Fantasy Football 2013 Rankings Based On Value Based Drafting (VBD)

Jul 07 3:11pm

As a fantasy football player, you have gone through a few stages. Many start out drafting their favorite players from their favorite team, which is fun and perfectly fine, but then you move to the next stage which requires actual research. Booo! But hey, you get into it and get more familiar with the non-names in the NFL. You are slowly widening your knowledge base. This is about the time you hear people talking about Value Based Drafting.

As you do more research, Value Based Drafting usually happens to you without you ever realizing it. When you first started playing you were quick to jump on the star quarterbacks and other big name players, but when you start preparing and strategizing who to draft and when, you begin to wonder who and what positions are more valuable to make your team as productive as possible from top to bottom. You can say with some confidence that a player like Alfred Morris is a better pick than DeMarco Murray, but is he a better pick than Dez Bryant or Jimmy Graham? How do you decide who is more valuable in your fantasy football league between different positions?

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When that question hits, you start calculating in your mind the pool of players for a position versus the number of starters you need at that position, or what is called position scarcity. And then you wonder, how many players swimming around in that pool are good enough not to drown, i.e., hurt your fake team. Joe Bryant, the godfather of VBD, says it well, “The value of a player is determined not by the number of points he scores, but by how much he outscores his peers at his particular position.”

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 method? Well, first, you ask someone else to do it for you. I am no particle physicist 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 Frank Dupont has figured a good baseline number for each position which makes sense if you read his articles. He factors in injuries, and the player pool supply versus demand.

The baseline numbers Mr. Dupont came up with are, QB16, RB40, WR44 and TE18 for a 12 team Standard league with 1 QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, and RB/WR Flex. What you then do with those numbers is go to your projections (oh yeah, you have to make projections for this to work) and then look at the total number of fantasy points for the 16th ranked quarterback, 40th ranked running back and so on and so forth. We would find that the QB16 scored 250 points, RB40 – 94, WR44 – 115 and TE18 – 88. We then take those fantasy totals for each position and subtract them from each players’ projected numbers for 2013 and we come up with an overall VBD score that helps even the fantasy playing field. I went ahead and ran those numbers for my projections and came up with an overall ranking based on VBD which is just below.

These rankings won’t be what my overall rankings look like because we use rankings to draft and I don’t like overpaying for players. You have to bring together all your knowledge when drafting to get the most possible value out of each pick, so I take Average Draft Position and VBD and come to a happy medium when setting the overall rankings.

We aren’t all going to value the individual players the same, but I believe that we can more accurately value positions and players by using Value Based Drafting.

Here are my initial rankings based solely on VBD:

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