Questioning the ADP: Second Round Risks

Ryan McDowell

With the off-season quickly coming to a close, I thought it would be a good time to look at some data collected by the DLF team over the past few weeks. I’m sure you’re aware that I collect monthly dynasty startup ADP, while Scott Fish mans the rookie ADP. As the final wave of dynasty drafts kick off, I polled the DLF team in an effort to bring you our collective thoughts on the best and worst picks you could potentially make in the early portion of your startup and rookie drafts.

This is the third in a 12-part series that will answer some simple questions, namely “who is the biggest risk?” and “who is the best value?” These are the types of questions dynasty owners ask themselves every time they are on the clock, so hopefully you’ll use this as a guide for the first three rounds of your upcoming drafts.

For this installment, I asked my fellow DLF writers to name the player they consider the biggest risk among the group with current second round ADPs. For reference, I’ll be using our latest August ADP data, which looks like this:


Again, we had 28 DLF writers participate, giving us a good look at some players you might want to consider avoiding in the second round of a startup draft. Let’s begin with the players receiving no votes, meaning they should be relatively safe options at their respective draft positions.

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Keenan Allen, WR SD

It should not come as a surprise that Allen received no votes as a risky pick in the second round, even though he sits near the top of this 12 player group. Allen was on pace for a huge 2015 season before suffering a fluke kidney injury that ended his season. Allen should again be the top target for Philip Rivers and at just 24 years old, he’s well worth his current ADP.

Demaryius Thomas, WR DEN

One player who has lost a great deal of dynasty value this off-season is Thomas, the Broncos veteran receiver. Not only did he turn 28, which has many owners questioning if this is the beginning of the end, but the Denver quarterback situation is far from stable. I’m actually surprised Thomas is still even among the top 24 and even more surprised he wasn’t mentioned as a risky selection.

TY Hilton, WR IND

There have been many in the dynasty community who expect young receiver Donte Moncrief to break out this season, which could obviously affect the production of Hilton. With that said, he’s one of the safest receivers in the game and plays in what should be one of the top offenses, despite last season’s struggles. In the late second round, Hilton has almost no risk.


Ezekiel Elliott, RB DAL

If you remember, our writers strongly disagreed with the selection of running back Todd Gurley in the first round, but they don’t seem to have issues with opting for a runner with their second pick. The Dallas rookie Elliott received just one vote from Zach Bahner, who noted some flaws with the former Ohio State star, including the nagging hamstring issue, the recent off the field allegation and the simple fact that he hasn’t played a single down in a regular season game.

David Johnson, RB ARZ

Another running back, second-year man Johnson, also earned just one vote from our team. While he was a surprise star in his rookie season, senior writer Dan Meylor still feels a second round pick is too early to use on almost any running back.

Alshon Jeffery, WR CHIjeffery

Another player our team considers to have very little risk is Jeffery, the Bears star receiver. Jeffery was mentioned just one time, by dynasty trade expert Eric Burtzlaff, who notes that he is selling Jeffery in all leagues due to the receiver’s continuing nagging injuries and inability to play through these issues.

Brandin Cooks, WR NO

Senior writer Eric Hardter has his doubts about the Saints Cooks, as you might remember from his recent article, OverCooked? I strongly encourage you to check out Eric’s article, but in short, Eric has concerns about the consistency of Cooks and also prefers Cooks’ teammate Willie Snead much later in the draft.

Randall Cobb, WR GB

Finally, another receiver most DLF writers trust as a second round pick is Cobb, who disappointed for Green Bay a season ago. Cobb was only mentioned once, as Adam Tzikas seems worried that the Cobb we saw in 2015 is the true version of the player and he is reliant on the presence of others, namely Jordy Nelson, to truly shine.


Le’Veon Bell, RB PIT

Over the past couple of years, Bell has given dynasty owners many reasons to invest an early draft pick into acquiring him. Unfortunately, as Matt Price and George Kritikos discuss, he has also given us a pair of reasons to avoid him, especially in the second round. Of course, the first issue, Bell’s injury history, is beyond his control, but it has to be considered when assessing his current value. Bell has two serious knee injuries in the past few seasons and other running backs are on the rise. Also, Bell continues to make poor off-field decisions, as evidenced by his most recent drug related suspension.

Lamar Miller, RB HOU

I have been a persistent doubter when it comes to the dynasty value of Miller, the new starting back for the Houston Texans. It seems that both James Simpson and Bruce Matson are in agreement as they named Miller as their riskiest player in the second round. Both James and Bruce noted Miller’s inability to handle a heavy workload during his time in Miami, as well as the deal with the Texans being the main reason for his stock to rise over the past few months. I expect Miller to have a career year, but I’m not sure that means he’s worthy of a top 24 pick.


Donte Moncrief, WR IND

While his teammate Hilton was viewed as a very safe pick, a trio of our writer pegged Moncrief as a potential risk. We’ve seen many young wide receivers drafted in the early rounds in recent years and oftentimes, those players are undeserving of that valuation at that time. Some go on to prove themselves a huge dynasty asset, while others become busts and set their dynasty franchises back a couple of years. This is the basic reasoning of Alex Onushco, Eric Dickens and Steve Wyremski, who all mentioned Moncrief as the player they would avoid in this portion of the draft.


Kevin White, WR CHI

Of the dozen questions I asked for this exercise, this was by far the most popular opinion. The DLF team does not trust White, at least not in the second round. As you know, White missed his entire rookie season with an injury and has been slow to get going through this preseason.

Here is the lengthy list of our writers who chose White as the riskiest player in the round: Mike MacGregor, Mo Brewington, Carla Gruse, Jacob Feldman, Kevin OBrien, Eric Olinger, Nathan Powell, Asutan Kas, Brian Malone, Mike Valverde, Jarrett Behar, Jaron Foster, Andrew Lightner, Dan Sainio and Jeff Miller. Also, my name can be added to this list.

Among the many reasons our writes gave to avoid White at his current ADP:

  • A year away from football
  • Only one season of elite level college production
  • Concerns with the Bears offense and quarterback
  • Being unproven at the NFL level
  • Being older than typical receivers in his draft class
  • Being just the second option on the Bears

With so many knocks against him, it is easy to see why he has his doubters, though it actually makes it even more surprising that he has maintained a relatively high dynasty value over the past year.

Coming up in the next edition of the series, I’ll ask the DLF team about their favorite value picks in the second round.


ryan mcdowell
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