Tue. Sep 17th, 2019

The Fantasy Fanalysts

For the Love of the Game.

The Value of an UDFA: Awaken Your Inner Dynasty GM

5 min read

KANSAS CITY, MO - OCTOBER 28: Phillip Lindsay #30 of the Denver Broncos breaks in to the open field during the first half of the game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium on October 28, 2018 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by David Eulitt/Getty Images)

Where Has My Mind Gone?

Fantasy football is a constant roller coaster of fun that I enjoy so much. It gives me every reason to continue to deep dive into statistics, film and the like to shell out primo content for those who will consume it. What I aim to do in this article, is to continue your path towards being the best fantasy shareholder, general manager of teams, and parent of championships. Let’s begin.

Before we move on, if you haven’t checked out the article prior to this, please go read “Opportunity vs Ability: NFL Smarts In Rookie Drafts” and The Preeminent vs The Undistiguished ranking series and then come back to continue on.

No, I’ve not gone crazy, but I want you to know just how I got to another installment of Opportunity vs Ability. So, it was a dark and stormy night in the O.F.IS (the sanctum for me, THEffVigilante) and I had a thought, “what happens if I figure out what drafts stock looks like in lower tiers?” This really got the butter churning in my head (?) and led me to things like how it would further help those in bigger leagues, superflex, 2 QB and wild flex leagues. All leagues don’t feast off of the top percentage of players and those different formats depend on lower tier players for depth. This could be the difference in surviving bye weeks and injuries for years to come in terms of draft strategy.

What I Ended Up With

I did my research exactly like I did the other articles using a 10 yr span (2008-2018) of time with the 3 year average (2016-2018) of my desired tier.

Quarterbacks

I used the 3 year average of the QB25-32 which yielded 180-100 points. Also I compared the low tier vs the top tier to see the differences face to face.

RoundTop 24 QBsQBs 25-32
12631
248
336
422
502
622
723
UDFA29

What we should learn here is that even in a ten year span, first round reigns supreme for the position. There also doesn’t look to be any consistency outside of maybe drafting a 2nd rounder or an UDFA as a flier for 2QB or Superflex leagues.

Wide Receivers

I used the 3 year average of the WR37-60 or the WR tier 4-5 which yielded 164-121 PPR points.

RoundTop 36 or WR Tier 1-337-60 or WR Tier 4-5
12435
22132
3824
4312
5311
623
746
UDFA926

Rounds 1-5 are a lot less top heavy and more evened out when looking at the low tiers vs the top 36 being all rounds 1-2. It still looks like we need to avoid rounds 6-7 but UDFA puts itself into the top 3 in terms of production for this tier.

Running Backs

I used the 3 year average of the RB37-60 or the RB tier 4-5 which yielded 133-80 PPR points.

RoundTop 36 or RB Tier 1-337-60 or RB Tier 4-5
13627
22318
32015
42021
51311
6712
768
UDFA2143

Running back seems consistent until about the 5th round where it doesn’t fall off a cliff but drops below 15 for both. What is VERY apparent is that this is the field for the UDFA. More than any position for any round and any tier, UDFA RBs absolutely rule tier 4/5. Overall, again, I’m still avoiding rounds 6-7. The amount of those guys producing just isn’t enough for me even with RB being the most forgiving position in terms of draft stock.

Tight Ends

I used the 3 year average of the TE25-32 which yielded 135-93 points.

RoundTop 24 TEsTEs 25-32
11618
2812
31111
479
537
628
701
UDFA62

Like quarterbacks, tight ends have low production from the rest of the draft compared to the top. The only big difference is that it’s more-so the top 3 rounds instead of just round 1. You could argue for rounds 4 for both sides and maybe 5-6 for the lower tier.

What It All Means

Similar to the last write-up, wide receiver and running back are the ones we should be taking the most risk with in the UDFA area and should be kept as late round flyers in rookie drafts with a priority for taxi squad waiver additions. Quarterbacks and tight ends are best served in the top rounds and are more of a premium because there are so few of them compared to the other two skill positions. This project hasn’t shown me any favor towards the rounds of 6 and 7 which makes me believe these are the trashcan rounds, the dart throws regardless of what happened in college.

At the end of the day, draft stock is just one spectrum to the many ways we can be successful. This method is most surely to help you sharpen your dynasty skills in all formats. Just remember, we still need to understand that scheme, depth chart, guys just not living up to expectations and guys exceeding expectations have a factor on things just as much. We also must remember that guys like Tony Romo, Kurt Warner, Antonio Brown, Doug Baldwin, Antonio Gates, Tom Brady (the best 6th Round QB ever) and Ryan Fitz-Patrick-Mahomes (the best 7th round QB ever) are just outliers and they shouldn’t decide how we choose our prospects.

Shoot your shot, because like Wayne Gretzky said, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take” and I’d rather miss 9000 actually taking the shot like Jordan than triple that because I sat on my laurels afraid of risk.

My best advice to anyone doing dynasty or redraft, is to diversify. If you take a risk in one league on an “iffy” player, take a risk on a different one in another league and go with your gut! Gain experience and be open to new methodologies.

For my full rookie rankings (drafted and undrafted), NFL depth charts particular to fantasy and other college football related tools, please check out THE O.F.I.S (Offensive Film Inspection Sanctum)!

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