Another Reason Why Zero RB Works: Using Structural Drafting to Exploit ADP Inefficiencies – The Wrong Read, No. 40
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Welcome to the 40th installment of the “The Wrong Read.” This article series started as one that reflected on recent podcast episodes and extended the ideas discussed there to logical conclusions with broader applications. Since then it’s become a space for me to write about whatever I want, with irregular references to various podcast episodes. Nevertheless, I’ll link to the episode that started my train of thought if applicable. Last week’s edition of “The Wrong Read” explored the idea that certain players might be systematically undervalued by ADP. Rookie running backs, particularly those drafted in the middle rounds, appear to be just such a group. While all RBs in Rounds 9-12 outperform ADP based expectations, rookie RBs do so to a much larger extent. And they also outperform other rookie RBs drafted later, a trend we do not see with veteran RBs. One way, therefore, to beat ADP without needing to create more accurate rankings is to draft rookie RBs in the middle rounds. However, in 2018, that means there are two players you’re targeting: Kerryon Johnson and Nyheim Hines. Even if they both outperform ADP-based expectations according to historical averages, we’d expect only about 150 PPR points from Johnson and about 110 points from Hines, neither of which would likely be good enough for an RB2 finish.1 In other words, the additional points you’re getting by targeting Johnson and Hines are not likely, on their own, to have an outsized impact on your fantasy team as a whole.
- Of course, what’s more likely to happen if history repeats itself is that one of these RBs breaks out and outperforms ADP by a lot, and one finishes in line with ADP-based expectations or even slightly underperforms. If I have to pick just one, I’m betting on Hines to be the breakout, not least because his situation is much more clear, but also because the cost to place that bet is quite a bit less. (back)