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Historical Fantasy Draft Pick Chart: Computing Draft Pick Trade Value

Peter Schoenke

Peter Schoenke

Peter Schoenke is the president and co-founder of RotoWire.com. He's been elected to the hall of fame for both the Fantasy Sports Trade Association and Fantasy Sports Writers Association and also won the Best Fantasy Baseball Article on the Internet in 2005 from the FSWA. He roots for for the Minnesota Twins, Vikings and T-Wolves.

We've had a lot of questions from callers on RotoWire Fantasy Sports Today (which airs 11 am to 2 pm ET on XM 147 / Sirius 211) about trading draft picks. I put together the following charts on the historical value of draft slots based on research I did for a story last year about the value of taking receivers in the first round. I'm remiss I didn't post this last year. I haven't updated the data to include the 2009 season (it uses data from 1998 to 2008), but I don't think last year changed much. You shouldn't take these numbers as gospel, it just gives you a general feel for the expected worth of a draft pick.

I haven't seen a similar comparison online (if you see one email me at peter@rotowire.com that uses similar historical values). I've seen charts, like this one at ESPN, that show the value of players in the NFL Draft. That chart includes non-fantasy players like offensive lineman and defensive players, but it's also good for comparison.

Now for the fine print. I used average draft position (ADP) from the thousands of leagues that draft on MyFantasyLeague.
I used the following league parameters in the math: 12-team league with 1 QB, 2 RB, 2 WR, 1 TE and 1 K. The data below does not include any defense (which I always draft with one of my last two picks anyway. Their performance is very random year to year and the spread between the top producers and bottom is just too low. Plus you're probably not going to use this chart to see what kind of kickers or defenses you'll get in a trade. Of course, the exception is if you have a league that has a lot of points for team defense or IPDs. But I hate those leagues anyway - fantasy is about individual players!). There would be 84 players taken in this hypothetical league, but listed the picks out 20 rounds just so you can see the historical comparison.

I used this typical fantasy league scoring system: (4 points passing TD, 6 points rushing or receiving TD, 1 point per 20 yards passing, 1 point per 10 yards rushing or receiving and no points gained or lost for interceptions, turnovers or receptions)

VBD = Value Based Drafting. This number is the number of fantasy points above the replacement level (in this example, there are 24 running backs, so VBD = value over the 25th-placed running back in fantasy points). I also included the average VBD of each position at each draft slot (0* = no player drafted).

There's a lot of variance in these numbers. For example, there have only been four QBs taken on average in the top five picks (ADP of 5 or better). Two of those four quarterbacks went down with injury, so the small sample size says a QB taken in the top five is a bust 50 percent of the time. There's similar small sample sizes in each pick as there may be only a handful of each position taken at any one specific draft slot. So don't go too crazy thinking historically it's terrible to take a RB with the 23rd overall pick (VBD = 5).

To minimize the variance, I averaged the two picks above and two picks below to come with a "Trade Pick Value." It's very plausible that most leagues went +/- two players compared to average, so this helps smooth out some of the variance.

I also added in a column on average age for each draft slot for fun. I have no clue if it has any relevance, but it's interesting that top picks are usually younger and middle round picks are older before the average age gets younger again in the late rounds.


A real world example of this would be Maurice Jones Drew's trade in the Sirius XM Fantasy Football Celebrity Draft. MJD was taken with the third pick. MJD the fantasy owner had the 8th pick in the first round and made a trade for himself (yes, this gets confusing). MDJ agreed to trade his 8th pick for the himself and swap second round picks while throwing in a fourth-round pick as well. More specifically, he traded the 8th, 16th and 41st picks for the 3rd, 22nd and 209th pick. The value of the 8th, 16th and 41st picks = 603 "Trade Pick Value" points. The value of the 3rd, 22nd and 209th pick (MJD got a last round pick to complete the deal) = 477 points. So MJD paid a steep price to trade for himself. Most of the value lost was throwing in the fourth-round pick. The Sirius XM draft starts three WRs, so it's not a perfect fit. But it shows how you can use this as a guide.

