Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

06 Sep 2010

Draft pick trading

How do you calculate the value of draft picks in pre-draft deals? For instance, I'm in a 10-team league with one keeper per team (where you lose a draft pick a couple rounds earlier than the original round in which a player was drafted). So there are 10 players kept, but not all are studs.

I have the 10th pick in the snake draft. I've been offered:

I GET: #23, #27, and #38
I GIVE: #11, #30, and #70

Who makes that deal? Would you still do it if the middle pick was removed from each, so that I got #23 and #38 in exchange for #11 and #70?

Thanks for all opinions, especially if you show your work.

Posted by: Brooks on 06 Sep 2010

2 replies , Last at 06 Sep 2010, 3:21am by Dan

Re: Draft pick trading
by tally :: Mon, 09/06/2010 - 2:47am

Simplest way is to take your projections, rank them by fantasy points over baseline, and compare the values of #23, 27, and 38 to #11, 30, and 70 after removing the top 10 players (your keepers).

I think you end up ahead, given that #70 (#80 after the keepers are removed) is basically a baseline value player with little value.

For example, using default settings for KUBIAK: subtract the top ten players, the values of the player at each pick:

#23: 36
#27: 35
#38: 20
Total: 91

#11: 52
#30: 31
#80: -4
Total: 79

Removing the middle picks extends your advantage slightly.

This of course will change depending on your league scoring settings and assumes that every team drafts optimally according to KUBIAK.

Re: Draft pick trading
by Dan :: Mon, 09/06/2010 - 3:21am

I'd use auction values as the draft value chart, either KUBIAK's or the average auction values from a website like this one. If you think pick 11 will be like the 18th pick in a redraft (meaning that 7 of the 10 keepers are players who would've been taken before that pick), then you should see what the 18st highest auction value is. Then do the same for the other picks, and add up the auction values to see who's getting more value.

If I treat the keepers as the top 10 players and use the numbers from the site I linked (even though it's probably for 12-team leagues), the deal looks pretty much even ($58 vs. $57). You can check KUBIAK and fill in your league's details to get a better estimate. If you find that the two sides are close, then you should think about what specific players you're likely to get at each of those spots - then base your decision on whether the trade is likely to help you get more good undervalued players. If it still seems pretty even after you've thought about the specific players, then maybe you could make a counteroffer to try to get a better deal or wait to trade until during the draft after you see who's available at #11.

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