ADP Analysis of RotoWire/Yahoo Beat the Experts Draft - Part 1

If you’ve been checking in with the RotoWire blog lately, you’ll see that RotoWire and Yahoo have partnered up to bring you a series of fantasy football drafts which will be played out for the season where you get the chance to compete against one of our writers (I’ll show some humility and avoid using the word ‘experts’) in a variety of differently styled leagues. The first such league where 11 (un)lucky readers have volunteered to lose to compete against yours truly in a 12-team, standard scoring, head to head league completed its draft this week and in an effort to aid those of you who will try your hands against the likes of Chris Liss, Jeff Erickson and Derek Van Riper, I’ll break down our draft and take a look at some of the more interesting ADP trends that are occurring in the fantasy football world right now.

We’ll break this down into three articles so not to oversaturate your brain. Here’s a look at how the first five rounds went:

Starting Rosters: QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, TE, K, TM DEF, 6 Bench

The scoring, like I said, is pretty standard. You get one point for every 10 yards rushing or receiving, one point per 25 yards passing. Rushing and receiving touchdowns are six points while a passing touchdown is four. Field goals get bonus points for every yard above 30 and the penalties for interceptions and fumbles are your standard negative one and two points respectively.

What I did here was match the picks up with the ADP numbers you have on Mock Draft Central. Because the NFFC is made up of PPR leagues, we’ll skip that for this draft and bring it back once some of the other leagues have formed. We’re going to look at some of the pick differences with respect to the ADP we have and see if we can find some reasoning that goes beyond simple personal preference. I’ll be doing a full write up with some predictions (other than me winning) over on my site,, but that will be coming over the weekend. For now, let’s crunch some numbers.

ROUND 1 Pos.
1 Adrian Peterson RB MIN 1.30 0.30
2 Doug Martin RB TB 3.30 1.30
3 Arian Foster RB HOU 2.00 -1.00
4 LeSean McCoy RB PHI 14.00 10.00
5 Marshawn Lynch RB SEA 4.70 -0.30
6 Ray Rice RB BAL 10.00 4.00
7 C.J. Spiller RB BUF 7.50 0.50
8 Jamaal Charles RB KC 10.30 2.30
9 Calvin Johnson WR DET 5.30 -3.70
10 Alfred Morris RB WAS 13.30 3.30
11 A.J. Green WR CIN 14.70 3.70
12 Brandon Marshall WR CHI 21.00 9.00

Pretty standard stuff here in the first round with almost no surprises. The first eight picks were, as expected, running backs with a few receivers mixed in at the end. With just four points for a passing touchdown, it comes as little or no surprise that no quarterbacks went this early.

The two picks that, obviously, catch the eye are LeSean McCoy and Brandon Marshall. The faith in a rebound for the Eagles starting back seems pretty strong and there was no hesitation whatsoever in spite of Bryce Brown’s performance last year or the addition of Felix Jones to the roster. McCoy is coming off a down year where he missed four games with a concussion, failed to reach 1,000 yards for the first time in three years and saw his touchdown total go from 20 in 2011 to just five last season. But with Chip Kelly running the show, McCoy will see plenty of work this season.

There’s no doubting Brandon Marshall’s talent and his indispensable role in the Bears offense. He led the league in target percentage and set career-highs in receiving yards (1,508) and touchdowns (11). But he does lose a bit of value without PPR scoring. Not a lot, but just a little.

ROUND 2 Pos Team MDC ADP Diff
13 Dez Bryant WR DAL 19.70 6.70
14 Trent Richardson RB CLE 7.70 -6.30
15 Jimmy Graham TE NO 31.00 16.00
16 Steven Jackson RB ATL 22.30 6.30
17 Matt Forte RB CHI 28.00 11.00
18 Maurice Jones-Drew RB JAC 23.70 5.70
19 Julio Jones WR ATL 20.70 1.70
20 Aaron Rodgers QB GB 9.30 -10.70
21 Drew Brees QB NO 8.00 -13.00
22 Frank Gore RB SF 38.70 16.70
23 Darren McFadden RB OAK 42.30 19.30
24 Randall Cobb WR GB 43.00 19.00

Similarly to Marshall, Jimmy Graham’s value takes a hit in a non-PPR league. He also saw a reduction in target percentage, yards and scores as defenses were much more intent on containing him after his breakout in 2011. With Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez out of the picture, his overall value within the position rises, but maybe not to the point of a high second-round pick.

The drops for both Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees were expected here. Both are, obviously, elite game-breakers, but with so much depth at the position and just four points for a passing score, waiting on them was, to me, the right move.

