The above advice is directed at any fantasy managers that used the Late Round Quarterback strategy this year, or fantasy managers that played in leagues with average joes where quarterbacks are just irresistible after that draft bell goes off.
Before explaining this, I’ve decided to start aligning the metric to ADP alongside the usual numbers. It seems like at least 25% of people that have followed this metric this year have come away thinking Fantasy Games Won is already a metric measuring games won vs. ADP. It’s an understandable intuition – after all, the (arguably) main way you win in fantasy is via maximizing value at each draft pick/auction dollar.
The metric isn’t that, though. It’s measuring games won vs. average performance. So the first rounders should have higher FGW scores than the second rounders, and so on.
So I’ve begun calculating Draft-adjusted Fantasy Games Won (dFGW) so that we can not only track player performance, but player value as well.
But first, like level design in BioShock, I’m going to throw ANOTHER obstacle in the way of the main quest (Jalen Hurts) and talk about a metric calculation update!
Metric Update #1 – Adjustment to % Started
Credit to reddit user /u/Accomplished_Froyo13 for leaving a trail of tasy frozen dairy product on the road to this improvement.
I mentioned back in Week 4 how I was frustrated with the % started numbers for obviously injured fantasy players – AJ Brown (18%), Julio Jones (13%), and Christian McCaffrey (12%) headlined that week. The fact is the typical fantasy football team owner that would use a metric like FGW is more likely to start a player in line with expert rankings, rather than the average Yahoo! user.
I took a look at the first rankings website that keeps archived weekly ranks nice and visible (nfl.com) and plotted % started against those ranks. Here’s the QB results as an example:
Unsurprisingly, the top 12 or so QBs have a pretty high % started rate, as most leagues have between 8-14 teams in them. Steep drop-off after that, then flatline.
Using average % start by rank in place of this, and locking the intercept at 100%, we can plot a 3rd-order polynomial trendline that approximates this curve pretty well:
With a slight tweak to make sure that rat tail at the end doesn’t count, we can use this method across all 6 positions to get a “non-noob” % started number. The numbers for the year all get a shake-up because of this, but not a drastic one.
Who Won the Week?
- Fun fact that I’m unable to validate at the moment: Donald Glover’s old Derrick Comedy troupe named themselves “Derrick” because they thought it was something like the dorkiest name possible that starts with D.
- This might be the official changing of the guard for top WR in Dallas. Remember when, before drafting Lamb especially, they were talking like Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup were “both #1 WRs”? Gallup might as well be Harry Douglas at this point, with Cooper playing the “Roddy White” role to CeeDee’s version of Julio.
- Remember that time Leonard Fournette waved at Mike Mitchell to come hit him? I was in the Fournette > Henry camp at the time. That camp may have one blind guy left now. Still nice to see him come around a bit here.
- It seems pretty weird to me how much play Jamaal Williams is getting every week in fantasy. He’s a poor man’s Joique Bell, at best, I would say.
- If you’re not expecting weeks like this from Mike Evans by now, it’s because this is the first year you have Mike Evans.
- Even with these bad Mike Williams weeks, he’s still in the running for best pick of the year. More on that in a bit.
MVP and LVP Watch
- Coop has his best week of the year in Week 6 (0.33 FGW). He’s the 2nd best receiver Matthew Stafford has ever had. Yet, he loses ground to Henry.
- The Mahomes + Kelce stacks are doing very well this year.
- Najee Harris is Fabreze to the rookie-RB bad smell that CEH created.
- The metric update caused a swizzle between Tucker and Bass in the race for best kicker of the year. Still, though, why am I talking about them? These f*ckers won’t go away.
- This is a lot of wide receivers on the bottom 10. It’s interesting because usually mid-round WRs are considered safer than their RB counterparts. Maybe the low scores are because their performance is based on a smaller usage % and it’s riskier, or it’s just tougher to see bad WR weeks coming.
- It’s okay, Cornelius. You can cry. We drafted Robert Tonyan, too.
- Daniel Jones stumbling his way to the bottom.
- It’s official – Allen Robinson is in the lead for LVP. I could see OBJ catching up if he keeps up his in-game injury exits, but A-Rob might have it for a while now.
The Return-on-Investment Leaders of 2021
Here it is!
To get dFGW, I created a curve that approximates the FGW a player should have based on draft position, by taking a natural logarithmic trend against the current pick-by-pick breakdown:
Subtract your predicted FGW from your actual FGW to get your dFGW.
Here’s how they stack up in the new look:
- This whole blog is just about restating the obvious: Derrick Henry is good. I feel like the cop from South Park who had to run some tests to make sure the thumb on the left hand can point to the right. Derrick Henry is good.
- Kupp is almost the #1 dFGW player despite Henry’s brilliance.
- Mike Williams is still #4, despite a rough Week 4 and Week 6. A player drafted at 116 should be a below average starter, at -0.10 for the year.
- It’ll be interesting to see if this is a good season to draft early QBs, or just a good September/October to draft early QBs.
- McCaffrey and Cook really get hit hard by the draft adjustment. I’m going to keep updating the model as the season goes on, but I actually think they’d be above par without the injuries (even if they’d swing what “par” is in that hypothetical).
- CEH was apparently a worse pick than Saquon or Miles Sanders. It does kind of feel that way.
- Surprising that there are no QBs or TEs on the bottom 10. This might simply be because of the total population at each position…but it’s something I’ll keep an eye on.
- I extended the Draft Recap list to round 6 for the breakdown, because I had to go pretty far to create the dFGW model. Here’s what you need to know from rounds 7-10: Ja’Marr, Deebo, and Mike Williams were good picks. Fournette was good, too. If you can get positive FGW this late, you’re doing great.
- Round 3 and Round 6 have been brutal so far this year. Only 3 players in Round 3 with a positive dFGW, and only 1 in round 6.
- Aaron Rodgers benefitted significantly from the new % Started method. So much for the A-Rod watch.
- Reminder that Gus Edwards got hurt the day the season started. Don’t think a lot of people were drafting at 5pm on season opener Thursday. It’s kind of surprising because having net-zero impact versus average starters in round 6 is normal…and he’s had literally zero impact. You were better off drafting Gus Edwards than OBJ so far, because you definitely didn’t start Gus the Bus.
- Jalen Hurts! Now that we’ve officially completed the BioShock campaign where the ending takes place only 25 feet from where you started, after 12 hours of gameplay, it’s time to talk about Jalen.
Hurts is actually #12 on the best picks list with dFGW of 0.29, just behind Mark Andrews at 0.31. The reason why I keyed on Hurts for the title is just how much he stands out in the draft roll-up. He is:
- The only player in Round 6 with positive FGW
- The only QB drafted between Brady at 58 and Tannehill at 85. He was in a tier by himself. Round 5 actually had 5 QBs taken (by ADP).
- The average dFGW for QBs drafted after Hurts (rounds 7-10) is 0.01. He was the last chance at a above-average QB play from a single player. (If your statistical Spidey senses are going off – the above-average QBs are balanced out by the average points of fill-in QBs and typical streamers.)
If you waited for Jalen Hurts in your draft, there’s a chance you ended up with players like Cooper Kupp, Justin Jefferson, D’Andre Swift, or other high-performers that tended to go inside early QB runs this year. It also happens to mean that you avoided the anvil that is the rest of Round 6 of 2021 drafts.
That’s it for this week. Here’s the data if you have fun with that stuff, like I do.