Finding the Odds of a Running Back Falling to You on Draft Day

Ever wondered what the odds were that a certain player will last to your next pick? We can help you out with that.

NOTE: The Google Doc associated with this article was updated August 17th to reflect fluctuations in ADP. I kept David Wilson on it, but replaced his ADP with a sad face. I'd recommend using that for best info. Click here to access that.

Can you smell that? That is the pungent aroma of fantasy draft season sneaking around the corner. Air molecules succumb to the smell of spilled adult beverages and rotting nachos, and it couldn't possibly be better.

The problem is that the only reason those odors are emanating throughout the room is that your lame-o brother-in-law, Steve, sniped your big sleeper running back in the sixth round. You proceeded to slam your fist into the folding table, catapulting your drink into Steve's smug grill and dumping your nachos on the ground. You lose.

The catch here is that you could have avoided this situation completely. In the June edition of Jonathan Bales's RotoAcademy, I wrote about how you can use game theory to try to maximize the potential points of your team. Let me try to summarize this quickly.

Basically, there are three players you can draft: Best, Okay, and Meh (incredibly convenient last names). Best has the greatest value in your mind with Okay being second, and Meh being a last resort. However, Okay has a lower ADP than Best. So, you have a dilemma: should you take Okay first with the hopes that Best will fall to your next pick? Or should you go with Best and settle for Meh in the next round?

Obviously, the best-case scenario here is that you take Okay with your first pick and hope Best is there next time around. However, how can you know whether or not he'll be there? Odds are extremely difficult to calculate on the fly, and you don't have time to do so in most drafts. So, I have made charts to try to help ease that pain.

Using data from Fantasy Football Calculator, it's pretty simple to create odds that a certain player will be available at a certain pick. They list both the player's average draft position (ADP) and the standard deviation of his ADP. It's a fantasy football dweeb's dream come true.

Below, you'll find charts of each of the top 50 running backs according to their ADP from July 27th to July 29th in 12-team, non-PPR leagues. Obviously, I couldn't fit all of the players into one chart because that would be a hella wide chart, so it's broken up into groupings of 10. This means you have to pay special attention to the rows and to which pick they correspond.

Now, if you don't want to read it in that format, you can also check out this Google Doc I made that has all of the players and their respective probabilities at each pick. I'd probably recommend that because it has everything, even thought the charts below are prettier. As we go along, I'll try to update that Google Doc to reflect any changes in ADP until the start of the season.

The obvious shortcoming of this is that every draft is different. If you're drafting in the great state of Wisconsin, the odds that Eddie Lacy is available at the fifth overall pick are probably lower than 73.98 percent. Also, there's obviously a huge variation of where a player will go based on the players selected before him. I'm not saying this will be able to accurately predict when you should and should not draft a certain player. I more just want to paint you a picture of where these guys are going right now.

Next week, I'll expand this and have posts about wide receivers and quarterbacks as well. Hopefully using these charts can help you lower the odds you get sniped. Consequentially, I also hope it helps you not waste valuable liquid on some degenerate named Steve. Ain't nobody want that.

LeSean McCoy0.03%0.00%0.00%0.00%0.00%
Jamaal Charles0.55%0.00%0.00%0.00%0.00%
Adrian Peterson8.31%0.00%0.00%0.00%0.00%
Matt Forte26.23%0.00%0.00%0.00%0.00%
Eddie Lacy73.98%0.17%0.00%0.00%0.00%
Marshawn Lynch93.69%52.35%7.90%0.20%0.00%
Montee Ball97.31%55.68%5.02%0.03%0.00%
Arian Foster99.12%79.17%22.66%1.04%0.01%
DeMarco Murray99.93%94.30%48.71%5.00%0.06%
LeVeon Bell99.97%97.38%66.43%13.77%0.46%

