Drafting for Success?

After looking at Gav’s post on draft value I thought i’d build on his work and add a couple of twists to try and iron-out the problems he identified.

Gav’s calculation used a compound score that based value on a sliding scale of variables assigning arbitrary value based on draft position. This created a scoring system that favoured high scorers in lower rounds and positions where a high average score is the norm.

As Gav noted this leaves us with a QB and K heavy value chart and although it would be correct to say that these positions are valuable perhaps the more important question for us is;

“Am i getting value for my selection in the round I selected the player?”

In developing this calculation I’ve also made a number of assumptions. The first is I’ve assumed that the perfect draft would have seen a processional selection process of the highest to lowest scores (i.e. the best RB should have been the first RB taken and so on). The second assumption I’ve made is the selections we made as a group within each round defined the value a position had within a given round at that given point of the draft (early picks not scoring highly will be heavily penalised). My third and final assumption was the performance of a player away from his original team was not taken into account for the players overall performance).

I haven’t posted all of the calculation here, but what it showed me was that if we compared the top 180 fantasy points scorers for the season with the 180 players we selected in the draft only 25 players were selected at a position where their output exceed expectation. Every other player under-performed.

Lets repeat that: Only 25 players out of the 180 we selected exceed the score they were expected to reach!

This sounds horrendous and although we have take into account the frightening attrition of players in the NFL it does show the difficulty of “getting it right” in the draft. Considering most of our GMs draft from draft value sheets available from media outlets in print and from the web it reflects poorly on the consensus of “expert knowledge” or does it?

Although our bottom 20 picks are littered with players injured during the season there are also a number who perhaps spent far too long on a roster when they could have been moved on for value at another position. Players such as Ryan Tannehill, Tony Romo, Cardinals DST and LeSean McCoy are the glaring examples.

On the opposite side of the coin just outside the bottom 20 there are a number of notable casualties of impatience. Players such as Torrey Smith (21st ranked WR) who scored only  15 of his 96 points, Steven Jackson (20th ranked RB) who scored 0 of his 100 points, Jordan Matthews (19th ranked WR) who scored 0 of his 110 points, and Jeremy Hill (14th ranked RB) who scored 10 of his 114 for their original teams.

So, without giving anything away for the awards night in February here are the Top and Bottom 20 draft picks for this season (excluding the top/bottom 3):

Draft Highlights (Top 20)

RND PICK POS Player Selected By Points Expected PLUS/MINUS
8 76.50
3 75.10
2 71.20
9 2 WR Emmanuel Sanders Kelso 187s 147.40 86.30 61.10
5 6 QB Andrew Luck Earlstonian Bohemians 297.74 243.32 54.42
5 1 WR T.Y. Hilton Tranent International Tornadoes 146.50 112.00 34.50
1 11 RB Marshawn Lynch Jimmy’s Jerman Jaguars 197.30 164.20 33.10
3 12 RB Andre Ellington Nitten Pickaxe 125.50 96.50 29.00
2 11 WR Antonio Brown Kelso 187s 174.90 146.50 28.40
2 7 TE Rob Gronkowski Earlstonian Bohemians 145.00 119.00 26.00
14 6 RB Ahmad Bradshaw Oakbank Oddities 79.90 55.40 24.50
3 4 RB Alfred Morris Dodgy Touchdown 143.80 120.30 23.50
2 9 WR Jordy Nelson Dodgy Touchdown 171.90 151.90 20.00
11 7 WR DeAndre Hopkins Oakbank Oddities 91.00 78.60 12.40
1 9 RB Arian Foster Earlston Earthquakes 177.60 165.60 12.00
3 3 WR Randall Cobb Pilton Panthers 153.90 145.00 8.90
10 9 PK Justin Tucker Dodgy Touchdown 116.00 110.00 6.00
10 6 PK Stephen Gostkowski Oakbank Oddities 122.00 118.00 4.00
7 12 TE Greg Olsen Nitten Pickaxe 98.70 95.40 3.30
11 3 PK Matt Bryant Pilton Panthers 107.00 104.00 3.00

Draft Lowlights (Bottom 20)

13 2 PK Sebastian Janikowski Kelso 187s 0.00 102.00 -102.00
2 10 RB Doug Martin Pilton Panthers 28.00 131.50 -103.50
11 2 DST Arizona Kelso 187s 3.00 108.00 -105.00
4 8 WR Victor Cruz Mercy Flush 23.00 128.40 -105.40
10 5 PK Matt Prater SanFran Gordon 69ers 10.00 120.00 -110.00
13 10 QB Ryan Tannehill Fog on the Tyne 18.66 134.78 -116.12
6 10 QB Nick Foles Pilton Panthers 104.90 225.02 -120.12
3 1 RB Ryan Mathews Tranent International Tornadoes 5.70 126.00 -120.30
1 1 RB LeSean McCoy Tranent International Tornadoes 93.90 215.00 -121.10
11 6 QB Tony Romo Mercy Flush 65.28 187.12 -121.84
7 1 DST Seattle Tranent International Tornadoes 14.00 153.00 -139.00
6 1 QB Matthew Stafford Nitten Pickaxe 98.18 242.24 -144.06
1 6 RB Montee Ball Earlstonian Bohemians 27.40 172.70 -145.30
12 10 QB Andy Dalton Pilton Panthers 24.46 171.06 -146.60
12 11 QB Alex Smith Kelso 187s 22.72 169.64 -146.92
13 7 QB Johnny Manziel Oakbank Oddities 0.00 164.02 -164.02
12 12 QB Blake Bortles Tranent International Tornadoes 0.00 164.46 -164.46
8 -166.68
1 -189.60
7 -194.56

Now the tables above are great and give us some idea of our drafting ability, but what I wanted to do with this analysis is look a little bit deeper and see if we can spot some trends in the draft. Was there a secret formula that would have led to success or do we just have to buy lottery ticket and hope for the best.

Over the off-season I’ll be writing a series of articles commenting on our strategy for each position. Next I’ll begin with the big hitters: Running Backs.


One thought on “Drafting for Success?

  1. this is good stuff
    i’d not included projected stats in my calculations, but i do think some weighting needs to be given to round/actual draft number and also to position. I’d gone for a simple 15 point spread – i/e you should expect your first round pick to score on average 15 more points a week than your fifteenth round, but that could also be modified by position, and maybe its more or less than 15 points.


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