Rnd Pick Trade Pick Value Fantasy Pts (AVG) Avg. RB VBD Avg. WR VBD Avg. QB VBD Avg. Age
1 1 255 282 147 0* 0* 26.8
1 2 240 256 132 0* 4 25.6
1 3 241 227 74 0* 28 26.5
1 4 231 196 52 55 -61 27.3
1 5 215 242 96 75 38 28.2
1 6 215 234 96 65 64 25.7
1 7 218 176 42 55 -64 27.2
1 8 219 229 92 76 78 26.0
1 9 217 207 49 56 79 27.3
1 10 220 249 102 123 97 25.4
1 11 212 225 70 77 135 26.2
1 12 214 190 53 83 2 27.7
2 13 205 189 55 58 48 27.9
2 14 194 218 109 109 -54 28.2
2 15 197 202 85 53 -8 25.3
2 16 202 171 57 45 0* 27.9
2 17 202 205 68 3 58 25.9
2 18 194 216 75 29 46 28.5
2 19 203 217 38 64 150 28.7
2 20 202 161 40 31 -15 26.9
2 21 197 218 59 36 41 26.3
2 22 182 198 71 67 -47 28.5
2 23 179 191 5 49 26 27.7
2 24 168 145 27 16 28 27.4
3 25 155 141 10 -27 -11 28.6
3 26 151 163 18 33 40 29.7
3 27 161 135 5 4 -7 26.7
3 28 156 174 62 49 -76 26.7
3 29 158 191 83 43 44 27.2
3 30 166 116 8 0 -173 28.8
3 31 161 173 43 18 -1 29.7
3 32 151 175 37 17 26 28.3
3 33 163 151 14 23 -40 28.9
3 34 154 140 60 6 -106 27.9
3 35 150 176 90 14 -28 29.3
3 36 144 128 23 -2 -204 25.7
4 37 153 158 26 36 0 28.5
4 38 158 121 14 -29 1 26.6
4 39 168 182 74 22 83 27.3
4 40 175 205 81 69 60 28.0
4 41 182 173 121 27 -5 26.4
4 42 177 197 68 -18 72 26.6
4 43 172 153 -4 13 67 28.9
4 44 165 159 43 19 0 27.8
4 45 157 178 28 66 57 26.4
4 46 158 137 35 24 0 25.3
4 47 148 160 0 22 -5 28.4
4 48 135 157 37 10 23 28.1
5 49 142 110 6 -16 0 26.7
5 50 148 114 2 -27 -63 26.0
5 51 143 168 30 21 6 28.5
5 52 154 192 47 70 -29 27.0
5 53 158 131 35 -26 -60 27.0
5 54 147 166 56 -27 48 27.8
5 55 142 132 52 -32 7 28.5
5 56 150 115 5 18 66 28.9
5 57 141 165 49 29 50 28.4
5 58 141 172 94 3 28 26.8
5 59 141 123 66 -1 0 28.9
5 60 142 128 7 7 -73 27.4
6 61 139 119 -31 -3 76 29.5
6 62 139 169 93 8 19 28.2
6 63 136 157 38 0 3 27.6
6 64 147 121 -20 0 -24 28.2
6 65 143 116 24 34 -87 28.6
6 66 139 170 16 34 22 26.5
6 67 136 152 1 -38 47 26.3
6 68 135 136 -16 39 51 27.7
6 69 120 106 5 10 -122 25.3
6 70 111 112 -2 27 0 29.1
6 71 113 92 -12 5 0 30.2
6 72 114 110 22 9 -167 26.3
7 73 117 147 69 -21 41 27.7
7 74 119 109 -8 32 -158 26.3
7 75 124 125 51 -14 -91 26.8
7 76 128 105 23 -9 -56 26.1
7 77 131 136 -1 3 -73 28.9
7 78 131 165 -40 16 -23 29.0
7 79 133 126 -31 11 -66 29.4
7 80 134 122 -17 -16 52 28.0
7 81 120 115 41 -14 -86 28.0
