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Excellent article here by rotowire if you havent seen it. Good stuff to mull over on draft value position.

:Drink) cheers and good luck this weekend. "May the odds forever be in your favor."

Posted by andrew on August, 24th 2012

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Jonathan Bales looks back at the last 5 years in this analysis of which draft spot has proven most valuable for fantasy owners.

In 2007, LaDainian Tomlinson was the first pick in fantasy drafts across the country. LT delivered in a big way that year, racking up 310 fantasy points even in standard leagues – 28 more than second-place running back Brian Westbrook.
The 2007 season might not seem like anything special, but that was the last time the top overall fantasy selection ended the season No. 1 at his position (LT was really the third-best fantasy player that season, behind record-breaking years from Tom Brady and Randy Moss).

In the world of fantasy football, many of us are guilty of thinking we’re better prognosticators than we really are. The truth is that predicting the outcomes of something as complex as football is really, really tough, so it’s no surprise that fantasy owners, even as a whole, are far from perfect.

But just how good (or bad) is the general public? What’s the difference between the first draft position and the last, and what sort of return on investment might one expect with each? I wanted to answer those questions, so I spent some time tracking the relationship between fantasy draft slots and production. I included the top 20 picks from the past five seasons, analyzing fantasy points-per-game instead of overall points to correct for injuries that would throw off cumulative results.


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A few points of interest:



No. 1 picks – all running backs – have provided 82.7 percent of the production of the top player at their position. The low was Chris Johnson in 2010, who scored 70.7 percent as many points as top-scorer Arian Foster. Amazingly, three of the top four backs from 2010 – Foster, Peyton Hillis and Jamaal Charles - weren’t drafted in the top 20.



No. 2 selections – again all running backs – have returned 80.3 percent of the production of the top-scoring back. The high was Foster last season, who led the league in fantasy points, and the low was Michael Turner in 2009 at 63.3 percent.



After the top two picks in fantasy drafts, there has been a significant drop in production. No. 3 picks have provided 71.4 percent of peak production, and No. 4 selections check in at just 65.0 percent.



Taking first-round selections in isolation, it appears superior to have a top-two pick over any other. After No. 2, there doesn’t appear to be much of a difference between picks No. 3 and No. 12.



The true “cutoff” of talent over the years has been right around the 14/15 range. Since 2007, No. 14 overall picks have returned 72.4 percent of peak production. That number drops to 64.3 percent for No. 15 selections.

In the traditional snake draft format, picking last in the first round can be a good thing, because you also acquire the first pick in the second round. Since No. 13 draft picks have provided a robust 78.3 percent of peak production, the overall value of drawing the final pick in the first round is boosted.
To examine which draft spot is really the most advantageous, I combined the peak production percentages for the first two rounds of a 12-team league.



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You can see the value of the first two draft spots disappears when we take the second round into consideration. Since the number of elite players has generally been around 14 per year, the last selections in a 12-team league have provided the most value. Those owners miss out on a truly top-tier talent, but they can still get their hands on two outstanding players.

Nonetheless, I’m not sure we can draw any ironclad conclusions just yet. Examining third and fourth-round picks could alter the results a bit. Further, we don’t see much of a pattern in the data above. The fluctuations in the results – the continual up-and-down that we see – makes it difficult to say which draft slots are inherently the “best.” Is the No. 6 overall pick really that much better than the No. 7 overall selection? Probably not.

Ultimately, I think the value of each draft slot really depends on the year. In 2012, picking in the top four seems advantageous, as you can land one of the top-tier running backs or Aaron Rodgers. The data suggests that you don’t need to panic if you’re picking in the back of the first round, however – the 74.8 percent return for owners picking No. 12 overall is the highest mark of any draft slot in the past five years.
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On 07.31.2015 DaKlute said:to show you how unifying this issue is for those of us who don't look to gronk brady's nutz: i stand with amish...and that almost never happens.
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The most valuable draft position is whichever one I end up with.

But seriously, as much as everyone bemoans drafting at 11 or 12, I like it.

Made the playoffs the last two years from the 12-hole.

I have the 11-slot this year and I'm confident I will have a strong draft.

One possible advantage I see this year for those drafting 1-3:

You get one of the Big 3 RBs in the 1st.

In the 2nd, you take a shot on one of the three guys who have fallen: Mathews, Trent, MJD.

Then you grab an elite WR in the 3rd.

