2021 ADP Value Picks

David Carey – @87_Carey

A symbolic and somewhat unofficial kickoff to the redraft season is the beginning of the Scott Fish Bowl. Drafting kicked off on Monday July 5th with the who’s who of the Fantasy Football community linking arms in support of charitable causes. For those who don’t know, the goal which Scott Fish established was to convince every league he could to donate one entry to charity. Scott was awarded with the Fantasy Sports and Gaming Association’s – Humanitarian of the Year Award.

Moving on to today’s topic and narrowing our focus on to the upcoming season we’re going to look at some players who are available to you at a very favorable average draft position(ADP). To keep format in perspective, let’s assume that we’re working with a 12 team, 1QB, PPR league which has roster spots for 2RB/2WR/1TE/2WRT flex positions. We’re going to be taking Consensus Rankings(ECR) and ADP from a variety of sources in efforts of giving you perspective regarding some of the most common draft platforms in the industry.

As always, context is key when discussing player values. Let’s talk about some points which we’re going to reference in today’s examples:

  • Production
    • Year end rankings
    • Average points per game
    • Career Averages
  • Opportunity
  • Year over year production rising and declining
  • Injury implications
  • Competition at the position
  • Coaching and Coordinator tendencies
  • Team Strength in supporting areas

While examples from all draft rounds realistically exist we’re going to examine players from rounds 4 – 8 or ADP 37 – 96. This keeps us focused on players not already under the microscope as the building block of your team. Think back to 2020 and picture the opportunity that you had to draft Stefon Diggs in rounds 4 – 5. We want to find the 2021 versions of Diggs in the Buffalo offence.

David Montgomery

  • Sleeper ADP: 41
  • Fantasy Pros ECR: 46
  • 2020 RB4 – 263.8 FPTS
  • 2020 17.59 PPG, 4.33 YPC, 79.4 Catch % on 68 TGT’s

Montgomery is the first Running Back we’re going to take a look at today. Between 2019 and 2020 David Montgomery made some significant gains in key categories for Fantasy Football purposes:

Despite being present on a good amount of championship wining rosters from 2020 Montgomery has an ADP in the early to middle portion of round 4 and an ECR of late 4th round according to Fantasy Pros latest ECR. It would be bullish to expect that Montgomery qualifies as a high end RB1 again in 2021 with the likes of CMC and Saquon returning from injury and an incredible 2020 draft class leaping up position rankings. Lets keep our expectations reasonable and say that Montgomery finishes somewhere in the mid to high end RB2 range. From an ADP standpoint, RB13 would be available at an ADP of 27 while RB18 would be available at an ADP of 38. Using this methodology we can afford to draft David Montgomery ahead of his ADP with some certainty. If your drafting out of the 3.07-3.12 spots this year then ear-mark him as a target for your RB2 or even as an RB3 in an RB heavy build.

Ceedee Lamb

  • Sleeper ADP: 55.7
  • Fantasy Pros ECR: 36
  • 2020 WR22 – 215.7 FPTS
  • 2020 13.48 PPG, 12.64 YPC, 66.7 Catch% on 111 TGT’s

2020 was a big year for Cowboys rookie WR Ceedee Lamb. He exploded on the scene in his first 5GP with Prescott at QB. He averaged 17.12PPG despite scoring only 2TD’s and having his SNP% limited to 55% and 60% in two of those weeks.

Lamb lined up primarily in the slot during the 2020 season and drew coverage mismatch from teams 3rd CB, Nickelback and even sometimes a LB. While the league may have kept him under wraps from WK6-17 Lamb maintained a low-end WR3 value. Going into 2021 expectations for Lamb should be very high across all leagues. Lamb is currently a high-end WR2 projection with upside to become a WR1. We can expect this to continue across his next 2-4 seasons. To be sure, Sleeper’s 55.7 ADP is much too low for Ceedee Lamb and you shouldn’t be expecting him to be available to you at that point. Take Lamb as a 4th round target in your 2021 Leagues.

TJ Hockenson

  • Sleeper ADP: 62.9
  • Fantasy Pros ECR: 50
  • 2020 TE5 – 174.3 FPTS
  • 2020 10.89 PPG, 10.79 YPC, 66.3 Catch% on 101 TGT’s

Every year the top tier at the Tight End position draws a lot of attention and rightfully so. Game breakers like Travis Kelce, Darren Waller and George Kittle cannot have their value understated to the process of putting together a championship level roster. Fortunately in 2021 we have a new kid on the block who’s already drawing most of the hype and attention at the position, Atlanta Falcons 4th overall selection Kyle Pitts. This is great for savvy drafters because we want our league mates to “over draft” players at a positions which requires years to develop. Pitts does that for us nicely and allows us to take Hockenson at value as the TE5 off the board.

