2015 Fantasy Football – Better Than ADP

By Chet Gresham – @ChetGresham
Follow @walterfootball for updates.

As I prepare for my own drafts, I’m looking at what players I’ve ranked higher than their Average Draft Position to see if I still like them at that spot and to see who I’m liking more than the public at large. Below is a portion of that list, highlighting the players I’ll most likely own just based on the law of averages and personal preference.

I’ll be adding their aggregate ADP for PPR leagues for reference.

Sam Bradford, ADP: QB 16, 124 Overall
Last season, the Eagles’ quarterbacks passed for 386-of-620, 4,581 yards, 27 touchdowns and 21 interceptions and made 46 rushing attempts for 155 yards and a touchdown. That would have put the “Philly QB” into the No. 7 overall quarterback spot. We, of course, will worry about Bradford’s health, but we’ve seen other players who looked like they’d never be healthy go on to long and good careers. I’m willing to risk the health issues and pick Bradford because of this offense, but also because he’s an extremely accurate passer and could tear up defenses when this offense is at full speed.

Ryan Tannehill, ADP: QB 13, 87 Overall
Tannehill is my favorite mid-round quarterback to draft this season, and even though I like Eli Manning a lot, I’ve often bypassed him for Tannehill. As I mentioned in the Jarvis Landry blurb, this team is going to play fast, and Tannehill will now have a full season under Lazor, which also happened to be Tannehill’s best season statistically.

Brian Quick, ADP: WR 62, 186 Overall
Quick has gone under the radar a bit since he’s just now getting back to full health, but all reports are that he looks to be the same player he was at the beginning of last season, when he started off strongly before injuring his shoulder. Quick is the most talented receiver on the team and should win back the No. 1 receiver status and the majority of the targets, which is tough to find as late as you can get him this season.

Todd Gurley, ADP: RB 22, 54 Overall
Will Gurley be the lead back sooner or later this season? Frankly, I just want him on my team and then let the chips fall where they may, because Gurley is just that good, and if you can get him in the fifth round, then do the thing.

Nelson Agholor, ADP: WR 30, 85 Overall
The receiver situation in Philadelphia should come down to Jordan Matthews as the No. 1 target and Agholor as the No. 2 target. Last season, Matthews finished as the 26th best fantasy receiver as the Eagles’ No. 2 receiver even while the pedestrian Riley Cooper had just eight fewer targets than him. This season, I expect Agholor to cut into Cooper’s targets even more than Matthews did last season and easily beat his ADP.

Devante Parker, ADP: WR 51, 154 Overall
Parker is probably the most talented receiver on the Dolphins, but has been recovering from a foot injury. He will start doing individual drills this week and could be ready for Week 1. If not, I’m still on board due to the offense and his ability and place on the team. Don’t forget what Odell Beckham Jr. was able to do after missing the beginning of the season. You don’t have to be a seasoned veteran to put up big numbers in this league.

Charles Johnson, ADP: WR 36, 97 Overall
Johnson is my favorite receiver on a team whose needle is pointing directly up with Teddy Bridgewater seemingly improving by the second. Johnson has more upside and physical ability than Mike Wallace at this point and is being drafted a couple of rounds later.

Davante Adams, ADP: WR 29, 80 Overall
Adams’ ADP keeps moving up, but so far, it hasn’t moved up far enough for me to not draft him. Do whatever you can to stock up on Packers receivers as long as there is some uncertainty that keeps them from being drafted too early. That goes for Ty Montgomery and Jeff Janis as well.

Ladarius Green, ADP: TE 26, 259 Overall
There’s a good chance Green doesn’t do much this season. He’s been quiet this preseason, and Antonio Gates will be back after Week 4, but there is a reason people have wanted to see what Green can do as a full-time player: he’s a freak of nature. If things click for him while Gates is out, there’s no telling how good he can be, and those are the kind of players I want to grab late.

Eli Manning, ADP: QB 12, 83 Overall
Offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo pushed the Giants’ tempo up last season, and they finished with the third-most snaps in the league, just behind the Colts and Eagles. The Giants also finished with the second-most plays inside the red zone. Manning isn’t consistent, but volume plus Odell Beckham Jr. is good enough for me. Manning finished as the 10th-best fantasy quarterback last year, and with a year under his belt with McAdoo’s system, he should move up the ranks this season.

Anquan Boldin, ADP: WR 41, 110 Overall
Boldin is a rock. Last season, he finished as the 18th-best PPR receiver, and as long as he’s breathing, you can expect 80 receptions, 1,000 yards and 5-8 touchdowns. That’s much better than his ADP, and even though I often go for the player with more upside than Boldin has, it’s tough passing on safe fake points.

Dion Lewis, ADP: Undrafted
Lewis was the main third-down back for the Patriots in the all-important Week 3 preseason dress rehearsal and looked good in the process. He rushed three times for 12 yards and caught four passes for 20 yards including a touchdown. New England has had three third-down backs so far this preseason, but Lewis is looking like the best choice now, and if he can hold onto the job, there are plenty of fantasy points to be had in that role for the Patriots.

