What Are the Odds That a Particular Quarterback Will Fall to You in Your Fantasy Football Draft?
Sometimes, we have to do things that we hate. Whether it be doing laundry, washing dishes, or changing your passwords so they no longer include Geno Smith's name, some tasks just need to be done. That's how I feel about drafting quarterbacks.
You see, more than any other position, I will always have a target in my mind when I enter a draft that I know I want to get. Obviously, things will change based on the flow of the draft, but I more often than not am focusing intently on one or two names I want to have on my squad. And it gets me anxious as all get-up.
Once I get within two or three rounds of the average draft position of the player I'm targeting, I start to get all fidgety, praying that some selfish, greedy little miscreant doesn't snatch him first. It drives me absolutely insane.
In an attempt not to lose my mind, I look long and hard at probabilities to see at what range I need to consider taking the quarterback I want. As long as I have the probabilities on my side, I can feel confident in waiting as long as possible before taking the quarterback, maximizing what will hopefully be a very fruitful and enjoyable relationship.
I am able to calculate the odds that the quarterback I'm targeting will be around for my next selection in part thanks to some nifty data from Fantasy Football Calculator. There, they list both the average draft position (ADP) of each player and the standard deviation of their ADP, allowing us to calculate said odds. They've also got some sweet tools to use during your drafts, so I could spend a whole bunch of time cruising through their site.
For those of you who are like me and get the sweaty palms from hoping your quarterback will be waiting with a pretty bow on top when you want him, I've created a Google doc that illustrates the odds each quarterback will be available at each pick, one through 125. You can access the doc by clicking here. The ADP's and standard deviations shown are based on drafts conducted from August 17th to August 19th in standard, 12-team leagues.
I set up similar sheets earlier in the week for both running backs and wide receivers. The running backs column included an in-depth explanation of why I find these probabilities to be extremely important, but I'll give you the short version here as well.
Let's say it's the hypothetical 10th round of your draft. You're trying to decide between David Cobb and Ryan Tannehill. As you look at the running back probability sheet, you see that the odds that Cobb is on the board when you pick in the 11th round are virtually non-existent. Tannehill, however, has a (again, hypothetical) 70 percent chance of still being available when you pick next. Your best decision in this scenario would be to pick Cobb because there's a decent chance you can get both of your targets as opposed to just one. You just hit the jackpot, home slice.
This wait-and-see mentality is especially valuable for quarterbacks. As we saw last week, the ADP tiers of quarterbacks are really well defined. If you miss out on one tier of quarterbacks, you can use the Google doc to see how long you can wait before considering a signal caller once again.
Because ADP is a violently-fluctuating beast, I will update the sheet for each position at the beginning of each week until the start of the season. Quarterback ADP seems more steady than others, but it still can't hurt to see how things are moving and shaking.
I still hate drafting quarterbacks, and I'll never fully be able to chill out until the one I want is in my lap. But hopefully using these sheets can at least help you like it has me feel more comfortable with your targets while still waiting as long as possible.