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Fantasy Football: Top-10 players to fade at ADP in the first six rounds

Chicago, Illinois, USA; Chicago Bears running back David Montgomery (32) runs with the football in the second half against Arizona Cardinals outside linebacker Jordan Hicks (58) at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Quinn Harris-USA TODAY Sports

A major component of winning a fantasy draft is maximizing your draft capital. We love to analyze the potential league-winners we can get at a discount, but it is equally essential to avoid overspending. You will notice that some of the players listed below are great NFL players, but in fantasy land they carry a much higher opportunity cost versus similar options you can draft later.

Note: based on consensus average draft position (ADP) before Round 7 (pick 84) on ESPN, RTSports, Fantrax and Sleeper PPR leagues.

QUARTERBACK

Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills | Pick 25 | QB1

Allen is my top-rated quarterback for the 2022 season. Over the last four years, the scoring gap has grown between the QB1 versus the QB12 by over 30%, which begs the question — why is Allen listed as overpriced?

Over that same time frame, the difference between the QB1 and the QB6 is much lower (13%), and we have multiple mid-round options that make great picks in Rounds 5 and 6.

There are also a few other reasons to fade Allen at such a high price tag:

  • The opportunity costs are much lower in Rounds 5 and 6 for similar quarterbacks; we don’t have to pass a premium running back or receiver.
  • The wide receiver tiers flatten, and the running back tiers hit a cliff in the mid-rounds, meaning a pivot to a dual-threat quarterback provides in that range provides us with a strategic advantage.
  • We might see the delta between the QB1 and QB6 tighten even more as we get more dual-threat options in starting positions.

RUNNING BACK

Nick Chubb, Cleveland Browns | Pick 18 | RB10

Chubb is one of the best pure runners in the NFL, and his underlying metrics tell us he has RB1 overall upside if he ever gets the backfield to himself. Unfortunately, that isn’t likely to happen because Kareem Hunt is almost as good on the ground and is a better option in the passing game.

Hunt gets the trailing-script touches and often takes over in blowout leads, relegating Chubb to a relatively narrow window of beneficial game scripts. Additionally, we have seen the Browns unwilling to expand Chubb’s role even when Hunt is injured by allowing D’Ernest Johnson to take over passing downs.

Chubb doesn’t make this list in standard leagues, but his price tag is too high in PPR and half-PPR scoring.

Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas Cowboys | Pick 31 | RB17

Elliott was off to a hot start in 2021, averaging 18.9 points per game over the first six games. However, he picked up a PCL injury in Week 4, which might have led to his eventual drop in performance and loss of snaps to Tony Pollard.

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