Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

23 Jul 2013

If a player is ranked 1st overall in KUBIAK does that necessarily mean I should draft him?

I've calculated my KUBIAK projections, and it turns out that there is a WR at the top of my list with 164 Fantasy Points over Baseline (FPOB). Let's assume I have first pick in my draft. So, I should draft that WR first overall, right? Well, I'm not so sure. I've been doing some mock drafts and what's happening is during the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th rounds, it's much easier to get a decent WR than a decent RB, so I'm thinking maybe I want to wait on a WR.

I don't want to give away any players' names on a public forum, so forgive me if I'm being too vague here, but with picks 24 and 25, the RBs I can draft have an average of about 57.5 FPOB, and the WRs I can draft usually have an average of about 107 FPOB.

With picks 48 and 49 the RBs I can draft usually are worth about 25 FPOB and WRs are worth about 62.5 FPOB.

So, by taking the highest-rated RB (who has 150 FPOB) over the highest-rated WR (who has 162 FPOB) with the first overall pick I'm losing 12 Fantasy Points over Baseline, but I'm eliminating the need to draft a RB instead of a WR with picks 24 or 25 (which would be a loss of ~57.5 - 107 = -49.5 FPOB) or with picks 48 and 49 (which would be a loss of ~25 - 62.5 = -37.5). Clearly the 12-point hit in the first round is the best option, and therefore I should go with the RB. Is this accurate? (Assume picks 72, 73, 96, 97, etc. give similar results)

Posted by: MisterSnrub on 23 Jul 2013

15 replies , Last at 18 Oct 2013, 4:41am by yakey

Re: If CJ is 1st overall...
by jayhawkco :: Wed, 07/24/2013 - 9:20am

Well, the thing about Calvin Johnson (you can name names, just not stats), is that most people don't realize that although Adrian Peterson was ridiculous last year, in PPR leagues, Calvin only got outscored by something like 5 points. Which is more likely to be repeated, or bested: Peterson's 2012 or CJ's 2012?

I'd say in a snake draft, the real question is how do you feel about RB #12-20? Are there any guys you like in that range? For me this year, I actually am bullish on guys like Steven Jackson, Reggie Bush, Chris Johnson, Lamar Miller etc. and feel like I'd be happy with them as RB#1 IF I got Calvin as my first overall pick. (This is why I do auctions, so I can have Calvin, a top 5 RB AND one of the RBs I just mentioned).


by MisterSnrub :: Wed, 07/24/2013 - 7:20pm

I would much rather have Adrian Peterson and, say, Victor Cruz than Calvin Johnson and Reggie Bush or Lamar Miller. And a big failing of KUBIAK is that it has no way of showing that. That your needs will change throughout your draft, that positions you thought were going to be easy to get in a certain round have changed, and therefore their value has gone up, and you need to account for that when you decide who to draft.

by bird jam :: Thu, 07/25/2013 - 9:38am

I don't know that that's necessarily a "failing" of KUBIAK. KUBIAK can't predict how every single draft will go. It is a tool for you to use in your draft, not something you can send to the draft as your proxy.

Re: If a player is ranked 1st overall in KUBIAK ...
by Zheng :: Wed, 07/24/2013 - 8:37pm

KUBIAK gives you the values with which you can create your value-based draft strategy, but what it doesn't do is create a list that takes ADP into account. Player #30 on KUBIAK has an ADP in the 70s--that doesn't mean you draft him at the end of the third round, it means you draft him in the sixth-seventh round and get value. Likewise, you'd be crazy to take Calvin with the #4 pick when his ADP is around #10, and when RB is so thin this year.

Probably the thing to do would be to plot the FPOBs of each position and overlay them to see where the relative dropoffs are. Or is there some easier way to come up with a straight draft-this-player-next list that wouldn't have my autodrafts reaching for players? Any Excel gurus have any ideas on that?

Re: If a player is ranked 1st overall in KUBIAK ...
by jayhawkco :: Thu, 07/25/2013 - 12:45am

And again another reason why I like auctions better. According to my scoring, Calvin is worth $62. I'm never going to HAVE to pay that much because just like his ADP is 1.10, his average auction value is something like $46. I'll happily pay a couple bucks more than that knowing I might be getting the #1 overall scorer and I didn't have to drop $60 on AP for the same amount of points. Then loading up with those “second tier" running backs and still having the cash for Jimmy Graham and a top QB seems like the play. KUBIAK, imho, is much better set up for auctions than snake drafts even though it was originally designed for the latter.

(Also, I am a Vikings fan, but am well aware I'm unlikely to end up with AP on my team)


Re: If a player is ranked 1st overall in KUBIAK ...
by VOGNER (not verified) :: Thu, 08/29/2013 - 3:14pm

I built a spreadsheet that "re-prices" each player according to the INFLATION that auction has.

So if your auction prices are higher then KUBIAK you adjust them to all subsequent players. You can also calculate auction selling price per point and value each position by their projected price/ projected KUBIAK Fantasy points.

Then you have metric if that inflated price for RB nets you an above or below avg. price/pt. It takes higher round draft picks and casts them in light to the Fantasy Auction stars from the first few rounds.

