Fantasy Formula

Fantasy Football Definition of "Fantasy Formula"

A fantasy formula is a way to evaluate an NFL player's fantasy potential. There are a number of ways to evaluate player values for your upcoming fantasy football draft, from David Dorey's Advanced Draft Tracker and "LAG analysis" to the standard "skill + opportunity = success" to any of a hundred other fantasy football rating systems. Many fantasy football players eyeball the draft or simply use a fantasy football cheat sheet they found online or in a fantasy magazine.

What Is Your Fantasy Formula?

Most everyone has some fantasy formula they use to rate fantasy football players. Some look at last year's production almost exclusively. Others look more for "upside" or "breakout potential", hoping to hit on an untouted sleeper pick or a new rookie superstar. Many fantasy football owners try to avoid injury-prone players and downgrade players with big numbers, but a big number of injury issues in the past.

Other fantasy football owners look at the strength of schedule for the teams and try to pick out the teams and players who will have the easiest set of opponents that year. Even these break down into those who look at the first six weeks of the season, where easy opponents and a fast start seems to help certain teams build up momentum, and those who focus on the final stretch of the season, looking at the potential opponents in the fantasy league playoffs.

Many owners don't have one simple fantasy formula, though. They are likely to weigh some or all of the various fantasy factors above and then "go with their gut".

One Fantasy Formula

Several of the most fantasy experts use similar fantasy formulas, so I'll try to give a quick explanation. If you want to find the most valuable position when it comes time to draft fantasy football players, come up with projections for fantasy worthy players at each positions. Figure out what you think the stats for these players will be, then convert those stats to your league's scoring system. Rank the players by position from first to last in order of who you think will have the biggest year, according to your projections.

Next, look at the #1 player you have projected at each position, then compare that against the #12 player you have projected at each position (or #10 player in a 10-team league and so on). Subtract the #12 player's total from the #1 player's total. Compare the differences in projected numbers by position. Whichever position has the biggest difference is the one you should be drafting first, because that is the position where drafting the elite player has the most value.

For instance, imagine your #1 QB is projected to be 125 points better than the #12 quarterback. Then imagine your #1 RB is projected to be 100 points better than the #12 running back. Imagine your #1 WR is projected to have 75 points more than your #12 wide receiver, and your #1 tight end is projected to be 50 points better than your #12 TE.

If you compare the four positions, quarterback will have the most value, because the #1 qb would have a 125 point gap, while the rb (100), wr (75) and te (50) would follow. Of course, it's never that cut-and-dried, but I think you get the point of how this fantasy draft formula works. You would value quarterbacks highest.

Fantasy System

The example above notwithstanding, new fantasy football general managers should understand that fantasy veterans generally view drafting a quarterback in the 1st round as a really bad, rookie mistake. Drafting them in the 2nd round isn't always much better. Many veteran fantasy owners will draft their first quarterback in the 5th to 7th round, focusing on running backs, wide receivers and maybe even tight ends first. That's because quarterbacks (besides Peyton Manning) are a lot more volatile (harder to predict) from one year to the next, and the position is generally deeper. So do not think I'm suggesting you draft a QB in the first round. Personally, I don't like the fantasy formula where you project numbers for each and every player, because that system is going to be full of mistakes and fallacies - the biggest fallacy being that you can project every NFL player's numbers.

But then again, maybe I'm lazy when it comes to my fantasy formulas.

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