For this look at some guys undervalued in terms of Average Draft Position (ADP), I used MyFantasyLeague full-PPR best ball data. These leagues are for real money, so I find them to have the most accurate ADP – even if best ball (draft only leagues) have some different strategy than season long. As we prepare for drafts, understanding what our opponents think of players is almost as important as what we think of players. Take time to wrap your head around ADP.
For last week’s lost at overvalued players, bang it here.
Below are five guys I think are values at their current ADP:
1. Arian Foster, ADP 14.9
The main reason Arian Foster is slipping into the early part of the second round is injury history – he’s missed 11 games over the last two years and been hobbled in a fistful of others. Granted, this is a legit concern. Foster will be 29 later this month and has had at least 260 carries in four of the last five seasons. Injury Predictor’s algorithm puts him around a 90 percent favorite to miss at least one game this year.
All that said, the per-game reward on Foster is massive. He was fantasy’s No. 2 RB in points per game last year, behind only DeMarco Murray. Our Graham Barfield has pointed out that Foster has been a top-12 RB in 67 percent of the games he’s played over the last five years. Coaches love riding this guy – he’s touched the ball an average of 23.5 times per game during that five-year span. He’s a game-flow neutral back as he excels in the pass game. And for a cherry on top, Foster enjoyed a completely healthy offseason and participated fully in OTAs.
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2. Sam Bradford, ADP 149.7
Michael Vick, Nick Foles and Mark Sanchez have combined to throw 59 touchdown passes across Chip Kelly’s two-year tender in Philly. They’ve run for six more. I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that a healthy Sam Bradford is better than anyone in that trio at this point in their respective careers.
For everyone that wants to rip Bradford for his time in St. Louis, I’ll say this: He’s going from the league’s worst offensive line to one of the best. Going from Brian Schottenheimer, Jeff Fisher and Steve Spagnuolo to Chip. From one of the toughest defensive divisions to one of the softest. From Tavon Austin, Brian Quick and Jared Cook to Jordan Matthews, Zach Ertz and Nelson Agholor. From the league’s third-slowest paced team (59.8 plays/game) to the fastest (70.7).
Yes, Bradford has an ugly injury history dating all the way back to Oklahoma. But Chip’s sports science methods produced the league’s second-fewest injuries in each of his two years with the Eagles. As a late-round QB truther, I’ll roll the dice with Bradford as my QB1 and be happy about it.
3. Doug Martin, ADP 89.0
The Bucs coaching staff can’t stop talking up Charles Sims. They’re also talking out of both sides of their mouth. Sims only got 8.2 carries per game as a rookie and was dreadfully ineffective with them, forcing a pitiful six missed tackles on 66 attempts and averaging a miserable 1.36 yards per carry. This offseason, Doug Martin shed weight (which correlates directly with increasing YPC) and reportedly had the best offseason of his career. He monopolized the first-team reps. Sims’ rookie-year tape suggests he’ll max out as a passing back, leaving Martin to gobble up all the early-down work in an offense that should be drastically improved thanks to the arrivals of Dirk Koetter and Jameis Winston. The eighth round is not a steep price to pay for a shot at a feature back.
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4. Rashad Jennings, ADP 79.8
Andre Williams isn’t very good at football. He’s an absolute liability as a pass-catcher, ranked 41st among PFF’s 57 qualifiers yards after contact per attempt and finished at 3.32 YPC. Shane Vereen is a very useful football player on pass downs, but is not one that will be used as a runner in the red zone and not one that has shown signs of carrying anything close to big workloads.
All this leads us to Rashad Jennings, who Ben McAdoo saddled up and rode heavily last season when he could. In Jennings’ first eight outings as a Giant, he averaged 19.2 carries and 3.2 catches per game. That kind of usage isn’t typically available seventh round. I’m happy to take a shot while fully understanding Jennings’ age (turned 30 in March) and injury history.
5. Mike Wallace, ADP 80.7
I like prototypical size/speed breakout candidate Charles Johnson a lot. His game against the Jets in Week 14 last year was one of the highlights of my FanDuel season. Johnson is Norv Turner’s every-down X, a traditionally voluminous position. I still think there’s more value in using a seventh- or eighth-round pick on the forgotten Mike Wallace than the buzzy Johnson.
Even though Johnson played on 94.9 percent of the snaps over the final six weeks, he only averaged 3.1 catches for 54.6 yards with two touchdowns on 6.6 targets. Jarius Wright was far more effective on a per-snap basis. Meanwhile, Wallace’s (earned) reputation as a locker room cancer shouldn’t overshadow gamebreaking ability. If Ryan Tannehill could throw a deep ball, Wallace’s 67-862-10 line from last year would have looked far, far better. The bomb isn’t Teddy Bridgewater’s calling card, but he’s Dan Fouts compared to Tannehill. More encouragingly last year, Wallace showed an ability to not just be a burner by posting a reasonable 62.0 catch rate at a top-21 aDOT (average depth of target) of 14.8. This feels a little bit like last year’s Ravens situation, we everyone – myself included – thought Torrey Smith would be Gary Kubiak’s voluminous X. It turned out to be Steve Smith getting peppered with targets.
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