Dynasty League Football


2023 Off-Season Mock Drafts: Mock Draft Simulator vs ADP

Our off-season mock draft series continues with another rookie mock.

Anthony Richardson

With two months of rookie mock draft data accumulated over the course of 20 mock drafts, I was curious how our very own Mock Draft Simulator Tool stacked up with the results we are seeing in the most recent DLF mock drafts.

I’ll compare the March superflex rookie ADP results with the results of a five-round, superflex rookie draft using the Mock Draft Simulator Tool, where I was randomly assigned the sixth pick. I’m curious to see how close the mock draft tool is to the ADP, and if any player’s ADPs seem misaligned, is their ADP being skewed by one or two outliers in the mocks? So, with the explanation and intentions out of the way, let’s see how this plays out.

Round One

I was surprised to see CJ Stroud fall to 1.05 in my mock draft. According to the ADP data, he never fell below 1.03. Although Jahmyr Gibbs was taken with the third pick in my mock, ADP indicates that he will fall into the 5/6/7 range in actual drafts. I tend to lean towards the results of my mock draft, as running back scarcity often leads to some meteoric climbs in ADP once real drafts commence.

ADP and the mock draft both had the same top-nine selections, albeit in a different order. The mock draft tool had Michael Mayer, Zach Evans, and Kayshon Boutte drafted in the first, while ADP indicates that they’re on the outside looking in at Zach Charbonnet, Zay Flowers, and Josh Downs. If Mayer gets first-round capital in the NFL draft, he will probably climb into the back end of the first in fantasy drafts. I also suspect Charbonnet squeezes into the tail-end of the first round in fantasy drafts following the NFL draft.

For the most part, the Mock Draft Simulator Tool was in line with what we see from the ADP. At 1.06, I went with Anthony Richardson, who arguably has the highest upside of any player in the entire draft not named Bijan Robinson. I was ecstatic to get him at 1.06, and I also thought Will Levis was a tremendous value at 1.09.

Round Two

After you account for the three players who went in the first round, round two was pretty much in line with what we see in the ADP. The order was shaken up, but through 24 picks, only two players selected in the mock were not showing up in the top-24 of ADP; Hendon Hooker and Roschon Johnson. Oddly enough, Hooker and Johnson are two of the players who I predict will have the biggest post-draft bumps in the class. So, maybe the mock draft tool is a little ahead of the curve.

One of the most notable discrepancies was with Kayshon Boutte, who was taken 1.12 in the mock but is 2.12 in ADP. That full-round difference is worth keeping an eye on in mocks as your actual drafts draw nearer. There seems to be quite a bit of variance in his draft position as well, as he was selected as early as 15th overall and as low as 31st overall.

At 2.06, I went with Marvin Mims, who I initially thought I had overdrafted. But, looking at the ADP, he was right in line with where others have been taking him. ADP has him 19.40 on average as the seventh receiver drafted. In my mock, I took Mims 18th overall as WR8, right in line with what we’ve seen in the March ADP data.

Round Three

Throughout this series, I have found round three to be the round I like drafting the least. For the most part, you end with players who are in some sort of fantasy-value wasteland. You probably wouldn’t want any of these guys in the second round, and would feel better with them as a fourth-round value pick. I much prefer several of the dart-throw sleepers we’re seeing in the fourth and fifth rounds than the players typically being selected in the third round.

The results from the mock I completed compared to the March ADP are wild in comparison- especially when you consider how chalky rounds one and two were. However, this is also the time you’ll often see your home drafts go off the rails a bit, so it isn’t totally unexpected. Chris Rodriguez was taken at 3.05 but isn’t even in the top 60 in the most recent ADP. Parker Washington was selected 26th overall despite having an ADP of 42nd. On the other hand, Tanner McKee isn’t in the top 60 in ADP, but he was taken 35th overall in my mock, and I’ve seen multiple NFL mocks where McKee is drafted on day two as this year’s QB6. Assuming those NFL mocks are on the right path, the mock draft tool might be a step ahead of the ADP on him.

