By John Doylemason
Over the preseason, player values will be constantly changing. In fact by the time you read this, there is a good chance that something has changed from when I’m writing it. That’s why it’s super important to stay on top of all the latest news during the preseason. To save you some time, I looked at the average draft position (ADP) using FantasyFootballcalculator.com to determine some of the ADP Risers over the past few weeks. It is important to note that this information is derived from mocks and drafts across the country, so this information is very fluid and changes daily. That being said, you can greatly aide your own drafts using these mocks to discover trends on your favorite picks for the season and how they will pan out as your draft goes along.
My biggest piece of advice in reading ADP Risers is to maintain your own big board as much as possible, whilst including injury information. Depth charts in the preseason are about as valuable as penny candy because they do not correctly predict what will occur once the games actually count. However, while starter’s playing time increases during the preseason, you’ll be able to get a feel for players who’s roles will be growing/shrinking going into the season. Luckily, we will be covering all that so you don’t need to scout the games yourself. Just come back to TopTeamFantasy.com often and get all the latest news and analysis!
So without further ado, let’s take a look at some of the risers so far this preseason!
Carson Palmer – I’m completely on board with Palmer’s rise in drafts. Last year in Oakland, with a vertical passing game, he was a 4000 yard QB for the first time since 2007, then starring for the Bengals. With new OC Bruce Arians in Arizona, Palmer once again will have a vertical passing game, but now has the best WR he’s played with in his career (yes, that’s including Chad Johnson in his prime) in Larry Fitzgerald. Reports out of camp have the Palmer/Fitzgerald relationship bearing fruit. Michael Floyd and Rob Housler also provide Palmer with two talented young targets that will stop defenses from completely focusing on Fitzgerald. Since July 29th, Palmer has seen his ADP rise by almost a full round, such that he’s now being drafted 18th at QB. The Cardinals still have a very porous offensive line and Palmer doesn’t have the mobility to be able to thrive in that situation, but they should be playing from behind a ton so he should have plenty of opportunities to rack up yards. Draft him with confidence as a QB2.
Sam Bradford - Sam was one of few starting QBs to throw a TD in the Thursday slate of games. His chemistry with Chris Givens looked excellent and his offensive line was impeccable. The addition of Jake Long will certainly pay dividends for Bradford. Watching the game tape over and over one could see the grasp Bradford has on the offense. Although his receivers are younger and newly acquired TE Jared Cook being the elder statesmen, the offense seemed to know its place. Many Rams will be undervalued throughout the draft given the team’s past struggles. Bradford however has been creeping up boards. Earlier in August, he was a borderline 13th-14th rounder and now he is nearly at the top of the 13th. This rise is in only one preseason game which he played very sparingly. Once fantasy fans see Jared Cook in the redzone and the RBBC situation smooth over, Bradford could rocket 1-2 rounds up. He is still a QB2 or matchup based flier, but definitely worthy to keep an eye on.
DeAngelo Williams – Injury news prior to the first preseason game of partner Jonathan Stewart turned this RBBC into the DeAngelo show. Skyrocketing 2 rounds in one month will do that. Sure to receive the bulk of the carries early, DeAngelo is on the rise and into the early 8th round. I would not weigh heavily into the injury news however, as it can change from day to day. Coach Ron Rivera has come out recently stating Stewart could be ready by the first game. Although he still has to be activated off the PUP list and receive reps in camp, he is the younger and more dynamic back of the duo. With Cam Newton still taking goal-line carries and new offensive coordinator Mike Shula bringing some uncertainty to how the run game will divvied up, Williams’ rise is not something I’m completely buying into yet.
Daryl Richardson – Isaiah Pead fumbled in the first preseason game and likely ceded any gains made in camp to Richardson. If Pead overcomes Fisher’s doghouse, it’ll be a RBBC, but for now, Daryl is the guy. For some reason I am deathly afraid of drafting Richardson in the early 6th (moved up from mid 7th). While Richardson bounds up draft boards, I don’t believe this is the last we hear from Pead (or Zac Stacy). Although Richardson is the leader in that committee right now, at 5″10, 195 lbs, it’s unlikely he has the ability to handle a three down role. At that price, I’m staying away.
Ronnie Hillman – An early depth chart from camp listed Hillman as the lead back and made a case for holding onto it by performing well in limited time against SF while Montee Ball struggled. As a result, he skyrocketed in drafted moving up from the 12th round to the top of the 8th. I would not read too far into his rise either, citing the same issue as Richardson. Heir apparents in waiting exist (Pead for Richardson and Ball for Hillman) and both coaches seem likely to employ a thunder and lightning approach to their run games. While Hillman can secure a larger piece of the pie if he performs well in pass protection, Montee Ball is still the favorite for short yardage and goal-line carries. An 8th rounder can get you so much more value than a RBBC lead who is doomed to cede duties.
