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NFL Q: Rank rookie RBs in terms of how much you like them at current ADP?
A:

Phew, that's a big order, so let's get to it!  I'll be using ESPN's Live Draft Results to find their ADP.

Also, ranking based on how much I like ADP is going to be a little difficult, since I can not like someone's ADP in both directions (too low and too high), so I'm going to just examine all the rookies one by one starting high to low on their current ADP (low meaning later in the draft, and high meaning earlier...I think you get it, it's just that sometimes the meaning for high and low get swapped and AGH ENOUGH, START).

Also, I ignored fullbacks for this, because then we're just getting to a silly number of people.


Melvin Gordon - ADP 40.3 - RB Rank 17 - 2015 NFL Draft (Real Draft) Rd. 1 Pick 15

Gordon's ADP sounds about right, and might actually be a tad low.  He should be the workhorse in San Diego, but with Danny Woodhead likely getting a lot of receiving duties, Gordon is limited to being a ground threat.  He's still a likely solid RB2, maybe even high RB2, which normally might suggest a better ADP (guys just before him are going in the high 20s to early 30s), but his lack of tape is limiting him.  I think his ADP is just about right, though a little earlier works fine too, especially if your league meta values RBs early.

Bottom Line: ADP/Rank is about right, maybe even worth drafting slightly earlier.


Todd Gurley - ADP 49.3 - RB Rank 19 - Rd. 1 Pick 10

Gurley is tough to gauge.  He's currently behind Tre Mason, but who knows how the season will end.  He's got an RB1 ceiling if he beats out Mason and dominates with an RB4 or RB5 floor if he doesn't.  His ADP (and RB rank of 19th on average, so mid-to-low RB2) is frankly a little high for his floor, but with his ceiling, it's just about right.

Simply, Gurley is a gamble, and every league has a gambler or two.  Gurley will likely not get to the RB3 drafting range where the risk-to-reward ratio is ideal, since someone is always willing to take the gambling risk.  So while I don't necessarily "like" his ADP, I totally understand it.  If you're getting towards the bottom of the RB2 barrel and Gurley is still there, pull the trigger.

Bottom Line: ADP/Rank is a little high for my tastes, but reasonable for gamblers.


T.J. Yeldon - ADP 65.3 - RB Rank 25 - Rd. 2 Pick 36

Yeldon's ADP and rank look good for what he is.  He's a high RB3 in 12 team leagues, which sounds about right.  He's an imperfect RB, but he has a pretty clean situation in terms of being the #1 RB in JAX.  That strikes me as a pretty standard RB3 situation; decent but not great back on a team with some problems.  He has some upside though, so I can understand if you take him as a late RB2 in deeper leagues, or similarly if you discount him a bit because of his team, JAX, and want him more towards middle-to-bottom of RB3.

Bottom Line: Yeldon is about right in ADP/Rank, though there's a fair amount of risk/reward.


Ameer Abdullah - ADP 84.3 - RB Rank 32 - Rd. 2 Pick 54

There are some reports that Abdullah will get the biggest role of the three RBs in Detroit.  If that's the case, then his ADP and ranking might be a little low, and perhaps he could swap with Joique Bell (currently ADP 59, RB Rank 23).  Realistically, he probably doesn't rise that full 25 ADP and 9 ranks, but rather, I imagine both kind of move into the late 20s with ADPs in the 70s.  To that end, Abdullah's ADP is a little low, and I'd consider taking him a little bit earlier.  That being said, none of the DET backs are likely to carry your fantasy team, so Abdullah staying in the late 20's for RB ranking (early-to-mid RB3) and an early 70's ADP sounds about right, assuming reports of a larger role are accurate.

Bottom Line: ADP/Rank is a bit low, he could be higher, but not too much higher. Push him towards mid-70's ADP/Late 20's Rank.


Tevin Coleman - ADP 105.6 - RB Rank 36 - Rd. 3 Pick 73

It's the Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman show in Atlanta.  That's both good and bad for Coleman.  Coleman has potential; his college tape was incredibly productive.  Still, he might have trouble behind the ATL OLine.  I am actually a little bearish on Coleman right now, his preseason has not been a good one, and might be a peek at what might come behind a struggling OLine.  To that end, Coleman's place as a late RB3 to mid RB4 sounds almost a little early.  He's got upside, but I'd be wary right now, and try to get him closer to RB Rank 40 than the mid-30s; mid-RB4 sounds about right for someone who has struggled and will likely be in a timeshare even if they succeed.

Bottom Line: ADP/Rank is a little bit high for my tastes based on what he's done this preseason so far.  Push him towards 110 ADP/40 Rank.


Duke Johnson - ADP 116.5 - RB Rank 43 - Rd. 3 Pick 77

We're getting into the weeds now, Rank 43 is outside the starting range even for 12 team leagues.  To that end, Johnson is probably about where he needs to be, an RB4 in 12 team leagues and an RB5 in 10 team leagues.  He's got potential, but his body and skillset make it hard to tell if that potential will translate in the NFL.  He's also battling with Crowell and West for playing time, and while he'll definitely have a role, he's likely not going to be consistently starting material.  He's a strong bench option with some starting potential, but a low floor if Crowell or West get going at some point.

