ADP Risers & Fallers (2022 Fantasy Football)
The NFL draft is this week, and there has been a lot of player ADP (average draft position) movement. Much of that has come down to evolving offensive situations due to free agency and trade movement. This offseason has been an unprecedented one in terms of player movement. Some of the biggest trades in NFL history have happened this offseason. There have also been free agency signings that have thrown chaos into situations and have provided clarity in others.
As a result, I have tracked the top five ADP risers and fallers from before the NFL league year until now, using data from MFL and Fantasy Football Calculator.
It is worth noting that these ADPs do not include 2022 rookie data or rookie picks.
Alvin Kamara (RB – NO)
Risen from ADP 18 to ADP 9
There was some hesitancy at the start of the league year surrounding Alvin Kamara. The two major factors for this were an unclear quarterback situation and his outstanding legal troubles.
One of these issues has since been resolved. With Jameis Winston announced as the team’s starting quarterback and Andy Dalton as his backup, there is confidence Kamara will not have to suffer a season with Taysom Hill at QB. This was something that caused fantasy managers an ounce of fear. Kamara dropped to just two and a half receptions on average with Hill under center, and his fantasy value took a hit of over seven PPR points per game on average. However, with this not likely to happen in 2022, Kamara’s stock has risen.
However, there should still be concern over his legal troubles. If you follow Drew Davenport on Twitter, he released a video this past weekend explaining Kamara’s legal troubles. Supposedly, there is a video out there (not yet released) that could implicate Kamara in a felony. If the video gets out, that could spell the end of Kamara’s career with the Saints, or worse, the NFL. This is an aspect that is completely forgotten right now by fantasy managers. It might be wise to pump the breaks on Kamara for a little while until his legal situation has been resolved.
Ezekiel Elliott (RB – DAL)
Risen from ADP 41 to ADP 24
Ezekiel Elliott is one of the most polarizing players in fantasy football. Go on fantasy twitter on any given day, and there seem to be more people saying he is finished as an elite running back. This is despite Elliott being an RB1 in each of his six seasons in the NFL.
The argument against Elliott is that Tony Pollard is more explosive and efficient as a back. And that is hard to ignore. However, despite that, Elliott continues to play through the pain barrier and continues to defy expectations. He finished as the RB6 in 2021 and has never finished below RB11. Elliott’s durability is arguably his biggest strength.
Not much has changed in Elliott’s overall situation. With an average ADP between 24 and 41, fantasy managers still see Elliott’s value.
While he might not have five RB upside anymore, he’ll likely finish as a low-end RB1. Taking him in the second round is not a bad opportunity for fantasy players this summer. There is no way Elliott should or will be available in the fifth round going forward.
Joe Mixon (RB – CIN)
Risen from ADP 12 to ADP 3
Joe Mixon’s rise might not be a large one in terms of numbers, but moving from the end of round one to the top three is a massive movement. In addition, there appears to be some real uncertainty around running backs in 2022. Christian McCaffrey, Dalvin Cook, and Derrick Henry are all coming off injury-shortened seasons, and there is a slight concern over Austin Ekeler and some regression coming his way.
That leads to Joe Mixon, in a similar situation to last year, on a high-scoring offense, being someone fantasy managers are more comfortable drafting in the top three. And while that might be subject to change, there is the confidence he will return a similar RB3 finish to what he produced in 2021.
Nick Chubb (RB – CLE)
Risen from ADP 19 to ADP 7
Despite being an RB1 in each of the last three seasons, there was a lack of optimism surrounding Nick Chubb heading into the 2022 season. In addition, the Cleveland Browns’ offense took a huge step back in 2021, which caused fantasy managers to hit the breaks on players from that offense. However, since the acquisition of Deshaun Watson via trade from the Houston Texans, there appears to be more optimism.
Chubb projects to still be the lead back in Cleveland in 2022. And, with hopefully a more potent offense spearheaded by Watson, not to mention the new acquisition of Amari Cooper from Dallas, Cleveland will carry more offensive threat in 2022. Therefore, that should explain why fantasy managers are drafting Chubb a lot more confidently.
Leonard Fournette (RB – TB)
Risen from ADP 43 to ADP 23
Leonard Fournette was the PPR RB3 from Week 10 to Week 17 last season, with the second-highest PPG. This was the time Ronald Jones was finally removed from the rotation, and Fournette was able to grasp the complete lead-back role.
Fournette was a free agent back in March, and it was not certain that he would return to Tampa. However, Ronald Jones has left Tampa Bay to join Kansas City, leaving the path empty for Fournette to grasp the lead-back role all to himself. This move has given fantasy managers confidence that they can grab Fournette in the second round and shoot for top-five upside from Fournette if he can replicate his performance from the second half of last season.
