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The Gut Check No. 416: Crank Tiers

Matt Waldman creates draft tiers using adjusted Consistency Scores with 12 rounds of players. 

Last week, I posted Consistency-Rank (Crank) Scores from 2016 for the 2017 draft pool. This week, I am posting draft tiers for 12 rounds worth of players for 2017 with Adjusted Crank Scores. 

Crank Scores measure the consistent quality production of a player over a given period of time. I have two types of Crank Scores; Crank I heavily factors fantasy points per game but doesn't punish players for missing games. Crank II doesn't factor fantasy points per game as much and incorporates missing games as a punishing factor. You can learn more about Crank in last week's post. If not, it's okay if you're only here for the answers. 

Adjusted Crank Scores are my method of using the previous year's Crank outcomes and projecting a change based on what I expect to happen in 2017. I created an adjustment scale that factors personnel changes, role changes, previous and current injuries and/or games missed due to suspension. These factors are assigned values of increase or decrease that lead to one number I call "Change." Every player begins with a "Change" of 1 because that change will be multiplied to their Crank Scores. If there is no change, the number 1 keeps it the same. If there are changes, the following factors the reason:

  • Time missed last year with injury/suspension: The percentage of the season missed and added to the original number.  
  • Time missed this year with injury/suspension: A projected percentage of the season missed and subtracted from the original number.
  • A major decline in a player's talent/role or decline in surrounding talent that directly impacts his role: A 75 percent decrease. Think a change in QB/WR/TE for the passing game that earned a major downgrade in talent or multiple losses along the offensive line for the QB or RB. Or the player has been released to a much worse team and made a backup or contributor rather than a starter.
  • A minor decline in a player's talent/role or decline in surrounding talent that indirectly impacts his role: A 25 percent decrease. Think a downgraded offensive line and its impact on a WR or the change in QB for an RB. Or, a player has been downgraded to a committee player or will no longer have the offensive scheme focused on him as much due to an upgrade in surrounding talent and/or change to the system. 
  • Little to no change: Or, in some cases, the positive/negative changes cancel each other out. No adjustment is given and the "Change" remains "1".  
  • A minor increase in a player's talent/role or increase in surrounding talent that indirectly impacts the player: A 25 percent increase. See examples from the decrease section.
  • A major increase in a player's talent/role or increase in surrounding talent that indirectly impacts the player: A 75 percent increase.  See examples from the decrease section. 
As with any set of projections, nothing is perfect with this system. The flaws will be with my perception of how the data will change and it means I could be dead-wrong with my rationale. I will provide that rational for you in my commentary of each player. 
 
There will also be positions in these tiers where I did not agree with the outcome of the projections but could not figure out a way to make an accurate projection to reflect my thoughts. It means some players will be significantly higher/lower than my Footballguys rankings.
 
These are the players you'll especially want to note because they are candidates to become major surprises or specific "Waldman favorites" who could be are poised to flop. You may want to avoid these players if you haven't fully bought my previous rationale about the player and the risk quotient is high due to his ADP. 
 
Because this is about projecting past quality production to the future, there will be no rookies in these tiers. You can add them yourself if you decide to convert this to a cheat sheet. Most of you will find it more beneficial to note specific players you've been researching and use this information as another layer of data.
 

Adjusted Crank Tiers

The tiers are sorted by the Crank II version of the score, which factors injury more and fantasy points per week less. I also show Crank I scores in case you want to sort them this way, but I think they are overly optimistic on their own. I use them as a tiebreaker when Crank II scores are equal. ADPs are also listed so you can see the value relative of Crank to the market value.

This is not meant as a tiered cheat sheet because you'll find some markedly different tier values relative to the ADPs of the players. Some of the adjustments I made are too limited for my expectations (both high and low) for these players. Instead of trying to consistently rig a way to reflect something reasonable in these cases, I find it's potential instructive to leave it as-is. 

It's possible some of these extreme differences could lead to massive success or failure if you act on the data below. It means these exceptional differences do a good job of highlighting a risk-reward. These scores are generated for 12-team PPR leagues with 1 QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, 1 TE, and 1 Flex play. 

Green highlights are players with significant value if my adjustments are correct. Yellow represents caution. Pink means steer clear. 

Tier I are the early first-round caliber consistent scores.