According to Sleeper’s early season ADP Hockenson is available to you at the start of the 6th round in redraft leagues. By comparison Fantasy Pros latest ECR shows that industry experts would recommend drafting him a full round earlier at 5.02. With the turnover at QB and WR in Detroit combined with a negative game script we can project all kinds of good things for Hockenson. Vacated targets between Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones alone combine for roughly 235 in healthy season. The spread of these opportunities to players like Perriman, Williams, Cephus and rookie St. Brown will happen but Hockenson looks to remain the team’s top level redzone target.

I’ll be bold and say that I see some parallels between the 2021 outlook of TJ Hockenson and that of George Kittle in 2018. Kittle came into the 2018 season with high expectations and surrounded by mediocre talent at WR. During the year Kittle led the 49ers offense with 1,377 yards and 5 TD on 136 targets. Kittle saw more than double the amount of targets as his next closest teammate Kendrick Bourne(66).

Deebo Samuel

  • Sleeper ADP: 103
  • Fantasy Pros ECR: 77
  • 2020 WR96 – 80.7 FPTS
  • 2020 11.53 PPG, 11.85 YPC, 75.0 Catch% on 44 TGT’s (7GP)

If your still feeling the sting from drafting Deebo Samuel in 2020 I don’t blame you. Just thinking about the prospect of putting your faith in him in 2021 can be daunting. I can assure you, about half of your league mates are also feeling the same way. This is a premium example of a polarizing player. You either like Deebo for his PPG average when healthy, or decided that this is a player you can never stomach rostering again.

Between the ADP provided by Sleeper and the ECR courtesy of Fantasy Pros we’ve already got a 25 spot difference. That’s the equivalent of two full rounds! Hate him or love him, that has to peak your interest level. Looking at what Samuel does best we need to look no further than the YAC aspect he brings to the table. Despite having a very poor 2020 season due to significant injuries, Samuel still led the NFL in YAC amongst qualified pass catchers with a 12.1yd average. San Francisco gets the ball into his hands as a rusher and in short yardage pass attempts. Even despite his games where he’s left due to injury or was limited he still averages 12.1 FPTS per game in a PPR format throughout his career.

Lastly, the separation in value between Aiyuk and Samuel has grown to 17 spots on Fantasy Pros consensus rankings. Drafting Samuel presents just as much upside with a touch more risk. I expect to see him passed over and available at an extreme value in many leagues this coming year. Consider him as a high upside FLEX play for your typical formats and an above average WR target in your bestball leagues. Injury concerns are much less impactful in that format.

James Robinson

  • Yahoo ADP: 65.7
  • Fantasy Pros ECR: 84
  • 2020 RB7 – 250.4 FPTS
  • 2020 19.02 PPG, 4.46 YPC, 81.6 Catch % on 60 TGT’s

With Jacksonville electing to draft Etienne in the 2021 NFL Draft I’m hearing people all but right off James Robinson in 2021. My outlook on usage between Etienne and Robinson is different that the average Joe. I view James Robinson as an extreme value in the 6th and 7th rounds of redraft formats. He showed that he could be both an effective rusher with a 4.46YPC average as well as a capable receiver catching 81.6% of passes thrown his way. Through 3 games in the NFL James Robinson had tallied 64.9FPTS behind PFF’s 22nd ranked offensive line. So why would Jacksonville cast him off?

By comparison to his 2020 RB7 finish he is being drafted in the same range as Fournette, Mostert and Gordon. Robinson is a much younger back who is only costing the Jaguars an AAV of $763,333. My outlook on usage between Etienne and Robinson this season is that Jacksonville starts the year with 65% usage for Robinson and finishes the season with ~45% usage. Doing so gives Etienne room to develop and be featured as a big play producer while lining at a variety of positions.

Thanks for stopping by and checking out my 2021 ADP Value picks. I’m of the mind that gathering a few great values per draft increases the strength of your roster beyond the league average every time. Join us again for some more productive off season content.

David Carey – @87_Carey

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