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Fantasy Football Wide Receiver Fallers - ADP Analysis for 2023 Drafts

Michael Pittman Jr. - Fantasy Football Rankings, Draft Sleepers, NFL Injury News

Ah, our old friend, ADP. Average Draft Position indicates the mean 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 has our strategies and values players differently depending on what we think is the most important for them 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 who have experienced notable fluctuations in their average draft positions using data from FFPC drafts.

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Fantasy Football Wide Receivers - ADP Fallers


Michael Pittman Jr., Indianapolis Colts

The Colts will have the same pair of receivers hugging the touchlines of the field next year in Michael Pittman Jr. and Alec Pierce. There will be a couple of new faces in town, though, in wideouts Isaiah McKenzie (FA signee) and rookie Josh Downs, although none of those two should threaten the WR1/WR2 role that Pittman/Pierce had last season.

Pittman's ADP, though, has fallen nearly a full round since the start of May in most drafts. He's the only player approaching such a large drop. The reason? Having to endure another mediocre-or-freshman quarterback with Indy moving on from Matt Ryan and now led by either Gardner Minshew or rookie Anthony Richardson.

Even with bad quarterbacking, Pittman is coming off back-to-back years, finishing as a top-20 player at the wide receiver position. That's no small feat, although fantasy GMs went a little crazy last summer and overpaid for Pittman at an average ADP of 32nd OVR only to see him score the 53rd-most fantasy points in PPR leagues, tanking the potential ROI they expected.

This offseason, at last now in the early days, fantasy GMs are being more cautious with Pittman knowing what might be coming. The ADP is still an expensive 60th OVR, but that aligns much better with the expectations (Pittman finished 2021 as the 42nd OVR player and then the 53rd-best last year) than last summer's. Good bet at this price, and even more so if the ADP keeps falling.


DJ Moore, Chicago Bears

The case of DJ Moore is interesting, and a quick glimpse at his ADP trend will tell you why. It was on the rise until just a few days ago when it started to tank massively. Had it not been for that early-May bump up, the fall would be much more pronounced than just a seven-pick drop on average through the last two weeks.

Nothing has really changed in the last few days, though. In fact, we've gotten reports from the Bears camp (from HC Matt Eberflus indeed) saying that Justin Fields "has looked stronger in his rhythm and timing" and that he's making better throws in the early part of the training camp. The only good news for the Bears that could actually hurt DJ Moore's upside a bit is the expected return of Darnell Mooney.

According to the Bears WR coach, Mooney should be ready for training camp after getting injured in Week 12 last year and rehabbing from an ankle injury. Outside of Moore and Mooney, the Bears don't have much to keep defenses honest, which might end up hurting those top-2 wide receivers in terms of dealing with heavy attention.

Moore, while the better player, should be commanding the strongest defender on a play-by-play basis and opening chances for Mooney more than the other way around, thus (I believe) the slight drop in ADP and distrust of some fantasy GMs.

That said, Moore has been a perennial top-35 WR in fantasy leagues since he entered the league in 2018, and it's not that he's played in underloaded offenses led by superstar QBs in Carolina before. Moore has finished the last two seasons with WR2-level production scoring 237.5 and 199.1 PPR points, averaging 14 and 11.7 FPPG, and catching at least 63+ passes for 888+ yards and 4+ TDs in each of those years.

The current ADP is where it should be, so any further fall and drop in price might turn Moore into a true bargain.


Chris Godwin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tampa Bay is a loser by default this offseason. It happens when you go from having the absolute GOAT of the sport manning your pocket... to Baker Mayfield in the best of cases. Ugh.

Other than losing Brady and signing Baker, the Bucs have not really pulled off any magic trick during the past few weeks and months. They drafted WR Trey Palmer and TE Payne Durham and signed Chase Edmonds to bolster a backfield that lost Leonard Fournette. That's pretty much all they have done in the market.

That's not entirely bad for Chris Godwin (or any other skill-position player in the Bucs organization, for that matter), as everybody pretty much retained their roles and will keep them next season. That means Godwin will still play second-fiddle to Mike Evans WR1, while Russell Gage should be the third WR in the position's pecking order.

Just a few days ago, the Bucs' WR coach said that Godwin would take part in a much larger set of plays next season, which might have defenses guessing and keeping them honest when it comes to defending pass plays even more until they can properly scout and know more about what TB has in the books for new QB Baker Mayfield.

In principle, this should boost Godwin's value allowing him to put up numbers in multiple and different ways instead of locking him into a role that might not truly suit him or maximize his talents. However, everything will depend on how quickly the WR and the QB can build good chemistry on the field.

Godwin already had a top-2 finish among players at his position back in 2019 while playing under Jameis Winston, so it's not that he hasn't proven capable of excelling under any circumstance and not just with Tom Brady throwing him the rock (in fact, he finished WR31, WR15, and WR18 with Brady). This multi-role news is promising and should translate to a bump and rise in his ADP, so we'll keep tracking it to see how the trend evolves.

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