That's a scary start to your draft and could give you an edge on your competition.
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12-tm PPR: QB/RB/3WR/2FLEX/TE/D-ST-PK [FAAB]

Bortles, Jameis
LeSean, Rawls, Yeldon, Ware, CJA
Calvin, BMarsh, Alshon, Cobb, Watkins, Perriman, Ty Montgomery
Reed, Tamme
HOU & STL DSTPK

Lost to INJ: Foster, Edelman, Forsett, Ingram, Rawls
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Whale Shark
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Pick 2 (which I've already secured in one league). I love the way my teams look when I can start with Foster or Rice.
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.5PPR
QB:Ben,Dalton,Taylor
RB:Lewis,Gore,L.Murray,M.Jones,Andrews,Michael,D.Cobb
WR:A.Brown,ODB,Green,J.Brown
TE:Olsen,Gates

PPR
QB:Brady
RB:AP,Hyde,CJA,Ellington,Riddick
WR:Sanders,J.Jones,Maclin,J.Brown,Jeffery
TE:Clay
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Pad264 wrote:Pick 2 (which I've already secured in one league). I love the way my teams look when I can start with Foster or Rice.

Yea I got my best team from the 2 spot..I'm my shark league I took Ray and then Gronk and AP when it came back around..don't aske me how gronk lasted that long...
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Pad264 wrote:Pick 2 (which I've already secured in one league). I love the way my teams look when I can start with Foster or Rice.


Hey, who doesn't?

I picked Rice #2 in my Shark League and backed him up with Trent at 23.

That could prove to be a lethal one-two punch, along with Roddy and Dez at WR.

But as I've always said, you can make the playoffs from any position. If you don't make the playoffs, it could be for any number of reasons; draft slot is not one of them.
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12-tm PPR: QB/RB/3WR/2FLEX/TE/D-ST-PK [FAAB]

Bortles, Jameis
LeSean, Rawls, Yeldon, Ware, CJA
Calvin, BMarsh, Alshon, Cobb, Watkins, Perriman, Ty Montgomery
Reed, Tamme
HOU & STL DSTPK

Lost to INJ: Foster, Edelman, Forsett, Ingram, Rawls
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I am a believer that leagues are won in the mid/late rounds and waivers. Doesn't mean picking poorly in the 1st can't kill your team, but picking well likely won't win you your league. Gotta get the fliers and surprises to push you over the top (Cam Newton in 2011 being a perfect example).
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It's usually the pick before I pick each round...that bee hole always takes the guy I'm targeting.
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Whale Shark
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For me I find I have the best success when I'm last two in a 10 man draft to last 3 in a 12 man draft. I end up with a much more well rounded team. I have had some success with early picks too, but I can never seem to land on the middle picks. 5, 6, 7, 8 are all very much hated by me.
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QB: Brees
WR:Cruz, Decker, Shorts, Hartline, Allen
RB: Charles, MJD, McFadden, Hillis, Jennings
TE: Jordan

1 20 passing
1 10 rushing/receiving
1 PPR, 12 man league.
All TDs 6 Points.
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The pick right after Florida Stag always seems to look pretty good.
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I am a firm believer that this depends upon the scoring system in your league and the draft format. I agree that I would prefer to pick at the end of a snake draft, but our drafts are standard format, so it is not a benefit to pick at the end. You scoring system will also dictate where the most value lies.

I pick #6 in a 10 team keeper league, and 7th in an 8 team, non-keeper league (both standard draft format). I usually make the playoffs, but I have to be pretty creative sometimes.
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In a league that allows trading of draft picks... the position that the majority of other owners want, so you can set up bidding wars and maximize your value.
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Great thread Amish!

I've been in classes that didn't give such comprehensive data.

I draft in 4 hrs. I have the #1 pick and am taking Foster, despite what your data tells me.

:F

I kept Romo with my 5th rounder. I've had little prep time this season and am gonna fall flat if I don't rally.
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unimsw wrote:I am a believer that leagues are won in the mid/late rounds and waivers. Doesn't mean picking poorly in the 1st can't kill your team, but picking well likely won't win you your league. Gotta get the fliers and surprises to push you over the top (Cam Newton in 2011 being a perfect example).

totally agree.
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Through-out various mocks I've found positions 1.5-1.8 to be optimal. This has a slot to do with the RB well drying out mid way through the 2nd round then anything else.
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I think this varies year to year depending on depth of certain positions, personally a 5/6 pick would be my preference this year. You're getting a STUD and don't have to wait as long as say a top 3 pick in rd 2. After that area I would prefer to drop to 11/12 type spot because I don't see a lot of separation in picks 8-12 this year.
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