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Fantasy Football: 2014 RB ADP Sleepers

RotoExperts Staff August 15, 2014 12:10AM EDT
FNTSY Sports Network’s Pat Mayo & Garion Thorne explain why Le’Veon Bell, Frank Gore, Ryan Mathews and Arian Foster are undervalued compared to their current average draft positions (ADP) and should be considered sleepers entering the 2014 Fantasy Football season.

MAYO’S TOP 300 RANKINGS

Top 300: Gordon Done | Busts & Rookies | Sleepers | Ranks Debate | Rank Movers 
Top 300 (SEO Friendly!!!): 12 Problem Players | 10 Late Round Sleepers | 7 Buzz Players

RANKS  QB | RB | WR | TE  1st Look RANKS v1.0QB | RB | WR | TE
FLEX Experts League: Recap | Mayo’s Team | Every Expert’s Strategies & Reactions

ADP Movement: QBs Up | QBs Down | RB | RB v2.0 | RB v3.0 | WR TE
QBs: 
Draft Strategies Tiers 3 & 4 | Sleepers & Rookies | Aging QBs 
RBs: Draft Strategies | Tier 3 | Tier 4 & 5 | Tier 6 & 7 
Ranks Fallers | Ranks Debate
WRs: 
Draft Strategy | Tiers 3 & 4 | Deep Sleepers & Rookies 
TEs: 
Draft Strategy and Tiers
Sleepers: QB | RB | WR Stats & Sleepers | Injury Risks
StrategyPPR vs Standard | Weird Settings | Best Ball Scoring
Advanced StatsRankings vs. Projections | Advanced Stats Primer | Coach Tendencies
Format Previews: DFS Preview & Strategy | IDP | Dynasty Rankings | 2 QB Strategy

Subscribe to FNTSY on Youtube

There are myriad methods of successfully drafting a winning Fantasy football team. However three single strategies stick out, and blending them together is the best course of action:

Mock Drafts – This goes beyond just getting your feet wet for the new season; participating in mocks gives you access to information no one else can tell you. More than seeing which players are being over drafted and which names are slipping amongst the public, this affords you an opportunity to familiarize yourself with the drafting software – the most overlooked part of any draft. The majority of Fantasy players, when pressed to make a decision, will defer to the rankings provided on the site. But, every player will have a different value site-to-site. Not only that, some players are buried, hidden even, in each site’s default rankings. Spend a few minutes scrolling through the player list before the draft begins and start adding undervalued names to your queue. You’ll likely be the only person in your league that does this, and it can lead to some terrific steals as the draft hits the closing rounds.

Size up the opposition – Do you have league mates that simply MUST HAVE players from their favorite team? Do you know which website’s rankings they’re going to have printed out in front of them? Perfect. Since you know their exact strategy, use that information against them, and let the players you want slip to you a round or two later.

Advice to trust – Use mine. BOOM. You’re a winner! Let me ask ya, how does it feel?

Market Shares

As of now, I’ve completed 31 drafts. Not mocks, real drafts. Seems excessive, I realize that, but I’m good at managing the hot tabs at the top of my browser – it’s easier than it seems. And the one thing that’s jumped out to me so far, is that everyone is overvaluing running backs, once again. I’m not endorsing a full on “Zero RB” draft strategy, but unless I have one of the first four picks, give me receivers. They’re just safer. And honestly, I’m not a big fan of some of these “elite” RBs going in the first/early second round. There’s no doubt Eddie Lacy, Demarco Murray, Gio Bernard and Montee Ball have significant upside, but taking them inside the first 15 picks basically factors out any downside. At their current draft slots, they have to be awesome or you’re kind of screwed. You’ll notice I have Le’Veon Bell and Arian Foster ranked ahead of them; both are going up to 15 picks later than that aforementioned quartet. So, not only do I think I’m getting a better RB a round after the first wave come off the board, I’m getting a top end WR to anchor my team in the meantime. Basically, instead of avoiding running backs altogether, like the “Zero RB” method preaches, I won’t take an RB unless they’re coming at a discount. If there’s a giant run on RBs at the beginning of the second round, don’t assume you’re required to grab one just because the talent pool is running thin. No matter how dire your running back situation may look once the draft is completed, taking Antonio Brown, Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb and Alshon Jeffery over Andre Ellington, Bishop Sankey, Toby Gerhart, Alfred Morris and Doug Martin puts you in a far better situation to win a Fantasy championship; running backs pop up on the waiver wire all the time. You’ll be able to find one, trust me.

