Early Consensus Rankings vs. ADP Differences (2021 Fantasy Football)
It’s June, which means it’s time to start your fantasy football draft preparation. In addition to our free draft simulator, which allows you to mock against our experts, we also have early average draft positions (ADP) from several league hosts and our expert consensus rankings (ECR).
One great way to prep for your draft is to look how players are regarded by experts (ECR) and the fantasy community (ADP). Differences between ECR and ADP can be an indication of players you should either target or avoid. Here’s a look at players that our experts like more or less than their current ADP.
Quarterbacks our experts like more than ADP
Matthew Stafford (LAR): ADP QB14 | ECR QB11
Matthew Stafford deserves some wins. For 12 years, Stafford has toiled away with mostly awful Lions teams. Now, he goes to sunny Los Angeles with a boy wonder offensive coach. He also brings a creaky back and a recently operated on thumb, but Stafford finds himself in a unique situation. He has a second act to show everyone how underrated he indeed has been for the last decade. Since 2011, Stafford has thrown for 4K yards 8 times. One would think he should be a lock for that in ’21 as long as health cooperates. Unfortunately, the Rams gave up Jared Goff, a ’21 3rd round pick, and their 1st rounders in ’22 & ’23. If this experiment fails, the Rams could implode quickly, considering their cap issues and lack of early draft picks the next two seasons. However, I’m inclined to think Stafford will find new life with Sean McVay and this talented offense. As a result, Stafford should be considered a low-end QB1 in fantasy this season.
– Joe Pisapia
- Aaron Rodgers (GB): ADP QB8 | ECR QB7
- Daniel Jones (NYG): ADP QB26 | ECR QB19
- Ryan Fitzpatrick (WAS): ADP QB29 | ECR QB20
Quarterbacks our experts like less than ADP
Justin Herbert (LAC): ADP QB6 | ECR QB8
Justin Herbert set a rookie record for passing TDs (31), threw just ten picks, and crossed 4.3K yards on his way to Rookie of the Year honors. A new coaching staff, including a new OC, should be careful not to screw up a good thing. The new OC is Joe Lombardi, former QB coach of the Saints. Learning under Sean Payton and Drew Brees, expectations are high for Herbert and company. The expectations are a more “up-tempo” offense built around Herbert’s strengths. Drafting Rashawn Slater goes a long way to helping improve an offensive line that struggled. With (8) 300-yard games, Herbert had some big days in 2020, but he also had some rookie moments. Suppose you draft Herbert, bid on a similar season to 2020, not necessarily upside for more. He’s not as safe as some veterans like Russell Wilson, nor do I think he has the upside in startup dynasty leagues like Trevor Lawrence or Joe Burrow. But the 23-year-old QB was impressive enough year one to consider him a QB1 in 2021.
– Joe Pisapia
- Ben Roethlisberger (PIT): APD QB17 | ECR QB22
- Trey Lance (SF): APD QB22 | ECR QB30
- Taysom Hill (NO): APD QB24 | ECR QB32
Running Backs our experts like more than ADP
Ezekiel Elliott (DAL): ADP RB8 | ECR RB6
Follow the production in the first round. There’s just one player who’s finished as a top-12 running back five times since 2015. That player is Elliott, and as crazy as it sounds, he wasn’t even in the league in 2015. “But Mike, Elliott tanked last year to RB11.” The entire team sank without Dak Prescott, but in the five games with him, Elliott was the No. 3 running back in fantasy. If he keeps falling until the end of the first round, there will be a lot of championship rosters from that area of drafts.
– Mike Tagliere
- Clyde Edwards-Helaire (KC): ADP RB18 | ECR RB15
- Myles Gaskin (MIA): ADP RB24 | ECR RB22
- Mike Davis (ATL): ADP RB29 | ECR RB24
Running Backs our experts like less than ADP
Antonio Gibson (WAS): ADP RB11 | ECR RB13
I like Gibson, it’s not that I don’t. The issue is that he’s not heavily involved in the passing game, and he topped 94 yards on the ground just twice all of last season, with both of those games coming against the Cowboys. In fact, 28.7 percent of his fantasy points in 2020 were against the Cowboys. I can certainly see Gibson finishing higher than my ranking, but those above him have either (a) a more consistent track record, or (b) less question marks. He scored a touchdown once every 15.5 carries last year, a number that’s surely to go up.
