My Fantasy Football career has strictly focused on the season long version of the game. My value based drafting strategy only works for a full season, as the weekly pricing of players is a whole different animal than a snake draft.
So how can I create my own version of Weekly Value Based Drafting?
This will be a week-by-week, trial by error process in which I mold a VBD strategy. I am going to start with what seems closest to the process I know works and try to tweak it as needed.
I will first discuss the behind the scenes actions of this process and then provide my targets based on the value based drafting strategy.
Without further ado, let’s get right down to it.
Value Based Drafting
Some people do not like dealing with projections, saying that they, “are always wrong anyway.” What people with this thought are not seeing is that you are not trying to project the exact score for a player; you want to find a range that the player’s scoring output should end up in.
Once we have established a scoring range/estimate for each player, we can then evaluate their value and pricing. I create my own set of projections for each individual player, but you can use whichever website you trust the most or even the consensus projections that the Fantasy Pros provide.
I will be focusing on only Fan Duel for the first week as I try to construct this strategy. So after I calculate my projections on a spreadsheet, I then input each player’s price from Fan Duel.
This is probably a good spot to point out that I will be focusing just on the Sunday/Monday games as I try to keep it simple at first. Maybe later in the season I will add the Thursday games or compare prices with Draft Kings, but baby steps.
In a snake draft, I use a player’s PAR (points above replacement) to assign values to each person. Since there is not “replacement level” in weekly just different prices to roster each guy, I needed a different way to quantify each player.
After playing with a few different formulas (some were WAY out there), I found one that is easily understood and readable. We will call this their Value Factor or VF. The VF is calculated by dividing the player’s cost by their projected points, and then multiplying the quotient by 0.01 to get a more comparable number.
So if Drew Brees costs $8,900 and he is projected to get 18.57 points, the formula would look like this:
VF = (8900/18.57) X 0.01 = 4.79
You’re basically finding the price per point for each player, while keeping the number smaller for easier comparisons.
The reason I want to keep the number smaller is that you (for the most part) are only comparing players within a position. Since you can literally have whomever you want on your roster, it’s better to find the overall best value per position, rather than between all players.
I have used a very similar strategy in auction drafts the past two seasons, and it has worked quite well. Instead of having a set “strategy” of Studs/Duds, all third rounders, etc., you strictly stick to which players’ costs give your team the most value.
Week 1 Targets
After calculating the VF’s for the Top 200 or so players, I definitely saw some values that I am going to exploit. Each week I will be providing this under-valued players by the system, as well as looking back at how the system worked the previous week. I will also explain any changes that might need to be made.
As far as defenses and kickers go, I have not yet added them to the matrix, because I want to see how it works with the position players first. After a couple of weeks are down, I will add in both of the last positions for the games that involve them.
Value of the Week
Carson Palmer, VF : 3.95
Palmer gets the porous and injured New Orleans defense this week, and I have him projected at 19.50 points. At a measly cost of just $7,700, he is the 16th most expensive quarterback, but I have him projected to score the fifth most points.
Alex Smith, VF : 4.09
I don’t know how much of Hard Knocks you watched, but I feel like the Texans’ front seven will be able to stop the run. Their secondary, on the other hand, looks suspect, so I think Alex Smith will test them with his shiny new weapon, Jeremy Maclin.
Matt Forte, VF : 4.06
Eddie Lacy, VF : 4.17
Lamar Miller, VF : 4.74
Alfred Blue, VF : 4.85
I will try to give you different levels of value at each tier of running back so that you can construct your team whichever way you would like. In Week 1, you get two elite backs that provide great value. Forte and Lacy are projected to get 21.6 and 20.4 points respectively, while only costing $8,800 and $8,500.
Lamar Miller is still priced at only $7,300, but that could change if he has a big day against a bad Redskins defense. Alfred Blue is the cheap play at $5,800, but is still projected at just a hair over 12 points.
Marques Colston, VF : 4.18
Randall Cobb, VF : 4.25
Odell Beckham Jr., VF : 4.26
Larry Fitzgerald, VF : 4.27
Again, we have a couple of elite options, then two solid mid-tier players. Cobb is the seventh most expensive receiver, but I have him projected to score the third most points. Beckham is properly ranked (second most expensive and projected points) but gives you more value with an expected 21 points coming Sunday night.
Colston and Fitzgerald are the old guys that win you leagues in Fantasy Football. No one goes out of their way to take them, hence their low prices of $5,500 and $6,000, respectively. I still have each getting 13-plus points, so they should pay off for the cheap price.
Martellus Bennett, VF : 4.61
Jordan Cameron, VF 4.66
With Gronk playing Thursday and a tough matchup for Jimmy Graham, this will definitely be a value-week at tight end. Marty B gets the Packers in what should be a shootout, but will only cost you $6,200 for his 13.45 projected points. Jordan Cameron is even cheaper at $5,500 and still likely to surpass 12 points.
My All-Value Team
QB: Carson Palmer
RB: Matt Forte
RB: Alfred Blue
WR: Odell Beckham Jr.
WR: Randall Cobb
WR: Marques Colston
TE: Jordan Cameron
K: Randy Bullock
D/ST: Cleveland Browns
I am definitely using Carson Palmer on most teams this week. Alfred Blue’s low cost makes him an easy pick as Houston will not want to put much on Brian Hoyer’s shoulders. I’m leaning Forte over Lacy just because Cutler will dump off to him as they try to catch up.
At receiver, I am going with the two elite values as well as the overall value at the position in Colston. I only have the space to take Cameron over Bennett, but I could be talked into going with Marty B and Lacy instead of Cameron and Forte.
As far as a kicker, I want someone in a dome (or nice weather) and a sub-par quarterback that will lead to field goals. Then I will be taking a defense playing a bad quarterback, and the Jets’ QB situation fits that bill.
I will be mix and matching the value plays on a number of $1 and $2 heads up/double up games. I caution to keep this advice at that level for now; at least until we have a good sample size to prove that it is profitable.
When in doubt and unsure about weekly value based drafting, just make a team of your season long opponent’s players to have a level of satisfaction should they go off for a monster week.
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