It’s fantasy baseball draft season and we could not be more excited. By now you’ve read through all of the offerings from Fantasy Alarm’s Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide, studied the player rankings, checked out the fantasy baseball projections and are ready to jump into a few best ball and seasonal mock drafts to sharpen your game. 




Having an understanding as to where players are being drafted is paramount to your success, so you’ve probably been inundated with articles discussing Average Draft Position (ADP). Using ADP to organize your draft is a great way to start. I use ADP when I organize the Fantasy Baseball Cheat Sheet so having the understanding of what exactly you are looking at with regard to draft data is important. 

And from there, understanding the ADP trends and how to handle players who are rising or falling is also a major key to your success. So, let’s get started. 

What is ADP?

The definition of ADP is pretty straightforward. It is a number calculated based on where a player is drafted in a series of mock drafts. Usually, the number is taken from a series of drafts on a particular site so that when someone says that Yoshinobu Yamamoto has an ADP of 36 on ESPN, it means that he is usually being drafted somewhere in the third round of 12-team drafts on To oversimplify just a bit, you can take a player’s ADP and divide by the number of teams in a league and that gives you a rough estimate as to in which round he is being taken.

Why do you use ADP?

The main function of ADP is to get a look at where most people are taking a particular player in their drafts. It has everything to do with public perception and absolutely nothing to do, or at least it shouldn’t, with how a player is ranked. If a low-ranked player seems to be climbing up draft boards and has a steadily increasing ADP each week, you know that people like him enough to start taking him earlier and earlier in drafts. Conversely, if a guy’s ADP is dropping each week, he is obviously falling out of favor with the public. 

For example, Wyatt Langford’s ADP was hovering in the 160’s just three weeks ago, but with a strong spring and a number of analysts, including our very own resident GM Jim Bowden, touting his bat, his ADP has jumped to the 120’s because everyone is rushing out to grab him. Imagine how high it could jump when the news breaks that he’s making the team out of spring training. Be on the lookout for plenty of ADP trend reports and you’ll be able to see which players are rising and which are falling each week.

Know the source of your ADP

Unfortunately, too many people just blindly accept ADP numbers as truth without ever understanding where the numbers actually come from. The reason I started the Mock Draft Army years ago was because I was seeing far too many computer players in mock drafts on the bigger sites. I was also seeing a lot of people start the draft, take players through the first six rounds and then flip to auto-pick and leave the draft room. 

The big problem with that is the ADP numbers simply become an extension of the site’s default rankings. If the computer players are making selections or people are on auto-pick, then all they are doing is pulling players off the board in the same order the site has them ranked. For me, the two best sources are here on the Fantasy Alarm ADP page which offers composite ADP from multiple sources and the numbers from the National Fantasy Baseball Championships (NFBC). Every draft has a live player making their own selections for the entire draft and their ADP is customizable with a date range.

ADP is a guideline, not the gospel

One of the biggest mistakes I’ve repeatedly witnesses is when someone really wants a player but says, “well, their ADP says I don’t take them until the next round, so I’ll wait.” When someone snipes their player, they get frustrated and start complaining about ADP numbers and how stupid they are. No. Not the case at all. First of all, my philosophy has always been, if you want a particular player, get him. Don’t be stupid and use a first-round choice on a guy you can probably get in the sixth or seventh round, but if a guy’s ADP says eighth round, you can take him in the sixth or seventh if you really want him and don’t think he’s going to make it back to you. No harm in that. It's supposed to be a fun game anyway, isn't it?

Second, you need to remember that most ADP numbers are made up from a variety of different style drafts. There’s standard roto, head-to-head, mixed leagues, AL-only, 12-team, 15-team, etc. You must ALWAYS take into consideration your league’s rules and roster guidelines. You need to remember things like ‘no trading’ in the NFBC which tends to elevate the ADP of certain players such as starting pitchers. You can look at a player’s ADP for a rough estimate of where he is going, but you have to look at the flow of your draft. Are people drafting in accordance with typical ADP numbers or is the Dodgers fan in your league drafting Kenley Jansen or Julio Urias much earlier than their ADP numbers dictate? Your draft is a very fluid thing and your use of ADP should be used accordingly.

Following the ADP Trends

This is probably the most important thing to do, especially if your fantasy baseball draft comes towards the end of March. As I said before with the NFBC ADP, you can customize the date range so you can have the most recent data available. Where a guy was going in high-stakes drafts back in December is irrelevant to right now. Where he’s been going over the past couple of weeks is what you want to know. Months of being drafted in the 12th round will skew the data and likely not reflect the fact that the player has been drafted in the fifth round for the last two weeks. Tracking the ADP risers and fallers in recent drafts will provide you with a much better understanding as to where you really need to take a player today. 

In an effort to help you understand the recent ADP trends, we will have a series of articles from now through Opening Day so you are keeping up with the latest news and ADP reports.

Fantasy Baseball 2024 Rookie ADP Trends: Yamamoto, Holliday & More 

Fantasy Baseball 2024 ADP Risers and Fallers: Merrill, Ragans & More

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