Longtime readers know I consider average draft position a critical weapon in our fantasy draft arsenal.
ADP tells us who’s being picked where, and from that we can discern how other players and the entire industry is thinking. This allows us when we should target our sleepers and figure out when that big-name actually becomes too good a value to pass up.
This is the first in a series of ADP rankings. In these articles I’ll look at where players are going and whether they provide good, great or little value at the position where most of the industry is selecting them.
I’m using data from Fantasy Football Calculator, as I have for a number of seasons. The data was collected from 1,624 15-round, 12-team drafts conducted on the site Aug. 10-12.
2016 ADP rankings: Overall 1-20 | 21-40 | 41-60 | 61-80 | 81-100 | 101-120
ADP top 120 (101-120)
|101||9.03||Markus Wheaton||WR||PIT||8||Won’t be as explosive as Martavis. Will have plenty of opportunities in this offense, but I’m reluctant to pay this price for him|
|102||9.03||Philip Rivers||QB||SD||10||One of my favorite QB picks in 2016. Imagine a world where Keenan Allen stays healthy|
|103||9.04||TJ Yeldon||RB||JAC||5||One of my top picks in 2015 will share backfield with Chris Ivory in 2016, making both zero-RB-worthy|
|104||9.08||Willie Snead||WR||NO||5||Addition of Mike Thomas in Marques Colston role could aid Snead, who looks better this year than he did in breakout 2015|
|105||9.08||Bilal Powell||RB||NYJ||11||Powell, along with Matt Forte, make for another pair of zero-RB picks. I prefer Powell because he has a lower cost|
|106||9.08||Ladarius Green||TE||PIT||8||Rumor that he may retire because of recurring headaches. He had two concussions in September last year. There was a lot of speculation he could erupt after finally moving out from under Antonio Gates shadow.|
|107||9.1||Torrey Smith||WR||SF||8||A No. 1 wide receiver in a Chip Kelly offense going in the 9th round? Steal|
|108||9.11||Derrick Henry||RB||TEN||13||If Henry and DeMarco split carries, this is a good price. If DeMarco gets all the carries, this is only a good price if you’re handcuffing him|
|109||9.11||Derek Carr||QB||OAK||6||I’ve been a Carr-backer since his rookie campaign. Before he had an elite WR. Great QB to pair with Rivers, Romo, Manning|
|110||9.11||Zach Ertz||TE||PHI||8||Increased catches and yards in 2015. Even slight uptick in TDs would have bumped him up a round or two. Serious upside. Great value|
|111||9.12||Denver Defense||DEF||DEN||11||In my 20 years of researching and playing fantasy football, I’ve never come across any good advice that says to draft a defense this early. Never.|
|112||10.01||Travis Benjamin||WR||SD||10||Went 68-966-5 for the Browns last year. This year, he has Allen across from him and Rivers throwing him the ball. I’m not waiting until 10.01 to pick Benjamin.|
|113||10.02||Darren Sproles||RB||PHI||8||Reports he’s the best back in Eagles camp. I still like Mathews though, making both parts of this duo zero-RB-worthy. Sproles is cheaper.|
|114||10.02||Arizona Defense||DEF||ARI||9||… But they have J.J. Nelson returning kicks and… It doesn’t matter. Read my Denver blurb and don’t take a defense until the final 2-3 rounds of your draft.|
|115||10.03||Sammie Coates||WR||PIT||8||I feel like Wheaton and Coates should both be right around here, mostly because of the offense. I’m more likely to own Coates in 2016, but I probably won’t draft any Pittsburgh WR not named Antonio Brown.|
|116||10.03||Steve Smith||WR||BAL||8||Smith has always been a streaky performer. You just hope he’s in your lineup and you need a 3-TD game when he goes off. I’d take a shot on Smith here. I’d take Aiken first.|
|117||10.04||Kamar Aiken||WR||BAL||8||Aiken is being drafted almost a round earlier than Smith on the high end and that makes a lot of sense to me. This ADP is way too low. Great upside if you get Aiken here.|
|118||10.05||Isaiah Crowell||RB||CLE||13||It appears the Instagram disaster has passed, leaving Crowell as an integral part in an offense potentially on the rise with a new coach, QB and the return of a star WR. He’ll split work with Duke Johnson Jr., but Crowell is a great risk-reward pick at this price|
|119||10.08||Tony Romo||QB||DAL||6||If Zeke gives the Dallas running game teeth and Romo and Dez can stay off the shelf, this ADP gets blown up. Romo is worth a pick at this price. Just make sure you pair him with an equally risk-reward-y backup|
|120||10.09||Seattle Defense||DEF||SEA||9||I wouldn’t even pick them at 12.06, which is as low as they’ve gone on Fantasy Football Calculator’s charts.|
Any round or two of a fantasy draft will have its share of sleepers and busts to varying degrees. And, as anyone who has played fantasy knows, those sleepers and busts in the preseason will likely be very different than the sleepers and busts we see in our postseason reviews.
But I feel there is a lot of value to be had in the 9th and 10th rounds of fantasy drafts based on this ADP. There are only a few players I’m likely to avoid on this list, and most of them are defenses.
This realization continues to back up the industry-wide movement toward zero-RB and wait-on-quarterbacks theories. It also reminds us that if you end up having to take a Le’Veon Bell or a Jamaal Charles because they lasted too long, you can find some decent upside receivers late.
What do you think about these players? Do you use ADP in your preseason research? On draft day? Let us know in the comments.