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Mining Passing Game Value Through ADP

Dissecting 2017 fantasy value from historical ADP results

Dating back to 2008, I have tracked the seasonal PPG results of every NFL passing game. Using the positional ADP rankings of every NFL team's top quarterback and their subsequent passing game targets, here is a look at the historical sweet spots for 2017:

*ADP used is as updated on the Footballguys ADP page*

The list is ordered by quarterback positional ADP. The +/- columns represent the difference between the WR1, WR2, WR3, TE1 positional ADP in 2017 and the historical average finish of those positions by quarterback finish. Only the projected Week 1 starter (or most valuable quarterback) for each NFL team is listed.

In short, green presents historical opportunity and red represents an overvaluation.

For the No.1 receivers, the Jets being historically undervalued is no surprise. Since 2008, only six times has the No.1 option for a receiver corps finished as WR70 or lower. The odds are in favor of the Jets No.1 option presenting value, but selecting the right receiver considering their current landscape and them finishing high enough to warrant fantasy consideration are two other factors working against them. As historical examples, the 2016 49ers were the first offense to have their WR1 at 70 overall or lower since the 2010 season.

The other WR1 situations historically undervalued for 2017 include Tennessee, Carolina, and Buffalo. The Titans have a cluster of their top-3 by ADP including Eric Decker, Corey Davis, and Rishard Matthews. Considering Marcus Mariota's fantasy valuation, there is profit to be had if choosing correctly. My bet is on Eric Decker. Carolina has an easy answer in Kelvin Benjamin with Devin Funchess yet to develop and little else to challenge on the receiver depth chart. Buffalo losing Sammy Watkins changes their 2017 equation, but Jordan Matthews is the most likely to benefit from the new depth chart outside of rookie Zay Jones having a historic first season without an elite quarterback.

An interesting WR1 note is the Giants equation. Either Eli Manning is undervalued or Odell Beckham Jr is overvalued considering the added competition for targets. The answer is likely a little of both as Manning has been close to top-10 territory than his QB18 ADP this season and Odell Beckham has one of the strongest WR2 options (Brandon Marshall) in the NFL considering his No.2 positional ADP rank.

For secondary receivers, players to stand out considering their 2017 ADP and historical data:

Mohamed Sanu - Low ADP considering Matt Ryan's ADP

Tyler Lockett - Health is the big concern but there is value beyond Doug Baldwin in Seattle

Terrance Williams - Brought back by Dallas to remain the incumbent No.2

Nelson Agholor - While a sluggish start to his career, Jordan Matthews' exit creates a value opportunity considering WR81 ADP

Marquise Goodwin - The 49ers have positive historical grades across the board in the passing game, most notably with Goodwin at WR2.

Kamar Aiken - The No.3 job is up in the air for the Colts, but Andrew Luck's third receiver option without an ADP is historically rare for the quarterback quality. Phillip Dorsett looks to be losing steam and Aiken is the leader in the clubhouse for the WR3 job.

Jared Cook, Jesse James, Charles Clay are the notable tight ends attached to functional (or better) quarterbacks with lower 2017 ADP compared to historical results. The Baltimore depth chart is another to track closely to finish the preseason as their +16 is the highest of the position considering the complete lack of talent on Jacksonville's depth chart at +17 in the category.