NFL training camps open this week and best ball draft season is in full swing. If you’ve been watching/grinding PGA, MLB, or perhaps just going outside, I’m here to catch you up. We will break it down division by division, recapping all the biggest headlines and resulting ADP moves
We had some great calls in this column last year. I was very high on Cooper Kupp. I told you to ignore the “he can’t catch” narrative and buy the Ja’Marr Chase dip. If I’m going to victory lap the wins, I need to own up to the loses. Gio Bernard was my highest owned running back. Just typing that sentence got me a little sick.
I am approaching 250 total best ball teams drafted for the 2022 season on Underdog and DraftKings. There have already been some significant ADP moves and there will certainly be more to come. I will get you up to speed on everyone who is in the best shape of his life, and everyone who is Lenny Fournette.
We will be using Underdog ADP when referenced. If you aren’t already drafting the on the premier best ball platform in the industry, we can get you a deposit match of up to 100 bucks using the promo code DFSARMY.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Two of the summer’s biggest stories have involved Tampa Bay. First, Gronk confirmed that he is retiring. For people like me who were drafting some 11th round shares, assuming his ADP would spike 3 or 4 rounds when he eventually showed up, this was a tough early beat. Such are the risks one takes by drafting in May. I’ve drafted teams with Trey Lance 3 rounds later than he’ll likely settle. I’ve also got a few teams that will now be playing a TE/roster spot short.
Some people, including his agent, have speculated that Gronk could make a surprise late season return if Brady calls. I wouldn’t rule this out, but don’t think it’s worth sacrificing even a last round pick on this hope.
The other big story is that Uncle Lenny aka Playoff Lenny aka Lombardi Lenny got fat. Apparently, the coaching staff is not happy that he showed up to mandatory minicamp a biscuit short of 260. I had been drafting little Fournette even before the weight gain news. He was a league winner last year posting RB one numbers after being drafted in the 8-9 rounds. I’m not willing to bet a 2nd round pick on him replicating that success. He’ll probably shed the weight the before season starts, but he’s being drafted in the same range as Aaron Jones, Saquon Barkley, and Javonte Williams. For a similar price I’ll take Saquon, who is playing for a new contract and looks like a superhero, over Lenny, who just got paid and looks like the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man.
Dr. Jesse Morse expertly breaks down Chris Godwin’s timeline for return here. I agree with the good doctor’s assessment. I have not been drafting any Godwin at ADP (64.0), but if he drops another round or so I’ll start getting shares.
Russell Gage was a great real football signing for the Bucs, but I can’t get behind him in fantasy at his current, 6th round (69.2) price. I much prefer the upside of Elijah Moore, DeVonta Smith, and Drake London who are all going later.
I don’t have a hard stance on either Brady (84.5) or Mike Evans (16.1) at ADP. You know what you are buying with the future Hall of Famers, but they are not cheap.
My favorite Buc to draft has been RB Rachaad White. With an 11th round (122.3) ADP, the versatile rookie out Arizona State has a potential ceiling. If anyone stands to benefit from Lenny’s fatness, it is White. The 3rd round pick excels as a pass catcher out of the backfield and has some impressive college comps.
It feels like Baker Mayfield and the Carolina Panthers were the last two single people in the bar at 3am. After looking around and not seeing any better options, they reluctantly hooked up. It may be a marriage of convenience, but the market rightfully views Baker as an upgrade over Sam Darnold. All the significant Carolina pass catcher have experienced at least a minor ADP jump since the trade.
Christian McCaffrey has seen a small, but notable, one spot move upwards. He was going third behind Jonathan Taylor and Cooper Kupp. He has now jumped Kupp and has the second overall ADP.
We all know what deal is with McCaffrey. When, where, or if you draft him is totally dependent on your risk tolerance. Every per game projection is going to have McCaffrey as the top non QB. If you were to take injuries out of the equation he’d go first. That said, he’s missed a lot of games last couple years and buried a lot of teams that have drafted him.
