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Which Players Are Experts Higher/Lower On vs. ADP (2020 Fantasy Football)

by Mike Tagliere | @MikeTagliereNFL | Featured Writer
Jun 17, 2020

The experts have Anthony Miller 10 spots higher than the public

The more information comes available, the smarter the casual fantasy enthusiasts become. But who do you think creates that material and gives you that information? Analysts who are paid to create it. Those same analysts create rankings and they’re used to form our ECR (Expert Consensus Rankings).

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This time of year, there is a large part of the casual community who haven’t dug into the information we have on the 2020 fantasy season, and it’s led to a divide in our ECR versus ADP (Average Draft Position) in early drafts. But here’s the thing: While they put in a lot of time and effort into their craft, experts aren’t always correct. Today, I’ll be going through the players who have the biggest separation in ECR and ADP, and give my opinion on which side I like.

Quarterbacks Experts Are Higher On

Ben Roethlisberger (PIT) Current ECR: QB16, Current ADP: QB19
The public is probably right on this one. Roethlisberger is coming off shoulder surgery, is 38 years old, and has one of the best defenses in the league. Not just that, but Roethlisberger has been very hit-or-miss throughout his career. Did you know Jared Goff and Kirk Cousins have posted QB1-type numbers in a higher percentage of their career games than Roethlisberger?

Tom Brady (TB) Current ECR: QB10, Current ADP: QB12
Prior to doing projections, I probably would’ve sided with the public here as well. However, when projected a drop in pass attempts for Tampa Bay, you can’t remove that many attempts. Even projecting slightly less than 600 pass attempts (drop of 31 from last year’s Bucs), Brady came in as my QB9. There has to be some risk built in with his age, so I can understand both sides here.

Quarterbacks Experts Are Lower On

Aaron Rodgers (GB) Current ECR: QB12, Current ADP: QB9
The guy has never finished worse than the QB9 in a season he played at least 10 games. I get it, Matt LaFleur is going to hold him back and prevent him from being the QB1 or QB2 like he was for so many years, but one bad year and he’s barely on the QB1 radar? Over the course of his career, Rodgers has posted top-five type numbers in 35.8 percent of his games. The only quarterbacks who’ve topped in their career are Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson. Public wins this one.

Joe Burrow (CIN) Current ECR: QB19, Current ADP: QB16
After making a bet with Bobby Sylvester on the FantasyPros Football Podcast that Burrow would outscore Ryan Tannehill this season, I’m surely hoping that the public is right here. Burrow has undervalued mobility to his game, is pro-ready, has a great receiving corps, and plays for a team with a bad defense. This is the recipe for fantasy points. Did we not learn anything from Jameis Winston last year?

Running Backs Experts Are Higher On

Ke’Shawn Vaughn (TB) Current ECR: RB33, Current ADP: RB40
This has been the trend all along for experts (ranking Vaughn ahead of Ronald Jones), and ADP matched experts until a week ago. I’m not sure why the industry is higher on Vaughn. Prior to the draft, he wasn’t a top-five running back on anyone’s board, and a running back drafted in the third round hardly guarantees much work. Look at David Johnson, for example, who was a third-round pick under Bruce Arians, and he received 161 touches as a rookie. I’m siding with the public here, though there’s risk with both running backs.

James White (NE) Current ECR: RB32, Current ADP: RB37
I’m taken back by both the ECR and ADP on White, as many are expecting him to just continue producing the way he did with Tom Brady? There have been just four games White played without Brady in his career, and in those games, he averaged a measly 5.35 half-PPR points. He didn’t top 8.7 points in any of them. I have White outside my top-40 running backs.

Jordan Howard (MIA) Current ECR: RB34, Current ADP: RB39
A starting running back who’s being drafted outside the top 35 at his position? I’m with the experts on this one. Think about it… the Dolphins signed Howard to a two-year deal and didn’t draft a running back in a deep class. Sure, they traded for Matt Breida (who cost them just a fifth-round pick), but he’s been known not to handle a big workload without getting dinged up. Howard will be their early-down and goal-line back.

