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Picking My NFFC KDS - 3RR and Banzai Analysis

I'll be drafting in the National Fantasy Football Championship this season. If you're not familar with this high stakes league, it uses two relatively new additions to the fantasy football landscape. The first is "3RR" or third-round reversal. In this format a regular snake draft has the third round "flipped" so that a 14-team league goes 1-14, 14-1, 14-1, 1-14,14-1 in the first five rounds and snakes like usual until the end of the draft.

The second feature is "KDS" which is a method for people to chose their draft position before the draft. The draft of draft slots is modeled after the lottery to pick starting post spots in the Kentucky Derby (thus the KDS moniker).

I'm trying to figure out what spot I want in my two NFFC leagues this season. I'm drafting in both the NFFC Classic 14-team main event on Saturday at noon CT and the NFFC Primetime main event on Saturday at 5 pm CT (12-team format) in Chicago. To figure this out I'll use a study I did on historical draft patters using Average Draft Position data (ADP) for the RotoWire Fantasy Football Guide where I figured out the value of every pick in the draft over the last 11 years.

I used the ADP data of thousands of leagues since 1998 from MyFantasyLeague.com that we've incorporated into our DatabaseFootball.com site. Using the ADP data, I compared the consensus preseason rankings to the final year-end numbers to see if a player was worthy of his draft slot. I used a typical fantasy league scoring system (4 points passing TD, 6 points rushing or receiving TD, 1 point per 20 yards passing, 1 point per 10 yards rushing or receiving and no points gained or lost for interceptions, turnovers or receptions) and then compared a player's fantasy points against the rest of the players at each position that season. In other words, we compared wide receivers in 2001 with other receivers from 2001, quarterbacks from 2004 with other quarterbacks from 2004. Thus, each player's value was calculated on the basis of what he offered compared to the other options at his position that season. (This comparison of players above the replacement level is also called value based draft value or VBD). [There are obviously some flaws here. The historical data is for 12-team leagues, so applying it to 14-team leagues isn't perfect. The scoring system also doesn't match the NFFC format exactly.]

Based on that data, I figured out the value of each draft positions value in the 3RR format (for the first five rounds). I took the average of the five players (2 above, 2 below) for each draft slot and figured out which draft position did best [For the first three and last three picks I used fewer picks].

Here are the results:

12-team 3RR
 
Draft Slot AVG. VBD
3 215.22
4 212.72
2 193.94
1 191.96
8 190.89
7 190.72
6 189.16
5 189.01
9 187.44
10 186.52
12 170.64
11 168.97

 

14-team 3RR
Draft Slot AVG. VBD
1 214.02
2 199.80
14 190.49
13 189.31
4 182.41
3 181.01
12 177.91
10 161.04
11 154.24
5 152.37
8 142.54
7 138.82
6 132.47
9 128.97

 

I'm also in a league that uses a "Banzai" system in a 14-team league. In that format the league goes 1-14,14-1,14-1,14-1,1-14.
Here are the results for that one:

14-team Banzai
 
Draft Slot AVG. VBD
1 293.44
14 257.31
3 253.53
6 217.45
10 181.66
12 176.56
5 167.49
2 166.38
8 154.00
11 149.60
9 138.96
13 119.99
4 107.20
7 16.20

 

So now let's look at the ADP of NFFC online drafts to get a feel where players are going in their format (ADP as of 8/25):

 

  Player Pos Team ADP
1) Adrian Peterson RB MIN 1.00
2) Maurice Jones-Drew RB JAX 2.33
3) Matt Forte RB CHI 3.33
4) Andre Johnson WR HOU 5.50
5) Larry Fitzgerald WR ARI 5.83
6) Michael Turner RB ATL 6.00
7) Chris Johnson RB TEN 8.17
8) Steven Jackson RB STL 10.17
9) Randy Moss WR NE 10.50
10) DeAngelo Williams RB CAR 10.67
11) LaDainian Tomlinson RB SD 11.33
12) Steve Slaton RB HOU 11.50
13) Calvin Johnson WR DET 11.50
14) Drew Brees QB NO 12.00
15) Frank Gore RB SF 15.17
16) Reggie Wayne WR IND 17.33
17) Tom Brady QB NE 19.00
18) Brian Westbrook RB PHI 19.33
19) Steve Smith WR CAR 19.50
20) Greg Jennings WR GB 20.33
21) Roddy White WR ATL 20.50
22) Anquan Boldin WR ARI 21.50
23) Peyton Manning QB IND 23.83
24) Wes Welker WR NE 24.00
25) Brandon Jacobs RB NYG 25.33
26) Marques Colston WR NO 25.33
27) Marion Barber RB DAL 26.00
28) Clinton Portis RB WAS 26.83
29) Dwayne Bowe WR KC 30.17
30) Ronnie Brown RB MIA 30.67
31) Pierre Thomas RB NO 30.83
32) T.J Houshmandzadeh WR SEA 32.83
33) Kevin Smith RB DET 34.00
34) Aaron Rodgers QB GB 35.83
35) Terrell Owens WR BUF 37.00
36) Ryan Grant RB GB 38.17
37) Philip Rivers QB SD 38.83
38) Darren McFadden RB OAK 39.67
39) Anthony Gonzalez WR IND 40.33
40) Jason Witten TE DAL 41.33
41) Chad Ochocinco WR CIN 42.83
42)
Vincent Jackson
WR
SD
43.33

 

In the 12-team 3RR league, I like the the ninth spot. Randy Moss-Reggie Wayne-Clinton Portis looks like a good combo. In the 14-team 3RR league, I like the 14th spot. Maybe I can get Calvin Johnson-Reggie Wayne-Pierre Thomas.

There are a lot of reasons to like picking late this year. There isn't the usual big dropoff from the top tier of running backs to the second tier we've often seen in the middle of the first round. There are 12-14 running backs I wouldn't mind as my RB1 and after the first few, there just isn't a huge difference between them. Meanwhile, I feel pretty confient about the top 12 WRs on my board. I can't make strong cases for the downside of any of them (knowing anyone - even Tom Brady - can get hurt). So I'm of the mindset of taking two WRs in the top three picks more than ever this season [For more of this, check out my study using the historical ADP data called Taking a 1st-Round WR Isn't Crazy]. And as a result I'm going to ignore much of the math above since I think it's a non-typical year [or maybe it's starting a new trend].

So my preferences for the two leagues wll be:

 

12-team league: 9,1,3,8,7,6,2,12,11,10,4,5

14-team league: 14,13,1,3,12,11,10,9,8,7,6,5,4

In the 14-team Banzai league I wanted to pick 14th, but ended up picking 12th.

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