ADP stands for "Average Draft Position" when referring to fantasy football. When drafting a fantasy football team, ADP is a concept that allows benefits for both beginner players and experts of the statistical game.
ADP is the average pick used on a certain player in all fantasy football drafts and mock drafts taken into account for a given service. As more drafts occur, ADP will give a more exact statistic for drafters to believe as the sample size will grow. Luckily, players do not have to calculate this number themselves because it is generally easy to find when using online draft portals.
For novices, ADP can help general managers who may not be very knowledgeable about the game make early and safe draft picks, and decide late round picks from groups of players they may not know about. Statistics like ADP have helped make fantasy football the phenomenon it has become in the United States. By utilizing ADP, any person who wants to play fantasy football can draft a competitive team without knowing everything about the sport.
For more experienced fantasy football players, this concept can help them plan their drafts and try to find sleepers. Many expert players may use a variety of resources to draft a team, but ADP is essential to decipher how other players are valuing players. By utilizing this statistic, drafters can decide whether to draft a player in the fifth round or if that same player might drop to the seventh round where the general manager can find more value.
One disadvantage of using ADP as your only resource when drafting a team is that ADP can be influenced by media hype and trends in fantasy football. Some players, especially first-year running backs, may be valued higher than they should be according to ADP. For the example of rookie running backs, these players have yet to step on an NFL field, but because running backs are so valuable in fantasy football, drafters will take a chance on these players based on college performance and potential. In this case, rookie RBs generally pan out to some degree, but if a player busts then that is a top-3 pick wasted.
Another drawback of ADP is the fact that it is a statistic that is at least somewhat skewed by the people who draft or create a mock draft first. These drafts, even if the players have no idea what they are doing with fantasy football, set the standard of ADP for the drafts following them. While experienced players can look past this single statistic, this puts novices at a disadvantage.
Finally, ADP may differ between different companies that run fantasy football leagues. Saquon Barkley's ADP on ESPN Fantasy Football may be 2.4, but his ADP on Yahoo! Fantasy Football could be 4.1. When analyzing top players these numbers may be very similar, late-round sleepers may differ by many picks. This emphasizes the reasoning behind diversifying the resources used when drafting a fantasy football team.