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This past weekend was arguably the best time for Fantasy owners. You had the third week of preseason games, which is the most important, and also plenty of leagues held their drafts.
As Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh would say (or yell), “Who’s got it better than us?”
This is still an important time for drafts as we head into Labor Day weekend and then the first week of the season, and there’s a lot to cover with the latest Average Draft Position data on CBS Sports. Injuries and preseason performances from the third week of action have plenty of players moving up and down.
So let’s see what’s changed.
|CMP %: 63.7||YDS: 3,035||TD: 20||INT: 6||RUSH YDS: 568||RUSH TD: 4|
Taylor played well in 2015 as a first-time starter for the Buffalo Bills , and he was rewarded with a nice contract extension for six years at $92 million. There was some initial hesitation to trust Taylor as a No. 1 Fantasy quarterback because Sammy Watkins had offseason foot surgery, but Watkins should be ready for Week 1, which is all that matters. He was second in rushing yards among quarterbacks behind only Cam Newton , and I expect Taylor to be a top-12 quarterback this season if healthy. He’s being drafted after guys like Andy Dalton , Kirk Cousins , Jameis Winston , Derek Carr and Blake Bortles , and I consider that a mistake.
|CMP %: 62.6||YDS: 4,432||TD: 35||INT: 14|
It has been a choppy preseason for Manning and the New York Giants , but that might be a good thing for his value. The more he falls on Draft Day the better off you’ll be because he should finish as a top-10 Fantasy quarterback. His receiving corps in 2016 might be the best of his career with Odell Beckham , Sterling Shepard and hopefully a healthy Victor Cruz . And I’m not sold on the Giants run game, which should continue to mean plenty of opportunities for Manning to throw (at least 600 attempts each year with coach Ben McAdoo). He’s still the No. 9 Fantasy quarterback, but if he continues to slip you should benefit with a better value selection.
Other quarterbacks on the move …
- Derek Carr (ADP: No. 92 — up 11 spots): He benefits from a great opening schedule.
- Jameis Winston (ADP: No. 99 overall — up five spots): He looks locked in with Mike Evans .
- Kirk Cousins (ADP: No. 108 overall — up 11 spots): He benefits with the lack of a ground game.
- Ben Roethlisberger (ADP: No. 45 overall — down two spots): There’s concern with his WR corps.
- Tony Romo (ADP: No. 112 overall — down 16 spots): He’s still worth drafting in 2-QB leagues.
- Matt Ryan (ADP: No. 128 overall — down two spots): The Atlanta Falcons have struggled in the preseason.
|ATT: 395||YDS: 2,219||TD: 28||YPC: 5.6||REC: 11||REC YDS: 91|
Henry has looked awesome in the preseason with 27 carries for 154 yards and two touchdowns and one catch for 8 yards. DeMarco Murray has also played well with 19 carries for 153 yards and two touchdowns, and this backfield could be good if both are healthy. But if Murray were to miss any time, Henry could be a standout Fantasy option, and he’s a good No. 3 Fantasy running back to target in the majority of leagues. The Tennessee Titans want to run the ball as much as possible, and Henry should play a prominent role in his rookie campaign.
|ATT: 147||YDS: 830||TD: 4||YPC: 5.6||REC: 9||REC YDS: 76||REC TD: 1|
There’s still a lot to like about Rawls this season, but his ankle injury from last year has lingered well into training camp. He didn’t play in the third preseason game for the Seattle Seahawks , and Christine Michael has continued to shine. Along with the Seahawks adding rookies C.J. Prosise and Alex Collins this offseason, it’s understandable that Rawls has started to fall in drafts. He’s still the No. 16 running back off the board, but I’m glad to see him in Round 4 in standard leagues and hopefully Round 5 in PPR. If you draft Rawls, a good move is to handcuff him with Michael since this backfield should definitely remain productive.
Other running backs on the move …
- C.J. Anderson (ADP: No. 27 overall — up five spots): If he stays healthy he could have a career year.
- Melvin Gordon (ADP: No. 65 overall — up two spots): He passed the eyeball test in the preseason.
- Arian Foster (ADP: No. 69 overall — up two spots): He looked good in the third preseason game.
- Ameer Abdullah (ADP: No. 77 overall — up nine spots): Hopefully he doesn’t let us down again.
- LeGarrette Blount (ADP: No. 91 overall — up 17 spots): Dion Lewis going down could help Blount.
- Jamaal Charles (ADP: No. 15 overall — down two spots): Last year’s ACL injury has owners concerned.
- Ryan Mathews (ADP: No. 61 overall — down three spots): If he’s healthy, this could be a steal.
- Jay Ajayi (ADP: No. 111 overall — down 13 spots): It’s clear Foster is the RB to own in Miami.
