Fantasy News & Analysis

The wisdom of crowds: Free agency's winners according to Best Ball ADP

The first two weeks are almost up for free agency, and our own Jeff Ratcliffe has his opinions on the biggest fantasy football winners and losers. While Ratcliffe’s article is a comprehensive look from a qualified expert, we also have resources to assess free agency’s impact on players according to hundreds of best ball fantasy football drafters.

I took average draft position info from from before and after the free agency period began and calculated who the biggest movers were at the running back, wide receiver and quarterback positions. In this article, I’m going to focus on players whose ADPs have risen the most relative to the starting point, and I will follow up with another piece tomorrow that looks at the fallers.

Risers in New Surroundings

The players above were the biggest risers during free agency, benefiting from landing in less-crowded or more fruitful offenses. David Johnson was the other side of the Arizona Cardinals landing DeAndre Hopkins, and his ADP has risen significantly after the trade was announced. Johnson will join Duke Johnson Jr. in the Houston Texans’ backfield, filling a role that Carlos Hyde thrived in last season.

Jordan Howard was scooped up by the Miami Dolphins and will have tons of opportunity alongside marginal running backs like Kalen Ballage and Myles Gaskin. The Dolphins’ offense won’t likely be dynamic, but volume should be there for Howard.

Hayden Hurst was traded to the Atlanta Falcons and will fill a role that made Austin Hooper the sixth-highest fantasy scoring tight end last season. Randall Cobb wasn’t a great producer with the Dallas Cowboys last season, but the Hopkins-less Texans will need someone to attract targets from Deshaun Watson.

Here are all the numbers for the other risers (or no movement) who switched teams this offseason.

Player Position 2019 Team Pre-FA ADP 2020 Team Post-FA ADP Diff Gain
Hayden Hurst TE BLT 216.9 ATL 153.0 63.9 17.3%
Jordan Howard RB PHI 180.7 MIA 135.0 45.7 14.5%
David Johnson RB ARZ 79.8 HST 64.7 15.1 10.4%
Randall Cobb WR DAL 213.6 HST 185.9 27.7 6.9%
Tyler Eifert TE CIN 226.0 JAX 206.0 20.0 4.6%
Jimmy Graham TE GB 238.0 CHI 221.4 16.6 3.6%
Austin Hooper TE ATL 72.6 CLV 69.1 3.5 2.5%
Emmanuel Sanders WR SF 138.6 NO 132.6 6.0 2.2%
Eric Ebron TE IND 167.5 PIT 162.0 5.5 1.7%
DeAndre Hopkins WR HST 11.8 ARZ 11.8 0.0 0.0%

Risers Benefiting From More Opportunity

These are the players with the highest percentage gain in ADP who haven’t changed teams. Kenyan Drake’s ADP rise is the flip side of the David Johnson trade, as the Cardinals showed faith in Drake by applying the transition tag and letting Johnson go elsewhere. Mark Andrews’ rise is a similar circumstance, as he'll be benefitting from Hayden Hurst’s absence.

Will Fuller V will have opportunity with DeAndre Hopkins leaving, but health and role remain questions. Darrell Henderson is, by far, the biggest riser from free agency, though he's come from a low base. It wouldn’t be surprising if Henderson continued to rise throughout the offseason as it becomes more obvious he’ll be the leader in a fruitful backfield.

Here are all the numbers for the other top risers who remained on the same teams this offseason.

Player Team Position Pre-FA ADP Post-FA ADP Diff Gain
Darrell Henderson LA RB 115.7 70.1 45.6 24.5%
Kenyan Drake ARZ RB 27.6 20.7 6.9 14.3%
Mark Andrews BLT TE 51.4 40.7 10.7 11.6%
Will Fuller HST WR 98.8 82.6 16.2 8.9%
Adam Thielen MIN WR 60.7 52.5 8.2 7.2%
Malcolm Brown LA RB 193.3 171.2 22.1 6.1%


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