Fantasy football draft prep: How to use ADP

      June 13, 2013 @ 15:04:14 PDT

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We're approaching the time of year when three little letters start to creep into the minds of fantasy footballers. Though many excellent web sites produce informative lists based on it, the phrase remains taboo, dirty, misunderstood and capable of altering the course of history ... OK, at least the course of your team's.

Cleveland Browns RB Trent Richardson
T-Rich's ADP may change

To paraphrase an entertaining former professional wrestler and current fitness guru:

"It's me.... It's me.... It's A ... D ... P."

Average Draft Position: simultaneously one of the most useful and least revealing tools in fake sports -- not gospel, but not something to ignore.

Using ADP from mock drafts equates to telling a white lie. You know it has plenty of flaws, but you recognize its place in society. And in our game's twisted world, the common spot where an NFL player is picked by drafters of varying levels of experience and sobriety can guide how many value commodities. Imagine the stock market being swayed by amateu--- oh, wait.

In economics and the topic at hand, psychology exists behind the numbers. In this world, it reveals what places someone in high demand and what frightens Joe Picker. In turn and in theory, it offers an effective way to try manipulating the marketplace.

A market with vague boundaries, however, only can be mastered to a certain degree. ADP can lay the foundation for your strategy but doesn't account for vulnerabilities in logic and execution. Properly connecting the dots of all the components it offers will improve your experience in both tune-ups and the real thing while weeding out the unnecessary distractions from building a winning squad.

Select the proper scoring system to match your league(s), if available.

Knowing your league's point allotment is Rule No. 1. Always. If an ADP site doesn't have your format, use your best instinct to choose what listing comes closest, and apply a loose connection to your league.

Account for a mock draft ranking set's sample size and date.

The aforementioned many excellent URLs that focus on this sector gather more data as the offseason and preseason move along. The amount of drafts from which they extrapolate their numbers as of today will be far less than those in August, maybe July, so you can hardly call anything you see today a trend.

Track how news alters ADP over time.

In concert with the last point: While early numbers aren't all-encompassing, they can serve as a solid base from which to determine changing opinions on players based on injury, preseason performance, etc. This can be your early signal to spot players you want to grab at a discount or avoid.

What else?

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About Tim Heaney

Tim's work has been featured by USA Today/Sports Weekly, among numerous outlets, and recognized as a finalist in the Fantasy Sports Writers Association awards. The Boston University alum, who competes in the prestigious LABR and Tout Wars, has won numerous industry leagues in both baseball and football.

He appears frequently, including every Sunday, on Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio, as well as every Wednesday on 1570 AM WNST in Baltimore.

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