Fantasy managers! Now is the time to prepare for your fantasy football drafts. And to help get you up to speed, I’ll break down the risers and fallers relative to average draft position (ADP) every week until kickoff.
ADP is merely a tool to determine when (on average) a player is being selected in drafts. That doesn’t preclude you from “getting your guy,” but it may offer some perspective on where to select certain players. Are they in a positional battle? Are there injury concerns? What about contractual disputes?
Fantasy football is about staying in the know, and I’ll help decipher what’s driving ADPs up and down until the season officially begins on Sept. 7.
Daniel Jones is the hottest player in fantasy for the second week in a row, moving up 17 spots over the past week. Since I started charting ADP movement, Jones’ ADP has skyrocketed from 111.5 to 81.3 over the past five weeks.
Prized rookie Anthony Richardson climbed three spots in drafts and currently sits at QB14. Matthew Stafford is getting some positive traction for those playing in deep or Superflex leagues, moving up to 130.8 and falling just inside the top 24 at QB22.
Conversely, Tua Tagovailoa’s ADP has fluctuated quite a bit over the last month. He’s gone from QB10 to QB12 and is now just inside the top 100 (94). Dak Prescott is also sliding, with his ADP closing in on 90 (84.0 the last seven days). Trey Lance’s arrival shouldn’t have Prescott managers nervous quite yet, but Dak certainly didn’t look thrilled to have the former first-rounder added to his QB room. Still, Prescott has plenty of weapons on offense to outperform his ADP.
The Buffalo Bills’ backfield has taken shape, with James Cook operating as the clear RB1 throughout the preseason. On the opening drive of the Bills’ final preseason game, Cook had four carries for 18 yards, and Damien Harris (making his first appearance of the preseason) punched it in from two yards out. Harris’ aggressive ADP drop (down 17 spots) is likely due to the knee injury that kept him out for much of training camp. However, Cooks’ emergence can’t be ignored. Cook has been trending up for weeks, and his ADP is now 65.2 — an increase of 12.3 spots from the start of the preseason. Even with Harris in a TD-dependent role, Cook looks like a strong RB2.
Two additional backs whose values are rising are Bears RB Khalil Herbert and Commanders RB Antonio Gibson. I pegged Herbert as a breakout this season, and he got the starter’s treatment for much of the preseason. His ADP went up five spots over the past week, and he remains one of the best values after the eighth round in drafts. Gibson’s still being drafted outside the top 100 (108.6 the last seven days), but he’s moved from a mid-to-early ninth-round pick. Playing under Eric Bieniemy’s creative play-calling, the ball will find its way into Gibson’s hands, and he’s a guy who’s never finished below RB27 in his career.
There was no Jonathan Taylor trade before the 4PM deadline on August 29, and his ADP continues to tumble. He’s now an early third round pick (25.2) in fantasy drafts, but I expect that to fall even further with the young RB set to miss the first four games of the season.
Kenny Pickett put together one of the most dominant preseason performances in recent memory. While most of the hype went to fellow WR George Pickens, Diontae Johnson was still effective and heavily targeted. He’s going 75th in drafts over the past week, an increase of nine spots from his preseason ADP (84). He’s a beast in PPR leagues, and fantasy managers will likely see an uptick in touchdowns this season, too.
Another ascending talent is Brandon Aiyuk. Matt Harmon and Dalton Del Don have not been shy about their love for Aiyuk, and it’s warranted, as he should be near the top of any third-year breakout conversations. A crisp route-runner who’s increased his receptions, yards and touchdowns in his first two seasons, he has moved into the mid-fifth-rounds of drafts.
It only took five weeks, but finally, the trio of DeAndre Hopkins, Treylon Burks and Kadarius Toney aren’t the top fallers in fantasy drafts. Toney technically kept his title as biggest faller, down six spots to 127th, but Jerry Jeudy is right behind him. Jeudy suffered a hamstring injury and will reportedly miss several weeks with no definite timetable for his return.
And speaking of injuries, Terry McLaurin’s turf toe injury hasn’t been considered serious, and he has a shot at playing in Week 1. His injury hasn’t impacted his ADP, but Jahan Dotson’s value increased over the past week. His rise is justified as he and Commanders’ QB Sam Howell have established a strong rapport with noticeable chemistry. In their second preseason game, Dotson finished the first half with five receptions for 76 yards (Dotson and Howell didn’t play in the third game). Dotson’s play moved him into the top 100, with an ADP of 94.8 over the past week.
I had high hopes for Greg Dulcich this season, but Adam Trautman is spoiling those plans — at least initially. Dulcich’s ADP is down 13 spots from last week. Marvin Mims Jr. and Courtland Sutton are the biggest beneficiaries of Jeudy’s injury. Still, given Broncos HC Sean Payton’s love for TEs, it wouldn’t surprise me if one of Dulcich or Trautman emerged as a startable TE at some point this season.
TJ Hockenson remains the TE3, but his ADP declined four spots over the past week. I wouldn’t put too much into that, especially after he integrated seamlessly into the Vikings offense last season.
Tyler Higbee, Darren Waller and rookie Dalton Kincaid are three tight ends who improved their draft position this past week. Waller is now the TE7, while Higbee and Kincaid are late-round dart throws if you miss out on the higher-tiered tight ends.