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Early ADP Risers and Fallers

Written By: Howard Bender on 1/23/2012 10:44 AM
Utilizing Average Draft Position (ADP) can be one of the most helpful tools as you prepare for your upcoming fantasy draft. Not only does it help you see where most people in the fantasy community are taking certain players, but you can also see certain trends developing, such as which players becoming more popular and which ones are falling out of favor. That affords you the opportunity to see whether or not you can wait on someone for a few rounds or whether you have to act faster than you normally would if you covet a particular guy.

In this series of articles, we are going to track the ADP trends developing in mock drafts and discuss the possible reasons for such changes.  We'll cover AL-only, NL-only, and mixed leagues as well as some coverage for those of you prepping for the National Fantasy Baseball Championships (NFBC).  For today though, here in the introductory piece of the season, we'll start off with basic mixed 5x5 league trends that seem to be developing.  We have over 440 drafts worth of data right now, so the sample size is more than sufficient to get started.

Top 20

Player POS Current ADP Change 1 Week Ago Change 2 Weeks Ago Overall Trend
1) Matt Kemp OF 1.50 -10.0% 1.35 -4.4% 1.29 -14.0%
2) Albert Pujols 1B 2.42 12.0% 2.71 10.0% 2.98 23.1%
3) Miguel Cabrera 1B 3.41 23.5% 4.21 12.1% 4.72 38.4%
4) Jose Bautista OF 4.45 23.4% 5.49 2.7% 5.64 26.7%
5) Troy Tulowitzki SS 4.95 28.7% 6.37 23.4% 7.86 58.8%
6) Jacoby Ellsbury OF 8.36 2.6% 8.58 27.6% 10.95 31.0%
7) Justin Verlander SP 8.80 6.6% 9.38 0.1% 9.39 6.7%
8) Justin Upton OF 8.83 9.3% 9.65 5.0% 10.13 14.7%
9) Adrian Gonzalez 1B 9.28 10.5% 10.25 -4.6% 9.78 5.4%
10) Joey Votto 1B 9.76 10.0% 10.74 2.5% 11.01 12.8%
11) Robinson Cano 2B 10.08 11.8% 11.27 9.0% 12.28 21.8%
12) Evan Longoria 3B 11.76 7.7% 12.66 -3.8% 12.18 3.6%
13) Carlos Gonzalez OF 13.96 -7.5% 12.91 11.5% 14.40 3.2%
14) Roy Halladay SP 14.49 -8.8% 13.21 -2.6% 12.87 -11.2%
15) Clayton Kershaw SP 14.57 -13.0% 12.67 7.6% 13.63 -6.5%
16) Prince Fielder 1B 15.37 7.5% 16.53 -0.7% 16.41 6.8%
17) Curtis Granderson OF 18.98 1.2% 19.21 0.3% 19.27 1.5%
18) Dustin Pedroia 2B 19.02 6.2% 20.19 4.3% 21.05 10.7%
19) Jose Reyes SS 19.59 5.7% 20.71 -2.8% 20.13 2.8%
20) Hanley Ramirez SS 19.62 3.5% 20.31 6.1% 21.55 9.8%

You’ll notice that there seems to be a tremendous amount of fluctuation in the overall trend here, particularly in the top 11 picks.  However, you need to take some of these numbers here with a grain of salt.  Overall trend fluctuations aren’t usually noticeable until the change is 10.0% or more in either direction.  That usually translates to an increase or decrease in round selection.  But up here in the top 20, and even more so in the top 10, the trend fluctuations are really only indicative of movement by just a small number of picks.  For example, Troy Tulowitzki’s overall trend change was the highest at 58.8%.  That seems like a tremendous increase in where people are taking him, but if you look a little closer, you’ll see that while he’s listed as the fifth player taken off the board today, two weeks ago he was the seventh, sometimes eight, pick taken.

Up here in the top 20, it usually comes down to personal preference.  Some people like to lock in a first baseman who mashes as early as possible while some people go with position scarcity and like to grab themselves a middle infielder.  Some people like to go pitching heavy and grab and ace with their first pick and some people worry that they need six outfielders and thus grab a premium one as early as possible.  You’ll start to see these trends level off the closer we get to the start of the season as the top guys will remain the top guys and any change in draft position will be relatively negligible.

