In part one of looking back at the off-season, we covered running backs who saw their ADPs rise over the summer due to the situation around them. We wanted to learn why some have proven to be worthy of a climb and why some have fizzled out leaving their owners distraught.
Building a strong roster takes time, but we often forget this when we fall in love with the latest potential breakout superstars. It is often the players who we are not thinking about who can become future centerpieces of our teams. So after looking at big risers, I identified some off-season fallers. More often than not, there are obvious and logical reasons for an ADP drop (suspension, injury concerns, change of team etc), but the most important thing I try to understand is whether or not the off-field things will affect on-field play. If they fall because of football-related reasons or performance, I believe it is justified, but when I see off-the-field issues, there is a chance to take advantage.
Josh Gordon, WR CLE
March ADP: 4, August ADP: 64 (-60)
Gordon was the most obvious absentee from the top 50 players in August due to his uncertain future, but if you drafted him in the fifth or sixth round of a start-up, you’re probably pretty happy right now. He is already regaining his value and could make a huge contribution to winning seasons this year.
FYI: Josh Gordon dynasty ADP back up to 28, slotted between K Allen & Rodgers, as he nears his return.
— Ryan McDowell (@RyanMc23) October 31, 2014
The 2014 rookie receiver influx allowed you to avoid him or move him for some great replacements, but I could never justify taking players over him with similar August ADPs (Andre Johnson, Roddy White, Terrance Williams or Eric Decker). In the latest DLF newsletter, Ryan McDowell identified patience as one of the biggest keys to dynasty success and we should always show some with guys of his talent level.
September ADP: 42
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Doug Martin, RB TB
March ADP: 12, August ADP: 27 (-15)
I have historically vowed never to touch him again (ask me about the ‘Doug Martin Effect’), but I allowed myself to be a victim this year when I thought Martin’s value was low enough to be worth an investment. Now I am filled with regret. Sometimes players have one great game in an ‘average’ season which causes their yearly statistics to be an unfair reflection of how well they played throughout the entirety of it. I don’t think he will hit those heights again and if you can still sell him to an owner who likes him and believes they are ‘buying low,’ I urge you to do it.
September ADP: 50
Marshawn Lynch, RB SEA
March ADP: 32, August ADP: 43 (-11)
It was interesting to see this fall in contrast to Christine Michael‘s rise in part one as it looks like we jumped the gun on Lynch’s demise. Until he starts to show signs of breaking down physically or underperforming on the field, we can still expect RB1 numbers. It is smart to anticipate the time when a veteran running back is ‘hitting the wall,’ but sometimes we bail out too early. Maybe one day it will happen to Jamaal Charles with Knile Davis waiting in the wings…
September ADP: 43
DeSean Jackson, WR WAS
March ADP: 38, August ADP: 60 (-22)
I can’t really talk about DeSean without including some personal bias. He is one of my all-time favorite players, but in a fantasy environment, I don’t go near him. ‘Inconsistent’ and ‘erratic’ are two words that spring to mind. He may never match his 2013 statistics after leaving a perfect offense for him (which explains the ADP drop) but he will always be the same guy – capable of winning your matchup each week, but never reliable.
September ADP: 66
T.Y. Hilton, WR IND
March ADP: 39, August ADP: 57 (-18)
Hilton isn’t exactly the most ‘polarizing’ player, but he does seem to have a reputation as an over performer. Is it the height? The lack of touchdowns? Truth is, he is Andrew Luck’s number one target and as of right now he is the PPR WR6, he leads the league in receiving yards and has scored 12.5 or more PPR points in all but one of his games this season. He is developing a nice floor to go with his outstanding ceiling and he’s only 24.
September ADP: 51
Eric Decker, WR NYJ
March ADP: 49, August ADP: 70 (-21)
New team = new opportunity. Unfortunately, the opportunity was with Geno Smith and the non-existent Jets offense. I would be ok with Decker on my team, knowing that he is a better player than his numbers will suggest; but realistically it was not hard to see a decline coming. His ADP swung completely the opposite way to Emmanuel Sanders over the summer, and the Peyton Manning fantasy influence on his playmakers has never been more obvious.
September ADP: 61
Vernon Davis, TE SF
March ADP: 72, August ADP: 91 (-19)
In a re-draft mock for Sportable before the season, I selected Davis because I thought he belonged in the group of veterans who were unfairly devalued for off-the-field reasons (he did not report to mandatory minicamps over the summer). He started the season with two touchdowns in the first game, but has been ailing ever since a week two injury against the Bears. I still consider him in that same category and a good buy for next year after a very disappointing 2014.
September ADP: 93
Russell Wilson, QB SEA
March ADP: 78, August ADP: 104 (-26)
Oh, Russell. He has always been associated with a great running game and defense, but was just too good to be falling like this. It is no surprise to me he is tied with for QB3 with Aaron Rodgers and Philip Rivers in points scored per game and was a top four dynasty quarterback in the September ADP data. Transcendent players find a way to get to the top.
September ADP: 46
As well as these big names, some players saw their value threatened by other additions to their teams or emerging players:
Rueben Randle, WR NYG (March ADP: 55, August ADP: 76), Cecil Shorts, WR JAX (79, 124), Stevan Ridley, RB NE (92, 111), Riley Cooper, WR PHI (113, 144), Latavius Murray, RB OAK (114, 163), Darren McFadden, RB OAK (120, 155), Chris Ivory, RB NYJ (154, 188)
Some moved to new teams:
Hakeem Nicks, WR IND (March ADP: 94, August ADP: 137), Knowshon Moreno, RB MIA (98, 162), Stevie Johnson, WR SF (139, 186), Maurice Jones-Drew, RB OAK (140, 172), James Jones, WR OAK (161, 192)
Others had question marks:
Marcus Lattimore, RB SF (March ADP: 73, August ADP: 187), Tavon Austin, WR STL (74, 96), Danny Woodhead, RB SD (118, 154), Da’Rick Rogers, WR IND/FA (122, 175)
What can we learn?
In dynasty football, we make long-term investments. This means we are forced to take off-field issues into account. However, when the off-field perception affects a player’s value too much, there is a great opportunity to capitalize. So far, it seems as though the players who didn’t actually see football changes continue to play well on the field. Arian Foster was not a ‘faller’ over the summer, but the value he presented at RB16 as the player who has been an RB1 in a higher percentage of games than anyone else in the league was too good to ignore. Keep searching for those RB1s with question marks over RB2s with limited potential. If you show patience and believe in the players who make a difference when they play, then you will reap the rewards.
“Why do we fall?” Discuss off-season fallers and motivational quotes with James @JS_Football
As well as editing for DLF, James writes for Sky Sports and can be found on Twitter at @JS_Football