ADP/Mock Movement Le'Veon Bell Josh Gordon Tom Brady

By Armando Marsal
Armando Marsal It is draft day and you are on the clock. All the hard work you’ve put in during the offseason is about to come into fruition. However, it doesn’t always go as planned. There are now players who you had high in your rankings facing a four game suspension. There is also a player who was not even expected to play this season, got reinstated, and is now expected to play after serving a four game suspension. How do you handle this situation? What do you do? How does this affect your rankings? In some cases a player’s value does not change much, in others, it tends to change a good amount. The main goal is to determine your value of that specific player and have a realistic projection in place to determine whether or not the asking price is too high. I’ll be going over three players who are currently expected to miss the first four games of the season and how their ADP has moved from June to August. I’ll be basing my numbers off MFL’s done by my friend, Jen Ryan.

By looking at the chart below, it is pretty safe to say that Le’Veon Bell’s stock has not dropped significantly. He was going as the fourth overall pick and is now being drafted tenth overall. Bell is set to miss the first four games of the season as he is suspended after not showing up to several drug tests. He is expected to appeal, so make sure to keep an eye on his status. Assuming he loses the appeal and is suspended for the first four games of the season, you have to start wondering if he is worth his current price. There is no doubt that Bell is arguably the best back in the league. He offers both speed and power, has great vision, is an every down back, and is a great pass catcher out of the backfield. He can pretty much do it all. The issue is that your fantasy team will be without Bell for a total of five games, if you include the bye week. That’s 38 percent of most fantasy leagues. This can be a big blow to your team if you can’t capitalize on draft day and select players that can get you through the beginning of the season. There are always pros and cons when making a decision. By drafting Bell at his current ADP, you’re passing on players such as Allen Robinson, Lamar Miller, Rob Gronkowski, and Adrian Peterson. Assuming each of these players play 16 games, they are all strong candidates to post better overall numbers than Bell. Another thing to take into consideration is that he is coming off of a big injury. Even if you give him the benefit of the doubt and expect him to play as he did before the injury, based on his averages over the last 22 games, his projections would look something similar to this: 958 rushing yards, 53.5 receptions, 495 receiving yards, and about seven touchdowns. It’s not awful, but it’s not what you’re hoping for from your first round pick. There is a bright side to drafting Bell. From Week 5 on, chances are you will have the best fantasy running back and he can be the difference between a championship title and a playoff loss. The playoff format and league settings all play a factor into the decision on drafting Bell this early or not. Just weigh out both sides and see what works out best for you.

What I would do: If he lands to me in the third round, I’m taking him. Chances of that happening are unlikely, but that is fine by me. You can let another team draft him and hope that the team struggles early on and would be willing to move Bell at a reasonable price to keep their playoff hope alive.

Josh Gordon has been conditionally reinstated by the NFL after he serves a four game suspension. He has not played a game since December 21, 2014 and his last 100 yards game came in November of 2014. In 2013, Gordon emerged as one of the league’s best wide receivers despite playing with below average quarterbacks. That season, he caught 87 passes for 1,647 yards and nine touchdowns. We’ve seen the numbers he is capable of producing and they are without a doubt first round material. If you look at his ADP, it has move dramatically in the last couple of months. He was going in the seventeenth round in June and is now going in the seventh round. For those who drafted him in June, kudos to you. That doesn’t mean that his current price is all that bad. If you take a look at some of the players that are being drafted in that range, there aren’t many who offer the ceiling/upside that Gordon does. At that point in the draft, rolling the dice on a player of his caliber makes sense. The fact that he missed a full season in 2015 and only played five games in 2014, is worrisome. However, he is still 25 years old and should play a big role in this offense once he returns to the field.

What I would do: Odds are that I’m taking a shot on Gordon at this price. Usually a seventh round pick is a flex player or a player I’m drafting for depth, so I will not be losing much. If he is just 80 percent of the player he was in 2013, he immediately becomes an asset and I will have one of the top receivers from Week 5 on.

The NFL commissioner finally wins his battle against Tom Brady and because of it, Brady will miss the first four games of the season. First and foremost, this suspension is tilting and the fact that we are dealing with this is absurd. Now that I gave you a one sentence rant, I will carry on and break down this situation. Brady dropped in drafts last year as he was expected to face a suspension. That didn’t occur and the result was complete season for him. He finished with the most passing yards and yards per attempt since 2012. In addition, he tied his second most passing touchdowns of his NFL career with 36. This was setting up to be a promising season for the future hall of fame quarterback with the additions of Martellus Bennett, Chris Hogan, and a healthy Dion Lewis, but now he will miss 38 percent of the fantasy season. That being said, there is still value to be had here. Unlike Bell, you’re not exhausting an early round pick for Brady. At this point in the draft, you’re looking for upside and value. Brady offers both of those things. As a fantasy owner, you’re not losing much in the first month of the season by playing quarterbacks such as Jameis Winston, Tyrod Taylor, Kirk Cousins, Tony Romo, and Andy Dalton. These are all the quarterbacks available after Brady is off the board. In essence there isn’t much lost by taking Brady this late, but there is a lot gained, and that is a potential QB1 from Week 5 on.

What I would do: Take Brady and stash him. There are a handful of quarterbacks that I would be comfortable starting on my team in the first month of the season. Once he returns, I’m golden at QB.

The number of teams in your league and number of teams that make the playoffs will play a role in your decision making during the draft. If six of 10 or even 12 teams make the playoffs, there are most spots for you to take chances in. If it’s just four teams, then taking a risk like this could hurt your chances of making the playoffs. Keep that in mind on draft day.

If you have any questions or comments you can always find me on the Twitter machine: @Armando_Marsal