opportunity to have a breakout 2018. A potential WR1 in the 8th round? I’ll take that all day long.
Hate - Aaron Jones, RB (ADP 8.03)
Jones has been overtaken in ADP by Jamaal Williams since his two game suspension to start the season was announced. Even before this I was concerned about the very unclear running back situation in Green Bay, who have openly admitted its a committee to start the season. Based on his tape, Jones is the best runner in Green Bay but given his suspension, I’m letting the Green Bay backfield be someone else’s headache at draft time.
Love - Andrew Luck, QB (ADP 9.07)
The biggest upside pick in drafts this year. Luck is second only to Aaron Rodgers all time in points per game for a quarterback and if he comes back anywhere near this form, he’ll be a top-10 player this year. The risk is there but the Colts are convincing us he’ll be on the field. As with the Wentz pick above, you will want to draft a second QB quickly just as cover for the start of the season, but Luck could be the difference in winning leagues this year.
Hate - DeVante Parker, WR (ADP 9.06)
I can’t get on board with this guy and am not prepared to wait for that breakout season to come. Even with Jarvis Landry now playing elsewhere, the Dolphins doubled down and brought in two other slot receivers, both of which I like more than Parker in 2018. Oh and Kenny Stills. And Mike Gesicki. Stay away.
Love - Nelson Agholor, WR (ADP 10.06)
I simply don’t understand this. Whereas DeVante Parker can’t seem to have his breakout year, Nelson Agholor well and truly had his in 2017, finishing as the WR22. His current ADP is WR46 so if you find him in round 10, you have a gem you can start as a flex every week.
Hate - Kelvin Benjamin, WR (10.05)
Finally, we have Kelvin Benjamin and this is an indictment of his situation rather than him as a player as a team’s WR1 available in round 10, I would normally be all over that action. With the Bills offense looking quite a mess at present with issues at quarterback, offensive line and the unresolved situation with LeSean McCoy, I don’t hold out much hope for Benjamin. There is upside in him being the only legitimate passing option, but with the QB situation shaky to say the least. Benjamin is another guy I’m avoiding at present.
Who do you love/hate? Let me know in the comments!