ADP Analysis: Fallout, Reactions and Overreactions after Preseason Week 1

ADP Analysis: Fallout, Reactions and Overreactions after Preseason Week 1

This article is part of our ADP Analysis series.

After spending much of this past weekend watching preseason games and writing about what I saw, it's now time to look at how various events have impacted actual drafts. To do that, we'll compare Underdog ADPs as of Tuesday morning (Aug. 16) to the numbers from last Thursday (Aug. 11) before any of the games had started. (Underdog uses two-day averages for ADP data.)

There are couple relevant injuries, but most of the movement is simply reaction to performance or playing time rotations in the exhibition games. While I can't always say if the ADP shifts are warranted, it's easy enough to point out the big changes and explain at least part of what's going on. Let's get to it...

ADP Risers

RB Kenneth Walker

RB37 (ADP 110.0) > RB35 (102.4)

This has nothing to do with Walker's five carries for 19 yards in his NFL debut and everything to do with Rashaad Penny's groin injury. It doesn't sound serious, but any soft-tissue injury is a concern, especially for a guy with Penny's awful injury history. While the Seahawks rightfully plan to keep Penny as their starter, drafters are right to be at least somewhat worried about the injury (Penny has dropped from RB30 to RB32).


RB Brian Robinson

RB53 (173.8) > RB51 (160.7)

I actually expected more of a reaction to Antonio Gibson losing a fumble and then ceding first-team snaps to Robinson before reentering with the second unit. Especially after Robinson had 41 yards and a TD on eight touches. Then again, their ADPs had already started to converge, with Gibson missing time early in camp due to a hamstring injury and Robinson reportedly a threat for goal-line work. 

Robinson is now a threat for the starting job, though Gibson probably did enough the past two seasons to keep his spot heading into Week 1. He's on the hot seat, with six fumbles last year a big factor, but he's also talented enough to have a nice year if he can cut down on the mistakes. Gibson's ADP hasn't changed much since last week, interestingly enough (RB25, 79.5 > RB26, 81.7), while passing-down back J.D. McKissic has bumped up a bit from RB60 to RB58.


RB Isiah Pacheco

RB57 (186.3) > RB52 (162.6)

Full steam ahead for Pacheco, the seventh-round rookie who ran a 4.37 40 at 216 pounds after languishing in miserable Rutgers offenses throughout his college career. He had a modest preseason opener with three touches for 11 yards, but the key was his two snaps with the first-team offense... one more than Jerick McKinnon and two more than Ronald Jones (who didn't play until the third drive). Pacheco and Jones both go around the 14th round now, with the rookie at RB52 and the vet at RB53. Given current prices, Clyde Edwards-Helaire (RB28, 85.7) is my favorite KC back to draft. 


WR George Pickens

WR67 (146.1) > WR59 (130.0)

Pickens has become the 2022 poster boy for camp hype, with his value skyrocketing absent any relevant news or injuries impacting teammates. His situation remains the same, fundamentally, but Pickens seems to be crushing expectations in practice, even by the standards of a second-round pick, and he then added to the hype with a pretty 26-yard TD catch in his NFL debut (3-43-1 on five targets). Pickens was rising even before this past weekend, earning a spot in the Top 150 after being well outside it earlier this spring/summer. 

I think Pittsburgh found a gem in Round 2, but the list of veterans I'd rather draft in Pickens' ADP range is considerable... DeVante Parker, DJ Chark, Kenny Golladay, Michael Gallup, K.J. Osborn. The rook is even closing in on teammate Chase Claypool (ADP 109.0), a guy who started his career with consecutive 800-yard seasons, albeit with the sophomore campaign featuring some obvious negatives as well.


WR Romeo Doubs

WR71 (151.4) > WR63 (140.3)

Doubs is poster boy No. 2 for camp hype, and just like Pickens he backed it up with a long-ish TD in his pro debut. This seems too expensive for pretty much any rookie fourth-round receiver, apart from maybe in an Aaron Rodgers / Packers stack for a tournament. Maybe Doubs wins a starting job, or maybe he spends his rookie year on the bench. 


TE Albert Okwuegbunam

TE14 (139.0) > TE12 (133.4)

Okwuegbunam was the only projected starter to play for Denver's offense this past weekend, but most drafters don't seem concerned, moving him up instead of down with fellow Broncos tight end Greg Dulcich bothered by his hamstring again. I've loved Okwuegbunam as a breakout candidate all offseason, but this specific ADP shift doesn't make much sense to me. His presence on the field Saturday wasn't really what we wanted to see, and he may end up losing a bunch of snaps to a veteran blocker like Eric Tomlinson or Eric Saubert rather than the oft-discussed Dulcich. TE12 is a fair enough price; it's just weird to see his ADP rise when other young players are being punished for their usage in Week 1 preseason (see Burks, Treylon).


