When Fantasy Douche first put forth the idea of ADP arbitrage, I became obsessed with exploiting such situations in fantasy football.
In short, my goal is to find two players with the same range of outcomes, but dramatically different prices. One of my favorite arbitrage plays of the summer is D’Onta Foreman, the less expensive Derrick Henry.
The first reason this works is because of how similar Foreman and Henry were as prospects.
The table contains the key information from Kevin Cole’s RB success model, as well as the players’ RB Prospect Lab scores. Henry owned the top score in 2016, while Foreman was rated the best RB in 2017.
The similarities between the two RBs are obvious. They were big, two-down monsters for Power Five schools. Granted, Henry’s size was Herculean in nature, but Foreman also rushed for almost 40 additional yards per game. There’s an argument to be made that Foreman and Henry are likely to have similar careers, let alone 2017 production.
To get a look at what we can expect from these RBs in 2017, there is no better place to start than the RotoViz staff projections.
As you can see, the projections for Henry and Foreman are nearly identical. In fact, we project Foreman to see slightly more work than Henry in 2017. The RotoViz staffers are giving Henry the edge in efficiency, but we know that volume is far more predictable.
Again, their situations are very similar. Henry is playing behind veteran DeMarco Murray, while Foreman is second to Lamar Miller on the depth chart. Tennessee and Houston both have offensive lines ranked in the top half of the league in Football Outsiders Adjusted Line Yards. The two teams will also be led by mobile QBs whenever Deshaun Watson takes over for the Texans. Overall, there is little that separates the expected median outcomes of Henry and Foreman.
Once again we see a ton of similarities. By virtue of being in a split backfield or backup situation, both Henry and Foreman would realize their true upside if the lead back were to get hurt. The Titans and Texans were both top four in RB rush attempts in 2016, with each team going over 400 carries. That’s a boatload of volume for either young back to inherit.
Foreman also has more room to grow in his offense without injury than Henry does in his. Murray handled his 18.3 carries per game very well in 2016, not missing a single start. Miller, on the other hand, was banged up all year while averaging 19.1 carries per game. Houston coaches have already said they would like to scale back Miller’s workload. Foreman could easily average something like 12 carries per game even with Miller healthy, more than the eight we have him projected for.
Despite Henry and Foreman having an almost identical range of outcomes, their prices are wildly different in MFL10 drafts.
While Henry is being drafted in the seventh round of drafts, Foreman has been coming off the board in the 15th round! In other words, arbitrage. There is really no reason to be paying full price for Henry at this point, while Foreman has been a major portfolio-builder for me this summer.