A player’s Average Draft Position (ADP) is determined by examining fantasy drafts and averaging the position where he was selected in each. ADP is a useful tool for gauging the typical interest in a player so that you can target/value him accordingly. Knowing where a player usually goes allows the drafter to figure out not only how early he has to reach for sleepers, but also how long he can wait on said sleepers. Just a tip: your draft sheet should have the ADP of every player next to them.
To clarify, by example: say Carlos Beltran is your ninth ranked player. According to his ADP, he is typically taken in the third round. Knowing this, you can, with reasonable certainty, pick Jimmy Rollins in the late first round (even though you ranked him 16) and grab Beltran when the draft comes back to you. Or you can get even friskier and grab Ryan Howard (who you ranked 10th) in the early second and hope Beltran falls to you in the third, thus providing a high ranked player windfall.
So ADP is a quick an easy tool to gauge every player’s draft value.
Carlos Beltran – ADP = 27 – Have I mentioned I love Carlos Beltran (maybe not quite as much as Mike Cameron)? His career ADP is as crazy as a roller coaster. One year he’ll be a consensus top 10 pick, the next a third rounder, the next a high second rounder, then he’ll be a sixth rounder. It’s nuts and this year is no exception. The fact that Beltran is going in the late third round is a travesty of justice.
Beltran will be a top 10 offensive player this year (something that is easier to say thanks to AROD). He should hit 30 homeruns (with the potential for 40), bat around .280, knock in 110+ RBIs and steal more than 20 bags. He’ll also score 100-130 runs. Also, think what happens if the New York City prevailing winds shift and the new Mets’ stadium becomes more hitter friendly. I simply cannot condone taking Johan, Lincecum, Pedroia, Sabathia, Manny, Josh Hamilton, Carlos Lee, Lance Berkman, Soriano, Ichiro, Halladay, Longoria, or Prince Fielder over him, yet all of those players have higher ADPs than Beltran.
Adam Wainwright – ADP = 112 – I think Adam Wainwright has become the first simultaneously underrated and overrated pitcher. Everyone still remembers his huge hype from a few years ago. They also seem to think that the only reason he didn’t live up to the expectations was because of injury. So, the thinking goes that he could be a sleeper pitcher in 2009. I don’t know about that. I do know that people are valuing him higher than the 112th draft pick. I’d advise to pick Wainwright, remember who was pissed in your draft that you got their sleeper, and then slyly offer him around.
In Wainwright’s lone full year (2007), he only struck out 136 batters in 200 innings. His ERA that year was a nice 3.70, however his WHIP was nearly 1.40 (that isn’t good for a pitcher that can’t help you in Ks). Last year, he did pitch 132 innings, and did so effectively in the ratio categories (3.20/1.18), still he had only 91 strikeouts. If I were drafting Wainwright in an h2h league, I’d try to trade flip him (flip this house) to an opponent for someone like Javier Vazquez, Randy Johnson, Bronson Arroyo or Gil Meche plus another player. Consequently, Adam Wainwright is the first (that I know of) underrated/overrated player.
Javier Vazquez – ADP = 148.4 – Speaking of my boy Javier Vazquez, he is an absolute steal at 148. He’ll bring many happy returns, and I think he can be a top 10 pitcher for your h2h squad. Over the last four years, he has averaged 197 Ks, where are you going to get that many strikeouts that late? Yeah, his ERA will likely be in the mid-4.00s, but he does have upside (his ERA in 2007 was 3.74). His career WHIP is 1.26, was 1.32 last year, but a svelte 1.14 in 2007. Vazquez best year was, incidentally, the last year he pitched in the minor league, er the National League. He now gets to face a pitcher at least twice a game, so his strikeouts will improve and his ERA/WHIP should go down. Thanks to all my hype (which worked for Chris Davis and well, Javy Vazquez), you might have to reach a bit for him, but rest assured, he’ll produce.
Mike Mussina – ADP = 164th – Look at his line last year: 200 IPs, 150Ks, 20 wins, 3.37 ERA, 1.22 WHIP. Why is he going so late in the draft? He was a great Oriole, and, I believe, one of the few high-priced Yankee hurlers who stayed consistently excellent since moving into the House that Ruth Built (baseball stadiums are beautiful). Come on, I’m not that out of touch: he retired and should be a hall of famer, with an O’s cap?
This is part I of a several part series that will look at undervalued players in h2h 5×5 leagues.