ADP Fallers

QB Zach Wilson

QB24 (189.1) > QB27 (201.6)

Wilson injured his knee early in the game and is scheduled for arthroscopic surgery Tuesday. Reports have mentioned a timeline of 2-4 weeks to recover from a meniscus trim and bone bruise, but it's also been suggested that doctors may need to do a more complicated meniscus repair once they get inside the knee... a potential season-ender (see: Irv Smith last year). The Jets are optimistic it'll be the shorter timeline, for what it's worth.


QB Deshaun Watson

QB22 (170.9) > QB23 (183.9)

This is probably more about suspension concern than Watson's 1-of-5 passing performance over the weekend. He missed a wide-open Anthony Schwartz on his first throw, but Schwartz did Watson no favors, dropping two passes shortly thereafter. The range of outcomes for Watson remains massive, as there's even a scenario where he's available Week 1 while appealing a suspension. Alternately, he could miss the whole year. Or perhaps something in between... TBD.


RB Ronald Jones

RB49 (153.1) > RB53 (167.8)

Jones had already fallen quite a bit since the start of camp, with Pacheco reportedly getting some first-team snaps and making a bid for a Week 1 role. Sure enough, Pacheco worked ahead of Jones on Saturday, prompting Nate Taylor of the Athletic (among others) to suggest RoJo is on the roster bubble. The Chiefs gave him $750k guaranteed, but he also has $3.5 million available via incentives — whereas a solid year from Pacheco would cost the team nothing extra. That said, the Chiefs could release Jerick McKinnon instead, or else keep four RBs. And even if he's released, Jones showed enough in Tampa that he'd likely catch on with another team soon enough. Whether he'd have a meaningful role with that hypothetical new team is another question.


WR Drake London

WR33 (68.6) > WR35 (ADP 72.6)

London should probably be penalized a bit more than this until we have more certainty that his knee injury isn't a big concern for Week 1. It certainly didn't look too serious, and it was encouraging to see him make a big play on his first target, even if he came away from the snap banged up and missed the rest of the exhibition.


WR Treylon Burks

WR43 (87.4) > WR45 (93.5)

Given the camp reports that preceded last Thursday's game, Burks getting a lot of his snaps with the third-team offense shouldn't have been a surprise. He also got some work with the second unit, including a carry for four yards, on a night where the Titans and Ravens both rested starters. I'd feel better if Burks had caught a pass, but he still has plenty of practices and two more preseason games to make an impression. My objection here is that he was too pricey to begin with, not that he should be buried after Thursday.


WR Garrett Wilson

WR52 (112.4) > WR54 (116.3)

The rookie first-round pick was targeted on Zach Wilson's first pass attempt, but the Jets mostly used Elijah Moore, Corey Davis and Braxton Berrios as their first-team receivers. (Garrett) Wilson taking Berrios' spot might just be a matter of time, but there's nonetheless quite a bit of target competition, and in an offense with massive questions marks... starting with (Zach) Wilson's health.


WR Russell Gage

WR49 (104.7) > WR51 (111.9)

Delayed reaction to the Julio Jones signing? Or maybe a reaction to Gage missing some practice time with a leg injury? Whatever the case, I like Gage at his current price a lot better than he liked him as a sixth/seventh-round pick before the Julio signing.


Best Bargains Remaining

RB Mark Ingram (RB65, ADP 206.4)

He might seem boring, but Ingram will get Week 1 carries and is one injury/suspension away from 15-plus touches per week. The New Orleans offense should be a bit better this year, and Ingram appears locked in as the No. 2 back after the team settled for UDFA Abram Smith as its "big" offseason addition to the backfield. Ingram and Alvin Kamara both were rested for the preseason opener. Drafters largely continue to ignore Ingram, picking him in the same range as guys who are battling for roster spots.


WR Zay Jones (WR82, 193.0)

Jones has risen from WR89 after a strong preseason opener where he exclusively played with the starters and made a big play downfield. Still, he's typically available in the final 3-4 rounds on both Underdog and Draftkings, going in the same range as washed-up veterans (Jamison Crowder, Sammy Watkins, A.J. Green ), free agents (Will Fuller, Odell Beckham) and former mid-round picks with uncertain roles (Donovan Peoples-Jones, Devin Duvernay). Give me Jones over any of them, as he figures to get a bunch of Jacksonville's deep targets and also proved last year in Vegas that he can be a threat in the intermediate passing game. 


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Jerry Donabedian
Jerry was a 2018 finalist for the FSWA's Player Notes Writer of the Year and DFS Writer of the Year awards. A Baltimore native, Jerry roots for the Ravens and watches "The Wire" in his spare time.
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