8 Sleepers and Why Tom Brady Is Overvalued When Comparing ESPN ADP to 4for4 Rankings
Welcome to Part III in our series dissecting ADP data from specific sites and comparing it to your trusted 4for4 rankings. By doing this, we are unearthing major draft values and some players to avoid.
The purpose of this series is simple. ADP is critical to savvy fantasy drafters. It is the key to finding value but only the first step.
Comparing ADP to your rankings is exactly one of the staples I wrote about in our tutorial on finding sleepers. ADP is critical to finding sleepers and using ADP in conjunction with rankings that are tailored to match your specific league's’ scoring system. The flip side of that is also true: Savvy owners must use that same ADP-rankings junction to find players to avoid in fantasy drafts.
Be sure to utilize our Multi-Site ADP Tool, which takes that valuable ADP information to the next level. Subscribers can find it under the Tools tab on 4for4.com, then under “Draft Day”. What makes this tool so unique is that it organizes the ADP data from each major fantasy football outlet (ESPN, Yahoo!, NFL.com, CBS, and MFL), but also the composite of all five into one easy-to-read table. It then breaks down the ADP of each player for both 10- and 12-team leagues.
What makes this series poignant is drafters from these major fantasy league hosting sources compile ADP data from a large number of mock and real drafts. We will cross-reference that “fantasy big data” with our rankings to unearth steals and busts.
ESPN Average Draft Position Data
ESPN’s mock drafts have evolved to include more variety: both standard and PPR, multiple league sizes, and snake versus auction. However, its rankings list in each real/mock draft is the same, regardless of whether it is a standard or PPR mock draft. Therefore, the ADP is being sourced from draft picks deriving from ESPN’s standard league rankings, even though the site also offers PPR rankings (just not in its draft rooms).
Comparing ESPN's ADP to our rankings can shed light on which players in ESPN leagues are not being properly evaluated, especially in PPR scoring. Using the Multi-Site ADP tool makes this as simple as one click of the mouse.
Let’s take a look at which players in ESPN drafts have more than three-round ADP difference in when compared to our standard rankings (keeping in mind our PPR table is also included at the end of this article):
Standard Scoring: Overvalued
QB Tom Brady (-92)
I’m including Brady at the start because people may see him as dead last in the table and not realize Brady’s case is different than the rest. He’s suspended four games. Therefore, our projections for him are only over 12 games. That severely pushes him down our preseason rankings list; however, we are not saying Brady is literally the 26th quarterback in fantasy (where we rank him). Quite the contrary: if you take our projected 249 points for him and divide it by 12 games, you get 20.75 FP/G. That would put him right at the top with our two highest-ranked quarterbacks, Cam Newton and Aaron Rodgers. Our ranking for Brady is based on his projected season-long fantasy points -- we don't think he will perform poorly once back from suspension. Everybody else at the bottom of our tables, however, is a product of being overvalued in drafts, based on our rankings.
RB Kenneth Dixon (Was -69 Aug. 8th, Now +7 PPR)
The rookie tailback in Baltimore was being drafted at the end of the 7th round in ESPN drafts, but that has corrected itself to Dixon dropping to the 14th round. Dixon's MCL injury has actually now made him worth the pick, especially with the Ravens cutting Justin Forsett. To me, this shows faith in Kenneth Dixon when he returns. Many scouts and one former defensive coordinator I spoke with said Dixon was his favorite RB in the draft after Ezekiel Elliot. I still believe he's a late round flier that's worth the price and teams can pair him with Terrence West with two late picks to get a starting RB all year.
QB Ben Roethlisberger (Still -31)
4for4’s T.J. Hernandez was tweeting some good QB knowledge recently. On Roethlisberger: “Ben Roethlisberger has been a QB1 in 48% of games played over the last three years. 13 QBs have a better QB1 rate”. More Big Ben reason for pause: “Roethlisberger has finished outside the top 16 (QBs) in a week in 41% of his games, roughly the same rate as Ryan Tannehill”. Did we mention people are drafting Roethlisberger, on average, in the 4th round of ESPN leagues? We say no thanks. We have Carson Palmer, Eli Manning, and Philip Rivers projected to post similar numbers (with likely more week-to-week consistency), and they are available in later rounds.
Continue reading for eight values and seven fliers on ESPN and two downloadable CSVs (Standard and PPR) so you can find your own sleepers.