Hello, Razzballers!  So, it’s almost draft day, and you’re drafting 10th overall.  You’ve spent the last 3 weeks debating who you want to take, and you’ve finally made up your mind to take Drew Brees, the number 1 fantasy QB in the game today.  You feel great about your pick, because he will most likely finish the season atop the list in fantasy points, and you got that at 10th overall!  What a steal!


This is where value based drafting comes into play.  Let’s talk strategy!  What is value based drafting?  Well, it’s quite simple actually.  Rather than drafting the best name on the board, you draft what positional player will give you the best value at that point in your draft.  That’s all.  Thanks for reading, and enjoy winning your league with that simple advice.  Take care!

Okay.  Obviously I’m not going to leave you Razzers hanging with many questions unanswered.  So, let’s cut to it.  How do you determine what position will provide the best value?

First.  Rank your players by position.  Not just your top 10, but enough that you think will get drafted.  “But I don’t know anything about football, this is my first season!”  Oh, of course it is!  Well, Razzball has put the best projections together for you, so let’s just use those.

Second.  Use your leagues settings to calculate how many fantasy points each player will put up based on your projections.  “But I don’t know anything about football, this is my first season!”  I get it… but thanks to Razzball, along with their rankings, are projections!  Let’s use those as well!

Third.  Determine how many players at each position will be drafted to fill up a starting line up in your league.  The Razzball Commenter Leagues use 1QB, 2RB, 2WR, 1TE, and 1 RB/WR.  (We’ll ignore DEF and K because frankly, I hope none of you are drafting DEF or K until the late rounds.  I’m talking very late.  Like last 2 rounds late.)  Therefore, 12 QBs must be drafted, 12 TE, 30RB and 30WR (let’s assume that half of the WR/RB positions are split equally).

Fourth.  Now that all projections have been calculated, let’s determine the value of each player at each position.  To do this, what you have to calculate is the percentage of points each ranked player is above the last ranked player.  For example, for QBs, you calculate by percentage, how much bigger QBs ranked #1-11 are than QB ranked #12.  For RB, you do the same, except with RBs ranked #1-29 over RB ranked #30.

Sure, this is definitely time consuming to enter the players, their projections, and their values, so, to make life easy here at Razzball, I have done all that for you!  Let’s take a look at how things shape up (involving all positions).  Let’s check out how the first round would shape up using value based drafting…

1 Peterson, Adrian RB 121.30%
2 Jones-Drew, Maurice RB 115.52%
3 Turner, Michael RB 99.28%
4 Jackson, Steven RB 98.92%
5 Forte, Matt RB 94.95%
6 Johnson, Chris RB 90.25%
7 Tomlinson, LaDanian RB 87.51%
8 Moss, Randy WR 80.31%
9 Johnson, Andre WR 70.87%
10 Williams, DeAngelo RB 68.23%
11 Slaton, Steve RB 64.98%
12 Fitzgerald, Larry WR 62.99%

So, going back to what was mentioned earlier about drafting 10th, is it really worth it to be drafting Drew Brees, despite him being the best quarterback?  Probably not.  DeAngelo Williams will provide more value for you.  So by drafting Drew Brees early, you’re giving up better value, or, better put, you are giving better value to your opponents.  This makes it much more difficult for you to catch up when you’re scrambling later on to fill in your starting lineup.  “But, maybe Brees was ranked 13th, which makes taking him 10th overall not such a bad idea.”  Okay, let’s look at the next round.

13 Johnson, Calvin WR 59.06%
14 Brown, Ronnie RB 58.84%
15 Gore, Frank RB 58.12%
16 Gates, Antonio TE 55.06%
17 Witten, Jason TE 50.00%
18 White, Roddy WR 49.61%
19 Westbrook, Brian RB 45.85%
20 Jennings, Greg WR 44.88%
21 Wayne, Reggie WR 41.73%
22 Portis, Clinton RB 41.52%
23 Colston, Marques WR 40.94%
24 Jacobs, Brandon RB 36.46%

Hmmm… no Drew Brees.  But there are a couple of tight ends in there!  Does that make drafting Antonio Gates in the second round okay?  Probably not.  But this does show you that drafting him in the fourth or fifth round provides great value for where you get him.  Let’s look at the third round.

25 Daniels, Owen TE 35.96%
26 Olsen, Greg TE 35.96%
27 Barber, Marion RB 35.74%
28 Smith, Kevin RB 33.57%
29 Brees, Drew QB 33.33%
30 Smith, Steve WR 33.07%
31 Grant, Ryan RB 32.49%
32 Brady, Tom QB 30.63%
33 Clark, Dallas TE 30.34%
34 Gonzalez, Tony TE 29.21%
35 Winslow, Kellen TE 26.40%
36 Boldin, Anquan WR 25.20%

Ahh, Drew Brees.  Finally.  By taking him 10th overall, you would be giving up 19 spots of better value.  Is that something you really want to do?  I’m guessing no.

