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NFL Players Who Will Outperform Their ADP

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Finding the players who will outperform their expectations can be what sets you apart from your league-mates and help win your league. Who are a few players you should target via trades and startup drafts who will outperform their ADP?


Each player’s Average Draft Position (ADP) gives a rough idea of the average owner’s expectations of that player. It also coincides with the average owner’s confidence in their ability to perform for their fantasy team. As a rule of thumb, the higher the ADP, the lower that player’s value is. Let’s get into a few NFL players who will outperform their ADP that you should keep in consideration.

 

Running Back

Miles Sanders, Philadelphia Eagles

IDP Guys ADP: RB29

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One can argue that Miles Sanders’ current value is as low as it’s ever been after the worst season he’s played yet. Though a couple of things factor into this price of his that will no longer be of any concern next season.

Injuries

Sanders has missed 9 games in the last two seasons due to some minor injury concerns. He should have a fresh start to the season at 100% with a full offseason. We just hope that he stays healthy all year.

Quarterback Leads the Team in Rushing

In 2021, Jalen Hurts rushed the football 139 times for 784 yards. That is two attempts and 30 yards more than Miles Sanders for the season. Hurts is excellent on his feet and will continue to use them if he needs to. But these numbers are just simply not sustainable if the offense expects to improve from their mediocre 9-8 record and keep their play-caller healthy.

A Fresh Start is On the Horizon

The addition of A.J. Brown only backs up the insinuation that Jalen Hurts is set to see a decrease in rushing attempts. By adding some elite-level talent to the receiving core, the Eagles suddenly have a nice healthy choice of passing options for their young quarterback. This move clearly suggests that Philly wants Hurts to scramble less and stay in the pocket to make more passes.

Expect this to turn into more opportunities for Sanders to soak up some of Hurts’ 25% rushing volume share from a year ago.

Not enough to convince you? Take a look at fellow IDP Guys writer Michael Sicoli’s deep dive into why you might want to consider snagging Miles Sanders in the later rounds of your startups and redraft leagues. He covers some excellent points in this Twitter thread. Including, but not limited to:

A.J. Brown‘s arrival. Hurts’ red zone rushing attempts to decrease. Sanders’ efficiency without touchdowns. And more.

Feel confident picking Sanders up around the ninth round in single quarterback leagues and maybe a round or two later in super-flex formats. With a full season, he could very well reward you with top 15 upside if things go right.

Trade Values

Value-comparative players to start trade offers include:

Wide Receiver: Michael Gallup, Christian Kirk, Jahan Dotson, Gabe Davis

Running Back: Damien Harris, Chase Edmonds, Clyde Edwards-Helaire, James Cook

Wide Receiver

Juju Smith-Schuster, Kansas City Chiefs

IDP Guys ADP: WR32

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Juju Smith-Schuster is a proven top 10-15-capable wide receiver as he proved during his rookie and sophomore campaigns. Though the last couple of seasons have proven to be more of a roller-coaster ride and it shows in his ADP, even post trade to KC.

Injury Woes No Longer an Issue

One could contend that injuries and an aging quarterback proved to be obstacles that ultimately bogged him down after his first two years in the NFL. For example, Smith-Schuster missed a combined 18 games in 2019 (6) and 2021 (12), adding up to more games missed than even played in those seasons.

If we look at the 2020 season, he missed just a couple of games. Even with an aging quarterback and new positional competition, he finished as the league’s WR17 in PPR scoring formats. Marking his third top 20 or better fantasy finish at the position after four years in the NFL.

Proven Top 10 Capability

We already know Smith-Schuster is capable of top 10 or better fantasy production as a wide receiver after his eighth-ranked finish in 2018. Combine that potential with a new team in the Kansas City Chiefs with a top-three quarterback in the NFL throwing to him, and you have something worth getting hyped about.

Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs will be looking for Smith-Schuster to come in and make an impact. With 159 targets from last season now vacant, there is a TON of opportunity for him to get back to his days of finishing among the league’s best.

Smith-Schuster is currently being picked up around the eighth round in start-up drafts in most formats. Which is insane value considering he has the capability to end up with third-round draft capital a year from now. The cards are all in his favor to be one of those players who way-outperforms their ADP.

