ADP Trends: Quarterbacks

Today we finish up our position-by-position look at draft risers. Running backs, wide receivers, tight ends and all other ADP articles can be found here. With preseason games in the books, we have an idea of who won the few open quarterback jobs and, to a certain extent, which passing games look sharp.

Since most of the big movement with quarterbacks comes outside the top passers, I stuck with National Fantasy Football Championship’s deeper data, and included the furthest fallers as well. Below are the top-10 risers and fallers in NFFC drafts leading up to kickoff weekend.

Player ADP
Last Week
Blake Bortles (QB, Jax) 319.0 246.5 72.5
Matt Cassel (QB, Min) 278.4 236.6 41.9
Geno Smith (QB, NYJ) 219.1 181.6 37.5
Teddy Bridgewater (QB, Min) 245.6 231.9 13.7
Tom Brady (QB, NE) 78.1 69.7 8.4
Joe Flacco (QB, Bal) 137.4 129.6 7.8
Matt Ryan (QB, Atl) 79.5 71.9 7.6
Carson Palmer (QB, Ari) 123.9 116.6 7.3
Jay Cutler (QB, Chi) 90.1 83.0 7.1
Ryan Fitzpatrick (QB, Hou) 211.6 205.2 6.4

Blake Bortles is the biggest riser and looked as good as Jaguars fans could have hoped in exhibition games, throwing for 521 yards while completing 32-of-51 passes with two of touchdowns and no interceptions. The plan was to sit the rookie for the entirety of his first season. If Jacksonville starts slow with starter Chad Henne under center,  head coach Gus Bradley will have no choice but to play the 6-5, 232-pounder in 2014. With the poise Bortles has shown early, there’s no reason to hold him back.

It’s curious that two Minnesota quarterbacks are among the top-4 movers. You would think as Teddy Bridgewater inched closer to winning the starting job, Matt Cassel would fall. Instead, both Vikings are being drafted within five picks of each other. Bridgewater is the keeper play, but this is probably a team to avoid where re-draft quarterbacks are concerned.

I’m on board with Tom Brady getting more love — and I don’t mean from Gisele. The 37-year-old was a member of my all-underrated squad to begin training camp. While I agree there’s a clear top-3 quarterbacks, Brady is QB4, and is one of two guys to ever throw for 5,000 (2011) yards and 50 touchdowns (2007) in a season (Peyton Manning did both for the first time in 2013 — at age 37).

Player ADP
Last Week
Johnny Manziel (QB, Cle) 169.6 195.4 -25.8
Sam Bradford (QB, StL) 149.4 166.4 -16.9
Matt Schaub (QB, Oak) 216.1 230.7 -14.6
EJ Manuel (QB, Buf) 168.9 181.1 -12.2
Michael Vick (QB, NYJ) 249.4 256.8 -7.5
Brian Hoyer (QB, Cle) 275.7 282.6 -6.8
Robert Griffin III (QB, Was) 75.8 81.1 -5.2
Peyton Manning (QB, Den) 11.5 15.0 -3.5
Colin Kaepernick (QB, SF) 85.3 88.3 -3.0
Chad Henne (QB, Jax) 257.0 258.7 -1.6

As pointed out in the overvalued list from last month, Johnny Manziel was bound to be a victim of media hype as he entered the league. Now that he’s officially a backup, it makes sense to draft the rookie as a speculative QB2 at his newly reduced ADP (Eric Siegrist touched on that earlier this week).

Another player I thought was overvalued early in the process was Peyton Manning. A 3.5 drop in ADP isn’t much, but when you consider that he becomes the second player you select in a 12-team draft, it’s significant. Don’t draft Manning expecting his 2013 numbers and you’ll be okay.

Colin Kaepernick has the dual-threat potential to make as big of a jump in production as any quarterback in the league. The main thing holding him back is San Francisco’s stout defense and a run-heavy offense that ran the fewest plays in the NFL in 2013. However, the 49ers defense is due for a regression in 2014 with Pro Bowl defenders Aldon Smith and Navorro Bowman out for most of the year and Justin Smith — the guy who makes it all go — entering his age-35 season following shoulder surgery. More snaps equals more points. Kaepernick, who recently revealed he had a foot injury that bothered him throughout 2013, begins only his second full season as a starter and has the best collection of pass-catchers of his career. Offensive coordinator Greg Roman has promised to spread things out more this year to utilize that talent, so if that’s the case, Kap at QB13 is a solid value.


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