How to use ADP and avoid your fantasy football draft going down the drain.
Your draft has started, you now know your slot and the train races out of the station. You have all your draft tips and tools at your fingertips, your strategy in place, and yet you feel that familiar sense of unease you get every season as the rounds sweep by. The draft is not going exactly as planned. The guys you want are going earlier than expected, while guys you weren't considering are hanging around way too late. Now you're beginning to stray from your strategy because the other owners are not following along with your plan. Bastiches. Don't they know how to play fantasy football?
This is where doing some well spent preparation comes in handy. You may be surprised by how different real drafts are from those "experts" rankings. By going through the ADP round by round, you can see who your worst case pick is. You can then make your own assessment on who to take in what round, with a better understanding of what other owners are consistently doing.
Let's look at the first three rounds:
Round 1-- Worst case scenario in this round is Steve Slaton. Personally I rank him as the 5th or 6th best RB, especially in PPR leagues. So let's say he is your worst pick.
Round 2-- Assuming you picked 12th in the first round you get some sweet choices here, like get Moss or Johnson but following our worst case plan we go with Brandon Jacobs.
Round 3-- Here your worst case is Terrell Owens. Now in a traditional snake draft, you'll do better than this; as an example if you have 6th pick you may net Fitzgerald, Jennings and Kevin Smith. But the idea here is to see here is to see who is going where so you can make better decisions when that 90 second clock gets to you.
|Round 1||Round 2||Round 3|
|1 Adrian Peterson RB||13 Randy Moss WR||25 Anquan Boldin WR|
|2 Maurice Jones-Drew RB||14 Calvin Johnson WR||26 Peyton Manning QB|
|3 Matt Forte RB||15 Drew Brees QB||27 Marques Colston WR|
|4 Michael Turner RB||16 Brian Westbrook RB||28 Ronnie Brown RB|
|5 Steven Jackson RB||17 Reggie Wayne WR||29 Wes Welker WR|
|6 Larry Fitzgerald WR||18 Tom Brady QB||30 Dwayne Bowe WR|
|7 Chris Johnson RB||19 Greg Jennings WR||31 Kevin Smith RB|
|8 Andre Johnson WR||20 Marion Barber RB||32 Reggie Bush RB|
|9 Ladainian Tomlinson RB||21 Steve Smith WR||33 Aaron Rodgers QB|
|10 DeAngelo Williams RB||22 Clinton Portis RB||34 Brandon Marshall WR|
|11 Frank Gore RB||23 Roddy White WR||35 Jason Witten TE|
|12 Steve Slaton RB||24 Brandon Jacobs RB||36 Terrell Owens WR|
Rounds 4-6– Worst case scenario after six rounds your line up looks like this: QB Matt Schaub, RBs Steve Slaton, Brandon Jacobs and Derrick Ward, WRs Terrell Owens and Vincent Jackson. Not a bad worst case scenario. But let’s keep going.
|Round 4||Round 5||Round 6|
|37 Pierre Thomas RB||49 Eddie Royal WR||61 Larry Johnson RB|
|38 Ryan Grant RB||50 Tony Romo QB||62 Jonathan Stewart RB|
|39 T.J. Houshmandzadeh WR||51 Kurt Warner QB||63 Antonio Bryant WR|
|40 Darren McFadden RB||52 Joseph Addai RB||64 Matt Ryan QB|
|41 Philip Rivers QB||53 Tony Gonzalez TE||65 Lee Evans WR|
|42 Marshawn Lynch RB||54 DeSean Jackson WR||66 Jay Cutler QB|
|43 Braylon Edwards WR||55 Anthony Gonzalez WR||67 Chris Wells RB|
|44 Roy Williams WR||56 Santonio Holmes WR||68 Willie Parker RB|
|45 Chad Ochocinco WR||57 Dallas Clark TE||69 Ray Rice RB|
|46 Antonio Gates TE||58 Donovan McNabb QB||70 Greg Olsen TE|
|47 Knowshon Moreno RB||59 Thomas Jones RB||71 Santana Moss WR|
|48 Vincent Jackson WR||60 Derrick Ward RB||72 Matt Schaub QB|
Following our worst case strategy in rounds 7-9 your team picks up two young WRs in Percy Harvin and Donnie Avery, and the worst pick of the worst case so far, Jamal Lewis as your RB4.
