ADP Arbitrage - Redraft Mid-Round Value Picks

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Every year there are players at each position who fly under the radar during the offseason, only to outperform players who were drafted much higher. The individuals who can identify players with low ADP that have the potential to perform at a similar or higher level to the more highly-touted players oftentimes are the same individuals who have a good chance to win their league.

Although it can be difficult to pinpoint the exact players who will outperform their pre-season ADP, there is a method of simplification. By comparing players with late-round ADP to players who are going in the first two rounds of the draft, it is possible to find high value players in the middle and late rounds of the draft.

Using the ADP from Fantasyfootballcalculator.com, I have identified five mid-to-late round players in a re-draft setting who can provide more value than their counterparts.

Editor's note: Purchase any NFL Lineup Optimizer pass (including daily DFS cheat sheets), and you also get access to NBA and NHL Optimizers and DFS cheat sheets.

 

Mid-Round Assets for Re-draft

Comparison 1: Bilal Powell (7.01) and Jordan Howard (2.02)

The first player that I think is a great value pick is New York Jets running back Bilal Powell. All early indications suggest that Powell is likely to take over the starting job from the aging Matt Forte, and with the recent moves made by the Jets, it would not be too surprising to see Forte get released later in the offseason. Powell has shown promise when given opportunity, averaging 4.5 YPC in 2015 and 5.5 YPC in 2016. Pair his production and fresh legs with the second-easiest schedule versus opponent rush defense and he could be in line for a breakout fantasy season. Look for Powell to be a bright spot for the lowly Jets this season, similar to Jordan Howard in Chicago last season.

Comparison 2: Eric Decker (10.03) and Dez Bryant (2.07)

Newly acquired Tennessee Titans wide receiver Eric Decker is another player that has the potential to produce comparable numbers to a more highly-regarded wide receiver, Dallas Cowboys' Dez Bryant. The Titans seem to be a perfect destination for the veteran wideout due to both the positional need and the talent at the quarterback position. Look for quarterback Marcus Mariota, who excels in the redzone, to look for the sure-handed Decker often when the team is within striking distance. Decker has been a touchdown machine over the last five NFL seasons with 51 receiving touchdowns, trailing only Rob Gronkowski (55) and Dez Bryant (53) for the NFL lead.  Over that stretch, Bryant only has 156 more yards than Decker. Both Decker and Bryant had to deal with injuries last season, but with both now healthy, look for the trend of similar performance to continue.

Comparison 3: Martellus Bennett (7.06) and Rob Gronkowksi (2.09)

Watch for another player in a new home, tight end Martellus Bennett of the Green Bay Packers, to also be a great value pick in the mid-to-late rounds of the draft. Bennett thrived in the New England Patriots offense a season ago, totaling 701 yards and seven touchdowns and exceeding the performance of the injury-plagued Rob Gronkowski. Pairing Bennett with quarterback Aaron Rodgers and the NFL's leading scoring pass offense should maintain his production from a season ago, allowing him to offer comparable value to the unanimous TE1, Gronkowski. Should Gronkowski be able to put together a full season, it is unlikely that Bennett will match his production; however, Gronk has only averaged playing in around 11 games per year since 2011. Bennett has played four full seasons in the last five years, and his durability and perfect situation in Green Bay suggest that he will provide great value for a tight end drafted in the seventh or eighth round.

Comparison 4: Samaje Perine (8.05) and Leonard Fournette (2.06)

Last season, rookie running backs Ezekiel Elliott and Jordan Howard busted onto the scene and finished the season as the RB2 and RB9 respectively. This season, most of the attention is being garnered by running backs Leonard Fournette, Christian McCaffery, and Joe Mixon; however, keep an eye out for Washington Redskins rookie running back Samaje Perine. Perine is not a sexy choice like the players listed above, but he does have the skill and opportunity to make a similar impact. He has the best-graded offensive line of the four players mentioned, has little competition for touches, and is in a very fantasy-friendly offense. Reports from the Redskins camp reveal that Coach Jay Gruden has been very impressed by the rookie's work ethic and ability. Should he take over most of the early-down carries from Rob Kelley, expect Perine to produce comparable numbers to his more hyped rookie counterparts at an extremely discounted price.

Comparison 5: Marcus Mariota (9.07) and Aaron Rodgers (2.10)

This comparison is not necessarily a prediction that Tennessee Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota will outscore, or even match, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers. This is, however, an analysis of the value gained at each pick. In order for an early quarterback selection to pay off it is vital that the player chosen consistently outperforms mid-to-late round options at the position. With the added receiving threats, strong offensive line, and top five run game the Titans offense figures to be a fantasy gold mind. Mariota has all of the support and talent to be a consistent, high-scoring quarterback this season. His running ability and near-perfect redzone performance boost his value, making him a very solid option to be your QB1. With this in mind, it would be more beneficial to wait on your quarterback selection until rounds eight or nine and use that early round pick on a second-tier running back or wide receiver.

 

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