You might be of the belief that the average draft position (ADP) of a player in your fantasy hockey league is a good measure of when that player might be taken in drafts this Summer. Under normal circumstances, you would be right. For example, Connor McDavid currently has an ADP value of 1.1, indicating that he is being selected first overall (on average) in drafts this Summer. This number hasn't changed since the Yahoo fantasy hockey system opened in mid-August. It is safe to say that you can expect McDavid to go first overall in your typical fantasy hockey drafts.
But when, if ever, might the ADP of a player be misleading?
So far this Summer, there has been no outstanding news about Claude Giroux. He has not suffered any injuries; he has not been traded; and he is expected to play with linemates similar to the ones from last year. We know what there is to know about Claude Giroux. As a result of this, Giroux's ADP value has remained fixed all Summer long (at just below 21). Figure 1 reveals how Giroux's ADP has changed since the Yahoo fantasy hockey system opened.
We'll define a player's rate of change in his ADP over time as his ADP Momentum. In this specific case, Giroux's ADP Momentum is essentially zero. Because of this, it is safe for you to assume that Giroux's ADP value of 20.8 is a reasonable expectation of where he'll be drafted in leagues this Summer. If you're counting on drafting Giroux, waiting until the third round would be a mistake.
You can use this idea of ADP Momentum to avoid pitfalls during your draft. Many managers have taken an interest in drafting Max Pacioretty following his trade to the Vegas Golden Knights. If you were to look at Pacioretty's ADP this morning, you'd find that he's being drafted with an ADP of 95.5. This suggests, in a 12-team league, that Pacioretty would be waiting for you late in Round 8. But, if you're not employing the concept of ADP Momentum, you'll end up disappointed and frustrated on draft day. Why? Because there is little to no chance that Pacioretty will fall into your lap in Round 8. "But wait, his ADP says I can get him in Round 8," you protest!
Pacioretty's ADP Momentum, seen in Figure 2, says otherwise. While it is true that Pacioretty's ADP (as of this morning) sits at 95.5, it's also true that Pacioretty's ADP includes all of those weeks he spent with an ADP at 115 or higher. Ask yourself the following question: if all of Pacioretty's ADP values were larger (much larger for weeks) than 95.5 prior to this morning, how is it possible that his ADP value right now is 95.5? The answer is that managers are currently drafting Pacioretty with much earlier picks. How much earlier? We'd need some propietary data (e.g., how many managers drafted Pacioretty at different ADP values - and on what dates!) from Yahoo to know for sure. But anecdotal data from recent mock drafts with 12 human managers suggests he is selected during, or before, Round 7.
While all managers will have access to static ADP data during their drafts, you can't find ADP Momentum data anywhere - except at Left Wing Lock.
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