Chris Johnson – He looked every bit as potent as he did in his banner year. Two carries, 60 yards and a TD. Wow. Although his masterful 58 yard TD run featured some nifty jukes I cannot even do in Madden, his other play was a struggle for yardage as he danced behind the line looking for holes. Luckily, the team drafted the mountainous Chance Warmack to clear plenty of holes for him. He still appears a little raw and his feel for the system will need to be honed, but the OG is immensely powerful and very fast. On the Shonn Greene run he looked very nimble as he pulled from right to left. Johnson may have some negative plays, but he also has major explosive ones too so his rise from the middle to the top of the second round is warranted. The team invested heavily in their defense and run game and look to return to a ground and pound mentality they had in 2008. (Still lost to my Ravens though, whammy). it was clear, however, that Jake Locker is not the answer. This team will run a ton with a game manager QB. CJ2K, perhaps not. CJ1.6K, very likely. Since that preseason game, his ADP has risen almost half a round, moving him to 11th at RB, a place I’d be comfortable taking him.
Ryan Broyles – As much as Matt Stafford threw the ball in 2012, there is plenty opportunity for another WR to shine. With Calvin Johnson being the real CJ2K, Broyles will pick up the scraps, which equates to a full plate on other teams. I would buy into the mild rise (12th to 11th). Broyles is going so late in drafts his potential warrants another look. Although he may only be the 4th most targeted, he’ll be the 4th in the Lions pass attack, and that accounts for something. Given the limited snaps Stafford had in the Detroit opener, it could be very possible Broyles will rocket up higher with decent production. Keep everything in perspective, but Broyles can be a very potent late round flier.
Sidney Rice – The knee injury turned out to be overhyped. It was non-surgical procedure and he is expected to play in the preseason at some point. At which time his value will skyrocket. It is already steadily creeping and has risen about one round a month (starting at a stagnant 14th) since May 18th. Given the Harvin injury, his stock surged but then dipped when it became known his knee needed work in the neutral site of Switzerland. Fear not, he needs to be drafted earlier than his early 11th round rating and his stock will skyrocket once he catches a TD in the preseason. Wilson is on record stating how much he appreciates Rice’s veteran presence and complimented his incredible catch range. If Brett Favre can make Rice produce, I’m sure Russell Wilson can at least come close. Definitely buy into the small rises because they will be major waves soon.
Vincent Brown – Danario Alexander succumbed to the ACL tear and while Malcom Floyd takes the WR1 spot, the latest news from camp and hopes of the staff are that Brown will become a major threat in San Diego. Malcom Floyd went down recently with a minor knee strain sending Brown on another surge. He has risen a full round (10th to 9th) and continues to rise as Floyd will be down for sometime. While Brown is intriguing, keep your expectations in check because while the upside is great, he only has 19 career receptions and is very far from proven. Additionally, Floyd is still the #1 option, albeit an aging one. Vincent Brown may over take him as the season goes. I’m cautiously buying, especially in dynasty formats, but I wouldn’t want him as a starter in 3 WR leagues just yet.
Aaron Dobson – Dobson has been a name thrown around a lot out of Patriots camp as a guy to potentially be the opening day starter. While Danny Amendola will be the featured receiver, Dobson has the talent to make his presence felt. A great late round flier that has gone from the middle of the 11th to the early part of the 10th. Guys he’s going in front of include Alshon Jeffery, the aforementioned Ryan Broyles and Sidney Rice, and the super underrated Kendall Wright. Kembrell Thompkins has had an amazing camp and has a legitimate shot to win that job. Look into the preseason to see how the shakeout occurs. Until then, I’m not buying Dobson at that price. The Patriots will be running a ton and are geared more towards the short passing game rather than stretching the field with the deep ball. One of those WRs will have a lot of value this year, but I’m far from convinced that guy is Dobson.
Fred Davis – Glass receivers lead the threats for RG3 in Washington but Fred Davis may be the biggest beneficiary in the redzone. Many are hoping his early TD in the preseason will be more to come. He has risen nearly two rounds from 14th to early 12th over the two weeks. We can see the chemistry already with Kirk Cousins at the helm. Davis is an elite athlete and play action pass plays, a staple in Shanahan’s offense, thrive on quality TE play. Logan Paulson will snatch a few grabs but Davis is the superior pass catcher. I would invest heavily in this rise as I have Davis ranked much higher on my board than many others.
Tyler Eifert - Reports out of camp are than Eifert is everything Cincinnati is hoping for and it is showing in his rise from late 13th to late 12th round over the last two weeks. Jermaine Gresham has been largely underwhelming given his NFL draft position and if Eifert can continue his surge at camp he could make waves on the depth chart. I still believe Gresham will be the lead dog in Cincy for some time. The hill is too far to climb this year and you can grab suitable TEs in better situations. I would not buy into a rookie TE with a capable incumbent ahead of him when you can grab a starting TE around the same position like Jordan Cameron, Heath Miller (assuming he can get healthy) and Brandon Pettigrew all going after him.