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What NFL ADPs are Telling Us

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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

Press Releases

STATS Takes Over Payton, Buchanan, Robinson, Rice Awards, Announces FCS Banquet Date

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CHICAGO – Nov. 3, 2016 – STATS, the world’s leading sports data and technology company, announced an agreement today that will allow it to hand out a quartet of legacy NCAA Football Championship Series (FCS) awards tied to some of the biggest names in the subdivision’s history.

Just prior to the FCS postseason concluding in January, STATS will present:

  • • The FCS Walter Payton Award, given to the FCS’ offensive player of the year;
  • • The FCS Buck Buchanan Award, given to its defensive player of the year;
  • • The FCS Eddie Robinson Award, given to its coach of the year; and
  • • The FCS Jerry Rice Award, given to its freshman of the year.

Founded by Mickey Charles of The Sports Network, the annual honors date back to 1987, when the Payton Award was presented to running back Kenny Gamble of Colgate. Since then, names of future NFL stars like Steve McNair, Brian Westbrook and Tony Romo have been called up to accept the hardware. Last season, Cooper Kupp – who became the FCS’ all-time leader in receiving yards and touchdowns this season – was the winner. The Robinson Award also began in 1987.

“I’ve always considered the storylines of the FCS to be just as important as the rest of Division I college football,” said Charles. “And lacking a Heisman of their own, what better choice than in the name of a football legend, Walter Payton? I am pleased to pass on three decades’ worth of history to STATS for custodianship and expansion at this time.”

The same national panel of sports information and media relations directors, broadcasters, writers, and other dignitaries who select the STATS FCS Top 25 poll – numbering over 150 voters – will choose the winners. Those awards join the STATS FCS Doris Robinson Scholar-Athlete Award, created one year ago to honor the wife of Eddie Robinson and her service to community and academics.

These awards will be presented to the winning athletes during the end-of-season banquet that will take place Friday, Jan. 6, 2017 – the night before the FCS championship game in Frisco, Texas – at the Embassy Suites Dallas-Frisco Convention Center. Last January, almost 200 attendees representing a cross-section of FCS roles came together for STATS’ inaugural awards ceremony.

The Buchanan Award goes back to 1995 and includes such notable alums as Dexter Coakley and Jared Allen, while the Rice Award was created in 2011.

“Coming from an FCS school, I’m proud to lend my name to such a distinction, and to help STATS expand its national coverage initiative,” said Rice, a Mississippi Valley State graduate who is almost universally recognized as the greatest wide receiver of all time and was inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame in 2010.

Prior to last season, STATS expanded an initiative to serve the FCS community with staples such as a pre- and postseason All-America team, weekly Top 25 poll, national players of the week, award watch lists and season-ending awards.

In addition, STATS created a dedicated FCS website – www.fcs.football – featuring breaking news, real-time scores and other unique content that combined the strengths of STATS’ data, editorial and product expertise. Launched prior to the 2015 season,  the site has accumulated close to two million page views over the past 12 months.

“We laid down a strong coverage foundation last season and, in the process, developed incredible relationships with the schools and the conferences,” said Brian Orefice, STATS’ Director of News. “But we want to ride that momentum into even better content and broader exposure. Thanks to Mickey, inheriting these awards and all they represent can only help us achieve those goals as we try to maintain the legacy of the FCS’ rich past while pushing forward toward its promising future.”

The FCS competes at the NCAA’s Division I level, and is home to 125 schools in 13 conferences across the country. Approximately 150 FCS players are on NFL rosters annually, including current stars like Romo (Eastern Illinois), Joe Flacco (Delaware), Carson Wentz (North Dakota State), David Johnson (Northern Iowa), Josh Norman (Coastal Carolina) and Julius Thomas (Portland State).

STATS announces FCS preseason Top 25 poll, launches www.fcs.football destination site

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Chicago, IL – August 10, 2015– STATS LLC, the world’s leading sports technology, data and content company, unveiled its preseason FCS Top 25 poll Monday – featuring four-time defending champion North Dakota State as the overwhelming No. 1 – and launched a destination site for FCS players and fans throughout the country.

STATS, which purchased The Sports Network (TSN) in February, announced it would expand TSN’s commitment to FCS coverage when revealing its preseason All-America team last month. For almost three decades, TSN served the FCS community with such staples as a pre- and postseason All-America team, weekly Top 25 poll, national players of the week, award watch lists and season-ending honors.

To no one’s surprise, North Dakota State University (NDSU) will be a significant part of that coverage. The Bison, who received 144 out of 147 first-place votes, begin their quest for an unprecedented fifth straight FCS title when they take on No. 13 Montana in the FCS Kickoff – the first game of the college football season – on Aug. 29. The game will be televised by ESPN.

“What we’ve done has been phenomenal, but we have to stay hungry,” said NDSU coach Chris Klieman. “It’s different in my five years here now that we have most of our guys back on offense and very few on defense. We are going to need some young guys to step up, and we’re going to be challenged right away at Montana.”

Illinois State, Sam Houston State, Villanova, Coastal Carolina, Eastern Washington, Jacksonville State, Chattanooga, New Hampshire and Northern Iowa rounded out the top 10.

STATS’ coverage of the subdivision will be spearheaded by longtime TSN FCS Executive Director Craig Haley and supported by journalists based out of STATS’ Chicagoland headquarters. The company is leveraging its core editorial, data and product expertise to create a destination site – www.fcs.football – featuring breaking news, real-time scores and video analysis that no FCS fan will want to go without.

“By continuing the FCS Top 25 poll and bolstering it with a destination website, STATS is showing its commitment to improving FCS player and fan experiences. It’s such fertile ground for coverage,” Haley said.

The site will continue to evolve throughout the season both in its look and content. A conference-by-conference preview package and regular video installments on timely topics are set to kick off this week, in addition to features and breaking news as the season nears.

“The idea is to make fcs.football a one-stop shop for everyone’s FCS coverage needs,” said Brian Orefice, STATS’ Director of News and Editorial Operations, “whether that fan is looking for the latest score from a Maine Black Bears game or breaking news on the San Diego Toreros.”

The FCS competes at the NCAA’s Division I level, and is home to 125 schools in 13 conferences across the country. Approximately 150 FCS players are on NFL rosters annually, including current stars Tony Romo (Eastern Illinois), Joe Flacco (Delaware), Vincent Jackson (Northern Colorado), Jared Allen (Idaho State) and Julius Thomas (Portland State).