Have you ever spent a month preparing for a Yahoo league using rankings from a different site, then once the draft begins, you realize the list you showed up with starts disappearing wildly out of order? That’s when the draft panic starts to set in. Unless, of course, you were pre-equipped with inter-site values, so you knew who to push up and who you could wait back on. We’re reviving a David Gonos classic here at The Athletic as we use FantasyPros Expert Consensus Rankings (ECR) to hack the Yahoo draft room.
QBs Going Earlier on Yahoo (You’ll have to jump site ADP to get them)
Quarterback pricing is extremely tight up top across providers. You’ll still need to pay a pretty penny for (most of) the dual-threat elite variety, which brings us to the only four players at the position you need to reach for. If you want Colts rookie Anthony Richardson, take note of the full-round premium attached. After the runners are gone, it’s a push for QBs outside the Top 12 with a chance to blow up on high upside. If you read my QB tiers piece you know I’m not leaving the draft without one from a group of eight QBs.
QBs Going Later on Yahoo (You can wait and let them come to you)
- Dak Prescott, DAL — Yahoo 88, ECR 79
- Daniel Jones, NYG — Yahoo 125, ECR 108
- Kenny Pickett, PIT — Yahoo 203, ECR 158
- Brock Purdy, SF — Yahoo 198, ECR 163
- Matthew Stafford, LAR — Yahoo 197, ECR 187
Dak Prescott slipping down boards should be no surprise — we’ve covered the demand for running QBs ad nauseam. The major takeaway that should be highlighted in a bright yellow marker by everyone drafting on Yahoo is “DRAFT DANIEL JONES!” Jones just had a massive fantasy season without a single wide receiver above replacement level, while adjusting to a new system. Fast forward to 2023 and the Giants have actual weapons, plus a shot caller with experience under Brian Daboll. Jones should absolutely be moving on the boards, just in the opposite direction. This doesn’t mean I’d outright ignore the other elite options on Yahoo, but I would absolutely recommend avoiding paying a price over ADP.
RBs Going Earlier on Yahoo (You’ll have to jump site ADP to get them)
- Josh Jacobs, LV — Yahoo 19, ECR 22
- Breece Hall, NYJ — Yahoo 30, ECR 34
- Antonio Gibson, WAS — Yahoo 91, ECR 98
- Zach Charbonnet, SEA — Yahoo 97, ECR 113
- Tyler Allgeier, ATL — Yahoo 129, ECR 144
- Kendre Miller, NO — Yahoo 130, ECR 160
Yahoo drafters apparently don’t care whatsoever about off-field issues when it comes to running backs. While I couldn’t disagree more with the take, it’s a valuable piece of information. Josh Jacobs hasn’t reported to camp yet and Breece Hall’s projections have to take a hit with the Dalvin Cook signing. I understand Hall’s ADP is only four picks off from ECR, but that’s a pretty wide gap considering the cost. I’ve been pushing those two backs down my boards, so don’t expect to see them on any of my Yahoo teams. I tend to like Antonio Gibson after the departure of J.D. McKissic, so I could see moving up a half-round to get him. However, there’s no way I’m rostering Zach Charbonnet if he’s going 17 picks earlier on Yahoo compared to the industry consensus.
RBs Going Later on Yahoo (You can wait and let them come to you)
If you’re following my work or subscribed to my off-site ranks you know how I feel about Tony Pollard. I’m one of the high men in the industry on the Cowboys’ star ball carrier, and would justify moving him ahead of his 17 ECR — except I don’t have to. Get the highlighter back out and write on top of your graph paper “DRAFT TONY POLLARD!” I’m also one of the more bullish analysts on the Texans under DeMeco Ryans, so I’ve already had a proactive approach to Dameon Pierce in his sophomore go-around. The fact I can get two of my favorite RBs after ECR will, without a doubt, shape my early approach on Yahoo. Javonte Williams goes a half-round later than usual. Given his early return and glowing reports, I do think that will correct toward the mean.
