In last week's column, "Rankings in Review," I listed the top 216 players in nine-cat and eight-cat fantasy leagues for the 2013-14 regular season. These per-game rankings were based on standard deviations and z-scores, and they form the basis of today's column — by comparing a player's end-of-season fantasy value to their Average Draft Position (ADP), we can quantify the biggest busts and value-picks for the 2013-14 season.
The rankings are my own, but the ADP data is drawn from the National Fantasy Basketball Championship drafts for 2013-14. The NFBKC is a premier site with significant stakes and lucrative pay-outs (the 'main event' paid a $15,000 grand prize this year), and it draws informed and competitive fantasy owners, so the ADP data is as reliable as possible. Also note that I'm using eight-cat rankings to mirror the format of NFBKC's leagues, and my rankings exclude players who averaged less than 20 minutes per game or played in fewer than 30 games.
Before looking at the entire list, here are quick lists of the biggest value-picks and busts in typical 12-team, 14-player leagues (aka players with an ADP up to 168). These are based upon 8-cat ranks:
Top 15 Value Picks: Lance Stephenson, Randy Foye, Isaiah Thomas, Manu Ginobili, Corey Brewer, Jamal Crawford, Michael Carter-Williams, Mario Chalmers, Robin Lopez, Darren Collison, Arron Afflalo, Kyle Lowry, Kyle Korver, DeMar DeRozan and Nick Young
Top-15 Busts: O.J. Mayo, Greivis Vasquez, Ersan Ilyasova, Enes Kanter, Ben McLemore, Danny Granger, Omer Asik, Tiago Splitter, Jonas Valanciunas, Moe Harkless, Harrison Barnes, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, J.J. Hickson, Kevin Garnett, Roy Hibbert
It’s worth remembering that this year’s best ‘value picks’ in typical leagues included 14 guards and just one big man (Robin Lopez), whereas the ‘busts’ included only three guards with six forwards and six centers.
Now, let's take a look at the complete list of this season's biggest values and busts. There were 37 players who made my top-216 for fantasy value, but whose ADP did not crack the top-250 of the NFBKC. For curiosity's sake, and as a rough gauge of their value, I assigned each of these players an ADP of 250. For example, Jodie Meeks took off thanks to Kobe Bryant's injury-plagued season, and he finished as the No. 55 value in eight-cat leagues. I assigned him a theoretical ADP of 250, even though it was higher than that, and as a result he is the top value in my analysis at +195 (his actual ranking subtracted from his ADP). Players to whom I assigned an ADP of 250 have an asterisk next to their name.
Note: I've also provided this table on Google Sheets, along with the end-of-season ranking data upon which it is based. Unfortunately, the lovely formatting of my Excel spreadsheets doesn't translate to Google's system. If you want the original documents, just send me a note with your email address on Twitter (@Knaus_RW) and I will email you my original file with all the formulas, etc. It took a long time to compile all of this data and to make these charts, so I'm all for sharing it with those people interested enough to reach out.
Overall, this table shows 137 players exceeding their ADP with 79 players losing value. It is skewed in favor of 'value-picks' because, as noted, I assigned an ADP to players who went undrafted in most NFBKC leagues and also tossed out players who were drafted but didn't meet my original 20-minute/30-game criteria. Low-end players therefore surged in value, while some high-profile busts like Kobe Bryant, Al Horford and others were excluded entirely.
Unsurprisingly, ranked players whose ADP slipped beyond 250 are considered terrific value picks, and they comprise 13 of the top 15 players in my complete list (Trevor Ariza and Terrence Jones are the exceptions). All of the top-10 values are PGs, SGs or SFs, with Timofey Mozgov* finally breaking the streak as the No. 11 value.