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8 ADP Risers & Fallers (2022 Fantasy Football)

by Scott Youngson | @jscottyoungson | Featured Writer
Aug 9, 2022
Baker Mayfield

Baker Mayfield has a shot to be a solid backup fantasy QB in Carolina this season.

Training camps are underway, and we’ve even had our first preseason game. Thus, most fantasy league drafts will occur this month. So it’s time to start your research! One of the ways to go about this is by watching ADPs (average draft position). As news comes out of camps and players show their stuff in preseason games, values get altered in fantasy managers’ minds. ADP reflects this sentiment, so knowing which way the wind is blowing can only help you on draft day.

With that in mind, we pulled together a list of players whose ADPs have changed the most over the past couple of months. Below we list a “riser” and a “faller” for each position, along with an opinion on why the player’s value is changing. Please note this has nothing to do with rankings — it is strictly based on ADP (half-point PPR scoring). To compare rankings to ADP, check out our Expert Consensus Rankings (ECR).

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Riser: Baker Mayfield (QB – CAR)

About a month ago, Mayfield was in limbo. His relationship with the Browns had broken down, but he was still with the trade. Now he’s in Carolina and is expected to beat out Sam Darnold for the starting gig. So it’s not surprising to see his ADP rise from the mid-30s to around 25. If he’s named the starter, it will probably go up even more. Mayfield isn’t a QB1 in a one-QB league, but he’s a solid backup with good weapons around him in Carolina.

Faller: Deshaun Watson (QB – CLE)

This one is a bit perplexing as the general perception is that Deshaun Watson got off light with a six-game suspension. However, when we look at the ADPs, he was trending very high a few months ago at just outside the top 10. So perhaps early drafts were mostly dynasty leagues where his long-term value exceeds whatever he provides in 2022. Whatever the case, Watson’s ADP is now trending towards the late teens. He’s a QB1 once active but will miss about 35% of the season at a minimum. There is also the risk that the NFL will appeal the ruling, and he’ll be out longer. Fantasy managers are juggling all this and may just be opting not to draft him.

Running Backs

Riser: James Cook (RB – BUF)

Cook is the current “it” player, enamoring fantasy managers everywhere with his potential. He’s still not being drafted as a starter with an ADP in the high 30s but has a lot of traction, considering he was in the RB50 range a few months ago. There is some risk that Cook will end up over-valued, as detailed here, but if he stays in this ADP range, he may be worth a shot due to his upside.

Faller: Antonio Gibson (RB – WAS)

There have been reports this offseason that the Commanders’ third-round pick, Brian Robinson Jr., could handle goal-line duties this season. He’s a bit bigger than Gibson, and Gibson has had fumbling issues in his career. This premise and Robinson’s impressive camp are driving Gibson’s value down from a borderline RB1 to a borderline RB2. With J.D. McKissic also back in the fold, there is potential for a three-RB backfield in Washington. The thought of this is scaring fantasy managers away from Gibson, perhaps rightfully so.

Wide Receivers

Riser: Julio Jones (WR – TB)

It’s not surprising to see Jones’ ADP rising as he was unsigned a few months ago. On top of that, he landed in a great situation in Tampa Bay. His ADP among receivers is still in the mid-50s, where it should be. As tempting as Jones is, the risks are great with him, and fantasy managers should resist the temptation to make him anything more than a depth option on draft day. For more on Jones, check out our recent “Don’t Believe the Hype” article.

Faller: Jakobi Meyers (WR – NE) and Kendrick Bourne (WR – NE)

It’s not easy to understand why the ADP for these two Patriots’ wideouts has been dropping. The guess is it is a delayed impact from the Pats acquiring DeVante Parker in a trade with the Dolphins in April. Interestingly, Parker’s ADP is unchanged. Both receivers appear massively under-valued. Meyers is being drafted in the low 60s among WRs and Bourne near 100. Last season, Bourne was WR30 and Meyers WR33. The inconsistent Parker shouldn’t knock their value down that much, particularly as Mac Jones continues his development. Both should be late-round targets if these ADPs hold until your draft.

Tight End

Riser: Irv Smith Jr. (TE – MIN)

Smith’s rise in ADP may reverse in short order as he underwent thumb surgery a few days ago. Smith was a trendy sleeper last year before tearing his meniscus before the season and missing all of 2021. His ADP rise from the low 20s to mid-teens likely resulted from his appearing healthy at the beginning of camp. He’s a talented pass-catcher, and the Vikings have a fairly narrow receiving tree. Smith could still be a sneaky option as his thumb injury is not supposed to keep him out too long. However, the injury brings with it the risk he could miss some time, so keep tabs on his progress.

Faller: Tyler Higbee (TE – LAR)

In contrast to Smith, Higbee’s ADP drop from the high teens to the mid-20s appears to be related to concerns over his knee injury just before the Super Bowl. Higbee has participated in training camp, though, and seems on track to play Week 1. As he was TE14 last season and ninth in receptions at the position, he looks like a substantial value at his current ADP. Barring setbacks, Higbee could be an excellent late-round pick if you opt to wait on drafting a tight end.


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