- Tevin Coleman (ADP: No. 142 overall — down four spots): He lost any sleeper appeal this preseason.
- Kenneth Dixon (ADP: No. 189 overall — down 19 spots): His knee injury makes him undraftable.
|TAR: 47||REC: 24||YDS: 303||TD: 0|
All it took was a couple of big plays in the third preseason game against Tampa Bay for Fantasy owners to get excited about Gordon again. And it’s hard to blame them. Granted, it was only the preseason, and Gordon had just two catches against a cornerback in Brent Grimes who has trouble with bigger receivers. But he had a 44-yard catch on one play and a 43-yard touchdown on the other. If Robert Griffin III can stay healthy, that should help Gordon tremendously, even with his four-game suspension and that he hasn’t played in a over a year. He moved up in my rankings, and it’s easy to see why his ADP is on the rise.
|TAR: 72||REC: 31||YDS: 401||TD: 3|
I hope Bryant falls in every one of my leagues, and I’d be thrilled to draft him at No. 17 overall. That’s stealing based on what he can do this season even with Romo out for half the year. Bryant will be fine with Dak Prescott to start the season, and this isn’t the same scenario in 2015 when Bryant was stuck with Kellen Moore . He rushed back from foot surgery then, but he’s healthy now (he’s back at practice following a concussion) and should be a dominant force. Bryant is the No. 6 receiver off the board, which is fine, but I would still draft him toward the end of Round 1.
Other wide receivers on the move …
- A.J. Green (ADP: No. 13 overall — up three spots): His knee should be fine, and he’s a first-round guy.
- Amari Cooper (ADP: No. 28 overall — up five spots): He’s worth drafting in the second round.
- Donte Moncrief (ADP: No. 66 overall — up seven spots): My favorite breakout player this year.
- Marvin Jones (ADP: No. 93 overall — up nine spots): He might be better than Golden Tate this year.
- Devin Funchess (ADP: No. 137 overall — up 18 spots): Is he the best Carolina receiver to own?
- Tajae Sharpe (ADP: No. 171 overall — up 16 spots): He looks like Tennessee’s best receiver.
- Alshon Jeffery (ADP: No. 31 overall — down four spots): Bad team, health issues are a concern.
- John Brown (ADP: No. 86 overall — down three spots): His lingering concussion is a concern.
- DeVante Parker (ADP: No. 104 overall — down nine spots): Kenny Stills is the better value pick.
- Kevin White (ADP: No. 106 overall — down nine spots): See note on Jeffery.
- Sterling Shepard (ADP: No. 114 overall — down five spots): I still believe in him as a No. 3 receiver.
- Sammie Coates (ADP: No. 182 overall — down 18 spots): The bubble has burst on his sleeper appeal.
|TAR: 125||REC: 79||YDS: 1,043||TD: 9|
Barnidge is going to regress from last year’s breakout campaign, but so far he’s done well with Griffin in the preseason, which is encouraging. His value was low at the start of training camp because of Griffin’s poor history throwing to tight ends, and Barnidge was coming off hernia surgery in the offseason. But he looks good on the field with six catches for 42 yards and a touchdown in the preseason, and he’s worth drafting as a top-10 Fantasy tight end. I was skeptical of Barnidge initially, but he’s move up my rankings with his strong showing with Griffin thus far.
|TAR: 84||REC: 54||YDS: 491||TD: 3|
My feelings on Fleener haven’t changed, so I’m glad he’s moving down with his ADP, which means I can get him at a discounted price. After glowing reports prior to training camp, things haven’t gone as smooth with the depth chart snafu and a perceived lack of rapport with Drew Brees . But the talent is still there for Fleener in an offense that features the tight end, and I still consider him No. 4 at the position behind Rob Gronkowski , Jordan Reed and Greg Olsen . He’s No. 6 based on ADP behind those three guys, Delanie Walker and Travis Kelce , but Fleener remains a strong breakout candidate in 2016.
Other tight ends on the move …
- Zach Ertz (ADP: No. 100 overall — up 16 spots): He could easily be the best Fantasy option in Philly.
- Jared Cook (ADP: No. 155 overall — up 25 spots): Aaron Rodgers gives him the chance for a big year.
- Kyle Rudolph (ADP: No. 199 overall — up 10 spots): He could be sneaky with a late-round pick.
- Martellus Bennett (ADP: No. 94 overall — down four spots): He was being overdrafted before.
- Tyler Eifert (ADP: No. 107 overall — down 22 spots): He could miss the first 4-6 weeks of the season.
- Zach Miller (ADP: No. 158 overall — down 15 spots): His sleeper appeal is gone.
Source: CBS Sports / 2016 Fantasy Football Draft Prep: ADP review 5.0