Tyler Eifert, ADP: TE 16, 163 Overall
As most tight ends do, Eifert had a “meh” rookie season, but season two (2014) was looking up as he caught three passes early in Week 1 against the Ravens, but then grossly dislocated his elbow before halftime and was done for the season. Now in his third year, he looks primed for a big season. All reports out of camp have been glowing, and Andy Dalton seems to look for Eifert whenever he’s in trouble. And with A.J. Green back healthy and a strong running game with Jeremy Hill, the Bengals’ offense should find plenty of holes underneath for Eifert as well as plenty of red-zone looks.

Carson Palmer, ADP: QB 21, 143 Overall
Bruce Arians is the quarterback whisperer, and this season in Arizona, he is trying to whisper some youth into Carson Palmer’s old-man knees and arm. In his five healthy games last season, Palmer threw for 1,385 yards, 11 touchdowns and two interceptions. That would have been a 4,432 yards, 35 touchdowns and six interceptions as a year, which would have put him in the Top-Five for quarterbacks. Of course, that’s a big jump from just five games, but it shows you his upside if Palmer could somehow stay healthy, and for where you can draft him, I want that upside in my backup quarterback.

Latavius Murray, ADP: RB 18, 40 Overall
Murray is someone who has a ton of talent, but will lose some passing-down work to Roy Helu while also playing on a team that won’t score a ton of points. So he’s already behind the eight ball, but I believe he can overcome those obstacles. Is that enough to target Murray? Probably not, but sometimes you go with your gut, especially in the fourth round, which feels like purgatory for drafts.

Phillip Dorsett, ADP: WR 70, 211 Overall
I love Dorsett at his ADP, but it’s also where he probably should be drafted. There just aren’t enough targets to go around for him to make an impact, but he is an impact-making player. As the No. 3 receiver, there is a good chance he’ll hit some big plays, get picked up on waivers and then go quiet for a few games befpre being dropped, and so on and so forth, but if T.Y. Hilton or Andre Johnson goes down, there will be a mad dash to the waiver wire where your chances of getting Dorsett will be slim.

DeMarco Murray, ADP: RB 8, 13 Overall
Murray will lose a touchdown to Ryan Mathews, and the whole world will yell, SEE, I TOLD YOU NOT TO DRAFT MURRAY!, but when you look at the overall numbers, Murray will be right up there with the top running backs because A) He’s good and B) He plays for the Eagles, a team that ran the ball 89 times inside the red zone, third most in the league, last year. Unlike in Dallas, we don’t need Murray running the ball 25 times a game to get us fantasy points. Chip Kelly’s offense is diverse and won’t follow the same script you’re used to with Murray, but that will lead to even more efficiency and fantasy numbers.

Brandin Cooks, ADP: WR 13, 34 Overall
Cooks will not go under the radar in your leagues, but that doesn’t mean you don’t draft him in the third round of your PPR leagues, because that’s what you should do and often. The Saints have one of the easier schedules for their passing game, and Cooks fits this offense perfectly. We already have seen what he and Drew Brees can do this preseason. In consecutive plays, we saw Cooks make a nice move to get open underneath for a short reception and a few yards after the catch. Then on the next play, Cooks appears to be running another short route and the defender bites, and the rest is history, i.e. a perfect long toss from Brees for a touchdown. You’re not just paying for 90+ short receptions with Cooks.

Mark Ingram, ADP: RB 12, 27 Overall
Ingram led the league last season with 19 rushing attempts inside the opponent’s five-yard line and finished second to Demarco Murray with seven touchdowns from inside the five. So, we know the goal-line work and touchdowns are there for the taking. Ingram has also improved as a receiver. Last season, he caught 29 passes, and we should see a slight uptick there this year.

DeAndre Hopkins, ADP: WR 14, 36 Overall
The good thing about NFL quarterbacks, even the worst of the worst: they can throw the ball pretty far and get it reasonably close to who they are aiming. For DeAndre Hopkins, that’s all he needs. Sometimes the talent around you can drag you down or up depending, but with Hopkins, his talent just needs targets, and he’ll get plenty of those since he is head and shoulders above the rest of the receivers on the team.

Lamar Miller, ADP: RB 13, 28 Overall
You might have noticed my Dolphin love throughout this list, and it’s no different when looking at their running back Miller. We kept worrying about his workload as the coaching staff kept trying to force a committee on him, but he has pushed through and watched as fellow committee members fell to the wayside. He’s now the main man on a team that will push Bill Lazor’s version of the Chip Kelly offense up and down the field.

Julio Jones, ADP: WR 5, 17 Overall
This one is, of course, a bit of a no-brainer, but I’m a little amazed Jones is going off the board as the fifth receiver in PPR. I have him as my No. 1 receiver in both PPR and non-PPR and feel great about him there. Under new offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Jones flirt with 200 targets. Of course, Antonio Brown, Dez Bryant and the whole gang are right up there with him, but his upside surpasses all of them in this offense.

Back to Page 1 of Better Than ADP.

For more recommendations, check out WalterFootball.com’s Fantasy Football Rankings.

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