Todd Gurley (ATL) Current ECR: RB16, Current ADP: RB19
Can you imagine a scenario where Christian McCaffrey struggled a bit and finished as the RB14 this year, then went to the Falcons in 2021, and was then being drafted as the RB19? That’s what’s happened with Todd Gurley. Seriously. He was right there with McCaffrey production-wise. Gurley averaged 23.4 PPG in 2017, and 24.5 PPG in 2018, while McCaffrey averaged 25.8 PPG in 2019. His knee has had arthritis since college, so that’s not enough to keep me from siding with the experts on this one. Risk is worth the potential reward.

Running Backs Experts Are Lower On

Marlon Mack (IND) Current ECR: RB41, Current ADP: RB32
It’s possible that the public hasn’t realized just how much better Jonathan Taylor is than Mack, so they’re hesitant to go all in on the rookie, but the experts are right on this one. Mack should be viewed as the handcuff to Taylor.

Ronald Jones (TB) Current ECR: RB40, Current ADP: RB35
As mentioned above in the Ke’Shawn Vaughn notes, I’m of the mindset that this is Jones’ job to start the year, though it’ll be somewhat of a timeshare. Jones put an exclamation mark at the end of the 2019 season when he racked up 225 total yards and a touchdown over the final two games. There’s risk, sure, but at RB35, it’s well worth it.

Devin Singletary (BUF) Current ECR: RB25, Current ADP: RB21
This all comes down to understanding the potential reward with your RB2. It’s likely that Singletary finishes as a top-24 running back if healthy, but the public may not understand that the Bills drafted Zack Moss to play the same role as Frank Gore did last year (their GM already stated this, it’s not an opinion), and that would put Singletary third in line for goal-line touches behind Moss and Josh Allen. He’ll need to break big plays in order to score more than a handful of touchdowns.

Mark Ingram (BAL) Current ECR: RB23, Current ADP: RB20
Just a year removed from finishing as the RB8 in fantasy last year, both the public and experts are down on Ingram in 2020. Is it the arrival of JK Dobbins? Is it positive touchdown regression for Lamar Jackson on the ground? Is it the loss of Pro Bowl offensive guard Marshal Yanda? Whatever the case, Ingram will be the starter while he’s healthy. I don’t see massive upside for Ingram due to many surrounding factors, so I’ll side with the experts here.

Wide Receivers Experts Are Higher On

Anthony Miller (CHI) Current ECR: WR45, Current ADP: WR55
In the opportunity Miller has gotten, he’s produced. It’s clear that the experts feel like his opportunity will grow in 2020. Is it the arrival of Nick Foles? The departure of Taylor Gabriel? Whatever the case, Miller shined over the second half of the season after he was hampered by injuries and playing time to start the year. From Week 5 through Week 15, Miller ranked as the No. 37 wide receiver in half-PPR formats. Knowing the quarterback play was as bad as it gets last year, I side with the experts here.

Marvin Jones (DET) Current ECR: WR35, Current ADP: WR42
He’s continually undervalued by the public, each and every year. Is he going to win you a fantasy championship? No. Can he be a WR3 on your championship roster? Yes. The difference between Jones (91) and Kenny Golladay (21) is nearly a seven-round difference. Here are their splits over the last two years when they’re both in the lineup:

Player Games Tgts Rec Yds TDs 0.5 PPR PPG
Golladay 21 6.9 4.2 74.6 0.62 13.21
Jones 21 7.1 4.4 58.6 0.67 12.06

 

Jamison Crowder (NYJ) Current ECR: WR41, Current ADP: WR48
It’s crazy to see a guy who saw 122 targets so low in the ADP, but I get it, it’s not sexy to draft someone like Crowder. Still, he has very little competition for targets, as both Breshad Perriman and Denzel Mims are new to the offense and have zero chemistry with Sam Darnold. Not only that, but the Jets perimeter wide receivers (Perriman/Mims) have the toughest schedule in the league. The experts are closer to where Crowder should be.

JuJu Smith-Schuster (PIT) Current ECR: WR11, Current ADP: WR17
Did everyone forget they were drafting Smith-Schuster as a top-five receiver last year? He’s 23 years old. Don’t let an injury-plagued season without Ben Roethlisberger bring you down on the talented receiver. The Steelers have already said he’s moving back to the slot, which is where he’s been most successful. I think both experts and public are too low on him.

