Why do we draft best ball teams this insanely early? The NFL Draft hasn’t been conducted. We don’t know bye weeks or schedules for these NFL teams.
- Because we are degenerates.
- Because we love closing line value (CLV).
CLV is a beautiful thing. Every year a group of players are inappropriately priced by the market. Sometimes it’s because of a murky situation surrounding a player. In other instances, it’s because he burned fantasy managers in the previous season (or both).
In any instance, this creates opportunities to dive head first in early best ball drafts. There are soft ADPs in these drafts that you will not find as we move through the offseason. The cold sweat produced by FOMO should be creeping up your back.
Don’t let fear of the unknown allow you to miss out on this beautiful ADP smorgasbord on Underdog Fantasy.
*All ADP per Underdog Fantasy*
- NFL Draft Needs for Every Team
- Introduction to Best Ball Leagues
- Erickson’s Best Ball Positional Primers
Fantasy Football Best Ball ADP Risers
(ADP: WR34 64.5 overall)
Marquise Brown is being drafted as a WR3 in Best Ball, and this is WRONG…as soon as Hopkins is traded.
Get ahead of the curve NOW!!!!!
— Derek Brown (@DBro_FFB) March 27, 2023
DeAndre Hopkins remains a Cardinal for now, but I doubt that’s the case for 2023. As soon as Hopkins is gone, Brown’s ADP will float upwards.
Brown’s early 2022 usage is the easiest data point to his mispriced ADP. In Weeks 1-6, he was the WR7 in fantasy with a 26% target share, a 40.5% air yard share, and 2.00 yards per route run. Brown was Arizona’s alpha. He was 24th in open rate last year, immediately behind Jakobi Meyers (per ESPN analytics).
His ability to lead an NFL passing attack shouldn’t be questioned. Brown is a WR2 currently priced as a WR3 in early best-ball drafts.
(ADP: WR37 71.4 overall)
I already discussed Ryan Tannehill in this article, but I would be neglectful if I didn’t include his top receiver as well. Treylon Burks is staring down a sophomore season with tons of opportunities to put his disappointing rookie season in the past. Burks saw a 17.6% target share (45th) last season while ranking 35th in air-yard share and 32nd in yards per route run. With Robert Woods gone, Burks should be the clear number-one option for Tannehill.
While none of his 2022 box score numbers will inspire confidence in Burks entering year two, his 17th-ranked route win rate and 24th-ranked open rate (tied with Marquise Brown, per ESPN analytics) should. As soon as we reach the “best shape of their life” and training camp highlight portion of the offseason, Burks should bump up towards low-end WR2 territory in many drafts.
(ADP: WR46 90.0 overall)
Broncos HC Sean Payton "not trading" Jerry Jeudy, Courtland Sutton: "We're in the business of gathering talent"https://t.co/8WjIxp5VTh pic.twitter.com/Gsv2EIHWhA
— Around The NFL (@AroundTheNFL) March 26, 2023
Courtland Sutton was a big disappointment last year. Trust me. I get it, but it’s time to put those hurt feelings to rest. Sutton is dipping too far in drafts. He outproduced this ADP last year as the WR40 in fantasy points per game, so there’s a small bit of equity here, even if you think that his 2023 won’t look any better (it will) than his 2022 showing.
Sutton’s disastrous 2022 was not his fault. Sutton was 23rd in route win rate and tenth in win rate against man coverage (per Playerprofiler.com). He was also 12th in open rate (per ESPN analytics). Whether we want to tie this to Russell Wilson or Nathaniel Hackett’s struggles as a head coach, I have faith that both Wilson and the scheme will improve in 2023 under Sean Payton. Sutton still has the talent to pay off on hope and hype of Wilson’s arrival. It will just come a year later than expected.
An encouraging quote from Payton or an offseason practice video clip is all it will take to jolt his ADP closer to his teammate Jerry Jeudy (WR22 43.9 overall).
Projected First-Round NFL Draft Wide Receivers
(ADP: WR42 82.9 overall)
(ADP: WR44 87.8 overall)
Zay Flowers (WR – Boston College)
(ADP: WR47 98.5 overall)
While I’m also a card-carrying member of the Jaxon Smith-Njigba fan club, Smith-Njigba’s ADP (WR28 51.1 overall) versus Quentin Johnston, Jordan Addison, and Zay Flowers is head-scratching. Each wide receiver is projected to carry top-24 pick capital per NFL Mock Draft Database. The closer we get to the NFL Draft, especially post-draft, these ADPs should even out more, with each of these three first-round wideouts creeping closer to WR3 status.
Quentin Johnston is a RAC specialist. His juice and his upper body strength make him a frustrating player for defenders to wrap up consistently. Johnston ranked ninth in yards per route run, 11th in missed tackles forced, and sixth in YAC per reception last season (minimum 50 targets per PFF). He could earn a 19-20% target share immediately in the NFL.
Jordan Addison has been a stud, ranking inside the top-22 FBS wide receivers (minimum 50 targets per PFF) in PFF receiving grade and yards per route run in each of the last two seasons. Addison is a fluid and silky-smooth route technician with versatility. He played from the slot in 2020-2021 (68.0-82.6%) before transitioning to the boundary (75.5% out wide) in 2022. Addison could lead his future team in target share in his rookie season.
Zay Flowers is an explosive player that plays bigger than his size. He should be a starter in two wide receiver sets in the NFL and an immediate WR2 in an offense. He played 65.8% of his collegiate snaps on the perimeter, which should push even higher than that at the next level. Flowers has route-running chops for days to get open as he sets up corners with nuanced routes, explosive speed, and multiple release packages.
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