WRs Going Earlier on Yahoo (You’ll have to jump site ADP to get them)
- Marquise Brown, ARI — Yahoo 71, ECR 85
- Jaxon Smith-Njigba, SEA — Yahoo 80, ECR 93
- Jordan Addison, MIN — Yahoo 81, ECR 92
- Treylon Burks, TEN — Yahoo 87, ECR 104
- Quentin Johnston, LAC — Yahoo 96, ECR 131
- Zay Flowers, BAL, — Yahoo 102, ECR 126
One of these things is not like the others. One of these things just doesn’t belong. If you guessed that Marquise Brown is the only player on the list with more than 11 career games you’d be correct. I fully understand the bull case for Hollywood Brown, but consider the current roster situation and QB chaos in Arizona. There’s quite literally zero chance I’d pay any sort of premium to attach myself to that dumpster fire. If you really believe in Brown, draft him on another site. Fourteen picks above ECR at that point in the draft comes with a substantial opportunity cost.
As far as the rookies and one sophomore go, this feels like the spot I’d be impacted the most if unprepared. I have every one of these young WRs somewhere in my draft plan, so proper execution may take a nuanced hand. Personally, I’d try to weigh a combination of my projections with the higher site cost. Remember, just because a player is more expensive on one site doesn’t mean you can’t draft them, it just means it deserves due diligence. In the cases of Jaxon Smith-Njigba and Jordan Addison, who I’m already bullish on, I would pay the freight — though JSN’s wrist injury could muddy the waters. A round of difference in ADP for a player you truly believe can move the needle is worth it. When it comes to Quentin Johnston and Zay Flowers, I’m not sure how to rationalize a minimum two-round disparity when considering the talent I’m sacrificing.
WRs Going Later on Yahoo (You can wait and let them come to you)
This list’s more a macro statement being made about wide receivers going earlier on Yahoo than anything. You have to get outside the top 160 picks to even find a WR with a four-pick discount. Then you look at the names and realize they both play for the same team — that also happens to have a ton of uncertainty in the wide receiver room. Expect no bargains for wide receivers on Yahoo.
TEs Going Earlier on Yahoo (You’ll have to jump site ADP to get them)
I could probably cue up that Sesame Street tune one more time for this unique combo of the position’s most boring (Schultz), along with perhaps the most exciting (Kincaid and LaPorta). It’s funny how things change over time. For the longest time, it was almost considered dogma that rookie tight ends do not produce for fantasy teams. Now first-year TEs are all the rage and I get it. There are a couple who I love personally (Luke Musgrave and Jake Ferguson), they just happen to not be on this list. Again, we have to refer to the relative price for our final decision. I’m always going to struggle with a multi-round premium on a player who has never done it before. Sometimes you have to let the irrationally exuberant pay the inflated price.
TEs Going Later on Yahoo (You can wait and let them come to you)
- Luke Musgrave, GB — Yahoo 210, ECR 199
- Jake Ferguson, DAL, — Yahoo 240, ECR 205
- Hunter Henry, NE, — Yahoo 245, ECR 208
Speak of the devil. Going just by the numbers, I’d say I found the most optimal platform for me to draft on. I’ve been extremely vocal this offseason about my disdain for the TE position. Long story short, if I don’t secure Travis Kelce or Darren Waller, I’m dropping all the way back to my favorite rookies to search for late-round gold. Both top options Luke Musgrave and Jake Ferguson are each experiencing a bit of steam in certain circles of social media, yet still go a full round later than ECR on Yahoo. This opens a perfect runway to compile mid-round talent knowing my top fallback options are relatively undesirable.
The bottom line’s pretty clear. We’ve identified values on Yahoo at every position except wide receiver when compared to ECR. So to me, it’s as simple as pushing our favorite WR options as far up as we can while keeping an eye on Tony Pollard, Dameon Pierce, and Daniel Jones. Easy game.
Thanks for reading! Follow me on Twitter @JohnLaghezza where I have a link pinned to my podcast with colleague Michael Salfino as well as inexpensive off-site ranks that also include formatted cheat sheets with a free downloadable .CSV.
(Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports)