Welcome to the annual “Imploders” article where I tell you who, at their current ADP, is not going to live up to their draft position in 2017. For the record I like some of these players but I just cannot invest the type of draft capital to roster them. Last year I hit the nail on the head with Cam Newton, Kelvin Benjamin and Jordan Reed all drastically under performing based on their average draft position. I did however swing and miss on David Johnson and Devonta Freeman as they both finished as RB1’s and David Johnson was the top player overall in fantasy in 2016. Limited sample sizes be damned! ADP data is provided by fantasy football calculator and is based on a standard scoring, 12 team league format as of 7/19/2017. Now let’s check out my 2017 Imploders!
Matt Ryan: ADP 5.12, 61st overall
The reasons to expect Matt Ryan to negatively regress are plenty. He’s coming off his best statistical season and won the MVP award, lost the Super Bowl in epic fashion and lost Kyle Shanahan, his offensive coordinator to a head coaching job in San Francisco. History tells us that teams that go on to lose the Super Bowl struggle the following season and in most cases don’t even make the playoffs. The positives for Ryan are that the team he led to the Super Bowl remains relatively intact. The Falcons and Ryan flourished because of their league leading offensive efficiency which was in large part credited to Shanahan’s play calling and Ryan’s execution. I find it hard to believe that Steve Sarkisian will just pick up where Shanahan left off. Historical data also tells us that a league leading offense rarely repeats their performance the following year even with the same coordinator in tow. Matt Ryan is still a solid fantasy pick in 2017 but you are overpaying for him in the fifth round as the QB5 off the board. I would much rather wait until the 8th round and take either Kirk Cousins, Marcus Mariota or Jameis Winston who all have upside or even wait until later to select your first signal caller.
Derek Carr: ADP 6.08, 70th overall
When I was doing research for this article Derek Carr’s ADP stuck out like a sore thumb. He is currently being selected ahead of Russell Wilson, Cam Newton and the aforementioned trio of Cousins, Mariota and Winston. Carr had a nice 2016 season with just under 4,000 yards passing, 28 touchdowns and only six interceptions and was one of the better “late QB” targets last year. My problem with Carr at this ADP is that I believe his ceiling is extremely close to his production in both 2015 and 2016, 4,000 yards and 30 TD’s with double digit picks. If that’s what I’m drafting in a QB why not just wait until the 10th round or later and take either Philip Rivers, Matthew Stafford or Eli Manning?
Marshawn Lynch: ADP 2.08, 18th overall
Lynch is, by far, the most polarizing player in fantasy in 2017. We have all seen what he was able to do on the field in Seattle but after a year off what can we really expect from him in terms of production? The poster boy of consistency from 2011-2015, Lynch only missed one game and averaged 1,300 yards and twelve touchdowns. He was a rock solid RB1 in that time frame. In 2016 Lynch only appeared in seven games where he rushed for 417 yards and three touchdowns while averaging only 3.8 yards per carry, the lowest in his time in Seattle. Lynch retired after that season and went on a world tour doing things that only Marshawn does. When his hometown team came calling in the off season Marshawn couldn’t resist coming out of retirement to join them. My issue with Lynch at his current ADP of 2.08 is that he has the widest range of outcomes of any running back this year. Oakland’s line has been pointed to as one of the reasons people are buying Lynch which I believe is lazy analysis. The Raiders line is much better in pass protection than they are in run blocking. Lynch’s health and conditioning concern me and let’s be honest here, would it surprise you if he up and re-retired at all either before or during the season? He marches to his own beat, that’s for sure. If you select Lynch at his ADP you are much ballsier than I. I want a “safe” option in that spot 100% of the time.
Lamar Miller: ADP 2.11, 24th overall
Not many running backs went into 2016 with the hype train running at full steam as Lamar Miller did. Industry analysts like Matthew Berry were touting Miller with overall RB1 upside and I bought into the hype. Miller was underused in Miami but successful in per touch metrics, he got paid like a bell cow back and has a three down skill set and knack for big plays. All arrows pointed to a breakout campaign, so what happened? Bad quarterback play didn’t do Miller any favors as Brock Osweiler posed no threat in the passing game. Miller also missed chunks of plays in games due to nagging or minor injuries. He looked like he lacked his signature explosiveness in 2016 and his break away run rate was one of the worst in the NFL. While Miller returned RB2 value and wasn’t a complete bust I thought his 2017 ADP would come with more of a discount. Much like Marshawn Lynch his price is just too rich for my blood.
Allen Robinson: ADP 4.02, 40th overall
Here is a case of a player that I really like in real football versus fantasy football. After a breakout 2015 where Robinson had 80 catches, 1,400 receiving yards and 14 touchdowns on 151 targets he followed it up with 73 catches, 883 yards and 6 touchdowns on the same exact amount of targets in 2016. Robinson main struggles stemmed from his lack of success in man coverage compared to the previous year. When Robinson faced a top 25 corner in the NFL he struggled mightily. It also didn’t help his cause that him and Blake Bortles just couldn’t get on the same page with the deep ball, an area that he excelled in the year prior. My biggest concern with Robinson in 2017 is two fold. I don’t believe he will see 151 targets for a third straight season due to the rise of Marqise Lee and the return of a healthy Allen Hurns. My other concern is the direction the offense may take this season. Tom Coughlin is overseeing personnel and drafted Leonard Fournette as well as a full back in the draft in an effort to become more of a running team that plays good defense. Robinson will have to be super efficient in order to pay off his ADP this year and I would rather target players like Demaryius Thomas, Keenan Allen or Alshon Jeffrey in that similar range.
Brandon Marshall: ADP 5.10, 59th overall
I’ll be blunt and to the point here. I don’t believe in Marshall as a WR2 on an NFL team. He wants to be the big dog and I think he will have issues adjusting to the role that he has never had before. He wanted to stay in New York so that he could still do “Inside the NFL” and has proven to be a club house cancer albeit not in his first year with the team. The focus of the offense is OBJ and let’s not forget that Sterling Shepard and new draftee Evan Engram are their too. I don’t trust Eli Manning’s efficiency enough to support Marshall’s fifth round ADP. Look elsewhere!
Jimmy Graham ADP 6.05, 67th overall
One of the biggest surprise stories was the return of Jimmy Graham after his patella tendon injury. Many left Graham for dead but the resurrected Tight End went on to catch 65 balls for 923 yards and six touchdowns and finished as a top 5 Tight End. So why am I down on Graham at his current ADP you ask? Well first of all, much like Quarterback I like to wait to select my primary Tight End. Secondly I didn’t like how Graham finished the 2016 campaign. Only 8 catches in his final four games and he looked incredibly slow to me. I would have loved to see his production get better as Russell Wilson got healthier during the season but it just didn’t happen that way. I would much rather take Kyle Rudolph a full four rounds later as he is a player that should finish with similar statistics in 2017.
Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed my take on players who I don’t think will pay off their ADP this season! At the end of the season I will be recapping both Exploders and Imploders with a scorecard of how my predictions panned out as I like to be accountable for my work!
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