This article is a look at Average Draft Position (ADP) and fantasy points scored for each IDP position, and a comparison, between each position, including the offensive positions. Each year, the end of year results is different from how we project them in August. This is a review to see which positions we were better or worse at, and if there is anything that can be learned for 2021 and beyond.
As there are many different scoring systems and league formats that affect ADP, I’ve chosen to use the IDP Guys 2020 Invitational (IDP Invitational) for the data set. The IDP Invitational was a charity tournament that consisted of 8 divisions of 12 teams. Participants included fans and a variety of writers from several websites that cover IDP fantasy football. The benefits of using this league for the analysis is we can see 8 identical leagues, both in scoring and starting roster requirements, plus the group drafting can be assumed to be about as knowledgeable as any league you can find. The downside is that this league had 8 bench spots for 9 unique positions, so the resulting data set for ADP doesn’t go as deep as it could.
The roster settings and IDP scoring settings are as follows:
The scoring and starting requirements for offensive players was identical to that year’s Scott Fish Bowl (SFBX). All touchdowns were 6 points, yardage scoring was standard. Quarterbacks gained points for completions and lost them for sacks, incompletions and interceptions. Non-quarterbacks received a half point per reception and per first down, with a half point premium to Tight Ends for both.
I took the draft results for each of the eight IDP Invitational divisions, and calculated the average draft position for each player drafted in at least five of the eight divisions. I also looked at the top scorers at each position at the end of the season to see which undrafted, or infrequently drafted players made significant impacts during the season. That’s important as well because if one position has a large number of undrafted players with high seasonal finishes, that’s also an indication of pre-season projections missing more for that position than other positions.
The notable limitation of this analysis is that fantasy football is a weekly game, and this is a look at seasonal finishes. Thus, it is hard to comment on fragility strategies like zero RB, for which you would need to look at frequency of high finishes, or something like win rate, which is more of a best ball analysis.
There wasn’t much too surprising at the Quarterback Position in 2020. Aaron Rodgers and Josh Allen both had incredible seasons, finishing 1st and 2nd in scoring with overall ADPs of 46 and 51 respectively. Taysom Hill was undrafted and finished as QB22 in this league. Mitchell Turbisky was drafted in 4 of the 8 leagues (ADP of 191 in those leagues) and finished as QB23.
The McCaffery (ADP 1) and Barkley (ADP 3) injuries hurt the managers who selected those players at the top of the draft. Three undrafted players appear in the top 24 at the end of the season (James Robinson RB7, Mike Davis RB 15, JD McKissic RB20), as well as Myles Gaskin finishing just outside at RB 27.
With 73 Wide Receivers drafted in at least 5 of the 8 divisions, the only top 24 finish from an undrafted player was fellow Canadian Chase Claypool at WR 19. Tee Higgins (drafted 3 times) and Corey Davis (drafted 4 times) had top 36 finishes while just missing being drafted enough for to be included in the ADP set.
There were several players drafted in the second half of the draft to score around 200 points, which was just past the top 24 cut off. In a way it is similar to Running Back, where there were a couple of top 24 finishers who were not drafted, however with Wide Receiver they were just drafted late.
With injuries to Kittle and Ertz, Tight End was very much Kelce & Waller, and then everyone else clustered around the same score. Logan Thomas, Robert Tonyan and Dalton Schultz all finished in top 12 after being undrafted in all divisions.
Injuries to Danielle Hunter and Nick Bosa, as well as Myles Garrett’s Covid-19 illness made this a very tough year for those who invested early in Defensive End. It is worth noting that the first 5 Defensive Ends selected (Hunter, N. Bosa, J. Bosa, Young, Allen) were 2nd to 6th in overall IDP ADP (Darius Leonard was the first IDP, Bobby Wagner and Aaron Donald were 7th and 8th respectively). The trendline for Defensive End is the flattest of all IDP positions, indicating that for 2020 it was best to wait on the position.
