Dynasty ADP Report: First Round Locks

Ryan McDowell

It feels like I blinked and the fantasy football regular season is nearly over. The long wait of the off-season is only made worse by the suddenness of the NFL’s regular season action, but as the season nears the attention of many dynasty owners turns to the upcoming season.

As the off-season getting closer and closer by the week, I’ve been spending more time thinking about how the dynasty value of many key players will change in the crucial upcoming weeks and months.

To gather some insight from the dynasty community, I took to Twitter. In the previous article, I discussed the players most likely to fall out of the first round of dynasty ADP by the upcoming off-season. Next, I wondered about the opposite…the safest players moving forward.

Unlike the previous question, the responses here were wide open. It was clear that the respondents interpreted the question in different ways. Let’s get to the results.

Odell Beckham, WR NYG

48 votes

Even a season-ending ankle injury hasn’t taken any of the shine off the dynasty value of receiver Odell Beckham. He remains atop our current dynasty ADP and was the most popular response to this question.

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Todd Gurley, RB LAR

DeAndre Hopkins, WR HOU

45 votes

It is interesting that this duo tied for this second spot as likely first-round locks. Both Todd Gurley of the Rams and Texans receiver DeAndre Hopkins were key cogs in struggling offenses a season ago, but off-season changes put these two back on the right path. Gurley currently ranks as the RB1, while Hopkins is the WR2. Both seem quite safe to be selected among the top twelve players in the 2018 off-season.

Ezekiel Elliott, RB DAL

44 votes

It has obviously been a rough year for Dallas running back Ezekiel Elliott, who dealt with off-field rumors for much of last off-season before finally being suspended for six games. The seemingly never-ending appeals process was finally closed recently when the Elliott legal team and NFL Players Association announced they would decline their further appeals.

Considering the high-level of play we’ve seen from so many this year, I am surprised to see Elliott, with all of his off-field concerns, sitting so high on the list.

Antonio Brown, WR PIT

Le’Veon Bell, RB PIT

David Johnson, RB ARZ

41 votes

A trio of players with 41 votes, close behind Elliott, includes a pair of Steelers, running back Le’Veon Bell and receiver Antonio Brown, along with injured star David Johnson of the Cardinals. Bell and Brown could each lose their quarterback following the season, while Johnson has missed the majority of this year. He may even one-up the Steelers and lose his quarterback and head coach.

Despite the potential shake up in the near future for these three, dynasty owners still trust them, finding value in their combination of high floor and high ceiling.

Mike Evans, WR TB

40 votes

With Buccaneers receiver Mike Evans currently tied for the top spot in our November ADP, yet only eighth in this exercise, there are clearly some doubters starting to gain a voice in the dynasty community.

Evans’ production has been inconsistent this season and his quarterback Jameis Winston, and in fact the Tampa offense as a whole, has been a let-down. At just 24-year-old, Evans is a lock to remain in the first-round of 2018 drafts.

Leonard Fournette, RB JAX

30 votes

The rookie class has made a huge splash this season, as expected. There are so many rookies making an impact though, that they might be canceling each other out as dynasty players flip flop from one to another and the value of each stalls. Among the rookies, most favor Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette to be selected in the first round, but some long lingering ankle woes could begin to affect his dynasty value.

Kareem Hunt, RB KC

19 votes

If this question was asked a month ago, Chiefs rookie back Kareem Hunt may have topped the list. After the first six weeks of the season, Hunt was the overall RB1, thanks to a season-opening 47 fantasy point performance, followed by consecutive 25 point games in the two subsequent weeks.

From week four through ten, Hunt is just the RB15, based on average fantasy points per game. That is still quite valuable as a fantasy asset, but probably wouldn’t draw consideration in the first round.

Michael Thomas, WR NO

14 votes

Despite the decrease in the Saints passing offense this season, second-year receiver Michael Thomas is on pace to better his receptions and yardage from a season ago, though he has just two touchdowns on the year after scoring nine in his rookie campaign. That is partially due to the combined 13 touchdowns scored by running backs Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara. Ranking eleventh on this list, expect Thomas to be a value around the first corner in 2018 startup drafts.

Julio Jones, WR ATL

13 votes

The Falcons offense has regressed this season, as many projected it would. I was hopeful the change at offensive coordinator following the departure of current 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan could result in increased red zone usage for star receiver Julio Jones, but he currently has just one touchdown despite seeing 11 targets near the paint. Win-now dynasty teams will be able to target Jones in the late first round, or maybe even early in the second.

Saquon Barkley, RB ROOKIE

11 votes

One of the top narratives in the dynasty community throughout the off-season will be the imminent arrival of Penn State running back Saquon Barkley, who is a mortal lock to be the 1.01 in the majority of dynasty rookie drafts. Many have called Barkley the best college running back ever. Barkley has a chance to do something that Elliott, Gurley, Fournette or any other rookie has been able to do…crack the first round of our dynasty ADP as a rookie.

Others receiving votes

9 votes – AJ Green

7 votes – Alvin Kamara

3 votes – Corey Davis, Stefon Diggs

2 votes – Deshaun Watson, Amari Cooper, Dalvin Cook

1 vote – Brandin Cooks, Melvin Gordon, Mark Ingram, Jared Goff, Jay Ajayi, Carson Wentz, Travis Kelce, Christian McCaffrey

In the next and final installment of this series, I’ll reveal my on predictions for the first two rounds of 2018 dynasty ADP.


ryan mcdowell
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