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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
54

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0
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25.2