Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

23 Aug 2011

Foster vs Peterson

I know this has been talked to death everywhere, but who would you guys take? Foster or Peterson?

Standard league, no PPR.

Posted by: drbmagic1 on 23 Aug 2011

4 replies , Last at 04 Sep 2011, 2:53am by tally

Re: Foster vs Peterson
by jabrch :: Wed, 08/24/2011 - 11:58am

Not the guy running behind (one of) the worst OLs in football...

I'd go with Foster for sure. I have Peterson 3 on my board right now. He slides to 4 if Chris Johnson signs sometime this week.

Re: Foster vs Peterson
by Anonymous12345IWIN (not verified) :: Thu, 09/01/2011 - 3:23pm

The debates never consider the important thing. Lets face it if either one of those guys pans outs AND stays healthy you SHOULD make the playoffs. It would be pretty hard to mess up the draft if you get the #1 pick baring... INJURY! The pick needs to be a safe one and not in the traditional sense (people say adrian is a safe pick because he has proven himself and proven he can do well when they stack the bo and focus on him even with a bad Oline but that is not true when talkin about this)
For overall points, I prefer Peterson+Tolbert/MBush/Jacobs/F Jackson in the 7th over Arian Foster+Ben Tate in the 7th, in overall points... however, since injury is a concern and both are going to score so many damn points anyways that you are going to get to playoffs baring injury, I would go with Arian and grab Tate because if Arian goes down I think Tate will do better than any of the aforementioned guys, and do enough to still get you into the playoffs, where as even though I like the upside of the aforementioned group, especially if you might be using one of them as #2 RB I think you have to go with Arian.
Unless you plan on waiting a long time on RB and grabbing a handful of guys in the 6-9th rounds or so, I would go with Arian, and even then as long as you can get one good sleeper to pan out and be your #2 later in the draft, Arian still is not a bad pick..
I think Jamal Charles is a very under rated pick though and you should not rule him out+Thomas Jones in the 10th round! When to handcuff is if you pick early and get a really talented guy. If you pick late you may have to roll the dice and hope they stay healthy (unless maybe McFadden(late 1 early 2)+Bush(7th) or even Bradshaw(in 3rd)+Jacobs(7th)) to make up for lost points as you are starting the draft from behind as the first 4 picks always start out as the favorites and win more often than other draft spots.

Bottomline, unless you are in one of those multiple league things where the best person of each league is in playoffs for a pooled grand prize, or the most points out of all the FFC winners gets the grand prize you need to go with a pick like Arian Foster (and grab Ben tate) or Jamal Charles (and grab Thomas Jones). In the case of Thomas Jones/Charles, your overall points and production probably goes up if Thomas Jones gets hurt, and probably stays about the same if Charles gets hurt. Why? Because Thomas Jones getting 300 carries in FFL is probably better than Jamal Charles at 230 or close to it. With Tate/Foster Foster probably won't get any more carries if Tate goes down than if Tate stays healthy and Tate won't get any more than foster, possibly less if Foster goes down. For this reason Jamal Charles is the pick and I will gladly give up some fantasy value to hedge injury risk, and I will make up for it when I play them in the playoffs.

Re: Foster vs Peterson
by Anonymous12345IWIN (not verified) :: Thu, 09/01/2011 - 3:34pm

I hope you understand what I am saying. It isn't about total points it's about probability of getting to the playoffs first, and probability of winning it second. People doing dynamic based value based drafting and all this may have an edge in points but they are solving an equation for overall points and not considering overall cash value of their decision. If it's highest points wins then sure go with a bold maximize overall starting roster or value and trade to maximize starting lineup.

My argument is that the risk of injury is greater than the differences in probability if you get Foster or Peterson. You probably have a 90% chance of making he playoffs if you draft well and manage team well throughout season and your stars stay healthy either way. I think the difference is maybe 1% or something (91% chance with Adrian, 90.5% chance with Foster) so the risk of injury which will take you to maybe 60% if you don't have a handcuff is a more critical decision maker. Say only a 10% chance of injury and if injured you lose 30% chance of playoffs. That is the equivalent of a 3% chance difference in making playoffs.

Beware of "geniuses" with spreadsheets and calculators that know how to do math, but are solving the wrong problem! I'm not knocking dynamic value based drafting, just the use of any method blindly without considering what to some is intangible since determining the probability of injury and the effect it will have is difficult to put a number on and the value of a backup is difficult to put a number on. Overalll though even a vauge attempt to quantify a range of impact each decision would have results in a conclusion that a superior strategy is to draft the guy with the better backup that would be the consensus #1 (If Peterson goes down, Gerhart is not a featured runner but RBBC with Booker and his production won't be close. If Foster goes down unless I am wrong and Derick Ward has a bigger role than I think, Tate's production may be almost as good.

Re: Foster vs Peterson
by tally :: Sun, 09/04/2011 - 2:53am

You've picked an odd place to criticize math. KUBIAK already uses value based drafting--DVBD takes it one step further. Building for the playoffs is also just math--you put a premium on the playoff weeks if you are confident about making the playoffs.

If you're trying to use a math-based approach, you might as well do it as best as possible. There's not as much room to optimize the going with your gut approach, but if you can do so, more power to you.

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