ADPPosTier IPlayerCrankICrankIIChangesAdjIAdjIIComments
 1  RB David Johnson 136.7 55 1.25 170.9 68.8 Johnson earns an indirect upgrade thanks to the return of JaRon Brown and the potential return of John Brown. Greater balance leads to better down and distance scenarios with his touches. Johnson's unadjusted and adjusted scores show a huge gap between himself and his peers. This is also true of current VBD with Johnson and LeVeon Bell and the rest of the draft pool now that Ezekiel Elliot's suspension could cost him half of the regular fantasy season. Drafting from an early position provides a terrific inherent advantage.  
3 WR Antonio Brown 103.8 53 1.25 129.7 66.3 The health factor with Crank II cuts the gap between Johnson and Antonio Brown and Odell Beckham even if the weight of fantasy points per game with Original Crank does not. Another factor is the lineup rules that favor receivers. Brown earns an indirect upgrade from last year thanks to the return of Martavis Bryant, a reliable big-play threat who will command a defense's attention that will open the field for Brown in ways that the less reliable Sammie Coates could not do without a high volume of targets to offset his mistakes.
WR Odell Beckham 89.8 53 1.25 112.3 66.3 The additions of Brandon Marshall and Evan Engram will force defenses into binds that will leave Beckham open more often than when he was by far the biggest priority of the opponent's game plan. Beckham remains that biggest priority, but that gap will narrow with these additions and that's an indirect benefit for a greater efficiency of targets. 
11  WR Jordy Nelson 104.2 61 1 104.2 61.0 Nelson was stellar down the stretch. Some say it was at the expense of a Randall Cobb injury. However, Nelson also gained more confidence in his rehabbed knee as the season progressed. I think both factors are a wash, which means his situation remains unchanged from last year--even with the addition of Martellus Bennett who should also indirectly help Nelson find open seams when safeties or linebackers are forced to account for the tight end. If you want to add 0.25 to the change and bump him close to, or above Brown, won't get an argument from me.  
WR Mike Evans 83.2 48 1.25 104.0 60.0 Evans also benefits indirectly from the additions of DeSean Jackson, O.J Howard, and the eventual return of Doug Martin. Like Beckham, Nelson, and possibly Brown, there's also a tipping point where enough weapons can cannibalize the production of the top target. I have concerns that this could be the case for Evans, but I'm rolling with the indirect benefit. 
 

None of the players above is a major surprise unless you were expecting more running backs in a PPR format that can allow up to four wide receivers to two running backs. Tier II has some ADP-to-Crank oddities but they make worthwhile discussion points that may lead to potential value. Larry Fitzgerald, Terrelle Pryor, Michael Crabtree, and Julian Edelman are those players in question.

Remember this Tier could, in theory, account for picks 6-18. Even the guys I have has "proceed with caution" also look like potential values, so get right with how you regard them. 

ADPPosTier IIPlayerCrankICrankIIChangesAdjIAdjIIComments
14 RB DeMarco Murray 80.8 45 1.25 101.0 56.3 Why is Murray's ADP 14 when he finished No. 4 overall among fantasy players in 2016? Is it age? He's only 29. That's usually a prime year before the period of swift decline that ageists track. Is it health? Murray has only missed one game in three years. Is it Derrick Henry? Probably. But for me, I worry less about a committee eating into Murray's targets and more about not having Henry to slide into my lineups behind a fantastic run-based offensive system in Tennesse if Murray gets hurt. I'm pretty neutral about the concept of handcuffs, but I'm all-in on talent. Henry is a talent and this team could be a lot like the Kansas City Chiefs of the early 2000s when Priest Holmes and Larry Johnson were worth cuffing because both could deliver top-5 production at the position when called upon. Murray earned an indirect upgrade due to Eric Decker and Corey Davis.  
