Leveraging Against ADP
by Alan Seslowsky
Longtime followers of RosterWatch know that we have been in the trenches of fantasy football intelligence gathering for over a decade. All of the off-season travels and data collection culminates in the form of our signature tool, The Ultimate Draft Cheat Sheet (NOW AVAILABLE FOR DOWNLOAD HERE). As a refresher, the “Cheat Sheet,” is not a ranking; rather it is a living/breathing document that guarantees an expert quality draft by leveraging against the average draft position at the time of your draft. Below are some observations as we began to test version 1.0 of the “UDCS.”
“Hollywood” Brown is a Nuclear Option
Marquise Brown is a player that has “league-winning” potential that is currently getting drafted in the 8th round. RosterWatch has zeroed in on Brown as a player we have moved up significantly to make sure we have high exposure when using the magical cheat sheet. Brown was far less than full speed during his rookie season and still flashed WR1 upside. His presumed development as a player, evolving chemistry with Lamar Jackson and truly game-changing, Tyreek Hill-like speed have Brown’s arrow pointing straight up. RosterWatch co-founder, Alex Dunlap pointed out that after the 2018 season, Raven’s management asked Lamar Jackson who was on his wish list if he could have any WR. Jackson answered, “give me Hollywood Brown in 2019 or Jerry Jeudy in 2020.”
Byron Lambert: Barkley is #1 Overall; Not CMC
RosterWatch co-founder, Byron Lambert, has always preached that we need to look ahead and not live in the past when ranking players. The 2020 season is no different. Lambert is boldly ranking Saquon Barkley as his #1 overall player, ahead of industry consensus Christian McCaffery. Saquon is primed for a bounce-back year after an injury hampered him in 2019 after the Giants have continued to bolster the offensive line. NYG Quarterback Daniel Jones showed enough upside as a rookie to have confidence he can effectively run the offense. New OC, Jason Garrett showed a propensity to learn on a workhorse RB during his time in Dallas. In addition, Barkley can not get game scripted out of playing time. Finally, new Panther’s HC Matt Rhule has said that he does not intend to overwork CMC. We are nit-picking at the top of the draft, but it was enough to move Barkley over CMC for RosterWatch.
Miles Sanders is Falling
For fantasy players who have been following ADP all off-season, we have observed a roller coaster ride for Philadelphia RB Miles Sanders. Sanders was getting drafted aggressively following the NFL draft due to the Eagles opting not to draft an RB prospect with any significant capital. Recent rumors that Philly is looking to sign a veteran RB, most notably Carlos Hyde, has depressed Sanders’ ADP once again. The market doesn’t see Miles Sanders as a true workhorse runner. RosterWatch still slightly prefers Miles Sanders over players like Kansas City rookie RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire in drafts, but their ADPs are converging and any official news of a RB addition in Philly could easily lead to a flip-flopping of position among these mid-to-late-second-round fantasy RB considerations.
Courtland Sutton Takes A Value Hit
RosterWatch has been at the forefront of identifying Courtland Sutton as an alpha WR in the NFL. Sutton’s current ADP is not in line with the facts on the ground post-NFL draft. The Broncos used their first two picks in the draft to bring in pro-ready WR Jerry Jeudy and presumed starter KJ Hamler. In addition, they used a fourth-round pick on athletic pass catcher Albert O to pair with second-year TE Noah Fant, who are both projected to be involved in the passing game. The Broncos will also use their upgraded core of RBs to catch passes in order to keep defenses honest. This all points to volume consistency issues for Sutton. We still love him as a player, but his current fourth-round ADP is too rich.
Tyler Lockett is Under-Valued
As of May 2020, Tyler Lockett is going later in drafts than WRs like Deebo Samuel, DJ Chark, and DeVante Parker. RosterWatch prefers Lockett to all of those great options. The power of the Ultimate Draft Cheat Sheet will leverage players like Lockett so we can have them on our team, at discounted rates.
Chris Carson – The Best RB Value
RosterWatch Co-Founder, Alex Dunlap has uncovered that Seattle RB Chris Carson may be the best value of any player in drafts so far. Carson is a surefire RB1 on a run-first team, with no threat to his workload. Carson is currently getting drafted outside of the first 50 picks. Behind Carson on the depth chart is Rashad Penny, who suffered a season-ending injury in 2019 that is likely to keep him out to start the 2020 season – perhaps for up to 6-8 weeks. That leaves Travis Homer, who projects as a true backup, and fourth-round rookie DeeJay Dallas as the next best options behind Carson. Fantasy football players are savvy and will likely catch up, but for now, we are targeting Carson at value where we can.