Draft Live! ADP is a Powerful Force!

So Jason Bay didn’t work out for you last year, huh?  Obviously you were a victim of Auto-draft.  Jason Bay’s ADP (Average Draft Position) last year was right around 40.  Of course you knew Citi Field is where HR’s go to die.  Of course you knew Jason Bay would not be one of the top 12-15 best OF’s in baseball.  And that is why you cannot rely on auto-draft.

The draft is all about finding value, and if you’re not there you cannot make your adjustments.  There’s no such thing as sleepers anymore.  Everyone’s got access, everyone’s got the knowledge.  It’s now all about reaching a little bit early for a player you like, and being willing to wait a little on a player you don’t.  Because my analysis shows that almost without fail, all it takes is one pick:
- Reach one pick early if you want him
- Wait one pick late if you’re luke-warm and maybe you’re intrigued if he’s still there
- And if not even intrigued then, don’t worry, he definitely won’t be there the following round to tempt you.

A pick is only good or bad depending on where you draft him compared to the ADP, your league’s perceived value of him, and your perceived value of a player.  Sure, you might not want Alex Rios who has an ADP right around 40 (like Bay last year).  But at pick #60, what was a bad pick all of a sudden becomes intriguing.

And again, shaping your team with your personality and mojo during the draft only takes minor adjustments.  A little decision-making can really go a long way.  Let’s use the Bay example again, and let’s also ignore that in retrospect no pick wouldn’t been worth wasting on him.  In more than 90% of drafts last year, with an ADP of 40, he wasn’t hardly picked before 35 or later than 45.  What that does that say?  If you really want him, all you have to do is reach one round early.  And if you don’t think he’s worth a gamble at 50, or even worth spending pick #60 on?  Then guaranteed he’s off the board already so don’t even keep him on your radar.

And the reason he’s off the board?  It’s because someone else’s auto-draft took him by #45.  Don’t be that guy.  For a good successful season, the draft has to be your first priority.  Don’t work late, don’t put anything else (family, friends, food, whatever) ahead of it.  The flavor your team has for the whole season depends on it.  Give it your personality, not Yahoo or ESPN’s ADP personality.  Everyone will know when you end up with this year’s Jason Bay.

- Jason Chen
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