Fantasy Football: 20 Players Who Will Move Up Draft Boards
Every year I hear things like, “Why are we drafting so early in the off-season?” or “Why don’t we just wait until one week before the season so we know who’s hurt?” If you play in a league with others who say that, you should be dominating your league almost every single year. If you say things like that, despite being as informed as you are, stop, like now.
You want to draft as early as possible. In fact, I’d love to have my redraft league drafts right now (though my leaguemates wouldn’t allow that). Why? Because there is value to be had everywhere for those who are informed. Every news blurb you’ve read on our site, any article that you’ve read about John Brown or Carlos Hyde, every tweet you’ve read, every podcast you’ve listened to… you’ve learned something from every single one. Guess what? Your leaguemates haven’t. I know this because of where the ADP is on players like Brown.
Every week that goes by, another one of your league-mates is starting to get back into football, one-by-one, catching up on the information that you’ve known for months. Wait until we know who’s injured in pre-season? Everyone has the same odds of getting hurt after pre-season, no matter who drafts them. Wait until we know who is the starting running back after Week 3 in the pre-season? No, because then everyone knows and all your research on Samaje Perine was for nothing. You no longer get value on those players.
Today, we’ll look at some of the players whose ADP (average draft position) will rise as draft season approaches. These are players you’ll get a discount on before everyone else catches on to the off-season news. I’ll give you their current ADP, as well as where I believe it will be at the end of the pre-season. Once you’re done, practice your drafting skills right here – Complete a mock draft in minutes with our free Draft Simulator >>
Tyrod Taylor (BUF – QB) Current ADP: 18, Guess ADP: 14
He’ll still be undervalued come the start of the season, but the addition of Zay Jones with a healthy Sammy Watkins will bump Taylor’s ADP needle as the season nears.
Andy Dalton (CIN – QB) Current ADP: 20, Guess ADP: 17
Unfortunately, quarterback ADP doesn’t move significantly one way or another, but the fact that Dalton has finished as a top-12 quarterback for three of the last five seasons will catch on. He’s got better weapons than he’s ever had and he’s never finished worse than the QB18, so you do the math.
Carlos Hyde (SF – RB) Current ADP: 16, Guess ADP: 12
It’s not much of a bump, but it’s something. All drafters are going off right now is reports from beat writers. New head coach Kyle Shanahan himself has said that scheme is overrated and that Hyde hasn’t showed everything he’s capable of.
Joe Mixon (CIN – RB) Current ADP: 23, Guess ADP: 18
The needle has already started to move for Mixon, who was being drafted in the 10th round at the start of May. He’s a prime example of why you want to draft sooner rather than later. The only way they’ll quiet the media is to let his play do the talking. It’s also rumored that Gio Bernard may not be ready at the start of the season.
Paul Perkins (NYG – RB) Current ADP: 32, Guess ADP: 25
His situation is eerily similar to that of Devonta Freeman heading into the 2015 season. When Perkins is the starter in pre-season, you’ll see him shoot up boards, as he’s a three-down running back on what should be a top-10 scoring offense.
Samaje Perine (WAS – RB) Current ADP: 44, Guess ADP: 30
Similar to Mixon, Perine was way down at the start of May’s ADP in the 13th round. Reports have come out that Perine looks great and continues to impress the coaches. Opposite of wide receivers, a running back’s age doesn’t matter when looking for breakout candidates.
James White (NE – RB) Current ADP: 46, Guess ADP: 38
This one won’t get out of hand because he’s a Patriots running back after all, but to see White down as the 46th running back off the board is nonsense. He finished as the No. 35 running back in standard and No. 26 in PPR. After the playoff run, the Patriots invested more into him than they have any running back in years, and rightfully so.
Sammy Watkins (BUF – WR) Current ADP: 18, Guess ADP: 12
Fantasy owners want to see him healthy, plain and simple. As soon as he breaks a long play in the pre-season displaying he’s healthy, Watkins will shoot up into WR1 territory.
