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East Coast Offense: Comparing Preseason ADP to Top Performers

Chris Liss

Chris Liss is RotoWire's Managing Editor and Host of RotoWIre Fantasy Sports Today on Sirius XM radio.

ADP vs. Performance


ADP* Player Rank** Rank Player ADP
1 Aaron Rodgers 23 1 Robert Griffin 12
2 Tom Brady 17 2 Matt Ryan 8
3 Drew Brees 3 3 Drew Brees 3
4 Cam Newton 11 4 Ben Roethlisberger 13
5 Matthew Stafford 20 5 Michael Vick 6
6 Michael Vick 5 6 Andrew Luck 15
7 Eli Manning 8 7 Andy Dalton 20
8 Matt Ryan 2 8 Eli Manning 7
9 Philip Rivers 25 9 Joe Flacco 18
10 Peyton Manning 15 10 Ryan Fitzpatrick 22
*Courtesy of
**Standard Scoring

It's only three weeks, so more volatility is to be expected than you'd find over an entire season, but owners who drafted quarterbacks early cannot be happy. Neither Rodgers, Brady nor Stafford is in the top-15. Rivers is at No. 25 on a team that played the Raiders and Titans already. Vick and Brees are living up to their draft slots mostly on volume (Brees has just 6.6. YPA and five picks, while Vick has 7.2 YPA and six). Only Eli Manning and Matt Ryan have been the top-10 QBs you thought they would be on draft day.

How much should these early results move the current market? Would you trade Philip Rivers for Andy Dalton? Tom Brady for Robert Griffin? What about Matt Stafford for Andrew Luck? If you'd even consider one of those trades, you obviously think the market has moved quite a lot. And I'd be with you. I'd rank Brady ahead of Griffin right now, but barely. Same with Stafford/Luck and Rivers/Dalton.

Running Backs

ADP Player Rank Rank Player ADP
1 Arian Foster 3 1 C.J. Spiller 30
2 LeSean McCoy 13 2 Ray Rice 3
3 Ray Rice 2 3 Arian Foster 1
4 Chris Johnson 52 4 Reggie Bush 19
5 Darren McFadden 18 5 Maurice Jones-Drew 9
6 DeMarco Murray 19 6 Jamaal Charles 10
7 Trent Richardson 9 7 Alfred Morris 63
8 Matt Forte 25 8 Andre Brown ND
9 Maurice Jones-Drew 5 9 Trent Richardson 7
10 Jamaal Charles 6 10 Frank Gore 18

The top RBs are delivering far better than the top QBs with one galring exception Chris Johnson. Of course, according to overall ADP, Johnson was typically the back people who faded first-round QBs chose. Besides him, only Forte has been a bust, and that's due to injury. Every other top-10 back is in the top 20 after three weeks, which means the market probably hasn't moved that much since the start of the year.

Among the lower-ranked players who climbed the RB charts, it's crazy to think Bush (4) and Spiller (1) both missed substantial portions of Week 3 with injuries. Alfred Morris and Andre Brown are probably the biggest surprises, especially Brown who was possibly the Giants final player to make the regular season roster either him or Ramses Barden.

Wide Receivers

ADP Player Rank Rank Player ADP
1 Calvin Johnson 2 1 A.J. Green 8
2 Larry Fitzgerald 35 2 Calvin Johnson 1
3 Julio Jones 4 3 Mike Wallace 20
4 Victor Cruz 15 4 Julio Jones 3
5 Andre Johnson 16 5 Torrey Smith 25
6 Greg Jennings 97 6 Jeremy Kerley ND
7 Brandon Marshall 26 7 Miles Austin 17
8 A.J. Green 1 8 Danny Amendola 50
9 Roddy White 21 9 Dwayne Bowe 22
10 Wes Welker 30 10 Reggie Wayne 31

Receivers are typically volatile especially in a smaller sample but Calvin Johnson is so reliable he's No. 2 despite his quarterback not being in the top 15. It's hard to read much into any receiver list after three weeks Larry Fitzgerald might be No. 35 so far, but few would discount him steeply after Week 3. In fact, it's hard to imagine a top-10 ADP WR whose price has changed all that much. Of the top-10 performers, it's a similar story. Perhaps Amendola's and Wayne's price tags have risen a bit, but I don't see anyone dealing Roddy White or Victor Cruz for them.

Incidentally before looking at this list, I knew my YF&F team was doing well, but had no idea that it had the top performing QB, RB and top-two WR! Lest you think I'm boasting, my TE, Coby Fleener, has been a bust.

Replacement Refs Favoring Home Teams?

After home teams were big winners against the spread in Week 2, the opposite happened in Week 3 (notwithstanding the end of the Seattle game) as road teams went 9-6-1 ATS. The theory was that the home crowd affects all referees as it's human nature to want to please rather than run afoul of 80,000 screaming lunatics. For those who lack the confidence and experience to resist this unconscious pull, it might be even harder. Given the tiny samples with which we're dealing, Week 3's results hardly prove the theory false, but obviously are some data points against it.

The biggest thing I've noticed is penalties seem to be enforced almost randomly. Egregious pass interference is often ignored, and then in the same game the most ticky-tack incidental contact is called. Same with holding and other judgment calls. People forget how regularly the real refs screw these calls up, too, but it's slightly less often, and they tend to call the game a little more consistently. I predict the labor dispute will be settled soon given the P.R. damage to Roger Goodell, and when it is, we'll go back to hating on the real refs.

Things to Take Away from Week 3

The Giants looked like last year's playoff team with a dominant pass rush, competent secondary and a balanced offensive attack. If someone dropped their defense, pick it up.

