The fantasy football draft season is an ocean of information ? and that data ebbs and flows like the tide.
One week, everyone is on the C.J. Prosise bandwagon. The next, they?ve jumped ship to ride the Christine Michael wave. Fantasy insiders might have been raving about Kevin White last month, but now they?re lunging for a life vest.
When you head into your fantasy draft, you don?t want to rely solely on the latest rankings. It pays to know who those rankings ended up that way, what trends have developed on draft boards, and why certain players are rising.
Donte Moncrief has been a value-pick darling all season, but in the past month his average draft position (ADP), according to fantasyfootballcalculator.com, has risen from 5.09 (the ninth pick in the fifth round) to 4.07 in 12-team, standard-scoring leagues. The Madman likes Moncrief and expects him to do well, but he has risen beyond the point of being a value pick. We?re not taking him ahead of Jeremy Maclin (4.09), Julian Edelman (5.02) or Michael Floyd (5.07).
One other player to consider over Moncrief is another riser ? Eric Decker, up from 5.11 to 4.11. Decker is as consistent as they come. We know he can produce on a weekly basis, and even moreso in PPR formats. Don?t gamble on Moncrief?s upside this early if a more stable option like Decker is available.
Others are climbing for phantom reasons ? by and large, though you factor in preseason performance and workloads, we generally consider them unreliable harbingers of regular-season production. Jeremy Hill has risen a full round (5.01 to 4.01), Melvin Gordon even more (6.04 to 4.11), and Rashad Jennings even more (8.03 to 6.07).
We never were high on the touchdown-reliant Hill this season, and a spending a fourth-round pick on an erratic producer, who shares the backfield with someone as talented as Giovani Bernard, doesn?t seem like a worthwhile investment.
We expect Gordon to have a much better fantasy season, to the point we were starting to get comfortable with him if he slipped past his earlier ADP in the sixth round. Now that he often requires a fourth- or fifth-round pick? No thanks.
Jennings was a Madman favorite when you could get him in the middle rounds. Now that he is nearly two rounds earlier? Pass.
Arian Foster has risen in the past month (6.12 to 5.04) despite it being revealed just how bad the Dolphins? offensive line might be. He was overvalued in the seventh round, and should be moving down, not up.
We also are soft on Josh Gordon (7.05 to 5.05) and Devin Funchess (12.03 to 9.06). Gordon is a high-volatility pick ? he could be great or disastrous. You need a stable of other usable assets before you should look at Gordon, and a pick in the fifth round does not allow that.
Funchess has a lower ceiling than Gordon, but a higher floor. We prefer him to some others in his draft region ? notably Stefon Diggs, Kevin White or Travis Benjamin ? but less than other draft neighbors like Kamar Aiken and Michael Thomas.
And Christine Michael (14.01 to 9.01)? Hasn?t the fantasy community learned its lesson? He is a reach in the late rounds, but a set-your-pick-on-fire pick in the middle of the draft.
On the other hand, some climbers are justified. Marvin Jones (9.02 to 6.01) finally has reached value, in the sixth round. He is stealing attention from teammate Golden Tate, whose decline (4.09 to 6.01) now makes him a decent value selection.
And Bilal Powell (12.07 to 10.02) was undervalued dramatically, and still is a pretty good bargain. Though we are not convinced he would be the heir apparent should Matt Forte go down, Powell should be featured heavily enough to warrant a roster spot.