What NFL ADPs are Telling Us

By: STATS LLC | August 18, 2015

Can you imagine taking a cross-country road trip without a map? You could certainly do it and eventually find your destination, but there’s a good chance that you’d take a few wrong turns along the way and spend more time on the road than you expected.

With that in mind, shouldn’t you also ask for a road map before heading into your all-important fantasy football drafts? Of course you should—and those road maps are out there and can be very useful for making every single pick a good one.

The road maps in our industry are called Average Draft Position lists, better known as ADPs. The National Fantasy Football Championship (NFFC) has the best ADPs in the industry because these ADPs represent a composite of every single pay draft from March through September. These ADPs are updated every day after drafts are completed and can be sorted by last 21 days, last 14 days and even last 7 days. These ADPs will show the latest drafting trends from people who pay anywhere from $125 to $20,000 per league and can also show different formats such as 10-team leagues, 12-team leagues and 14-team leagues.

The best thing about NFCC ADPs is that they show you where players have been going in recent drafts—it represents the composite road map of hundreds of pay drafts. But just because you have this road map doesn’t mean that you have to go directly off the ADPs and draft how everyone else drafts. Instead, look for players who you think are rising, and make sure you jump on them before they are gone. Likewise, if you see players you like who are slipping in drafts, then make sure you jump in early and grab them before someone else does. ADPs are a great resource for planning your draft before your draft date arrives.

What have we learned about fantasy drafts from our ADPs so far? Here are the nuggets:

  • No Consensus on No. 1: This is easily THE WILDEST fantasy football season ever, starting with the first round. There is no consensus top player this year; in fact, during our first 40 Rotowire Online Championship Leagues, where the grand prize is $100,000, EIGHT different players were picked first overall, including Antonio Brown, Le’Veon Bell, Adrian Peterson, Odell Beckham Jr., Julio Jones, Dez Bryant, Demaryius Thomas and Jamaal Charles.
  • PPR Leagues: Wide receivers are also dominating drafts, with 24 of the first 48 picks being wideouts and 48 of the first 100 picks being WRs. The game has changed recently, and WRs are dominating in point per reception fantasy leagues like the NFFC. To win in fantasy football these days, you need a couple of top wide receivers who can score 18–20 points per game, and to do that you need to draft them early. Seven wide receivers are going in the first round, with Jordy Nelson and Calvin Johnson joining Brown, Beckham, Jones, Bryant and Thomas.
  • Be Patient with QBs: Even in the NFFC, where touchdown passes are worth 6 points, people are waiting on QBs. Andrew Luck (21) and Aaron Rodgers (23) have the highest ADPs, but after that there’s a three-round wait as Peyton Manning goes 53rd and Drew Brees goes 59th. Seven different QBs will go between picks 70 and 98: Ben Roethlisberger, Russell Wilson, Matt Ryan, Tom Brady, Eli Manning, Tony Romo and Cam Newton. Last year only one point per game separated the 5th through 14th QBs, which is further proof why you can wait on QBs and still get a productive one.
  • Top Rushers: Elite running backs are hard to find and should be high on your list. Only four RBs averaged 20 fantasy points per game last year, led by Le’Veon Bell at 22.1 PPG. The top four RBs going this year (and the only RBs going in the first round) are Bell, Peterson, Charles and Lacy. Backs on the rise include C.J. Anderson (ADP of 16), Justin Forsett (28), rookie Melvin Gordon (35) and rookie Todd Gurley (58).
  • Wait on Kickers and Defenses: Stephen Gostkowski is the top kicker at pick number 176, but 11 different kickers go from 195–225. You can afford to wait on kickers, as the point differential between the second kicker last year and the 12th kicker was just one point per game. As for defenses, Seattle goes first at pick 138, with Houston, St. Louis, Buffalo and the Jets going between picks 152–168. But, after that, you can wait on defenses as the difference is no more than 1 point per game.

Follow the NFFC’s ADPs and we believe they will lead you to your final destination— the championship of your fantasy league.

For more information on the NFFC, go to nffc.stats.com.

By: Greg Ambrosius