Trade Values

Value-comparative players to start trade offers include:

Wide receiver: Chase Claypool, Mike Williams, Amon-Ra St. Brown, Hunter Renfrow

Running Back: AJ Dillon, James Conner, Leonard Fournette

Courtland Sutton, Denver Broncos

IDP Guys ADP: WR37

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The Denver Broncos have finally revamped their offense since Peyton Manning‘s retirement in 2016. With an elite-level quarterback again, this talented receiving core suddenly has someone who can get them the ball.

Multiple (12) Different Starting Quarterbacks Since Manning

You read that right. With the addition of Russell Wilson, the Broncos will have started 12 different quarterbacks in the last six years. Even a wide receiver (Kendall Hinton) started a game at the position back in 2020. With such a high turnover at a vital offensive position, none of Denver’s receivers have had much of a chance to develop chemistry with a quarterback. Let alone a good one.

The 2022 season will offer a chance for this offense to make HUGE strides forward.

Sutton’s Ride Through Quarterback Mediocrity

Since being drafted in 2018, Courtland Sutton has managed a career 53 yards per game and a respectable 15.2 yards per catch. Those may not appear to be stifling stats at a glance, but they do show promise, considering he has never had a quarterback with near the ability Russell Wilson has.

Yet, even with daunting quarterback situations, Sutton accomplished a top-20 fantasy finish in 2019. A year where he reached 1,112 receiving yards on 72 receptions and scored six touchdowns. Averaging a nice 13.9 fantasy points per game in PPR formats. Even alongside Jerry Jeudy, he should at least be able to produce similar numbers in 2022, given the situation.

Dynasty startup drafts are seeing the veteran being picked up in the seventh and eighth rounds. If you correlate the stats above to draft capital, Courtland Sutton could very well earn you the value equivalent of a fourth-round startup pick a year from now. That’s a great return!

Needless to say, his WR33 ADP price tag is one he could easily crush this year.

Trade Values

Value-comparative players to start trade offers include:

Wide Receivers: Keenan Allen, Darnell Mooney, Devonta Smith, Mike Evans

Running Backs: Aaron Jones, Ezekiel Elliott, Josh Jacobs, Elijah Mitchell

Readers Digest of NFL Players to Outperform Their ADP

First, we talked about Miles Sanders and the A.J. Brown addition that insinuates a change of scheme for the Eagles. With Hurts hopefully hanging out more in the pocket, Sanders will be a prime candidate to take more rushing volume. Especially in the red zone. His efficiency and the potential increase in touches look to be great reasons to outperform that RB29 ADP.

We then transitioned to Juju Smith-Schuster and discussed his fresh start in Kansas City. He will be running routes alongside the likes of Travis Kelce in an open WR room. Having already had a top 10 performance under his belt, he appears as the likely candidate to take a bulk of Tyreek Hill‘s now 153 vacated targets. If things go well, there is more than enough opportunity to cut that WR32 ADP in half.

The third and final candidate we talked about is Courtland Sutton and his capability, given shoddy quarterback play from his first season in the league. With a major revamping in the signal caller department, he has all of the skills to make a major leap in value from his WR37 ADP.

Each of these players is of great value at their ADP in dynasty startups and will also make for some redraft sleeper candidates for the middle rounds. If your dynasty league is already established, don’t feel bad for making a deal for any one of them to make for nice flex position pieces with upside.


Thank you for reading! You can find all of my articles on my IDP Guys author page. Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @Harding_3 and follow @IDPGuys to keep up to date. 

Axton Harding

Hello there and welcome to my profile! If you like any articles in particular or enjoy my style, feel free to comment or message me on Twitter for things you'd like to see! I am 26 years old and a devoted husband to my beautiful wife since 9/19/2020. I am also father to the sweetest dog as well as my future son (due 09/2022). My love for fantasy has grown since my younger teen years playing in my family's redraft league on ESPN. Since then, I have created my own and added a few more redraft and dynasty leagues as well! I have always enjoyed the outdoors and playing about any sport as I come from a very small town in the middle of Missouri. I have very much enjoyed my time with the IDP Guys and aspire to be very much involved in the growth of the organization in the fantasy community! Please feel free to give me a follow on Twitter @Harding_3! Thanks for reading!
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