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Fantasy Baseball Draft Strategy: Exploiting ADP

There is no such thing as value anymore. Sleepers are a thing of the past. If anything, there is too much information out there and available for all to consume. By no means is that a bad thing, but it just means that there are no longer players that are truly a secret. Of course, that doesn’t mean we should stop looking for sleepers, because there are always going to be players you like more than the market. This is the case, but you do need to work harder to find that. Exploiting ADP can be still be done, but it just takes on a different look than it previously did. Now let’s get to work.

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Exploiting ADP

Know Your Rankings

When building a fantasy baseball team, the most important thing to remember is that the team is yours. It is your money, your pride, and your time that you are putting into this. As with anything else in life, you get out of it what you put into your fantasy baseball team. It is important to own it. Quite simply, do the work yourself.

Before you can even think about finding an advantage or an angle to exploit, you need to have a starting point. And that basis is going to be your rankings. There has to be a confidence factor in your player rankings and you truly have to believe in them.

Understand the Categories

Rankings are great, but they are not a one-size-fits-all entity. You have to be aware of the categories for which you are drafting. Whether or not your league uses batting average or on-base percentage will clearly dictate your rankings. For that not to be the case is simply irresponsible. The same can be said for both wins or quality starts and saves or holds.

Know Your League

Not only do your rankings need to be lined up with the statistical categories for your league, but you have to follow suit with the ADP. It is important that the ADP data you are reviewing is based on the same categories as well as the same league setup.

High stakes leagues are going to draft differently than lower-stakes leagues. Draft and hold leagues will be drafted differently than those that allow in-season waiver transactions. Trading leagues could potentially be handled differently than others as well. While any ADP data is better than none, it is important to put it in perspective and use the most accurate data possible.

Using ADP data based on points leagues or best ball is going to be very different than other formats. This is very much a situation to monitor.

Be Aware of the Time Frame

While it factors into ADP data just the same, a draft in October or November is very different than a draft in February or March. This has to be waited differently with players in either direction. Late-breaking injuries could lead to players currently being over drafted and players that have had a recent change in role could present immediate value.

How Can You Exploit ADP

Ultimately, when building your team, you need to feel confident in your selections. ADP is simply a guidepost and one more tool to have at your disposal. The target and objective here is to leave the draft with as many of “your players” as possible.

So then, how do you do that?

Each draft is very much its own organism and you can never truly predict what will happen when fantasy managers get in a room, but we can certainly try. The key here is to predict, or try to, how the draft will go based on historical market data. When you line that up with your rankings, targets begin to emerge based on those players that you like more than the market. The problem with this is that all it takes is one other fantasy manager to get in the way of your plans. This at least sets you out in the right direction though as it provides insight on which player can be targeted in which round.

The objective is to end up with the players you ranked higher than ADP while fading those you rank lower than ADP.

For more of the great fantasy baseball rankings and analysis you’ve come to expect from FantraxHQ, check out our full 2024 Fantasy Baseball Draft Kit! We’re here for you all the way up until Opening Day and then on into your championship run.

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