– Mike Tagliere
- Josh Jacobs (LV): APD RB14 | ECR RB21
- James Robinson (JAC): APD RB19 | ECR RB29
- Raheem Mostert (SF): APD RB25 | ECR RB28
Wide Receivers our experts like more than ADP
Calvin Ridley (ATL): ADP WR7 | ECR WR5
I was all in on Calvin Ridley last season and it certainly paid off. Ridley finished as the overall WR4 in fantasy and many people were getting him as their WR2 on their roster! For as much as I liked Ridley last season, I might like him even more in 2021. Julio Jones is no longer on this team and Ridley should see a natural uptick in targets. Ridley’s arrow is still pointing up and he just might be a value again this season, which is ridiculous to say when he’s being drafted as a top-10 WR. A top-5 finish is not out of the realm of possibilities again for the star wideout – in fact, I might be so bullish as to guarantee it. My Updated Very Early Projection: 90-1349-11 receiving.
– Kyle Yates
- Amari Cooper (DAL): ADP WR16 | ECR WR14
- D.J. Moore (CAR): ADP WR23 | ECR WR19
- Courtland Sutton (DEN): ADP WR33 | ECR WR29
Wide Receivers our experts like less than ADP
Adam Thielen (MIN): ADP WR17 | ECR WR20
It seems the torch has been passed from Thielen to Justin Jefferson, though it’s not as if Thielen will just fade into oblivion. It goes back to the Stefon Diggs days where he had to share that production. While Thielen did finish as the No. 8 wide receiver last year, it was thanks to his 14 touchdowns on just 74 receptions and 925 yards. No other receiver finished higher than No. 18 with fewer yards than Thielen. He’s also going to be 31 years old at the start of the season and has a history of back issues, presenting a bit of risk, though he does have a ton of proven production with Kirk Cousins, which can’t be ignored.
– Mike Tagliere
- D.K. Metcalf (SEA): APD WR5 | ECR WR7
- Kenny Golladay (NYG): ADP WR20 | ECR WR23
- Chase Claypool (PIT): APD WR26 | ECR WR31
Tight Ends our experts like more than ADP
T.J. Hockenson (DET): ADP TE5 | ECR TE4
Despite rarely seeming like a must-start option, Hockenson wound up finishing as the fourth-best tight end in fantasy last year. He received 101 targets, fifth-most at the position, and scored six touchdowns on 67 receptions. He’ll now be dealing with a new quarterback in Jared Goff, a new offensive coordinator in Anthony Lynn, a new head coach in Dan Campbell, and little competition for targets with the departures of Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones. All signs out of Detroit point to Hockenson being the focal point of the offense this season in the passing game, which should mean big things for him as he enters his third year in the league.
– Dan Harris
- Dallas Goedert (PHI): ADP TE12 | ECR TE7
- Robert Tonyan (GB): ADP TE18 | ECR TE10
- Irv Smith Jr. (MIN): ADP TE17 | ECR TE12
Tight Ends our experts like less than ADP
Noah Fant (DEN): ADP TE6 | ECR TE8
Fant missed just one game in 2020 and led the Broncos in receptions with 62. But his yards per catch dropped from 14.1 in his rookie year to just 10.9 last year, and Drew Lock had trouble getting in a rhythm. There will be plenty of options in the passing game for Denver this season, and Albert Okwuegbunam should return at some point during the year. But the Broncos surely know what they have in Fant and will likely make an effort to get him involved down the field more often. With either Lock or Teddy Bridgewater under center (unless Aaron Rodgers winds up in Denver), Fant’s upside is capped a bit, but he should still be drafted as a starter in every league.
– Dan Harris
- Rob Gronkowski (TB): ADP TE8 | ECR TE17
- Hunter Henry (NE): ADP TE9 | ECR TE16
- Zach Ertz (PHI): ADP TE15 | ECR TE22
Beyond our fantasy football content, be sure to check out our award-winning slate of Fantasy Football Tools as you prepare for your draft this season. From our free mock Draft Simulator – which allows you to mock draft against realistic opponents – to our Draft Assistant – that optimizes your picks with expert advice – we’ve got you covered this fantasy football draft season.