This is my favorite time of the preseason. We're less than three weeks away from the start of the season. A lot of Fantasy drafts are about to take place. We have two full weeks of preseason action. And we have interesting Average Draft Position data at our fingertips.
This is our third installment of our review of the CBS Sports ADP, which we cover each Monday. And I love seeing what changes each week.
For example, we're seeing Jonathan Taylor's ADP slide while he continues to be away from the Colts. Rhamondre Stevenson and Breece Hall are also on the decline after getting new partners in the backfield. Meanwhile, some players on the rise include Alvin Kamara, James Cook, D.J. Moore and Michael Thomas, among others.
We're going to dive into the ADP for all of these players and more below. And, following the second week of preseason games, I'm curious to see what happens with the ADP for some late-round running backs like Jaylen Warren, Roschon Johnson, Tank Bigsby, Tyjae Spears and Sean Tucker, who all performed well. But first we'll start at the top of the draft.
Editor's note: The CBS Sports Average Draft Position data takes into account all drafts and all formats, including mock drafts.
Top 12 overall
Here is what the top 12 overall picks look like as of Aug. 21:
1. Christian McCaffrey, RB, SF
2. Justin Jefferson, WR, MIN
3. Patrick Mahomes, QB, KC
4. Austin Ekeler, RB, LAC
5. Ja'Marr Chase, WR, CIN
6. Bijan Robinson, RB, ATL
7. Nick Chubb, RB, CLE
8. Jalen Hurts, QB, PHI
9. Travis Kelce, TE, KC
10. Josh Allen, QB, BUF
11. Derrick Henry, RB, TEN
12. Saquon Barkley, RB, NYG
I'm not happy about this top 12 in PPR. Jefferson should be No. 1 overall, Chase should be No. 2 and we shouldn't have any quarterbacks being selected in the first round of a one-quarterback league. Henry also doesn't belong in the first round, especially ahead of Barkley.
The players who should be drafted in the first round include Tyreek Hill (No. 13 overall), Tony Pollard (No. 14), Cooper Kupp (No. 15) and Stefon Diggs (No. 18). I'm hoping this will get corrected sooner rather than later.
My ideal first round features six running backs (McCaffrey, Ekeler, Robinson, Pollard, Barkley and Chubb), five receivers (Jefferson, Chase, Hill, Kupp and Diggs) and Kelce. The only time a quarterback should be selected in the first round is a Superflex or two-quarterback league.
Here is what the top 12 quarterbacks look like as of Aug. 21:
1. Patrick Mahomes, KC (No. 3 overall)
2. Jalen Hurts, PHI (No. 8 overall)
3. Josh Allen, BUF (No. 10 overall)
4. Joe Burrow, CIN (No. 19 overall)
5. Lamar Jackson, BAL (No. 23 overall)
6. Justin Herbert, LAC (No. 26 overall)
7. Justin Fields, CHI (No. 41 overall)
8. Trevor Lawrence, JAC (No. 49 overall)
9. Kirk Cousins, MIN (No. 63 overall)
10. Deshaun Watson, CLE (No. 64 overall)
11. Aaron Rodgers, NYJ (No. 71 overall)
12. Dak Prescott, DAL (No. 84 overall)
This ADP is frustrating for a one-quarterback league because the first six quarterbacks are being selected too soon. As much as I love Mahomes, Hurts, Allen, Burrow, Jackson and Herbert, there's no way I would draft them at that price.
Fields is an OK value in Round 4, but for the most part I'm avoiding all of these guys at cost. Instead, I'd rather draft two of my breakout candidates in Tua Tagovailoa (ADP of 91 overall as QB14) and Anthony Richardson (ADP of 110 overall as QB16). And I also like the value of Daniel Jones (ADP of 106 overall as QB15) and Geno Smith (ADP of 112 overall as QB17).
Three other quarterbacks who stood out this weekend include Brock Purdy (ADP of 134 overall as QB19), Kenny Pickett (ADP of 143 overall as QB21) and Jordan Love (ADP of 172 overall as QB27). These are all great Superflex and two-quarterback league options, and Love is my favorite of that trio.
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Here is what the top 24 running backs look like as of Aug. 21:
1. Christian McCaffrey, SF (No. 1 overall)
2. Austin Ekeler, LAC (No. 4 overall)
3. Bijan Robinson, ATL (No. 6 overall)
4. Nick Chubb, CLE (No. 7 overall)
5. Derrick Henry, TEN (No. 11 overall)
6. Saquon Barkley, NYG (No. 12 overall)
7. Tony Pollard, DAL (No. 14 overall)
8. Josh Jacobs, LV (No. 17 overall)
9. Joe Mixon, CIN (No. 22 overall)
10. Jonathan Taylor, IND (No. 24 overall)
11. Najee Harris, PIT (No. 28 overall)
12. Travis Etienne, JAC (No. 29 overall)
13. Aaron Jones, GB (No. 30 overall)
14. Dameon Pierce, HOU (No. 32 overall)
15. Jahmyr Gibbs, DET (No. 35 overall)
16. Alexander Mattison, MIN (No. 36 overall)
17. Rhamondre Stevenson, NE (No. 37 overall)
18. Kenneth Walker III, SEA (No. 39 overall)
19. James Conner, ARI (No. 45 overall)
20. J.K. Dobbins, BAL (No. 48 overall)
21. Breece Hall, NYJ (No. 52 overall)
22. Miles Sanders, CAR (No. 53 overall)
23. David Montgomery, DET (No. 59 overall)
24. Isiah Pacheco, KC (No. 61 overall)
The biggest change this week is Taylor nearly out of Round 2, which isn't surprising. He's been in and out of Indianapolis for various reasons, and he continues to miss practice while dealing with an ankle injury amid contract issues. I agree with this slide for Taylor.
