Best Ball Journal: Post-Draft Veteran ADPs
Best Ball Journal: Post-Draft Veteran ADPs

This article is part of our Best Ball Journal series.

This article will focus on post-draft ADP changes among the veteran player pool. If you'd like to read the same analysis on the rookies, click here. Whereas that article dealt with 12 rookies whose ADPs rose following the draft, this article will feature two rising veterans and five falling ones.

At the end of each blurb I'll offer my verdict on whether I plan to buy these players at their new prices.

ADP RISERS

Ronald Jones, RB, TB

4/1 to 4/27

4/28 to 5/9

BestBall10s

176.36 ADP, 120-to-236

129.19 ADP, 88-to-168

DRAFT

122.8 ADP, 74-to-170

98.3 ADP, 61-to-131

Jones was one of my favorite targets in the late rounds during the winter and spring, because it's pretty rare to find a 21-year-old speedster second-round pick at running back available in the 14th round or later. I honestly did not need any more information than that to make that particular call – at a price that low the details beyond the ones mentioned are just noise. Following a draft in which the Buccaneers selected no running backs, it's understandable that the market favorably interpreted Jones' 2019 potential.

Jones' ADP was only deflated to that point because of the understandable bitterness toward Jones following his tremendous bust of a rookie season. For a player taken as high as the fifth round to finish the year with 77 yards and healthy scratches otherwise is basically unthinkable. But you need to take a couple things into account.

The first is that Jones was incredibly young as a rookie. He won't turn 22 until August. He's three months younger than 2019 second-round pick and fellow early entrant Miles Sanders. At that age there's of course the risk of general under-preparedness, be it from immaturity or simply getting thrown into the deep end too early, but there's also a meaningful physical disadvantage, and Jones was always skinny to begin with.

The second is that Dirk Koetter is one of the most memorably bad talent evaluators among NFL coaches. This is a guy who scanned the landscape for four years and decided that among his favorite running backs were Peyton Barber and Jacquizz Rodgers. Koetter had no meaningful sense of time and space; he looked at a rookie who turned 21 a few days ago and couldn't imagine the factors that might lead the rookie to look less effective at first glance than two veteran runners. "Ah, he's bad!" thinks the Koetter. A different, more qualified coach would have recognized the need to develop the rookie to harness his talent. Koetter just saw a college player and resented Jones for it.

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Bruce Arians is a pretty good coach. Don't expect him to prove nearly as fond of Barber or Rodgers as Koetter did. I'd guess Rodgers is a goner to make room for Andre Ellington while Barber sticks around as a role player. There's still a substantial risk that the Buccaneers acquire Duke Johnson or LeSean McCoy, but if they don't then I absolutely consider Jones the favorite in this backfield. This is a speed back with elite production at USC despite playing very young for his level. This is probably a delayed arrival rather than a total bust.

Verdict: High-upside value in the 11th round, but keep your volume in check in case Tampa adds another runner in upcoming months

Derek Carr, QB, OAK

4/1 to 4/27

4/28 to 5/9

BestBall10s

183.1 ADP, 144-to-240

178.71 ADP, 155-to-208

DRAFT

157.8 ADP, 97-to-201

156.4 ADP, 113-to-189

Carr's price has only trivially increased, but I wanted to mention him quickly. I understood the pre-draft fear of him losing his job given Oakland's three first-round picks, but since they selected no quarterbacks Jon Gruden is clearly all-in on Carr for 2019. In that case, landing him as a QB2 or QB3 in the 15th-round range is an obvious value in my opinion.

You don't need to think Carr is good to love this pick. I think he's bad. But I also think he's going to throw a lot of passes, and I think there's a real upside scenario particularly if Josh Jacobs hits a rookie wall and leaves Oakland with a stagnant running game. The exchange rate of ADP to Antonio Brown/Tyrell Williams/Jalen Richard target volume is exceedingly generous at this price. This is generally my favorite QB3 target right now.

Verdict:  Don't mind if I do

ADP FALLERS

The list of falling veterans of note is much lengthier. In some cases they make sense – especially when the faller is the one who necessarily must lose to subsidize the production of the rookie whose ADP rose following the draft – but a couple of these falling prices are totally arbitrary and make no sense at all.

Matt Breida, RB, SF

4/1 to 4/27

4/28 to 5/9

BestBall10s

111.26 ADP, 81-to-148

121.52 ADP, 86-to-161

DRAFT

120.8 ADP, 84-to-165

143.9 ADP, 92-to-191

It seems that all of the 49ers running backs slid a bit in the draft, perhaps to subsidize the rises of rookies like David Montgomery, Miles Sanders, and Devin Singletary, but Breida in particular should not be this cheap. Or at least, Jerick McKinnon and Tevin Coleman should not go as high as they do relative to Breida. Breida already was last year what the 49ers merely hoped McKinnon would be. Are we still seriously betting on theory over a proven practice? I'm not following this one. 

