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Early Dynasty ADP Analysis (2020 Fantasy Football)

by Raju Byfield | @FantasyContext | Featured Writer
Jan 22, 2020

Nick Chubb is going in the first round of early dynasty drafts.

With the 2019 fantasy football season in the books, dynasty owners are already looking toward 2020. Our friends at Dynasty League Football (DLF) are already hard at work collecting ADP data for dynasty startup drafts. We will take a look at notable ADP data from their most recent round of mock drafts in January, and compare them to February 2019 (after the rookie class was added). For a full picture of dynasty ADP startup data, subscribe to Dynasty League Football.

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Michael Thomas (WR – NO): 3rd overall ADP
The first receiver off the board, Michael Thomas is in a class by himself at the position. He set a new NFL record with 149 receptions and outscored the number two fantasy receiver 61.4 points. While he will undoubtedly face more competition for targets in 2020, he remains the no-brainer top option for as long as Drew Brees keeps playing for Saints. Thomas was the third receiver off the board based on his February 2019 ADP of 8.67.

Dalvin Cook (RB – MIN): 4th
Dalvin Cook is currently going fourth, a two-round jump from his 26.5 ADP last February. Cook had a tremendous season, but he faded down the stretch due to injuries. After averaging 102.9 rushing yards and 36.6 receiving yards per game during the first half of the season, he averaged just 52 rushing and 37.7 receiving over his final six regular-season contests. If the 24-year-old can find some consistency, he has a chance to provide a solid return on investment. 

Nick Chubb (RB – CLE): 8th
Nick Chubb was better than expected this season, but he actually faded in the second half of the campaign. Despite finishing the year with 1,494 rushing yards and eight touchdowns, he was on a much more impressive pace of 1,606 rushing yards (100.4 per game) and 12 touchdowns over his first eight games. On a 50-reception pace through eight games, he took a major step back in the receiving department when Kareem Hunt returned from his suspension. Drafted just outside the first round early last year, Chubb is now the eighth player off the board based on DLF ADP. 

Chris Godwin (WR – TB): 11th
Chris Godwin’s ADP slots him one spot higher than Mike Evans as the fifth receiver. Deeper analysis reveals that while Godwin has the higher ADP, it is largely due to draft position aberrations in two of the samples. Regardless, he has become one of the very best dynasty assets as the only player to crack the first round with a fifth-round ADP (54.83) last year.

Joe Mixon (RB – CIN): 12th
Joe Mixon started the year slow but was the RB5 from Week 9 to Week 17. An early second-round pick in February of 2019 (14.67 ADP), he dropped as low as 27.75 in DLF drafts. Mixon is set to finally live up to his potential in 2020 with Joe Burrow poised to come in and help the team at quarterback and 2019 first-round pick Jonah Williams ready to help the offensive line. Anyone who watched any LSU games will recognize that Burrow could be a running back’s best friend. 

Derrick Henry (RB – TEN): 17th
Derrick Henry is arguably the best pure runner in the league. He does not have the wiggle of a Saquon Barkley or the receiving chops of an Ezekiel Elliott. Yet when the game flow is in the Titans’ favor, he is almost unstoppable. Henry would be higher if he played more of a role in the Titans’ passing game, and if we knew where he’s playing next season. His 1,273 rushing yards in just eight games (including the playoffs) is a new NFL record. To put this in perspective, only four running backs had more rushing yards throughout all of 2019. Henry was one of them. His 11 touchdowns over that span were more than all but five other running backs had all season. His average ADP last February was 50.83, which means he was an early fifth-round pick. He is now a mid-second-round pick who could climb a little more prior to free agency and the draft.

Josh Jacobs (RB – LVR): 18th
Josh Jacobs was even better than expected on the ground this season. He racked up 88.5 rushing yards per game, good for third in the NFL. He was not utilized in the passing game enough to crack the first round, but he is a high-upside pick going in the mid-second. Currently the 18th player off the board, he has seen a big jump from his 62nd overall ADP in dynasty drafts at this time last year. Jacobs offers plus upside as a receiver, and he should find himself more involved in this aspect barring an addition to the backfield this offseason.

A.J. Brown (WR – TEN): 25th
The number one wide receiver from Week 11 on in terms of fantasy points per game, A.J. Brown has shot up to an almost ridiculous ADP of 25. This should drop after his DeVante Parker-esque disappearing act in the playoffs (five receptions for 64 yards total over three games), but the fact remains that he is one of the most talented wide receivers in the league. It will be interesting to monitor where Brown is drafted in next month’s drafts. Brown’s ADP at this time last year was 71.83.

