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A New Way to Dominate Your Fantasy Football Draft: Dynamic MVP

By Jared Smola 1:41pm EDT 7/8/14

The power of Value Based Drafting…

George Bernard Shaw, a famous Irish playwright, once said, “Progress is impossible without change.”

He must have been talking about fantasy football when he said it because it perfectly sums up the idea behind the 2014 iteration of our MVP Board.

For the past 15 years, Draft Sharks has built its draft strategy on the principle of value-based drafting. We created a nifty VBD tool and called it our MVP Board. It’s been helping DS Insiders win their fantasy leagues since 1999. (For more on the MVP Board and how it works, read this article.)

All that the MVP Board is based on still holds true today: rankings customized to league rules, supply and demand, positional value. And our new Dynamic MVP Board starts there.

But here’s the kicker. Our new Dynamic MVP Board uses your team needs and ADP to build on MVP value and give you an even more powerful tool.


…the more powerful Dynamic MVP

The most important thing to understand about the new MVP Board is that it’s constantly updating based on (i) who you’ve drafted, (ii) what positions you still need, and (iii) what the ADP is for the remaining players.

The old Board spit out a single set of MVP values. That was a great tool – especially for the first handful of rounds. But as players come off the board, relative player values change.

For example, let’s say the first 8 picks of your draft are RBs. (Crazy-talk now, but that’s how most drafts went back in the day.) You’re picking 9th. The old MVP Board might be loaded with WRs at the top. They were most valuable when the draft started.

But the dynamics of this particular draft have changed. Now, based on the league’s rules, your team needs and ADP, the top available RB might be your best bet. Or maybe it’s Jimmy Graham. Or maybe that WR is still atop your Board.

Who you should draft is determined by:

1. Original MVP Value

2. Your team’s needs

3. ADP

This is a process that successful drafters do in their heads throughout the draft. Our new MVP Board does it for you. Here’s how …


Step #1 – adjusting MVP Value based on your team’s needs

MVP value has always been based on supply and demand. If you need more of a certain position in your starting lineup, that position becomes more valuable. WRs, for example, are worth more in a league that requires 3 in your lineup than a league that only requires 2.

Our new MVP formula starts with that important premise. But the Board will update throughout your draft based on supply (what’s still available at each position) and demand (what your team still needs).

Let’s go back to our previous example. Eight RBs have come off the board and you’re picking 9th. RBs have climbed the rankings since the supply has diminished. But TE Jimmy Graham sits atop the board, so you snag him. Sweet.

Assume this league only allows you to start 1 TE. In that case, TEs aren’t worth nearly as much to you as they were when the draft started. Graham will be locked into the starting spot as long as he’s healthy. So studs like Julius Thomas and Rob Gronkowski have lost some value.

On the old MVP Board, though, they would have had the same MVP value and remained in the same spot in your rankings. With our new MVP formula, they’ll be bumped down the Board since your 1 starting TE spot is filled.

Same goes for the other positions. Draft your starting QB and watch the rest of the QBs fall down the overall rankings. Snag a couple RBs with your first 2 picks and WRs, TEs and QBs will move up the Board.

MVP values will be updating throughout your draft as you fill your starting lineup. We call this new, constantly-changing value MVP+. You’ll see the MVP+ value for each player displayed on your Board throughout the draft.


Step #2 – using ADP to make the right pick

Player value isn’t all you’re thinking about when drafting, though. There’s another major consideration that should shape your strategy: ADP. What round you get a player is just as important as who you get.

The new MVP Board takes ADP into account when calculating player value. Without getting into the algorithm involved, the MVP Board will consider ADP data for your league size and type (PPR or non-PPR) and where you’re picking. The end goal is to highlight the most valuable players who are not expected to be available at your next pick. That’s Dynamic MVP.

For example, Giants RB Rashad Jennings might appear much higher on your MVP Board than you’ll find him in other rankings. In fact, his standard MVP value might have him at the top of the Board by the 4th round.

But Jennings’ 12-team ADP is sitting in the 7th. No reason to take him in the 4th.

If you were blindly following the old MVP Board, though, that’s where you would have taken him. The new MVP Board will take his ADP into account when calculating Dynamic MVP.


Suggested Pick tool

A bunch of numbers and calculations go into the new Dynamic MVP formula. But we distill it down to 1 thing for you: the new Suggested Pick tool.

Have your MVP Board at your side during your draft. Click the “theirs” box next to each player that’s selected. When your pick comes up, hit the “Recalculate” button in the upper left-hand corner of your Board. You’ll then see 4 players listed to the right. These are the top 4 players based on who’s available, your team’s needs, and ADP. They’re the top 4 players in Dynamic MVP.

Now, this isn’t a fool-proof tool. Fantasy football drafting is a complex process that is impossible to perfect with any sort of formula. At times it can be more art the science.

A couple of factors that Dynamic MVP doesn’t take into account, for example, are bye weeks and safety vs. upside.

If you already have 2 RBs with a Week 6 bye and the top Suggested Pick is another RB with a Week 6 bye, you might pass on him for the next player.

Similarly, if you’ve started with a couple risk/reward WRs, you might pass on the top Suggested Pick if it’s another boom-or-bust wideout.

There are also some big value picks at QB and TE according to our projections – namely Robert Griffin, Nick Foles, Greg Olsen and Martellus Bennett – that might show up relatively early as Suggested Picks even after you’ve already drafted your starting QB or TE. This is where you’ll need to exercise some common sense and pass on those guys – or grab them a few rounds down the road.

You can always see additional Suggested Picks by clicking the “X” on each player box to remove them.

In the end, it’s your draft, your team. Dynamic MVP and Suggested Pick are just 2 new-and-improved tools to help make your team a championship-winning one.

DS Insiders can check out the new MVP Board right here.  If you're not a DS Insider yet, click here to join our exclusive fantasy football community.

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