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Fantasy Football: Biggest rises in best ball ADP from 2018 to 2019, and what that means for 2020

Every fantasy draft season is filled with misses on the part of fantasy owners, whether it be through highly drafted players who flame out or under-drafted players who significantly overperform their ADP.

In the latter case, we then see a significant adjustment in season-to-season ADP, but how well do these players perform in the season after their ADP changes? Here, we identify the biggest risers by comparing historical ADP from the fantasy season (n) to the actual fantasy season (n+1). Let’s take a look at this group from last season to see where they finished within their position groups based on PPR scoring format.

Note: All ADP data comes courtesy of Fantasy Mojo’s data warehouse

Biggest Fantasy ADP Risers from 2018 to 2019

Player Position ADP 2018 ADP 2019 ADP Change Position Rank ADP Position PPR Finish Difference
Baker Mayfield QB 224 90 134 5 19 -14
Dante Pettis WR 195 78 117 31 130 -99
Calvin Ridley WR 173 60 113 24 26 -2
Vance McDonald TE 183 76 107 9 29 -20
Jaylen Samuels RB 214 109 105 42 45 -3
Nick Chubb RB 124 19 105 12 8 4
Christian Kirk WR 181 79 102 32 37 -5
Patrick Mahomes QB 133 33 100 1 8 -7
Jared Cook TE 159 66 93 7 7 0
Chris Godwin WR 144 51 93 20 2 18
Dede Westbrook WR 193 104 89 43 41 2
James Washington WR 201 113 88 45 53 -8
D.J. Moore WR 145 57 88 22 16 6
Austin Hooper TE 175 89 86 11 6 5
Kenny Golladay WR 129 45 84 18 9 9
O.J. Howard TE 126 47 79 4 28 -24
George Kittle TE 100 21 79 3 2 1
Aaron Jones RB 109 30 79 14 2 12
Courtland Sutton WR 168 95 73 37 19 18
Donte Moncrief WR 210 140 70 51 170 -119
Mike Williams WR 133 63 70 25 40 -15
Tyler Lockett WR 124 54 70 21 13 8
Dallas Goedert TE 204 136 68 18 10 8
Austin Ekeler RB 151 88 63 38 4 34
Kalen Ballage RB 200 138 62 53 68 -15
Nyheim Hines RB 189 127 62 50 42 8
Latavius Murray RB 137 77 60 34 28 6
DeSean Jackson WR 205 149 56 55 125 -70
James Conner RB 70 14 56 7 35 -28
Eric Ebron TE 123 68 55 8 26 -18
Matt Ryan QB 150 96 54 6 11 -5
Geronimo Allison WR 167 114 53 46 86 -40
Robert Woods WR 99 47 52 19 14 5
Marlon Mack RB 82 32 50 16 22 -6

Volatility is the characteristic that most closely sums up this list. Chris Godwin, Kenny Golladay and Austin Ekeler were league-winners for a majority of their fantasy owners. Others had less-than-stellar results, as only eight players came close to their ADP value.

Looking at historical data from 2016 to present, it seems like the 2019 season had a higher percentage of hits from this category than in previous seasons. Digging in further, we see that the majority of quick risers failed to live up to their lofty ADP expectations by the time the season was done. I will spare you the massive data tables going back to 2016, but grouping and summarizing this historical data into the below data table gives an interesting perspective.

This dataset consists of all players who had an ADP rise of more than 50 places during the season n+1. This is broken down by percentage of total players who fit into one of three categories: 

  • Players who outperformed their position ADP by more than five places for WR/RB and three places for QB/TE
  • Players who had season-long performances within five places of their ADP for WR/RB and three places for QB/TE
  • Players who underperformed their position ADP by more than five places for WR/RB and three places for QB/TE

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