 38  WR Terrelle Pryor 41.0 32 1.75 71.7 56.0 Pryor is one of my must-have players this year. The upgrade from Cody Kessler-Robert Griffin to Kurt Cousins is a direct benefit. Pryor should earn more red zone targets and not be the top priority of defenses in the passing game. Well, at least for the first 4-6 games. After that, he might have more challenges. If the adjustment goes the way of Marvin Jones circa 2016 that could be a problem. I'm optimistic that the system similarities won't make the adjustment as cumbersome. There is a true top-10 overall upside for Pryor, a Julio Jones-like athlete who has flashed skill to dominate top cornerbacks. His consistency adjustment to a better offense underscores this potential well.
 57  WR Larry Fitzgerald 62.4 44 1.25 78.0 55.0 The return of JaRon Brown and possibly John Brown (although becoming doubtful with renewed concerns with his quad) should make life moderately easier for Fitzgerald and this offense. This is one older receiver who should be excellent until the very end of his career when the offense can sustain production. I think it will.  
48 WR Michael Crabtree 60.3 44 1.25 75.3 55.0 The addition of Marshawn Lynch creates easier targets in the red zone. One could argue that Latavius Murray's scoring spree last year won't be bested by Lynch, but I think Murray benefited more from this receiving corps in the red area and it will be flip-flopped this year.  
 7 RB LeSean McCoy 88.5 43 1.25 110.7 53.8 McCoy earns a moderate-indirect increase because I believe the additions of Zay Jones, Anquan Boldin, and Jordan Matthews are a collective net profit despite the loss of Sammy Watkins. 
 10 RB Melvin Gordon 88.9 37 1.44 128.0 53.3 Gordon earned a projected health bonus along with a moderate-indirect increase thanks to the return of Keenan Allen and a healthier Travis Benjamin. If you look strictly at Crank I, Gordon's consistency and the projected benefit of his surrounding talent could put him just below Antonio Brown in the first tier.  
 19 WR T.Y. Hilton 64.8 42 1.25 81.0 52.5 The return of Donte Moncrief for a full season should take some additional pressure off Hilton, which means more efficient targets.  
 18 WR Dez Bryant 51.5 33 1.56 80.3 51.5 All concerns I have about Bryant overdoing it in camp as he has in the past, Bryant should be projected to play the entire year. If Ezekiel Elliott and the offensive line didn't suffer some losses, his Change score would have been higher.
  2  RB LeVeon Bell 90.3 41 1.25 112.9 51.3 The return of Martavis Bryant further prevents defenses from boldly stacking the box as often. Advantage: Bell.  His projected consistency falls below Murray and Gordon, but they are in the same tier. If you prefer Bell, go get him.
 50 WR Julian Edelman 54.4 41 1.25 68.1 51.3 My view of Brandin Cooks in New England is a contrary one: Cooks will be good, but he'll be better at helping his teammates earn softer coverage and Edelman will still earn more red zone targets than Cooks because of his familiarity with Tom Brady's adjustments, which takes longer than a few months of training camp for receivers to master with new quarterbacks with Brady's skill and experience. Edelman is a bit underrated and even more so if Rob Gronkowski can't stay healthy. 
 4 WR Julio Jones 78.2 40 1.25 97.8 50.0 Jones is one of the wide receivers where I believe there's a greater risk of a regression due to an increase of surrounding talent. Mohamed Sanu is a fine athlete, but his promise has long out-paced his actual production. I'm thinking Taylor Gabriel and Austin Hooper are the better fantasy values later on and could be the two reasons why Jones is a good fantasy starter, but maybe not an elite one.
 8  RB Devonta Freeman 69.3 39 1.25 86.6 48.8 My projection of a more productive Austin Hooper should make Freeman's life easier in the red zone and soften up defenses in ways that lead to bigger plays for the running back.  
 29 WR Demaryius Thomas 50.8 38 1.25 63.5 47.5 Thomas wasn't bad last year, but the expectations were in the same tier as Julio Jones and A.J. Green. Quarterback play was part of the problem, but injuries were a greater concern. While he didn't miss time, I took his injury into account. He's a player where I may not have rewarded him enough, or I over-compensated in his favor. I'm not sure which and it's why I'm cautious. 
 

