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My Appearance on Dynasty Happy Hour

Thanks to Tyler and Tim over at DHH for having me on their podcast. Check out the link below to hear the appearance.

We talk about the book and some of our most owned players, so check it out.


Pre-order The Analytics of Dynasty before September 1st and you’ll get a one-on-one strategy session to talk Dynasty and get an advance preview of the analytics.

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My Appearance on The Dynasty Life

Thanks to Travis, Andrew and Justin for having me on The Dynasty Life. Check out the podcast at

Go ahead an pre-order The Analytics of Dynasty today and get a one-on-one strategy session with some of the advanced analytics to get a leg up on your competition in 2018.

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Structural Drafting: Kalen Ballage is a Cheat Code

Rookie drafts are a key area to acquire RB depth in dynasty.  One of the findings as I go along writing The Analytics of Dynasty is finding clear target areas for players. For example, round 1 NFL QBs and day 2 NFL TEs in round 3 of rookie drafts are great ways to fill in players while fading the start one positions in startup drafts.

Another area is RB. RB should be clear targets in the first two rounds of rookie drafts outside a select few WRs.

This year, my rookie draft plan after the top 8 RBs (including RoJo), was Christian Kirk, Courtland Sutton, James Washington, and then Kalen Ballage. Ballage is a player to sit dead red on in the middle of the second round because of the athletic upside and receiving ability in a 228-pound frame.

In chatting with a book purchaser earlier this week, I noticed a historic trend. The historical hit rate of producing a starter  (top 24 finish) for RBs in the second round of rookie drafts is 35%.

Since 2013, there have been 10 RBs who weigh 215 pounds or more, drafted in rookie drafts between picks 13 and 24 in rookie drafts: Terrance West, Jeremy Hill, Zac Stacy, Christine Michael, Jay Ajayi, Jordan Howard, David Johnson, David Cobb, Andre Williams and D’Onta Foreman.

Of those 10, 6 produced top 24 seasons, West, Hill, Stacy, Ajayi, Howard and Johnson. Cobb and Williams were athletic duds, Foreman is only in his second year, while Christine Michael rose to a sixth-round startup pick in 2014, a clear value upgrade over his rookie valuation.

This 60% hit is significantly better than the market, and if you exclude poor athletes in Williams and Cobb, your 75% top 24 rate is double the market success rate.

The upside is good as 5 of the RBs produced top 12 seasons, while David Johnson was a league winner in 2016.

That is a good success rate at any point in the draft, but especially so in the second round of rookie drafts.

Much of the narrative around dynasty drafts is focused on debating which two players to pick at a given spot in the draft. This approach is like a general drawing a battle plan: the general can make the best tactical plan imaginable, but if he is fighting the battle in Russia in the winter, he is going to lose the war.

Instead of debating specific players, take a step back, identify a strong strategy, and ask yourself which players best reflect that strategy.

This year Kalen Ballage is a later second-round draft pick, who fits the criteria of this highly successful type of players. At nearly all points of rookie drafts RBs are better bets than WRs, and with the historic success rates in the range, Kalen Ballage reflects a strong strategic approach in the second round of rookie drafts.

Pre-order The Analtyics of Dynasty before September 1st and you will get a one-on-one strategy session including an advance preview of the strategy and tips from the book.

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Hitting from Deep in Startup Drafts at RB

Since 2008, there have been 612 RBs with yearly startup ADPs between rounds 11 and 20. Only 1 has hit as a top 6 running back twice in the three years after he was selected in that range: Arian Foster in 2009.

Foster finished as RB1 in Y2 and RB3 in Y3 and then continued into Y4 as RB3 and Y6 as RB6 before fading off (Y5 was an injury-filled season).  His production of 4 top 6 finishes at the RB position would be high for an elite pick but is unmatched deep in startup drafts.

Below is a chart that you might find useful in startup drafts, and is a preview of The Analytics of Dynasty. The chart is organized by rounds from left to right, and show the rate of RBs producing top 6 finishes by year after their selection in that round of startup drafts. There is a steep drop off outside of round 3 in Y1, while there are opportunities to hit in the mid rounds, largely with younger players, beyond Y1. A common debate in the dynasty is the value of youth, but the value of longevity is notable in the mid rounds, where younger backs progress to match far earlier rounds in Y3.

As the research of The Analytics of Dynasty continues, this is a conclusion that finds continuous support. Pre-order The Analytics of Dynasty and you can chat with me about this and much more in a one-on-one strategy session before the start of the 2018 season.