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ADP Risers & Fallers: Early August (2020 Fantasy Football)

ADP Risers & Fallers: Early August (2020 Fantasy Football)

The best fantasy drafters capitalize on shifts in player value. A guy who is a first-rounder one week may become a second-rounder the next, and you’ll want to know when to buy and when to sell. You’ll also want to know when a player’s price has risen far past what you should be paying.

As a result, you should keep careful track of each player’s average draft position (ADP). FantasyPros’ ADP tool will help you track differences between sites — ESPN’s rankings may lead to one player going earlier than at, say, Yahoo, and that’s something you’ll want to know as well.

To help you keep track of the trends through the start of the season, I’ll be providing updates every two weeks. Here are the key takeaways for the top-75 players as we advance into the August draft season!

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ADP Risers

Player ADP (7/29) ADP (8/5) +/-
Lamar Jackson (BAL) 20.5 17.4 3.1
Clyde Edwards-Helaire (KC) 29.3 19.4 9.9
Mark Andrews (BAL) 43.8 41.6 2.2
A.J. Brown (TEN) 44 41.8 2.2
Jonathan Taylor (IND) 48.3 44.6 3.7
Dak Prescott (DAL) 57 50.2 6.8
Russell Wilson (SEA) 59 51.2 7.8
Deshaun Watson (HOU) 59.8 52.6 7.2

Lamar Jackson (QB – BAL)
I’m going to coin a new phrase: the August effect. As we get closer and closer to the start of the fantasy season, ADP metrics become less influenced by early-drafting analysts and more influenced by the public. As a result, quarterback ADP skyrockets — Jackson isn’t the only guy to see his value increase substantially. There’s no story here other than changes in who is drafting. You should avoid Jackson at this ADP, and you can check out Bobby Sylvester’s analysis to learn why.

Clyde Edwards-Helaire (RB – KC)
When Damien Williams opted out of the 2020 season, he handed the offensive keys over rookie back Edwards-Helaire. There’s a lot to be excited about with CEH — quarterback Patrick Mahomes personally requested that the Chiefs take the running back. Andy Reid is planning to play him right away as well, so he seems like a great upside candidate at his second-round ADP. Buy him before he becomes a first-round pick, and expect him to keep trending upward.

Mark Andrews (TE – BAL)
As with quarterbacks, tight ends also benefit from the August Effect. Less-experienced drafters are more likely to reach on quarterbacks or tight ends, so you should expect their ADP to keep rising throughout August. Andrews earns a spot on this list because his ADP happened to rise the most — Travis Kelce (+1.1), George Kittle (+1.5),  Zach Ertz (+0.7) and Evan Engram (+1.6) all saw upticks in ADP, while only Darren Waller (-0.9) fell. The story here is that, despite both of their rises, Andrews surpassed Ertz. While Ertz’ 2019 volume should make him the earlier pick, I don’t blame drafters who want in on Andrews’ upside — but his early fifth-round ADP is too high for me.

A.J. Brown (WR – TEN)
I haven’t heard a word about Brown’s development all offseason. But no news is good news for last year’s breakout stars because of the August Effect. Despite his inconsistency down the stretch, drafters still see Brown as a viable WR2, proven by his fifth-round ADP. Don’t get me wrong, the kid is talented, but it’s hard to find fantasy success with his volume. The Titans attempted the second-fewest passes in 2019, and Brown’s 84 targets ranked 61st among receivers. That’s fewer than Anthony Miller (85) and one more than Sterling Shepard (83), who played in just 10 games. Avoid him at this price.

Jonathan Taylor (RB – IND)
Is Taylor another product of the August Effect? I think so, as inexperienced drafters tend to overvalue rookies. Taylor’s mid-fifth ADP ignores the fact that Marlon Mack exists. Oh, and Taylor won’t have handled a single snap for the Colts by Week 1. While CEH seems ready to go from the start, there’s no indication that the Colts plan to rush him. He can be your RB3, but don’t draft him as your Week 1 RB2 without a back-up plan like Mack.

