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Dynasty vs Redraft: The Draft
Dave Cherney @roadwarrior_D
IT Consultant; Fantasy Football Original Gangster
Contributor / Marketing Specialist for FakePigskin ; Owner / Moderator of ‘The #1 NFL Fantasy Football Community‘ Google Plus blog.
Dr. John Bush @prof_fantasy1
Associate Professor of Biology
John writes for his blog ; Fantasy Sports Professors
and has published a fantasy football textbook “Winning Your Fantasy Football Draft: A Professor’s Textbook” (Amazon ebook).
Dave and John will research, analyze and report, through a series of articles, the relationships within and between dynasty and redraft leagues. We are committed to giving you sufficient leverage for success in either or both worlds.
Strength and Weakness
Dave is a 9-year veteran in dynasty leagues while John is an expert in the Redraft arena. Yet when each ventures into the others waters, they tend to sink for a reason we plan to excavate. A fusion of these two individuals’ talents and visions hope to open a pathway into development of a new interdisciplinary view of fantasy football from both perspectives.
Our Journey Up Until Now…
I have failed with my dynasty teams and stopped playing in that world until I could develop a successful process. I realize my Redraft views and biases were not serving me on these dynasty teams. I was not focused on the right players and did not understand the dynasty environment.
I began playing Redraft in 1989 and had continued success up until 2007 when I joined my first dynasty leagues which I’ve ramped into championship status. Yet something odd happened that I still don’t grasp. My Redraft game went completely off the rails. The best I’ve finished is third since adopting the dynasty format. I vow to change this.
Phase 1: The Draft
We begin with a simple hypothesis to test, how similar are Dynasty and Redraft league drafts?
Figure 1 A and B
Testing required to first developing a positional view of each of the formats. Figure 1 presents these two systems of drafting up until the 60th draft pick based on averaging Average Draft Position picks in both Redraft and dynasty leagues.
Figure 1A displays the Dynasty Positional Pattern with each pick in red diamonds assigned the specific position of the draft pick. The order begins with wide receivers followed by tight ends, running backs then quarterbacks. The X axis is the draft picks by twelve’s, each representing a round for a 12-team draft.
Analysis of Figure 1A reveals that receivers are drafted in higher amounts through the entire 60 picks. Note at the end of the 60th draft pick (5th round) we have arrived at the 40th receiver. Surprisingly, we see only 13 running backs taken.
Figure 1B puts forth the Redraft Positional Pattern. By the 60th pick the 27th receiver had been selected on average while the 25th running back had been grabbed. Of note, the quarterbacks and tight ends seemed to be on the same level as the dynasty counterpart.
I am currently not playing in dynasty leagues and this came as a complete shock. I would have never predicted this wide gap between the backs and receivers in dynasty PPR leagues. The quarterback and tight end positions seem to be as expected. Given my past focus into Redraft only, I was not surprised at the patterns of these Redraft Positions.
Much like John, as I view the Redraft chart I am surprised at the large gap between the backs and receivers for each format. In the fantasy world, trends such as the ‘zero-running back’ seem to last anywhere between 3-5 years and this illustration shows how dangerous they can be if you don’t hit your draft nearly perfect. However, you can see how going against the grain can put you in position to draft a highly competitive squad from inception.
Our next question becomes the value and nature of this difference between the two league formats. We’ve calculated the percentage of each position in both league systems and show that data in Figure 2 A and B.
Figure 2 A and B
In Figure 2A, the dynasty positional percentage was found to be 60% wide receiver and 40% running backs with the first 60 draft picks. On the other hand, in Redraft these percentages were 48% backs and 52% receivers.
Redraft is balanced while the dynasty league draft is biased toward the wide receiver. Value wise, in dynasty leagues, receivers are worth 15% more than Redraft while running backs were worth 17% less in price.
Moving through a draft a Redraft player would overvalue running backs and undervalue receivers. A dynasty player would tend to move in the opposite manner and underplay the running back while overplaying their wide receiver picking. The tendency is to mis-price the value and thus draft suboptimal teams as compared to average. It does not mean the players straying from this can’t win; analysis of the data in Figures 1 and 2 suggest they would have a harder time winning on average.
My overall analysis is I reject the hypothesis and suggest that the two systems have similar views of quarterback and tight end within the first 60 picks but they are very different as seen through the viewing lens of running back and wide receiver value. Clearly dynasty players have a greater value for talented receivers versus Redraft.
These conclusions were eye-opening for me. I know my three dynasty failures which I orphaned this year cost me money and I was tired of enriching others! This may have been partially due to the original draft of my dynasty teams. I found the drafting was “crazy” in dynast leagues for me. I could not “see” the reason. Now I will use data from this series to establish a different focus.
In the dynasty world the receiver is more valuable. Common theories are receivers have greater longevity and the position isn’t as punishing. In addition, with the game becoming more ‘pass happy’ the odds of a receiver being on the field versus that of the back are greatly enhanced. This comes into play if you have several flex spots when fielding your fantasy lineup.
On the other hand, looking back on my Redraft leagues I’ve continued to draft with the dynasty mindset. I found myself being wide receiver heavy early and filling the back end of my roster with youth. Seeing the number of running backs selected in the early rounds in the Redraft format could explain why I have struggled drafting a consistently competitive squad.
To be continued…
The next article in the series will be a detailed breakdown of the Quarterbacks and Tight Ends. While we’ve noted that there isn’t much difference where each of these positions was drafted, which players were drafted in those positions is a completely different story. Stay tuned to FakePigskin.