Geek of the Week Mock Drafts: Best Player Available vs. Best Value Available

Terry Campkin

2014-09-21

A Stock NHL Draft Image

 

An in-depth comparison of fantasy drafting strategies. 

As training camps are set to open, Fantasy Hockey managers everywhere are preparing for their upcoming drafts. Draft strategies are often debated: should I go D early? Should I focus on scoring, PIMs, shooting? Should I take the best player available or the best position? My take is always that you need to take the best VALUE available, as late as you can take it. Who that is will depend on your league settings but the best way to truly know is to put your league in FHG and let it do the math. I have often said that, while I wouldn't advocate drafting based on FHG alone, an FHG drafted team would outperform most of the general public. Today I put that hypothesis to the test and look at the "Best Player Available" strategy compared to a Fantasy Hockey Geek calculated "Best Value Available" strategy.

 

The way I went about performing my experiment was by running two mock drafts on Yahoo! In both cases I drafted from the 3rd slot in a 10 team Yahoo! standard league (measuring G, A, +/-, PPP, SOG, PIM). In the Best Player Available (BPA) scenario I selected the player with the highest O-Rank in every round and in the Fantasy Hockey Geek (FHG) scenario I selected the highest ranked player as per the FHG output in every round. I ran only one mock draft for each scenario to see how the results panned out.

 

*Note: I tried to isolate this analysis to skaters only (no goalies). In order to do this, I made sure to use the exact same picks on goalies in both scenarios (which ended up being the 4th and 6th rounds).

 

So my first matter of business was running the BPA scenario. Here is what we ended up with:

 

Position Player
C Steven Stamkos
C Eric Staal
LW Taylor Hall
LW Gabriel Landeskog
RW Phil Kessel
RW Ryan Kesler
D Zdeno Chara
D Ryan Suter
D James Wisniewski
D Justin Faulk

 

Oh crap. One look at that team and I thought that this experiment might actually result in a huge failure. That team doesn't look like it has a single weakness and it actually has a number of "FHG-friendly" (players whose actual value exceeds public perception) names. I knew right away that the FHG team would be hard pressed to match up.