We are going to analyze the latest information and provide the context you need to prepare for your upcoming drafts. The goal is to help you figure out who to target and when to target them in your drafts this weekend.
While most typical season-long leagues won't draft for a couple of weeks, many FFPC/FPC drafts will be drafting this weekend. It is also a great time to get active in best-ball drafts now. In this Beginner’s Guide to best ball drafts, we lay out all of the basics of the format and include links to the many different places one can play best-ball for anyone who is not familiar with the basics. The best ball options have expanded in recent months. Underdog Fantasy and DraftKings have both launched new season-long best ball products featuring both normal 12-team leagues and also some massive tournaments with gigantic guaranteed prize pools.
Whether you are entering an early draft, having fun with best-ball leagues, or just want to get an early start on your research for your draft later this month, there is a lot of news and ADP movement to discuss.
Our topics this week include:
- Taking Advantage of Early Draft Bargains
- Having a CEH Plan
- Washington RB Fallout
- The Patriots Backfield
- Rookies Wide Receivers Rising
1. Taking Advantage of Early Draft Bargains
ADP always looks much different in early August than it does by the time we reach the end of the month. Some of the changes are impossible to predict. However, there are some players whose ADP is very likely to rise in the coming weeks. One of the benefits of doing some early drafts is the ability to nab these early bargains before the crowd catches up. In this first section, we will predict some players who are cheaper now than they will be in a few weeks.
James Conner rising
James Conner’s ADP has been rising slowly for a couple of weeks but he still remains a major bargain in most drafts. We have early signs that Ben Roethlisberger’s recovery from elbow surgery is on track and there have not been any setbacks. He has been able to make all the throws early in camp and Mike Tomlin noted last week that Roethlisberger’s “velocity was excellent.” Confirmation of Roethlisberger’s health is a positive for the entire Steelers offense. We have also had some rather emphatic statements recently from Tomlin and offensive coordinator Randy Fichtner about Conner being the “feature runner” and a "three-down back." Add it all up and Conner looks like a strong value in the third round. This is a spot where if you are drafting this weekend, you should be able to get a lead back in a strong who is eventually going to rise into the second round at a discount.
There was also some early speculation that James Conner, a cancer survivor, might consider opting out of the 2020 season. He did not. "I'm going on four years now.,” said Conner of being cancer-free. “Just talking with my doctor, he said you got nothing to worry about as far as your immune system.” So we can cross that minor concern off of our list as well. Overall, Conner presents a strong combination of solid floor and high ceiling in both standard scoring and PPR formats. He is still going off the board behind other backs like Todd Gurley (who is walking with a limp) who are much riskier and have similar upside. The crowd is going to catch up on Conner eventually. He is worth a selection in the Top 25 but still falling to the bottom of the 3rd round. Take advantage if you are drafting this weekend.
A.J. Green in the 6th round?
One of the most obvious bargains in early drafts is A.J. Green. His early 6th round ADP is due to rise. The Footballguys staff went deep on the most undervalued wide receivers this week and Green was a popular choice. Sigmund Bloom summed up the case for Green well:
Green's ADP is similar to last year's during the preseason when we knew he was hurt with an uncertain return to play timeline. This year he is healthy and so far getting rave reviews. Green has never been anything but an elite fantasy wide receiver when he is on the field. Even if he only gives you half of a season because of injuries, if he is producing at a WR1 clip, he is more than worth the cost. Joe Burrow could end up being an upgrade from Andy Dalton as a rookie to elevate Green's already high ceiling.
Green has been healthy for nine months and is impressing his teammates at camp with how explosive he looks. He is more talented than nearly every receiver going in the third round and in an offense that could explode this season. It feels like the stars are potentially aligning for a special season from Green.
If you are drafting this weekend, you should have Green's name highlighted, underlined, and circled as your target in the 5th or 6th round.
Everyone Loves Terry
Every year there is a player who receives nearly universal love from fantasy analysts but whose ADP does not rise very much until the very end. Last year, it was Chris Godwin. Everyone liked him but he was available in the 5th round early in the offseason and the 4th round in later drafts. He went on to finish as the WR2 overall. McLaurin seems to be on a similar trajectory. While he may not finish quite as high as Godwin, McLaurin has a very high fantasy ceiling and does not carry much risk either. Like Godwin, expect McLaurin to rise into the 4th round by late August. You can often get him later than that in early drafts. McLaurin was the most popular choice in our recent staff survey of the most undervalued wide receivers. Ryan Hester summed up the case nicely:
Sure, his quarterback and offensive situation will be bad. But they were bad last year as well when McLaurin surprised everyone with a rookie year output of 59 catches, 919 yards, and 7 touchdowns. McLaurin has even less proven competition for targets this season, and he has a college connection with Dwayne Haskins from Ohio State. Washington games won't be pretty, but McLaurin will put up a consistent, volume-driven floor with the chance for a ceiling game at any given time due to his explosiveness.
2. Forming a CEH Plan
We have a couple of weeks of ADP data since Damien Williams opted out. Here is what you need to know: