We Found 12 Sleepers by Comparing Yahoo! ADP to 4for4 Rankings
Imagine you are an NFL scout and as you were getting your draft board ready for the big night that will make or break your franchise’s future, you have a database of information at your disposal that told you the average of where every team in the league was drafting every prospect. It would be like having a cheat code compared to teams placing only their own draft grades on each prospect.
But that’s exactly what we have at our disposal in fantasy football. Average Draft Position (ADP) tells us exactly where the majority of “scouts” select each player. ADP is critical to savvy fantasy drafters. It is the key to finding value but also recognizing overpriced talent when compared and contrasted to your trusted 4for4 rankings.
That’s 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.
4for4’s Multi-Site ADP Tool takes that valuable information to the next level. Subscribers can find it on the Tools tab 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), as well as 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.
In this series, we will study the differences between 4for4’s Standard and PPR Top-200 rankings (renowned in the industry for their accuracy) with each of the four other major ADP sources. 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 this “fantasy big data” with our rankings to unearth steals and busts.
This can tell you which players may be drafted sooner or later when it comes time for you to draft for real in your leagues on those particular sites. It also illustrates why ADP varies from site to site: because when you source ADP data from mock drafts, there is an inherent bias towards that site’s own rankings, which populates the default list of players. Are you looking at rankings inside your fantasy league’s draft application that are for standard scoring when your league has some form of PPR?
In the end, this exercise will allow you to use the 4for4 Multi-Site ADP Tool to get a better sense of where other teams in your league will most likely be drafting players, allowing you to get the jump on the players you are targeting.
Yahoo! Average Draft Position Data
Unlike ESPN, the Yahoo! draft lobby does not include rooms dedicated specifically to Standard and PPR formats (not that it matters anyway, since ESPN’s rankings list inside those draft rooms were the same standard scoring rankings). However, Yahoo! does do a nice job of creating a composite list of its fantasy rankings inside its mock draft rooms. If you look at the Yahoo! Standard and PPR rankings then check out the rankings list inside its draft rooms, you’ll find they are an average of its Standard and PPR rankings.
The other factor here in the Yahoo! ADP equation is that it uses a different standard lineup in those mock draft rooms: QB, WR, WR, WR, RB, RB, TE, K, DEF. That’s right: no flex.
Therefore, its rankings list in each real/mock draft is derived from these settings, regardless of whether users are drafting for standard or PPR, meaning ADP is being sourced from draft picks deriving from a composite of Yahoo! Standard and PPR rankings, even though the site offers both options.
Comparing Yahoo! ADP to our 4for4 rankings can shed light on which players in Yahoo! leagues are not being properly evaluated. Using our Multi-Site ADP tool makes finding current Yahoo! ADP as simple as one click of the mouse, but I took it one step further below (at the end of the article), providing two tables that show the difference between Yahoo! ADP and 4for4’s ranking of that player for both Standard and PPR leagues.
Let’s take a look though at some of the notable players in Yahoo! Drafts that have more than a three-round ADP difference when compared to 4for4’s Standard rankings.
Overvalued: Rounds 1-12 (Standard Scoring)
QB Blake Bortles (-23)
Last season's biggest fantasy surprise under center is going at the end of the 6th round in Yahoo! drafts, a round later than early August but still too early. Most of you won’t be surprised to hear that’s too rich for our blood. That’s a full two rounds higher than overall ADP across all sites and way too high considering we have him ranked as our QB10 for 2016. The fantasy community is expecting Bortles to regress in his third season due to his outrageous share of total touchdowns (taking part in 37 of the team’s 40 offensive touchdowns), the addition of Chris Ivory as a short yardage threat, and a boatload of free agency money and draft picks thrown at the defensive side of the ball. Generally, we found QBs going too early on Yahoo!. Another example was Tony Romo at the end of the 6th round. This could be due to auto-drafting. We’ll update this trend throughout the month.
WR Golden Tate (-23)
The end of the 4th round is too early for Tate in a non-PPR league, especially considering reports from Detroit beat reporters saying Marvin Jones will be the #1 option. Better options this yearly in Yahoo! drafts.
RB Derrick Henry (was outside 4for4 top-200, now +24)
If you read this article in the first half of August, you found Henry listed here as an overvalued pick. Things have changed. 4for4 master ranker John Paulsen has moved him up big time, and he's now a more than two-round value on Yahoo! at his 10th round ADP.
Continue reading for six values you can find in Rounds 1-12, four values you can find after the 13th Round and two downloadable CSVs (Standard and PPR) so you can find your own sleepers.