Tyreek Hill (KC – WR) Current ADP: 24, Guess ADP: 18
Right or wrong, Hill is going to move up boards with the departure of Jeremy Maclin. While I don’t believe it has a massive effect on his outlook, the consensus is that he’s going to see more playing time, so his natural touchdown regression won’t matter much.
Martavis Bryant (PIT – WR) Current ADP: 31, Guess ADP: 24
Rightfully so, people want to see Bryant re-inserted into the starting lineup, but it’s already happened. He’s being drug-tested twice a week and appears to be on the up-and-up. His talent could carry him beyond my guess at his ADP.
Stefon Diggs (MIN – WR) Current ADP: 32, Guess ADP: 25
Did you know Diggs was the No. 14 wide receiver in PPR points per game despite being hurt for much of the year? Not to mention he did that while both Kyle Rudolph and Adam Thielen got theirs. I’m making it my personal goal to raise Diggs’ ADP into the 20’s, because that’s where it should be.
Pierre Garcon (SF – WR) Current ADP: 39, Guess ADP: 32
This is much better from where it was two months ago, where he was being drafted in the 13th round. He’s going to settle somewhere in the WR3 range, because that is where his floor is in the new 49ers offense, though his ceiling isn’t much higher.
DeVante Parker (MIA – WR) Current ADP: 45, Guess ADP: 36
All we heard last off-season was how the coaches weren’t impressed with Parker, so when you hear those same coaches praising him uncontrollably this off-season, you should take notice. Jarvis Landry’s targets went down as the season went on and should continue to do so in 2017.
John Brown (ARI – WR) Current ADP: 46, Guess ADP: 30
Easily my favorite value in early drafts. This is me planting my flag on Brown before the hype gets out of control. He’s healthy and should return to the WR2 conversation that he was a part of in 2015.
Jeremy Maclin (BAL – WR) Current ADP: 49, Guess ADP: 38
This may take some time to catch up, but he’s being undervalued as of right now. While Joe Flacco has never produced a top-15 wide receiver, he has produced a top-32 wide receiver every year (has actually produced a top-25 receiver in all but one, which was when Steve Smith got hurt in 2015). Maclin is easily the best wide receiver on this team.
Quincy Enunwa (NYJ – WR) Current ADP: 63, Guess ADP: 48
With both Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker out of town, target totals will skyrocket for Enunwa, who quietly saw 105 targets in 2016. This one should be a no-brainer.
Devin Funchess (CAR – WR) Current ADP: 75-plus, Guess ADP: 60
With reports coming out about Kelvin Benjamin’s weight and conditioning being an issue, it’s surprising to see Funchess this far down the list. If Benjamin’s 2016 struggles leak into 2017, Funchess should have no trouble taking over Ted Ginn’s role, which saw 96 and 95 targets the last two years.
Tyler Eifert (CIN – TE) Current ADP: 7, Guess ADP: 4
Over the last two seasons, no tight end has scored more touchdowns than Eifert, and that’s despite him missing 11 games. He ranks just 19th in targets over that time, showing just how effective he’s been in the red-zone. Once fantasy owners see him healthy, he should move up boards.
Jack Doyle (IND – TE) Current ADP: 13, Guess ADP: 10
I’d like to take full responsibility for Doyle’s skyrocketing up the charts. I’m joking, of course. But seriously, I’m responsible. He was at No. 19 when I wrote this article back at the end of March, stating that he was grossly undervalued. He’s closer to where he should be now, but there’s still room to ascend.
Coby Fleener (NO – TE) Current ADP: 21, Guess ADP: 16
It won’t go up as much as it probably should, considering a lot of people were burned by drafting Fleener as a top-six tight end last year. It’d probably shock you to know that he finished as the No. 12 tight end, right? The Saints didn’t do anything to take away targets from him. In fact, they gave away Brandin Cooks and brought in Ted Ginn, who isn’t going to take any targets away from the middle of the field, where Fleener does his work. He’s not great, but he also doesn’t have to be in order to move up.