100 Fantasy Football Tips in 100 Days, Day 8: Understanding ADP and Value
Today’s “tip” isn’t going to come from one of my fantasy football books, but instead from Nassim Nicholas Talleb’s Fooled By Randomness. I’m re-reading the book and just came across a quote that’s very relevant to fantasy owners:
There is no point in searching for patterns that are available to everyone; once detected, they would be self-canceling.
The same is true in fantasy football drafts; you’re looking for information that others don’t have. If others have the same information as you, it will be priced into the players’ ADP. So even if it’s important, it doesn’t really matter. Arian Foster’s workload is really important, but it’s not something to value much because it’s a major factor in his draft spot. You can’t get an advantage there.
You can get an advantage by searching for predictors of success that others don’t know. If you knew that running backs with Foster’s speed have historically been horribly unsuccessful in the NFL, it might change your opinion of him a bit. And since others aren’t valuing speed to the same degree, it can be used advantageously.
That doesn’t mean that all information is useful. As a general rule of thumb, if a piece of data can’t be used to make more accurate predictions or it’s already being used by others, it has no pragmatic value to you.
By the way, I released my 2013 Fantasy Football Draft Package today.