Read and React: Players Ascending and Descending in NFFC Drafts

The NFFC (National Fantasy Football Championships) has some of the sharpest minds in fantasy football competing against each other every year for a chance at winning high-stakes prizes up to $350k. Their ADP (Average Draft Position) can provide insights into the latest trends in the market. Knowing the market prices for each player can help you make sound decisions when you're on the clock in your drafts. Let's take a look at the biggest movement in the last week in NFFC Drafts. The players highlighted below have ascended and descended for the week of August 27th through September 3rd.

Estimated read time: 10-15 minutes

Top 100 Ascenders 

  • Darren Waller | New York Giants

  • Moved Up Five Spots: 69 to 64 ADP

  • Minimum Pick 26 | Maximum Pick 120

NFFC managers are banking on a big rebound in the Big Apple. The Darren Waller revival tour continued through the most important draft weekend of the year as the veteran tight end rose five spots in ADP last week. Waller gained the most ground by any player in the top 100 and nestled in between George Kittle and Kyle Pitts at the position. It wouldn't be a surprise to learn he was ahead of Kittle this time next week. It goes to show how much a scenery change can alter a player's outlook, even one that's entering his age-31 season.  

Waller had been a disappointment with Josh McDaniels running the show in Las Vegas last year. He fell out of regular playing time and only appeared in nine games due to nagging injuries. Durability had been a concern for Waller as the veteran missed 14 games in the last two seasons with the Raiders. Las Vegas eventually decided to trade him to New York during the offseason. The biggest question for Waller is whether his body holds up for a 100+ target season again. With play caller Brain Daboll, savvy NFFC managers are taking a chance Waller can return to his top-5 production in 2019 and 2020. If Waller can remain healthy for the entire season, he will have a great chance to lead the team in receptions. The Giants have an interesting room of pass catchers, but none have proved to be a reliable No. 1 target in their careers. Darius Slayton and Isaiah Hodgins will work on the outside, and a mix of Parris CampbellJalin Hyatt, and Wan'Dale Robinson will rotate in the slot. The opportunity to lead the Giants is there for Waller as long as the talented tight end can stay on the field. 

  • James Cook | Buffalo Bills

  • Moved Up Five Spots: ADP 78 to 73

  • Minimum Pick 37 | Maximum Pick 118

James Cook has consistently risen in ADP since the preseason started and moved up five spots to ADP 73 last week in NFFC drafts. Cook leapfrogged James Conner and settled behind presumed lead backs Dalvin CookRachaad White, and Alexander Mattison. The NFFC has been ahead of ECR all summer as I wrote earlier in this preseason. The question remains: the second-year back take control of the lead duties in Buffalo? He has shown flashes of his ability but surprised many by not overtaking Devin Singletary last year. If he starts at some point this season, it'll be the first one of his career. Even with a starting gig, scores will not come easy for Cook. Buffalo signed Damien Harris in the offseason, and he can factor into stealing high-value touches around the goal line. NFFC managers are sneaking in Cook on their rosters somewhere in the sixth round ahead of some exciting receivers like George Pickens and Jahan Dotson. If you doubled up on receiver early, maybe you should target Cook as your RB2? NFFC managers think so.    

Top 100 Descenders

  • Jonathan Taylor | Indianapolis Colts

  • Moved Down Six Spots: ADP 19 to 25

  • Minimum Pick 4 | Maximum Pick 114

It's no surprise Jonathan Taylor was the biggest loser in the top 100 in ADP last week. HBO's Hard Knocks made a great call to feature Aaron Rodgers and the upstart Jets. However, if they had to choose an alternate team, maybe the Colts would've been a great subject with the ongoing drama with management and players in Indianapolis. GM Chris Pollard decided to keep Taylor on PUP, which will keep him off the active roster for the first four weeks of the regular season. Taylor was entering the final year of his rookie contract and would only need to play two games this year to qualify for free agency in 2024. The risk is too great to select a player who is unsure to contribute this year. It's a shame it has come to this as the true losers are the fans who can't see Taylor and exciting new rookie quarterback Anthony Richardson on the field for an entire season. How far will he fall? Six spots are not enough, and the lowest pick for Taylor is 114. That is more realistic. 

  • Jerry Jeudy | Denver Broncos 

  • Moved Down Five Spots: ADP 41 to 46

  • Minimum Pick 7 | Maximum Pick 120

Jerry Jeudy was a hot name early in the preseason, with the addition of veteran play caller Sean Peyton taking over in Denver. Jeudy even reached the first round in an NFFC draft and was taken seventh overall (!). Even though a first-round selection of Jeudy was not advisable now, he looked to be a good bet to take another step in his development and lead a group of receivers - a presumed strength of the offense. The receiving room consisted of Courtland SuttonTim Patrick, and K.J. Hamler to begin offseason workouts. The team even drafted Marvin Mims (more of him in the next section) to enhance a strong position group. This group suddenly became thin as the summer workouts and minicamps after experiencing serious injuries and ailments.

