Finding Bargains On Draft Day

Greg Alan's picture

By Greg Alan (4for4 Founder) on January 4, 2013

Greg Alan is the original founder of 4for4.com Fantasy Football and comes from a deeply statistical and analytical business background.

Is Jamaal Charles a good pick this year? Yes? No? 

Tick tock, tick tock, tick tock...
 
Regardless of your answer, I think I might be able to change your mind. 
 
If you answered no: What if I told you I picked Charles in the 5th round of my draft last night? Would that have been a good pick? Darn right, getting Charles in the 5th round of a fantasy draft certainly constitutes a great pick.
 
If you answered yes: What if I told you I selected Charles with the #1 overall selection? Was that a good pick? Hardly! 
 
The point is clear. Regardless of how optimistic or pessimistic you are about an NFL starter, at some point in a draft, that player becomes a decent pick --- a bargain, if you will. At the right price, all viable NFL starters have fantasy value. 
 
At the bottom of this page, you'll find a link that takes you to a series of reports designed to help you identify draft day bargains. Actually, finding a bargain is easy -- find a truly undervalued player and you'll have found a bargain. 
 
Top player lists, cheatsheets and other tools can certainly help on draft day. But, to really land a bargain, you might want to integrate 4for4.com Rankings with Average Draft Position (ADP) data. To help make the task easy, we've built a series of sortable reports. The idea here is simple. You want to find the biggest positive difference between the ADP data and the 4for4.com Ranking.
 
Value = ADP - 4for4.com Ranking
 
A positive difference implies the player is undervalued. A negative difference suggests the player is overvalued. By integrating 4for4.com Rankings with ADP data, you combine player potential with competitive analysis.
 
 

An Old (But Good) Case Study

 
Terrell Owens was one of the best receivers in the history of the NFL. Few would argue this point. In fact, Targeting Valuable Starters analysis back in August of 2002 ranked Owens as the 4th most valuable fantasy player in the NFL -- an amazing accomplishment for a wide receiver. 
 
However, Owens' 4th place rating back in 2002 didn't necessarily suggest you draft him fourth (or even late in the first round). Why? Often, Owens was getting selected early in the 2nd round. So, rather than selecting Owens with your first pick, you might consider selecting a stud RB late in the 1st round. That way, you could still land Owens early in the 2nd round.
 
Passing up a highly rated player is risky, but with the risk, comes the potential for even greater rewards. If you can land a stud RB and Owens, you'll be well on your way to a fantasy championship. We all have different risk tolerance -- only you can determine how much risk is right for you and your situation. 
 
 

Draft Day Bargains Tool

 
Putting together a well-designed draft strategy, having a backup plan, anticipating your competitor's moves and identifying bargains in each round is a lot of work. But, if you really want to win, it's essential. Do it well and you'll have an outstanding draft.
 
In a nutshell, you want to draft highly ranked 4for4.com players just before they're selected by one of your opponents. To do this, you'll want to utilize 4for4.com's Rankings and the Average Draft Position data. The following links address this issue.
 
As you examine the report, please remember that Average Draft Position does not reflect the opinion of the 4for4.com staff. 
 
Rather, the ADP data is presented solely as a reference to help you anticipate what your competition may be thinking and to help you identify draft day bargains. Also worth noting, players with an ADP between 13-24 are usually drafted in the 2nd round. Players with an ADP between 25-36 are usually drafted in the 3rd round, and so on. Finally, please understand the analysis assumes you must start a TE. If that's not the case, you can ignore the majority of the TE data.
 
The report allows you to sort players by Average Draft Position, 4for4.com Overall Rank and by the difference between the two. Again, the larger the difference, the more undervalued the player. The more undervalued the player, the bigger the bargain!
Filed Under: Preseason, 2012