Bottom Line: ADP/Rank is about right, with some major potential variance thanks to the Cleveland platoon.


David Cobb - ADP 131.8 - RB Rank 47 - Rd. 5 Pick 138

Ugh, tough call here.  On the one hand, he's sandwiched between potential feature back Sankey and swiss army knife McCluster, meaning getting any consistent role is going to be tough.  On the other hand, Sankey didn't do himself any favors last year.  But on the other OTHER hand, the whole offense struggled, and Sankey likely rises if the offense gets better around him, and he almost certainly has more upside than Cobb.  Cobb has the build and look of a goal line threat though, so it's tough to write him off completely.  I do think his draft spot is a big high, I'd push him towards 50, that is, right around early RB5 for 12 team leagues.  A TD every couple weeks does not a starting RB make, and he's not even a reliable spot fill-in, so I wouldn't even want him as my first backup.

Bottom Line: ADP/Rank is a tad high, I'd want him slightly later.


David Johnson - ADP 140.6 - RB Rank 57 - Rd. 3 Pick 86

There's some sneaky potential here.  Ellington broke down last year, and while Johnson's skillset is not suited to feature back duty (too much east-west, too little north-south), David Johnson is likely the guy they'll try to spell Ellington with, at least at first.  I'd push him a little closer to RB Rank 50 or so, instead of the low 50s.  He's likely going to get a chance to get into the rotation, which is good for fantasy.  The thing is, we won't know if that pays dividends until later in the season.  As such, I'd be looking at him as a sort of RB5, that is, the 2nd bench guy on your team, and likely the last RB you draft, if you even draft an RB5, with potential to slide up towards RB4 status and spot fill if Ellington is having issues.

Bottom Line: ADP/Rank is maybe a tad low, I'd want him a little closer to ADP 135/Rank 50-52.


_____________________

And now we're at the people who are pretty consistently going undrafted.  If you're taking any of these guys, do so late.

Matt Jones - ADP 170 (undrafted) - Rd. 3 Pick 95

Jones has really shined in preseason, and the WAS system might be moving away from AlMo's skillset.  That means Jones' workload could shoot up very quickly.  Jones is easily worth an RB5 slot, and has potential to do more, and should be getting drafted.


Jeremy Langord - ADP 170 (undrafted) - Rd. 4 Pick 106

Langford likely doesn't turn heads in 2015, but Forte could be on his way out for 2016.  Ignore him in the draft this year, but keep an eye on the #2 slot in the backfield for handcuffs and dynasty.


Javorius Allen - ADP 170 (undrafted) - Rd. 4 Pick 125

Some secret potential here.  He's behind Forsett and Taliaferro, but he'll have a chance to compete with Taliaferro for #2 work.  Keep a close eye on him.  I probably would avoid drafting him, but he'd be on speed dial on the waiver wire.


Mike Davis - ADP 170 (undrafted) - Rd. 4 Pick 126

Behind Hyde, Bush, and Hunter.  Ignore unless something drastic happens.


Jay Ajayi - ADP 170 (undrafted) - Rd. 5 Pick 149

I'd say keep him undrafted, but he's waiver wire speed dial material.  Kid fell in the draft but has serious Pro potential.  If Miller goes down, and Ajayi outplays Williams, Ajayi could have some serious value.


Karlos Williams - ADP 170 (undrafted) - Rd. 5 Pick 155

With Fred Jackson released, Karlos Williams becomes an intriguing potential backup to McCoy.  The Buffalo backfield is still to cluttered for me to recommend drafting him, but I also couldn't blame you if you grabbed him in one of the last couple rounds.


Cameron Artis-Payne - ADP 170 (undrafted) - Rd. 5 Pick 174

Artis-Payne is another back currently going undrafted in fantasy worth a late grab.  Stewart is brittle, and Tolbert is purely a TD guy.  That makes him pretty weak while Stewart is healthy, but if Stewart goes down Artis-Payne only has to beat out some weak competition to be the top back.  Good handcuff and deep bench stash, even if as a player he's very imperfect.


Josh Robinson - ADP 170 (undrafted) - Rd. 6 Pick 205

He's probably not worth paying attention to, with Gore and Herron ahead of him.  Only if some serious injury happens to Gore does Robinson even get potentially considered, and even then you have to check Herron's status first.


Marcus Murphy - ADP 170 (undrafted) - Rd. 7 Pick 230

Ignore him.  Ingram is ahead of him, Spiller is ahead of him, Khiry Robinson is ahead of him.  Just...ignore him.  He probably makes the roster and might return kicks, but he's not a starter.


Kenny Hilliard - ADP 170 (undrafted) - Rd. 7 Pick 235

Hilliard is listed as 4th in the unofficial depth chart for HOU.  While Foster's injury creates opportunities for people, Hilliard has to hop over a lot of people.  Ignore him for now.


Answered by: David Lloyd
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