Taylor's decline has allowed Mixon to move into Round 2, which is where he belongs. And I expect Harris to see his ADP fall while he continues to get outplayed by Jaylen Warren, who ripped off a 62-yard touchdown run against the Bills on Saturday. Harris should now be a fourth-round pick in PPR.
I like that Stevenson is on the decline now that the Patriots signed Ezekiel Elliott. While Elliott should limit the ceiling for Stevenson, I still consider him a No. 1 Fantasy running back in all leagues, especially PPR. I still plan to draft Stevenson in Round 3. Elliot's ADP is No. 117 overall, which is too soon to draft him. The earliest I would draft Elliott is Round 11.
Hall falling to Round 5 is also ideal, and that's the perfect spot to draft him after the Jets added Dalvin Cook. I'm still concerned about Hall coming back from last year's torn ACL, but he's worth the cost here. As for Cook, his ADP is No. 75 overall, which is too soon. The earliest I would draft Cook is Round 8.
I'm also nervous about Javonte Williams coming back from last year's torn ACL, but I liked his usage in Saturday's preseason game against San Francisco. Williams had three carries for 12 yards and four catches for 18 yards on five targets. I usually avoid Williams on Draft Day, but this is a good range to target him with an ADP of No. 78 overall.
Alvin Kamara (No. 66 overall) and James Cook (No. 67 overall) have seen their ADP rise, which is understandable, and I like both as top 24 running backs in all formats. Kamara should perform well once his three-game suspension is over, and he's worth drafting in Round 5 in all leagues. And Cook is running away with the starting job in Buffalo, and he's also worth drafting in Round 5.
Some running backs that I've been drafting a lot popped off this weekend with Roschon Johnson, Tank Bigsby and Warren. Khalil Herbert didn't play for the Bears against the Colts, and Johnson had seven carries for 32 yards and one catch for 11 yards on one target. He's a steal at his current ADP of No. 147 overall.
Travis Etienne also didn't play for the Jaguars against the Lions, and Bigsby had 13 carries for 70 yards and one catch for minus-2 yards on one target. He's an incredible value with an ADP of No. 161 overall. Warren is even better value with an ADP of No. 183 overall, and he's a definite lottery ticket this season.
You can also get Tyjae Spears for free with an ADP of No. 221 overall, and he looked good against Minnesota with seven carries for 57 yards and a 33-yard touchdown, along with one catch for 3 yards on one target. He should be the No. 2 running back in Tennessee behind Henry.
And Sean Tucker looked good against the Jets with seven carries for 37 yards and three catches for 18 yards on three targets. Rachaad White didn't play, but I'd love for Tucker to win the No. 2 job for the Buccaneers ahead of Chase Edmonds and Ke'Shawn Vaughn. As of now, Tucker doesn't have an ADP, but he's worth a late-round flier in all leagues.
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Here is what the top 24 wide receivers look like as of Aug. 21:
1. Justin Jefferson, MIN (No. 2 overall)
2. Ja'Marr Chase, CIN (No. 5 overall)
3. Tyreek Hill, MIA (No. 13 overall)
4. Cooper Kupp, LAR (No. 15 overall)
5. A.J. Brown, PHI (No. 16 overall)
6. Stefon Diggs, BUF (No. 17 overall)
7. Davante Adams, LV (No. 20 overall)
8. CeeDee Lamb, DAL (No. 21 overall)
9. Garrett Wilson, NYJ (No. 25 overall)
10. Amon-Ra St. Brown, DET (No. 27 overall)
11. Jaylen Waddle, MIA (No. 31 overall)
12. Deebo Samuel, SF (No. 33 overall)
13. DeVonta Smith, PHI (No. 38 overall)
14. Calvin Ridley, JAC (No. 40 overall)
15. Tee Higgins, CIN (No. 42 overall)
16. Chris Olave, NO (No. 43 overall)
17. D.J. Moore, CHI (No. 46 overall)
18. Amari Cooper, CLE (No. 47 overall)
19. DK Metcalf, SEA (No. 50 overall)
20. Christian Watson, GB (No. 51 overall)
21. DeAndre Hopkins, TEN (No. 54 overall)
22. Jerry Jeudy, DEN (No. 56 overall)
23. Keenan Allen, LAC (No. 57 overall)
24. Christian Kirk, JAC (No. 67 overall)
We've talked a lot about the value for the receivers during these ADP reviews, and you would be thrilled to get Hill, Kupp or Diggs in Round 2, Wilson, St. Brown or Waddle in Round 3 and Smith, Higgins or Olave in Round 4. I just don't see that happening in most PPR leagues.
