Opportunity Cost in NFBC Drafts

In fantasy football drafts, it’s common knowledge you don’t draft a quarterback in the first two rounds because there are plenty of good quarterbacks available in Rounds 7-10 and no reliable receivers or running backs in those later rounds. In short, the opportunity cost of drafting a quarterback (instead of a RB or WR) is steep, so even if that early-round QB ends up being Aaron Rodgers 2016, you’re likely behind someone who took Jordy Nelson in Round 2 and Drew Brees is Round 6. The question I’m exploring in this post is whether this issue exists in fantasy baseball and if so to what extent?

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Steamer vs. NFBC ADP

Having run the Steamer projections through my dollar-value formula last week, I figured it would be easy to compare the two ranking lists and see where the outliers were. That was before I ran into the excel problem of comparing the rankings for two disparate lists with overlapping names and wasted more than an hour trying unsuccessfully to solve it by searching online. Mercifully, Todd Zola and another Twitter follower (@JJJJShabado) came to the rescue.

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How Much Are Aroldis Chapman’s Strikeouts Worth?

Last week, I looked at the rough target numbers you need for each category to win the NFBC Main Event. For some background, the Main Event consists of 30 separate 15-team leagues that compete individually for 15 points in each category while simultaneously competing for 450 points per category in the overall contest. For the purposes of this post, I’m looking at the overall dimension of the contest, though any findings will obviously apply to the individual leagues as well:

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Pitcher Rankings Based on Steamer

I ran the Steamer pitching projections through my basic formula which compares players across categories based on standard deviations above replacement in each category. The merits of the approach are it generates a good overall value based on the projected the player pool. The weakness is it doesn’t account for the way people actually fill their pitching slots, i.e., it assumes everyone’s trying to maximize overall value of the nine slots rather than doing so for seven while separately trying to score well in saves in the last two. As a result, one-dimensional closers – those projected to help in saves but little else – are ranked lower than they would be in a typical draft or auction.

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DFS Hoops For After The Break

With the All-Star break upon us it seemed like a good time to track a few players that should be on your radar coming out of the break for DFS purposes. There were a few trades before the break and some teams have already looked towards the future moving players into new roles. Listed below are some good values to take advantage of until their price catches up to their minutes/production. Prices listed are for both Draftkings (DKs) and Fan Duel (FD), in some cases they were not available.

Guards

Ish Smith, DET, DKs ($3,900) FD ($4,200) – Quietly Smith has eaten into Reggie Jackson’s minutes this season and he finished the break with at least 22 fantasy points in four of his last six games before the break. Jackson has been the subject of trade rumors for teams needing a backup point guard so he could be on the move in the next few days. Even if Detroit gets back a point guard in a deal there should be a bit of a “grace period” before that player is active and Smith would be starting point guard for the Pistons.

Yogi Ferrell, DAL, DKs ($4,700 before break) FD (?) – Ferrell had trouble finding a home and it was Mark Cuban who ultimately chose to sign him to a 10-day because he was a Hoosier. Since then, Ferrell has been a fantasy darling especially when he’s been a starter for the injured Deron Williams. Williams has missed a lot of time due to injury this season and his name has been mentioned in trade rumors over the last few weeks. The fact is Ferrell has more of a future in Dallas than Williams averaging 14.2 points, 4.7 assists, 3.0 rebounds and 1.6 steals since joining the Mavs. Deploy him whenever he gets the start over the next couple of weeks.

Forwards

Derrick Williams, CLE, DKs ($3,500) FD ($4,100) – After expressing his concern about bringing in more players for a playoff run, Lebron James has also expressed his pleasure with the team signing Williams. James typically comes in early in the second quarter playing with the second team and has actively tried to get Williams involved. Williams has scored 17 and 22 fantasy points over his last two games with Cleveland playing minutes in the mid-20s. While the ceiling is limited here Kevin Love is likely out for another five weeks and Williams is still just 25-years-old.

Terrence Ross, ORL, DKs ($3,800) FD ($3,500) – Ross should be in line to play Thursday for Orlando which would mark his first game with his new team. With no Serge Ibaka he should be in line for more playing time than he was getting with the Raptors (22.4 minutes per game) and see a higher usage rate. Ross There’s a lot of upside with Ross from a scoring perspective but he won’t contribute a lot in the other fantasy categories. Aaron Gordon ($4,900, $4,500) is another option to look at as the team’s new starting power forward with over 30 minutes a night.

Centers

Kosta Koufos, SAC, DKs ($3,500) FD ($3,500), Willie Cauley-Stein, SAC, DKs ($3,600) FD ($3,800) – It’s seems like it’s a 50/50 proposition as to if DeMarcus Cousins will be with the Kings in a week from now. In the case he gets moved (the Pelicans are the latest rumor, the Celtics are in play as well) it would be a huge boost to both KK and WCS. Between the two there’s more potential with Cauley-Stein who is almost five years younger and is still developing his offensive game. If Cousins is dealt don’t be afraid to use both of these guys on Draftkings; when Cousins was suspended on 2/8/17 they combined for over 52 fantasy points at similar prices.

Jusuf Nurkic, POR, DKs ($4,300) FD ($3,700) – Nurkic replaces Mason Plumlee in Portland and there isn’t much in the way of competition considering the upside of Ed Davis and Noah Vonleh. Myers Leonard ($3,300, $3,500) is probably the second-most intriguing big man but it’s Nurkic who has more upside. In his first contest with his new team he scored 29 fantasy points in only 21 minutes of playing time. Those minutes could easily go up and while it was one game it was against the Jazz one of the better defensive teams in the league. The return of Al-Farouq Aminu will cloud things a bit here.

Kelly Olynyk, BOS, DKs ($4,500 before break) FD ($4,600 before break) – Olynyk didn’t want to see the break come as he was one of the hotter players in DFS when taking his price into account. Before the break scoring at least 24 fantasy points in six straight games and over 30 fantasy points in three of those contests. The second team offense runs a lot through Olynyk and his ability to knock down three-pointers only adds to his value. The Celtics figure to make a move before the trade deadline and Olynyk could be part of a deal moving him to an even better fantasy spot.