Fantasy baseball ADP lessons to learn from the latest NFBC Main Events


The National Fantasy Baseball Championship kicked off its high-stakes fantasy baseball drafts last weekend with two NFBC Main Events. The draft boards and ADP are much different than before with the shortened season, COVID-19 and other uncertainties leading up to Opening Day.

In the first round there were two players who stood out to me — Gerrit Cole and Mike Trout. Cole’s Main Event ADP is currently stapled into the third overall pick. Trout’s is 10, with him being selected seventh and 13th in the first two drafts. Paternity leave and COVID-19 are leaving fantasy players with the tough choice of drafting Trout from the middle to the end of the first round.

Once the 60-game format, was announced there was a buzz swirling around the fantasy baseball community with talks of pitching being devalued due to the shortened season. None of this appears to be true when looking back to this weekend. 15 pitchers were selected in the first three rounds, which is on par with prior Main Events. If anything, the market will continue to overvalue pitching while potentially pushing them up even more. We have already seen multiple teams deploy the pocket aces strategy, which requires your first two draft picks to be starting pitchers.

Josh Hader is the consensus No. 1 RP in drafts this year, and based on these drafts, the market is overvaluing the position. He had been carrying an ADP in the fifth round before these Main Events, but he was going in the third this weekend. Investing a third-round pick in Hader had leaguemates fully aware of the closer market, with 23 relievers being selected in the first 10 rounds.

While pitching in general was pushed up, there was also a sense of insecurity toward stolen bases. In the first Main Event, an early second-round pick (17) was spent on Adalberto Mondesi. Starling Marte is now locked into a second-round pick as well with his current ADP being 28. Jonathan Villar is another speedster being pushed up with his ADP at 41, comfortably in the third round.

COVID-19 has played an impact in the draft market with players who tested positive receiving a discount on draft day. Freddie Freeman was going in the early second round but in the Main Events, he went picks 35 and 51. Charlie Blackmon (69) and Yoán Moncada (78) have also dipped in the draft market since their positive tests were publicly announced.

With pitching and speed getting pushed up it has to push something down. Noticeably hitters with steady profiles were seen to fall a bit, including the likes of Matt Chapman (101), Mike Moustakas (111) and Eddie Rosario (113). The sixth or seventh round for these guys is currently above fair market value.

Aaron Judge (50), Nelson Cruz (59) and Giancarlo Stanton (69) are rising up draft boards. The love and hype for Judge and Stanton will continue to rise with any positive news out of Yankees’ camp. We have already seen a second-round pick (25) on Judge with his recent “I’m game ready” comment. Cruz was comfortably going in the sixth and seventh round but now you’ll have to spend a fourth-round pick to secure the Twins’ DH.

Both NFBC Main Event draft boards are covered in pitching once getting into the 19th round. Fantasy players are focusing heavily on bolstering their depth with middle relievers who could piggyback, handcuffing closers for insurance and pure speculation plays at the back end of rotations and bullpens.

Now is the time to digest the Main Event ADP, going over your evaluations, rankings and projections to see where you stand in the current draft market. You will need to figure out your plan on securing saves with the aggressive investments being made toward closers. Trying to find relievers via FAAB is frustrating. You’ll likely blow your FAAB budget while never finding a true closer. The Main Event has the overall prize component so punting a category like saves isn’t a viable option to finishing at the top of the leaderboard. There are always deficiencies in the market. If you’re able to identify those deficiencies, you can create a positive ROI while navigating your way through the draft.

Previous Fantasy football sleepers: Overlooked tight ends for 2020 drafts Next Breaking down the Baltimore Ravens coaching staff