Today I was doing some mock drafts to prepare myself for the fantasy football season and one peticular draft's chat made me laugh. Let me set the mood for you.
The draft has just begun and the first four players off the board are Adrian Peterson, Maurice Jones-Drew, Matt Forte and Michael Turner. For the fifth pick overall an owner picks Randy Moss. After that pick the chat explodes with baseless banter about how Moss is a terrible first round pick.
Tell that to the people who had him in 2007.
Why did this chat go crazy when Randy Moss was picked? Well these days "ADP" is synonymous to "ranking". They are two different things though! A ranking should provide you with an idea of the value you put into a player while ADP is a good judgment in what kind of value other people put into a player.
Don't think too hard about a player's ADP. The only thing it should tell you is the latest you can grab a player before he's gone.
Don't get caught up in the misconception that ADP equals a player's overall rank. The two are closely related because expert analysis will tell people where to draft guys but thier predictions are good guesses at best! It is likely that only half the players listed in the top 50 will end up there by the end of the season. Some experts might try to convince you they can predict the future but in the end we are all just making educated guesses.
So how should we use ADP to our advantage? Say Aaron Rodgers has an ADP of 30 and you are about to draft 20th and 21st overall in your ten team draft. If you really want Aaron Rodgers, you need to draft him with one of these picks. When your fourth and fifth selections come around (40 and 41 overall), Aaron Rodgers will probably not be there anymore. Don't draft Anquan Boldin 20th overall just because your cheat sheet tells you! Draft Aaron Rodgers like you planned on doing for months!
You don't want to be sitting there in ten weeks thinking "I knew I should have drafted Aaron Rodgers! Now I'm stuck with choosing between David Garrard and Brady Quinn each week!"
The gut feeling is your best tool in fantasy sports. Even if you snap a few tendons reaching for Carson Palmer in the 6th round, at least you know you got him. When you look over your fantasy team after the draft you will feel better, trust me.
The best feeling is winning your league with those guys you had faith in all along.