My Guys

That’s my guide to the first 30 or so picks, well that, and make sure to draft GRONKKKKK. After that, grab the values and shoot for upside. It’s impossible to create a perfect “how to” template on properly drafting a Fantasy team. But, what I can do, is let you know the players that have ended up on most of my teams.

Dez Bryant/A.J. Green/Brandon Marshall – Safety. That’s what it’s about. Each time I’ve selected after pick No. 5, one of this holy triumvirate has ended up on my squad. Marshall is the riskiest of the three, age coupled with the emergence of Alshon Jeffery, however his consistent opportunity in the redzone is too glaring to overlook. Green and Dez will likely end up with more yardage, but Marshall will overcome down usage games through TDs.

Antonio Brown/Jordy Nelson – Again, when your opposition is eager to pounce on tier two and three RBs at the beginning/middle of the second round, take one of these two WRs. Most rankers have them as a lead part of the second tier at WR, not me. They’re the final two names comprising the first tier of receivers. Both are studs and aren’t being drafted that way.

Arian Foster/Le’Veon Bell – I simply don’t understand how these two are slipping down draft boards. The knock against Foster is his health. But, unless something changes between now and Week 1, his health is intact, and whenever Foster’s remained healthy he’s returned Top 5 RB numbers. Oh, he’s the focal point of the Texans offense too. Bill O’Brian’s not crazy enough to say, “Hey Ryan Fitzpatrick, you should be dropping back and chucking 50 times a game.” That’s just not happening. And like Foster, Bell too is the center of his team’s offense. Yes, Antonio Brown will have giant role as well, but Bell’s job is safe (I’m not sweating LeGarrette Blount at all) and proved himself as a sneaky pass catcher over 2013’s final eight weeks. That’s his hidden value.

Rob Gronkowski/Josh Gordon/Ahmad Bradshaw – Of my 31 teams GRONK is on 29, Gordon resides on 30 and Bradshaw pops up on all 31. I mean, he only has to pass Trent Richardson on the depth chart. Not a difficult task, considering T Rich may be the worst player in the history of football. You can nab GRONK in the third or fourth and Gordon and Bradshaw after Round 12. Yes, Gordon may be suspended for the season, but if he’s not, you just earned a first round talent for absolutely nothing. It’s a much better use of a bench spot than a handcuff early in the season. Handcuffs only matter when you’re gearing up for the playoffs. At that point of the season, your bench means a lot less.

Travis Kelce – Generally, I’m not keen on drafting a second tight end; however I’m enamored with Kelce’s potential. And he seems like a worthy use of a bench spot backing up GRONK. Tight end is thin, and a surplus of legitimate options at the position has incredible trade value. Consider Kelce an appreciating asset.

Reggie Bush – Because I’m a sucker. Every. Single. Year. I just can’t help myself.

Justin Hunter/Jordan Matthews – SLEEPERS!!! Don’t take too many of them, as most don’t pan out, but this pair is going in the 10-14 round range, which is a more than acceptable price for their upside. Best part? You don’t have to draft either as a starter. Sit them a few weeks on your bench and see how their roles develop. If nothing’s there, lose them for the best free agent.

Fred Jackson/Chris Johnson/Knowshon Moreno – You’re all Fantasy ageists! Relying on any to be your RB1 is somewhat silly, but as an RB2? The path to touches is there. All three are currently being drafted outside the Top 75 picks, well after Frank Gore, Ryan Mathews, Zac Stacy and Rashad Jennings. The gap in expected production between these groups of players doesn’t amount to three rounds of value. Ideally, this trio will serve as solid bench RBs if I need an injury or bye week replacement, but can serve as an RB2/FLEX in a pinch. Just wait for the guys to fall and continue loading up with higher upside players from rounds 4-7.