Giovani Bernard89.56%43.19%5.48%0.12%0.00%0.00%0.00%
Alfred Morris94.33%57.71%11.62%0.49%0.00%0.00%0.00%
Doug Martin97.72%80.61%39.25%7.94%0.55%0.01%0.00%
Zac Stacy99.88%96.66%73.98%29.20%4.11%0.17%0.00%
Andre Ellington99.99%99.40%89.08%47.96%9.12%0.45%0.00%
C.J. Spiller100.00%99.79%95.22%68.30%23.75%2.84%0.10%
Reggie Bush100.00%99.83%96.37%74.51%31.66%5.33%0.30%
Toby Gerhart100.00%99.98%99.18%90.13%57.06%17.53%2.05%
Ryan Mathews100.00%100.00%99.81%97.13%81.59%46.02%13.57%
Bishop Sankey100.00%100.00%99.91%98.50%89.00%61.14%25.45%

Frank Gore77.01%50.58%23.88%7.57%1.54%0.20%0.02%0.00%
Shane Vereen81.17%56.33%28.60%9.86%2.20%0.31%0.03%0.00%
Rashad Jennings84.79%63.40%36.60%15.21%4.34%0.83%0.10%0.01%
Chris Johnson93.84%80.16%56.07%29.40%10.82%2.68%0.43%0.05%
Trent Richardson97.30%88.32%67.58%39.00%15.51%4.01%0.65%0.06%
Ben Tate99.26%95.84%84.81%62.70%35.19%13.91%3.68%0.63%
Ray Rice99.40%96.70%87.74%68.67%42.50%19.36%6.17%1.33%
Joique Bell99.89%98.97%94.15%79.41%52.97%25.09%7.81%1.52%
Stevan Ridley99.99%99.86%98.74%93.22%77.22%50.00%22.78%6.78%
Steven Jackson99.99%99.85%99.02%95.47%85.34%65.92%40.87%19.17%

Pierre Thomas82.03%62.61%39.21%19.24%7.16%0.40%0.06%0.01%
Lamar Miller84.13%67.16%45.58%25.25%11.08%0.98%0.19%0.03%
Maurice Jones-Drew93.62%82.69%64.08%41.26%21.12%2.47%0.54%0.09%
Darren Sproles94.04%84.89%69.33%49.16%29.21%5.48%1.67%0.40%
Terrance West97.78%92.89%82.22%64.82%43.52%10.56%3.64%0.97%
Bernard Pierce99.70%98.60%95.04%86.41%70.87%29.13%13.59%4.96%
Danny Woodhead99.82%99.20%97.11%91.74%80.99%44.32%25.69%12.24%
Darren McFadden99.85%99.29%97.37%92.26%81.79%45.08%26.14%12.41%
Fred Jackson99.96%99.78%99.04%96.70%90.88%62.67%42.79%24.61%
Knowshon Moreno99.48%98.53%96.35%92.04%84.69%60.02%44.80%30.31%

Khiry Robinson71.94%54.17%35.52%19.83%9.28%3.59%1.14%0.30%0.06%
Jeremy Hill77.27%61.69%43.91%27.31%14.59%6.62%2.53%0.81%0.21%
DeAngelo Williams88.53%75.71%57.61%37.71%20.66%9.29%3.38%0.98%0.23%
Christine Michael92.54%83.19%68.47%50.00%31.53%16.81%7.46%2.72%0.81%
Devonta Freeman95.63%88.94%76.97%59.96%40.79%23.62%11.43%4.56%1.48%
Carlos Hyde96.75%92.49%84.91%73.43%58.69%42.58%27.64%15.87%7.98%
David Wilson97.68%94.07%87.06%75.75%60.54%43.49%27.60%15.25%7.26%
LeGarrette Blount99.40%98.43%96.33%92.33%85.66%75.89%63.33%49.13%35.05%
Tre Mason99.94%99.74%99.14%97.54%93.94%87.15%76.32%61.79%45.36%
Chris Ivory99.86%99.56%98.79%97.07%93.69%87.83%78.94%67.08%53.18%