A fresh set of ADP data gives us new stock movement to talk about and at this point in the season we are starting to think we can anticipate how the rest of it will turn out. Comparatively, after six months of off-season talk, we already thought we knew what was going to happen this season, too. In both situations, we will still get a lot of it wrong, but what is important is how we got to where we are. Are we accepting what is happening on the field, or projecting what hasn’t happened yet? Can we expect a player to maintain their current level of production or will their circumstances change? Is their situation going to improve or worsen?
Throughout all of the tinkering we should be doing to our rankings and rosters right now, we must continue to look back on the things we got right or wrong in the off-season. In the last two pieces of this series, I look at the final groups of players who experienced either a large rise or large fall in dynasty ADP between March and August. Here are the risers.
John Brown, WR ARI
March ADP: 104, August ADP: 67 (+37)
The second-year speedster gained a lot of steam over the summer, with comparisons to TY Hilton, Antonio Brown and every other short, savvy route-running receiver you can imagine. I don’t think we could have anticipated the early dominance of Larry Fitzgerald, but to put Brown in the top 70 dynasty players already might have been a little premature. Even more unbelievably, he was all the way up at number 48 in the September ADP. He did see double digits for the first time in weeks four and five, but so far he has been a disappointment.
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Mike Wallace, WR MIN
March: 97, August: 72 (+25)
Wallace didn’t appear to have the greatest connection with Ryan Tannehill and moved on to work with Teddy Bridgewater. A knock on the Miami quarterback has been his deep ball, so perhaps moving away from the Dolphins had drafters excited. However, throws downfield aren’t exactly Bridgewater’s strong point, either, and Teddy has been disappointing so far this year. What were we expecting from Wallace to move him into the sixth round? Should we learn to be wary of moving unpredictable, up-and-down deep threats up in a dynasty setting? I’m not sure how much he earned it.
Andre Johnson, WR IND
March: 137, August: 80 (+57)
The Colts added two vets in Johnson and Frank Gore (also a massive riser), with the expectation of immediate impacts and production. Obviously, that hasn’t happened. His pre-breakout game production level was ghastly, but his return to Houston put him back on the map for now. I can’t be sure yet what the issue is here: unfamiliarity, tread on these player’s tyres, or Andrew Luck‘s injury woes and offensive struggles. Whatever it may be, should we really have moved them up this far in a dynasty league considering their ages? They should pick it up with Luck in the lineup, but for how long?
Vincent Jackson, WR TB
March: 138, August: 104 (+34)
Jameis Winston was (and still is) expected to bring some firepower to a Tampa Bay offense that finished 30th in passing yards last year. A rise was probably justified, considering he performed very well last season without finding the endzone as much as fantasy football owners would hope for (70-1,002-2 in 2014). However, it’s a big ask for a rookie quarterback to house an expected top-flight receiver (Mike Evans) and also improve the production of his veteran wideout (Jackson) and second-year tight end (Austin Seferian-Jenkins). Right now, Evans is the one missing out as Jackson has already reached his touchdown total from the 2014 season. Every year there are veterans who look like their prime selves and optimistic drafters seem to have got this one right.
Marvin Jones, WR CIN
March: 157, August: 128 (+29)
He’s back. After a promising 2013 season that included a stunning quadruple-touchdown performance, Jones missed all of the 2014 season with with a broken foot. Jones’ rise shows why ‘buying low’ on injured players is always the way to go, because even if you don’t plan to play or hold them, they gain value before an anticipated return. He has two touchdowns so far on the year and I wouldn’t be surprised to see his value grow as the Bengals offense keeps rolling.
Josh Hill, TE NO
March: Undrafted, August: 144 (+97)
Hill rose from a nobody to a top 150 player after Jimmy Graham‘s trade to Seattle; viewed as the man to fill the void left by the beastly tight end. But Jimmy Grahams don’t grow on trees and it’s safe to say Hill is regarded as a huge bust at this point. Hopefully you weren’t paying a huge price for him, but anyone who did trade for him probably lost out. Perhaps his touchdown against Dallas can propel him, but I wouldn’t bank on it.
