What Is Value Based Drafting in Fantasy Football?

Value Based Drafting (VBD) in fantasy football is a strategy that involves selecting players based on the comparative advantage they provide over the average player at the same position. This approach prioritizes securing players who are predicted to outperform their peers by the largest margin, rather than simply choosing the highest-scoring players.

The Principles of Value Based Drafting

Understanding the Concept of Value

VBD is based on the idea that a player’s value in fantasy football is not just determined by the points they score but by how much they outscore other players at their position. It’s about the relative advantage a player offers.

Calculating Value Over Replacement

The core of VBD involves calculating the Value Over Replacement Player (VORP), which measures how much a player scores over an average or ‘replacement-level’ player at the same position.

Implementing Value Based Drafting in Your Strategy

Preparing for the Draft

  1. Rank Players by Position: Start by ranking players within each position based on projected points.
  2. Determine Baseline Players: Identify the ‘replacement player’ for each position – usually the last starter taken in drafts or a player you can freely get off waivers.
  3. Calculate VORP: For each player, subtract the baseline player’s projected points from the player’s projected points to determine their VORP.

During the Draft

  • Draft for Value, Not Just Points: Use VORP to guide your draft. A player with a higher VORP is more valuable, even if they score fewer total points than another player at a different position.
  • Adjust to Draft Flow: Be flexible and adjust your strategy based on how the draft unfolds. Monitor which positions are being drafted rapidly and adjust your VORP calculations and strategy accordingly.

Benefits of Value Based Drafting

Maximizing Draft Efficiency

VBD helps ensure that each pick maximizes the value added to your team, helping you build a stronger, more competitive squad.

Providing a Structured Drafting Framework

VBD offers a clear, numbers-based framework for making drafting decisions, reducing the likelihood of making picks based on emotion or personal bias.

Challenges and Considerations with VBD

Dynamic Nature of Fantasy Football

Injuries, breakout performances, and shifts in team strategies can quickly change a player’s value, meaning the effectiveness of VBD can be influenced by unpredictable factors.

The Importance of Accurate Projections

The success of VBD is heavily reliant on the accuracy of your player projections. Misjudging a player’s projected performance can lead to suboptimal drafting decisions.

Fine-Tuning Your Value Based Drafting Approach

Regularly Update Your Rankings and Projections

As new information becomes available (injuries, trades, etc.), update your rankings and projections to ensure your VBD calculations reflect the most current data.

Be Mindful of Positional Scarcity

While VBD focuses on value over replacement, don’t ignore positional scarcity. Securing players in scarce positions can be crucial, even if their VORP is not the highest.

Balance VBD with Other Strategies

Consider integrating VBD with other drafting strategies, like tier-based drafting or targeting high-upside players, to build a well-rounded and competitive team.

The Final Game Plan: Mastering Value Based Drafting

Value Based Drafting is more than just a drafting strategy; it’s a comprehensive approach to building a competitive fantasy football team by maximizing the value of each draft pick. By understanding and implementing the principles of VBD, you can make informed, strategic decisions that go beyond surface-level point projections, diving deeper into the relative value players bring to your team. While challenges like the dynamic nature of the NFL and the need for accurate projections remain, a well-executed VBD strategy can be the key to drafting a winning fantasy football roster. In the ever-evolving game of fantasy football, embracing VBD is a testament to a manager’s analytical skills, adaptability, and strategic vision, paving the way to success in the virtual gridiron.