Robert Woods (LAR) Current ECR: WR18, Current ADP: WR23
Despite scoring just two touchdowns and missing one game in 2019, Woods finished as the No. 17 wide receiver. Why is he going lower than that? The crazy part is that no one seems to realize he wasn’t affected by the emergence of Tyler Higbee. In fact, Woods was the No. 6 wide receiver from Week 10 through Week 17 in points per game. Meanwhile, Cooper Kupp ranked as the 21st wide receiver from Week 10 on, and he’s being drafted as the WR13. There should not be a large gap between the two. The experts are closer to where Woods should be going.

Wide Receivers Experts Are Lower On

Mecole Hardman (KC) Current ECR: WR55, Current ADP: WR47
Even going back to Hardman’s college days, he’s never totaled more than 40 touches in a single season. His efficiency in 2019 was very Tyreek Hill-like, and I get the allure, but knowing how bad Sammy Watkins and Demarcus Robinson were last year, why didn’t Hardman get more opportunity? The Chiefs retained both Watkins and Robinson, which makes me hesitant to buy a surge in targets for Hardman. I really do understand why the public wants to take the chance on him, especially at the point they are, as he’ll be a bench receiver. The potential upside may be worth it.

Stefon Diggs (BUF) Current ECR: WR27, Current ADP: WR22
I really hate betting against really good football players, and Diggs certainly fits that mold. However, his new team and quarterback situation is far from ideal. Diggs made his money on the deep ball last year, and Josh Allen was the worst deep-ball passer in the league in 2019. He’s also battling for targets with both John Brown and Cole Beasley on a run-first team. I had Diggs at WR24 before projections, but after doing those, he came in at WR34. I can see him sneaking into my top-30, but experts are closer in line here.

Darius Slayton (NYG) Current ECR: WR43, Current ADP: WR38
His emergence reminds me a little bit of Robert Foster from 2018. Slayton was a late-round NFL draft pick who really shined down the stretch. Still, he had just three games with more than four receptions. Keep in mind that there was also no game in 2019 where Sterling Shepard, Golden Tate, Evan Engram, and Saquon Barkley were on the field at the same time. He’s going to be far too inconsistent to rely on for WR3 production, which is where the public is essentially drafting him.

Emmanuel Sanders (NO) Current ECR: WR44, Current ADP: WR40
I’m going to be honest… I don’t know how he’s going as high as he is in either rankings. Do you know how many targets went to Saints wide receivers not named Michael Thomas last year? 93 of them. That’s it. You don’t want to take targets away from Thomas or Alvin Kamara, and it’s not like Jared Cook got many to begin with. In my projections, I thought it was generous to give Sanders 72 targets, but even then, he’s outside my top 50 wide receivers.

Tight Ends Experts Are Higher On

Chris Herndon (NYJ) Current ECR: TE22, Current ADP: TE28
Despite having a suspension to start the 2019 season, there were a lot of fantasy owners drafting Herndon as a top-15 tight end. After missing the season due to a lingering hamstring injury, Herndon is expected to have a big role in 2020. He’s a candidate for 70-plus targets, which is rare to find outside the top 20 tight ends drafted. His ADP will come down in the coming months.

Ian Thomas (CAR) Current ECR: TE21, Current ADP: TE25
Both of the ECR and ADP were lower than I expected with Thomas, as he’s someone who’s performed well when given opportunity. Still, there’s a level of uncertainty with a brand-new head coach and quarterback. There’s also added competition in the receiving corps after the Panthers signed Robby Anderson to a two-year deal. There’s likely more breakout potential with another tight end in his range, so I may side with the public on this one.

Tight Ends Experts Are Lower On

Will Dissly (SEA) Current ECR: TE29, Current ADP: TE19
The signing of Greg Olsen has clearly divided the community on Dissly, as there’s a massive 10 spot difference between ECR and ADP. The truth is that we’re in streamer territory with the TE19, but the public is more in line with how I feel. Olsen feels like insurance for the oft-injured Dissly. Don’t forget that Olsen went to retire just over a year ago.

Kyle Rudolph (MIN) Current ECR: TE27, Current ADP: TE22
There are many who don’t realize that Irv Smith Jr. already started taking the starting job as a rookie. Seriously, he was just one target behind Rudolph. While Smith scored four fewer touchdowns, he saw just one fewer red zone target. That role will only grow in 2020 and the experts are accounting for that in their rankings (Smith’s ECR is TE24), while the public is a step behind.

 

 


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Mike Tagliere is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Mike, check out his archive and follow him @MikeTagliereNFL.

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