7 82 120 142 43 3 -108 24.6
7 83 122 93 -49 15 -58 28.2
7 84 131 130 -65 11 44 28.9
8 85 129 131 137 7 -16 26.3
8 86 132 161 16 98 -17 26.4
8 87 135 132 4 -8 -9 27.3
8 88 132 105 24 1 0 28.0
8 89 125 148 12 -34 -2 28.2
8 90 123 115 77 16 -85 27.8
8 91 129 125 -6 -13 59 26.4
8 92 122 124 -19 13 21 27.4
8 93 125 132 82 -32 16 28.1
8 94 120 115 19 -23 -18 27.2
8 95 115 132 -26 -1 55 28.4
8 96 114 97 -46 23 31 26.8
9 97 107 100 -32 -23 4 26.6
9 98 101 126 -83 19 14 29.9
9 99 115 80 -15 49 -263 27.6
9 100 112 102 -16 -9 -34 27.4
9 101 106 167 46 2 1 27.3
9 102 109 86 -81 -6 -166 27.2
9 103 115 95 37 -35 -52 28.8
9 104 100 97 -38 9 -54 24.6
9 105 109 133 37 -7 -104 27.2
9 106 113 89 -13 -49 -163 28.8
9 107 124 132 -16 -48 -23 27.1
9 108 118 115 -100 14 10 26.7
10 109 119 150 10 34 -28 25.1
10 110 114 106 51 -32 0 28.4
10 111 108 95 -36 12 73 25.3
10 112 95 106 -54 51 -40 28.0
10 113 92 84 -2 -4 0 26.3
10 114 94 82 -4 -4 -104 30.3
10 115 102 94 0 -16 -102 27.9
10 116 100 102 -4 -41 -117 28.0
10 117 109 147 -1 2 51 27.8
10 118 106 77 -19 -11 -53 25.7
10 119 106 124 46 -34 40 28.1
10 120 98 78 -13 -59 -93 27.1
11 121 105 104 49 -8 -109 25.6
11 122 98 109 -90 -2 -55 25.3
11 123 94 111 52 -4 79 28.8
11 124 92 88 -54 -38 -91 25.9
11 125 81 56 12 -81 0 29.1
11 126 77 96 -79 31 0 26.2
11 127 84 52 -60 -92 127 29.7
11 128 89 94 -7 -12 -80 27.4
11 129 91 123 7 -27 -53 25.5
11 130 105 81 61 -30 -186 26.0
11 131 103 105 29 -5 -60 27.4
11 132 95 122 0 -16 -12 27.0
12 133 99 84 -12 -4 -125 27.4
12 134 101 82 0 -40 -59 26.5
12 135 92 100 -1 -7 -121 29.3
12 136 92 115 99 1 -70 26.0
12 137 89 79 -43 71 -68 28.7
12 138 84 84 22 -37 -127 26.1
12 139 75 69 0 -52 -68 29.5
12 140 71 72 31 -68 -160 27.6
12 141 75 72 -78 -57 0 25.8
12 142 86 61 -17 -68 -176 27.8
12 143 93 99 -2 -41 9 27.1
12 144 98 125 8 -48 -36 27.1
13 145 100 106 0 -26 -75 31.6
13 146 94 101 -27 -24 -99 26.1
13 147 86 70 -47 -5 -117 27.8
13 148 77 70 15 -73 -87 28.7
13 149 76 83 -53 -20 -89 26.9
13 150 78 59 -35 -30 -222 24.8
13 151 79 98 -19 34 -26 25.7
13 152 73 78 -68 -55 -71 28.3
13 153 80 77 0 -39 -124 29.4
13 154 78 54 4 -56 -225 26.2
13 155 76 95 1 -8 50 28.7
13 156 78 84 -56 -32 -63 25.1
14 157 82 72 -25 -40 143 28.2
14 158 78 85 0 -31 -17 27.0
14 159 78 76 -5 -10 -137 26.5
14 160 74 75 -17 -36 -89 27.1
