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One of the best ways to prepare for your draft is to really understand where certain players are being picked on average. This gives you a leg up come draft day as it allows you to have a decent idea of what everyone else in the room is thinking.

After already showing you a few mispriced pairs of quarterbacks and wide receivers, today we conduct some running back ADP analysis and spot some draft day opportunities.

We use Fantasy Pros as our benchmark for both consensus ADPs and consensus projections. We also perform all of our running back ADP analysis within the realm of standard scoring.

In all three of our mispriced pairs, the running back being picked earlier actually has the lower point projection coupled with a foggier path to playing time. Not a good recipe for success.

Now that we have set the stage, let’s see the results of our running back ADP analysis.

 

Running Back ADP Analysis: Mispriced Pairs

 

NFC East Clash

Alfred Morris, Dallas Cowboys

Rush Att Rush Yds Rush TDs Rec Rec Yds Rec TDs Fantasy Points ADP
2015 202 751 1 10 55 0 87
2016 projection 83 351 2 6 41 0 50 143

 

Shane Vereen, New York Giants

Rush Att Rush Yds Rush TDs Rec Rec Yds Rec TDs Fantasy Points ADP
2015 61 260 0 59 495 4 100
2016 projection 70 289 2 53 437 2 95 208

 

Morris, who has seen his production steadily decline since his impressive rookie campaign back in 2012, looks to start over with the Cowboys. However, he appears to be in an intense battle just to land the third string running back job in Dallas. Fantasy owners everywhere must be relying on Darren McFadden’s injury history and hoping that Morris somehow becomes a pass catching back, as he is still being drafted within the Top 150 players.

Vereen is who he is, one of the top third-down backs in the NFL. His role is not murky at all, as he looks to post his third consecutive season with over 750 total yards. Fantasy owners must cite the lack of upside as a reason for drafting him outside the Top 200, as no other reason makes any sense. Vereen should be drafted in the neighborhood of fellow third down running backs Bilal Powell (ADP 132) and Theo Riddick (ADP 133), especially since his projection slightly exceeds both of them.

Vereen, not shockingly, owns a near 100% consensus projection advantage over Morris. However, shockingly, Morris is being selected multiple rounds earlier. Do not be the consensus, pass on the Cowboy buried down the depth chart and pick up the pass catching G-Man.

Southern Showdown

Derrick Henry, Tennessee Titans

Rush Att Rush Yds Rush TDs Rec Rec Yds Rec TDs Fantasy Points ADP
2015
2016 projection 127 530 4 15 138 1 89 100

 

Charles Sims, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Rush Att Rush Yds Rush TDs Rec Rec Yds Rec TDs Fantasy Points ADP
2015 107 529 0 51 561 4 129
2016 projection 100 432 2 44 400 2 105 113

 

The Titans obviously think highly of Henry, given that they just spent a second round pick on him. However, the Titans also have newly acquired veteran DeMarco Murray in the fold. So Henry looks to be in a timeshare at best. Despite the roadblock to playing time, Fantasy owners are lapping up shares of Henry to the tune of making him a Top 100 pick.

Unlike Henry, Sims has a clear and defined role as the third down back for the Bucs. He is also the clear-cut backup to starter Doug Martin. Last year, despite the resurgence of Martin, Sims still managed to record over 1,000 yards from scrimmage. There has also been some preseason chatter from the Bucs implying a greater workload for Sims in 2016.

The consensus projections for Sims are calling for a 250 total yard decrease versus his 2015 total. Even with the curious drop in production, Sims still has a 15 Fantasy point advantage over Henry. Yet, for some reason, Fantasy owners are drafting Henry 13 spots prior to Sims. Do not fall for the typical rookie hype, and wait on the back who calls Raymond James home.

Young Gun Shootout

Jay Ajayi, Miami Dolphins

Rush Att Rush Yds Rush TDs Rec Rec Yds Rec TDs Fantasy Points ADP
2015 49 187 1 7 90 0 36
2016 projection 137 578 3 23 173 1 97 79

Isaiah Crowell, Cleveland Browns

Rush Att Rush Yds Rush TDs Rec Rec Yds Rec TDs Fantasy Points ADP
2015 185 706 4 19 182 1 119
2016 projection 171 697 5 21 185 1 117 121

 

Ajayi looked to have the keys to the feature back position for the Fish, until management showed their hand and signed Arian Foster. He is also coming off a disappointing rookie campaign, where he managed less than 300 total yards in nine games of action. As of now, Ajayi appears to be the early down back, with Foster in line for third down duties. However, it is easy the see a scenario where the former Texans star wrestles away the early down role and takes it all for himself.

Crowell and fellow teammate, Duke Johnson, look to have a good thing going as they attempt to replicate the harmony in Cincinnati of Jeremy Hill and Giovani Bernard. Crowell seems to have settled in nicely as the primary early down and short yardage back. It also looks like the Browns offense as a whole should be improved in 2016. That should not be too high of a hurdle given they finished 25th in total yards and 30th in total points.

With all things considered, Crowell has a material projection advantage when compared to Ajayi of over 20 points. Despite the spread, it is Ajayi who is going over 40 picks before Crowell. Do not overthink this one, just be patient and take the back with the higher projection and lower volatility.

 

The immediate conclusion to our running back ADP analysis is that you should not blindly draft based on ADP. You need to consider point projections, playing time considerations, as well as the player’s upside and downside. Make sure that you stay plugged in to SCFE. You do not want to miss out on any of the quality and plentiful Fantasy Football coverage. We will be back shortly to discuss our final position of the Mispriced Pairs series, tight ends.

Here are a few links that you should have bookmarked:

The 2016 SCFE Fantasy Football Draft Kit

The Best Fantasy Football Draft Tool Ever 

FantasyPros Draft Wizard

FantasyPros Assistant

 

Data courtesy of www.fantasypros.com and www.espn.com

 

 

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Fabian Taylor
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Fabian Taylor

Fabian Taylor lives in Vancouver, BC. In his previous life, he traded natural gas for a couple firms in Calgary. He now trades stocks, bonds, and commodities out of a float home office. Family, finance and Fantasy Sports -- Is there anything else?
Fabian Taylor
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