Dak Prescott (QB – DAL), Russell Wilson (QB – SEA), and Deshaun Watson (QB – HOU)
We’ve got more August Effect nonsense here. Yes, all three of these guys are great signal-callers, but you can probably find some better value in the sixth round. While these guys are good bets to finish as QB1s, the gap between the QB6 and QB19 was just 50 points last year, so it’s smart to wait on one after a certain point.

ADP Fallers

Player ADP (7/29) ADP (8/5) +/-
Julio Jones (ATL) 13.8 16.4 -2.6
Austin Ekeler (LAC) 16 18.4 -2.4
Aaron Jones (GB) 17 19.8 -2.8
Adam Thielen (MIN) 33.3 37 -3.7
Chris Carson (SEA) 33.8 37 -3.2
David Johnson (HOU) 37.5 41 -3.5
T.Y. Hilton (IND) 55 60.8 -5.8

Julio Jones (WR – ATL)
Are you kidding me? Ugh. The August Effect rears its head for fallers, too, as inexperienced owners have no respect for high-volume receivers. The superstar wideout earned the second-most targets (157) in the NFL last year, and he plays for the team that attempted the most passes (684). Yes, DeAndre Hopkins and Tyreek Hill are young and have upside, but it’s a big mistake to pass on Jones’ floor. I doubt he falls much further than this, and he’s a definite buy early in the second round.

Austin Ekeler (RB – LAC)
Like Jones, Ekeler is a strong bet because of his heavy usage. Last year, Ekeler earned the second-most targets for a running back (108) and trailed only Christian McCaffrey in passing-game usage. That said, Ekeler wasn’t effective on the ground. He posted a career-low 4.2 yards per attempt on 132 carries, and he only ran for 100-plus yards in one game. Philip Rivers‘ departure could change the offense significantly, so there’s no guarantee that Ekeler will earn the same number of touches. Because of these factors, he’s a second-round buy at best, and that’s exactly where you can get him now.

Aaron Jones (RB – GB)
I was surprised to see Jones as a faller — he finished as the RB2 last year! But I guess the public’s skepticism of the Packers is outweighing the public’s love for touchdown scorers, as Jones took a three-pick tumble the past week. He’s due for some touchdown regression, but if Matt LaFleur implements a run-heavy scheme, Jones could pay off as a high-end RB2. If he falls to the end of the second round — or better yet, into the third — take him without hesitation.

Adam Thielen (WR – MIN)
Usually, vacated targets lead to increases in a player’s ADP. That hasn’t been the case for Thielen. Even though the Vikings shipped of Stefon Diggs, recent drafters haven’t been as keen on him in the past week. That’s fair — the receiver turns 30 this year, and his 4.8 targets per game certainly don’t make him worth an early fourth-round pick. I expect his ADP to keep tumbling, and I’m not touching him until the sixth round at the earliest.

Chris Carson (RB – SEA) and David Johnson (RB – HOU)
These are two reliable RB2 options. After Seattle signed Carlos Hyde, I wrote that Carson should be valued as a low-end RB2, and this fall in his ADP puts him precisely in that range. Target him in the late fourth or early fifth round. I also called Johnson an RB2 after his trade to Houston, and I’ll stick to my guns on him, too.

T.Y. Hilton (WR – IND)
It’s not even Week 1, and Hilton has suffered a hamstring injury. He’s currently on the Colts’ active/non-football injury list without a clear timetable for his return. While it shouldn’t sideline him for more than a month, he won’t have much time in August to develop chemistry with Philip Rivers. That said, Hilton has flashed WR1 upside with talented quarterbacks like Rivers before, so he could be a steal if his ADP drops much lower.

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Isaiah Sirois is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Isaiah, check out his archive and follow him @is_sirois.

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