What Are the Odds That a Particular Tight End Will Fall to You in Your Fantasy Football Draft?
Recently on numberFire, we've been looking at the average draft position (ADP) and standard deviations of various position groups to help prepare for all of our upcoming fantasy football drafts. It's been a jolly good time, and we've been able to bask in our newfound predictability.
The brown stuff finna hit the fan, y'all.
While it can be fairly easy to pinpoint where running backs and wide receivers will land, tight end is a totally different animal. We got dudes whose range of realistic outcomes spans half the draft.
For example, I have no life, and I've been doing a bunch of mock drafts the past few weeks as none of my home leagues draft until early September. In these mocks, I've seen Travis Kelce go in the third round. I've also been able to snag him myself in the sixth. While it's hard to draw too many concrete conclusions from mock drafts, that's variance you don't see with other positions in that same range.
Although variability sucks and makes me want to cry a little, it makes an investigation of the odds of where a player will be selected even more important. We need to figure out when exactly you have to snag that big-bodied brute you covet so deeply.
As with our investigations into the ADP's of running backs, wide receivers, and quarterbacks we'll be turning to Fantasy Football Calculator for some help here. They not only have the ADP's of various players, but also the standard deviations of those ADP's, allowing us to calculate the odds a player will be available at a given pick number.
To check out these odds, you can click here to access a Google doc I whipped up with the tight end data. The ADP's and standard deviations are based on 12-team, standard league drafts conducted from August 18th to the 20th.
In order to best utilize the doc, I'd encourage you to copy all of the data from my sheet to one of your own. That way, you can toggle the numbers in the top row to reflect the picks you control in a given draft. I just did it in increments of five because you can get the general gist of the probability from those ranges.
When you're copying, I'd recommend doing so into another Google doc. The formula for normal distribution (high school stats class waddup) is different in Excel than it is in Google docs, so it's optimal just to keep it the same. Unless you want to do a bunch of busy work, in which case more power to you.
Because ADP fluctuates with regularity, I'll go back into these sheets and update them at the beginning of each week until the start of the regular season. Tight end should be fairly stagnant relative to the backs and receivers, but we should still see some movement.
Now that the sheets are out for all four of the major positions, I feel it could be advantageous to use the probability sheets for multiple positions in tandem during your drafts. That way you can make decisions of whether you want to snag Dez Bryant or Rob Gronkowski based on the odds that one will be available with your second round pick vis a vis the other.
Additionally, I had pointed this out in the piece on quarterbacks, but it's also applicable for tight ends. We saw previously that the ADP tiers within the tight ends are fairly distinct. Once the final tight end from a certain tier is off the board, you're going to want to wait a while before dipping into that next tier. The probability sheets can show you how long you can afford to wait before those bad boys start bopping off the board.
Like I said, tight end is not an easy position to predict. There's a wide range of outcomes for almost every player at the position outside of Gronk. But that doesn't mean you have to panic. If you look at the probabilities on the sheet, you can see when players you want to target will and will not be available and snatch them up when the value's just right.