Three values that stand out to me in the third tier are excellent runners. Two of them are versatile receivers. These guys aren't loved in drafts, but perhaps they should be. Don't get too cute with Tyreek Hill and don't be afraid of Carlos Hyde. And if you're a risk taker, don't look down your nose at Golden Tate. These are players with late second-early third (19-27) values according to this projection method. Could Michael Thomas and Brandin Cooks be overvalued and Golden Tate undervalued? Interesting...

ADPPosTier IIIPlayerCrankICrankIIChangesAdjIAdjIIComments
 12  WR Michael Thomas 73.9 44 1 73.9 44.0 There's a decent argument that the loss of Brandin Cooks will tighten coverage on Thomas. There's also a decent argument that there are three other factors that could benefit him: Adrian Peterson returning to form, Coby Fleener finally acclimating, and/or Ted Ginn providing vertical support. I'm considering the changes a wash.   
 54  WR Golden Tate 44.4 34 1.25 55.6 42.5 Marvin Jones' return to health and an additional year of acclimation to the offense should help Tate more than hurt him. Unless Eric Ebron finally merits the production that has had people salivating over him for a long time or Theo Riddick becomes a true slot option, Tate is a safe bet as a WR3 with WR2 upside. 
39 WR Jarvis Landry 54.7 42 1 54.7 42.0 Jay Cutler's turn with the Dolphins is a late addition, which means rapport won't be as strong as it was with Tannehill. But that's true with every receiver, even DeVante Parker. At the same time, Parker offers that rebounding trait that is attractive to a tight-window, off-kilter gunslinger like Cutler. Don't write-off Landry due to Parker, but don't expect Cutler to improve Landry's production, either. He's a strong PPR slot producer at his ceiling.
 47  RB Carlos Hyde 54.5 29 1.44 78.5 41.8 I think Hyde is undervalued because of past injury and the narrative that Kyle Shanahan wants to replace him as soon as possible. Hyde has been fantastic this summer. I know Bloom and I both believe that if Hyde were on a better team, he'd be a top fantasy back with a full season of play. If he's figured out how to stay healthy, he's going support a lot of good fantasy teams this year. Joe Williams will be like Tevin Coleman as a rookie: not ready for prime time but enough flashes to get excited.  
24 WR Doug Baldwin 47.7 33 1.25 59.6 41.3 Russell Wilson is healthier, which should help Baldwin. Healthy and productive surrounding talent along the offensive line, Jimmy Graham, Paul Richardson, C.J. Prosise, and Tyler Lockett could also make life easier and more efficient for Seattle's top option. However, I think efficiency won't lead to a massive increase in productivity. Seattle appears to be at the place where these options could slightly hurt Baldwin's production. Unless Seattle finally decides to become a less-balanced offense in favor of the pass, Baldwin is in danger of slipping into WR2 territory.  
20 WR Amari Cooper 44.3 33 1.25 55.4 41.3 Marshawn Lynch's presence should make life easier on Cooper in the red zone. So will Cooper's enhanced frame after working on it this summer. Expect a minor bump. 
 42  WR Davante Adams 55.9 40 1 55.9 40.0 This offense looks the same to me. There's a risk that Randall Cobb and Martellus Bennett cannibalize some of Adams' production. I'm not ready to go there.  
 46  WR Tyreek Hill 37.7 32 1.25 47.1 40.0 Hill's role appears set to expand and the improvement between a player's first and second-year is often notable. I'm projecting this for Hill, who looks great this summer. 
 27  WR Brandin Cooks 52.9 38 1 52.9 38.0 While I have doubts about Cook mastering all of the mental adjustments of the offense with Tom Brady immediately (I'd doubt most receivers until proven wrong, so it's not about Cook lacking intelligence.), I don't think there will be much of a drop-off between his production in New England and New Orleans. Brees is the better vertical passer, but the Patriots offense is a puzzle that defenses rarely solve for four consecutive quarters. 
 