Patrick suffered a season-ending injury for the second consecutive season by tearing his Achilles in camp. The Broncos also waived Hamler with a non-football illness designation due to a mild heart condition. The injury bug struck again while training with the Los Angeles Rams, as Jeudy suffered a hamstring injury during joint practices. The injury puts his availability in doubt for the season opener against division rival Las Vegas on Sept. 10th. It looks like Jeudy will avoid being placed on the injured reserve list, but the Broncos may be without him to start the regular season as he recovers. Veterans DeAndre Hopkins and D.J. Moore have leaped him in ADP. How far will he fall in your draft?  

Top 101 to 200 Ascenders 

  • Marvin Mims | Denver Broncos 

  • Moved Up 12 Spots: ADP 191 to 178

  • Minimum Pick 86 | Maximum Pick 343

As mentioned above, the Broncos drafted Mims into an already crowded receivers room. The talented receiver from Oklahoma impressed Denver's evaluators enough to add to their depth at receiver. Mims was projected to be behind established veterans in Jeudy, Sutton, and Patrick. He would even have to prove himself by training alongside Hamler for a chance to carve out a role in the slot. That was before injuries decimated this group and gave Mims a clear path to regular playing time - at least early in the regular season. It's unclear if Mims would benefit more from learning behind veterans or be relied upon in crucial situations early in his career.

Sean Peyton brought back two former New Orleans Saints wide receivers during the offseason, Marquez Callaway and Lil'Jordan Humphrey, to compete with Mims. It seems Mims held off both players, as they were cut before the roster deadline. Once you hit the 100 ADP mark, it wouldn't be a bad idea to start taking guys with upside, and Mims is showing a lot of promise as the season is about to ramp up. As long as Jeudy remains questionable leading into the season opener, Mims could immediately have some starting appeal in 10-team leagues. The manager who picked him 343 overall must be pretty stoked. 

  • Jaylen Warren | Pittsburgh Steelers

  • Moved Up 12 Spots: ADP 150 to 138 

  • Minimum Pick 75 | Maximum Pick 231 

By now, Jaylen Warren should be known in the casual fantasy communities - especially after ripping off a 62-yard touchdown run in the preseason. Warren's presence has people thinking twice once Najee Harris reaches the top of the queue. Harris has led the league in scrimmage plays over the past two seasons, and that workload volume could lead to more work for Warren as the season progresses. Harris isn't going anywhere once the Steelers get down in scoring situations, that's for certain. However, Warren is already one of the best backups in the league, and if Harris would lose time to injury for any reason, you can have a rock-solid RB2. Those players are very valuable when you get into the triple-digit draft positions. Those bench spots are just as important as your starters. 

  • Jayden Reed | Green Bay Packers

  • Moved Up Nine Spots: ADP 204 to 195

  • Minimum Pick 121 | Maximum Pick 358

Jayden Reed moved all over the field during his time in Michigan St., including as the team's main punt returner. He's a great athlete and landed a great spot in the NFL Draft when Green Bay selected him in the second round. He joined a group of talented but unproven pass catchers with Christian WatsonRomeo Doubs, and fellow rookie Luke Musgrave. Watson is the veteran of this group despite only having 146 receptions in his five-year collegiate and pro career. Watson dealt with his fair share of injuries last year with hamstring, hip, and ankle injuries to go along with a concussion. Doubs is dealing with his own hamstring injury and skipped the preseason finale to recover for the start of the season. The biggest question heading into the season is how Love will distribute the targets in Green Bay. There's a collection of intriguing talent for the Packers, and why not take a chance on one of the cheapest options in Reed? He could be a player we look back on and ask why didn't we know he was the best receiver out of the bunch. At the very least, he could overtake Doubs outright and take the WR2 on this team, and worthy of a stash before the season kicks off on Sunday.    

Top 101 to 200 Descenders

  • Mike Gesicki | New England Patriots

  • Moved Down 11 Spots: ADP 185 to 196

  • Minimum Pick 113 | Maximum Pick 292

Mike Gesicki was featured as a descender last week and continues to freefall nearly undraftable. With the presence of Hunter Henry and the uncertainty with the Patriot's offense, fantasy managers in NFFC continue to look elsewhere. There's still a chance the market overreacts to Gesicki's shoulder injury and undervalues him before the season. Gesicki has only recorded seven drops in his entire career and has reunited with his old college coach and new offensive coordinator, Bill O'Brien, this season. It's hard to trust any player not named Rhamondre Stevenson on this roster.    

  • D'Onta Foreman | Chicago Bears

  • Moved Down 10 Spots: ADP 141 to 151  

  • Minimum Pick 90 | Maximum Pick 253

As preseason wrapped up for the Chicago Bears, rumors were floating around about D'Onta Foreman and if he was on the roster bubble. Khalil Herbert has taken a firm hold on the lead-back duties for the Bears. Intriguing rookie Roschon Johnson is a serious contender for the backup option with more passing game work and overall upside. Where does that leave Foreman? The Bears seem to be leaning on an RBBC approach and may need all three backs at some point during the season. NFFC managers are fading Foreman as we get more clarity in the Bears backfield. Managers are better off taking a flyer on younger backs in Warren (mentioned above), Tyjae Spears, or even veteran Devin Singletary.  

 Follow Michael Chasco on X @ChascoFCF 

Have Your Say