For example in my most recent Draft:

Peterson projected $/pt was $0.21/pt he was BOUGHT for $0.18/pt; Foster $/pt was $0.21 BOUGHT (by me) for $0.17/pt

Lynch, Rice, Martin, Charles and Spiller all BOUGHT for $0.22/pt.

Maurice Jones Drew went for 0.17/pt - if you are going to pay 0.17/pt who would rather have? Foster or Drew?

Re: If a player is ranked 1st overall in KUBIAK
by Aaron Schatz :: Fri, 07/26/2013 - 1:31pm

A quick note.

I wouldn't blame anyone who wants to take AP ahead of Megatron. I do believe Megatron only comes out ahead of AP if you are in a PPR league with a certain positional setup. It's because the Megatron's projection is *so* far ahead of everyone else at the position. He's got by far the strongest track record, he's still right in his prime, there's no serious injury history... the odds of some kind of collapse there are really tiny. By football standards, at least, which means they aren't really tiny at all. But still. He's pretty golden.

Hydrophis Belcheri
by kavin (not verified) :: Tue, 08/27/2013 - 7:06am

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Re: If a player is ranked 1st overall in KUBIAK ...
by Sporran :: Wed, 08/28/2013 - 1:59pm

One modification I've been making to Kubiak is that, after doing a few mock drafts, I've gotten a read on which players I'll end up with at each position if I wait until I draft all my other positions before I draft that position (or the final starter for that position). Those players I reassign as the "baseline" players, and modify FPOB accordingly.

Using this method, Megatron fell down to third in PPR -- although I haven't done any recalibrating since last week (and quite a bit has happened to players that I had previously considered to be my "baseline" that might drop them down a bit).

Re: If a player is ranked 1st overall in KUBIAK
by sjwano :: Thu, 08/29/2013 - 12:55pm

I'm in a similar spot this year in a 12 team keeper league, PPR. I'm keeping Doug Martin for a 3rd round pick. AP is also a keeper.

So my choice is between going with Calvin Johnson and the best of what's left at the end of round 2 or the best available RB at #1 (pick from Rice, Charles, Lynch, McCoy, Foster).

My worst case with Calvin/Martin seems to be a #2 RB in the early 20s. I'd probably go with one of the WRs, Graham, or Brees over that. And there is the possibility of a better #2 RB in the 15-20 range also being available.

Our league also provides 6pts per QB TD, so wouldn't be the worst to end up with Rogers/Brees at the end of round 2. I like the idea of Calvin Johnson/Brees/Doug Martin as a pretty balanced attack with my first three picks.

However a Martin/Rice combo with the best WR left may be OK.

Re: If a player is ranked 1st overall in KUBIAK
by Sporran :: Thu, 08/29/2013 - 1:24pm

I tend to be going against conventional wisdom this year. I think there are decent RBs to be found in later rounds, and with everyone else going RB-RB you can usually pick up 3 top-15 WRs (especially if you believe Kubiak on Steve Smith).

In your case, I'd take Megatron. You would arguably have the top RB and top WR in a PPR format. Then get Lamar Miller or David Wilson in round 4 or 5.

Re: If a player is ranked 1st overall in KUBIAK
by Phyrre56 :: Thu, 08/29/2013 - 3:56pm

I'm in a 12 team PPR with 3 WR & 2 RB. Calvin Johnson was #1 on my KUBIAK. I took him at #5, followed by Brandon Marshall in Round 2 while most everyone else went RB/RB following conventional wisdom and not league-specific strategy.

I ended up with Johnson, Marshall, and Victor Cruz at WR (by far the best receiving corps in the league) with Chris Johnson and Lamar Miller at RB which seems fine to me. I then went heavy on RB depth with Ryan Mathews and about 5 lottery ticket guys that become good if the RB ahead of them gets injured. I didn't bother with much WR depth because I certainly won't be playing matchups (Miles Austin for bye weeks).

The nice thing with starting WR/WR is that almost no RBs were taken in Rounds 3-5 while everyone else scrambled for receivers. It's always great to zig when everyone else zags.

Re: If a player is ranked 1st overall in KUBIAK
by Home (not verified) :: Wed, 09/04/2013 - 11:45pm

I was in a similar situation to you in a 10 team PPR with 3 WR and 2 RB (Megatron as #1 on KUBIAK). I had the 8th pick with McCoy on the best RB remaining and Megatron still on the board. But, then, so were Marshall, Green, Bryant, Cruz, White, Andre Johnson and Welker. It seemed pretty risk averse to nab a top 10 RB and then wait to see what WR were left at 13 (maybe even Megatron).

He was off the board, but I still got Marshall, Cruz, and Andre Johnson (#'s 2, 6, and 8 receivers). Receiver is so loaded is seemed best to get an RB I was happy with. My next best RB is the definition of baseline, but my receivers are stacked and I even had an outside chance of getting Calvin Johnson at 13.

All to say that I think whether you took Megatron in mid-late first round depended on your peace of mind with those mid-draft RB.

The Black Mamba
by uma (not verified) :: Sat, 10/05/2013 - 2:57am

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The Black Mamba

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