Chris Wesseling

Draft Analysis

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Down with ADP: QBs & RBs

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


With training camps wrapping up and two exhibition games in the books, depth charts are solidifying and clear drafts trends are starting to emerge. Using Fantasy Football Calculator's Average Draft Position tool, I've focused in on players to target and others to avoid in this year's drafts. Below is a breakdown of the quarterbacks and runningbacks. I'll deconstruct the wide receivers and tight ends in the next ADP analysis.

Editor's Note: Get Rotoworld's updated rankings, projections, and fantasy analysis in the 2011 Fantasy Football Draft Guide.

Quarterbacks

First Round ADP

Michael Vick, 1.07
Aaron Rodgers, 1.11

Weekly fantasy points by team QB in 2010:

1. Eagles - 25.06
2. Packers - 23.00
3. Patriots - 22.94
4. Colts - 21.31
5. Broncos - 20.63
6. Chargers - 20.56
7. Saints - 20.50
8. Cowboys - 18.75

Vick's per week average is the outlier at 28.08 -- more than one passing score per week better than any other QB. I was asked on Twitter over the weekend, "What's the biggest key to winning fantasy football championships?" My answer has always been: Swing for the fences. Collect the players who give your team a weekly advantage over the rest of the owners in the league. As all of the 2010 Vick owners with championship banners can attest, he was the preeminent difference-maker last season.

Fast-forward eight months and all those without Vick on their team last season forget that he put more trophies on the mantle than any other player. Detractors cry "injury-prone" and wring their hands over his alleged late-season slide. That's fine. Just note that Vick has played 15+ games in all but one season that he entered as the starter. It's hard to believe Rodgers is widely viewed as a "safer" pick after last year's concussion issues. For all of the talk of Vick's trouble reading blitzes in December, he closed out the season as the top fantasy QB over the final month -- averaging more than 30 points per week. He's a no-brainer as the top fantasy QB and a first-round pick.

Second-Fourth Round ADP

Tom Brady, 2.07
Philip Rivers, 3.03
Drew Brees, 3.06
Peyton Manning, 4.02
Tony Romo, 4.09

The Rotoworld Draft Guide confidently ranks Brady as the No. 3 QB. As Gregg Rosenthal points out, though, there's very little separation among the QBs in this tier. Unless you're convinced Brady is a lock for 40+ scores with a red-zone juggernaut, there's no reason to reach for any one of these QBs in the second or early-third round. … Romo may well be the best value here.

Fifth-Seventh Round ADP

Matt Schaub, 5.09
Matt Ryan, 6.04
Ben Roethlisberger, 6.11
Josh Freeman, 7.12

Two QBs stand out from the crowd here -- Ryan and Big Ben. Both are elite NFL signal-callers entering the season with the deepest collection of receivers they've ever enjoyed. Roethlisberger is in the best physical shape of his career, and Ryan is primed for an MVP-level season with explosive rookie Julio Jones and revitalized slot receiver Harry Douglas emerging as dangerous down-field weapons. I can't emphasize this enough: target Ryan late in the fifth or early in the sixth if you opt to bypass the top seven QBs. … Schaub and Freeman are both overrated at their current ADPs.

Eighth-Tenth Round ADP

Matthew Stafford, 8.06
Eli Manning, 9.01
Sam Bradford, 9.07
Kevin Kolb, 10.03
Joe Flacco, 10.05
Jay Cutler, 10.12

Breakout candidates Stafford and Bradford are the cream of this crop and could very well finish Nos. 1-2 in pass attempts this season. Don't play it safe if you've waited this long to address the position. Go for a QB who at least has the potential to keep up with the rest of the owners in the league if things break right. … Manning is commonly cited as a bargain. I wouldn't be so certain after losing safety blankets Steve Smith and Kevin Boss. … Flacco is a better pick with perfect match Lee Evans finally lending a deep speed element. … Kolb's ADP is too high behind a brutal pass-blocking offensive line.


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Chris Wesseling is a senior football editor and Dynasty league analyst for Rotoworld.com. The 2011 NFL season marks his fifth year with Rotoworld and his third year contributing to NBCSports.com. He can be found on Twitter @ChrisWesseling.
Email :Chris Wesseling



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