Anquan Boldin, WR SF
March: 203, August: 149 (+54)
The most common reasons for a receiver rise are expected development in second or third year, new quarterback or head coach/offense, or another player leaving the team so the rising player has more opportunity and responsibility. Even with a new Head Coach, there weren’t too many reasons to be overly optimistic about the Niners passing offense, so this rise did confuse me. Perhaps the case here was that some vets rise close to ‘re-draft season’ as we draft more for immediate production than long-term potential. Unfortunately for the 35 year old, he is stuck with Colin Kaepernick.
Markus Wheaton, WR PIT
March: 185, August: 153 (+32)
Wheaton was making strides towards playing a more prominent role for the team, and when the news of Martavis Bryant’s suspension hit, he was moved up by a few rounds. Here’s the question I always ask with a rise – did they earn it? Did Wheaton show signs last year of being a player who needs to be given the ball? I don’t necessarily think he did, but at least he had the opportunity to show it this year. The Steelers, Colts and Eagles offenses were widely hyped over the off-season to have a large number of fantasy producers. Up until Ben Roethlisberger‘s injury, Pittsburgh was the only one of the three to come through. However, Wheaton might not have more of a chance to prove himself with Michael Vick at the helm and Bryant’s impending return.
Sam Bradford, QB PHI
March: 231, August: 156 (+75)
“MVP, MVP…” Bradford received a lot of hype upon his arrival in Philadelphia, but maybe Chip can’t turn water into wine after all. Or maybe it just takes some time. Either way, the ‘Eagles QB1’ is not the automatic start we thought it might be. I’m not at all surprised to see a quarterback who is playing for the first time in two seasons, on a new team, with a new surrounding cast struggle and the immediate expectations were probably too high. Bradford did show something in the second half of the devastating loss to the Redskins and some more this week, but until he performs consistently, his owners (and Eagles fans) can’t be too confident.
Steve Smith, WR BAL
March: 215, August: 164 (+51)
The only thing that could stop Smith this year was an injury. Like Boldin, he was an ageing veteran who moved up considerably, but unlike the 49er, Smith looked to be the clear number one receiver on his team. The arrival of Marc Trestman was also supposed to elevate Joe Flacco to his fantasy best, but so far the team has struggled all around. Smith might give contenders one final championship push before he hangs up his cleats.
Other notables: Stevie Johnson, WR SD (March: Undrafted, August: 165), Marques Colston, WR NO (March: 241, August: 180), Eli Manning, QB NYG (March: 189, August: 166), Kenny Britt, WR STL (March: 216, August: 178), Owen Daniels, TE DEN (March: Undrafted, August: 185), Cole Beasley, WR DAL (March: 222, August: 186), Nick Toon, WR NOS (March: Undrafted, August: 190), Eddie Royal, WR CHI (March: Undrafted, August: 195)
Potential. Hype. Expectation. Risers can be an owner’s gain, regardless of whether or not that player performs when the season starts. It is simply a matter of deciding when to ‘cash out’ and when to hold and reap the rewards. Just like rookie fever allows owners to nab veterans for cheap prices, off-season fever often allow players who aren’t experiencing anything ‘new’ to fall in price while shiny toys rise. However, doing this study also showed me how many veterans rise in value as we approach the season (for better or worse). Most of the players above haven’t been overly impressive so far, showing the unpredictability of projecting production. Comparing these movers to running backs, I also found the running back risers experienced more extreme fluctuations. ‘Situation’ does have a large effect on dynasty drafters. The series ends next time with the final fallers.
- 2022 Rookie Class: An Early Look at Kenny Pickett, QB Pittsburgh - January 31, 2022
- Dynasty Fantasy Football Rookie Update: Quez Watkins, WR PHI - July 15, 2020
- Dynasty Fantasy Football Rookie Update: John Hightower, WR PHI - July 7, 2020
Absolutely shocked Jeremy Hill is not on here. His rise may not have been as significant from a numbers standpoint, but when a player goes from 30+ to cracking the top 20 without taking a single snap (Feb to Sept), it’s a huge disappointment to see him not only fail to produce like Hill has, but to even see the volume you’d expect from someone ranked so highly.
The Green Bay gang:
Davante Adams and Janis anyone?