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Some analysis from my fantasy league " the beast"

Some football analysis of the draft

I’ve waited till almost the end of the season to talk about my leagues draft.
I’m using no hindsight just cold brutal hard facts based on the evidence. As I’m writing this I’m imaging myself standing over a dead body like a detective about to examine the evidence. That body is a fantasy team and in my case could quite literally be my fantasy team in this league. So where do you start with any analysis at the beginning draft day. For this write up it will focus only there if you like what you have read and want more I will follow up with others.

So the simple question to ask is who made the playoffs and where did they draft.

#1 Anders didn’t make the playoffs.

First two picks wide receivers

#2 Ian made the playoffs

First two picks balanced

#3 Kieron made the playoffs

First two picks running backs

#4 Gordon made the playoffs

First two picks balanced meaning one running back and wide receiver

Now out of those that had the cream of the crop 3/4 made the playoffs that’s 75%

#5 Shani didn’t make the playoffs

First two picks unique meaning one of both was either a tight end or QB

#6 George didn’t make the playoffs

First two picks balanced

#7 Alan z didn’t make the playoffs

First two picks both wide receivers.

#8 Mark made the playoffs

First two picks Running backs

Now out of the next four teams only 1/4 made the playoffs that’s just

#9 Dean made the playoffs

First two picks balanced

#10 Simon made the playoffs

First two picks running back

#11 Jon made the playoffs

First two picks running backs

#12 Jane could make playoffs

First two picks balanced

At this point I should point out there is one week to go in the league and the last playoff spot is in doubt so someone I’ve said could make it might not but those in bold have all played well enough to make it.

Looking at the odds it very likely that one of this bunch will miss the playoffs making this 3/4 who do or if you like 75%

#13 Alan (feelers) made the playoffs

First two picks wide receivers

So that’s from pick 8 through to pick 13 in the playoff hunt with one likely to just fall short.

#14 Randy Cowboys didn’t make playoffs

First two picks unique

#15 Pam didn’t make the playoffs

Two wide receivers

16 Me didn’t make the playoffs

Two wide receivers

In the last four teams only 1/4 made the playoffs so that’s 25%

So what can we tell from the draft data
Remember I’m using no information about trades ect it’s just based on if you made it or not.
In this years draft if we take top eight draft spots four made it to the playoffs
In the bottom eight draft spots four made it.
So one would initially assume perfect parity well yes and no.
If you picked in the last four draft spots you had a 25% chance to make it and if you picked in the first four you had a 75% chance to make it.
So why the disparity?
There’s no one answer here but in all true-fulness at the top of the draft board you are picking from the cream of the NFL and at the bottom from those that could bloom. If you look at another way this first pick is the player you want to anchor your team round. If you get that right you have the basis of a good start get it wrong and it’s catch up all season long. Now everyone no matter who they pick has many other chances to find the gems.
However it would be very wrong if I didn’t point out another valid point for those that took a second wide receiver in round two 4/5 didn’t make the playoffs. I was one of those teams. 80% likely you didn’t make the playoffs that’s very telling. I say it every year sometimes you can lose it from the draft day I’m now wondering if I did.

Let’s look at who was taken in order examine only round one and how many points there on after twelve weeks. This doesn’t take into account bye weeks and final week of the fantasy regular season.

Antonio Brown (160.60) team up 22.22 on average score
Todd Gurley (110.20) team down 25.18 on average score
David Johnson (229.40) team up 95.02 on average score
A Hopkins (79.00) team down 56.38 on average score
Odel Beckham (137.50) up 2.12 on average score
Adrian Peterson injured most of the season
Julio Jones (144.00) up 4.62 on average score
E Elliot (220.20) team up 84.82 on average score

The first eight teams combined first round picks scored 1083.10 total points through twelve weeks.

There was one injured player in the top eight who basically hardly played all season.

The average points per player was 135.38

Two players scored above 200 in this group both were running backs and both teams are guaranteed playoff spots irrespective of week 13 results.

A J Green (120.40)
L Miller (125.20)
J Charles injured most of the season
A Robinson (97.10)
D Bryant (85.00)
R Gronk (72.00)
S Watkins injured most of the season
A Cooper ( 114.20)

The last eight teams combined number one picks accounted for 613.90 through twelve weeks.

There were two season ending injuries in the bottom half or as good as in my book (sammy Watkins)

The average player scored 76.73

The highest score from these picks is 125.20 thats a whopping 104.20 behind the best score from the top half.

Five teams players from the top eight achieved over 125.20 again interesting.

So what does this data so far tell us simply put if went wide reciever heavy this year in the first two rounds it likely back fired. If you went with a mixed draft 4/5 of you made the playoffs and if you went running back only first two rounds it’s 3/4 of you have made the playoffs it’s still possible all four do but that will be decided next week. My instincts tell me one will miss out.

So my conclusions are so
position on the draft board is important but you can win from anywhere however let’s not forget three out of the bottom four drafters failed to reach the playoffs. That’s not just coincidence when you consider year long ability to put points up all those teams have struggled.
Don’t be to maverick with your drafting ambition it seldom works. It can but it’s risky.
If you get the wrong year i.e. This year it seemed wide receivers would be King based on last years data well simply put "no"
In the NFL things change all the time.
Two years ago running backs busted everywhere in the first round but not this year we have some elite running backs again and they will be highly sort out next year making the position thin quickly after the first two rounds.
I have personally learnt how unforgiving these large leagues are get one thing wrong early on and it hurts all season long.
So I’m going to leave you at this point with this if your picking in the bottom half of the draft first round be bold gamble more quickly take shots on players you like because the experts are wrong so often the bests gems for those drafting at those position are elsewhere not in front of your face often or the most obvious.
This should make next years draft even better.
I can go deeper with this data if you like but for now round ones and the draft are enough to simply say thank you zero RB but no thanks.f


Good stuff Sean, thanks for posting - although I am terrified now you have posted that I have made the playoffs. It only needs two final week results to go against me I think (Dean beats me, Jane beats Kieron) and I slip to ninth place.

Your league had the new strategy of people being able to pick their draft spot - one item of interest would be to see how that worked out: did people who had their preferred pick do well ? did people left without a choice but getting a top waiver priority, do well ?

Shocker that after a couple of dodgy seasons for RBs, we are now back at WR/WR being a bad strategy, and taking an RB early is worth while again. Full circle! Key thing is that it’s so much about the specific player, not the blind draft strategy (as I think you and Al alluded to in a pod recently).

Nice one, keep it up Sean !