2014 Aftermath: Dynasty ADP Risers
This is a very interesting time of year in dynasty leagues. The season is now officially over, and we are less than two weeks away from the combine and the meat of the draft process. Before we get into the incoming rookie class, however, it is important to get a firm grasp on the landscape they will be entering. Average draft position (ADP) is an excellent way of doing just that. I’ve always found it to be a useful exercise to see who has risen the most in ADP from preseason until right after the season and try to weed out who actually deserves the vault in value and who has an overinflated ADP.
All ADP data courtesy of DynastyLeagueFootball.com
C.J. Anderson was easily the highest riser (134 spots, 46th overall) among players who are currently in the top 50 dynasty assets according to January ADP. With Montee Ball and Ronnie Hillman injured, the Broncos leaned heavily on Anderson down the stretch, and as a result, he finished just outside the top 10 in standard scoring leagues. While much of the Broncos reliance on Anderson was out of necessity due to Peyton Manning’s physical limitations, the second year back made the most of his opportunities. The former Cal Golden Bear showed a nice combination of power, wiggle, and receiving skills out of the backfield en route to a final stat line of 849 rushing yards on 179 attempts (4.7 YPC) and eight rushing touchdowns to go with an additional two touchdowns and 325 yards on 34 receptions.
At 24 years old, Anderson is on the upswing of his career arc. Assuming Manning returns next season, the Broncos should once again be a well-oiled machine on offense. The lead back in Manning-led offenses has always been a high-end fantasy asset, and Anderson established himself ahead of his backfield competition with his play. Anderson’s meteoric rise in ADP is justified, but it’s important to remember that Manning may be entering his final season. Anderson may make for an excellent in-season sell candidate after a few big games in 2015.
The second highest riser (109 spots, 48th overall) among January’s top 50 was tight end Travis Kelce, who was a true marvel of efficiency during a season when he was maddeningly underutilized at times by Andy Reid. Kelce’s 10.70 yards per target paced the position by nearly an entire yard (for reference, Rob Gronkowski averaged 9.06 yards per target), and his 12.97 yards per reception was third among the top 20 standard scoring tight ends. Kelce finished eighth overall in points among that group despite the fact that he didn’t play more than 66 percent of snaps until Week 11, when Reid finally realized that he is currently the best pass-catching option the Chiefs have. In the final seven games of the season, Kelce played on average just under 87 percent of the team’s offensive snaps, a pace that over a full season would no doubt lead to more than the 80 targets he received in 2014. With such per play efficiency, those extra targets should vault Kelce into the top five fantasy producers at the position relatively easily. At 25 years old, he should be one of your top targets to acquire in dynasty leagues this offseason.
The next two highest risers among the current top 50 were a pair of rookie wide receivers from LSU: Jarvis Landry (100 spots, 49th overall) and Odell Beckham, Jr. (85 spots, two overall). Landry definitely earned such a leap in ADP after compiling 84 catches for 755 yards (9.0 YPC) and five touchdowns, but I think 49th overall is a little lofty outside of full-PPR leagues. His yards per catch were very low, and his touchdown upside will always be capped by his size (5’11”, 202 lbs.). If anyone in your league values him as more than a dynasty WR3, I’d be looking to move him.
As for Beckham, I’d also say his current ADP (2nd overall) is a little too high. Everyone knows how good Beckham is at this point. He is undoubtedly one of the top dynasty assets and a top end long term dynasty WR1, but there are several other receivers I would take before him, including his rookie counterpart Mike Evans. I think the way in which Evans wins is more sustainable long term, and he is also about to get a young franchise quarterback to grow with for the rest of his career. I’ve seen some dynasty leaguers pay an exorbitant price for the Giants’ rookie. While I am no means labeling him as a sell, it is definitely worth inquiring with your league mates about what they would pay for him. You should be willing to sell any player for the right price.
The highest riser from August to January regardless of overall ADP was Charles Johnson (172 spots, 69th overall). His 31-catch, 476-yard (15.4 YPC) and two-touchdown campaign shouldn’t come as much of a surprise to dynasty owners who have been paying attention. Johnson and his elite athleticism (4.39 40-yard dash, 39.5″ vertical) have been on the fantasy sleeper radar with Packers and Browns since he was taken in the seventh round by Green Bay in 2013. He played on at least 90 percent of Minnesota’s offensive snaps in every game after Week 11 while establishing himself as the Vikings’ best pass catcher. His price as the 35th overall wide receiver in terms of January ADP leaves room for growth given his skillset, and he should benefit from his potential growth next to a good young quarterback in Teddy Bridgewater. I’d be buying.
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