|Round 7||Round 8||Round 9|
|73 Felix Jones RB||85 Laveranues Coles WR||97 Matt Cassel QB|
|74 Hines Ward WR||86 Donald Brown RB||98 LeSean McCoy RB|
|75 Jerricho Cotchery WR||87 Devin Hester WR||99 Julius Jones RB|
|76 Bernard Berrian WR||88 Pittsburgh DEF||100 Steve Breaston WR|
|77 Kellen Winslow TE||89 Ben Roethlisberger QB||101 Michael Crabtree WR|
|78 Chris Cooley TE||90 Kevin Walter WR||102 Ted Ginn WR|
|79 Cedric Benson RB||91 Torry Holt WR||103 Eli Manning QB|
|80 Carson Palmer QB||92 Darren Sproles RB||104 Leon Washington RB|
|81 Lance Moore WR||93 Donald Driver WR||105 Baltimore DEF|
|82 Owen Daniels TE||94 Rashard Mendenhall RB||106 Zach Miller TE|
|83 LenDale White RB||95 John Carlson TE||107 Dustin Keller TE|
|84 Donnie Avery WR||96 Jamal Lewis RB||108 Percy Harvin WR|
In rounds 10-12 Defenses start coming off the board, but your worst case scenario nets you TE Jeremy Shockey, who has been turning heads in camp so far, and you get depth with back-up QB Joe Flacco, and RB5 Laurence Maroney.
|Round 10||Round 11||Round 12|
|109 Tim Hightower RB||121 Minnesota DEF||133 Hakeem Nicks WR|
|110 NY Giants DEF||122 Chester Taylor RB||134 Jamaal Charles RB|
|111 Derrick Mason WR||123 Josh Morgan WR||135 Chicago DEF|
|112 Fred Jackson RB||124 Earnest Graham RB||136 Visanthe Shiancoe TE|
|113 Matt Hasselbeck QB||125 Domenik Hixon WR||137 Tennessee DEF|
|114 Ahmad Bradshaw RB||126 Shonn Greene RB||138 NY Jets DEF|
|115 David Garrard QB||127 Kyle Orton QB||139 Le’Ron McClain RB|
|116 Minnesota DEF||128 Jerious Norwood RB||140 Earl Bennett WR|
|117 Trent Edwards QB||129 Jeremy Maclin WR||141 Michael Bush RB|
|118 Willis McGahee RB||130 San Diego DEF||142 Chris Henry WR|
|119 Steve Smith WR||131 Chris Chambers WR||143 Heath Miller TE|
|120 Jeremy Shockey TE||132 Joe Flacco QB||144 Laurence Maroney RB|
Through 12 rounds of your worst case ADP draft your team looks like this:
QBs: Matt Schaub, Joe Flacco
RBs: Steve Slaton, Brandon Jacobs, Derrick Ward, Jamal Lewis, and Laurence Maroney
WRs: Terrell Owens, Vincent Jackson, Donnie Avery, Percy Harvin
TE: Jeremy Shockey
For a worst case scenario, that's not a bad team to be stuck with. Obviously your team will be more staunch than this one, because you won't get stuck with worst case picks. Yet this little experiment shows where picks are deep and where they are shallow. The beauty in doing research like this is that it helps you better prepare for any draft slot, let's you see where you can expect certain players to go, and gives you some flexibility on who to take and where. Now you know you can hold back a bit on QBs because you can find value in the mid-rounds this year. You can also reach a bit and take some people you think will out perform their rankings and draft position. As an example, WR Brandon Marshall's current ADP is 34, or late 3rd round. His counterpart in Denver is Eddie Royal who is going at the top of the 5th round. I fully expect Royal to out perform the injured and disgruntled Marshall this season, so I'd skip Marshall in the third and be comfortable reaching for Royal in the fourth. As another example, I'm one of those guys that wants an elite QB if possible, and when I see Philip Rivers lasting to round 5, knowing he'll put up Peyton Manning like numbers two rounds later, I begin salivating. This is why doing some research and a few mock drafts is crucial to your success. All the expert rankings in the world are not going to be as important as what actual fantasy owners are doing, and what your gut tells you.