As we put Independence Day in our rear-view mirror, it’s time to start thinking about fantasy football drafts. As we approach draft season, it’s important to devise a strategy and know who you’re drafting when. Since we only get one pick per round, it’s important to know how you feel about various players at their average draft position. So, we continue our fifteen-part series (most drafts are fifteen rounds) highlighting some bold predictions on a round-by-round basis. The data comes from FantasyPros.com, who aggregates average draft position (ADP) data from around the web. We’ve already investigated the first four rounds, so let’s turn our sights to round five.
Bold Prediction 1: Adrian Peterson (5.04) & Mark Ingram (5.09) both finish behind Alvin Kamara
Much like Marshawn Lynch, fantasy football drafters are remembering better times and trying to wish them back into existence. Peterson is now 32 and spent two of the last three seasons on the shelf for at least 13 games with leg injuries. There was also the now-forgotten “is Adrian Peterson washed” crisis of 2016, wherein he had 37 carries for 72 yards before getting hurt. For those keeping track at home, that’s 1.9 yards per carry.
Then there’s Mark Ingram, who got benched for a quick spell last season thanks to fumblitis. He quickly regained the role, but the cracks are in place. Ingram ran well last year and started more than ten games for the first time in his six-year career. By all measures, he had a career year. Then the Saints went out and got a former MVP and traded a 2018 second to get a 2017 third to get Alvin Kamara. The writing’s on the wall about Ingram.
Kamara is a multi-talented back who has seen time in New Orleans split out wide. He’s set to play the Darren Sproles role, and once the Saints fall apart (again), he’ll be getting the lion’s share of first-and-second down work. He’ll end the season as the highest-ranked back in that backfield, and he’s the only one not being drafted right now.
Bold Prediction 2: Ty Montgomery ends the year as the highest ranked round five running back
Outside of the aforementioned Peterson/Ingram duo going in the fifth, Eddie Lacy, C.J. Anderson, and Dalvin Cook are all going in the fifth round of fantasy football drafts alongside Ty Montgomery. Eddie Lacy is battling it out with Thomas Rawls and promises to lose third-down snaps to C.J. Prosise. Anderson has Jamaal Charles to contend with and also has being C.J. Anderson to contend with. Cook has to make his way out from behind Latavius Murray (which he will), but his time as a backup will keep him from being the highest ranked.
That leaves Montgomery. There’s Aaron Jones to contend with, and if Montgomery goes down, Jones, who is a SPARQ monster, would immediately become an RB2. For now, however, Montgomery has bulked up, worked on pass protection, and has the role to lose in Green Bay. Montgomery as great on a per-carry basis last year as an emergency fill-in running back. The one game he had more than nine carries, he had 162 for 172 against the Bears. He even managed 41 yards on nine carries against the Seahawks. In the ten games, he was a running back, he mustered 45 rushing yards and 25 receiving yards, putting him on an 1100 yard pace for the season. The position switch did him well, and he should continue to flourish for fantasy football owners this season.
Bold Prediction 3: Andrew Luck ends the year as a top-three quarterback
Luck currently goes in the fifth round, behind Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, Drew Brees and Matt Ryan. The two players Luck will pass are Brees and Ryan. I already outlined why I think Ryan will take a step back in my round four predictions piece. Drew Brees anticipated step back stems from the loss of Brandin Cook and succumbing to Father Time. He won’t be bad, but not-being-top-three is nothing to cry about.
Luck is currently dealing with a torn labrum, but the Colts expect him to be ready for the season. He took a slight step back last year, but a lot of that has to do with a ravaged receiving corps and Luck trying just way too hard to make something happen. Injuries have cost him part of two seasons, but let’s not forget his last sixteen-game season saw him throwing for 40 touchdowns and 16 interceptions. Luck will need to learn to throw the ball away and not try to play hero ball, but it’s time he finally puts it all together and returns to form. He’s thrown touchdowns at the third-best rate since 2014 and has the fourth-most yards per game. The only thing keeping him from the top-three annually is his interception rate. With Donte Moncrief, T.Y. Hilton, Phillip Dorsett and Jack Doyle in tow, Luck has plenty of targets to choose from, and should he reel in that interception rate, he has all the tools to take advantage of his weaponry.