What would an ideal value fantasy team look like? A value team is defined by a group of players whose ADP (average draft position) is lower than X.06 each round. For example, a first-round value would have to be a player whose ADP is 1.07 or lower but should be chosen earlier than that. A fifth-round value could be someone whose ADP is 5.07 or 6.04 or 8.03, etc., but should be higher.
I've constructed a team like this based on FantasyFootballCalculator.com's ADP.
There will be many more 2013 Fantasy Football Rankings and features in the late spring and summer, including tons of 2013 Fantasy Football Mock Drafts, Player Rankings, Sleepers and Busts. I'll also have an extensive 2013 NFL Fantasy Football Preseason Stock Report.
Round 1: Ray Rice, RB, Ravens - ADP 1.07
Ray Rice is my No. 3 fantasy running back - check 2013 Fantasy Football Running Back Rankings here - behind Adrian Peterson and Marshawn Lynch. Rice isn't as flashy as some of the other players at his position, but he's highly productive and reliable. You can't afford to whiff with your first-round pick, and considering Rice hasn't missed a single game in the past four years, he should be a safe choice early on.
Round 2: Stevan Ridley, RB, Patriots - ADP 2.08
Stevan Ridley is my 18th-ranked overall fantasy player, so the range is about right for him at the end of the second round. He provides the best value out of all the non-quarterbacks available, however. With Rob Gronkowski banged up, Ridley should get more looks near the goal line.
Round 3: Tom Brady, QB, Patriots - ADP 4.06
There are two points I have to make here. First, I know I'm going with the dreaded same-team QB-RB combo, but there were eight weeks last year in which Tom Brady and Stevan Ridley scored 17 and 12 points (or more), respectively. There were just three contests in which neither met those numbers - meaning you received very solid production out of at least one in 13 of the 16 games. As long as you have two studs from the same team, it shouldn't matter.
Second, I think it's absolutely ridiculous that all of the quarterbacks are being pushed down this year because of perceived strong depth. Yes, there are lots of potentially great fantasy quarterbacks, but a lot of them are unproven. I'd rather have a rock-solid stud quarterback like Brady, Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees or Peyton Manning and a slightly lesser (and perhaps equally safe) running back than an injury-prone runner (like Trent Richardson or Arian Foster) and a potentially shaky signal-caller. Take the best player available, and don't be victimized by this year's stupid trend.
Round 4: Jordy Nelson, WR, Packers - ADP 4.10
Jordy Nelson provides the most value of all the receivers whose ADP is 4.07 or lower. Nelson was on his way to having a big year in 2012, but multiple injuries derailed his season. He played in all 16 games in 2010 and 2011, so it's safe to count on him.
Round 5: Eric Decker, WR, Broncos - AD 6.04
I'm apparently going for the all-white receiver team. Eric Decker's numbers will decline with Wes Welker on the team - which explains his decreased ADP - but he'll still be a big part of the offense. He's a big target, so I don't see why Peyton Manning will stop targeting him in the end zone.
Round 6: James Jones, WR, Packers - ADP 6.07
So much for my precious white receivers. I'd rather not have two wideouts from the same team, but James Jones provided way too much value at 6.07. He's currently ranked 53rd in my Fantasy Football Top 250 Cheat Sheet. Besides, having both Jones and Jordy Nelson pretty much ensures that I'll have a stud wideout on my fantasy roster.
Round 7: Andre Brown, RB, Giants - ADP 7.07
Everyone is excited about David Wilson, but I'd rather have Andre Brown in the seventh round than Wilson in the third. The Giants don't trust Wilson on third downs just yet, while Brown will continue to receive the bulk of the goal-line carries.
Round 8: Cecil Shorts, WR, Jaguars - ADP 8.07
I'm not sure why Cecil Shorts' ADP is 8.07. It should be much higher. Anyone who owned him last year knows that he's a rock-solid WR2. He'll get his chance to shine with Justin Blackmon suspended.
Round 9: Bernard Pierce, RB, Ravens - ADP 10.02
I'm not a big believer in handcuffs, but Bernard Pierce is a very talented player. He's capable of being a legitimate RB1 in the event of a Ray Rice injury, and he'll produce regardless of whether he's being asked to start or not.
Round 10: Joseph Randle, RB, Cowboys - ADP 11.02
DeMarco Murray is very injury-prone. Once he goes down again, someone will have to step in as the starting running back. The favorite to do that is Joseph Randle, a fifth-round pick out of Oklahoma State.
Round 11: Martellus Bennett, TE, Bears - ADP 13.04
Martellus Bennett is my 10th-ranked fantasy tight end, so I'm obviously a fan of landing him this late. Jay Cutler has to lock on to someone other than Brandon Marshall this season, and Bennett could be his No. 2 target.
Round 12: Willis McGahee, RB, Broncos - ADP 12.11
I don't understand why everyone assumes John Fox will start Montee Ball. At the very best, Ball will be a part of a committee with Ronnie Hillman. And this scenario assumes that Fox won't be able to use either Willis McGahee or Knowshon Moreno. Fox values veteran backs over rookies, so he'll try to get McGahee or Moreno to suit up if they can.
Round 13: Ryan Tannehill, QB, Dolphins - ADP 14.01
Ryan Tannehill finished his rookie campaign on a strong note, so there's some upside here, especially if the Dolphins can get Mike Wallace to play up to his ability.
Round 14: Rod Streater, WR, Raiders - ADP None
What I wrote about Rod Streater on my 2013 Fantasy Football Sleepers page: I liked Streater as a sleeper last season. He dropped some passes in the opener and fell out of favor with the coaching staff, but he finished on a strong note, catching 18 balls for 348 yards and a touchdown in his final five games. On that pace, he'd log 57 receptions, 1,113 yards and three scores over a whole season. That seems far-fetched, but Darrius Heyward-Bey is gone, and Oakland will be throwing a lot because the team won't have many leads.
Round 15: Redskins Defense - ADP None
I like to play fantasy defensive matchups, so I'll gladly take the Redskins in the penultimate round because they battle the turnover-prone Eagles at home in Week 1.
Round 16: Random Kicker
Who cares... I had Billy Cundiff here yesterday, but apparently I forgot that he hasn't been the kicker for the Ravens for a while.