Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Auction Drafting Style: 2016, and Historically

2016 Analysis 
Using Yahoo's overall rankings, I've collated which teams drafted the top 60 players.  Essentially, this would be the first five rounds of a snake draft, which can show how managers allocated money.  Consider it this way: Abe, Brad, Jon, and Bryan all had two first-round picks, but had to sacrifice picks in rounds 2-5 to get them.  Meanwhile, Justin, Jerod, Adam and I had no first round picks (in Justin's and my cases, we each got four total picks in rounds 2 and 3, and Adam had three 4ths: Jerod's gains may have come later than the 5th round, where I stopped wanting to list players via Yahoo!).  Notably, this is not based on prices we actually paid, but how Yahoo! ranks players.

Abe: two 1sts, one 5th
J. Jones (1), D. Hopkins (1), J. Maclin (5)

Jerod: one 2nd, two 3rds, two 5ths
M. Ingram (2), T. Hilton (3), C. Newton (3), K. Benjamin (5), J. Matthews (5)

Brad: two 1sts, two 3rds
R. Gronkowski (1), A. Green (1), C. Hyde (3), Rawls (3)

Tony: one 1st, one 2nd, one 3rd, one 4th, three 5ths
A. Brown (1), J. Charles (2), E. Decker (3), J. Reed (4), D. Moncrief (5), R. Mathews (5), M. Floyd (5)

Chris: one 1st, one 2nd, two 4ths, one 5th
E. Elliot (1), D. Martin (2), R. Wilson (4), G. Tate (4), D. Parker (5)

Joe: three 2nds, one 3rd, one 4th, one 5th
B. Marshall (2), A. Jeffery (2), C. Anderson (2), L. McCoy (3), D. Brees (4), J. Hill (5)

Adam: one 2nd, one 3rd, three 4ths, one 5th
D. Freeman (2), J. Nelson (3), A. Luck (4), D. Baldwin (4), L. Murray (4), J. Landry (5)

Bryan: two 1sts, one 3rd, one 4th
A. Peterson (1), D. Bryant (2), A. Rodgers (3), G. Olsen (4)

Justin: two 2nds, two 3rds, one 4th, one 5th
L. Bell (2), M. Evans (2), E. Lacy (3), A. Cooper (3), R. Cobb (4), J. Stewart (5)

Jon: two 1sts, one 3rd, one 4th
D. Johnson (1), T. Gurley (1), D. Thomas (3), J. Edelman (4)

Kiah: one 1st, two 2nds, one 3rd, one 4th
L. Miller (1), K. Allen (2), B. Cooks (2), S. Watkins (3), B. Roethlisberger (4)

Nate: one 1st, one 2nd, one 4th, two 5ths
O. Beckham (1) A. Robinson (2), M. Forte (4), D. Murray (5), M. Jones (5)

Historical Trends
I have actually done such analysis for six different seasons: '10-'14 and '16.*  When looking over historical trends, I identify three distinct auction draft styles: Top-heavy, Balanced, and Value-heavy.

Top-heavy: this is a "stars and scrubs" draft, wherein a manager typically drafts two first rounders and sacrifices picks in the next several rounds.

Balanced: this auction approach results in a team that one might actually draft in a snake draft: for a balanced roster, a manager typically drafts one first-rounder, one second-rounder, one-third rounder, etc., with some variation.

Value-heavy: this approach involves drafting no first-round picks, and the payoff typically means multiple picks in the following rounds.

Not all drafts fit cleanly into these three categories by defined rounds, so I've made some judgment calls about which approach a particular draft is closest to.   I also want to add two notes:

1. I don't think a particular draft style is correlated to success or lack of success: here I think it matters which actual players you draft, how you fill out the rest of your roster, and what moves you are able to make during the season.  Indeed, I saw no correlation between a particular approach and finishing first or finishing last in a season: champions have been made from all three approaches, and last place finishers have been made from all three approaches.

2. While this analysis shows the results of a draft, I don't presume that this shows a manager's intent going into a draft.  Quite often circumstances of the draft will throw off an initial strategy or push for a new strategy.

Personal approaches: (Top-Heavy-Balanced-Value-Heavy)
Abe: Top Heavy (4-2-0,)
Jerod: Value Heavy (0-1-5)
Brad: Any (2-3-1)
Tony: Any (1-3-2)
Chris: Balanced (0-2-0)
Joe: Any (1-3-2)
Adam: Value Heavy (0-0-2)
Bryan: Top-Heavy (4-2-0)**
Justin: Any (2-1-3)
Jon: Any (3-1-2)
Kiah: Any (2-2-2)
Nate: Balanced (1-4-1)

*I didn't do this last year I guess?  Apparently adding a third child to the family is demanding?
**We could start voting for how much Aaron Rodgers should cost and just automatically place him on Bryan's roster.