ADP Trends: Rookies

There should be a ton of movement with draft positions as hype and story lines build through week 2 of the preseason schedule this weekend. Before I start looking who is losing and gaining momentum, I want to see where the rookie class is slotting in fantasy drafts.

The long running theme with 2016 rookies, Ezekiel Elliott aside, is that the class is underwhelming and not as talented as 2014 and 2015. That theme is very much playing out in current ADP. It’s telling that Kevin White, who only this week suited up for the first time since being drafted last season, would rank second if you count him as a rookie with an ADP of 72.5.

Again, I’m using ADP data from the very deep National Fantasy Football Championship drafts, so we can see some names that probably aren’t being considered in shallower leagues.

Player Avg Pick Min Pick Max Pick
Ezekiel Elliott (RB, Dal) 10.4 6 17
Sterling Shepard (WR, NYG) 79.4 70 92
Corey Coleman (WR, Cle) 88.7 73 115
Laquon Treadwell (WR, Min) 121.0 79 138
Michael Thomas (WR, NO) 126.1 109 138
Derrick Henry (RB, Ten) 130.0 97 156
DeAndre Washington (RB, Oak) 148.7 124 184
Devontae Booker (RB, Den) 154.1 130 176
Tyler Boyd (WR, Cin) 154.7 125 178
C.J. Prosise (RB, Sea) 161.6 123 217
Jordan Howard (RB, Chi) 172.7 147 226
Wendell Smallwood (RB, Phi) 180.3 140 229
Kenneth Dixon (RB, Bal) 183.4 145 230
Josh Doctson (WR, Was) 187.4 164 261
Paul Perkins (RB, NYG) 210.0 178 279
Will Fuller (WR, Hou) 216.3 186 288
Roberto Aguayo (K, TB) 224.7 209 239
Keith Marshall (RB, Was) 226.3 159 277
Josh Ferguson (RB, Ind) 233.3 167 312
Jared Goff (QB, LA) 236.7 158 290
Tajae Sharpe (WR, Ten) 288.6 196 318
Kenyan Drake (RB, Mia) 291.7 267 327
Alex Collins (RB, Sea) 305.4 258 327
Tyler Ervin (RB, Hou) 306.1 261 337
Carson Wentz (QB, Phi) 306.7 260 350
Pharoh Cooper (WR, LA) 315.0 278 346
Austin Hooper (TE, Atl) 321.3 229 381
Leonte Carroo (WR, Mia) 326.7 296 354
Tyler Higbee (TE, LA) 334.6 289 388
Paxton Lynch (QB, Den) 335.9 306 354
Braxton Miller (WR, Hou) 349.7 322 378
Jonathan Williams (RB, Buf) 358.4 313 415
Rashard Higgins (WR, Cle) 363.0 298 397
Mike Thomas (WR, LA) 377.2 356 396

Sterling Shepard (79.4)
70 picks after Zeke Elliott we finally see another rookie coming off the board. It’s interesting that Shepard, a second round draft pick in April, is being selected ahead of all four first round receivers. Shepard has been showing off his advanced route running abilities all off-season and looks destined to pair with Odell Beckham as a dynamic No. 2 receiver.

Derrick Henry (130)
Henry has a wide range of draft positions as the second rookie RB, checking in just inside the top-100 overall at his highest selection, but down toward the 150 range at his latest.  He showed off surprisingly nimble feet in his exhibition opener at 6-3, 250 pounds, gaining 74 yards on 10 carries, but still has to contend with veteran DeMarco Murray for touches in Tennessee. It should be noted, though, that both Henry and Murray were on the field for the Tiants’ first play of the preseason, possibly signaling a timeshare out of the gate.

Josh Doctson (187.4)
Doctson’s stock has seen a steady slide since early fantasy drafts in the spring. His upside and first round pedigree have not been on display due to some minor injuries and Doctson’s place on Washington’s depth chart is also a question mark. At his current price, Doctson should be a strong buy, as his value could skyrocket with a big late-August showing or an injury to DeSean Jackson and/or Pierre Garcon.

Jared Goff (236.7)
Not only are rookie receivers at a discount compared to last season, the quarterbacks are not valued nearly as high either. Goff is the first signal caller to show up, but not until the 20th round in some 12-team drafts. Carson Wentz (306.7) is going 70 picks later, on average, and Paxton Lynch (335.9) doesn’t appear until the very end of the deepest drafts.

Tajae Sharpe (288.6)
Sharpe’s standout camp made it easier for Titans GM Jon Robinson to send second-year receiver Dorial Green-Beckham to Philadelphia. Still an afterthought in fantasy drafts, the fifth round pick out of UMass is now locked in to a starting job on the outside in coach Mike Mularkey’s “exotic smashmouth” offense. I expect Sharpe’s ADP to climb.

Pharoah Cooper (315), Tyler Higbee (334.6), Mike Thomas (377.2)
A trio of first-year Rams pass-catchers appear very late on the table above. Their value will likely be tied to how quickly QB Jared Goff develops in Los Angeles. The most interesting name is Higbee, who has prototype size and athleticism for a tight end and looked in sync with Goff right away in the preseason opener. Another Rams rookie to keep an eye on is the super productive, yet under-tooled WR Nelson Spruce.

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