One of the most popular pieces of data for draft preparation is a player’s Average Draft Position which is based on the mock drafts done throughout the internets. However, if you’ve looked at ADP from one site and then done your actual draft on another site, you may have been surprised to see that your leaguemates didn’t really draft in the way that you may have expected. That’s because the problem with ADP data is that it is site-specific as it is very much driven by the site rankings presented during the mock drafts. Thankfully, there is a bit of good information that we can derive from ADP data with a little bit of digging.
By taking the site rankings and comparing them to the ADP, we can see if the public is passing or reaching for certain players on average. For this particular post, I took the data available from ESPN, MockDraftCentral and Yahoo to compare their ADP to the rankings presented in their mock draft rooms. The results showed players who fell into one of three groups: big changes across all sites from ranking to ADP, big change at only one site (usually because of a weird ranking by that site) or no change across the board.
Big Changes & The Public Is Passing
|Avg Rank||Avg ADP||Change|
These players above represent a group that the public is passing on even when the players show up at the top of their draft queues no matter what site you’re at. At every site, these players were being drafted later than the site ranking and usually significantly later. I can understand the hesitation for many of these players based on where they’re ranked and I agree with passing on most of the players listed. However, I do like some things about Kipnis and the three Royals on the list (Hosmer, Gordon and Butler) so I might use this as opportunity to try to grab them while everyone else may be passing.
Big Changes & The Public Is Reaching
|Avg Rank||Avg ADP||Change|
If any of these players are on your watch list, you’re going to have to work harder than you think to get them. The players are being drafted earlier than the site rankings at every site and thus are in higher demand. As you can see, the takeaway here is that catchers are going earlier than rankings may indicate and the public isn’t waiting on pitchers as long as the site rankings suggest they should. Also, Tanaka remains a mystery as far as where he should rank in the public’s eye though the public seems to moving his stock up and up. Adjust your pre-draft expectations accordingly for these players.
Major Corrections with ESPN Rankings
If you’re drafting in an ESPN league, these are players where it seems like the ranking presented in the ESPN rooms is being scoffed at by the public. If you have an interest in these players, you definitely want to be aware that they might be going earlier or later than you expect in your ESPN drafts so know to change your approach in order to draft them.
Major Corrections with Yahoo Rankings
Echoing the above statement, if you’re drafting in a Yahoo league, there are a bunch of odd rankings that the public is wise to as well. You want Craig Kimbrel? Don’t wait until he is towards the top of the queue on the site and make a move earlier.
Look For Yourself
If you’d like to dive further in and see all the data for yourself then check out this Google Doc that lists all of this data for you to use.
Knowing how your draft site ranks players in the draft room and how the public treats those rankings is the true power of having ADP data at our disposal prior to draft days. Advanced fantasy baseball players know to use ADP but expert fantasy baseball players (like you) should be looking beyond ADP to find the real truth about whether a player is in high demand or not.