A year ago, I attempted to project the top two rounds of this season’s dynasty ADP. Looking back at those projections reminds me a lot about how I, and we as a dynasty community, were valuing players. It’s often so easy to include recency bias into our player valuation that we forget how we once felt about specific players.
Here are my projections from early September of last year, along with the actual ADP data for 2016.
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Note: 2016 ADP data comes from a cumulative average of ADP data from January through August.
Seeing Andrew Luck and Jeremy Hill among the top 24 seems like a poor prediction in hindsight, but both players were trending up after productive 2014 seasons. I knew Dorial Green-Beckham was an outside of the box projection, but he almost proved me right as dynasty owners treated him like a stud early in the off-season before reality set in. I projected a pair of rookies among the top 24 and Ezekiel Elliott easily made the list, Laquon Treadwell narrowly missed.
Overall, I correctly named 18 of the 24 players composing the 2016 ADP, which I am pretty proud of. After all, none of us projected a Calvin Johnson retirement or the huge breakout season from Cardinals running back David Johnson. The others I missed were Kevin White, DeVante Parker, Jarvis Landry, TY Hilton and Keenan Allen.
Many of the points I made in last year’s article still hold true. They include:
- Number of running backs in top 24 declining. This season, four backs made the list, matching the four from a season ago, but down from 12 in 2013.
- Conversely, the number of wide receivers continues to grow. This year, there are a whopping 19 receivers among the top 24. That’s up three from last year and up 10 from 2013.
- This year, the late round quarterback trend continues full steam ahead, resulting in no quarterbacks being drafted in the top 24. Both Aaron Rodgers and Andrew Luck were being drafted in the top two rounds a year ago.
- Last year, I found nine players who had been drafted in the top 24 each year from 2013-2015. Of those nine, six remain top 24 players. The six are:
- I noted last year that players being overdrafted based on high expectations was a trend, with David Wilson and Cordarrelle Patterson being past examples. Looking back at 2015 ADP, there were no examples of this, which could be viewed as a sign of improvement for dynasty owners.
Looking at each of these trends helped me in projecting what the 2017 ADP might look like. Obviously, it will be heavy with wide receivers, but I think we are nearing a transition period with many of the top receivers nearing the age 28, which is when dynasty owners have shown they begin to discount players.
Also, it is normal to see at least one, or maybe even two rookies in the top 24. The class of 2017 could challenge that with dynasty owners reaching in hopes of getting the next big thing on their roster. I don’t think it’s unreasonable to see a very high number of rookies in the top 24. Given the strength of the upcoming rookie class is at the running back position, we should almost certainly see an increase in the number of backs being drafted in the top 24.
Considering all of the trends of the past four years of dynasty ADP data, here are my projections for the 2017 dynasty ADP.
1.01 – Odell Beckham, WR NYG
1.02 – Mike Evans, WR TB
1.03 – Allen Robinson, WR JAX
1.04 – Amari Cooper, WR OAK
1.05 – Sammy Watkins, WR BUF
1.06 – DeAndre Hopkins, WR HOU
1.07 – Julio Jones, WR ATL
1.08 – Ezekiel Elliott, RB DAL
1.09 – Antonio Brown, WR PIT
1.10 – Todd Gurley, RB LA
1.11 – Donte Moncrief, WR IND
1.12 – Keenan Allen, WR SD
It should be no surprise that this first round is once again mostly composed of young wide receivers. Barring a serious injury, I see little chance for anyone other than Odell Beckham to be the top overall pick in 2017 drafts, while I expect big seasons and their young age to boost both Mike Evans and Amari Cooper into the top tier.
Coming off huge 2015 seasons and entering 2016 with equally high expectations, I find it difficult to see both Antonio Brown and Julio Jones maintaining their lofty value, especially when so many dynasty owners strongly consider age when making their early draft picks. Both should still certainly be first round picks, but I expect them towards the bottom half of the round.
I’m not sure if it should be considered a surprise, given the off-season hype of the past few months, but Donte Moncrief’s name might stand out in this group. I expect Moncrief to take over as the Colts top receiving threat, though TY Hilton is no slouch either. Moncrief has been push up into the second round range this off-season, so if he even comes close to delivering, he should slip into the first round.
2.01 – Brandin Cooks, WR NO
2.02 – Dez Bryant, WR DAL
2.03 – Leonard Fournette, RB (R)
2.04 – Alshon Jeffery, WR CHI
2.05 – AJ Green, WR CIN
2.06 – Dalvin Cook, RB (R)
2.07 – David Johnson, RB ARZ
2.08 – Jarvis Landry, WR MIA
2.09 – Nick Chubb, RB (R)
2.10 – Corey Coleman, WR CLE
2.11 – Rob Gronkowski, TE NE
2.12 – Derrick Henry, RB TEN
After just two running backs go in the top 12, the second round is nearly dominated with young runners, including three rookies. Entering the college football season, there were questions about how Georgia back Nick Chubb would be able to play coming off the severe knee injury he suffered a season ago, but he quieted all naysayers with a huge opening game. LSU back Leonard Fournette and Dalvin Cook of Florida State were not quite as impressive, but both have sky high potential and have a good chance to be early first round NFL Draft picks next spring.
It’s easy to foresee David Johnson doing enough to remain in the top 24, or maybe even crack the first round and one of the brightest stars of the preseason has been Derrick Henry. If the former Heisman Trophy winner can match that performance in the regular season, he could be in this range as well.
This round also includes a pair of “old” receivers with Dez Bryant and AJ Green, along with star tight end Rob Gronkowski. Brandin Cooks, Jarvis Landry and Alshon Jeffery are already being valued as second round picks and should be able to do enough to maintain that status next off-season.
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