In my last post, The Legend of the Bid Button, and the first in this series, I examined and explained my strategy for approaching auction drafts. The key stat that I rely upon is “points per dollar” (PPD). How many fantasy points a player is expected to get me for each auction dollar I spend on him. If you have not read that post, please take ten minutes and do so. For those that have already done so and are back for round two, welcome back. While we have ten minutes to kill as we wait for everyone else to catch up, here is a link to a sub-five minute speed run of Super Mario Brothers. Feel free to watch it twice. I know these guys use tools to help accomplish this, but as someone who played this game back when it first came out, this is still pretty awesome.
Ok, now let’s get back to our regularly scheduled programming. I’d like to take a look back at last season’s PPD heroes and zeros…
For the sanity of this content I am going to primarily be targeting players that had a minimum cost of $5. The reason for this is that otherwise, one of the many $1 and $2 players would certainly skew these results. However, I will list any sub-five dollar player of significance.
|Robert Griffin III||WAS||87.36||$9.5||9.196|
Peyton Manning was the most expensive quarterback at $54.1 and he yielded the lowest PPD of all quarterbacks that cost at least $5. The QB with the overall worst PPD was Johnny Manziel who put up 11.9 points and cost $2.3 for a PPD of 5.174. Johnny on the spot!
So who was the best bargain last year. Reading the above table is not as easy as sorting by PPD and picking the guy at the top. At least not in all cases. Heck, there isn’t even a definite right answer. Based on the numbers I see two possible answers. The first is Matt Ryan. For just $7 (I am rounding up since if his average cost was $6.4, you’d need a bid of $7 to win him), he got you 282 points. That’s a PPD of 40.285. Only four QBs scored more points than Ryan, and they all cost more. A lot more in most cases. Rodgers, Brees and Manning cost significantly more. Andrew Luck however only cost about $18 and he ended up with the second most points amongst quarterbacks with 351.74 points. Looking at the numbers, you “might” have been able to convince me to take Luck over Ryan. Not likely, but I can see the argument. For $11 extra dollars you could have had nearly the top QB in fantasy football and 70 additional points. I still think I would go with Ryan and use that $11 elsewhere.
The quarterback with the highest PPD regardless of cost was Eli Manning. At $2.1, Eli scored 269.5 points, boasting a PPD of 128.33. Let’s take a look at the other QBs that scored about 270 points and see how much they cost as compared to Eli.
Tom Brady, 278 points, $11.2 (24.827 PPD)
Ryan Tannehill, 278 points, $2.9 (96.172 PPD)
Tony Romo, 266 points, $4.7 (56.66 PPD)
Philip Rivers, 265 points, $3.8 (69.905 PPD)
Joe Flacco, 262 points, $2.8 (93.729 PPD)
I feel bad for the owners that spent $11.2 on Brady. I bet you they missed out on Le’Veon Bell by only $5. What a shame!
Continuing with an earlier theme, notice that the most expensive running back, LeSean McCoy, has the lowest PPD. There seems to be a pattern developing here. So who stands out on the plus side? It’s got to be Le’Veon Bell. Even at $34 his PPD comes in at 10.77 due to his 370 points. Stud running backs usually cost about $50, so getting Bell at $34 was a steal. After Bell comes Bell. Joique Bell. With a PPD of over 19, he cost only $9. While not an RB1, he was certainly worth his price tag.
How about the cheaper running backs? Mr. Anderson, welcome back! With a PPD of 192.091, C.J. Anderson was perhaps the most valuable player in fantasy football last season. This, however, is a prime example of a $1 player with an exaggerated PPD. But is it really exaggerated? I say no. His cost was only a dollar. Why should a bargain be penalized for being a bargain. He shouldn’t, but it also doesn’t make sense to compare these players with those with legitimate price tags. The other issue is that most of these $1 players weren’t actually drafted in most auctions. Instead they were waiver wire pickups. That means that their value was not predictable prior to last year’s auction.
Here are a few others:
Jeremy Hill, 211 points, $1.4 (150.643 PPD)
Mark Ingram, 192 points, $1.6 (119.938 PPD)
Lamar Miller, 223 points, $2.8 (79.786 PPD)
Fred Jackson, 187 points, $3.9 (47.872 PPD)
Darren Sproles, 146 points, $4.2 (34.667 PPD)
Surprise, surprise! Any guesses which wide receiver had the lowest PPD? If your answer is the one that cost the most, you’d be correct. MegaTron was MegaExpensive at just under $55, and with 227 points, his 4.144 PPD is pretty abysmal. The players that stand out to me are Antonio Brown, Golden Tate, Jeremy Maclin, Emmanuel Sanders and Randall Cobb.
And the cheap seats?
Brandon LaFell, 210 points, $1.4 (150.429 PPD)
Andrew Hawkins, 159 points, $1.2 (132.417 PPD)
Rueben Randle, 183 points, $1.4 (130.571 PPD)
Doug Baldwin, 167 points, $1.3 (128.692 PPD)
James Jones, 177 points, $1.4 (124 PPD)
Kenny Stills, 174 points, $1.5 (115.933 PPD)
Steve Smith Sr, 219 points, $2, (109.5 PPD)
Mike Evans, 245 points, $2.3 (106.565 PPD)
Jordan Matthews, 202 points, $2 (101.1 PPD)
Kelvin Benjamin, 226 points, $2.8 (80.643 PPD)
Anquan Boldin, 220 points, $3.3 (66.545 PPD)
Leave it to Vernon Davis to ruin the streak. Could that dude have been more disappointing last year? That was a rhetorical question. I’ve included all tight ends in this list since it’s a much shallower position and many teams might only take one.
For $2 Antonio Gates got you 223 points. For $4 Greg Olsen got you 220 points. But if you felt like “making it rain” on auction day you could have spent $46 for Jimmy Graham and gotten 230 points! You do the math.
They say “hindsight is 20/20”. While I agree with that statement, I’m still trying to figure out who “they” are. Let’s take a look at some players that were selected in auctions and find another player that had the some production for less money. I realize this was impossible to predict. The purpose here is to highlight how PPD can be used to compare players.
Holy waste of 51 dollars Batman!
If you took Jackson here, you could have called your team Right Said Fred!
This one isn’t too gory, but I still suck. You would have been much better off with Vereen.
Sanders production makes me feel like I did when I was a kid and stumbled across Emmanuelle on cable tv.
Nearly a $20 difference. Holy mac-a-lin!
Calvin Johnson (227 points, $54.7)
Kelvin Benjamin (226 points, $2.8)
MegaDisappointing! Unless you had Benjamin.
Roddy White (212 points, $15.1)
Mike Wallace (213 points, $5)
I bet you wish you had that $10 back so you could have gotten Antonio Brown.
By now I’m sure you get the point.
One last thing I’d like to leave you with while we’re on the topic of hindsight. Here’s the team that I wish I had ended the auction with. And yes, I’ve decided to take Andrew Luck. This team is unbeatable. I’d say the only thing you’d have to worry about is who to drop when Luck is on a bye, but with this team you could probably just take a zero at QB that week! Team name, Antonio’s Lucky Bells