The Average Draft Position is one of the most finickiest lists in regards to how we can use it to our advantage for our own fantasy drafts. Once the NFL Draft is over, we usually get a good gauge as to which players are going to skyrocket and which ones are going to sink like a stone. The draft isn’t the only thing that pushes a player’s ADP up-or-down the ladder. Those free agents who have yet to find a home are also a thorn in the sides of many owners who are hoping certain players have a breakout season. Or, at the very least, improve upon the previous year. If you haven’t drafted yet, then the most latest ADP list will give you the most help. But for those of us who used it to select dynasty players or players in a keeper league earlier this year, the sudden changes are frustrating because, simply, we kept a player who has lost a lot of value.
This topic obviously doesn’t pertain to the likes of Aaron Rodgers, Adrian Peterson or Calvin Johnson. The only way those guys fall is if they are out for the entire season due to an injury. But here is a list of five players who have seen their ADP fall over the past several months due to the draft, free agency, productivity in OTAs and other variables.
Many thanks to My Fantasy League for the use of their ADP list.
Chargers QB Philip Rivers – Average Draft Position 157.22
Maybe Rivers was never considered one of the elite QB1s in the fantasy football world, but his value was much higher several years ago than it is now. Over the past three seasons, Rivers has gone from a stat-line of 4710/30/13 in 2010 to 3606/26/15 in 2012, with his overall numbers getting gradually worse every season. This year isn’t going to be much easier with an offensive line that looks to be one of the worst in the league and a running back who looks like he will never live up to the hype in Ryan Mathews. Rivers is bordering on the brink of being an in-season free agent pick up.
Colts RB Vick Ballard – Average Draft Position 83.00
Remember that free-agency thorn I was discussing in the intro? That’s exactly what is happening to Ballard after the team went out and signed former Giants RB Ahmad Bradshaw. Ballard wasn’t going to tear the roof off this season, but he was a starter on an up-and-coming Colts team. I even listed him as one of my Breakout Candidates. Now that Bradshaw is in town, Ballard is now nothing more than a handcuff and a desperation flex option unless Bradshaw gets hurt. And given his track record for foot injuries, Ballard could actually come in handy. Bradshaw’s ADP is currently 98.65, but that will change as we get closer to the regular season.
Panthers RB Jonathan Stewart – Average Draft Position 84.08
Stewart’s value started dwindling when the Panthers decided to keep DeAngelo Williams for 2013 instead of cutting him in the offseason. The coaching staff would love nothing more than to make Stewart the focal point of the backfield, but he’s simply too injury prone. He only played in nine games in 2012. And now that he’s currently questionable for the start of training camp due to injured ankles, Stewart should see his ADP continue to drop heading into August. If Stewart surprisingly winds up ready for Week One, he’s nothing more than a flex option at best considering his history. Expect to see Stewart drop when I fix my running back rankings in the next few weeks.
Eagles WR Jeremy Maclin – Average Draft Position 82.62
Maclin came into the NFL with a lot of hype and was considered by many to emerge as the Eagles’ new No. 1 receiver over DeSean Jackson. Five years later and Maclin is not only finding his fantasy value falling, but there is a good chance he might not be an Eagle beyond 2013 if he can’t impress. With Chip Kelly not married to anyone on the Eagles offense in the post Andy Reid era, Maclin finds himself with a lot of competition for targets from new guys like Arrelious Benn and James Casey. Maclin was usually good as a WR3 with upside in past years, but it’s looking like he will wind up as nothing more than a WR4 with a low ceiling in 2013.
Chargers WR Malcom Floyd – Average Draft Position 204.81
One of the biggest plummets so far. As a Floyd owner in a dynasty league, I’m going to miss what’s left of the value he gave me in 2012. Even though there wasn’t very much. He may have had a season high 56 receptions, but his season as a whole wasn’t anything to write home about. There was still some hope early in the offseason that Floyd might continue to be somewhat of a flex option, but that dream is long gone. Enter 2013, and Floyd is pretty much the lowest of the low in terms of his average draft position. A new coaching staff, an iffy quarterback (see above) and an emerging Vincent Brown are all the ingredients for a lackluster season on the horizon. His ADP should continue to tumble, along with everyone else on the Chargers offense.