What Are the Odds That a Particular Wide Receiver Will Fall to You in Your Fantasy Football Draft?

It can be difficult to balance selecting the players you want in a fantasy football draft while also maximizing value. A look at average draft position and standard deviation can help.

As a Minnesota resident, I've basically made the determination that Charles Johnson will be on each of my fantasy football squads this season. It's partly because I want to have a share in the Vikings offense, sort of because he has dope hair, and also because purple is a great color. I believe all to be legitimate reasons to target players in drafts.

Now, if I really wanted, I could ensure I got Johnson on all of my rosters by taking him in the first round. As you may have guessed, this isn't an overly-efficient drafting method. You're basically saying, "I'm going to be right about this player, and I don't care about the opportunity cost associated with drafting him at this price."

I don't know about all of you, but I miss on players all the time. Maybe you don't, in which case, please take all of my money and teach me your ways. I just know that I'm going to mess up, so I try to minimize the cost of doing so by drafting players as late as I can possibly get them.

Thanks to the fine folks at Fantasy Football Calculator, we can find this ideal spot. They have published on there the average draft position (ADP) and standard deviation of each player, allowing us to find probabilities players will be available.

I went deep in-depth on the strategy associated with this type of decision making yesterday in breaking down the odds a running back will fall to your next pick. If you want to find the full reasoning, I suggest you click on that link. If you're embracing your inner Jay Cutler and not giving a flying poo, here's the cliff notes version.

You can choose between two players with one selection. You value Player A more than you value Player B, but Player B most definitely will not be available with your next selection. There's a chance Player A could be, however, leaving you with a decision: do you take the player you value more, or do you take the other and hope you can get both?

Obviously, this depends on your valuation. If there's a sizable gap between Player A and Player B, then you'd be more likely to go with the player you prefer. However, if the gap is small and there's a 60 percent chance the other will be available at your next selection, then I'm trying to get both every single time.

The best method I could concoct to present you with these probabilities was a Google doc. In order to access the doc, you can click here and have at it. The ADP and standard deviations were taken from FFCalculator based on 12-team standard-scoring leagues (non-point-per-reception) from August 16th to August 18th.

As all of you know, ADP will fluctuate pretty heavily between now and Week 1. Because of this, I will update the doc at the beginning of each week to reflect the current data points for each player.

You know how people always say to never read the comments? Y'all on numberFire must be the exception as the comments were quite helpful yesterday. A commentator named "WB" actually pointed out a pretty sweet tip to help make these docs more customized, and I figured it'd be good to point them out here.

I have disabled editing on the doc (can't have jokesters making Percy Harvin's ADP fifth overall), but just copy all of the content into another Google doc. Then, change the values of the cells in the top row to reflect the picks you have in a draft. So, if you're drafting eighth, change the values to 8, 17, etc. on through your last pick. That way, you can see the odds the player will be available at your specific pick as opposed to the increments of five that I set up. Thank you, WB.

The reason I specified copying into another Google doc is that the formula for a normal distribution is different in Excel than it is in Google docs. If you download to Excel, it'll change the formulas and make a bunch of extra work for you.

Using this sheet can help me make sure that I'm able to get the best value out of my selections while still getting the hombres I want on my roster. That may mean I'm taking on a bit of a risk at times, but the upside of doing so is too tantalizing to pass up.