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Fantasy Football: Using Early ADP in August

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At RotoWire, I took a look at how owners can use current ADP to gain an advantage come draft day.

Using ADP to Judge Rankings

I’m a big believer in creating your own projections and rankings. You can and should collect as much data as possible from as many legitimate sources as you can, but at the end of the day, your rankings should be drafted independently of public opinion.

However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t consider the views of others. After you make your initial rankings, it can be helpful to view ADP to learn where you stand in relation to others. In no way should your original rankings simply mirror public opinion, but when you have a player ranked wildly differently than the masses, he’s worth a second look.

The reason for this is a phenomenon known as “wisdom of the crowds” whereby the aggregate of expert opinions is often superior to the majority of those individual opinions taken in isolation. If you bet on football games using the consensus picks from professional sports bettors, for example, the results are typically superior to those from most of the bettors themselves.

Early-Season ADP

Of course, ADP in late-August is hardly a collection of expert opinions. By that time, you’ve had just about every type of owner participate in drafts, and there’s a whole lot of “groupthink” that has taken place. In many cases, a previously quality expert opinion on a sleeper may have catapulted him so far up boards that he no longer offers value. Similarly, some players fly under the radar simply because they haven’t received a ton of publicity.

In the beginning of the year, however, there aren’t many first-year fantasy owners participating in drafts. Instead, it’s more advanced players who are fresh off of the 2012 season. Without consensus rankings published yet, they’re working off of their own research and analysis. Most important, they typically haven’t let the opinions of others cloud their own judgments.

Thus, looking at early-season ADP can give us a really strong indication of market value for the upcoming season. Below, I’ve pasted the current standard scoring ADP for the top 30 players in 2013:

1. RB Adrian Peterson
2. RB Arian Foster
3. RB Doug Martin
4. RB Ray Rice
5. WR Calvin Johnson
6. RB Marshawn Lynch
7. RB Trent Richardson
8. RB C.J. Spiller
9. QB Aaron Rodgers
10. RB Jamaal Charles
11. QB Drew Brees
12. WR Demaryius Thomas
13. RB LeSean McCoy
14. QB Tom Brady
15. WR A.J. Green
16. RB Alfred Morris
17. WR Brandon Marshall
18. TE Rob Gronkowski
19. WR Dez Bryant
20. WR Julio Jones
21. RB Matt Forte
22. TE Jimmy Graham
23. QB Peyton Manning
24. WR Percy Harvin
25. WR Victor Cruz
26. RB Chris Johnson
27. QB Cam Newton
28. RB Stevan Ridley
29. RB David Wilson
30. RB Darren McFadden

The entire article is at RotoWire.

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