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Fantasy Football Draft Rankings: ADP vs. Experts (2024)

Fantasy Football Draft Rankings: ADP vs. Experts (2024)

If you’re already drafting or ranking for the 2024 fantasy season, FantasyPros has you covered with expert consensus rankings (ECR) and average draft position (ADP) data. But sometimes, the experts’ rankings of players and where those players are being drafted don’t jive. Below are a few examples and what we should do with that information.

Consensus Rankings vs. ECR: Standard

Brandon Aiyuk (WR – SF)

  • Consensus ADP: 30 Overall (WR15)
  • ECR: 18 Overall (WR9)

While the actual difference in Brandon Aiyuk’s rankings is not huge, it is the difference between him becoming a WR1 or WR2 on your fantasy team. The implications could be huge.

The rankers currently have him as a top-nine option, which would make him the top receiver on most fantasy teams. It’s a title well earned after a fourth season that saw him top 1,300 yards, including seven 100-yard receiving games despite fewer targets and receptions. The boost in efficiency resulted in him being a top-10 fantasy receiver.

Heading into the 2024 season, it seems more likely that Aiyuk will stay in San Francisco after some rumblings of him being moved since he is due an extension. But all signs point to the 49ers running it back after a Super Bowl appearance.

So why is he ‘just’ the 15th WR off the board in ADP? It’s a good question as there are a few examples of players that shouldn’t be ahead of him, including his teammate Deebo Samuel. Not only is Samuel two years older but he’s shown to be more fragile and didn’t have nearly as good of a season last year. There’s also Stefon Diggs, who may or may not still be a Bill next season after his production fell off a cliff in the last half of the 2023 season. For example, he failed to top 87 yards from Week 7 on and scored only three times in that span.

Aiyuk is just now entering his prime and all of the pieces that were in place last year during his breakout are back including quarterback Brock Purdy and play-caller Kyle Shanahan. If he fails to sign an extension before the 2024 season starts, his managers will have the bonus of a contract-year version of Aiyuk, who will have all the motivation in the world to have his best season.

Sam LaPorta (TE – DET)

  • Consensus ADP: 26 Overall (TE1)
  • ECR: 13 Overall (TE1)

Sam LaPorta’s ascension to fantasy TE1 was fast and furious. It took just one season thanks to a breakout rookie season that saw LaPorta finish with 86 receptions for 889 yards and 10 touchdowns. Not only did he finish as the top fantasy tight end but he finished 11th overall in scoring.

LaPorta accomplished this by immediately being a major component of the Lions offense. On a team that included Amon-Ra St. Brown, who was named an All-Pro in 2023, LaPorta finished second on the team with 120 targets. It was impressive for a rookie tight end — any tight end, really — to see that much attention on his team and compared to other tight ends where his 120 targets ranked fifth last season.

While everyone agrees he’s the top tight end to target in 2024, where you take that tight end is a different story. Fantasy teams are drafting him at the round two/round three turn. The latter scenario would be optimal since it would mean the team drafting LaPorta, the TE1, that late already has its stud plus a potential other player.

Yet, the experts are taking the plunge on LaPorta a whole round earlier with rankers slotting LaPorta as a borderline first-round pick, depending on how many teams are in your league. It would be consistent with where he finished last season and could create a universal advantage for the fantasy team that drafts him. However, this team would have to nail their first-round pick (assuming it’s not LaPorta). If that first pick doesn’t hit and you use your second pick on a tight end, you’ll be drafting from behind.

I would side with the ADP on this one. LaPorta is worthy of being the first tight end off the board but he’d be better as the third player you draft rather than the first or the second.

Marvin Harrison Jr. (WR – OSU)

  • Consensus ADP: 17 Overall (WR8)
  • ECR: 38 Overall (WR21)

It’s hard to project where you should take a rookie before they’ve been drafted, let alone hit the field. But Marvin Harrison Jr. may be different. The son of a Hall of Famer receiver, Harrison has been ticketed to be one of the first players taken in the 2024 NFL Draft for a few years now. He’s turned in back-to-back 1,200-yard, 14-touchdown seasons at Ohio State and would have been one of the top receivers taken last year if he entered that draft.

When we evaluate where Harrison should be taken in his rookie season, we do have some history to look at, even if it’s not his own. It’s a safe assumption Harrison will be taken in the top five of this year’s draft. The last receiver taken that high was Ja’Marr Chase by the Cincinnati Bengals in the 2021 NFL Draft. Chase was similar to Harrison in that he was a can’t-miss prospect on the NFL radar for multiple seasons. All Chase did during his rookie season was record 81 receptions for 1,455 yards and 13 touchdowns and finish as a top-three fantasy receiver. The player taken right after Chase was receiver Jaylen Waddle by the Miami Dolphins. He turned in a 104-reception, 1,000-yard, and six touchdowns rookie season and was a top-20 fantasy receiver. And that was with a shaky rookie at quarterback (Tua Tagovailoa) for most of the season while Chase played with All-Pro Joe Burrow.

The simplest way to look at Harrison’s projection is the rankers are expecting a Ja’Marr Chase-type season while the drafters are projecting a Jaylen Waddle season. If Harrison lands in Arizona, as he is widely expected to, he’ll have veteran (and a healthy) Kyler Murray at quarterback. Because of that, I would lean towards the more optimistic projection of Harrison and be ok with him as a top-10 fantasy receiver.

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