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Reflections Through the First 100 Picks of a Superflex Draft

With more than 100 picks in there are some early conclusions from the ongoing Superflex draft I am in.  While historical Superflex data is limited, each draft can create a better feel for the pacing of positions and when positional runs will occur.

Pace of Picks

The format is Superflex with 4PT passing TDs and 1.75 PPR scoring for TE. The remainder of the scoring is stock PPR. The total roster is 36 players deep with starting lineups of start 1QB/1RB/1WR/1TE/1SF/5 flex.

Rookie pick placeholders are in the draft with a rookie draft occurring after the NFL Draft.

The draft still has over 300 picks remaining, but the early pace of picks is instructive.  Below is a graph of the picks by position in the first 100 picks.

Perhaps the most notable feature of the draft is the 6 round period where no tight ends came off the board.  After Travis Kelce, George Kittle, and Zach Ertz came off the board in the top 2 rounds, there was no tight end drafted against until O.J. Howard was selected late in round 7.  From a roster construction perspective, if you select Kelce, Kittle, or Ertz early, they need to outproduce the remaining tight ends by a significant amount to pay off.  For example, to select George Kittle, the owner had to pass on RB6 and settled for Damien Williams at RB21 in the zone where the next tier of tight ends was selected.  At wide receiver, he had to pass on Mike Evans to take Kittle and would have settled for Chris Godwin or Alshon Jeffrey in the zone where the next tight ends came off the board.

The elite running backs went off the board before wide receivers, with wide receivers only surpassing running backs in selections for good in round 5 after a brief blip in round 2.  Quarterbacks also had a slow start, with only Mahomes, Luck, and Watson selected in the first two round selections. The pace intensified quickly in rounds 3 through 7 before Tom Brady was the last off the board in the early 8th.

The running backs are lagging about a player per round behind wide receivers, which is ideal for our build.  Every wide receiver taken outside the top 100 creates value at the running back position.

Takeaway

My research for The Analytics of Dynasty found there were no places in startup drafts where runs were more likely to occur than others.  Historically, the data suggested that drafts were efficient and smooth over time.  One of the limitations of The Analytics of Dynasty is a lack of draft data on Superflex and other premium position leagues.  These are newer formats, so every opportunity to gauge value is important.

In a format with premiums at quarterback and tight end, there will be positional runs.  It is important to have a finger on the pulse of the positional pacing, especially where the data is limited on the format.  Runs will vary by draft, but you can see how quickly they can go, especially at quarterback and tight end.

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