Who is Setting Early NFBC ADP?

Unhinged addicts?

I’m sure 99.99% of the population (probably a major under estimation) would agree with this description. The deal is that if anyone is even considering reading an article about ADP (average draft position) in November, they’re probably close to the 0.01%. Right now, the NFBC ADP is the only available draft data from multiple drafts. I decided to dive in and find out who these “people” are who anchor valuations and affect the decisions of future drafters.

The reason many people put more faith in this ADP is that there is decent money on the line ($150 min buy-in). The managers aren’t going to blow off the last half of the draft and are continuously looking for an edge.

The most important factor to remember is that this ADP is for draft-and-hold leagues where there are no in-season adds. Since they are 5×5 Roto leagues, scarce resources (Saves and Steals) will be pushed up. Additionally, the safety of regular contributors will have a priority of upside plays.

To run the study, I found the participants in 22 of the leagues so far. Here is a breakdown of the results and some of my thoughts.

Starting off, here is the number of teams drafted by the same manager.

Fantasy Teams Rostered by Unique Manager
Teams Managers % of Total Teams
7 2 4%
6 3 5%
5 1 2%
4 13 16%
3 22 20%
2 44 27%
1 87 26%
Total 172

Of the 330 teams, there are just 172 unique managers with almost three-fourths of the teams managed by owners with multiple teams. It means that 85 people have a major influence on player valuations. But do they really? Putting the number in those terms, I don’t see a problem. If the 85 people were limited to just one league, that means there would be ADP from six 15-team leagues (a little number fudging). Six leagues is a reasonable starting point for November valuation discussions.

Now, the six managers (4% of all managers) who have drafted five or more teams have a total of 37 teams (11% of all teams). It’s possible that a single manager’s opinion could push up or down a certain player. This take is not just unique to the NFBC and is a major factor on every platform that does rankings. When mainstream sights host their mock drafts, most of the time, it’s the same website participants in each one. On top of that, a website influencer’s “correct” opinions will then be baked into the initial player rankings thereby anchoring the website’s ADP.

One other issue I’ve seen levied against using NFBC drafts is that it’s full of industry analysts/content creators and their opinions. I went through all the managers and spotted that 12 of the 172 managers (7%) are in the fantasy industry. They had 22 total teams, again 7% of the total. The number drafting is probably a bit higher since some people may use a pseudonym but the number stays under 10%. Any industry influence is almost non-existent and the leagues are full of dedicated fantasy managers wanting to get a way-too-early start on the 2023 draft season. Again, unhinged addicts.

Jeff, one of the authors of the fantasy baseball guide,The Process, writes for RotoGraphs, The Hardball Times, Rotowire, Baseball America, and BaseballHQ. He has been nominated for two SABR Analytics Research Award for Contemporary Analysis and won it in 2013 in tandem with Bill Petti. He has won four FSWA Awards including on for his Mining the News series. He's won Tout Wars three times, LABR once, and got his first NFBC Main Event win in 2021. Follow him on Twitter @jeffwzimmerman.

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Master Live 013
9 days ago

Wish I could be one of those unhinged addicts, but alas NFBC doesn’t service individuals living in Puerto Rico or at least I could not collect my winnings if I ever were so lucky.