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 John Tavares. 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 John Tavares. As a result of this, Tavares' ADP value has remained fixed all Summer long (at just below 42). Figure 1 reveals how Tavares' 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, Tavares' ADP Momentum is essentially zero. Because of this, it is safe for you to assume that Tavares' ADP value of 41.4 is a reasonable expectation of where he'll be drafted in leagues this Summer. If you're counting on drafting Tavares, waiting until late in the fourth round would be a mistake.
You can use this idea of ADP Momentum to avoid pitfalls during your draft. Many managers have noticed that Patrik Laine's ranking by the major fantasy systems is quite low following his 24-point season in 2020-2021. If you were to look at Laine's ADP this morning, you'd find that he's being drafted with an ADP of 131.8. This suggests, in a 12-team league, that Laine would be waiting for you late in Round 11. 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 Laine will fall into your lap late in Round 11. "But wait, his ADP says I can get him in Round 11," you protest!
Laine's ADP Momentum, seen in Figure 2, says otherwise. While it is true that Laine's ADP (as of this morning) sits at 131.8, it's also true that Laine's ADP includes those weeks he spent with an ADP at 134 or higher. Ask yourself the following question: if all of Laine's ADP values were larger (much larger for weeks) than 131.8 prior to this morning, how is it possible that his ADP value right now is 131.8? The answer is that managers are currently drafting Laine with much earlier picks. How much earlier? We'd need some propietary data (e.g., how many managers drafted Laine 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 10.
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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