Jay Cutler/Tony Romo – If you’re a beginner to Fantasy football, it’s not a the worst idea to grab Peyton Manning, Aaron Rodgers or Drew Brees early. They’re safe and won’t have you second guessing yourself every week. Just start them and move on. More seasoned players, though, they know better. Cutler and Romo are the two being drafted last of the second tier of QBs.

St. Louis D/ST – I pity Matt Cassel. If he can manage to elude the Rams’ fierce pass rush it will be his greatest career accomplishment. Point being, don’t waste anything but a last round selection on a defesne. You want to play the waiver wire and pick on soft matchups every week.

Mayo’s PPR RB RANKS

  1. Jamaal Charles
  2. LeSean McCoy
  3. Adrian Peterson
  4. Matt Forte
  5. Arian Foster
  6. Le’Veon Bell
  7. Marshawn Lynch
  8. Gio Bernard
  9. DeMarco Murray
  10. Eddie Lacy
  11. C.J. Spiller
  12. Montee Ball
  13. Reggie Bush
  14. Zac StacyFilm Credits: “Super Mario Bros.” as Goomba
  15. Doug Martin
  16. Pierre Thomas
  17. Ryan Mathews
  18. Andre The Juke of Ellington
  19. Chris Johnson
  20. Toby Gerhart
  21. Shane Vereen
  22. Frank Gore
  23. Rashad Jennings
  24. Fred Jackson
  25. Alfred Morris
  26. Joique Bell
  27. Steven Jackson
  28. Bishop Sankey
  29. Ben Tate
  30. Ray Rice
  31. Darren Sproles
  32. Danny Woodhead
  33. Terrance West
  34. Knowshon Moreno
  35. Ahmad Bradshaw
  36. Khiry Robinson
  37. Devonta Freeman
  38. Carlos Hyde
  39. Stevan Ridley
  40. DeAngelo Williams
  41. Maurice Jones-Drew
  42. Jeremy Hill
  43. Andre Williams
  44. Darren McFadden
  45. Bernard Pierce
  46. Dexter McCluster, telling you not to drive and LOL
  47. Roy Helu
  48. Christine Michael
  49. Benny Cunningham and his wife, Oprah
  50. Bobby Make it Rainey
  51. Mike Tolbert
  52. Ka’Deem Carey
  53. Chris Polk
  54. Knile Davis
  55. Jonathan Grimes (Or, Grimey, as he likes to be called)
  56. Ronnie Hillman
  57. Dri Archer #DANGERZONE
  58. Jonathan Stewart
  59. Chris Ivory
  60. Alfred Blue
  61. Tre Mason
  62. James Starks
  63. Shonn Greene
  64. C.J. Anderson
  65. Stepfan Taylor
  66. LeGarrette Blount
  67. Mike Gillislee
  68. Bryce Brown
  69. Donald Brown
  70. Marcel Reece
  71. BenJarvus Green-Ellis
  72. Jacquizz Rodgers
  73. Jerick McKinnon
  74. Lorenzo Taliaferro
  75. Lance Dunbar
  76. Daniel Thomas
  77. Latavius Murray
  78. Justin Forsett
  79. Chris Ogbonnaya
  80. Joseph Randle
  81. Bilal POWWWWell
  82. Storm Johnson
  83. Isaiah Crowell
  84. Dion Lewis
  85. James White
  86. Daniel Herron
  87. Daryl Richardson
  88. Edwin Baker Street
  89. Brandon Bolden
  90. Matt Asiata
  91. Mike James
  92. Robert Turbin
  93. Jonathan Dwyer
  94. Travaris Cadet
  95. Jordan Todman
  96. Denard Dog Robinson
  97. De’Anthony Thomas
  98. Marcus Lattimore
  99. Will Johnson
  100. Cierre Wood
  101. Lache Seastrunk
  102. Theo Riddick
  103. LaMichael James

WORST PLACE!!!!

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