This is the abstract from the paper “Optimizing Draft Strategies in Fantasy Football” by Papa Chakravarthy. Please find the full text here.
Data was collected from ESPN.com and Pro Football Reference to determine a conditionally optimal auction draft strategy contingent on correct risk estimation in a fantasy football league. The study considers several draft styles including point based drafting, value based drafting, risk-averse drafting and risk neutral drafting. It attempts to determine the risk level that provides risk neutral drafting, as well as the ways risk neutrality can increase a team owner’s utility, where utility is directly related to the fantasy point output of a team. The paper finds that risk neutrality involves hedging auction bids by 10% and using a position specific pricing and discount bonus of the same amount. Using value based bidding in a risk-neutral scenario was confirmed as the best overall auction draft strategy for increasing utility, but in a draft with multiple risk neutral bidders, bidding with risk aversion was a conditionally optimal strategy.
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