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Early Preseason ADP Fallers at Quarterback

I am going to start this column by introducing the concept of ADP, which I'm pretty sure you know what it is about. Average Draft Position (ADP) indicates the average position where a player is drafted over more than one fantasy football draft. You can consider it as the price you have to pay to draft and get a player on your team. A high ADP (that is actually a low-numbered ADP) means that a player is getting off draft boards early, and thus you'll need to draft him in the first rounds if you truly want him.

Low or high ADP values, though, are not gospel. Each of us fantasy GMs have our strategies and value players differently depending on what we think is the most important for them to have in terms of abilities. No matter what, though, ADPs are good to know how the "average value" of the "average GM" you'll be drafting against is for each asset (in this case, the players). By now, with free agency and the draft well finalized and just a few players left to be signed, it makes sense to go look at how ADPs are varying during the last month as we get closer to peak draft season.

In this series, I’ll highlight players at each skill position seeing significant fluctuation since the start of May using data from FFPC drafts. Today, it's time to look at three quarterback fallers.

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Quarterbacks - ADP Fallers

 

Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers

This deep into the offseason, it is reasonable to find bigger falls rather than bigger rises around the league because of training camp injuries, holdouts, issues with teammates, adapting to playbooks, etc... Rodgers sits right in the middle of everything, or at least a good chunk of those potential issues. While A-Rod's ADP was pretty much stabilized through mid-to-late May, it has cratered in the first few weeks of June.

You know the story by now, and if you don't, I will summarize it in a rather simple way: Rodgers might be out of Green Bay by the time we reach Week 1. The last news we have about Rodgers is, well, that we don't have news about Rodgers. Aaron was absent from Green Bay's mandatory minicamp at the start of June because seemingly he doesn't want to play for the Packers anymore. Uh oh.

Unless the Packers decide to not trade him away and he sits the season out, you can be sure Rodgers will be out there on some field throwing passes to whoever it might be. The concerns in the fantasy-GM community are large and growing larger, obviously, as you don't want to spend a first-half pick on a guy that ends with a zero over the season. But assuming Rodgers ends up playing (in Green Bay or elsewhere), we're talking about a QB1-lock with upside to finish as a top-six quarterback like he's done in four years of the past seven. ADP of QB12 for a projection of QB6? Give me all of Rodgers' shares, please and thank you.

 

 

Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons

Two words: Julio Jones. I know, a receiver doesn't make or break a quarterback, and Julio has been on a downtrend of late as he's aged into his 30s, but even then Jones was still Atlanta's best and most-proven playmaker, whether you like it or not. Ryan won't have him around anymore, which sucks for the QB as he enters one of his last seasons as a pro.

Ryan will have to make the offense work while throwing the ball to Calvin Ridley (great), Russell Gage (good), and... that's it? Can we count Mike Davis as a potentially good pass-catcher running routes from the backfield? I don't know folks, this looks shaky at best, and I absolutely understand the concerns and impact of Julio's trade on Ryan's ADP.

I left TE Kyle Pitts out of the last paragraph on purpose. Ridley is clearly the WR1 of the squad, and Kyle Pitts has been so overly-hyped since even before the draft that you have to think Pitts will be enough to make up for (at least) a bit of what Jones returned during the past two seasons. But I'm not that high on Pitts and won't believe it until I see it.

Ryan will probably end up as a borderline QB1 once more because of his passing profile (huge volume! bombs away! scoring galore!), but there is also the chance he doesn't connect with his new toys and sees a downtick in counting stats, which would therefore be on par with his ADP fall.

 

Trevor Lawrence, Jacksonville Jaguars

At the time of this writing, Matt Ryan (read above) and Lawrence are separated by a measly four-pick difference in ADP. Less than half a round, and both getting drafted in the 10th round of 12-team leagues. The problem with the reasoning of drafting Lawrence that "high", though, is that Ryan projects to 311+ FP and a QB11 finish while Lawrence's projection sits at a much-lower 282 FP and a QB19 season. Uh oh, that negative value right there.

Let's make a quick summary of the rookie's offseason. Lawrence was seemingly expected to be on a pitch count throughout the camps, but he finally wasn't under any restrictions and throwing normally. Later in May, it was reported that Lawrence was kind of struggling on RZ throws (per coach Urban Meyer). Lawrence kicked off the second week of June with hamstring tightness, and by mid-June, it was actually confirmed that the QB would be limited due to that issue.

Not a lot of good news coming from the Jaguars' camp, am I right? Nothing to panic about, but keep in mind that 1) Lawrence is a rookie, 2) Jacksonville is not exactly carrying a surplus of top-tier wideouts, 3) let alone tight ends and Tim Tebows, and 4) James Robinson and Travis Etienne should rack up tons of touches through the year given their past and their potential, respectively.

Drafting a rookie QB in redraft leagues is quite a gamble, so the ADP should be low and drop even more as we get closer to September. Justin Herbert lucked into a starting role last season and became the first rookie since 2012 to score more than 300 FP in his freshman year. Cam Newton and Robert Griffin III are the only other two QBs to do so in the past 20 seasons. An ADP of QB15 is definitely too rich for my blood considering Cam and Herbert were drafting as QB23 and QB24. Clear fade at his price, Trevor Lawrence.



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