For the second week in a row, Andre Brown hit the hole decisively and showed good feet. Ahmad Bradshaw could return for Week 4, in which case he'd resume his role as the starter and probably get the bulk of the work. But Brown is in the mix, and were he to outplay Bradshaw during a game, he could supplant him. David Wilson is mostly a kick returner at this point.

Ramses Barden might be the team's No. 3 receiver even when Domenik Hixon comes back, but it's pretty clear Eli Manning can make a productive target out of almost anyone. Martellus Bennett is already a top-12-ish TE, and that might be selling him short.

Just as former Twins manager Tom Kelly said Mariano Rivera belonged in a higher league than the majors, Steve Smith belongs in a more aggressive league than the NFL.

The Bengals defense is bad, and Benjarvus Green-Ellis who finally fumbled is never going to be the offense's focal point. Andy Dalton and A.J. Green could have plenty more games like Sunday's.

It was odd to see the Saints still favored over the Chiefs by nine after the Giants annihilated Carolina on the road. Carolina beat the Saints, and the other team that beat New Orleans, the Redskins, lost to the Rams. Last year isn't relevant anymore.

I've beaten this to death, but it cracks me up the Cardinals were considered a joke based on a bad preseason and are now 3-0, having beaten New England, Seattle and Philly. Arizona's opponents would be 5-1 when not playing them, and the only loss was New England in Baltimore on a field goal that might not have been good. This is the opposite of the Saints whose opponents are a combined 0-6.

The Detroit-Tennessee game was one of the more random ones I've ever seen with 35 points in the last seven minutes of regulation, most of which came in bizarre ways. The only thing it lacked was a blocked punt. Chris Johnson had two carries in overtime, each of which went for minus-eight yards. Put differently, he was sitting on 12 carries for 40 yards not good, but at least monumentally better than he had done to date and he finished with 14 for 24 (1.7 YPC). There's not much you can do now if you own him but agonize over whether to start him next week.

The Niners were due for a letdown game after two big conference wins, so the loss in Minnesota isn't that surprising, and I doubt it's particularly meaningful. Adrian Peterson certainly seems like he can carry a big workload with 25 rushes and two receptions.

The Bears defense is one of the best in the league, but Jay Cutler doesn't look like a top-20 QB right now.

As long as Norv Turner's their coach, the Chargers will never be a team on which you can count. And what's wrong with Rivers and Antonio Gates?

A monster game by Ben Roethlisberger, but it wasn't enough because the Steelers defense isn't very good without Troy Polamalu.

Darren McFadden ran with surprising power near the goal line Sunday. He looked like Shaun Alexander in his prime with that nose for the end zone, only much faster.

I'm pretty sure dropping Mario Williams for J.J. Watt in the RotoWire Steak League was a good move. Where does Watt rank among fantasy D-linemen at this point? Has to be top five.

Things to Look for in Week 4

Giants travel to Philly to face the Eagles

Patriots travel to Buffalo in a big divisional game

0-3 Saints travel to play the 1-2 Packers

Bears travel to Dallas in a battle between tough defenses

Beating the Book

Patriots -4 at Bills

After a frustrating loss in Baltimore to put them at 1-2, one would think the Patriots should bounce back after all, it's hard to imagine them at 1-3. But it's a common fallacy to believe that an extremely unlikely occurrence before the season is still unlikely three weeks in. Now that they're 1-2, we need to recalibrate our expectations. Moreover, even if the Patriots are a playoff-quality team (and they probably are), that doesn't mean they can easily beat a division rival that should be up for this one on the road. Back the Bills who cover and quite possibly win outright.

Bills 24 23

Last week we won with the Raiders to put us at 2-1 on the season in this forum and 27-19-2 overall. Last year we went 10-7 in this forum and 124-125 overall. Over the last five years we've gone 50-34 in this space. You can read the full Week 4 column here.

Surviving Week 4

Last week there was more carnage which we avoided by taking the Bears and it's gotten to the point where some pools are already over. But in case you remain alive or happen to be one of many contemplating starting a new pool - let's break down the games below:

Team Opponent % Picked* Vegas ML** Vegas Odds
RAVENS Browns 57.40% 620 86.11
TEXANS Titans 12.90% 630 86.30
CARDINALS Dolphins 9.40% 255 71.83
FALCONS Panthers 7.80% 310 75.61
BRONCOS Raiders 3.60% 260 72.22
PACKERS Saints 2.30% 325 76.47
Patriots BILLS 1.60% 200 66.67
LIONS Vikings 1.00% 200 66.67

Home Team in CAPS
* according to
** average of the two moneylines

If you're re-starting a new pool this week, these numbers won't be accurate because a lot more people will have the Texans available. But assuming you're still alive in your original pool, you can see the Texans are the obvious choice between being both the biggest favorite on the board and only 12.9 percent picked.

If you're still alive, but already used the Texans, then the question is whether you go with the Ravens (57.4 percent taken) or the Packers (2.3%). Let's do the math.

In our hypothetical 100-person, $10 pool, if the Packers win and Ravens lose, you'd be down to 43 people, and your equity would grow from $10 to $23.26. If the Ravens were to win and the Packers lose, there would be 98 people left, and your stake would grow to $10.20.

The ratio of $23.26 to $10.20 is 2.28.

But the Ravens are 86/14 favorites, and the Packers only 76/24. In other words the risk in picking the Packers is 24/14 (1.71) times greater than that in picking the Ravens. But you'd be well compensated for taking this risk because your payout is 2.28 to 1. So I'd advise you to take the greater risk and pick the Packers. Of course, I reserve the right to change my mind when the full article comes out Wednesday night.

Follow Chris on Twitter at @Chris_Liss