Draft Strategy

Best Ball Bargain Hunting: Running Backs

The Best Ball Bargain Hunting series looks at the ADP differences for players across popular platforms in order to identify players who may be flying under the radar on specific sites. This inaugural edition will explain the methodology and find running back bargains that can help you win your leagues. ADP is an anchor. It’s impossible for most fantasy owners to click the “Make Draft Pick” button without at least first considering if they’re picking a player close to their ADP. The anchoring effect makes ADP recursive, a self-fulfilling prophecy where players will tend to be continually drafted in the same range once their ADP has stabilized. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Though ADP can anchor our valuation of a player, it’s not an arbitrary number. Understanding when a player is likely to be drafted is crucial to best ball strategy, particularly when drafting a significant quantity of leagues. If you consistently draft a player far above his ADP – even if you have him ranked far above that ADP – you limit your exposure to other players in that ADP range. It’s OK to reach for a player above his ADP if you want to own a lot of him. It’s not OK to consistently reach so far that there’s a 99 percent chance you could have acquired that player with your next pick a full round later. Understanding those odds is vital.1 Anchoring could be among the reasons that, despite a similar pool of people participating in early best ball drafts across the major sites, we see some players with vastly different ADPs between the platforms. There are other factors that affect ADP – such as differences in league structure – but identifying players whose ADP is significantly later on one site than another can provide us a list of targets we may be able to get at a steep discount.

  1. The range where players are drafted in the later rounds obviously expands a lot, so what constitutes a reach in the late rounds shifts somewhat.  (back)

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By John Lapinski | @http://twitter.com/FF_SkiBall | Archive