It's becoming notable with these tiers that Crank isn't fond of these highly-ranked runners. We're about to view the fourth tier and I've only listed seven backs. This could be a good indication that if you're going to pick backs during the first 2-4 rounds and the ones above aren't available, it may be worth taking a chance on an undervalued guy like Hyde on the later side of the ADP equation, or a rookie like Christian McCaffrey or Dalvin Cook. 

This tier represents picks 28-54. Some of these players you wouldn't even sniff in this range during a draft, but the projection method might make them quality values later. Others, like A.J. Green and Jordan Howard, could be worth noting because they might be overvalued this year. 

ADPPosTier IVPlayerCrankICrankIIChangesAdjIAdjIIComments
 101 WR Tyrell Williams 44.1 35 1 44.1 35.0 I actually think I coudl be underrating Williams. The loss of Mike Williams during training camp likely prevents Tyrell from losing opportunities in the passing game. However, I haven't accounted for potential improvement as a third-year player entering his second season as a full-time option in a starting rotation. If Keenan Allen can't stay healthy, Williams' value skyrockets.  
 9 WR A.J. Green 78.3 29 1.19 93.2 34.5 This one pains me because Green is a fantastic player, but the losses of the offensive line could hurt. I'm thinking there's a good chance Green is overvalued this year. Maybe it won't be like Demaryius Thomas' 2016 campaign, but that's my concern. 
 83 WR Donte Moncrief 35.5 19 1.81 64.2 34.4 I can see it now: Moncrief stays healthy, has his best year, and we begin hearing about Moncrief being on par with A.J. Green. I could only pray that Green would be paired with Luck during Green's prime. Moncrief is worth targeting. 
 13 RB Jordan Howard 55.7 34 1 55.7 34.0 Remember when everyone got excited about Blake Bortles during his rookie preseason? Yeah, Mitch Trubisky fans, I think we're looking at a quarterback whose glass is perceived as either half-empty or half-full. It's just half a glass. Trubisky, Mike Glennon, and some injuries along this offensive line don't merit a downgrade yet, but I'm not awarding that second-year upgrade for Howard despite the work he has done to improve his game. Love the talent, not sure about the situation. 
 36 WR Allen Robinson 31.6 27 1.25 39.5 33.8 I'm beginning to regret awarding Robinson a bonus based on Blake Bortles rededicating himself with every viewing of the video where Robinson looks so frustrated that even Jene Bramel is going to the side of fantasy narrative. 
 127 WR Marvin Jones 22.2 19 1.75 38.9 33.3 Kenny Golladay could shock the world and become a double-digit touchdown producer as a rookie. Or, he's the latest training camp lottery ticket who has a future in this league, but the excitement got out of control. What I do know is that before his injury, Jones was near-dominant during the year against better players that second-class Colts corners in a preseason game. If Jones can't stay healthy this year, I'm probably off the hype train as anything more than a second-half flier in drafts. Until then...
 55 WR Kelvin Benjamin 37.3 32 1 37.3 32.0 Christian McCaffrey's presence as a slot option may help Benjamin, but he struggled against press coverage all his career. Until the big fella can prove that Chris Spielman's observation is no longer correct, the addition of McCaffrey only prevents me from penalizing Benjamin.  
  92  WR Pierre Garcon 36.9 32 1 36.9 32.0 I'm not expecting surprising upside, but I think he can hold down a WR3 spot in fantasy lineups. 
  15  RB Jay Ajayi 39.6 25 1.25 49.5 31.3 Just how much better will this offensive line be? Based on what we've been hearing in camp, I'm not projecting massive improvement. I am projecting a better vertical passing game with the addition of Jay Cutler and improvement of DeVante Parker. That's enough for a small bump. Ajayi's talent gives him a higher ceiling but I can project it here. It tells me that if you're cautious about players, Ajayi's projections might lack enough of a foundation to merit their value. If he were in Atlanta, I'd love him. 
 65 WR Stefon Diggs 37.5 25 1.25 46.8 31.3 Diggs and the offensive line are healthier. His rapport with a more acclimated Sam Bradford should also be better. What prevented a higher Change bonus is the possibility that Dalvin Cook, Laquon Treadwell, and Adam Thielen cannibalize some of his targets. 
