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    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?

    Fantasy football managers are always seeking every possible bit of information they can find to gain an advantage heading into their fantasy drafts. Whether you are reading written content, scanning X for information-filled fantasy threads, or listening to your favorite fantasy football podcast, one term you hear often is ADP.

    Here is a deep dive into what ADP actually is and why that information is so valuable to fantasy managers on draft day to help construct the optimal roster.

    What Does ADP Mean in Fantasy Football?

    ADP (average draft position) data is collected in a variety of different ways. The information can be pulled from mock drafts or real fantasy football drafts. This draft data can come from various popular websites and 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 2024 NFL season with individual player situations mostly set in stone for the season opener, the overall reliability of the data will become far more reliable with some “outlier picks” having a smaller impact on ADP.

    Outliers usually include players who are buried on the depth chart or a practice-squad player who could see his draft stock rise with positive reports coming from training camp, 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.

    It shouldn’t be taken as bible scripture for where a player will be selected during fantasy drafts, but it can still be quite useful. Sometimes, fantasy football players will lean more toward recent reports from beatwriters commenting on how projected depths charts are shaping up or other recent acquisitions that could bypass ADP data, which can make some data a bit misleading when formulating your draft day strategy.

    Oftentimes, rookies often offer a great draft-day ADP, given the uncertainty of their impact in their first NFL season. Names like Puka Nacua, Tank Dell, and De’Von Achane are great examples from last season who drastically outperformed their ADP.

    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 data, 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 where you can land overlooked veterans or high-upside rookies later in drafts. 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 Arizona Cardinals rookie WR Marvin Harrison Jr. as an example.

    Based on data culled from May 17, 2024, on FantasyPros, Harrison was listed as the WR11 at No. 20 overall.

    However, on Football Guys, he’s the WR27 at No. 54 overall. A drastic difference like that makes it hard to pinpoint exactly where you should select the former Ohio State Buckeye, but the ADP can forecast that you may need to spend second-round draft capital to acquire him, giving owners an idea that fantasy managers could be expecting a low-end WR1 type season from him in 2024.

    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, which can provide a bit more uncertainty in their team outlook.

    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. Again, ECR can be equally misleading if you are taking those rankings as a concrete guide for where players will be drafted.

    While ADP is what people are doing in drafts, ECR represents a suggestion. Expert rankings consist in the form of cheat sheets you see managers print off or, if you are like my dad, bringing a fantasy football magazine to the draft to gauge the value of these players on the board.

    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.

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