Rashaad Penny (RB – SEA)
Risen from ADP 78 to ADP 45
Rashaad Penny has seen a monumental climb since announcing he will be returning to the Seahawks. The former first-round pick signed a one-year contract worth $5.75 million. Many expect Penny to be the lead back in the newly changed Seattle Seahawks offense. With Chris Carson riding the bench due to injury, Penny was the RB1 in Weeks 13-18 last season.
Additionally, the Seahawks have downgraded at quarterback from Russell Wilson to either Drew Lock or a rookie quarterback. That could increase some volume for the running backs. However, it is unlikely to increase their touchdown totals, as this offense appears to be one of the weakest in the NFL.
While Penny has shot up into the RB dead zone (Rounds four through six), it is hard to justify his current ADP. He appears to be a real gamble towards the end of the fourth round, given there is no real clearly defined role for him.
Jaylen Waddle (RB – SEA)
Fallen from ADP 29 to ADP 40
Before the start of the new league year, Waddle was coming off a good rookie season. He justified his selection as the sixth selection in the 2021 NFL Draft and as the Dolphins’ alpha receiver.
Fast forward six weeks later, and Waddle has been usurped on the depth chart by Tyreek Hill, who came from the Kansas City Chiefs in a blockbuster trade. There is no surprise then that Waddle’s value has taken an initial hit due to the arrival of an explosive wide receiver regarded as one of the best in the NFL.
However, perhaps the one thing that shocks me more is Waddle has only dropped 11 spots in ADP. Given that Miami is expected to run the ball more in 2022 and has signed a lot of talented running backs, it is surprising to see Waddle still going in the early fourth round. It would not be shocking to see Waddle fall into the fifth round come draft season. There is optimism he can compete for targets and still perform sufficiently in fantasy football in 2022.
Dak Prescott (QB – DAL)
Fallen from ADP 54 to ADP 77
There is a narrative around Dak Prescott that he is expected to be less efficient with his touchdown rate in 2022. There is also a question that the Cowboys will have a more challenging schedule in 2022. Last year, the Cowboys had the second easiest schedule in the league. And, according to Warren Sharp, this year, they have the sixth easiest schedule. That is not a huge enough swing to be out on Dak Prescott.
Dallas still has one of the best offenses in the NFL. And they also have one of the best schedules. Therefore, the decline in Prescott’s ADP by almost two rounds is frankly bizarre as other quarterbacks are favored.
Therefore, if you wait for Dak Prescott and pounce in the seventh round, he will return significant value. However, I would expect his ADP to move back upwards once more casual players start to draft more.
Clyde Edwards-Helaire (RB – KC)
Fallen from ADP 25 to ADP 38
CEH has been a fantasy disappointment for players since his entrance into the league a couple of years ago. And the Chiefs seem to agree by signing Ronald Jones in free agency.
This has led to CEH falling by over one full round in ADP. However, do not expect the fall in ADP to stop here. As CEH has now fallen into the RB dead zone, expect his ADP to continue to fall as rookies enter fantasy drafts next month. CEH will be hard to draft in the top 50 picks come draft season. This isn’t to say Ronald Jones is someone to pick up instead. There appear to be many running backs on the roster, which could lead to a full committee timeshare being deployed for the Chiefs. Best to stay clear of this situation until at least training camp and see if something develops otherwise.
Darren Waller (TE – LV)
Fallen from ADP 24 to ADP 48
Darren Waller was the second tight end off the board in most drafts in 2021. However, while injuries derailed his season, Mark Andrews reminded everyone that he was an elite tight end. As a result, Waller is expected to go off the board this season as the TE4/TE5.
It isn’t just the rising of other talents that will cause Waller to decline in ADP. There is a concern that the new acquisition of Davante Adams will garner a lot of targets. With more mouths to feed, it could be hard to see Waller hit the highs of 2020 with 145 targets once again.
Saquon Barkley (RB – NYG)
Fallen from ADP 28 to ADP 43
While some fantasy managers continue to hold the torch for Saquon Barkley, it is hard to believe in a player who has missed 21 games over the last three seasons. Not to mention, despite playing 13 games last season, he still only finished RB34. Nevertheless, there is no doubt that the former Offensive Rookie of the Year is someone who could explode, and he could, if fully fit, carry top-five upside.
However, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting a different outcome. It will be hard for fantasy managers to trust Saquon Barkley with an early selection. With a fourth-round pick, you can expect riskier managers to take a chance chasing upside. And there is nothing wrong with that. However, the days of Saquon being a top 24 selection appear to be long gone until he performs to that expectation once again.
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