Matt Forte, Darren McFadden and Frank Gore may seem like reaches here, but given the lack of depth at the position, coupled with how many backs have already come off the board, the rush to grab a second one was the right way to go.

Randall Cobb, on the other hand, might have been too much of a reach in a non-PPR league. He did an outstanding job last season as he became Rodgers’ go-to guy, but with a healthy Jordy Nelson and red zone darling James Jones running amok, will his value be as high without getting points for catches?

ROUND 3 Pos Team MDC ADP Diff
25 Victor Cruz WR NYG 39.00 14.00
26 Demaryius Thomas WR DEN 31.30 5.30
27 Percy Harvin WR SEA 40.00 13.00
28 Rob Gronkowski TE NE 31.30 3.30
29 Larry Fitzgerald WR ARI 26.70 -2.30
30 Peyton Manning QB DEN 14.30 -15.70
31 Cam Newton QB CAR 19.30 -11.70
32 Roddy White WR ATL 35.30 3.30
33 Chris Johnson RB TEN 21.30 -11.70
34 Stevan Ridley RB NE 24.70 -9.30
35 Andre Johnson WR HOU 27.00 -8.00
36 Lamar Miller RB MIA 55.00 19.00

Now that 15 of the first 24 picks were running backs, this is the round where most everyone tries to build up the rest of their squad. Neither Peyton Manning nor Cam Newton should be considered huge bargains here despite the ADP differential and the same goes for Victor Cruz and Percy Harvin appearing as one-round reaches. Sure, both receivers had health issues and saw decreases in their overall numbers but both a primary targets on their respective teams and each should post strong totals.

Is anyone surprised by the drop for Chris Johnson? I didn’t think so.

I am surprised by the major increase for Lamar Miller, though. Sure, he’s atop the depth chart in Miami, but he remains unproven, Daniel Thomas is still in-house, and there’s even been talk of still bringing in a veteran back to help out. Nearly a two-round jump seems a bit high.

ROUND 4 Pos Team MDC ADP Diff
37 Le'Veon Bell RB PIT 63.00 26.00
38 Vincent Jackson WR TB 34.30 -3.70
39 Jordy Nelson WR GB 52.00 13.00
40 Marques Colston WR NO 63.70 23.70
41 Dwayne Bowe WR KC 51.30 10.30
42 Hakeem Nicks WR NYG 49.70 7.70
43 DeMarco Murray RB DAL 43.30 0.30
44 Montee Ball RB DEN 52.70 8.70
45 Darren Sproles RB NO 65.70 20.70
46 Danny Amendola WR NE 60.70 14.70
47 Tom Brady QB NE 22.70 -24.30
48 Reggie Bush RB DET 54.30 6.30

Save for Tom Brady dropping to the fourth round for the first time in his starting career, most everyone here was snatched up ahead of their usual ADP rankings. None of the receivers seem like much of a reach here given the way the first three rounds went and while Le’Veon Bell is unproven and has Isaac Redman with whom to contend, the only runner here who seems like he may have gone a bit early is Darren Sproles. Obviously, the lack of carries last year and the non-PPR format here are in play.

ROUND 5 Pos Team MDC ADP Diff
49 Matthew Stafford QB DET 41.70 -7.30
50 Torrey Smith WR BAL 65.70 15.70
51 Colin Kaepernick QB SF 39.00 -12.00
52 Jason Witten TE DAL 68.00 16.00
53 Reggie Wayne WR IND 62.30 9.30
54 Mike Wallace WR MIA 53.00 -1.00
55 Wes Welker WR NE 52.70 -2.30
56 Mike Williams WR TB 88.70 32.70
57 Russell Wilson QB SEA 36.00 -21.00
58 David Wilson RB NYG 43.70 -14.30
59 Chris Ivory RB NYJ 69.70 10.70
60 Matt Ryan QB ATL 35.00 -25.00

Just as Round 4 went, there are few surprises here in Round 5. Four quarterbacks come off the board as we move through the top 10 at the position and Jason Witten, still one of Tony Romo’s favorite targets despite the presence of Dez Bryant, is the lone tight end to go. While it may have nothing to do with ADP, notice the depth at the wide receiver position as the five who come off the board in this round could end up with number-one receiver-like totals.

We’ll cover the rest of the draft and discuss some of the trends we see as people start to round out their squads and even pull in a little bit of depth as well.

Howard Bender has been covering fantasy sports for over a decade on a variety of web sites. You can find his personal musings on and for questions, thoughts or comments, you can follow him on Twitter at @rotobuzzguy or email him at


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