In these large field best ball tournaments where you need to beat hundreds of thousands of entries, give me all the McCaffrey. With an ADP of (2.3) it’s not like you could get significantly overweight, even if you tried. If he does get injured it’s not going to sink your portfolio. The equation changes in a high stakes season long league where you only get one chance to draft. You will feel a lot safer starting your team with JT or Kupp.
DJ Moore is fairly priced (31.7 ADP), right between Pittman and Hollywood Brown. I am getting more of Brown, mainly because I like stacking him with Kyler, but I have no problem taking DJ Moore at cost.
Before Baker’s situation was settled he was going in the last round or completely undrafted. I think he’s still a bit undervalued in the 17th round (195.0) as a second or third QB on a best ball team.
The sneaky Panther to draft is Terrace Marshall (203.9 ADP). He earned targets at at LSU in a WR room with Ja’Marr Chase and Justin Jefferson. I am willing to write off his disappointing rookie season, at least partially, due to terrible QB play. He has been getting rave reviews in OTAs. Marshall has decent upside for a wide receiver going in the last round of drafts.
New Orleans Saints
For my money, there isn’t a team that is harder to project for the 2022 season than the Saints. Jameis is coming off an ACL tear, Mike Thomas hasn’t played in 2.5 years, and Kamara may or may not be suspended.
Let’s start with Kamara. A few weeks ago there were headlines that the team was bracing for a possible suspension of at least 6 games. More recently it has been speculated that his court dates and assumed suspension may be be pushed until after the season. The uncertainty has dropped his ADP into the 3rd round (33.9). I have not been a buyer at that price, preferring the younger version of his skill set (Travis Etienne) or any number WRs that go in that range. I may be proven wrong, but spending a 3rd round pick on a RB with 1,285 career touches, who is facing a possible suspension, is gonna be a no for me, dog.
The same goes for Michael Thomas at an ADP of 80.9. Even after missing TWO AND A HALF SEASONS, he’s still going 5 spots a head of Kadarius Toney and 8 spots before Brandon Aiyuk.
I much prefer Chris Olave going more than a full round later (93.0). The Saints traded a ton of assets to draft the Ohio State standout. Olave has the necessary (4.39 forty) speed to take advantage of Jameis Winston desire to push the ball down the field.
The once Dirty Birds are not exactly the sexiest team in the league from a fantasy perspective. Marcus Mariota has the inside track to be the starting QB, but no one would be surprised if they took a look at rookie Desmond Ridder later in the season. This scenario makes neither an attractive option in anything other than a deep super flex format.
Their running back depth chart is a muddled mess. Cordarrelle Patterson has an ADP of 109.3. He was the smash play that no one saw coming early last season. I view that as a outlier run that we will be pondering years from now, rather than anything sustainable. I’d rather draft Rhamondre Stevenson, who goes just before Patterson or Melvin Gordon/James Cook who are going right after.
Tyler Allgeier was very productive at BYU, but disappointed athletically at the combine. The 5th round pick with an ADP of 149.8 could certainly earn snaps, but doesn’t have the draft capital that tends to guarantee a role.
I love Kyle Pitts. Who doesn’t? He’s a 6’6” athletic freak who had more receiving yards than any rookie tight end in history not named Ditka. That said, if you want him, you are paying the iron price. There are no discounts in his 33.0 ADP. He goes 15 spots ahead of Waller and 18 spots before Kittle. I’ve definitely taken some shares, partly due to fear of missing out. If he starts scoring touchdowns, a truly monster season is in his range of outcomes. It is difficult get overweight, though, given the cost.
Drake London is easily my favorite Falcon to draft. After being selected 8th overall out of USC, he is the only rookie that is the unquestioned number one WR on his team. With an ADP of 76.1 he’s going right after DeAndre Hopkins who is suspended six games and Hunter Renfrow, who now has to contend with Davante Adams and a healthy Waller for targets.
London has the size and skill set to win at all levels of the field. I believe he is priced more than fairly considering his talent and expected role in the offense.
We are less than 50 days away from regular season NFL action. If you are new to best ball, take advantage of our great deposit match on Underdog and find me in the draft rooms. DFS Army is your one stop shop for everything NFL fantasy related. Join me here next week, when we break down another division.