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ADP: A Necessary Evil PDF Print E-mail
Chance Favors the Prepared Mind
Written by Todd Zola   
Tuesday, 26 February 2013 01:49

After taking a break from my series discussing APE (ADP Principles of Equivalence), it’s time to jump back in and address what I deem to be the proper use of average draft position listings. Recall a couple of weeks ago, I showed that APE suggests that there are a multitude of equivalent players at each draft position. By means of a brief review, players within $2 of projected earnings are fundamentally the same player. If you take away a homer, run, RBI and steal from the higher ranked player and give it to the lower ranked one, their projected earnings are the same. APE is based on the empirical discovery that if you take the round where the player is ranked and multiply by three, that many players above and below the player are within the magical $2 limit. If a player has an ADP of 100 in a 15 team draft, this puts him at pick 7.10. So you take seven times three and 21 players above and below that player are worth the same. This means the player with the DP of 121 is just as viable a pick as player 100. As you proceed down the snake, this distance grows. The result is that it is not nearly as egregious to jump the ADP as some contend. The notion of taking a player too early is squashed as is the perception of a value pick, a player whose ADP is well before the actual pick. The full treatment is available for review HERE.

With that as a backdrop, there is a very viable purpose of an ADP list, so long as you understand exactly what it represents. In short, the ADP is the market value of the players. Similarly, what most are willing to pay for a player in an auction is the market value of the player. It has nothing to do with his intrinsic potential to your team, which is the key.

The intrinsic potential is how much the player contributes to your team’s ability to win. It is dependent on your team construct and your strategy. Different players may have different intrinsic potentials to different teams. It is your job as a fantasy owner to put as much potential on your team as possible.

One way to do this is be better in tune with the player pool. Another is to know the market value of the players so on occasion, you can utilize this to wait on a player with greater intrinsic potential because his market value strongly suggests he will be there in a later round. This allows you to first take another player with a lot of intrinsic potential, but whose market value suggests won’t be available next time around. You need to be careful when doing this and it’s not likely you can play this game with every pick, but you can squeeze an extra player or two onto your roster by knowing the market value of the players.

To give credit where credit is due, this concept was originally crystallized by KJ Duke, a very successful high-stakes player in a forum discussion from a couple of years ago. By day, KJ is also a very successful portfolio manager and compared buying stocks with the greatest intrinsic potential at the lowest market value to assembling a fantasy squad.

Another use of an ADP could be to devise a general strategy in concert with tiered rankings. We’ll talk more about tiered rankings down the line, but the idea is to find pockets of players with similar intrinsic potential and see where they are likely to be drafted. If you pencil in taking a player at that position around that time, you can better decide what players or positions to take earlier. Again, we’ll talk more about this in future columns.

Today’s message is short and sweet. Some live and die by ADP and feel it is the most accurate ranking of players. Others want to make a point and proclaim the ADP as useless. All that matters is what you think. As is often the case, the truth lies in between. ADP is a tool that if used properly, can assist in constructing your team in an optimal manner - nothing more, nothing less. To follow it blindly is a mistake. But so is categorically ignoring it.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 26 February 2013 08:57
 

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Comments  

 
# Black Sox 2013-02-26 13:59
One way I've been using ADP is mapping out a grid of the top 100 picks on the sites I'll be drafting on. As an example on CBS I found that 27/100 picks are pitchers. I also see that the greatest concentration of P go in rounds 5-7. This way I can start to get an idea of what hitters will be avaialble in those rounds if I decide to grab starters earlier or if I should just plan on grabbing the best starter in these rounds. I also saw that only 16/100 were MI meaning I can probably wait on filling my whole infield. As long as you don't get hung up on trying to grab a specific player and instead view each position as tiers I've found this strategy most effective.
 
 
# Todd Zola 2013-02-26 14:19
Assuming your league is composed of those generating the ADP (CBS drafters practicing for a CBS league on CBS), that can work fine (duh) - you're using it as a measure of the market price.
 
 
# Black Sox 2013-02-27 16:06
Quoting Todd Zola:
Assuming your league is composed of those generating the ADP (CBS drafters practicing for a CBS league on CBS), that can work fine (duh) - you're using it as a measure of the market price.


I only used CBS as an example since I had just done it but I feel it would work just as well if I took the ADP of NFBC drafts, for me it's just helping me to "see" the draft unfold before it happens. The advantage of doing it on the site you'll be drafting on is due to the influence the draft que has on selections. I think some people have started to discount the use of ADP because too many people used it as a tool for when to select players. I feel if you use it in the way I described ie I know aprox 30 pitchers will go in the first 100 picks so if I want 3 of those top 30 I need to make my selctions by round X helps.
 
 
# Todd Zola 2013-02-27 18:13
I think you'll find the NFBC ADP to be significantly different than any other ADP.

Plus, you simply cannot rely on players going anywhere near their ADP.

It doesn't matter what other think about a player, especially when the vast majority of an ADP is shaped by people not winning the league.
 
 
# Black Sox 2013-02-27 19:24
Quoting Todd Zola:
I think you'll find the NFBC ADP to be significantly different than any other ADP.

Plus, you simply cannot rely on players going anywhere near their ADP.

It doesn't matter what other think about a player, especially when the vast majority of an ADP is shaped by people not winning the league.


I could be wrong but I don't see why it wouldn't work with the NFBC ADP when I'm looking for positional trends as opposed to specific players. While the names might change I would assume the positional distribution would follow a trend. Again I haven't signed up for an NFBC draft yet so I haven't viewed their ADP yet.
 
 
# Todd Zola 2013-02-27 20:47
TONS of reasons. The NFBC ADP's are presently for 15 team leagues with 50 man roster, no FAAB and no trading. The strategies are different.

The NFBC is way ahead of the curve and understands the new landscape of pitching and as a group drafts it earlier than you'll see elsewhere.

You don't need an ADP to help you draft pitching. You tier them and take the ones you want when their tier is being drafted, regardless of the round and regardless of the ADP.
 
 
# Black Sox 2013-02-27 21:17
Quoting Todd Zola:
TONS of reasons. The NFBC ADP's are presently for 15 team leagues with 50 man roster, no FAAB and no trading. The strategies are different.

The NFBC is way ahead of the curve and understands the new landscape of pitching and as a group drafts it earlier than you'll see elsewhere.

You don't need an ADP to help you draft pitching. You tier them and take the ones you want when their tier is being drafted, regardless of the round and regardless of the ADP.


I just found and compared NFBC ADP thru Jan 30th and its exactly the same as CBS as it compares to SP both are selecting 27 SP by pick 100. You do make a good point with the difference in game types with the draft and holds. The main difference between the 2 sites has to do with the selection of RP which makes sense based on the difference in format
 
 
# OaktownSteve 2013-02-26 23:28
There is a saying in writing, "kill your darlings." It basically means, when you set out to write a story, you may have an idea that forms part of the genesis of the story, but as you write the story, you begin to realize that it's really about something other than what you think it's about. I think we all have players that become our darlings and we can get fixated on having that player be a part of our team. I think that ADP if it's slavishly adhered to can squash our own intuition, but I think the one way in which it can help in player evaluation is to provide a sanity check when we have our darlings. If our evaluations are so far out of step with the wisdom of the crowd, perhaps we're missing some information or we've formed an opinion that is based on the quirks of our own methodology that needs to be thoroughly explored.

That being said, I agree with the main premise here, Todd and I continue to enjoy the APE conversation.
 

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