Given that we are in the midst of draft season, we are going to turn our attention to some more specific draft data and subject you all to a bit of my own drafting philosophy. The focus for this week will be those end of draft swings – but more on that in a minute.
Essentially every draft pick we make is a lottery ticket. Each year players underperform, over perform, get injured, break out, miss time you name it. With our first few picks in the draft, we target players who have the highest chance to produce at the highest level. That doesn't mean each pick will reach those heights, but they are the ones generally we think have the highest chance of doing so. As we move down the draft board the chance those players reach various heights also diminishes. That doesn't mean your sixth-round pick won't outperform your second-round pick, just the odds of it happening are smaller. By the time we make it to the end of the draft we have a choice to make. Do we start picking those players who have the best shot at doing something mediocre (and therefore not disappointing us) or a smaller chance of doing something bigger. I cannot speak to all leagues, but in general I am very much in favor of the latter.
A few hits at the end of the draft or in free agency can make your season, while those mediocre guys most certainly won't. Maybe you won't finish in last place, but for most that isn't the target. The philosophy here is that the bottom of your roster is full of players you want to be able to drop to grab the breakout player in the beginning of the season, so fill those slots with boom-or-bust players that you can part ways with quickly if they are looking like a bust.
Today we are going to spend some time at the end of the draft list and identify some folks who it would be worth adding in your last few picks as they have a shot at something good, but who you can probably drop fairly quickly if the deployment or opportunity doesn't stick.
For the purposes of the article today we are grabbing the average draft positions (ADPs) from Fantrax. This is site wide, so the settings will have varied depending on the league structure, but it certainly a good place to start. We are going to focus on the end of drafts assuming the top 190 or so players are already taken (assuming a standard league is 12 teams with 16 players). To analyze players, we will be looking at their Frozen Tool Player Profile as well as their recent linemates using the Last Game Lines tools.
To start we are going to highlight a few players who fall at the end here but still have ended up drafted in more than 40 percent of leagues.