It's harder to utilize a rotation back like Breida in season-long leagues, but he's the favorite to lead the backfield in my opinion, yet he's going third in the group and among Carlos Hyde, Damien Harris, and Devin Singletary otherwise in the draft order. There's RB1 upside here in fantasy and I think an RB4 floor at worst.

Verdict: Obvious bargain with upside

James Washington, WR, PIT

4/1 to 4/27

4/28 to 5/9

BestBall10s

102.93 ADP, 68-to-134

108.23 ADP, 91-to-133

DRAFT

115.9 ADP, 75-to-149

125.5 ADP, 74-to-154

Following a rookie year where Washington caught just 42.1 percent of his targets at 5.7 YPT, the Steelers seem to have understandably lost some faith in him. They signed Donte Moncrief, who may be a journeyman but is nonetheless much more toolsy than Washington in addition to being much more experienced, and then they spent a third-round pick on Diontae Johnson out of Toledo. I think Washington will prove better than Johnson, but I don't think Washington is as good as Moncrief right now. I honestly don't know if I'd pick Washington in any round right now.

Verdict: Moncrief > Washington. Probably lots of other receivers > Washington as well.

Jack Doyle, TE, IND

4/1 to 4/27

4/28 to 5/9

BestBall10s

133.47 ADP, 100-to-170

140.63 ADP, 107-to-179

DRAFT

150.4 ADP, 106-to-180

156.8 ADP, 109-to-184

In every single case where Doyle was healthy last year, Eric Ebron was his backup. I've written previously about this year's strange tight end market, where I basically either get Kelce or Ertz in the first two rounds or I take Vance McDonald and Doyle in the 9th/10th, so I'm very grateful for Doyle's further ADP descent.

Verdict: If someone must take Andrew Luck's starting tight end in the 12th round then I will selflessly step up to do so

Mike Davis, RB, CHI

4/1 to 4/27

4/28 to 5/9

BestBall10s

98.77 ADP, 69-to-187

152.81 ADP, 118-to-185

DRAFT

80.1 ADP, 16-to-106

119.4 ADP, 82-to-176

David Montgomery is of course a fine prospect and the Bears mean to make a starting running back out of him, perhaps as soon as this year, but at risk of repeating myself from the rookie article I'll merely self-plagiarize instead:

Davis is an adequate pass catcher, perhaps a better one than Montgomery – so that's one way he could stay involved at Montgomery's expense. Montgomery's most unique selling point is his ability to run through contact, but Davis himself is a hot-motor runner who keeps his feet moving through contact.

The Bears certainly hope Montgomery will turn into their primary ballcarrier, but wagering on his rookie year for that outcome at these particular prices strikes me as risky. Davis is getting more money from Chicago than Damien Williams is in Kansas City, so it shouldn't surprise anyone if Davis stays in Montgomery's way through the conclusion of 2019.

So yeah, I see Davis as a coin flip's chance at starting for the Bears the majority of the year.

Verdict: Abso. Lutely.

Jalen Richard, RB, OAK

4/1 to 4/27

5/2 to 5/9

BestBall10s

155.05 ADP, 92-to-205

168.63 ADP, 115-to-213

DRAFT

183 ADP, 124-to-N/A

194.3 ADP, 136-to-N/A

Particularly in BestBall10s' PPR scoring, I can't grasp this development at all. You'll notice I set the second sample to start on May 2 – day after the Crowell announcement – rather than the end of the draft. Perhaps people just haven't had time to think it through yet, but Richard appears to be going later after the Crowell injury than he did before the draft. I don't think there's any objective way to rationalize this. It was a foregone conclusion that the Raiders would draft a running back early given their surplus of picks, so I can understand if an equation of Crowell + rookie + Richard made the Richard shares unappealing. I can't understand how Richard slips following the Crowell news, however.

As I mentioned in the rookie ADP article from earlier this week, I'm projecting Richard to play around 42 percent of Oakland's snaps and as many as 45 percent after playing roughly 39 percent last year. That could result in as many as 440 to 475 snaps for Richard, who's highly effective as a pass catcher. Based on Richard's past per-snap usage in Oakland, that snap count could result in as many as 100 carries and 85 targets. Based on his career averages, Richard would project for something like 528 yards and 1.55 rushing touchdowns to go with 68 catches for 578 yards and 1.65 receiving touchdowns. That would be 197.8 points in PPR, or 12.36 PPR points per game. Chris Carson scored 201.4 points in PPR last year. Jordan Howard scored 180, Lamar Miller scored 172.6. Richard should not be going this late in PPR.

Verdict: I'm buying, on credit if I have to

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mario Puig
Mario is a Senior Writer at RotoWire who primarily writes and projects for the NFL and college football sections.
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