There were only 33 Defensive Ends drafted in at least 5 leagues, so there’s no surprise that there would be many top 24 finishers who were not drafted. At Defensive End there was 11. They were Leonard Williams (DE2), Stephon Tuitt (DE7, drafted three times), Romeo Okwara (DE9), Quinnen Williams (DE13, drafted once), Emmanuel Ogbah (DE14), Kerry Hyder (DE16), Trey Hendrickson (DE17), Olivier Vernon (DE18, drafted two times), Aldon Smith (DE20), Chase Winovich (DE21) and Akiem Hicks (DE23, drafted four times).
Defensive Tackle went as expected in 2020 with Buckner and Donald being drafted 2 rounds ahead and finishing 40 points ahead of all other Defensive Tackles. Former University of Manitoba Bison David Oynemata (DT8) and Dexter Lawrence (DT11) both had top 12 finishes after going undrafted in all divisions. Da’Ron Payne (DT5) and Ndamukoong Suh (DT6) were drafted 4 times each, and thus don’t appear in the chart above.
With just 16 Defensive Tackles drafted in at least 5 divisions, most drafters planned on streaming for bye weeks.
Darius Leonard was the only defensive player drafted inside the top 50 picks. He missed two games and finished as LB7. His 16 game pace would have been a close LB3 finish to Roquan Smith. Regardless, it’s hard to get value when drafted that far ahead of everyone else at the position.
The trendline for Linebacker is steeper than all other IDP positions, indicating that drafters got this position more correct than any other position. Five top 24 finishers were either undrafted or drafted in less than four divisions. They are Foyesade Oluokun (LB9), Eric Wilson (LB11), Neville Hewitt (LB12, drafted in one division). Alex Singleton (LB18) and Tyrell Adams (LB19). An additional four players were undrafted and achieved LB 3 finishes.
There isn’t much to say about Cornerback. There were only 11 players drafted in at least five leagues (32 total drafted at least once, none before pick 250). Their seasonal finish varies wildly. Cornerback is a position that is often streamed, and with the limited bench size in this league, it looks like some managers planned on doing during the season.
Safety was a very flat position in 2020, in part due to injuries to Derwin James and Landon Collins, as well as Jamal Adams missing four games. With several players scoring well with late ADPs (Jessie Bates S3, Jeremy Chinn S4), there was just five players that were undrafted that made the top 24. They are Daniel Sorenson (S11), Kamren Curl (S12), Eric Rowe (S21, drafted in four divisions), Marcus Maye (S23, drafted in two divisions) and Darnell Savage (S24, drafted in four divisions).
Most Safetys were drafted at pick 170 (Jordan Poyer) or later. This is much later than what’s seen at Linebacker and Defensive End. Drafters were right to wait on this position after the elite options (Adams, James, Baker, Collins, Walker and Johnson) were taken.
It’s important not to take too much from one season of data. That said the most notable thing for me was Defensive End could be faded early in drafts for Linebacker, as I’ve always prioritized Defensive Line positions early in my drafts. As some of the highest drafted Defensive Ends were injured, it’s hard to project that as a trend that will continue.
Safety is a position with a lot of turnover from season to season, making it hard to project. Like Defensive End, a couple of the top options were injured during the season, making that position look very flat once the season-long finishes are compared.
Defensive Tackle was the opposite of Safety and Defensive End, where the two players projected to be at the top of the position (Aaron Donald and DeForest Buckner) finishing as the top two players at their position. Aaron Donald’s positional advantage is often compared to Travis Kelce at Tight End, and if you compare those two charts, they look quite similar.
I’ve posted the link for the 2021 version of this tournament at the bottom of the page for those interested in this year’s tournament.
Find me on twitter @djkelltown. When I’m not talking about fantasy football, I’m probably talking about my NHL team (Winnipeg Jets) or CFL team (Winnipeg Blue Bombers)
IDP Guys 2020 Invitational League Link – https://www59.myfantasyleague.com/2020/home/60948#0
IDP Guys 2021 Invitational Sign-up Link – https://www.idpguys.org/2021-idp-guys-autism-speaks-invitational/
Scott Fish Bowl Ten (SFBX) Scoring Settings – https://scottfishbowl.com/2020/rules.php