So, to sum things up, should you be using value based drafting as a guide on draft day?  No, definitely not.  Use ADP as your guide.  BUT, use value based drafting to help you determine the value of the player you are about to draft.  Use your knowledge of draft trends to find value.  So, let’s say in this example I am debating to draft a QB or a WR.  According to ADP and my previous knowledge, I am expecting 2 QBs and 6 WRs to be drafted before my next pick.  Let’s assume that the drop off in the next 2 QBs is only 5%, while the 6 WR drop off is 15%.  It makes much more sense to draft the WR because otherwise you will be losing a lot more value.

As the key to building your starting line up with the most overall value, there are times (usually around the 3rd round on) where you will take a lesser overall value player because the expected drop off in value to your next pick is so great at another position.  Anyways, I hope this wasn’t too much information, and if you have any questions, feel free to ask!

P.S. Since we at razzball love our readers so much, we have provided you all with a free downloadable value based drafting kit.  It’s a basic kit, and nothing too extreme.  They have razzball’s player rankings, but no projections!  Oh no!  However, the percentages given in the kit are based on razzballs projections.  But, those projections will be revealed slowly, so you’ll have to keep coming back to get the latest player news, projections and more!

  1. cws05nuts says:

    Nicely articulated and well executed.

  2. Elijah says:

    Still room in a RFB league? Let me know…

  3. Elijah says:


  4. Doc

    Doc says:

    @Elijah: Here are the 3 leagues that are open. Shoot one an email!

    Fantasy Virgins — IowaCubs — phil.james [at] gmail dot com

    Jessup County Lockdown — airlifting — scott.skillings [at] gmail dot com

    Chaos Conference — johnwhorfin — iganderson [at] yahoo dot com

  5. Doc

    Doc says:

    @cws05nuts: I’m sure the Cheese would thank you!

  6. Joe Cooper says:

    I’ve made a program like this that I’ve been using for a couple years and maybe you can give me a few pointers on it. First, mine treats the number of Bench positions for each team like a flex position. Is it worthwhile to consider all players drafted or all players starting? Second, how many undrafted players at each position should be considered? You recommend 1 spot but mine takes the average of the next 10 (if it’s a 10 manager league). Do you think that’s too much? I put that in because the next RB in line may have tons of TDs but no yards (ala T.J. Duckett). This would give a higher rating to TD oriented backs and reduce yardage machines. Thanks and sorry for the mouthful.

  7. anon says:

    This is awesome, I will be using this sheet on draft day fo sho. It seems like years ago no one would’ve considered drafting a QB in the first 2 rounds, but now it’s fairly common to do so. To me, this chart says that I should probably chillax and wait for Rivers or Rodgers at the tail end of the 3rd or 4th round, if I wiff there, maybe try to get Warner in the 5th, then punt.

    Also, what happened to Ben Roethlisberger? How did he go from 32 TDs to 17? I didn’t have him on my team last year and didn’t even realize he was so bad.

  8. Cheese

    Cheese says:

    @cw05nuts: Thanks! Glad you enjoyed it.

    @Joe Cooper: For value based drafting, I just take into consideration your starting line up. I don’t take into consideration bench players because I believe that after you fill up your starting line up, the players remaining are not top tier players and generally all have the same value. This is where you do your own research to try and find break out players. You don’t draft bench players hoping that they produce bench material points. Your bench should generally consist of breakout candidates. I’m not sure I understand your undrafted players question, but in the rankings I posted, I only take into consideration (for VBD) the amount of players that will be drafted to fill out a starting line up. Like I previously stated, after that, it’s all about you doing your research to find the hidden gems.

    @anon: Thanks! I do recommend using it on draft day, but make sure it’s not your only tool. I’ve never been a big fan of Roethlisberger, and I wasn’t expecting him to throw 32 TD again last year. I mean, look at his career TD numbers. 17/17/18/32/17. Expect his TD count to be around 20 this year, and his interceptions to decline a bit from last year. But The Steelers are usually a run first team. And they usually are in the lead in games and will want to run the clock, thus leading to more rushes. He’s one of the greatest leaders at the QB position, but he’s not one of the greatest talents. I’d rather take a flier on a QB with upside, than take Big Ben.

  9. Joel says:

    I agree with VBD, save for the emphasis on ratios.

    What matters is additive: that is, how many points is Adrian Peterson worth over his replacement? Tony Gonzalez could be worth a ton more than a replacement tight end, but if his point total isn’t very high, that 1xx% isn’t really that valuable…

  10. Man Child says:

    I agree with Joel. This is why TEs are overvalued in these rankings, as the replacement-level TE produces the smallest number fantasy points. A TE who produces one TD more than replacemment would therefore have a higher rating in these rankings than a RB who produces one TD over a replacement-level RB, when they really should be the same.

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