Win the Draft: The Method to My Madness... (Part III)

Many of you have already downloaded our 2017 Draft Load out, but if you haven't be sure to check it out.  It is packed full of custom features for your league.

Its been asked a ton of times so here it is... The method to my madness.  This is guide on how to use the software to win your draft!



Link to Part I

Link to Part II


Step 4: Developing Projections

The next step in our process is to turn your rankings into projections.  These projections will be different from those you find elsewhere, because they are tailored to your particular scoring without having to go through every single player and attempting to stat out their share of each team's offense.  You wont be estimating targets, snap counts, or carries with my system...


 My software functions by going through the previous years results back to 2007, a whopping 10 years and determining what each player scoring at each position ranking.  Check this example I did for a proof of concept some time ago in excel for one of my leagues (0.5 PPR - 6 pt QB TDs):

 You can see that by weighting the 2016, 2015, and 2014 scoring results through the regular season we are able to come to a projection of sorts.  In my system Aaron Rodgers would be assigned 461 pts, David Johnson 301 pts, Antonio Brown 282 pts, Gronkowski 212 pts, Justin Tucker 165 pts, and the Broncos D/ST 207 pts.


The great thing is that as you change your rankings the projections automatically update to reflect them.  This process will be done for every player in your rankings by the software automatically.


If you go back to the scoring settings you will see some boxes for how to weight the players.


You can put any numbers you want in these and it will do a weighted average.  You can put a 1 in every single box and it will equally weight the last 10 years or if you see a year you don't like for some reason (2014 RB scoring was a little crazy) then omit them.  In the presets I have 2016 counting twice as much as 2014 with 2015 in the middle.  I think the game changes over the years so going back more than a few years may be ill advised.


Using the settings pictured above here is the the projections using our current podcast rankings for 05. PPR (Preseason Planner -> Draft Planning -> Value Based Drafting (VBD) )



Once you have these projections generated it is a useful exercise to go through the "Player Trend Visualizer" to ensure that all of your rankings are realistic seeing what they are now projected to score.  If you take the time to do this it will set you apart from your peers... Take a look at Frank Gore and where he is ranked and you will see a prime example.


Step 5: Developing a Tiered Draft Board

To start off this topic you first need to understand what a Tier is and why they are useful.  I define a tier as a group of players that are projected to score close enough together that if you were to erase all of their names and call them Thing 1, Thing 2, etc. you could feel assured that they are the same player.  This is true at least for Fantasy purposes.  The reason that these are useful is that it allows us a simple way to compare players apples to apples across positions.  If you are drafting and you see that there is only one Tier 3 RB remaining, but 6 Tier 3 WR's it will tell you that despite which player is projected to score more points, you should take the RB at this pick before you drop a tier.  This method of drafting is especially useful for people who enjoy printing hard copy draft boards and bringing them to the draft.


After doing some digging I found a statistics measure called Cohen's D (Wikipedia Article for the fun math) that can accomplish the task of mathematically creating tiers based on your projections.  As far as I know I have created the only system that computes tiers automatically for custom scoring systems (Any Scott Fish Bowl players out there? Here's how you win right here)


In Layman's terms for the non-math sorts the Cohen's D is how big a Tier is should be.  If you make the number smaller there will be more tiers.  if you make the number bigger there will be less tiers. Simple.

Skip this paragraph if you dislike math (Not mentioning any names)


The software breaks down each position and finds how many players are fantasy relevant.  This becomes the player pool.  It then computes the mean, variance, and standard deviation of that player pool.  Using this information it reads down the Value Based Drafting Board from top to bottom and sets player #1 as the top of tier #1.  It then scans down from that player to the next player.  If ((Player #1 - Player X)/Standard Deviation) >= Cohen's D then that player becomes the top player in a new tier.  If not then the player remains in the same tier as Player #1 and the software keeps moving down the list.


Here is the settings I used in the presets and they seem to work pretty well.  Please post how you tweak them for others to see! 



Here is the resultant tiered draft board for 0.5 PPR scoring and TH8FF 0.5 PPR Rankings


 Remember that these can be exported to Excel easily for printing and editing!


Part IV coming soon! it will discuss Value-Over-Replacement drafting and baselines.


Follow me on Twitter @maatspencer for updates.






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