Please excuse a short break from the summer series previews, it’s getting too close to the NHL season to ignore draft strategy.
This summer I had fun learning about other fantasy sports and learned of a great tool for organizing thoughts. I work in a fast-paced environment where I may need a picture or reminder to be available on my phone and then immediately on my computer – I don’t have time for Evernote to sync. I thought it was worth spreading the word about Google Keep. I’ve used a lot of organizational tools, but the speed of this app is unquestioned. Create a shortcut to your desktop and add the app to your phone, I promise you’ll remember more creative ideas that will change your everyday life – Siri can’t keep up yet. Another tool I use on a daily basis is Trello for organizing teams, my own personal work, and even fantasy draft strategy. Since I learned of both tools through fantasy sports I wanted to share it with others.
As promised I was going to really start digging into ADPs and the value opportunities as we’re only a couple weeks out from the start of the season. I don’t expect the current ADPs to be indicative of what will happen in a couple weeks, especially after the EK65 trade.
Before I jump into the analysis I think it is important to remember the following facts:
- The data below represents 56 players being drafted and rostered at each position
- My blueline strategy is going to significantly differ from most experts – please read this for the reasoning. This strategy will affect the rankings of positional players.
- Positions matter more than most are willing to admit
- I don’t care about goalies and nor should you – I dare you to skip goalies
- Value over replacement is the primary method I use to rank players
- ADPs on Yahoo! Are significantly skewed by decimals – you could have ten players ranked at 162: 162.1, 162.2, 162.3 etc. – You need to think critically.
This week I will take a look at my favorite position, RW. There seems to be limitless value opportunities this year at RW. The way I judge the likelihood of success for my team is by adding up all the total z-scores of my players and comparing them to the totals of the other teams. You have to be willing to find the value later in the draft and allowing that to dictate who you pick in the earlier rounds.
Something that bugs me about most fantasy sports is when people suggest that you should take the best player available. I disagree wholeheartedly.
For example last year, I believed strongly in Shayne Gostisbehere (remember when he willed Union to the national championship?), long story short I believed that I had a number one blueliner and for that reason I could forgo drafting D early. Victor Hedman was available at my second pick in a 14 team league, but it didn’t make sense because the overall value of my team would have been impacted by selecting suboptimal players to my lineup. I hope this line of thinking can make lightbulbs go off for the readers.
A brief overview of the data is as follows; I compiled five fantasy expert hockey predictions together and averaged the following stats: goals, assists, SOG, and PP. I scored the players within their positional groups and then divided the total of each position by the stats that I felt were indicative of value. If you’ve read the above link of the blueline you’ll know what I’m talking about.
Here is an explanation of the graph that will be generated using the above data:
The point to be had from all of this is that if you’re drafting Kucherov in the first round and then you find yourself wondering if you should take Leon Draisaitl in the second or third; you’re probably better off drafting Cam Atkinson and Patric Hornqvist and allocating that draft capital to another position. You can only have so many RW on your roster; drafting best player available doesn’t allow you to maximize value.
Here is a link to the tweet that shows the graph in more detail. When you look at the graph what do you see?
What I notice is the following:
- Mike Hoffman is just outside the confidence interval by +/- 10 draft spots – use this as a gauge of how much value someone above the line actually presents.
- Brendan Gallagher is being grossly underestimated – even on a truly atrocious team
- Cam Atkinson looks like a great value play – but beware of the Breadman factor
DeBrincat is already high on a lot of radars – his value might have already exceeded ADP
- If five experts have him pegged for X number of points what is the likelihood he’s going to outperform the 95% CI of this draft model?
- At best you’re going to draft DeBrincat and get what you paid for – at worst you have a bust. I’ll be looking for “value” elsewhere.
- Mike Clifford nailed Nikolaj Ehlers – he’s never going to give you what you want in terms of the draft capital invested.
- Corey Perry is a RW3
- Viktor Arvidsson is Nikolaj Ehlers 2.0
- People are sleeping on Ilya Kovalchuck – click draft over and over and over and over again
- The homerun of the draft season at RW is hidden because my visual isn’t perfect – but if you read the Dobber Fantasy guide you’ll know who it is
- Surprisingly a lot of experts have Tarasenko pegged as a value in second/third round which may be the case but his ADP vs prediction is leans more towards overvalued. Don’t get me wrong this is a player I would put my money on this late in the early rounds any day of the week – high floor / higher ceiling – just worth pointing out.
An important thing to remember is that this is not the rankings of the experts- this is the statistical breakdown of the rankings, which is more indicative of value than rankings.
Obviously there is a mess of players up near the top right hand of the graph so I figured I would breakdown the names for you and provide a stat that is ADP minus Ranking. As an example a player with a ranking of 19 and an ADP of 40 would provide positive value of 21.
In summary by maximizing the value of the RW position you can help create team value that significantly trumps your opponents. Arbitrage is your friend.
Keep an eye on my twitter @DH_jcameronmetz – I’ll be running the same model all season long to help you pepper your league with draft offers.
The Summer Series covering individual teams can be found here