14 161 74 80 -59 27 -91 25.4
14 162 73 52 -65 -66 -104 26.2
14 163 73 87 146 -31 -83 31.9
14 164 73 70 -18 -26 0 26.7
14 165 77 75 -43 -36 148 27.5
14 166 73 83 -20 -9 -9 28.9
14 167 78 70 4 -24 -129 27.8
14 168 76 65 -82 -14 0 25.3
15 169 73 97 14 -10 -94 27.2
15 170 79 63 -63 27 -210 28.1
15 171 76 71 -51 -22 -67 26.2
15 172 76 97 -46 27 -101 27.5
15 173 74 52 -99 -58 153 25.4
15 174 77 96 -30 38 -102 27.5
15 175 64 54 -56 -44 0 25.9
15 176 66 86 -7 -22 -182 28.3
15 177 57 34 -3 -27 -255 25.9
15 178 60 62 -32 -45 0 26.3
15 179 55 50 -96 -51 156 27.9
15 180 62 67 0 -98 -13 28.6
16 181 59 63 -57 -17 -57 26.9
16 182 61 67 -51 -47 158 26.2
16 183 58 48 0 -63 -91 26.1
16 184 59 61 -130 -8 -271 27.5
16 186 58 50 -64 -7 -70 27.1
16 187 61 69 -56 -84 -4 27.8
16 188 60 63 -52 -49 0 27.5
16 189 60 64 -7 -63 -76 25.7
16 190 54 56 -104 -47 -141 28.1
16 191 52 49 -11 -56 -254 27.4
16 192 48 41 -86 28 -143 28.2
17 193 49 53 -1 -46 -183 27.4
17 194 51 41 -60 -64 -236 27.8
17 195 60 64 4 -47 0 26.4
17 196 59 57 -65 0 -172 27.0
17 197 62 86 -19 3 -87 27.5
17 198 62 48 -74 -20 0 26.1
17 199 60 56 -40 -75 -264 27.1
17 200 58 65 -45 -73 -198 27.4
17 201 61 47 0 -87 169 29.1
17 202 60 73 -48 29 -143 26.1
17 203 59 66 38 -30 0 28.1
17 204 57 52 -21 3 -220 30.3
18 205 53 59 -61 22 0 28.6
18 206 50 37 -91 70 0 25.9
18 207 49 49 -77 -30 -44 27.7
18 208 47 50 -94 -80 -141 25.9
18 209 54 48 -104 -60 0 26.4
18 210 52 49 -63 0 -213 25.3
18 211 55 75 -62 -71 33 26.4
18 212 60 40 -45 -80 -217 26.6
18 213 66 62 -52 0 -220 29.4
18 214 67 72 -15 -84 -154 28.3
18 215 73 83 -30 -62 -144 26.7
18 216 75 77 0 -49 -110 26.5
19 217 74 71 -96 -73 -24 26.3
19 218 70 75 13 -63 0 26.4
19 219 67 65 0 -57 0 27.0
19 220 66 64 -23 -83 -124 28.9
19 221 64 61 -25 -57 -234 26.8
19 222 66 67 -46 0 -155 28.3
19 223 66 65 -17 -48 0 25.1
19 224 68 76 0 -14 -28 26.4
19 225 70 60 -59 -14 0 28.4
19 226 68 73 -60 -1 0 26.7
19 227 69 78 -22 -26 0 27.4
19 228 69 53 -56 -41 0 26.3
20 229 75 83 0 -20 0 29.0
20 230 74 59 0 -14 -187 24.8
20 231 74 101 -26 0 -2 26.0
20 232 73 73 0 0 0 27.7
20 233 71 55 -48 -14 0 24.7
20 234 65 76 0 -12 0 26.4
20 235 62 51 -57 0 0 25.5
20 236 63 72 0 -41 0 25.9
20 237 61 58 0 -107 0 27.4
20 238 62 60 -50 0 0 29.0
20 239 66 66 -56 0 0 26.9
20
240
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