Rankings are great, but at times they fail to account for the human element in your fantasy drafts. To counter that, many look towards average draft position data to try and capture what their competition is planning to do. Still, ADP can vary widely from site to site and there no guarantee that you league-mates draft as they are “supposed to.” All told, providing useful draft analysis can be much more of an art that a science, but we’ll give it a try anyway. In our ADP series we are going to work through round-by-round fantasy football ADP results from ESPN.com to identify one player who is a value at their current ADP and one player we’d pass on. Let’s start at the top with Round 1 Pick ’em or Pass!
Jamaal Charles (RB, KC) – BretskyBall Rank: 2 | ADP (raw): 6 (8.4)
Though early-drafters were given a scare after JC hobbled off the practice field early in the preseason, he’s bounced back from the injury and is looking good to start the season. A new quarterback and coach will go a long way to improving the Chiefs offense in 2013. We all know Andy Reid likes to chuck it, which isn’t likely to result in a career high workload for Charles this season–likely a good thing, but we do expect, however, Charles to work heavily into the passing game, making him even more valuable in PPR formats. Those concerned that Jamaal may lose some goal line opportunities need look no further than Lesean McCoy‘s 20-TD season in 2011. We saw similarly effective red zone production from Brian Westbrook during his prime in coach Reid’s offenses– Westbrook averaged 13 scores per year from 2006-2008– as the rotund head coach understands fully that acceleration and quickness in the hole are paramount to an effective goal line running back, even more-so than size and power. Charles averaged an excellent 5.3 yards per rush last year, which was actually a career low, while piling up 1,745 total yards and 6 scores last season checking in as the 8th most valuable running back in standard scoring formats. We see no reason why he can’t beat both of those totals as he gets further removed from the torn ACL that ended his 2011 campaign early. After Adrain Peterson is off the board, an argument can be made no fewer than seven different running backs in that second slot, but grabbing Jamaal Charles at any point in the first round is certainly a nice way to get the fantasy football season started.
Alfred Morris (RB, WAS) – BretskyBall Rank: 17 | ADP (raw): 11 (11.8)
Tickle Me Al Mo was the breakout rookie running back of the 2012 season with the superhuman Adrian Peterson the only thing keeping the rookie from a rushing title. Morris and fellow rookie RGIII helped the Skins capture the NFC East crown and the team will enter 2013 with the confidence that their young and improving offense can beat just about any opponent that steps onto the field. The main hesitation on Morris as a first rounds is not necessarily a fault of his own, but more hesitation about the health of his quarterback and the unpredictable nature of his head coach. Morris doesn’t get a ton of looks in the passing game, after nabbing just 11 receptions last season, and though he’s been working on his receiving ability with Griffin in the off-season, we expect a now-healthy Roy Helu to be the teams back of choice in obvious passing situations. To us, Morris fits the mold as a rock-solid RB2 and while we don’t mind grabbing the rookie in that second batch of running backs in Rounds 2 and 3, he simply does not carry the dynamic upside of the other players going in the first round. Pass on Al Mo with your first selection.