What Is ADP, and What Does It Mean in Fantasy Football?

What does the term ADP mean in fantasy football, and how does it differ from ECR? Why is it important for managers to know the differences?

No matter how you consume your fantasy football content — be it via podcast, articles, newsletters, radio, television, or threads on X (formerly Twitter) — you will undoubtedly hear the acronym ADP ad nauseam.

For those of you who are fantasy newbies, the acronym ADP stands for Average Draft Position. I’m going to detail below how useful ADP data can be when trying to draft the best possible fantasy team in your league.

What Does ADP Mean in Fantasy Football?

ADP data is collected in different ways. The information can be pulled from mock drafts or real fantasy football drafts, where various websites will collect all of the different draft selections to help generate an ADP for almost every player who is draft-eligible.

As we inch closer to the start of the offseason and individual player situations can change drastically over the next few months, the overall reliability of the data becomes improved with “outlier picks” having a smaller impact on ADP.

Outliers usually include players who are third on the depth chart or a practice-squad player who could see his draft stock rise with positive reports coming from the release of notable veteran players, which could present future opportunities for an expanded role heading into the next NFL season.

Hence why ADP is just one of the many tools at the disposal of drafters. Sometimes, fantasy football players will lean more towards recent reports from beat writers commenting on how projected depths charts are shaping or other recent acquisitions that could bypass ADP data to mess with a draft day strategy.

Oftentimes, rookies often offer a great draft-day ADP, given the uncertainty of their impact in their first NFL season.

Using ADP, managers can attempt to predict when players could be drafted and whether they would be a reach at their current pick. Studying and understanding ADP also allows managers to develop a draft strategy.

MORE: What Is Dynasty Fantasy Football?

By paying attention to ADP, managers can target specific rounds or ranges (e.g., “the first two rounds”) of a draft to target a position or player tier.

For example, this could be helpful when targeting a late-round QB, getting ahead of the RB dead zone, or finding WR-rich areas of a draft. Without ADP, fantasy football managers would be drafting blind with no sense of value when on the clock — and no sense of what opponents might do.

ADP Will Vary From Site to Site, Creating More Fantasy Value

Let’s use an example of how ADP can vary from site to site. Knowing the ADP on the site you are playing on can be a powerful tool in a manager’s belt. We’ll use Denver Broncos RB Jahmyr Gibbs as an example.

Based on data culled from Feb. 1, 2024, on FantasyPros, Gibbs was listed as the RB13 at 31 overall.

However, on DraftSharks, he’s the RB17 at 40 overall. The difference may not be astronomical, but ADP data could’ve helped you determine whether you had to reach him in the second round or roll the dice by waiting until the fourth round in hopes of snagging at what ADP considers a better draft day value.

ADP can also be used to find value in certain rounds and draft players you expect will outperform their average draft position.

In addition, ADP can be very fluid and reactive to recent changes. These include additions or subtractions to the roster or changes to the coaching staff, which can provide a bit more uncertainty in their team outlook, which the

ADP vs. ECR: What’s the Difference, and How Can Fantasy Managers Use Both?

ADP and ECR are two different fantasy metrics, but each tries to answer the same question: When should you draft Player X?

ADP is a specific representation of where each NFL player is being selected in fantasy football drafts. It’s based on drafts that have already taken place.

ECR, meanwhile, stands for “expert consensus ranking.” This represents a collection of rankings from industry experts that are mixed to generate a consensus ranking. This composite depicts how industry analysts collectively value each player.

MORE: What Is FAAB?

Using ECR means you’re not banking your entire draft strategy on a single person’s opinion but rather on many analysts — sometimes 100 or more, depending on the website.

Where ADP is what people are doing in drafts, ECR represents a suggestion. Expert rankings sometimes make up the cheat sheets you see managers print off and bring to drafts or the values you see on your favorite fantasy site.

Much like ADP, the broader the sample set, the less a single data point can skew the numbers. Moreover, by utilizing ADP and ECR in tandem, one can uncover where expectations align and diverge with actual drafting trends. At its core, this helps managers anticipate opponents’ next moves, paving the way to more successful drafting.

With the fantasy football season behind us, why not start preparing for your rookie drafts with our dynasty rookie rankings? Additionally, as you look to improve your team heading into 2024, our dynasty trade calculator can help you find the perfect deal to boost your championship chances.

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