Draft Strategy

The New MVP Board: Redefining value-based drafting

By Jared Smola and Jason Phelps 3:03pm EDT 7/13/15


We added the Suggested Pick feature to the MVP Board last year, using ADP and team needs to optimize value with each of your picks.

This year, we’re enhancing the MVP Board again by redefining the concept of value-based drafting.

The new MVP Points formula

You’re probably familiar with the old MVP (value-based drafting) formula. Set baselines at the worst starter at each position. Compare every other player’s projected fantasy points to his position’s baseline player’s fantasy points to calculate MVP value.

Here’s a basic example of a 4-team league that starts 1 TE.

Player Proj. FPs Old MVP Value
Gronkowski 200 100
Graham 130 30
Kelce 120 20
Olsen (baseline) 100 0
Bennett 90 -10
Ertz 80 -20

That works fine. But it falls short when a position group is stacked toward the top or bottom of the starter group. When we compare between positions we get some misleading results.

Player Proj. FPs Old MVP Value
Gronkowski 200 100
Graham 130 30
Kelce 120 20
Olsen (baseline) 100 0
Bennett 90 -10
Ertz 80 -20


Proj. FPs Old MVP Value
Luck 300 100
Rodgers 290 90
Manning 280 80
Wilson (baseline) 200 0
Brees 190 -10
Ryan 180 -20

Notice that Luck and Gronk are considered to be equal value. This misses the fact that Gronk has a much bigger advantage over the #2 and #3 TE than Luck has over the #2 and #3 QB.

We can do better.

The old formula compares every player to only 1 other player, the baseline guy. That’s not how it really works when we draft. We want to compare each player to all the alternatives at the position.

The new MVP formula does just that. We compare each player to all players at or above the baseline. This gives us a much more accurate representation of relative value.

Check it out in action with the same example as above.

Player Proj. FPs New MVP Value
Gronkowski 200 250
Graham 130 -30
Kelce 120 -70
Olsen (baseline) 100 -150
Bennett 90 -190
Ertz 80 -230


Proj. FPs New MVP Value
Luck 300 130
Rodgers 290 90
Manning 280 50
Wilson (baseline) 200 0
Brees 190 -310
Ryan 180 -350

Notice Gronk’s MVP skyrocketed. That’s because we’re considering not only his advantage over the baseline, but also his advantage over Graham and Kelce. It’s a much more accurate assessment of Gronk’s true value. Now when we compare the relative value of Gronk to Luck we see the clear value that Gronk provides.

Dynamic MVP

Since the landscape changes throughout the draft as players are selected, the baseline on the new MVP Board is always moving.

From our example above, let’s say Gronkowski is picked by 1 of the other teams in your league. Gronk is removed from the MVP calculation, and the baseline moves down 1 spot to Bennett.

Here’s what our new MVP values look like:

Player Proj. FPs New MVP Value
Graham 130 40
Kelce 120 10
Olsen 100 -50
Bennett (baseline) 90 -80
Ertz 80 -110

Graham gets a big bump up as the top TE still available. But he’s nowhere near as valuable as Gronk was because there’s not a big gap between Graham and the rest of the field. He is also less valuable than the QBs remaining on the board. So in this example, after Gronk is gone it’s time to target a QB before filling out your starting TE roster slot.

Dominate your draft with the new MVP Board

The new MVP formula gives a much better idea of the entire draft board. The result: better Suggested Picks. That feature we added last year remains for 2015. Make sure to hit “Recalculate” each time you’re on the clock to get an updated Suggested Pick.

Draft Sharks Insiders can create an MVP Board right now. And if you’re not an Insider yet, check out a free preview of the MVP Board.

Questions? Shoot us an email anytime at info@draftsharks.com.

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