2022 Best Ball Strategy: Revisiting ADP Differences Between DraftKings and Underdog

2022 Best Ball Strategy: Revisiting ADP Differences Between DraftKings and Underdog

This article is part of our Best Ball Strategy series.

I wrote an article three weeks ago highlighting ADP discrepancies between Underdog and DraftKings. In some cases, it was just a matter of a player going much earlier on one site than another, with differences in scoring systems sometimes playing a role. But there were also cases — including WR Diontae Johnson and TE Dallas Goedert — where players were actually being drafted later on the site with scoring that seems more favorable to them.

Not much has changed for Johnson, who still has a fourth-round ADP on Underdog (half PPR) and fifth-round ADP on DraftKings (full PPR). That, after catching 88 passes in 2020 (5.9 per game) and 107 in 2021 (6.7). On the other side of the coin, Derrick Henry and Nick Chubb continue to go slightly earlier on DraftKings, on average, despite taking a slight hit from the added emphasis on receptions.

Chubb and Henry do benefit from the yardage bonuses on DK, as do frequent 300-yard passers like Patrick Mahomes and Tom Brady. It's somewhat of an equalizer between the elite passers and the dual threats, as even Lamar Jackson and Kyler Murray don't get nearly as many bonuses as Mahomes and Brady (something we discussed in the previous ADP article). 

Apart from the yardage bonuses and half-PPR vs full, scoring is the same on DraftKings and Underdog. Let's look at some of the recent ADP findings that can guide us to draft players on one site over the other; note that there are quite a few repeats from last time... possibly because the ADP numbers influence how people draft?

Get 'Em on DraftKings

RB Tony Pollard 

UD ADP: 81.6 — DK ADP: 87.0

DK drafters are bullish on Ezekiel Elliott and bearish on Pollard, at least relative to counterparts on Underdog. The recent chatter about Pollard getting more slot snaps might just turn out to be camp hype, but there is an argument for a larger role than he had last season, not to mention his RB1 upside in the event of a Zeke injury. Running backs tend to come off the board faster on DraftKings, even though it's full-PPR scoring, but Pollard is one of the exceptions where we see relative value at RB rather than WR. He caught 39 passes off the bench last year, and has one target for every three carries to this point in his career.


WR Stefon Diggs

UD: 8.2 — DK: 10.5

We'd rather have Diggs on a full PPR site, so all the better that he tends to be cheaper on DraftKings. I've been pleased to pair Diggs with Joe Mixon around the 1-2 turn, especially in 12-man leagues where it's ok to sacrifice some upside for stability. (Check out my recent article on strategy for these smaller best ball contests.)


WR Drake London

UD: 75.2 — DK: 86.1

London should probably be going later on Underdog, where we're more concerned with TDs and less interested in lower-efficiency, higher-volume projections. But London has been cheaper on DraftKings all summer, and the gap in recent days has been nearly a full round.


TE Kyle Pitts 

UD: 32.5 — DK: 35.0

The ADP gap here is only 2.5 spots, but it's noteworthy because tight ends tend to go earlier on DraftKings, and Pitts is an exception despite seemingly being best suited to PPR (strong volume projection, sketchy offense, one TD last year, etc.). Players at the onesie positions (QB & TE) tend to go earlier on DraftKings, where drafts are 20 rounds instead of 18 on Underdog. A lot more teams on DK draft three QBs/TEs, and that might have some psychological impact even if it's not all that logical to be more worried about positional scarcity in the early stages of a longer draft.



QB Trey Lance (UD: 77.7 — DK: 86.2)

RB Tony Pollard (UD: 81.6 — DK: 87.0)

RB Ronald Jones (UD: 123.6 — DK: 134.3)

WR Marquise Brown (UD: 37.8 — DK: 47.0)

WR Diontae Johnson (UD: 44.4 — DK: 50.4)

WR Elijah Moore (UD: 68.4 — DK: 76.6)

WR Rashod Bateman (UD: 54.4 — DK: 59.8)

WR Kadarius Toney (UD: 82.6 — DK: 92.8)

WR Treylon Burks (UD: 94.7 — DK: 106.3)

WR Skyy Moore (UD: 99.8 — DK: 112.4)

WR Jakobi Meyers (UD: 129.3 — DK: 136.1)

WR Jameson Williams (UD: 139.4 — DK: 165.9)

WR K.J. Osborn (UD: 146.0 — DK: 157.5)


Get 'Em on Underdog

QB Patrick Mahomes

UD: 51.3 — DK: 36.7

Mahomes is going at QB4 on Underdog and QB2 on DraftKings. Yardage bonuses help him, but not by that much, especially around the Round 3/4 turn where we're still comparing him to RB, WRs and TEs who benefit from full-PPR scoring when compared to later picks at the positions. I'm fine with taking Mahomes over George Kittle in Round 5. But in Round 3 over Kyle Pitts or Darren Waller? Nope.


RB Rashaad Penny

UD: 90.8 — DK: 72.7

Everything out of Seattle suggests Penny will be the Week 1 starter while second-round pick Kenneth Walker is eased in off the bench. Fair enough, given Penny's fantastic finish to last season, but durability remains a concern, and the lousy QB situation is a constraint on the entire Seattle offense. Penny's price on Underdog checks out; not so much on DK where Penny goes a round and a half earlier.


RB Damien Harris

UD: 91.2 — DK: 78.7

Harris had nearly as many touchdowns (15) as catches (18) last year. He should be going later on DK, not a full round earlier, but it seems RB anxiety outweighs considerations about the scoring system. Harris may get cheaper on both sites over the next few days, with camp hype working in favor of backfield mate Rhamondre Stevenson.


WR Allen Lazard

UD: 78.4 — DK: 70.5

Part of the appeal with Lazard is that he can manage some fantasy value as a red-zone and deep threat even if he's one of the least frequently targeted No. 1 receivers in the league. Just last year he scored eight times on 60 targets, giving him 14 TDs and 13.3 yards per catch across 159 career targets. Lazard probably won't catch more than 60-70 passes, but he doesn't need to in order to provide value, especially in standard scoring or half-PPR leagues where the TDs and deep balls vault him ahead of higher-volume receivers with fewer big plays. (Also note that Aaron Rodgers goes about a round later on UD, making the Rodgers-Lazard stack a much better value here than on DraftKings.)



QB Josh Allen (UD: 30.5 — DK: 23.3)

QB Lamar Jackson (UD: 50.2 — DK: 47.8)

QB Tua Tagovailoa (UD: 133.3 — DK: 123.9)

RB Ezekiel Elliott (UD: 40.0— DK: 37.6)

RB Josh Jacobs (UD: 62.6— DK: 56.4)

WR Adam Thielen (UD: 66.9 — DK: 62.7)

WR DJ Chark: (UD: 154.9 — DK: 153.3)

WR Byron Pringle (UD: 214.1 — DK: 207.5)

TE Dallas Goedert (UD: 98.0 — DK: 90.7)

TE Mike Gesicki (UD: 136.6 — DK: 122.2)

TE Albert Okwuegbunam (UD: 152.8 — DK: 142.0)


Other ADP Notes


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Jerry Donabedian
Jerry was a 2018 finalist for the FSWA's Player Notes Writer of the Year and DFS Writer of the Year awards. A Baltimore native, Jerry roots for the Ravens and watches "The Wire" in his spare time.
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