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The Numbers Game

Average Draft Position Preview

by Ryan Knaus
Updated On: October 16, 2019, 5:21 pm ET

Today's column previews my Draft Guide dive into average draft positions (ADPs), providing insight into broad trends and perspectives on player values. If fantasy GMs have collectively been drafting Bam Adebayo at 55.5 (they have), you're less likely to need to reach for him in the 35-50 range.

Before diving into ADPs themselves, let’s look at position eligibility. By using Yahoo's top-200 players (by ADP), I determined how many players are available at each position. As with similar analysis in past years, PGs and Cs were the scarcest position while PFs and SGs were most common. This is a trend I’ve seen year after year, and it’s unlikely to change.

 

 

This is a simple tool to help visualize where you'll find certain positions in the course of a draft. Each dot in the chart above represents a player being picked at a given ADP. The 'lines' that rise the fastest mean more players from that position are being drafted. Point guards go off the board quickly in the early rounds, but there just aren’t that many of them and they almost flatline in the middle rounds, before a surge in late rounds. There literally aren’t any small-forward eligible players with ADPs between 15.9 (Jimmy Butler) and 40.1 (Jayson Tatum). They lag far behind through most rounds, which explains the nearly vertical spike around ADP 140-150, as owners scramble to fill positional needs. Centers trickle off the board evenly (with an exception in the 100-120 range), but there’s a noticeable uptick in the middle rounds. There are plenty of interesting nuances to glean from this data, but let's press forward with the ADP analysis.

 

Be mindful, first of all, that ADP data is great as a general roadmap to values, but there are caveats:

 

  1. ADPs are a blend of different formats and depths. When it comes to ADP data, the major sites that host leagues don’t differentiate between a 10-team roto league and a 14-team H2H league.
  2. There are wide disparities in the intensity of leagues – some require painstaking research and strategies to snipe valuable players from knowledgeable opponents, while some are casual affairs where a little bit of planning goes a long way.
  3. The ‘official’ pre-draft rankings can have a distorting effect. ADP data includes plenty of auto-draft selections (although only ‘live draft’ data is included, lots of owners still forget to show up), which gives outsized importance to pre-draft ranks.

Nevertheless, ADP is a great tool for getting the temperature of the room, as it were. If you know that Robert Covington has an ADP of 120.9 in ESPN drafts (?), you’ll be more likely to steal him in the late-middle rounds. This also protects against over-reaching for guys you love – there’s nothing wrong with grabbing Thomas Bryant a round early to ensure he’s on your squad, but why reach for him in Round 4 (his ADP = 68.1) when you can likely get him a few rounds later?

 

With all that said…here’s a look at the top 100 players for Yahoo leagues, by ADP.

 

 

Avg. Draft Pick (Yahoo)

