Fantasy Football: What Are the Odds a Specific Player Will Fall to You in Your Draft?
We all have "our guys" in fantasy football. Whether it's a stud rookie running back or a wide receiver coming off of a down year, there are just players we know we want to have on every roster.
Identifying which guys we adore is the easy part. Knowing where to draft them is a whole separate discussion.
Even if I am slobbering all over Stefon Diggs, it would make no sense for me to take him in the first round. I just don't have to do that. Instead, I can play the waiting game there while peppering in players with higher costs before then.
By waiting to take a player until the last possible second, you're decreasing the opportunity cost associated with getting that guy. By drafting Diggs in the sixth round, you're getting him plus a fifth-round pick. If you pull the trigger in the fifth instead, it's Diggs plus a sixth-round pick. Clearly, we'd prefer the former.
The question is exactly how long can we wait before we get "our guys" onto our rosters? Thanks to some saucy data from Fantasy Football Calculator, we have a mathematical answer to that conundrum.
Because Fantasy Football Calculator publishes both the average draft position (ADP) and the standard deviation of each selection, we can calculate the odds that a particular player will be available at each pick throughout the draft. For example, I've got a 90.63% chance of snagging Michael Thomas if I draft 10th (in a 12-team, PPR draft); but if I wait on him until my second-round pick at 15th overall, those odds shoot down to 16.99%.
Let's take a look at these pick odds for each position. Within each slide, you'll see links to two separate documents -- one for standard scoring and one for PPR -- for each position. Because these are publicly-available documents open to everyone, you clearly won't be able to edit them.
You can still tailor them to your individual drafts, though. On the sheet, simply click, "File," "Download As," and then pick the file type of your choice. If you download the sheet as an Excel file, you'll be able to tinker with it as you see fit. You can change the numbers in Row 1 to reflect your picks, whereas they currently go in increments of five.
The current data is from 12-team drafts that were conducted between August 13th and August 15th. A few days after Week 2 of the preseason, the sheets will be updated to reflect changes in ADP that occurred over the weekend so that the data is indicative of where things currently stand. (UPDATE: The sheets now reflect draft data from August 28th through August 30th).
With that said, let's go through each of the big four positions, starting with quarterback. How long can you wait before you snag the players you so desperately want? Let's find out.