I still feel like Samuel is overvalued here in Round 3, although he looked good with Brock Purdy against the Broncos with two catches for 39 yards on three targets. Conversely, Watson and Jeudy are great values if you can draft them in Round 5. And I'm fine getting Moore at the end of Round 4.
Some of my favorite receivers to draft based on their ADP are Jahan Dotson (No. 83 overall), Chris Godwin (No. 95 overall), Diontae Johnson (No. 103 overall), Jaxon Smith-Njigba (No. 113 overall), Skyy Moore (No. 137 overall), Elijah Moore (No. 154 overall), Nico Collins (No. 167 overall), Romeo Doubs (No. 169 overall) and JuJu Smith-Schuster (No. 170 overall).
Johnson might have the most shocking ADP because I consider him a top 24 receiver in PPR. And he's being drafted 30 picks after George Pickens (No. 73 overall), which is a mistake. While I like Pickens this season, you should draft Johnson ahead of him.
I love the value for Doubs, and he could be an absolute steal as the No. 2 receiver in Green Bay behind Watson. But also don't forget about Jayden Reed, who had one catch for a 19-yard touchdown on two targets from Jordan Love against the Patriots. Reed currently doesn't have an ADP on CBS, but he's worth a late-round flier in all leagues.
While Moore is my favorite Chiefs receiver to draft, it's not a bad idea to take late-round fliers on almost the entire Kansas City receiving corps. Kadarius Toney (knee) is still being drafted 10 spots ahead of Moore here, but Toney is questionable to play in Week 1.
Richie James is the only other Chiefs receiver with an ADP at No. 220 overall. I have been drafting a lot of Justyn Ross, and you should also take a chance on Rashee Rice and Marquez Valdes-Scantling. On Saturday against the Cardinals, Rice stood out with eight catches for 96 yards on nine targets, although the majority of that was not from Patrick Mahomes.
Michael Thomas (No. 99 overall) has been among the biggest ADP risers, and I would love to see him stay healthy this season. It's unlikely he'll turn back the clock now that he's 30 and play like he did in his record-breaking year in 2019, especially since he's been limited to 10 games over the past three seasons due to injuries. But by all accounts he's looking better in practice, and he's worth a flier at this cost in all leagues.
Here is what the top 12 tight ends look like as of Aug. 21:
1. Travis Kelce, KC (No. 9 overall)
2. Mark Andrews, BAL (No. 34 overall)
3. George Kittle, SF (No. 42 overall)
4. T.J. Hockenson, MIN (No. 54 overall)
4. Dallas Goedert, PHI (No. 57 overall)
6. Darren Waller, NYG (No. 59 overall)
7. Kyle Pitts, ATL (No. 70 overall)
8. Pat Freiermuth, PIT (No. 93 overall)
9. Evan Engram, JAC (No. 95 overall)
10. Dalton Kincaid, BUF (No. 99 overall)
11. David Njoku, CLE (No. 100 overall)
12. Taysom Hill, NO (No. 118 overall)
I love what Waller did in his preseason game against the Panthers with three catches for 30 yards on four targets. Daniel Jones was locked in on Waller on the Giants opening drive, which could be a sign of things to come. I have Waller ranked third behind Kelce and Andrews.
I still don't like the order of the tight ends here in ADP with Kittle ahead of Waller, Hockenson, Pitts and Goedert. Even though Purdy looked good in his preseason debut, the 49ers still have too many mouths to feed, which is why I'm slightly concerned about Kittle. The earliest I would draft him is Round 6.
It was good to see Pitts get some preseason action against the Bengals with one catch for 9 yards on one target. Hopefully, the knee injury that knocked him out last season and limited him at the start of training camp is behind him, and Pitts can finally have his breakout campaign in 2023.
Kincaid moving up to No. 11 in ADP is exciting, and I love the way Buffalo plans to use him this season. He's worth drafting as a low-end starter in all leagues in Round 9, and there are plenty of solid No. 2 Fantasy tight ends to pair him with.
Some of my favorite late-round tight ends include Dalton Schultz (No. 125 overall), Cole Kmet (No. 131 overall), Juwan Johnson (No. 148 overall), Chigoziem Okonkwo (No. 162 overall), Tyler Higbee (No. 169 overall) and Sam LaPorta (No. 173 overall). Johnson is my favorite of this group, and I much prefer him to Hill of the Saints tight ends. And I also love drafting LaPorta as a low-end starter since he could be great as the No. 1 tight end in Detroit.
And two other late-round tight ends to target include Jake Ferguson in Dallas and Luke Musgrave in Green Bay. Both are currently without an ADP on CBS, but both have the potential to be low-end starters this season in all leagues.