Avg. Round

Percent Drafted

Anthony Davis LAL 

1.5

1

100%

Stephen Curry GS 

2.9

1

100%

James Harden Hou 

3.1

1

100%

Giannis Antetokounmpo Mil 

3.8

1

100%

Karl-Anthony Towns Min

4.7

1

100%

Nikola Jokic Den 

6.5

1

100%

LeBron James LAL 

7.9

1

100%

Joel Embiid Phi 

8.1

1.1

100%

Damian Lillard Por 

8.5

1.1

100%

Kawhi Leonard LAC 

10.6

1.2

100%

Bradley Beal Was 

11.2

1.2

100%

Kyrie Irving Bkn 

12.4

1.4

100%

Paul George LAC 

14.4

1.9

100%

Jimmy Butler Mia 

15.9

2

100%

Russell Westbrook Hou 

16.4

1.9

100%

Kemba Walker Bos 

17.5

2

100%

Jrue Holiday NO 

18.2

2.1

100%

Rudy Gobert Uta 

18.8

2.1

100%

Luka Doncic Dal 

19.4

2.2

100%

Trae Young Atl 

20.2

2.1

100%

Andre Drummond Det 

20.9

2.3

100%

Nikola Vucevic Orl 

23.4

2.5

100%

Myles Turner Ind 

24.2

2.5

100%

Deandre Ayton Pho 

24.8

2.6

100%

Ben Simmons Phi 

25.3

2.7

100%

Devin Booker Pho 

26.6

2.8

100%

Pascal Siakam Tor 

29.1

3

100%

Donovan Mitchell Uta 

29.2

3

100%

Zion Williamson NO 

29.6

3

100%

Mitchell Robinson NY 

29.9

3

100%

De'Aaron Fox Sac 

31.2

3.1

100%

John Collins Atl 

31.3

3.1

100%

Kristaps Porzingis Dal 

32.1

3.2

100%

Draymond Green GS 

33

3.2

100%

Chris Paul OKC 

34.7

3.4

100%

Buddy Hield Sac 

39

3.9

100%

D'Angelo Russell GS 

39.1

3.9

100%

Jayson Tatum Bos 

40.1

4

100%

Jaren Jackson Jr. Mem 

40.5

4

100%

Blake Griffin Det 

43

4.2

100%

Lauri Markkanen Chi 

44.2

4.2

100%

DeMar DeRozan SA 

44.3

4.3

100%

Clint Capela Hou 

44.7

4.3

100%

Khris Middleton Mil 

44.7

4.3

100%

Mike Conley Uta 

44.8

4.3

100%

LaMarcus Aldridge SA 

45.2

4.4

100%

Otto Porter Jr. Chi 

45.3

4.3

100%

CJ McCollum Por 

46.3

4.5

100%

Robert Covington Min 

48

4.6

100%

Kevin Love Cle 

51.6

4.9

100%

Tobias Harris Phi 

52.2

5

100%

Zach LaVine Chi 

52.7

5

100%

Eric Bledsoe Mil 

54.3

5.2

100%

Brook Lopez Mil 

55.2

5.2

100%

Bam Adebayo Mia 

55.5

5.2

100%

Jamal Murray Den 

55.8

5.3

100%

Kyle Lowry Tor 

56.5

5.3

100%

Julius Randle NY 

60.4

5.7

100%

Aaron Gordon Orl 

60.6

5.7

100%

Derrick Favors NO 

60.7

5.7

100%

Al Horford Phi 

62.1

5.8

100%

Danilo Gallinari OKC 

62.9

5.9

100%

Malcolm Brogdon Ind 

65.5

6.1

100%

Jonas Valanciunas Mem 

67.4

6.2

100%

Josh Richardson Phi 

68

6.3

100%

Thomas Bryant Was 

68.1

6.3

100%

Steven Adams OKC 

68.3

6.3

100%

Victor Oladipo Ind 

68.5

6.3

100%

Jonathan Isaac Orl 

68.8

6.4

100%

Ja Morant Mem 

69.2

6.4

100%

Terry Rozier Cha 

70.8

6.5

100%

Marvin Bagley III Sac 

73.5

6.8

100%

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander OKC

74.4

6.8

100%

Domantas Sabonis Ind 

75.7

7

100%

Hassan Whiteside Por 

76.6

7

100%

Gordon Hayward Bos 

76.8

7.1

100%

Kelly Oubre Jr. Pho 

79.4

7.3

100%

Marc Gasol Tor 

79.8

7.3

100%

Larry Nance Jr. Cle 

79.9

7.3

100%

Wendell Carter Jr. Chi 

81.3

7.4

100%

Montrezl Harrell LAC 

81.7

7.5

100%

Lonzo Ball NO 

82.1

7.4

100%

Miles Bridges Cha 

84.8

7.7

100%

Caris LeVert Bkn 

86.7

7.9

100%

Ricky Rubio Pho 

87

7.9

100%

Jarrett Allen Bkn 

88.2

8

100%

Joe Ingles Uta 

88.2

8.1

100%

Lou Williams LAC 

88.3

8

100%

Kyle Kuzma LAL 

89

8.1

100%

Dejounte Murray SA 

91.1

8.3

100%

Jeff Teague Min 

91.2

8.3

100%

Fred VanVleet Tor 

92.2

8.4

100%

Jeremy Lamb Ind 

94.1

8.5

100%

Enes Kanter Bos 

96.6

8.8

100%

Andrew Wiggins Min 

97.2

8.8

98%

DeAndre Jordan Bkn 

98

8.9

100%

Serge Ibaka Tor 

98.7

9

100%

T.J. Warren Ind 

98.9

9

100%

Mikal Bridges Pho 

99.3

9

100%

Marcus Smart Bos 

99.4

9

100%

 

For the full list of 200 players, my takes on some late-round values, plus endless content including hundreds of player previews and brand new mock draftsget the Guide! We put in tons of work on it all summer, and it can be the difference between winning and losing.

 

I’ll be back with the first regular-season ‘Numbers Game’ next week, focused on ways to identify weaknesses and strengths in your team build. See you then!

Ryan Knaus
Despite residing in Portland, Maine, Ryan Knaus remains a heartbroken Sonics fan who longs for the days of Shawn Kemp and Xavier McDaniel. He has written for Rotoworld.com since 2007. You can follow him on Twitter.