A quick search of the Twitter calculator last week will reveal some notable trends. First, fantasy football is completely back after its annual spring nap. Next, the conversations are deeper and more analytical than ever. After all, a handful of gamers have seen their perceived worth rise or fall significantly.
Using the Fantasy Football Calculator’s average position tracking over the past 30 days, here are five players who have moved in one direction or the other.
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Aaron Rodgers (QB – GB)
Hardly a day goes by without an NFL expert talking about Rodgers’ future in Green Bay. The latest tidbit from a Chris Collinsworth podcast with guest Adam Schefter:
Big compliments for our newcomer Ari Meirov
(@MySportsUpdate) from the best in the business @AdamSchefter. pic.twitter.com/hE8hwzqFLa
– Cris Collinsworth (@CollinsworthPFF) July 14, 2021
Perhaps the fantasy community shies away from this situation more than ever. Rodgers’ ADP has crashed to 6.08 for almost a full lap since mid-June. Our own Kyle Yates doesn’t give in, however. Based on Kyle’s predictions, Aaron Rodgers is a borderline top 5 quarterback for 2021, and we should design him as such. The longer the uncertainty persists, the further Aaron’s ADP will slide, and that’s what I’m here for. The 2020 NFL MVP is unlikely to suspend its 2020 season at age 37, and a trade this close to week 1 seems increasingly unlikely. So expect Aaron Rodgers to quietly arrive at Lambeau Field and do what he does best – help your fantasy team win.
Tee Higgins (WR – CIN)
One of the more confusing downtrends over the past month is Tee Higgins’ circular ADP crash. Higgins was part of the go-to goal for Joe Burrow (QB-CIN) in his rookie year, collecting 52 catches leading to first downs; 2nd among the rookie WRs. Despite having proven its worth, fantasy developers have pushed its costs down to round 6 in the semi-PPR format (6.08).
His dip could be related to the LSU connection of new teammate Ja’Marr Chase (WR-CIN) to Burrow. Chase dumped Higgins in fantasy drafts in July. However, the use of the Clemson star in 2020 suggests: “He will be an issue for opposing defenses,” as Bengal’s offensive coordinator Brian Callahan boasted of Higgins this winter. Higgins yards per track run and tracks per game are on par with Dallas’ second stud WR, CeeDee Lamb (WR-DAL) 2020. However, Lamb is in the Fantasy WR1 design area while Higgins hovers just above the FLEX line. Is tea becoming a value or should draftsmen be chased away from the new wideout in Cincy?
Kyle Pitts (TE – ATL)
The exit of Julio Jones (WR-TEN) from the offense via trade to Tennessee clears 7.6 goals per game for Matt Ryan (QB-ATL) on the way to 2021. They all become the 4th overall selection of the Falcons go to the 2021 NFL draft? Kyle Pitts? Newer fantasy developers believe they will appear in large numbers. Since moving from Jones, Kyle has pushed up the draft boards, setting the mid-round 10 acquisition cost, which he dragged a month ago, to an average draft position of 6.04 for today. He was one of the most polarizing fantasy newbies this off-season, mostly because TEs aren’t booming in the first year – as always. Taking Pitts on round 6 means he’s the 4th selected tight end in your league. No TE has made it into the top 4 in their position in fantasy scoring in their first season since 2002. Is he a generation talent? You better hope so if you invest.
Jaylen Waddling (WR – MIA)
Beginners are difficult to predict. Are their talents being used to the full as part of their NFL offensive plans? Will wide receivers gain the trust of their new quarterbacks fast enough to be valuable fantasy assets? Even if the signs point to year one, how do fantasy developers compare rookies to established veterans? One way is to use prop betting lines. Currently, Miami WR Jaylen Waddle is sitting at 66/1 odds to tie the NFL into the receiving yards. These are the same odds as with JuJu Smith-Schuster (WR-PIT). Seeing the Books with Waddles projected edition for 2021 on par with JuJus is quite a revelation to some.
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Jaylen Waddle, a former Tua Tagovailoa (QB-MIA) teammate, brings unique skills to Miami. He’s an undisputed playmaker with the ball in hand. Some might call him a “YAC monster”. Waddle stayed north 10 yards after the catch (YAC) during his last two seasons in Alabama. Miami has different guns, but Waddle is the one getting cartoonists interested in July.
Trevor Lawrence (QB – JAX)
Kyle Yates has Lawrence in his top 20 quarterbacks for 2021, making Trevor a potential streaming option right from the start. He has also gained traction among draftsmen. Originally a speculative late-round QB2 guy, TL is now a solid nine-man headed for the “waiting for quarterbacks” section of the drafts. Jacksonville’s offensive will be seen under new head coach Urban Meyer in 2021, but there is still a way to get out of his place in 2020.
With Lawrence in the lead, Travis Etienne (RB-JAX) in the backcourt and a bevy of WRs, hopes for a quick turnaround for the Jaguars are high, with Trevor at the center. Justin Herbert (QB-LAC) proved that rookie QBs could take effect immediately and did the 9th megastar get a sufficiently high ceiling in 2020?
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Aaron Pags is a Featured Writer at FantasyPros. You can find more of Aaron in his archive and follow him @FantasyTriage.