Throwing ADP out The Fantasy Football Door

By Armando Marsal
Armando Marsal

What is ADP?

Average draft position, also known as ADP, can be defined as a report that lists players by the average spot that they have been drafted over a range of multiple fantasy football drafts. This report generates numbers such as an overall average, highest pick drafted, lowest pick drafted, and times drafted. Most sites allow you to edit the league format and number of teams to provide you with the best possible list for your league. You can see it by dates as well, which allows you to view the patterns in ADP for specific players on your draft board. At the end of the day, this is a very useful draft prep tool. Below is an example of the top 12 picks in a 12-team PPR format league from

Understanding Trends in ADP

The image below shows Eli Manning’s ADP from May 15, 2017 to July 17, 2017. As you can see, he has dropped from 11.02 to 11.07 in that timeframe. While the sample size is small here and the movement is not significant, it gives you an idea on how to analyze and use the ADP trends to your advantage. If there is a player you feel strongly about, you can see the trend in his ADP and determine whether or not you need to snag him earlier than you anticipated or if his stock has gone down and you can wait around more than you initially thought. This information is useful for those who are trying to figure out what round they should take a player they really want since odds are it will have to be a round or two ahead of their ADP.

Using ADP as a reference, but not to make your draft day decision

I use ADP as one of my sources when gathering information for my leagues, however, I do not let it influence my decision on when I should select a player on draft day. There is a difference between using it to prepare for a draft and using it to determine whether to take a player or not. My main use for ADP rankings is to gauge what rounds players are typically going in, which gives me a better idea what to expect from other fantasy football owners in my leagues. This also provides me with some insight on when I should take a specific player I truly want before he is expected to go. For instance, I am keen on Eli Manning this season – you can see why here - so I plan on drafting him a tad before his ADP to guarantee myself shares of him. He is currently going in the 11th round and as the QB16, but I would not have an issue with taking him a round or two early as my QB1. Therefore I am throwing the ADP out the window and taking a player I like because I am confident with my research and analysis on his potential outcome this season. This goes for any player that fantasy owners are high on this season, do not hesitate to draft a player in a specific round just because he is being drafted later in drafts according to ADP’s. However, please do not misunderstand me, I am not saying to draft your favorite player who is being drafted in the sixth-seventh round in the first round either. Early rounds are pretty straight forward, so I would not suggest or expect fantasy owners to go too far off base. However, once the first several rounds are in the books, I think getting creative and selecting the players you want regardless of ADP can be a +EV strategy. I have spoken to several high-stakes players and in their drafts, the sharper players tend to take players they truly feel confident about a round or two early and sometimes more. They just draft based off of their own rankings and not ADP. This is a strategy I try to implement in all my drafts so that I am able to get the players I have most interest in. Granted it does not always work out that way.


ADP sets a general consensus value for specific league settings, but this should not be the be-all and end-all of your final conclusion when determining when you should be taking players on draft day. Trust your research, trust your instincts, and trust all the work you have put in preparing for the draft and use it in your drafts. If you feel very strong about a particular player, do not be scared to take him ahead of his ADP. If you do not, someone else might and you may end up without that player on your roster. At the end of the day it is all about having fun and watching the players you like. Good luck to all!