Frozen Tools Forensics: Drafting Yahoo

Chris Kane

2021-01-01

I hope everyone is enjoying their holiday season. After taking last week off we are back in action with a few more articles to help prep for drafts. In the last couple we have taken a look at some stat measures (here and here) that can help us understand projections or even inform our own, but this week we are going to turn toward some projections already widely available. As much as you should be buying the Dobber Fantasy Guide, today is not about the guide, but about Yahoo.

Yahoo is important because a huge number of leagues use Yahoo. On draft day those Yahoo projections and rankings are the default list that will appear in front of most drafters. That means players Yahoo is high on will appear higher in the order for most managers and are more likely to be drafted whether because of auto-drafters or managers seeing the names sitting on their draft boards. The opposite is true for players that Yahoo is low on. The "out of sight, out of mind" phenomenon where players are forgotten or can be had later in the draft at a bargain.

This week on Frozen Tool Forensics: Drafting Yahoo

For the purposes of this article, we are going to focus mainly on points. Given the wide range of league set-ups we may try and hit a few other stats on later articles, but to start, points. As far as process goes, Yahoo doesn't make it an easy export, but with some copy, paste, and column manipulation it is possible (if tedious) to get the data in a usable form. Luckily Frozen Tools is much easier and if we export the Big Board report for 2019-20, we will be able to compare point paces from the 2019-20 season to Yahoo's projections for 2020. We are using point pace as both seasons are going to have an abnormal number of games, and even in the best of times players often play radically different numbers of games. If you play in a season-long roto format you will have to adjust some of this conversation by the number of games you expect a player to get.

One final piece of context here. Points per game can be a little hard to visualize when we are used to full-season point totals. The following table puts the point-per-game difference into total points over a full season.

Pts/GTotal Points 82 Games
0.010.82
0.054.1
0.18.2
0.1512.3
0.216.4
0.2520.5

So a player who is putting up 0.15 more points per game would be improving about 12 points over the course of a season, so let's say jumping from a 65- to a 77-point pace.

But enough process, let's dig in. First up we have players who Yahoo is projecting to do worse in 2020.

PlayerTeamPosition2020 Pts/G2019-20 Pts/GΔ
Bryan RustPitLW,RW0.701.02-0.32