 31 RB Isaiah Crowell 35.1 25 1.25 43.9 31.3 The offensive line is better. What I can't project with any certainty is the quarterback play. If Kizer can play like he did against Chicago, Crowell becomes a top-10 RB.  
 21 RB Todd Gurley 33.6 25 1.25 42.0 31.3 See above, but with slightly less confidence.  
 72 WR Jamison Crowder 35.5 31 1 35.5 31.0 The loss of DeSean Jackson and the addition of Terrelle Pryor is a wash for Crowder. I believe his "enhanced" role in this offense as a starter in base sets won't have added meaning in the box score. Jay Gruden is Michael Scott and Crowder is Dwight Schrute, Assistant Manag---err, Assistant to the Manager. 
 123 WR Kenny Britt 39.6 29 1 39.6 29.0 I'd rather have Corey Coleman because we still have hope that he can be more than what we've seen. That said, Britt's value-to-ADP makes him worth a roster spot. 
 37 WR Alshon Jeffery 34.5 23 1.25 43.1 28.8 Either my system can't capture the accurate level of improvement that will come with him being healthy or I'm not counting on massive improvement from Carson Wentz. There's upside, but I think he's a boom-bust pick this year.  
 86 WR DeSean Jackson 29.7 23 1.25 37.1 28.8 Winston has more upside than Cousins as an individual talent, but he still has more to learn so there could be some boom-bust weeks. Even so, Jackson gets a bump based on his role and Mike Evans opposite him. I like all the red zone, two-minute, and deep targets we're seeing during training camp.   
 17 QB Aaron Rodgers 29.3 23 1.25 36.6 28.8 Randall Cobb's return to health and the addition of Martellus Bennett are upgrades. The offensive line is still worrisome. If your league doesn't buy into the "fantasy expert theories" on QB, don't get too hung up on waiting for a passer. Instead, take Sigmund Bloom's advice in his Master Plan article and determine triggers for players.   
 52 RB Spencer Ware 44.9 28 1 44.9 28.0 We may not be able to prove it, but I suspect Ware's 2016 concussion was the reason his production declined. If there are no lasting effects this year (sad to say about the safety of this great sport, let's hope it gets safer), I'm not as concerned about Kareem Hunt this year.
 93 RB LeGarrette Blount 55.1 37 0.75 41.3 27.8 A greater downgrade may be coming. There are a lot of concerns about how he has looked thus far. But I've seen some of those same people be wrong about characterizing athletic traits so I need to see for myself.  
 81 RB Doug Martin 22.7 12 2.31 52.4 27.7 There is a mix of factors with Martin that makes his evaluation in this context a complex one.  Past injury, current suspension, better conditioning, and upgrades to surrounding talent are all factors. What I couldn't manage was a way to factor him higher. It means to me that Martin might be the biggest boom-bust player in fantasy drafts. I'm voting for "boom" but I'm labeling him a caution based on the process.
 28 QB Tom Brady 20.0 9 3.06 61.2 27.5 Consider Sigmund Bloom's Master Plan as a great way to plan for drafting a quarterback using round/player triggers. Brady can be had at a bargain in certain drafts because of some leagues adopting the Late Round QB idea to an extreme.
 185 WR Marqise Lee 22.5 22 1.25 28.2 27.5 Lee's high ankle sprain could make him a potential value, but at Allen Hurns is still good enough to hang onto a big role if Lee isn't at his best. Also watch out for Dede Westbrook, an RSP favorite who is lighting up camp and the preseason (think a T.Y. Hilton-like talent). 
 26 RB Lamar Miller 45.3 27 1 45.3 27.0 The quarterback situation isn't stable yet and the wide receivers are banged up. Sounds like last year. 
 25 WR DeAndre Hopkins 33.2 27 1 33.2 27.0 See above. 
 147 WR Sterling Shepard 30.3 27 1 30.3 27.0  Shepard remains the third wheel in this passing attack and could be the fourth wheel by midseason if Evan Engram plays like he has in camp. Definitely draftable, but his upside will be dictated by injury. 
 192 WR Kenny Stills 26.3 27 1 26.3 27.0  Jay Cutler is capable of supporting three fantasy starters, but he's not a priority pick. His placement in a tier above DeVante Parker either tells us that he's underrated or shows just how much Parker hasn't played to his potential. I think that changes this year.
 66 WR Brandon Marshall 16.7 13 2.05 34.3 26.7 Either his upside isn't accurate shown with my methodology, or the wheels are falling off.  
 

