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Overvalued & Undervalued Targets on ESPN: ECR vs. ADP (2021 Fantasy Football)

Aug 22, 2021

As fantasy football draft season gets into full swing, it’s a good idea to start looking at what ADP shows on the site where you’re drafting. This is important because you can exploit it to find some great values based on Expert Consensus Rankings (ECR).

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Lucky for us, FantasyPros has a tool that does exactly that and it can be found here. It’s great at quickly showing you what players you might want to skip over and which ones you might want to reach for in your own drafts. For my home keeper league, we use ESPN, so what can we learn by comparing ESPN ADP to the current ECR?


The quarterbacks don’t vary that much but there were two that varied widely in my opinion that are worth talking about. Both are players that have a lot of upside but their downside could be zero points per week. That kind of risk at the QB position scares me, but since they are both going outside the top 24 it’s all about risk-reward.

Sam Darnold (QB – CAR)
ADP: 33, ECR: 25 (+8)
Darnold’s ADP on ESPN is currently 33rd at the QB position. This means there are Superflex drafts where he is either going very late or not going at all. FantasyPros ECR shows that he’s the 25th ranked QB though. That’s some tremendous value for your QB3. If ESPN ADP has him that low, it’s possible that others drafting on that platform will miss him on the list, giving you a chance to snipe him yourself.

Deshaun Watson (QB – HOU)
ADP: 22, ECR: 35 (-13)
On the other hand, Watson is going well ahead of the current ECR. This isn’t shocking since the news about him is so up in the air. ECR rankers are basically assuming he’s not going to play while drafters are still willing to take that risk. Based on ECR, this is someone you probably want to skip over when looking down the ADP list in your ESPN drafts.

Running Backs

According to PPR ADP, there are a lot of running backs that differ between the two lists. Some were only a spot or two off, and at the top that matters much less. I always say go get your guy. ADP shouldn’t matter that much if it’s just a couple of spots. But when you’re targeting flex and bench spots, I prefer upside to the floor even more at the RB position.

Trey Sermon (RB – SF)
ADP: 41, ECR: 33 (+8)
I completely understand why Trey Sermon comes up on this list as being higher in ECR than ADP. Sermon is definitely a tough nugget to crack. He could be the Week 1 starter and dominate as your RB2 all year. He could also be a roster clogger on your bench for eight weeks until he wins the job. ECR has him as a solid RB3 option though and I trust that over ESPN’s ADP that has him eight spots lower. I’ll be reaching for Sermon ahead of that ADP, I’m sure.

AJ Dillon (RB – GB)
ADP: 36, ECR: 44 (-8)
Dillon has been somewhat polarizing: is he a handcuff or does he have standalone value? According to ESPN ADP, he’s got value on his own, going as the 36th running back off the board. ECR has him a little lower at the moment, likely due to the fact that Jones is so versatile on his own. The Packers lost Jamaal Williams (RB – DET), but we don’t know if all of that work will go to Dillon or not. I’m fine waiting on him in drafts to find out.

Wide Receivers

Of all of the groups, the wide receivers varied the most. ECR vs ADP on ESPN shows a ton of differences, but again, I’m going to look deeper to find places you can actually benefit from it. These are two players being undervalued on each list but for different reasons. One I agree with, the other I don’t.

Mike Williams (WR – LAC)
ADP: 51, ECR: 44 (+7)
Another polarizing character in fantasy football lately is Chargers WR Williams. It’s unknown whether he will be the true WR2 on the team. Even if he is, can that team make enough use of him to make him fantasy relevant again? ECR rankers have more faith than average drafters, ranking him 7 spots higher than his ESPN ADP. If you want to go on the Williams ride you’ll probably have to reach a little to get him on ESPN. I’m fine with that myself based on his low cost and high upside.

Henry Ruggs III (WR – LVR)
ADP: 58, ECR: 46 (-12)
I used to be a Ruggs truther. I say used to be because I just didn’t see enough last year to wow me, and apparently, the pros that rank for ECR agree. They have him 12 spots lower than his current ADP on ESPN. Average drafters are willing to take the risk that he’s the WR1 but I can’t get on board with that just yet. Waller will be the main target again, and I’m just not sold on Ruggs that much this year at this price.

Tight Ends

Last but not least are the tight ends. In terms of PPR ADP on ESPN, there were only a couple of major differences. One of the ones I’m talking about is getting a full-time job for the first time and the other might be in his last season. Tight ends are some of the toughest to rank, but these variances are both worth calling out ahead of your draft.

Tyler Higbee (TE – LAR)
ADP: 15, ECR: 11 (+4)
Higbee is someone I’m grabbing everywhere, and this is probably why. His ECR is only 4 spots higher than his ADP on ESPN but the rankers have him as a top 12 TE while the ADP does not. The addition of Stafford will help immensely and Higbee will indeed finish as a top 12 TE, but you can wait a little bit on ESPN and get some great value based on where he’s going at the moment. That’s good info to have as you attack your later rounds.

Rob Gronkowski (TE – TB)
ADP: 12, ECR: 19 (-7)
On the flip side, someone’s I’m avoiding everywhere is Gronkowski. He’s another year older and while that offense will look a lot like it did last year, Gronk is used more for blocking than receiving. The name alone is likely what’s rising his ADP on ESPN, but ECR rankers aren’t falling for it, so neither will I. I’m fine passing up on Gronk and letting one of my league mates take the risk on him instead.

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Andrew Hall is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Andrew, check out his archive and follow him @AndrewHallFF.

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