Late-Risers: Where Should Owners Target Them?

Late-Risers: Where Should Owners Target Them?

By John Paulsen (Senior Editor), last update Sep 1, 2012

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John was named the Most Accurate Fantasy Football Expert by FantasyPros for the 2010 and 2014 seasons, finished as runner-up in 2011 and 4th in both 2012 and 2015 for a total of five Top 5 seasons in the last six years. Cumulatively, John was the most accurate expert from 2010-15 while also winning the 2011 Fantasy Sports Trade Association award for the most accurate draft rankings. 

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As we head into the final weekend of fantasy football drafts, I'd like to discuss several players that have seen their values rise over the past week. Fantasy owners need to reassess these players if they hope to get them on draft day, or else they'll be left holding the bag.

The table below shows the top 20 positive movers in terms of pure ADP (12-team PPR) from the August 1 to August 15 time span as compared to the August 25 to August 31 time span.


# Player Current ADP
Early ADP
Diff Current ADP
1 Rashad Jennings 98.9 135.4 36.5 9.03
2 Cedric Benson 82.0 115.2 33.2 7.10
3 Justin Blackmon 86.5 119.7 33.1 8.03
4 Ryan Williams 82.3 112.8 30.5 7.10
5 David Wilson 94.0 114.8 20.8 8.10
6 Greg Olsen 115.0 133.5 18.5 10.07
7 Kevin Smith 87.8 104.9 17.0 8.04
8 Titus Young 96.7 110.4 13.7 9.01
9 Nate Washington 99.5 113.1 13.6 9.04
10 Matt Ryan 43.1 56.0 12.9 4.07
11 Lance Moore 93.9 106.6 12.7 8.10
12 Jacquizz Rodgers 116.2 128.5 12.3 10.08
13 Danny Amendola 113.4 124.9 11.5 10.05
14 Jared Cook 107.0 118.4 11.5 9.11
15 Andrew Luck 100.1 111.5 11.4 9.04
16 Stevan Ridley 74.4 85.3 10.9 7.02
17 Malcom Floyd 89.9 100.8 10.9 8.06
18 Torrey Smith 64.1 73.9 9.8 6.04
19 Kyle Rudolph 126.9 136.7 9.8 11.07
20 Eric Decker 49.0 58.6 9.6 5.01


Jaguars RB Rashad Jennings (+36)
For much of August, owners could draft Rashad Jennings in the 10th round or later. But recently, with the Maurice Jones-Drew holdout lasting longer than we had expected, Jennings has seen his ADP rise three full rounds. While it's tempting to draft Jones-Drew in the 4th round, you'll have to use a 7th rounder to lock up the Jacksonville running game. For keeper owners, this is a bit more palatable because Jennings is set to become a free agent next summer, so he holds extra value.
Packers RB Cedric Benson (+33)
Cedric Benson was pretty much off the fantasy radar until he signed with the Packers. James Starks is dealing with turf toe and apparently hasn't made much progress, and Benson looked very good against his old team in the preseason. His main competition for touches is Alex Green, who had a nice game against the Chiefs this week. Expect Benson to start and get most of the carries, but Green will get some work especially on 3rd down where Benson tends to struggle. Benson is probably worth a 6th or 7th round pick for those owners in need of a running back.
Falcons QB Matt Ryan (+13), Colts QB Andrew Luck (+11), Lions WR Titus Young (+14)
Matt Ryan was going in the 5th or 6th round earlier in the summer, but after plenty of reports of a new aerial attack in Atlanta and plenty of Julio Jones hype, Ryan has seen his ADP rise into the 4th round. Elsewhere, rookie Andrew Luck has been very sharp in the preseason and looking like a solid QB2. At a different position, Titus Young has also been the subject of buzz after a terrific camp.
Jaguars WR Justin Blackmon (+33)
Justin Blackmon has performed better than expected with an improved Blaine Gabbert throwing the ball. In back-to-back preseason games, he tallied eight catches for 120 yards and a touchdown. If Gabbert can continue to progress, Blackmon will be a solid start (mainly in PPR leagues, since the Jaguars aren't likely to score a lot of touchdowns).
RBs Ryan Williams (+30), David Wilson (+21) and Jacquizz Rodgers (+12)
Ryan Williams, David Wilson and Jacquizz Rodgers are backup RBs that have established their roles and could even press their respective starters for touches. Of this trio, Williams probably has the best chance to earn starter's touches by midseason.
Greg Olsen has risen in drafts due to his head coach comparing him to Rob Gronkowski and Jimmy Graham. Jeremy Shockey is gone and Olsen has a great chance to become a bona fide TE1 in fantasy circles. Owners will have to use a 10th round pick to get him. Two other TEs made the list -- Kyle Rudolph and Jared Cook. Cook's rise is a bit puzzling though Jake Locker winning the QB job is probably a good thing for him. Locker was under center in Week 15 when Cook had his breakout 9–103 game against the Colts. He followed that up with 8–169–1 versus the Jaguars and 4–63 versus the Texans (with Matt Hasselbeck throwing the ball). Meanwhile, Rudolph has been on the rise all off-season and has drawn rave reviews at camp. He should be used heavily in the Vikings passing game and could turn into this year's Rob Gronkowski, though he isn't as proven as Gronkowski was heading into 2011.
Lions RB Kevin Smith (+17)
Kevin Smith has benefited from Jahvid Best's situation and will start the season as the Lions' RB1. Mikel Leshoure hasn't looked great in the preseason, so Smith should be RB2–caliber as long as he can stay healthy. Owners will have to use a 7th round pick to get him, or perhaps even a 6th. His stock might be a tad depressed due to the ankle injury. There are safer options in that ADP range.
Torrey Smith has had a very nice preseason and as a result his stock has jumped nearly a full round into the 6th. We love him as a breakout candidate and are not shy about targetting him in the 6th. Nate Washington has seen an even bigger jump, which is interesting considering Kenny Britt is only going to be suspended for one game. One of my favorites, Lance Moore, is starting to come off the board in the 8th round. I have been touting him for much of the off-season and have been unable to get him on any of my teams. Grr.
Rams WR Danny Amendola (+11), Chargers WR Malcom Floyd (+11)
Another wide receiver, Danny Amendola, seems to be the best option (especially in PPR leagues) in the Rams' receiving corps. He is going in the 10th round. Meanwhile, Malcom Floyd has benefited somewhat from Vincent Brown's injury and Robert Meachem's struggles in the preseason. Expect to use an 8th round pick to get Floyd on draft day.
Patriots RB Stevan Ridley (+11)
Finally, Stevan Ridley seems to have stayed ahead of Shane Vereen after Vereen left a preseason game with a foot injury. It's apparently not too severe, but Ridley has been going in the 7th round nonetheless. If he can hold onto the football, he will fit nicely in the role vacated by BenJarvus Green-Ellis, but with better explosiveness. However, the Patriots are trumped only by the Redskins in terms of RBBC uncertainty, so proceed with caution.
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