Guys like Frank Gore and Rishard Matthews could wind up conservative, safe picks that keep a fantasy team winning during bye weeks or while flashier options underwhelm. Ezekiel Elliot is labeled "avoid" but if you can get him in the seventh or eighth round, he becomes good value. These are picks 55-80. 

ADPPosTier VPlayerCrankICrankIIChangesAdjIAdjIIComments
89  RB Frank Gore 48.2 34 0.75 36.1 25.5 The loss of C Ryan Kelly hurts this line and makes Frank Gore's job tougher. I hate to say it, but without Kelly and possibly Luck early on, I'd avoid, but his draft day value makes him worth consideration.
121  WR Rishard Matthews 42.5 34 0.75 31.9 25.5 Corey Davis will make an instant impact when he returns to health. Eric Decker and Delanie Walker will make it difficult for Matthews to become a target hog. I'm seeing the likelihood of a fantasy one-year-wonder. But at his ADP you're not counting on him
62  WR Emmanuel Sanders 33.2 25 1 33.2 25.0 An excellent receiver who is safe, but his upside is dependent on a quarterback who can read the field (Siemian) and deliver accurately deep (Lynch). Until that quarterback who can do both (Kelly) comes along (in 2018), his upside is capped. 
90  WR DeVante Parker 16.5 14 1.75 28.8 24.5 It's difficult to give a bonus to work ethic and maturity, but Parker has developed both skills and it's showing up on the field. I expect him to outplay this tier. 
56  RB Tevin Coleman 46.4 24 1 46.4 24.0 Coleman will make big plays, but if two of Mohammed Sanu, Austin, Hooper, and Taylor Gabriel emerge, Coleman's production may dip from last year. 
116  WR Adam Thielen 23.9 19 1.25 29.8 23.8 A potential bargain because Laquon Treadwell has not made the most of his training camp. 
 60 RB C.J. Anderson 48.1 14 1.69 81.2 23.6 Anderson's standing with this team hasn't felt good since John Elway had to give in to Anderson during negotiations a couple of years ago. He has the talent to be the best back on the squad and a fantasy force. It's difficult to trust that with the way Denver has added three contributors around him during the past two years. 
 103 WR Cameron Meredith 33.0 23 1 33.0 23.0 Has the quarterback position improved? Unless you want to get swept up in preseason Blake Bor...I mean Mitchell Trubisky mania, it hasn't. Trubisky will eventually help the team. Solid mid-round player.
 120 WR Jordan Matthews 31.5 23 1 31.5 23.0 Should produce in Buffalo, but I don't see a massive upside. 
 51 QB Matt Ryan 27.2 18 1.25 34.0 22.5 Determine his round trigger (Bloom's Master plan) and consider. I got him in the 10th round in a Washington Post mock draft where late-round QB hipsterism ran amok. 
 67 RB Bilal Powell 29.5 22 1 29.5 22.0 Overvalued, Powell's upside is capped because people misunderstand what "versatile" is. Yes, he can run and catch, but he's not as versatile with a large cross section of runs you normally see from a feature back. Or, his team has limited him in this way.  His value is too high. 
217  WR Anquan Boldin 19.0 17 1.25 23.7 21.3 A better team with superior surrounding talent at wide receiver this year. 
 70 WR Willie Snead 28.0 21 1 28.0 21.0 Maybe he proves me wrong and shows a vertical component to his game that isn't heavily manufactured. I'm worried he'll be exposed as a scheme-dependent player. Still worth a pick but I don't see the upside that some do. 
133  WR Mike Wallace 32.2 27 0.75 24.1 20.3 The Joe Flacco injury and addition of Jeremy Maclin and Danny Woodhead are concerns.
167  WR Taylor Gabriel 23.2 17 1.1875 27.5 20.2 Gabriel is underrated and I don't think my adjustments reveal his potential accurately. There's some Derrick Mason like qualities to his game that could help him develop into a consistent fantasy starter. 
64 RB Danny Woodhead 5.08 1 22.63 115.0 20.0 Woodhead, Abdullah, and Rawls all suffered injuries that make their projections difficult with this method. All three are potential mid-round bargains and I like Woodhead and Abdullah the most.  
 68  RB Ameer Abdullah 5.03 1 22.63 115.0 20.0 Woodhead, Abdullah, and Rawls all suffered injuries that make their projections difficult with this method. All three are potential mid-round bargains and I like Woodhead and Abdullah the most.   
128 RB Thomas Rawls 4.66 1 22.63 115.0 20.0 Woodhead, Abdullah, and Rawls all suffered injuries that make their projections difficult with this method. All three are potential mid-round bargains and I like Woodhead and Abdullah the most.   
 154  WR Ted Ginn 17.8 16 1.25 22.3 20.0 Better quarterback, better surrounding talent, but the hands are still iffy. He's the 1970s home run hitter who strikes out a ton but can deliver in a huge way. It just never feels often enough, but his tier compared to ADP value is attractive. Especially best ball. 
94  WR Randall Cobb 21.9 15 1.32 29.0 19.8 His ability does not match this tier. The surrounding talent and emergence of Davante Adams make it true. 
 259 WR Travis Benjamin 14.8 12 1.625 24.1 19.5 Mike Williams is not coming back this year. Benjamin is healthy and this could be too low. He's a bargain. 
88  QB Ben Roethlisberger 22.7 11 1.75 39.7 19.3 Jeff Pasquino's article on QBBC pairings with Ben Roethlisberger is a good read. 
16  RB Ezekiel Elliott 115.0 51 0.375 43.1 19.1 Injuries to the offensive line and his suspension indicate he's still overvalued. If the suspension were 3-4 games, I'd feel better about him. 
80  TE Kyle Rudolph 13.1 15 1.25 16.3 18.8 Surrounding talent upgrade. 
153  RB Giovani Bernard 32.3 15 1.225 39.6 18.4 Healthy, but surrounding talent limits the upgrade. 
107  QB Matthew Stafford 21.8 10 1.75 38.2 17.5 Surrounding talent upgrade. Underrated.  
91 RB Theo Riddick 58.2 23 0.75 43.7 17.3 Change in role limits him. Has upside with injuries, but can't count on it. 
35  QB Drew Brees 26.8 17 1 26.8 17.0 I fear my love for Brees' game could mean that I haven't factored the Brandin Cooks-Ted Ginn change over enough.  
58  QB Andrew Luck 24.2 17 1 24.2 17.0 This looks like a potentially mismanaged situation for the Colts but the upside is still there if Luck returns as expected.  
 

