The ADP trap is one of the easiest ways to botch your fantasy football draft. Don’t let it happen to you this year.
We all have been there. The clock is ticking down, five seconds left. There isn’t a player that you like because whatever website that you are drafting on says it’s too early to draft them. Four seconds left, there’s a player you like but his ADP (average draft position) says he shouldn’t be drafted for another two rounds. Three seconds left, are you reaching for this player? Two seconds left, panic starts to kick in and you click on who the website says is the best pick in this round according to their ADP. One second left, you click on a player you weren’t planning on drafting but the ADP says it’s the right pick.
You immediately hate the pick and call yourself a name that I’m not allowed to write in this article. Two picks later, the guy who YOU wanted goes and that guy looks like a genius. Somebody in the chat says “wow, great pick.” You then go on draft tilt (drafting out of anger and not using your brain) and hate your team when the draft is over.
Average draft position can make it seem like that you are reaching for a player, but at the end of the day, it’s your team and you should draft whomever you want. There are always around a dozen players whose ADP doesn’t match their ability and it hurts your team because you are too scared to pull the trigger or you fall into the ADP trap and reach for a player. Here’s a list of players who’s ADP you should ignore and draft them where they belong to give you the best team possible.
Todd Gurley, Running Back, Los Angeles Rams
Average Draft Position: 14th overall (Running back #10)
Where he should be drafted: Top-five overall
There is no possible way that a healthy Todd Gurley should be drafted outside the top five in any draft this year. In standard and points per reception (PPR) scoring, Gurley led all running backs in points per game last season. In standard scoring, he outscored the number two running back Saquon Barkley by 19 points and played in two fewer games.
There is talk about the Los Angeles Rams cutting back his workload this year but let’s be honest, if Gurley is healthy, there is no way that the Rams are going to give the ball to Malcolm Brown or Darrell Henderson instead.
Over the past two seasons, he has led the league in rushing touchdowns (30) and has added another 10 receiving touchdowns. Gurley’s touches may go down to help keep him healthy, but he will remain top five in the league in touches per game. When the Rams get inside the red zone, they will give Gurley the ball.
He led the league in rushes within the 20-yard line last season (64) and lead the league in red-zone touchdowns with 17. You can make the case for Gurley as the first overall pick but don’t let him slip much further in the draft after Saquon Barkley and Ezekiel Elliott.
Patrick Mahomes, Quarterback, Kansas City Chiefs
Average Draft Position: 21st overall (Quarterback #1)
Where he should be drafted: Fourth or Fifth round
There is NO WAY you should be drafting a quarterback within the first three rounds of your draft. Here are the players that you are passing up when you draft Patrick Mahomes in the early part of round three, Mike Evans (ADP 22), T.Y. Hilton (ADP 27), Keenan Allen (ADP 28), and Tyreek Hill (ADP 38). All of them all top tier wide receivers who will be players that can carry your team.
The biggest problem with drafting Mahomes this early is, you are drafting him based on his stats from last year. He is due for some regression and quarterback, like every year, is extremely deep. You should be one of the last to draft a quarterback in your league this year. Load up on backs and receivers in the early part of your draft because the deeper the draft goes, the harder it will be to find consistent production at those positions.
Damien Williams, Running Back, Kansas City Chiefs
Average Draft Position 23rd overall (Running back #13)
Where he should be drafted: Round Nos. 5 or 6 (Running back #22-25)
I can’t see Damien Williams lasting the whole season as a lead back. In his five-year NFL career, he has a total of 291 total touches. He will have more value in PPR because of his ability to catch the ball but it’s going to be tough to count on him to be your number one back when we haven’t seen it from him. Carlos Hyde is the more talented running back and will be the starter for Kansas City within a couple of weeks.
Draft running backs who are more talented and have higher upside like Leonard Fournette (ADP 25), Aaron Jones (ADP 30), Derrick Henry (ADP 31) and Phillip Lindsay (ADP 40). There’s too much risk here in the third round to draft Damien William when there are more proven players that you don’t have to worry about production them keeping their jobs.
Kenny Golladay, Wide Receiver, Detroit Lions
Average Draft Position: 48th overall (Wide Receiver #19)
Where he should be drafted: Outside the top-30 at wide receiver
Darrell Bevell was hired as the Detroit Lions new offensive coordinator after serving in the same position for the Seattle Seahawks since 2011. In three of the past five seasons, the Seahawks have been top-five in rushing attempts per game. The Lions won’t be throwing the ball around as much without Jim Bob Cooter calling the plays (The Lions have been top-11 in passing attempts in the previous three seasons). Kenny Golladay will still be the number one target in Detroit but that means he will be facing teams’ number one corners. With the likelihood of fewer passes this year, his upside took a big hit. Do not have Golladay as your number two receiver on your team heading into the season. The production won’t be there this year.
Jack Doyle, Tight End, Indianapolis Colts
Average Draft Position: 194th overall (Tight End #22)
Where he should be drafted: Top-10 tight end
When Jack Doyle is healthy, he is Andrew Luck’s second-favorite target behind T.Y. Hilton. He had an 80% catch rate last season and Eric Ebron just caught 60% of his passes last season (he was tied for third in the league with nine drops). Doyle is going undrafted in most leagues this year and he is the perfect example of, if you aren’t one of the first three to draft a tight end, be the last. He will finish inside the top ten at tight end and you don’t have to worry about wasting a middle-round pick at the position that is the most top-heavy in fantasy football this season.
Kenny Stills, Wide Receiver, Miami Dolphins
Average Draft Position: 195th overall (Wide Receiver #62)
Where he should be drafted: Top-35 at wide receiver
No matter who the Miami Dolphins play at quarterback this season, it will be a huge upgrade. Not only did they upgrade at quarterback, but they fired former head coach Adam Gase who played at the slowest pace on offense last season. The Dolphins finished dead last in 2018 with 55 plays per game on offense. Please don’t fall for DeVante Parker as a sleeper pick for what seems to be about the tenth straight season. Draft Kenny Stills in the later part of your draft, keep him on your bench and if all goes well, you have a solid number three receiver for the rest of the season.
Philadelphia Eagles Defense
Average Draft Position: 197th overall (Defense #13)
Where they should be drafted: Top-six defense
The Philadelphia Eagles defense last season was ugly to watch. However, they have added a couple of pieces that could catapult the defense back to a top-five fantasy unit like in 2017. The Eagles defense will be elite in getting pressure on the quarterback and that should lead to a ton of sacks and interceptions. This may be a homer pick, but I’ll take my chances on this team getting back to the elite level that they were two seasons ago when everyone was healthy.