RotoWire Experts Mock Draft -- An ADP Comparison
On Wednesday, RotoWire’s Derek VanRiper and Kevin Payne hosted a live NFBC-style mock draft during their show on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio. The group of 15 was comprised of the two show hosts, a handful of guys who play in the NFBC and mock regularly, and a mix of RotoWire staff/interns and XM producers. Yours truly was also in on the action.
Aside from the fact that I have become a mock draft whore and have at least 20 mocks under my belt already, I thought this would be a good opportunity to see how a group of “well-informed industry folk” drafted in relation to the ADP rankings we have been discussing over the last several weeks. Now like I’ve always said, while ADP rankings can be extremely useful when determining who to draft and at which round to draft them, they should be used more as a guideline than the gospel. Sometimes you need to deviate from the plan, depending on what is happening at that particular point in the draft as well as what your specific roster needs are at the time. I don’t recommend swaying too far, but sometimes it can be okay to reach every once in a while. In this draft, however, things got a little crazy.
For the sake of brevity, we’re just going to take a look at the top 120 picks from the draft. You can click here for the full results if you’d like to see the draft in its entirety, but listing all 450 picks for you might be a bit of overkill. Alongside each player’s name, I’ve listed at what pick they were selected, their ADP both from the NFBC and from Mock Draft Central as well as the percentage difference of where they were taken versus their overall ADP rankings. From there it will be easy to see which players were reached for, which ones went right where everyone else is taking them and who slipped through the cracks and fell by more than just a handful of picks. Brace yourself now. This ride is about to get a little bumpy.
|Player||Pos||Team||Drafted||NFBC ADP||Diff||MDC ADP||Diff|
Assuming that any draft done with the exact same specifications of the NFBC would result in minimal ADP deviations, technically, shouldn’t be too far-fetched. However, at any given moment, any owner…or in this case owners…can stray from the path and put the entire draft into a dizzying free-for-all and ADP just goes completely out the window. While you’d like that to not be the case, you have to be able to roll with the punches. Here’s a look at some of the places where the typical path was abandoned and an alternate draft reality became truth.
Jose Bautista and Justin Upton go 9th and 10th overall – Normally left to the middle of the second round, both outfielders jumped a minimum of 10 picks and went ahead of first round regulars such as Joey Votto, Prince Fielder, Buster Posey and Stephen Strasburg. Leapfrogging a pitcher or a catcher, in my opinion, is no big deal, but even though most consider first base to be incredibly deep, it was a surprise to me to see them go over two of the biggest and most consistent power hitters in the game. However, if you look at their ADPs over at MDC, the picks seem to coincide with what the masses are thinking.
Bryce Harper goes 19th overall – Again, the pick jibes with what the masses are thinking, but according to most NFBC mockers, he’s an early third round selection. He’s a true talent, no question, but in a non-keeper league, is his current rate of production worthy of such a high selection? Perhaps the sight of him on the cover of this week’s Sports Illustrated had him too fresh in everyone’s mind.
Allen Craig gets taken with the 34th pick – Most in the NFBC have the sense to at least take him 20-odd picks later, but in this one, well….the owner may have been the mayor of Reach City. I think I’ve said my peace on Craig over the last few weeks. No reason to beat a dead horse.
Yadier Molina and Matt Wieters go 44th and 52nd, respectively – While the picks are popular ones at MDC, they are definite reaches in the NFBC and I have to agree. The depth found at catcher this year is plentiful and while these guys are talented, the position presents too many risks to be using picks this high.
Paul Konerko goes 74th – Is an aging Konerko, who has had recurring back problems over the last few years, that much better an option than looking for the upside of a potential power hitter like Anthony Rizzo? People in the NFBC don’t think so as this pick looks like a 45-pick reach. Personally, if I couldn’t get Rizzo in the following round, I’d be happy to wait the next four or five and grab a comparable Adam LaRoche.
Cameron Maybin taken with 112th pick (8th round) – A stunner here. While I like Maybin’s skill set, this pick, comparatively, comes more than 100 picks too soon in the NFBC and is even a 35-pick reach according to MDC standards. This one could have waited at least another half dozen rounds.
Josh Hamilton drops to the 21st pick – While this pick coincides with the one at MDC, he’s fallen from a late first round pick by NFBC standards to a somewhat forced mid-second rounder. The ballpark change shouldn’t be a factor, especially if you’ve studied his home/road splits, but obviously, the injuries are a concern.
Ian Desmond falls to the 60th pick – Here’s an interesting one actually as Desmond is a popular choice in the NFBC as most believe in his breakout season from last year but falls nearly 20 picks in this draft which is surprising given the lack of depth at the position. What’s interesting here is his lack of popularity amongst the masses as this pick is more than 30 picks ahead of where he’s going at MDC. I see him settling somewhere in the middle on both sites as people will almost be forced to believe in last season’s totals due to a lack of better options.
2nd/3rd Tier Starters Drop 20-30 picks – Between picks 81 and 93, four starters – Madison Bumgarner, Zack Greinke, Chris Sale and R.A. Dickey – all came off the board, but like most industry people, the owners in this draft waited on pitching. By the end of the 5th round, four teams were still without a starter while nine of the remaining 11 had just one. While you’d think it would be a good idea to go against the grain and build up your rotation, the depth of the league and the lack of starters taken sort of prevent you from doing that.
Will the masses ever side with the NFBC players with regard to Stephen Strasburg? You’ve got one group that has enough faith to make him a late first round selection while the rest are thinking early third. As much as I like him and his potential, I still think I’d have to side with the MDC crowd even if I were taking a pitching-heavy approach.
While I think a first round selection might be pushing it a bit, I like the MDC view that the power and speed of Curtis Granderson certainly trumps the negatives of his batting average. 40 home runs is not an easy feat and the dimensions of Yankee Stadium have helped him maintain that total for two straight years. A third straight season seems very likely here.
Paul Goldschmidt got absolutely no respect in this draft, comparatively speaking, while Aaron Hill may have gotten a little too much. Goldy may be going too high at MDC, but you don't want to sleep on him this year. And while Hill is a soli dchoice at second, just make sure you're not reaching too high.
At the 66th pick, Asdrubal Cabrera was a huge overshoot. And it’s not just with MDC as he was an overshoot according to NFBC standards as well.
And finally, there’s far too much love in this draft for Alcides Escobar, Carlos Gomez and Josh Rutledge. All three have been trendy selections this offseason, but don’t get too caught up in the hype. Let someone else do the reaching.
Howard Bender has been covering fantasy sports for over a decade on a variety of web sites. You can follow him on Twitter at @rotobuzzguy and for more detailed questions, thoughts or comments, you can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.