I've been in a few DRDs firsthand with clients the past two weeks and also have received reports on several other DRDs from various FFMers going through their drafts, and there is a definitive trend developing the past week+…a critical one to make note of for those whose DRDs are still to come and you're in the planning stages.
The biggest thing that I see happening in current DRDs is the rise/chase/lust for Anthony Richardson. And the various national website DRD rankings/ADPs have not fully caught up to this trend…and various FF analyst's 'ranks' or 'mocks' are not reflective of reality either.
In the early stages of key Fantasy events, when it comes to QB valuation for Dynasty/Fantasy, FF analysts/'experts' are always off/wrong/undervaluing QBs. FF analysts think they're high brow wine critics who understand the market best -- because they mostly live in an FF bubble and take cues from other 'expert's' rankings…and the big, national FF voices most FF analysts parrot think Fantasy QBs are beneath them…that QBs are not to be drafted highly…not to be taken ahead of the first 5-10-15 RBs with a pulse in rookie drafts or any other type of FF draft.
FF/football analysts in general from bigger/highly visible platforms mimic the same patterns as the movie critics on the website 'Rotten Tomatoes'. On that site, there are two 0-100% scores for each movie or TV show -- one for the 'professional' critic's grades and one for the commoners/the public's grades. There are lots of movies where the critics rank something highly as a wonderful piece of art -- but the public hated it/rated it very low, and then vice-versa…the public adores a movie, but the critics are offended by it/grade it low. Critics love this differential because they don't want to be seen agreeing with the unwashed masses. Fantasy Football rankings, NFL Draft rankings, most all the world's rankings of anything have the same pattern -- a caste system, a separation of the experts from the non-experts (they think).
So, when you go see current DRD 2023 rankings from 'experts'…they were written/conceived hurriedly right after the NFL Draft and wouldn't have changed yet (or ever). These knee-jerk reaction rankings are aging out quickly and likely won't show their first rookie QB being taken or ranked until middle/later in the 1st-round of the 2023 DRD. Thus, Anthony Richardson is usually seen around rank or ADP #7-12 overall…and some portion of the time, way too much, ranked behind Bryce Young.
'Experts' can be counted on for two viewpoints on rookie QBs in 2023:
(1) Undervaluing them because it's beneath them to rank them highly, or they'll lose their standing among the FF analyst group above them (and it hurts being able to befriend bigger experts and find some opportunity to join their employ in the future). It's not that they want to go higher but suppress their feelings -- they're just parrots of the hive mind…they want to be in 'the club' because they believe in the wisdom of the people above them.
And (2) they also in lockstep agree that Bryce Young is beyond great, so of course he's the top QB in the class…and Anthony Richardson is a yucky 'unready' QB who won't even start Week 1, or maybe even this year (they think)…because he's not near as polished as the great (tiny) point guard QB Bryce Young.
Higher visibility FF analysts rarely/never change their thought process, from my view over the years…and they still aren't doing so in 2023.
Also not changing their ways in 2023 -- actual, normal FF players/owners…they sniff out the bull$#!& pretty well and they will slowly/rapidly change the market regardless of what the 'paid critics' are pushing. Actual, normal FF players are now starting to change the DRD market this past week or so…and the biggest thing they are chasing and thus changing the ADPs on -- is Anthony Richardson.
Time and time again, in recent/current DRDs, I'm seeing Richardson go #4-5 overall. He's not falling past #5 like he did in most cases the week after the NFL Draft. The 'smarts' are betting on Richardson. It helps that none of the rookie WRs are generating much enthusiasm, so it's even easier for people to chase Richardson higher.
I see the recent flow as: Bijan still the obvious #1…then either a WR (JSN or Addison) or Gibbs #2, then Gibbs #3 (if still there) or WR…then when we get to #4-5, it's a WR or Richardson.
In the near future, DRDs are going to rapidly move to this flow: Bijan-Gibbs-JSN/Addison-Richardson as the 'mode'…with Richardson starting to sneak up into #3 more and more, but #4 is probably going to be his usual resting place for a high, and #5 for a low. You have to plan that he's not going to be around after #5, if you're chasing him. Two weeks ago, you would've planned for him to be there #6-7/8 and maybe as far back as #9…but the market is changing and the public loves Richardson, as they should.
My current DRD advice, updating for the changing market, for those who want Richardson…
1.01 is Bijan = trade or use the pick, then trade Bijan after
1.02 = try and trade to fall back to 1.03 or 1.04 and pick up something for your troubles to take Richardson, or if no deals -- then just take Richardson as high as #2 now. We are at that moment now where it will be a bit shocking to people when/if you do go that high on AR…but is it really that shocking to take a #4-5 ADP rookie +2 spots ahead?
1.03 = No reason to mess around, just take Richardson ahead of schedule.
Previously, the week after the NFL Draft, I was suggesting trading 1.02-1.05 for something nice and/or fallback to 1.06-1.08 range for Richardson. That market is closed, the concept is obsolete. The public is speaking now, and they hate the top WRs and are lukewarm on Gibbs. There is a fleeting demand for the 1.02-1.05 to pick an RB or WR, so it's now the zone you might as well just make your Richardson pick and book him.