Early ADP Bust

While 2 weeks is not nearly enough time to evaluate a player’s season, we can begin to look at trends that will give us hints offuture production. The players below have fallen short of fantasy managers’ expectations so far this season, based on their Average Draft Position (ADP). I am going to point out some troubling signs for each that do not bode well for them going forward. I never encourage selling low on a player, but if any of these guys have a big week, I would try to move on and shop them to other managers that are willing to pay their pre-season value:

Drew Brees

ADP: QB7

2020 Rank: QB23

Coming off of an underwhelming performance on Monday Night Football, people are beginning to question if Drew Brees still has “it”.  Through 2 weeks this season, his 64.7% completion rate, 93.5 QB Rating, and 6.9 yards/attempt are all his worst marks since 2012.  Not to mention his 4.4% TD rate (16th best among QBs) leaves fantasy managers wanting more.  

I’m sure that the absence of Michael Thomas has had a negative impact on his performance, but we are not sure how much more time he’s going to miss.  There was a time when Drew Brees was the one that made his receivers relevant, not the other way around.  While Thomas is out, Brees is not startable in 1 QB leagues.  Once he has his All-Pro receiver back healthy, he should be a solid streaming option or QB2 in SuperFlex leagues.  

Derrick Henry

ADP: RB5

2020 Rank: RB25

We all marveled at Henry as he carried fantasy managers into the 2019 playoffs with 20+ point performances in weeks 12-14 only to be limited by a hamstring injury in week 15 and miss Championship week 16! Obviously, that’s not what you wanted from him to end the season, but he showed us enough to vault his ADP into top 5 RB range for 2020 drafts.  Despite leading the league with 56 carries through 2 weeks, he’s only managed 3.55 yards per attempt and has yet to score a TD.  Some hoped he would pick up extra targets in the passing game with Dion Lewis gone, but 3 receptions on 5 targets in the first two games doesn’t give me much hope for improvement in that area.  Especially with Darrynton Evans, the Titans’ explosive 3rd round pick RB out of Appalachian State, set to make his debut after recovering from a hamstring injury.  I expect him to take on the pass-catching role that was intended for Lewis last season. I certainly expect better days ahead, considering this interesting tweet from Chris Raybon: 

https://twitter.com/ChrisRaybon/status/1308822225982758915?s=20

Even though Henry will likely increase his fantasy production as the year progresses, I don’t see him returning on his RB5 ADP this year.  The Titans are missing their All-Pro RT Jack Conklin, who signed with the Browns this offseason and Henry is feeling the impact.  Before he blew up last season to score 18 total TDs, his best PPR finish was RB15.  I expect him to end up as a high-end RB2 by end of season. 

Cooper Kupp

ADP: WR16

2020 Rank: WR44

The Rams WRs were a major topic of discussion for the Fantasy community this off-season.  Their mid-season transition to a heavy 12 personnel approach (2 WRS, 2 TEs) in 2019 was detrimental to Kupp’s production. While he struggled to maintain consistent snap counts and opportunities for targets, Robert Woods thrived.  Through the first two weeks of 2020, the Rams have been in 12 personnel on 22% of offensive snaps (only slightly up from 21% in 2019).  What’s interesting is that snap counts are not Kupp’s issue, he leads the team in snaps played for WRs.  There also hasn’t been a significant change in his team target share:    

Kupp Target Share

2019

21.2%

2020

19%

The problem is the Rams’ massive dip in passing volume from last season. In 2019, LA had the 3rd most pass attempts (39.5/game). They begin this season near the bottom of the NFL, averaging only 29 attempts/game. Given the early success they have had, I don’t foresee McVay going away from his run-heavy approach anytime soon. While it’s a positive sign that Kupp has been staying on the field in 12 personnel sets, it is going to be very difficult for him to return value on his WR16 ADP as long as they continue to favor the run game.

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