The Fake Football, Value Based Drafting
June 15, 2012 | Chet
I’ve always followed Value Based Drafting to an extent. It’s pretty much common sense. When you look at the top fake football point getters from year to year, the top 10 are mostly quarterbacks, but for some crazy reason the first round of your draft isn’t 10 QBs and a couple RBs. Oh right, Value Based Drafting is what you are doing even if you didn’t know it. The Football Guys first popularized VBD, but there are a few different ways to run the numbers.
I’m going to throw some links at you if you are interested in reading up on Value Based Drafting. First off is a good Football Guys article — The Principles of VBD Revisited. Then a very recent two-part column from Frank Dupont on VBD at Rotoworld — Value Based Drafting.
I will do my best to sum up Value Based Drafting as concisely as possible here, but those two articles will give you a deeper understanding.
VBD is all about the V, Value. Every time you ask yourself, which player is worth more to my fantasy team?, you are practicing the ancient art of VBD. So we do it intuitively by not stacking up the first round with quarterbacks even though they are the high scorers each season, but how do we quantify this intuition? Well, first, you ask someone else to do it for you. I am no mathmagician and figuring out how to put a number on value for each position is right to the edge of my sight. I can understand it when I see it, but figuring the numbers tears my brain ACL. So Mr. Dupont has figured a new baseline number for each position which makes sense if you read his article.
Numbers for QBs, RBs and TEs fall off pretty quickly as you go from Rodgers to Hasselbeck, which means their value, relative to wide receivers, is higher. (Mr. Dupont wrote a guest post for us on the subject of wide receivers: The Wide Receivers) But then you of course have to look at their value, relative to each other, which Mr. Dupont does in correlation to position scarcity, and running backs easily come out on top of the heap. So if you were to look at drafting your fake team in a vacuum (oh the fun) you would probably go RB, RB, TE/QB, TE/QB, WR/RB, WR/RB, WR/RB or something along those lines. Of course each draft is different, blah, blah and blah.
So, the baseline numbers Mr. Dupont kajiggered are, QB15, RB44, WR44 and TE15 for a league with 1 QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, and RB/WR Flex. What you then do with those numbers is go to the scoring system you used to make your own projections (oh yeah, you have to make projections for this to work) and then look at the total number of fantasy points for the 15th ranked quarterback, 44th ranked running back and so on and on. Since we used ESPN scoring in our projections, we would go to the 2011 ESPN Scoring Leaders and take a look-see. We would find that the QB15 scored 195 points, RB44 – 71, WR44 – 93 and TE15 – 83. We then take those numbers and subtract them from each players’ projected numbers for 2012 and we come up with an overall VBD ranking that you’ll see just below here.
Ok, you are allowed to look. Go!
This list of course will not be what Jeff’s overall Top 200 list will look like. Why? you ask Well, thanks for asking. The easy answer is because you can get some of those running backs later in the draft. You have to bring together all your knowledge when drafting to get the most possible value out of each pick. Average Draft Position is of course one of those pieces of knowledge.
But what this list does tell us is that we can wait on wide receivers and still get value; that you can get a quarterback like Tony Romo, Eli Manning or Michael Vick at great value for where they are being drafted; that you should draft running backs early; and that I really like pastels.
We aren’t all going to value the individual players the same, but I believe that we can more accurately value positions by using Value Based Drafting. Thank you and good night.