Patrick Mahomes and his ADP

It’s never too early to start taking a look at fantasy football ADP alongside fantasy football simulations. As the calendar turns to June in the next few days, and with that comes the takes and the opinions. So let me ask you a question. Have you ever posted a “hot take” on fantasy football, did you know you were going to get run over for this, but did you say it anyway? I, more recently, with a comment on the consensus of the top five quarterbacks in the redraft leagues, Patrick Mahomes

However, despite the backlash, the questioning consensus rankings and looking for possible ADP busts is what can make you stand out from the masses and earn you a fantastic championship. Cooper Kupp was a prime example of that in the 2021 fantasy season. While he ended as the 2021 WR1 of a mile, especially in PPR LeaguesKupp was drafted between the sixth and eighth rounds, providing extreme value to those who rolled the dice at him. Patrick Mahomeson the other hand, was drafted as QB1 at an ADP of 18.8 overall, and finished QB4, behind Josh Allen, Justin Herbertand Tom Brady. Despite those below par finishes to his ADP, Mahomes is still being drafted as QB2 in 2022.

Drafting your fantasy football squads is always a bit of a gamble, but there are things you can do as a savvy fantasy manager to mitigate those risks and recognize ADP pitfalls. I’ll use Mahomes as an example because he’s one of the most recognizable players in the league and show you how his historical stat line puts him in the bust category at his ADP this season. That’s not to say Mahomes won’t be ‘good’, but if you draft him as QB2 you take him to his ceiling, something we’ve seen less and less of over the years. So how can you learn to recognize these potential busts at ADP? Let’s dive into some metrics to use.

Use and analysis of historical data

The Easy Argument in Favor of Writing Patrick Mahomes is that, outside of 2019 when he was injured, he’s finished in the top five quarterbacks every year. However, these numbers are a bit misleading. Sure, Mahomes has advantages in any given week, but unless you’re in a points-only league, you’re looking for a consistent starter. In 2018, Mahomes was exactly that, finishing as QB1 overall in four of his 16 games and only finishing outside the top 12 for three weeks, his lowest finish being QB17. Over the past few seasons, we’ve seen his cap week count go down, as well as his downright terrible week count go up. In 2021, Mahomes has only finished QB1 overall once and finished outside the top 12 six times, with his lowest week coming in at an abysmal QB26. His touchdown-to-interception ratio has also dropped, capping his once-high ceiling. In 2018, he had 50 touchdowns to just 12 interceptions, while in 2021 his touchdown count fell to 37 and his interceptions rose to 13.

Mahomes also suffered weeks of extreme decline midway through the season last year. From week 7 to week 13 he was QB17 finishing below Carson Wentz, Taylor Heinickeand rookie McJones. During that streak, he only played one game over 300 yards with multiple touchdowns and he averaged just 15.41 fantastic points per game. If you look at his year-end numbers, it’s easy to be fooled into thinking Mahomes was an elite option in 2021, but this stretch says otherwise. We don’t want total season points; we want to win every week, and consistent numbers are what you need for your choice of end of second or start of third round.

Current staff analysis

I don’t think I’m the only one to say that the Tyreek Hill trade shocked the majority of us (unless you’re my colleague, Andrew Cooper, who predicted it last season). Besides losing Hill, we saw Demarcus Robinson, Byron Pringleand even the ball carrier who catches the passes Darrel Williams go to free agency. Hill’s departure alone leaves 159 vacant targets in Andy Reid’s complicated system, and if you factor in the rest of the group, that equates to a total of 307 vacant targets. The Chiefs have added veterans Ju Ju Smith Schuster and Marquez Valdez-Scantling, plus the addition of rookies Skyy Moore and Justin Ross, but can they match the production provided by Hill and his company? Well, that remains to be seen. MVS hasn’t been a volume guy, seeing an average of just 62 targets in his first four years. Juju had a wildly variable target share during his tenure in Pittsburgh.

This is where risk analysis comes in. If you think these new receivers are truly elite like Hill was, then maybe you can take the risk on Mahomes at his ADP. However, coupled with the statistical analysis discussed above and the time it takes for new receivers to develop a relationship with a quarterback, Mahomes could very well be outside the top 12 in the first few weeks, and I don’t feel comfortable. take this bet when there are other quarterbacks in later rounds with the same or more upside.

Fantasy Football Schedule Force

The NFL has seen its share of parity in recent seasons, and this year is no different. While the Chiefs have been contenders in each of Mahomes’ seasons, other teams have made massive strides, particularly in the AFC West. The Broncos have added several defensive pieces, including the pass-rusher Randy Gregoryloaders added stop corner JC Jackson and pass rusher Khalil Macand the Raiders added a pass-rusher chandler jones and wide star receiver Davante Adams. When you have to play six times in these dogfight matches during the season, the risk of interception increases, as does the risk of injury.

In addition to their divisional opponents, the Chiefs have the fifth-toughest schedule force in the entire NFL through their first eight games, with each opponent having a +.500 record in 2021. While some may say games tougher equates to shootouts, I’m not willing to take that risk. We saw Mahomes make two terrible mistakes against the Cincinnati Bengals, resulting in interceptions and inevitably costing the Chiefs the game in the 2021 AFC Championship. While playing from behind can increase a quarterback’s attempts, there are also an inherent risk of interceptions, or simply not receiving the ball at all if you’re running against the game clock.

Recognize the ADP value of Fantasy Football

Let me be clear; the purpose of this article is not to say that you should not take Mahomes at all. If he falls in a QB4-QB8 range, he’s absolutely worth there; however, we all know that’s probably not going to happen. To avoid blowing your precious draft capital on players who are unlikely to exceed their ADP, use these factors above to look at other players who might have the odds in their favor. My current favorite to use as a Mahomes counter is Jalen hurts. Although he started in two fewer games than Mahomes in 2021, he still had the same number of QB1 weeks, and his fantasy points-per-game average was just 0.6 shy of Mahomes’ average. Hurts does this by rushing inside out, which is especially valuable in four-point touchdown leagues. If Mahomes has a bad game with just one or no touchdowns, like Tennessee’s game last season, his advantage is capped. The Eagles also added AJ Brown to bolster their receiving corps, and they’re playing one of the easiest schedules in the league. Hurts is currently at an ADP of 65.1, a full round two and a half years after Mahomes’ ADP of 38.8, providing a much higher value for Hurts. While the two players will likely end up very close in the season standings, your overall roster will be better off by saving draft capital and developing other skill positions.

My final piece of advice is this; don’t look at everything in a vacuum. Use the totality of circumstances when building your list. Could I be wrong about Mahomes? Absolutely. However, adding layers of analytics almost always wins out as a strategy. Don’t fall into the ADP consensus trap.

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