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Bayes Theorem, the NFL Draft, and Something for Nothing


Bayesian Draft Predictor

Advanced Football Analytics has updated their Bayesian Draft Predictor for this season. With daily updates, the projections get more specific the closer we get to the draft. Hit the preceding link for a full explanation, but it’s a cool tool.

What’s the application for us? Let’s take an example.

Amari Cooper is given a 21 percent chance to be selected at Pick 7 by Chicago, and an equivalent 21 percent chance of being selected at Pick 8 by Atlanta. The odds that he makes it past Pick 8 are less than 50 percent. Personally, I think either Chicago or Atlanta would be great landing spots for Cooper. So I might let those probabilities affect where I would take Cooper in an MFL10, for instance.

Todd Gurley’s most likely destination as of today? San Diego at Pick 17. Jon Moore pegs this as the worst case scenario for Gurley. If you agree, that might inform your dynasty rookie draft decision making.

What about Kevin White? A 23 percent chance of going to the Rams at pick 10. Hmm. Not very exciting in my opinion.

Is that enough to dissuade me from drafting Kevin White? By itself, no. But it’s another piece of information. Insofar as you believe landing spot matters, it’s very useful information.

Something for Nothing

Part One

I don’t know if your dynasty league’s waivers are open, or how deep your benches are. And it’s doubtful this guy will pan out. But if he does, it’s likely to be in a big way. Who is this mystery man? Why, none other than Da’Rick Rogers. He’s a player whom we liked a lot, but has had trouble sticking on a roster because of off-field issues. He’s currently part of the Kansas City Chiefs’ organization.  At just 23 years old, he’s younger than many current year prospects. I know the odds of him making – and staying on – the roster are long. But how many other WRs that are probably on your league’s waivers offer as much upside?


Part Two

In our recent rookie WR rankings, I rated Deandre Smelter higher than any other ranker. He’s still outside my top 12, so it’s not like I’m crazy-high on him. But I thought I’d offer a few words to explain my relative exuberance. I realize he’s old for a prospect, and injured as well. But he’s available well into the third round of rookie drafts, when he’s drafted at all. For that fairly cheap acquisition cost, you get a receiver who stands 6 feet 3 inches tall and weighs 226 pounds. Despite competing with a potential NFL draft selection in Darren Waller, Smelter managed to do this.


If Smelter manages to get drafted or signed shortly after the Draft, I’m probably interested in him, depending on depth of bench, etc.

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