# HSAC’s Fantasy Value Handbook, Part V

Part V: Final Player Pricing

by Sam Waters

This is the fifth and last section of our guide to calculating player value in fantasy football. Each part lays out a different aspect of the process. Part IPart IIPart III, and Part IV are up at these links.

After a little bit of a layoff, the Fantasy Value Handbook is back to finish what it started. Earlier in this series, we wound our way through the many steps for calculating fantasy player value. Now that we’ve made that calculation, it’s time to put a price on every player. We can use these prices to analyze trade offers this year and draft decisions next year.

Right now we have our value measure, Draft Points Above Replacement, which is enough to compare the value of players across positions. But with the popularity of auctions growing, it would be helpful to convert points above replacement to dollar values.

We want our pricing system to assign each player an auction price commensurate to his actual value. In order to uphold this concept, each player should receive a share of the total auction dollars equal to his share of the total points above replacement. If Adrian Peterson holds 5% of the player universe’s value, for example, he gets 5% of the money. In equation form, this would read:

Player Auction Price = Total Auction Dollars * (Player Draft PAR/Total Draft PAR)

In a ten-team standard league with \$200 per team budgets, there is a total of \$2,000 available to spend in the auction, so we take each player’s share of Draft PAR and multiply by \$2,000 to get his auction price. (In leagues that don’t allow zero dollar bids, we adjust this slightly to account for the price floor of \$1.) Now we have projected prices for each positional ranking:

 Overall Ranking Positional Rank Price 1 RB1 112 2 RB2 90 3 RB3 77 4 RB4 68 5 QB1 62 6 RB5 61 7 RB6 55 8 RB7 50 9 RB8 46 10 QB2 45 11 RB9 42 12 WR1 39 13 RB10 39 14 WR2 37 15 TE1 37 16 RB11 36 17 QB3 36 18 WR3 35 19 WR4 34 20 RB12 33 21 WR5 32 22 RB13 31 23 WR6 30 24 QB4 29 25 RB14 28 26 WR7 28 27 TE2 27 28 WR8 27 29 RB15 26 30 WR9 25 31 RB16 24 32 WR10 23 33 QB5 23 34 RB17 22 35 WR11 22 36 TE3 21 37 RB18 20 38 WR12 20 39 WR13 19 40 QB6 19 41 RB19 19 42 WR14 17 43 RB20 17 44 TE4 16 45 WR15 16 46 RB21 16 47 QB7 15 48 WR16 15 49 RB22 14 50 WR17 14 51 TE5 13 52 RB23 13 53 WR18 12 54 QB8 12 55 RB24 11 56 WR19 11 57 TE6 10 58 RB25 10 59 WR20 10 60 QB9 9 61 WR21 9 62 RB26 9 63 TE7 8 64 WR22 8 65 RB27 8 66 WR23 7 67 RB28 7 68 QB10 6 69 TE8 6 70 WR24 6 71 RB29 5 72 WR25 5 73 RB30 4 74 WR26 4 75 TE9 4 76 QB11 4 77 WR27 4 78 RB31 3 79 K1 3 80 WR28 3 81 DEF1 3 82 TE10 3 83 RB32 2 84 K2 2 85 WR29 2 86 QB12 2 87 WR30 1 88 DEF2 1 89 RB33 1 90 TE11 1 91 K3 1 92 WR31 1 93 RB34 1 94 WR32 1 95 K4 1 96 QB13 1 97 DEF3 1 98 DEF4 1 99 DEF5 1 100 DEF6 1 101 DEF7 1 102 DEF8 1 103 DEF9 1 104 DEF10 1 105 K5 1 106 K6 1 107 K7 1 108 K8 1 109 K9 1 110 K10 1 111 QB14 1 112 QB15 1 113 QB16 1 114 QB17 1 115 QB18 1 116 QB19 1 117 QB20 1 118 RB35 1 119 RB36 1 120 RB37 1 121 RB38 1 122 RB39 1 123 RB40 1 124 RB41 1 125 RB42 1 126 RB43 1 127 RB44 1 128 RB45 1 129 RB46 1 130 RB47 1 131 RB48 1 132 RB49 1 133 RB50 1 134 TE12 1 135 TE13 1 136 TE14 1 137 TE15 1 138 TE16 1 139 WR33 1 140 WR34 1 141 WR35 1 142 WR36 1 143 WR37 1 144 WR38 1 145 WR39 1 146 WR40 1 147 WR41 1 148 WR42 1 149 WR43 1 150 WR44 1

More meaningful than the placement of certain positional rankings in the overall rankings is the shape of the overall value distribution itself.  We can compare our new overall distribution to the prevailing one by looking at the difference between HSAC auction prices and ESPN auction prices for each ranking slot. If the difference is positive at a given slot, the player at that ranking tends to be undervalued by ESPN. If the difference is negative, the player at that ranking tends to be overvalued by ESPN.

You can see that the first twenty picks or so are undervalued, with part of their deserved salaries being appropriated to mid-tier players. As a result, the players from about twenty to seventy-five in the rankings are overpaid. Since the market inefficiency in fantasy football is its elite players, smart owners should pounce on them through the auction or through trades. As you allocate more of your budget to top-ten guys, you rack up more of a surplus in value while avoiding a deficit in value on good to mediocre players.

This advice is even more important for owners who are more attentive and skilled  than average. If you are a hawk on the waiver wire and in the draft room who gets more out of your free agent pick-ups and late round draft picks than your league mates, your personal draft replacement level is higher. This gives you, the exceptional fantasy owner, a different value curve than other owners, where mediocre players are devalued and elite players lap up an even larger share of the league’s production. With a value curve that differs even more from the mainstream’s curve, you are in an even better position to exploit the market and acquire even more value for you team.

That was the goal of this series from the beginning: putting your team in position to win by helping you to accumulate value. The system outlined here helps you to become that value-hoarding owner because its price-generating system better reflects reality and gives you a better idea of what players are actually worth. Going forward, you can use this series to get a better sense of your players’ actual values in this season’s trade negotiations and next season’s draft decisions.

Over the next few months I plan to build on the groundwork laid out here with some more narrowly focused articles on fantasy strategy. Good luck to everyone with their fantasy seasons- even if this article was a little too delayed to help with your fantasy team this year, I hope you at least enjoyed reading the methodology. And if you just read thirty pages of fantasy football methodology without enjoying the methodology, I am sincerely very, very, very sorry and I hope you get better soon. As for the rest of the readership, the only thing more fun than reading a five-part, thirty-page manifesto on the theoretical underpinnings of fantasy football value is reading a five-part, thirty-page manifesto on the theoretical underpinnings of fantasy football value twice. Luckily I know just the place to get started on this.