Raymond Summerlin

ADP Analysis

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Ceiling and Floor ADPs

Monday, July 10, 2017


Assessing a fantasy assets’ ceiling or floor in any given year is difficult because those marks change throughout careers. Doug Baldwin had never topped 825 yards or five touchdowns in a season before he exploded in 2015, but now both of those totals look like the floor or even a sub-floor projection for Seattle’s No. 1 receiver. A talented receiver with a healthy target share, DeAndre Hopkins looked poised to rack up 1,000-yard seasons for the foreseeable future, but he failed to jump that seemingly low bar last year. In more philosophical terms, everything has never happened until it does, so assuming a player cannot reach a certain ceiling or fall below a certain floor simply because they have not done so in the past is not the best way to approach upside and downside conversations.

That said, past performance is a generally good indicator of future results, and drafting a player well above their previously demonstrated ceiling without a good reason to expect a breakthrough does not make much sense. On the other hand, a great way to find value is to draft the non-exciting players who tend to fall to or near their floors. Looking at this year’s early ADP, there are plenty of players who fit the bill in both categories.

*All ADP information found at fantasyfootballcalculator.com

Running Back

Devonta Freeman – 10 Overall, RB6 – Ceiling
It is odd to say Freeman’s current ADP is his ceiling considering he finished as the RB6 last season and the RB1 the year before that, but there are some mitigating factors to consider. First of all, his top of the heap point total in 2015 (244) looks more like the average RB4 finish over the past five seasons and was actually the lowest final score for the top back since at least 2000. In fact, Freeman scored just 14 fewer fantasy points last year than his RB1 campaign and still finished 96 behind David Johnson. Also, what we saw from Freeman last year was elite per-touch efficiency (.82 points per touch) which was a full tenth of a point higher than the year before. Freeman is an exceptional running back on a great team, but repaying his draft value will require him to maintain that level of efficiency or see more opportunities in an offense which will likely regress from their historic pace of last season and has a great second option in Tevin Coleman. Perhaps that will happen, but even then he will just be returning his draft cost.

Christian McCaffrey – 33 Overall, RB16 – Ceiling
McCaffrey is a great player who is going to a fantasy monster in the future, but he is currently being drafted as if he is the only guy in Carolina’s backfield who is going to get touches. Jonathan Stewart is not going to disappear, and that puts a cap on the opportunities McCaffrey will see this season without an injury. Over the past three years, Carolina running backs have averaged 406 touches a season. Even with the added targets McCaffrey will bring to the position, that means he will need to see nearly 50 percent of the total backfield touches to reach 200, and he would need to average .78 fantasy points per touch at that workload to reach the five-year average of the RB16. Both of those scenarios are possible, but they are at the high end of what we can expect from McCaffrey as a rookie. On the other end of the spectrum, Stewart and his current RB42 ADP looks like a floor play with upside.

Danny Woodhead – 88 Overall, RB36 – Floor
At running back the concept of a floor is more fluid than other positions because of the frequency of injury, and that is certainly true of Woodhead. Still, his current ADP is likely below his full-health floor. Viewed by some as a traditional “third-down back,” Woodhead has actually been a red-zone fixture throughout his career, racking up 148 red-zone opportunities and 32 touchdowns in 82 games with the Patriots and Chargers. That prorated pace puts him over six touchdowns a season, and while Baltimore’s backfield was not prolific last year, the running backs did combine for 10 scores. Considering his usage to this point in his career, Woodhead should both see a large chunk of those scores and help to increase the final total, making the 96-point bar he needs to jump to return RB36 value seem pretty low.

Wide Receiver

Brandin Cooks – 27 Overall, WR11 – Ceiling
It seems odd to call this Cooks’ ceiling because he has hit almost exactly the WR11 point threshold two seasons in a row, but he faces a different situation in New England than the one he left in New Orleans. First of all, he is heading to an offense which throws the ball more than most but still lags well behind the Saints. Even if Tom Brady’s prorated numbers are substituted in for last season, the Patriots would have attempted almost 100 fewer passes than the Saints and would have averaged 53 fewer attempts over the last five seasons. That might not seem like a lot, but for a player who would hope to see around 20 percent of the targets that represents about 10 opportunities. Of course, Cooks was not a 20-percent guy last year with Michael Thomas stealing work, and it is not a given he can get even close to that target share with Rob Gronkowski, Julian Edelman, Chris Hogan, and Malcolm Mitchell on the field. That means he will need to be more efficient with his work to remain in the WR1 tier, but he was already the fourth-best per-target scorer among the top 50 receivers last year. It is possible he gets the targets or is even more efficient playing with the best quarterback in history, but it feels like a ceiling bet.


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Raymond Summerlin is a football writer for Rotoworld.com. He can be found on Twitter at @RMSummerlin.
Email :Raymond Summerlin



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