2021 Fantasy Draft Strategy: 49ers’ Trey Lance Among Players Whose ADP Could Rise This Preseason
Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images. Pictured: 49ers quarterback Trey Lance.
Preseason is officially here, which means it’s time to watch out for players whose ADP could see a massive bump in the coming weeks as you prepare for the 2021 fantasy football draft season. Whether you’re an old pro or a newbie, our trio of analysts has you covered on who you should keep an eye on as preseason gets underway.
Players Who Could See Their ADP Rise This Preseason
Michael Carter, RB, Jets
Chris Raybon: Carter, a third-round pick out of North Carolina who finished fourth in the nation in rushing yards (1,245) in 2020, is already getting first-team reps at Jets camp and drawing rave reviews.
The rookie may be deemed too valuable to get extended preseason action, but he’s a good bet to make a splash when he’s on the field. According to PFF College Premium Stats, no running back in the nation ripped off more 15-plus-yard gains last season.
Carter has impressive stop-start ability that led to 55 missed tackles on just 182 touches, earning him PFF’s fourth-best Elusive Rating (135.1) among 39 qualified RBs.
With a 98th percentile receiving grade (88.6) to boot, Carter has no shortage of ways to impress and continue to separate himself from the likes of Tevin Coleman, Ty Johnson and La’Mical Perine.
Carter’s FantasyPros Consensus ADP is currently RB35 and 87th overall, but I would be surprised if it didn’t shoot up a round or even two by the time draft season ends.
Trey Lance, QB, 49ers
Sean Koerner: Last season had its share of quarterback commotion when it came to rookies. Tyrod Taylor suffered a fluke pregame injury in Week 2, forcing Justin Herbert to make his NFL debut. The rest is history, as Herbert broke numerous rookie records and was named NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year. After just seeing him play a few series, it was clear to me that Herbert would be special. If it weren’t for the COVID-deleted preseason in 2020, we might have been able to foresee Herbert’s breakout much sooner.
Lance’s stock is going to skyrocket once we see him in action this preseason. His cannon of an arm and rushing prowess will be on full display early and often.
The initial reports out of camp are that Lance is outperforming Jimmy Garoppolo, and the team is practicing goal-line plays with Lance under center. If he shines in the preseason, it will put a ton of pressure on Kyle Shanahan to start the No. 3 overall pick sooner rather than later.
His ADP currently sits at QB21, but that is going to shoot up during the preseason. The QB15-25 range is the perfect time to take a high-upside flier, and Lance will offer QB1 upside once he does become the team’s starter. Unlike Herbert, everyone should realize just how special Lance is before the season starts.
Courtland Sutton, WR, Broncos
Sutton has been a victim of subpar quarterback play since he entered the league as a 2018 second-round pick out of SMU. He played opposite Case Keenum in his rookie campaign and then Joe Flacco, Drew Lock and Brandon Allen in Year 2. Prior to his injury, Sutton had never missed a game. He was fresh off of a breakout season in which he caught 72 of 124 targets for 1,112 yards and six touchdowns, earning Pro Bowl honors in spite of the Broncos’ signal-caller woes.
This reverse recency bias hurts his public perception, but word out of training camp is Sutton looks just like his old self, receiving high marks from both Lock and Teddy Bridgewater.
As far as Denver’s QB battle goes, Sutton would actually stand to benefit from Lock winning the job due to their existing relationship, even if the Missouri product is an overall downgrade for this offense.
The Year 4 wideout could easily finish as a WR2, but he is currently being drafted as WR33 in half PPR scoring. The positive chatter out of training camp — coupled with Lock (+100) moving ahead of Bridgewater (+120) as DraftKings‘ betting favorite to win the starting job come Week 1 — could equal a fairly significant boost for Sutton’s ADP this preseason.