Over the weekend I was updating dynasty ranks (our staff rankings will drop tomorrow) and in the process of doing that I ran some regressions to try to establish some age guidelines for WRs. The graph below is the result of that work. On the y axis is age, while the x axis has the player’s fantasy points finish in the most recent season. The numbers shown on the heatmap are some approximation of a player agnostic value for a random player that fits the age and fantasy finish for that spot in the grid. Some thoughts below the heatmap.
(You can click on the image for a larger version).
- The values were calculated by equaling weighting two factors – the number of top 18 fantasy seasons the player is likely to have over the rest of his career, and the number of fantasy points the player is likely to score over the next three years. I think those two things are a rough approximation of the thought that most fantasy owners have when considering trades in a dynasty league. Then I created a scaled value so that we can easily say that a player has around 1000 dynasty trade value points (a mythical 20 year old that finished as WR1) or 500 points (a 29 year old that just finished as WR28).
- In order to get at the two factors mentioned in the above bullet point I ran regressions using WR seasons from 1990 to 2005. On the issue of remaining top 18 seasons, the model is more forgiving to younger players. But on the issue of fantasy points in the next three years, the model is more forgiving to older players that produce a lot of points.
- This heatmap is an attempt to answer the question: Should I trade a 32 year old player that just finished as WR5, for a 25 year old player that just finished as WR20? The graph says the 25 year old has slightly more value. But it also says they have similar value, which is its own actionable intel.
- There are probably more things that could be done with this, like increase the number of dimensions used as predictors. For instance, weight is a signficant variable that I left out because I didn’t want to have to do a 3 dimensional heatmap (and also because it only moderately improves the model). Eventually it would probably be possible to come up with a dynasty trade machine… I feel like I may have just given myself an amount of homework that will be difficult to complete.