With my 3.06 pick, I went with the 6’7″, 264-pound mountain of a man, Darnell Washington. Spoiler alert: I eventually came back to regret this pick, and If I had a chance to do this over, I probably would have taken Chase Brown. But there are no do-overs, and this is why we do mocks. It’s always important to see how things play out when you alter your draft strategy from mock to mock, but more on that later.

Round Four

I mentioned in round three how I hated the players in that round, and here we have the opposite. Aside from the quarterbacks, I want as many of the remaining ten players on as many rosters as I can get them. The upside of the seven wide receivers alone makes my mouth start salivating. I can’t stress enough how much I like this group at their current prices. I’ll be trading back a bunch this year and asking for a fourth to be included in every deal I make- this is a great round. Imagine having traded throughout the last year or so, and you’re sitting on three or four picks in the fourth and walking away with Jayden Reed, Jonathan Mingo, Evan Hull, and Trey Palmer. You’d feel like you won the draft no matter what you do with the other rounds. Well, at least I would.

Jonathan Mingo was my selection at 4.06, and I still can’t believe he’s being drafted this low. His March ADP has him 51st overall as WR19. In my personal rankings, I currently have him 22nd overall as WR9, which means I will have an obscene amount of Mingo when the NFL season kicks off.

Round Five

Let’s get into the deep waters! Many of my leagues have five-round drafts, and I love the options you typically find here. Additionally, many dynasty managers have had enough at this point and are done drafting, so you can often make trades to get these picks on the cheap. In leagues with taxi squads, the fifth round (and beyond) is a great place to stash some deep sleepers without chewing up roster space. It is hard to put much stock into results from ADP or mocks because, at this point, many people make it a point to throw a dart, target some of “their guys” and inflate their ADPs. So, while it is worth familiarizing yourself with the names here, don’t get too married to anyone just yet, as things get pretty fluid once the picks start getting into the 50s.

With pick 5.06, I snatched up Sam LaPorta. As I alluded to earlier with my selection of Darnell Washington in round three, this pick made me regret that pick. I have little interest in drafting multiple tight ends in a rookie draft, and more often than not, I make it a point to avoid the position entirely in rookie drafts. Had I known LaPorta would have been my pick here, I would have absolutely gone with a running back or wide receiver in the third round. I still like both players and have them in my top five at the position; I just would have liked my roster construction better without double-dipping on rookie tight ends.

A Look at The Big Picture

From top to bottom, I’m happy with my draft of Richardson, Mims, Washington, Mingo, and LaPorta. In hindsight, I would have been pleased if I could’ve swapped Brown in for Washington. I didn’t feel like I reached on anyone, and aside from Brown, I didn’t miss out on anyone I hoped would make it back to me either. In any given 12-player round, I came away with my favorite player minus Bijan Robinson and Brown (again).

When comparing the results to ADP, it would seem that I got some decent values too. Richardson is the fourth player in ADP, and I got him sixth. Mims is the 17th player in ADP, and I got him 18th. Washington is 26th in ADP, and I landed him 30th. According to ADP, I might have overdrafted Mingo 42nd while he was the 51st player in ADP, but I bounced back the other way with LaPorta, who has an ADP of 35th, but I got him with pick 54. Collectively, I drafted my players 17 spots below ADP, and that’s not too bad.

This look at the mock draft simulator versus ADP opened my eyes to a few discrepancies between them. It’s always good to know where certain players peak and valley and how to capitalize on it. As we see ADP shift and mock drafts respond to those shifts (and vice versa), it’s better to be ahead of the curve than behind it. The more mock drafts you complete, the more prepared you’ll be when your rookie drafts begin. Again, be sure to check out the DLF Dynasty Mock Draft Simulator Tool and keep up with all of the dynasty, devy, rookie, and superflex ADP as well.

2023 Off-Season Mock Drafts: Mock Draft Simulator vs ADP
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