This final tier represents picks 80-127 and there are some late-round ADPs that could represent value if this projection method bears out. You'll notice that tight end is rated very low with this process. It may be an indication that you shouldn't clamor for the top options this year. I love Austin Hooper's potential this year. Hooper, Hunter Henry, and a flier and Evan Engram late could be worthwhile.

ADPPosTier VIPlayerCrankICrankIIChangesAdjIAdjIIComments
85 QB Kirk Cousins 23.8 13 1.25 29.7 16.3 I like his upside more than most this year and as you probably know by now, I've never been a huge fan of Cousins.  
53  RB Mark Ingram 48.3 32 0.5 24.1 16.0 I think he's overvalued due to the presence of Adrian Peterson and Alvin Kamara. If you can get him after the 7th round, he's a value. Otherwise, proceed with caution. 
164  WR Cole Beasley 25.1 21 0.75 18.8 15.8 Depending on the development of Ryan Switzer, Beasley is either not low enough or he represents a value. I would say it's a value. 
95 WR Eric Decker 40.4 6 2.56 103.4 15.4 Decker's ADP looks correct.  
98 WR Jeremy Maclin 11.4 9 1.69 19.2 15.2 Maclin's AD looks correct.  
 99  QB Dak Prescott 22.2 15 1 22.2 15.0 The fact that he's falling this far makes him so attractive if I miss on some of the players at QB that I covet above him. I probably should have awarded him a bonus for role because he should be more prepared in Year 2.
100 RB Terrance West 16.0 12 1.25 20.0 15.0  Worth his spot.
 291 WR Brandon LaFell 23.3 20 0.75 17.4 15.0 John Ross getting too much love at the expense of LaFell? I'm not a LaFell fan and the lack of upside probably is the reason he's barely drafted, but he will be a waiver wire priority at some point. 
 179 WR Mohamed Sanu 16.5 15 1 16.5 15.0 If Sanu finally delivers consistent production, he'll be a value. It's unlikely given the number of years he has already been in the league. 
 137 QB Carson Palmer 21.2 8 1.75 37.0 14.0 Last year was bad, but so many people calling for the end of his career has me leery of writing him off when there are so many contributing factors outside his sphere of control. 
 69 RB Mike Gillislee 10.0 8 1.75 17.6 14.0 My peers at Footballguys believe that the volume of Dion Lewis touches during his preseason appearance is a sign that he's the odd man out. I think no one understands what the Patriots are doing. If I do, then it's because I think the team wanted to give Lewis enough work to really round into form after never truly being himself last year. Gillislee's injury is slowing his train, but he's worth the risk as part of an RB block. 
 111 WR John Brown 7.4 8 1.75 12.9 14.0 I'm afraid that Bruce Arians is moving on from Brown due to health concerns. But I'd take a shot in the 10th round if we hear within the next week that he's feeling better.  
  82  QB Marcus Mariota 22.1 11 1.25 27.6 13.8 Solid value. 
 30  TE Travis Kelce 13.8 11 1.25 17.3 13.8 See note about TEs above this table. 
 43  TE Greg Olsen 12.8 11 1.25 16.0 13.8 See note about TEs above this table.  
 59  TE Jimmy Graham 12.1 9 1.5 18.1 13.5 See note about TEs above this table.  
 49  TE Jordan Reed 14.2 10 1.33 18.9 13.3 See note about TEs above this table.  
 108 RB C.J. Prosise 22.0 7 1.875 41.3 13.1 I love Prosise's talent but be sure that you have taken rock-solid prospects at this position or else you've built a depth chart on promise rather than every-week production. 
N/A  WR Jeremy Kerley 13.4 13 1 13.4 13.0  He was good last year. If his QBs are better this year, he will provide bye-week value.
149  RB Darren Sproles 22.4 17 0.75 16.8 12.8 If Blount falters, Sproles is still good enough to deliver great value. 
102  QB Philip Rivers 21.6 5 2.5 54.1 12.5 I always think he's a solid pick. 
191 WR Allen Hurns 12.5 9 1.4 17.2 12.4 A smart pick even if he doesn't pan out. He's a smart WR who meshes well with either QB the Jaguars roll out.  
112 RB Matt Forte 26.5 16 0.75 19.9 12.0 There's still a part of me that thinks he could surprise because...no...I'm expecting a decline. 
 117 RB Jonathan Stewart 24.9 16 0.75 18.7 12.0 McCaffrey is for real, folks. Stewart will help you at this ADP but don't expect more than low-end RB2 production. 
 118 QB Derek Carr 22.1 9 1.25 27.6 11.3 I'm not buying the ascension to elite fantasy play.  
 146 QB Blake Bortles 21.1 9 1.25 26.4 11.3 The garbage man may arrive late, but he generally cleans up...unless his flinging the cans around and missing the truck gets him fired. 
 74 TE Delanie Walker 12.5 9 1.25 15.7 11.3 One of the better values of the "top" guys this year.  
 194 WR J.J. Nelson 15.7 15 0.75 11.8 11.3 Solid flyer.  
 220 RB Devontae Booker 12.8 11 1 12.8 11.0 A waiver wire speed dial or late pick with upside. 
 73 QB Jameis Winston 20.7 6 1.75 36.2 10.5 I love the weaponry and everything about this on paper, but shouldn't we be concerned that Dirk Koetter is still pulling Winston aside for dumb mistakes? If there's a player with potential for killing fantasy teams this year, Winston could be a top candidate because Koetter doesn't have tolerance for certain issues Winston hasn't fixed. I'd still take the chance at the right ADP and I like Winston's game, but the Spidey Senses are tingling. 
 193 RB Jeremy Hill 28.2 21 0.5 14.1 10.5 Why not? 
 N/A WR Quincy Enunwa 22.4 21 0.5 11.2 10.5 Don't. 
 249  WR Chris Hogan 14.5 14 0.75 10.9 10.5 Do. He'll be thanking Brandin Cooks. 
61  QB Russell Wilson 20.7 4 2.5 51.9 10.0 He's so good, but his situation makes him a fantasy tease. I'm still buying but I'm a fool for his play. His left tackle is also gone for the year. Ru-Roh, Shaggy. 
129 QB Tyrod Taylor 21.2 8 1.25 26.5 10.0 I don't think Buffalo wants him around. If Nate Peterman's play begins whispering sweet things in the staff's ear, don't be shocked if Taylor winds up benched and Twitter loses its mind.  
136  RB Jacquizz Rodgers 15.4 8 1.25 19.3 10.0 At this ADP, of course. 
87  TE Zach Ertz 13.1 8 1.25 16.4 10.0  See note about TEs above this table. 
169  WR Robert Woods 8.4 5 1.94 16.4 9.7 Great ADP for a flyer even if I think Cooper Kupp and Sammy Watkins--well, Watkins is hurt again (no, not really but probably soon)...forget it. Great ADP for a flyer. 
40  WR Sammy Watkins 9.2 4 2.25 20.8 9.0 See above.  Hard to project a rebound in his situation. Love his talent.
237  RB Jerick McKinnon 14.3 11 0.75 10.7 8.3 Waiver wire option capable of production with a better line. 
115  RB James White 13.9 11 0.75 10.4 8.3 Good luck with Patriots RBs. I believe the tea leaves say, Dion Lewis. 
106  RB Rob Kelley 10.6 8 1 10.6 8.0 Value-to-ADP.
22  TE Rob Gronkowski 10.8 3 2.5 26.9 7.5 Injury history is not a friend of Crank II. 
71  TE Tyler Eifert 12.3 5 1.5 18.5 7.5 See above. 
96  TE Martellus Bennett 10.5 5 1.5 15.8 7.5 Boom-bust. 
230  TE Zach Miller 12.0 6 1.25 15.0 7.5 Massive boom-bust. 
125  RB Latavius Murray 52.6 30 0.25 13.1 7.5 Just in case, I suppose.