A case study on using DFFTools.com

Originally posted on Reddit https://www.reddit.com/r/DynastyFF/comments/4zovj6/discussion_case_study_on_how_to_use/

Value is an extremely difficult thing to define, in life and in fantasy football. People value all things differently; who is to say definitively whether a more valuable career is being an artist or an engineer?

With commodities, markets generally determine value, and in fantasy football our version of markets are mock drafts. Mock drafts give us ADP, and ADP reflects at what price — the opportunity cost of selecting that player vs every other available player in the pool — that player was bought at.

So that is my wordy introduction as to why I think ADP is the best tool for getting a feel of value. This does not mean ADP reflects how good a player is, simply how good the community thinks they are. A better reflection of how good a player is are rankings — either your own, or if you don’t trust yourself a great resource (I like what the guys at www.dynastyleaguefootball.com do with their rankings). By comparing and contrasting ADP and rankings, you can get an idea of how under or over valued a player is.

And with that, a case study!

I get a lot of messages asking about value. People don’t agree with valuations, they think trades are off, they think players are too under or over valued. PLEASE KEEP SENDING ME THESE! I need these to tweak my values, and seeing trades out in the wild is the best way to do it.

I got a message telling me about a trade — Moncrief + Marshall for Gordon, McKinnon, and a 2017 1st. The person agreed with the overal evaluation, but thought it should be a bit closer than it was (it was 51%, greatly favoring the Moncrief/Marshall side). They then suggested that maybe I was undervaluing Melvin Gordon.

So let’s dig into whats going on here. If I ran or saw this trade, this is exactly what I’d be doing, and it’s exactly how I envision the site being used. First, lets remember what I said earlier — all values are derived from ADP. So let’s completely ignore the arbitrary “values” I use and look at the ADP graph.

http://imgur.com/B9SCWnp

So instead of saying Moncrief + Marshall for Gordon, McKinnon, and a 2017 1st, you should look at the trade as 21 + 40 for 73, 116, and 59. This should immediately stand out because now, without arbitrary values, you can ask yourself — do you think the 73rd, 59th, and 116th players are worth the 21st and 40th? I think when you doubt the values, the best thing to do is go to the ADP and think about it in those terms. Personally for me, regardless of how I feel about the players, this puts it into perspective. If I own Marshall and Moncrief, even if I really love Gordon and the 2017 draft class, I’m avoiding this trade. Those guys are simply being bought at much higher prices right now.

But this is where it gets fun. So let’s say Melvin Gordon’s ADP of 73 seems odd. I know I personally have him ranked higher; why the hell is he so low? The next thing I do is go to his player page to dive deeper.

http://imgur.com/RNSivK6

Here we see compared to his ADP, his dynasty rank — the rank right from FantasyPros consisting of writers from DLF and other places — is 43rd! That means that in mock drafts, on average, people are drafting the 43rd ranked player at 73. This seems like an extremely good opportunity to buy a player before he goes up in value — hell, his player page even has an awesome tag that tells you that!

So back to that trade — if I’m the Marshall/Moncrief guy, I’m not selling for that price. If I’m the Gordon guy, I’m probably not selling at all — chances are, based on his ADP vs rank, people simply aren’t high enough on him to be buying him at what his value should be right now. I personally don’t like selling players low if I expect them to go up in value, and that’s exactly what we’ve seen seems to indicate.

If I’m not a Gordon owner, I’m buying wherever I can when I can get this low price. The first thing I’m doing is going to the similar players table on Gordon’s page.

http://imgur.com/M3YfKJJ

http://www.dynastyfftools.com/tools/players/57bf6e71415dfad782a9c9b2

I’m trying to find players I own around his current value and seeing if the Gordon owner is buying. If there are none, I’m going a bit lower seeing if I can find a player or trade to get Gordon at a value around 73rd, in the hopes of him increasing.

This is how I use the site. This is what I built it for. The calculator is, honestly, such a small part of what the vision is for this. While I think it can be used to get a very high level look at a trade, the ability to dive deeper and see where the values come from, how they compare to dynasty and redraft rankings, and seeing opportunities to buy or sell players is what I want everyone to use it for.

You can even see the top over/under valued players, as well as the best “win now” candidates to target right on the dashboard! www.dynastyfftools.com/tools/dashboard

So now that my rant is over, what are your thoughts? Am I doing it wrong? Are there ways people are using this differently? Was this helpful? Or are people still in the “trade calculator, don’t care” wagon? I see people here and on the DLF forums bashing trade calculators all the time, and I’d love to know if the other aspects beyond that onwww.dynastyfftools.com are actually useful. I know I use them personally all the time.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this scenario, some of your own, or anything else. Positive, negative, constructive, destructive — hit me!