The draft is the most important part of winning your fantasy league each year. There are many important factors to consider for each player when drafting them including injury risk, upside/potential, and consistency. But the dominant factor which you want to hold true with every pick is value. The way most think of value in fantasy is to grab a guy much later than your trusted source says to draft them, or where you think he should go.
Introducing PAA and PAL
PAA, or Points Above Average, is the projected amount of fantasy points over the average projected points at that position. So if Adrian Peterson is projected for 260points, and you league will start 30 RB’s each week, and the average projections of the top 30 RBs is 200, Adrian Peterson’s PAA is 60 and his PAA/Week is 3.75 Pts/Wk (60 points /16 weeks).
PAL , or Points Above Last, is very similar to PAA, just compared with the last projected starter at each position rather than the average. So PAL is the player’s projected points subtracted by the lowest projected starter in your league. So Adrian Peterson with 260 projected points and the #31 RB is Fred Jackson with 142 projected points, Peterson’s PAL is 118 (260-142) and his PAL/Week is 7.375 (118 points /16 weeks).
Fully Customized To Your League
Each advanced fantasy draft values page (Overall, QB, RB, WR, TE) can be tailored to your specific league to take into account how many at each position will be starting. Use the input forms just above each data table to change the values.
If your league is starting 2 QBs instead of 1, or 3 RB’s instead of 2, it can all be easily taken into account so that the PAA and PAL stats are recalculated for the correct number of each starting position in your league.
If your league has 16 teams and is starting 3 RBs, or 2 RBs and 1 flex, you can see that there will be 48 (16*3) starting running backs in your league, so the PAA will be calculated on the average of the top 48 backs, and the PAL will be calculated against the 49th player for that position.
How To Use PAA & PAL
PAA and PAL are indicators of value and shows the relative values of players against other players at that position. PAA will be a good indicator of the number of points more than the average opponent in your league you will average. The PAL can be more of an indicator of worst case scenario. So if you decide to wait to grab a certain position, WR for instance, you can see what you’ll be losing by grabbing the worst such player at that position. This will show you, hey I really have to grab RBs early or I will be losing a lot of points every week, and if I wait on WRs, I won’t lose much at all waiting until later.
Included in these data tables are PAL/$ values. These stats are the Points Above Last (PAL) per dollar it costs on average to buy them in an auction draft. You can sort through both the ESPN and Yahoo average auction draft costs and values to see who will give you the most bang for your buck. PAL’s are a way to quantify how many points above the worst at each position a player is per dollar you spend. A true indicator of value. These values are the overall PAL, not the PAL/wk.
Examples of Strategy
One thing that has become apparent with every algorithm I run in fantasy, is that the top tight ends are going too late in drafts. Now there is no reason to reach when everyone else is letting them slide too, but in 2011, Gates and Finley are looking like some of the most valuable players int he draft.
The PAA for Gates & Finley are 2.61 and 2.37 repectively, or #7 and #10 overall for ALL players. What this tells you is that Gates/Finley will get you more points than your opponent on a week to week basis than ALL the WR’s and RB’s such as Ray Rice, Blount, McFadden. Yet you aren’t going to take Gates or Finley in the top 2 rounds, probably not until the 4th or 5rh round but in auction draft you must grab these guys.
Using the PAL/$ values, you can determine which guys are going to get you the most points for the smallest amount of coin in auction drafts. The guys at the top of these lists are the low dollar guys that you can get cheap and late in the drafts, but if you look at the average auction costs with the PAL/$ you can see the most underrated top of the draft guys. Guys like LaGarrette Blount, Matt Forte, and LeSean McCoy top the most undervalued guys that are going in the first 2 rounds of the draft.
So play around with the positions with your league settings, figure out some solid draft strategy using these new stats and most importantly, win your league and embarrass your friends.