Stuck With a Terrible Draft Slot? This Evidence-Based Plan Flips the Script to Create Silly Win Rates
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Image Credit: Steven King/Icon Sportswire. Pictured: D.J. Moore.

Stuck with an unfavorable draft slot? Shawn Siegele details the aggressive tactics that allow you to take control of your 2021 fantasy drafts early and put the rest of your league on the defensive.

This weekend Colm Kelly and I were joined by special guest Blair Andrews for a bonus episode of RotoViz Overtime. We take aim at the FFPC $100,000 best ball tournament and have to find a way to overcome drafting from slot 12.

You might be wondering just how unlucky it is to land a draft slot at the back end of Round 1. The answer follows the intuition: it’s pretty bad. Draft slots between 2 and 8 have consistently turned in a win rate better than 9.0%, even reaching double-digits, and that’s true over a multi-year span in both FFPC and Fanball. The results for the final third are much more bleak.

FFPC Classic 2017-2020

Team 9Team 10Team 11Team 12
8.60%7.10%5.70%5.60%

Fanball 2015-2020

Team 9Team 10Team 11Team 12
7.70%7.30%6.40%6.40%

We can double check these results in the Win the Flex tool to confirm just how far behind you’ll fall by taking an RB in that range.

ADP RankPlayerImplied Points
1Christian McCaffrey247.5
2Dalvin Cook243.1
3Derrick Henry238.7
4Alvin Kamara234.4
11Cam Akers213.7
12Nick Chubb209.7
13Antonio Gibson205.7
14Najee Harris201.8

The WTF projections tell us the points implied by ADP, and if those RB numbers look low, keep in mind that Christian McCaffrey scored 90 points last year out of the 1.01 and Cam Akers is going to score zero points in hundreds of thousands of leagues already drafted.

You’re giving up about 30 points when drafting an RB at the end of the round – WRs have the ADPs in the 9/10 range – which is equivalent to an extra week’s worth of ultra-high end RB1 performance. But should you just throw in the towel if you have a draft slot in this range?

Well, obviously nobody’s going to just quit, but you don’t actually have to play from behind either. Last year I laid out a strategy for completely wiping out the disadvantage, and then Blair and I drafted a team to show exactly how it works. That team eventually won its FFPC Main Event and finished 31st overall in the Grand Prize portion of the contest.

In this exercise, I go through our draft and use the RotoViz tools to demonstrate how we executed a dramatic and evidence-based plan to take back the initiative.

Beat the Odds With This Aggressive Bad-Slot Draft Strategy

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Shawn Siegele

Author of the original Zero RB article and 2013 NFFC Primetime Grand Champion. 11-time main event league winner. 2015, 2017, 2018 titles in MFL10 of Death.

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