Preseason is underway, and we will get a full slate of games over the next four days this weekend. Some questions will be answered, but other questions will inevitably pop up. How are high-stakes players using those answers (or lack thereof) in their Footballguys Players Championship drafts? That is what I am here to break down! Remember that fantasy managers are chasing a $500,000 grand prize in drafts going off daily, and I have a front-row seat for all the action as one of the online facilitators of these drafts. If any of the drafters have a connection issue, cannot get into the draft room, or experiences any other obstacles in making their picks, I am there in the draft room to assist. In this piece, I want to share a few of the things I have noticed while monitoring these drafts over the last week:
Are Footballguys drafters worried about Matthew Stafford’s elbow?
In a word, yes. However, I think this is worth exploring a little bit more. With the health of Stafford’s elbow still reaming as a question mark in Los Angeles (head coach Sean McVay even said that he slept better after finally seeing Stafford throw on Saturday), the fallout is dripping down to the other Rams’ skill position players.
Justin Jefferson has now caught Cooper Kupp for the first wide receiver to be drafted in FPC drafts, and he will probably overtake him in the coming days and weeks. The question that will now face drafters is to start selecting Ja’Marr Chase over Kupp (that has already happened at least once in a draft I saw recently). I do not think Kupp falls past the next tier of Stefon Diggs, Davante Adams and CeeDee Lamb, but uncertainty gives anything a non-zero chance of happening.
Surprisingly, Allen Robinson’s ADP has remained constant. Aside from a dip in the last week of July, he has been a solid fourth-round pick. While I have seen him slip to the fifth round this week, it is not an egregious drop by any means. You could probably make the argument that his fall should be more significant, given that backup quarterback John Wolford would be targeting Cooper Kupp much more heavily than Robinson (if push came to shove). Still, high-stakes players are not seeing It that way.
Stafford has even fallen a couple of rounds from his 10th round ADP a couple of weeks ago to sometimes slipping until the 15th round. The fact that McVay has already stated Rams’ backup quarterback John Wolford will not be playing at all in the preseason is officially making high-stakes drafters’ spidey senses tingle and thinking twice before they are drafting Los Angeles pass-catchers this month.
How high has Romeo Doubs moved up in the Footballguys Players Championship?
Since I live in the shadows of Lambeau Field here in Northeast Wisconsin, it is hard to have any kind of conversation with fans or pundits who are not raving about Green Bay rookie receiver Romeo Doubs. Seemingly, he is making several big plays every day in practice, and the Packers have been lining up stud corner Jaire Alexander in front of him as well. In this column two weeks ago, I talked about the Packers receiver group as a whole, but this was before the buzz on Doubs had not reached a fever pitch.
I have seen significant movement on Doubs since then. While he was sometimes undrafted or picked as a last-round lottery ticket in late July, that has changed this week. I usually see him going in the 12th or 13th rounds, but some brave souls have been grabbing him as early as the mid-10th in the last several days. With Doubs slated to play against the 49ers Friday night, we could see this ADP get even higher.
Based on recent news, who is a player to watch in the next week?
The rise of Isiah Pacheco still has not peaked. The Chiefs rookie running back was an afterthought less than three weeks ago. In fact, I wrote about the Kansas City backfield in this column last week and dedicated only a half-sentence to Pacheco. What high-stakes drafters have read (and seen) is that Pacheco is slated to be, at a minimum, the Chiefs kickoff returner, and he has looked good with the ball and without, especially in that pass protection video we saw on Twitter.
Pacheco has shot up four rounds in ADP this past week, and I have even seen drafters selecting him as early as the 11th round in drafts over the past few days. With no end in sight, Pacheco is going to continue to ascend. Whether this makes it the right time to buy low on Clyde Edwards-Helaire is debatable. It is also getting harder for Footballguys drafters to make a case for Ronald Jones II in the 12th and Jerrick McKinnon in the 16th rounds, respectively.
Thanks for reading, everyone! I will see you in the Footballguys Players Championship draft rooms!
Eric Balkman is an online commissioner for live Footballguys Players Championship drafts at MyFFPC.com. He is also the host and producer of The High Stakes Fantasy Football Hour, the RotoViz High-Stakes Lowdown, and the FFPC Live Best Ball Coverage shows broadcast on all FFPC media outlets.