Fantasy Football: Derailing the Rookie Hype Train


Every summer, a few rookies catch the eye of fantasy owners around the country and the hype train gets started. This year, the hot names in the rookie class are Mark Ingram, Daniel Thomas, A.J. Green, Julio Jones, Greg Little and Roy Helu.

For those of us who don't buy into the hype, the conventional wisdom with rookies is that they are typically drafted too high because the average fantasy owner falls in love with their potential -- and, on average, they won't live up to their draft position. I decided to put this thinking to the test by comparing preseason ADP for both rookies and veterans to actual finish in standard scoring formats.

Should fantasy owners avoid rookies on draft day? Well, yes and no...
The table below shows the average difference in ADP and actual finish for rookies and veterans at each position. The first two columns show all vets and rookies from 2007 to 2010. As we move to the right, the two groups are parsed even further into Core Roster (rounds 1-8), Upside (rounds 9-12) and Fliers (rounds 13+).
  All Core (1-8) Upside (9-12) Fliers (13+)
Pos Vets Rookies Vets Rookies Vets Rookies Vets Rookies
QB -5.3 -6.0 -7.6 - -2.7 - -4.0 -6.0
RB -10.1 -14.2 -11.2 -10.5 -10.1 -20.6 -5.8 -21.8
WR -12.5 -20.0 -14.1 -7.3 -16.3 -22.1 -2.2 -22.0
TE -5.1 1.3 -7.7 - -4.7 - 1.5 1.3

A few takeaways:

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