What Are the Odds a Specific Wide Receiver Will Fall to You in Your Fantasy Football Draft?
In each and every fantasy football draft, you want to squeeze as much juice from that puppy as you possibly can. That's where a little game theory and math hop in to help you do exactly that.
Yesterday here on numberFire, we looked at the odds that a running back would be available at each pick throughout the draft. Utilizing these odds can allow you to wait as long as possible before taking a player who you want so as to maximize the value he can net you.
Today, we'll turn our attention to their wideout counterparts. Because Fantasy Football Calculator is saintly and publishes average draft positions (ADP) for each player along with the standard deviations of those ADP's, we can find the odds that Eric Decker will be available at the 40th overall pick (87.40% for 12-team, point-per-reception leagues).
You can find the Google docs with availability odds for wide receivers based on the scoring rules for your league below.
Each number in those docs -- again -- comes from Fantasy Football Calculator for all drafts conducted between August 19th and August 21st of this year. The sheets will be updated each Sunday night to reflect fluctuations in ADP's over the course of the previous week.
Because there will be multiple people utilizing the docs, they, unfortunately, cannot be open for editing. You can, however, take steps to customize them for your draft if you are so inclined.
To start, go to the sheet and hover over "File." There, you will see an option to "Download As," where you can choose various file formats for the downloaded sheet. The ideal is Microsoft Excel if you have this program for your computer.
After this, you will have the file available for editing on your computer. You can toggle the numbers in the top row (column D and all columns to the right) to reflect your specific picks in your draft (i.e. picks 2, 23, 26, 47, 50 if you're picking second in a 12-team snake draft), and the cells will update to show the odds the players are available each time you're on the clock.
This is obviously all very dependent on the flow of your specific draft. If teams slam wide receivers in the first round, then maybe T.Y. Hilton's odds of being available at the 25th pick will slip below 68.67%. If you're drafting with a bunch of New Orleans Saints fans, then Brandin Cooks will likely come off the board a bit sooner. These odds can at least give you a baseline, though, of what to expect in a normal draft.
There are many factors involved in trying to nail your draft, whether it be luck, skill, or otherwise. You can obtain more control over these factors, though, by utilizing game theory to try to maximize the value in each pick you make. By knowing how long you can wait to snag that player you so desperately want, you're putting yourself in a better position to succeed, and using probabilities such as these can help get you there.