Value Based Drafting Part IThursday, June 14, 2012
Here's a graph that shows the games played expectation for RBs.
You can see that from RB1 through RB35 or so, the trend is gradually downward. Then it falls off a cliff. But it actually takes all of the running back games from RB1 through RB35 to satisfy our league's need for 408 running back games. Then RB36 through RB44 are used to satisfy the Flex requirement. In total that means that RB1-RB44 are equal to the demand for RBs.
Then here is the graph for WRs:
You can see that when it comes to WRs, the games played expectation is actually relatively flat until about WR20, at which point it starts to head south. To satisfy the 408 games needed for just the WR position we end up using WR1-WR29. The Flex position accounts for WR30-WR44. It just happens to be coincidence that in order to account for all of the needed RB games and all of the needed WR games (including Flex) it takes about 44 players from each position. The actual makeup of the Flex position is determined by which position yields more points in that range. Basically, by that point WR is just a little more reliable for points that RB and that's why more WRs go into the Flex spot. We'll discuss this issue a little further in Part II of this series because it's fairly important to your draft.
When you look at TE it ends up being about 15 players to satisfy the game requirements of our league. Here is the graph that shows the games played expectation for tight ends. This one is actually extremely interesting. Because some of the top tight ends like Dallas Clark and Antonio Gates have missed significant parts of seasons, the games played expectation actually goes up as you go from TE1 to TE15.
The following table summarizes the results of the exercise that we've just done for each position.
|Position||Bottom Player for Baseline|
||RB36-RB44 and WR30-WR44
Again, all this table is doing is quantifying how roster sizes, injuries, and the potential that a player might be benched, come together to create requirements for each position. We've looked at how many games we might expect to get out of each player in order to do this.
We're then going to take that information and use it to set our baseline in VBD. So instead of using TE9 as the baseline for TE (as the Top 100 Method of VBD would propose) we're going to use TE15 as the baseline. That is going to increase the relative value of the top tight ends like Rob Gronkowski and Jimmy Graham because their basis of comparison is now a lower ranked TE. Also, instead of using 38 or 39 spots for running back and receiver, we're going to use RB44 and WR44 as our baseline. That is going to increase the value of the top RB and WRs. The biggest difference between our supply/demand method of setting a baseline and the Top 100 Method of setting a baseline is in QB. That position's baseline moved the least compared to the Top 100 Method, which means that QB might be undervalued by the Top 100 Method.
You could actually take the results of this research and plug in any projections that you might have. You would just look at every player and compare their projected points to the baselines that I calculated above. I'm actually going to do some of that in Part II of this series where I'll look at what these new VBD baselines will mean for this year's fantasy draft and which players might be undervalued by the broad market.