A few interesting things to note:

It is quite possible that you’ll see major increases in ADP trends for both Jose Reyes and Hanley Ramirez.  Just a short year ago, both players were considered no-brainer first round selections, but have a little more to prove this season.  Reyes has been dealing with hamstring injuries; Ramirez has had shoulder issues and an apparent attitude problem.  As both continue to prove themselves over spring training, you will likely see them climb up the boards.  After all, shortstop remains one of the thinnest positions in fantasy.

It appears as if Matt Kemp’s claims to go 50-50 this season caught numerous people’s eyes early on as he supplanted Albert Pujols as the consensus number one pick.  However, the non-believers or just those who feel outfield is deep enough to wait on, are slowly coming out of the woodwork and are choosing to bypass him with the top pick.  Slowly but surely, over the last two weeks, his ADP has declined and it is very possible that the trend continues for a little while longer.  He’ll likely remain a top 10 pick, but based on the increases you see in picks two through 10, he should continue to drop closer to the middle of the pack.

While Justin Verlander seems to be hovering around the seventh pick, you’ll notice that both Roy Halladay and Clayton Kershaw have dropped somewhat.  Both are considered top flight aces, but with the depth you have at starting pitching, you’ll likely see top offensive players pass the starters this high up.   Track where the aces are going, as you don’t want to reach too high if you don’t have to.

It looks like more and more people believe that Jacoby Ellsbury’s power surge last season was the real deal.  If you do as well, you now know just how high a pick he’s going to cost you.  If you don’t, well then, you’ve got quite the list of names dropping to you if you’re picking later than sixth right now.

Other Key Risers and Fallers to Watch

28)  OF  Ryan Braun (-30.6%) – Word of the 50 game suspension did quite a number on Braun’s ADP this year.  He was a no-brainer, first round pick a month ago, but dropped out of the top 20 two weeks ago.  Last week he took an even bigger hit and dropped as low as 33rd.  However, there are those that are considering him a steal that low and are starting to grab him a little earlier this past week.  The understanding that a mid-June return for Braun will still see him out-produce a large percentage of outfielders is growing and he should see his ADP start to increase slightly and then stabilize.

55)  3B  Brett Lawrie (25.0%) – He was a highly touted rookie last season and the expectations for him this year, after a successful late season call-up, are even higher.  The growing number of keeper leagues out there should add to his increase in ADP, but also his dual-eligibility at both second and third are making him even more highly coveted.  His current increase has translated to roughly 15 picks right now, which is obviously a full round higher than usual in most leagues.

82)  1B  Mike Morse (20.5%) – A new contract, dual eligibility at first base and in the outfield, 31 home runs last season, and guaranteed playing time this year have all put Morse on people’s radar.  When drafts first began, he was one of those first baseman that most people were willing to wait on while they bulked up at positions with less depth.  But the closer we get to draft day, the more people are tuning into his rising talents and he is starting to go almost two rounds earlier than before.

102)  SP  Matt Moore (34.8%) – A sleeper no more as he is going higher and higher in drafts the closer we get to even just pitchers and catchers reporting.  If he is one that you covet, then you’re going to have to grab him earlier than you probably anticipated.

111)  C  Victor Martinez (-55.7%) – With word of his torn ACL, V-Mart’s ADP has plummeted.  He’s hovering just out of the top 100 as we await news as to whether he will be lost for the entire season.  When that news comes, expect an additional drop.

126)  SP  Yu Darvish (20.9%) --  When Texas received the negotiating rights, his ADP took a significant jump.  As the negotiating process was taking place, his ADP stabilized.  Now that he’s officially been signed by the Rangers, expect his ADP to spike again.

By Zenguerrilla, 1/23/2012 6:12 PM
Reye's was a "no brainer" first round pick last year? I didn't get that memo....I like the data...a list of 450 would be fun to read and use as a gauge.

By Howard Bender, 1/24/2012 9:01 AM
If you believed in a rebound, and that he just needed the 2010 season to get healthy and back on his feet so to speak, then yes, based on the depth at short and Reyes overall talents he was easily a late first rounder. If you thought that he was just going to get hurt again, then obviously, no. If you would like to check out the complete list of ADP trends, then hop on over to Mock Draft Central for a look. Here's the link to the full trend report --

By lvtdude, 1/24/2012 9:04 AM
Everybody has considered Reyes an injury risk for some time, and he's been out of my leagues' top 12's for a while now.