Back in late February I took down the ADP for the top 300 players with the intention of later reflecting on that data. I knew it would come in handy when thinking up an idea for a future column, and my clairvoyance has been fulfilled.
I’ve always been a proponent of NFBC’s ADP because of the amount of money their leagues generally require in order to play ($125+, upwards of $5,000+ in main events). It eliminates crazy outlier picks better than your casual ESPN mock drafts, and paints a great picture for value in rotisserie leagues.
As ‘weekly lock’ are their standard format, it deviates a little bit from our typical RCL that we have on this fantastic caldron of fantasy knowledge know as Razzball, but heading into the last week of drafts, I hope this will give you a great idea of the fluctuation of players in across the league.
The time frame of the change, as you will see, is between February 28th and March 26th. I’ll break up some of our specimens based on overall ADP, as players who are going later in drafts (150+ overall) have much more room to rise and fall than a player in the top 50.
To address players who have fallen due to a temporary injury, I’ve eliminated guys like Ian Desmond, Alex Reyes, and David Dahl, in favor of taking a look at performance and playing time based fluctuations. If you desire the +/- of any other player you don’t see here, feel free to mention in the comments below and I will dig in and find it for you (as long as their in the top 500).
Keep in mind, in order for a player to fall by a given amount, that player has been drafted further above or further below what their ADP on March 26th states. This is because NFBC ADP is a rolling average. For Yoenis Cespedes to increase from 59.08 to 56.66, he would have been drafted, on average, higher than the 56.66 overall from March 26th says. Not simply the +2.42 spots my interval of change shows you!
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Risers and fallers in the top 100 overall
|Player||ADP on 2/28||ADP on 3/26||Change (+)|
This chart specifically captures players who were near the top 100 overall as of yesterday, the 26th of March. These are your elite talents, and if they possess a generous uptick, like Jacob deGrom (+8.07), it means a lot of owners are adjusting their valuations and drafting without reservation.
deGrom has had a fantastic spring, posting a .91 WHIP over 15.1 innings, with 17 strikeouts, and a 2.93 ERA. He’s been dominant, using his tantalizingly attractive four pitch mix at an elite level. This ADP adjustment, to some extent, may be confirmation that he looks and feels healthy after undergoing elbow surgery in the off-season to remove his ulnar nerve. When deGrom is in fact healthy, ranking him inside the top 15 SPs is a must with his control and ability to generate swinging strikes (12.7% in 2015). I am unbelievably pleased that I nabbed deGrom back in early March for only $17 in CBS Sports’ expert NL-only Roto league. Grey usually dominates the group, but me and my $1 players have our sites set on his crown.
Edwin Diaz (+4.44) and Ken Giles (+4.27) are two closers who I have ranked as my fourth and fifth relief pitchers, and from the looks of this data, that seems parallel with how owners are reacting. More perplexing is that Giles has seen a similar uptick without the high profile innings that Edwin Diaz amassed in the World Baseball Classic. With the improved defense in Seattle, and overall optimism for the Mariners’ performance in 2017, Diaz’s role will be one of great value based on his current ADP. If you expect the Mariners to hit their projected 85+ wins, you may have been the reason for this ADP shift.
Putting aside the rise of a player like Gregory Polanco (+2.82), which will likely adjust downward after the news of his shoulder injury, I’m most surprised by what seems to be some consensus betting on age with the likes of Nelson Cruz (2.99+), Hanley Ramirez (2.21+), Matt Kemp (+1.48), and Robinson Cano (+1.45). In a world where prospects and upside rule the draft boards, it sometimes makes sense to deviate and hedge your Trea Turner and Alex Bregman picks with stability in guys who have track records of consistent production.
|Player||ADP on 2/28||ADP on 3/26||Change (-)|
For what it’s worth, the top five fallers inside the top 100 picks were all players who went down with injuries: David Price, J.D. Martinez, Ian Desmond, David Dahl, and Jason Kipnis (removed from above). While this can sometimes be the cause for inflation of other players’ ADP, the list above provides some interesting takes on names that I’ve seen distinctly different responses on.