Courtland Sutton (WR – DEN): 27th
Courtland Sutton was a fifth-round pick at this time last year (55.33 ADP), but he will now cost you an early third. The WR19 in 2019 could very well make another leap with Drew Lock primed to take a step forward in his own development. Sutton ranked 11th in the league with 26 deep targets, and eighth with a 26.1 percent target share. At just 24 years old, Sutton should remain a top-20 target even after this year’s crop of wide receivers joins the ADP fray. 

Lamar Jackson (QB – BAL: 30th
Lamar Jackson was available in the 12th round of dynasty drafts just a year ago (ADP of 134). He will now cost you a third-round pick. Based on DLF’s ADP, he’ll be the first or second quarterback off the board. Jackson set the fantasy world on fire in 2019. At the same age (23) as Burrow, the sky is truly the limit for a player who set numerous records this season. He set the new records for fantasy points in a season and fantasy points per game. Jackson rushed for 1,206 yards, shattering what was once thought to be an unbreakable record held by Michael Vick. He became the only player in NFL history to throw for over 3,000 yards and rush for over 1,000. Jackson is a fantasy goldmine, and he is only going to get better.

Melvin Gordon (RB – FA): 34th
A first-round pick just a year ago (10.67 ADP), Melvin Gordon can now be had at the end of the third round. He is a bit of a gamble at this point in the offseason, as no one knows where he will play in 2020. His holdout attempt failed, as he was angling for Elliott and Le’Veon Bell money, but the Chargers refused to offer him more than $10 million dollars a year. With free agency and the draft looming, the Chargers could look to go in a different direction while prioritizing Austin Ekeler. Gordon should land a starting gig if he ends up leaving, but he may very well end up with a deal short on guarantees. 

Todd Gurley (RB – LAR): 44th
Todd Gurley had 254 touches in 2019, but he was much less efficient than he has been in recent years. While some of this can be blamed on Jared Goff’s regression, Sean McVay’s play-calling is also to blame. Gurley showed some flashes of the player he was in prior years, but his offensive line did him no favors. After ranking first in Football Outsiders’ adjusted line yards ranking in 2018, they fell to 19th this past season. The fourth overall pick in February 2019 start-ups, he is now a mid-fourth-round pick. With the Rams all but certain to make some upgrades on their offensive line, a 25-year-old Gurley could prove to be a spectacular value.

Austin Ekeler (RB – LAC): 46th
Available as late as the 11th round (123 ADP) in last February’s dynasty drafts, Ekeler finished the season as the RB5. Although the touchdowns dropped off once Gordon returned, he was still the RB12 in total fantasy points and the RB11 in fantasy points per game. Ekeler ranked second behind Christian McCaffrey among all running backs with 108 targets, 92 receptions, and 993 receiving yards. To put these numbers in context, he had more targets than Stefon Diggs, more receptions than Godwin, and more receiving yards than D.K. Metcalf. Ekeler placed first among all backs with 6.1 yards per touch.

T.Y. Hilton (WR – IND): 74th
T.Y. Hilton was an early fourth-round pick (38.5 ADP) in February 2019. Now 30 yards old with no Andrew Luck, he has fallen to the seventh. Hilton played just 10 games this past season, but he was on pace to set a new career-high in touchdowns. Although injuries played a part, Hilton set career lows in receiving yards per game, yards per reception, and yards after the catch. Hilton will likely need a quarterback upgrade to provide a return on investment at his current ADP. He could prove to be a major value if he gets one. 

Damien Williams (RB – KC): 117th
Damien Williams was a massive disappointment in 2019 both due to inconsistency and injuries, but he showed up once again down the stretch of the season. He averaged just 2.7 yards per carry on the road this past season, and 2.1 yards per carry in his first six games. Then he averaged 6.3 in his final five regular-season contests. Drafted as early as the third round last February, Williams had an average ADP of 57.83. Based on DLF’s January ADP, he is lasting until the 11th round, largely due to fears that the Chiefs will add an impact back during free agency, the NFL Draft, or both. With that said, he could very well rise a round or two after scoring four touchdowns in two playoff games.

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Raju Byfield is a featured writer for FantasyPros. For more from Raju, check out his profile and follow him @FantasyContext.

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