One of the most interesting trends is the falling of players whose value is based greatly on steals. Dee Gordon (-3.56), Billy Hamilton (-1.55), and to a lesser extent Jonathan Villar (-.68), are three players that I do not own on any of my five teams so far this year.
The consensus that steals are scarce is something I will always accept, but react to in a different way than many others. I drive up the value of players with power and speed, as opposed to excessive steals production. Think Max Kepler, Kevin Kiemaier, Bryce Harper, and others who give me confidence to eclipse the 20 HR mark, but also a bit of gravy in the steals category. My argument for that strategy is much broader, but I think the point holds even with simplification. While I wasn’t expecting to see this same philosophy reflected in aggregate ADP data, it is worth noting the SAGNOF philosophy is alive and well.
RIP to Buster Posey (-3.14) and Jonathan Lucroy (-1.10), as well as the rest of the catcher position. The only thing that makes me remember that catchers exist are two catcher leagues, and even then I’m always leaning towards the likes of Austin Hedges and Travis d’Arnaud. The community isn’t far off this smell, and rightfully so.
|Player||ADP on 2/28||ADP on 3/26||Change (+)|
No surprise to see a smattering of saves throughout this list of risers. While Neftali Feliz (+56.68) takes the cake as one of the better bargains if you got in on the Brewers’ closer early on, I like the reaction to a player like Jim Johnson (+10.47) even more. Crawling back to the idea I mentioned with Edwin Diaz, pitchers on good teams will, on average, see proportionally more save opportunities and the Braves are one squad heading into 2017. Although the product on the field may not be the playoff bound, with the energy in their new stadium, I wouldn’t be shocked to see the Braves follow the path of the Phillies and White Sox of 2016. Strong starts, with sour finishes. Johnson closed the second half of 2016 with a .228 average against, 41 strikeouts over 33.2 innings, and a pristine 2.14 ERA. He’s the clear closer on the team, and although there are some electric arms behind him, the veteran induced confidence he radiates and control he showed at the end of last season, makes me eerily confident that we’ll see a full season of saves from the 33 year old.
A lot of upside arms have also seen an increase in ADP. Lance McCullers (+14.09), Jharel Cotton (+15.94), Lance Lynn (+23.40), and the love of my life, James Paxton (+18.24), all stand out. Each with their own facets of risk, but I wouldn’t be shocked McCullers and Paxton in top 20 SP discussions, with Cotton and Lynn cementing themselves as insanely good values past the 19th round.
|Player||ADP on 2/28||ADP on 3/26||Change (-)|
I’ll leave you with a few thoughts on two players that I disagree with the ADP fall of in our range.
In deep leagues specifically, with extended benches, Yoan Moncada (-5.66) is a player I would love to stash. There comes a point in where blindly throwing darts for depth is about as successful as Dave Stewart’s GM’ing skills. This makes me inclined to stash players that may not be up for a few months, but with an extended bench, won’t cost me the flexibility of depth at positions I’m weaker at. Think Lewis Brinson, Cody Bellinger, and Bradley Zimmer.
Moncada has all the tools in the world to succeed and while we likely won’t see him up until sometime in June, if there is any player to burst on the scene and win the AL ROY in a Gary Sachez-esque fashion, Moncada is the man. Some hope of breaking camp may have been embedded in the February 26th ADP, which means the fall is reasonable, but I’d be happy to nab the top prospect in baseball just path the 20th round.
Drew Pomeranz (-13.09) is another player whose ADP drop I’m not fully on board with. David Price and his UCL took a leave of absence, and one of the only arms in the depths of the Red Sox’s rotation that intrigues me is Pomeranz. He posted a 3.32 ERA between the Padres and Red Sox last season, with an even more impressive 26.5% strikeout rate. While I always shy away from southpaws in Fenway – see Chris Sales- there is more upside in Pomeranz than his competition, and I’ll pray for his swinging strikes to maintain, rather than banking on the health of Eduardo Rodriguez. Even if he swings from the pen to the rotation, Pomeranz is still a nice late round flyer.
You can follow Lance on Twitter, @LanceBrozdow, if you prefer to act like a proper millennial.