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SSOG

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Hey everyone, I was having a discussion on the value of 1st round rookie picks, and I was hoping I could get a bunch of people to help me out with a little experiment.

Step 1: Go to this dice roller and roll the 12-sided die until you have four distinct numbers.

Step 2: Post what your 4 numbers were

Step 3: Post which players were taken with those 4 picks in your league's rookie drafts. You can go back as far as you want.

So, for example, I just rolled a 2, 5, 9, and 11. In my main dynasty, here are the players that were taken with those picks:

2012- Doug Martin, Justin Blackmon, Robert Turbin, Russell Wilson

2011- Ingram, Daniel Thomas, Randall Cobb, Cam Newton

2010- Spiller, Mike Williams, Hardesty, Hernandez

2009- Chris Wells, Percy Harvin, Jeremy Maclin, Matt Stafford

2008- Matt Forte, Kevin Smith, Steve Slaton, Desean Jackson

2007- Calvin, Jamarcus, Michael Bush, Brady Quinn

I did it again and got 1, 3, 4, 5 (yes, seriously). That quartet would have netted the following:

2012- Richardson, Luck, Griffin, Blackmon

2011- Julio Jones, A.J. Green, Daniel Thomas, Roy Helu

2010- Dez, Mathews, Best, Mike Williams

2009- Knowshon Moreno, Lesean McCoy, Donald Brown, Percy Harvin

2008- Darren McFadden, Jonathan Stewart, Rashard Mendenhall, Kevin Smith

2007- Peterson, Lynch, Brandon Jackson, Jamarcus Russell

The idea is how many players would be worth four random 1st rounders, and it'd be a lot easier to make that comparison if we could see what 4 truly random 1st rounders actually looked like. So, thanks in advance for helping.

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SSOG, when do you hold your drafts? Picks like Wilson,Cobb and Hernandez went much later in my drafts since we hold rookie drafts in May. Sure there was some buzz out of mini camps on these guys which made them good value picks at the time, but with no preseason games to watch, none of these guys were picked in the first 2 rounds. Just curious since draft date seems like a huge variable.

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1, 3, 5, 72012: Richardson, RGIII, Wilson, Hillman2011: Ingram, Green, R. Williams, Little2010: Matthews, Spiller, D. Bryant, D. Thomas (Arrelius Benn went 4th ughhh)2009: Crabtree, Wells, McCoy, Greene2008: McFadden, Forte, Kevin Smith, Chris Johnson

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10 team, got 1, 4, 6, 9.2012:Richardson, RG3, Wright, Hillman2011:Green, Daniel Thomas, Little, Torrey Smith2010:Matthews, Best, Golden Tate, BradfordDid it one more time because I thought it was interesting.Got 1, 8, 9, 10. 2012:Richardson, Blackmon, Hillman, Tannehill2011:Green, Leshoure, Torrey Smith, Newton2010:Matthews, Ben Tate, Bradford, Gerhart

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1, 2, 5, 72012- Richardson, Blackmon, Martin, Wilson2011- Green, Julio, Daniel Thomas, Leshoure2010- Bradford, Mathews, Spiller, Hardesty2009- Moreno, Wells, Brown, HarvinInteresting to note that the same guy who took Bradford #1 in 2010 also took Blackmon #2 in 2012.

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Rolled 3, 5, 8, 10. 2012: RG3, Hillman, Floyd, Jeffery2012: Luck, D.Wilson, Floyd, Hillman2012: Martin, Blackmon, Wright, Hillman2012: Floyd, Blackmon, Pead, Wright2012: Martin, Blackmon, D.Wilson, Fleener2011: Julio, Daniel Thomas, Little, D.Carter2011: Daniel Thomas, Ryan Williams, Helu, D.Carter2011: Julio, Ryan Williams, Baldwin, Vereen2011: Julio, Little, Leshoure, T.Smith2010: Mathews, Bradford, Tate, HardestyThis is interesting. Unfortunately, my longest tenured leagues don't have a standalone rookie draft. One thing that stands out is the quality of the #3 pick compared to the rest of them.

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I got 4, 5, 8 and 122012- Blackmon, Martin, Kuechly, Pead2011- Julio Jones, Daniel Thomas, Ryan Williams, Jon Baldwin2010- Best, Gresham, Bradford, Eric Berry2009- Beanie Wells, McCoy, Stafford, Maclin2008- Kevin Smith, Forte, Ray Rice, Keith Rivers2007- Dwayne Jarrett, Michael Bush, Brandon Jackson, Bowe2006- Vince Young, LenDale White, Michael Huff, Marcedes Lewis2005- Cedric Benson, J.J. Arrington, Reggie Brown, Thomas Davis

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4/7/9/11 in a 12 team .5/1.0/1.5 RB/WR/TE PPR2012 Griffin/Floyd/K Wright/L Miller2011 D Thomas/Murray/Baldwin/K Hunter2010 Best/Benn/Gresham/Bradford2009 S Greene/Sanchez/DHB/Nicks2008 Mendenhall/M Ryan/Torain/J Hardy2007 A Gonzalez/M Bush/C Henry/G Olson

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IDP included or just offense?

I was thinking just offense, but if you want to throw some IDP data into the mix, be my guest. My understanding is that defensive players rarely crack the top half of the first round.
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Curious if you've had enough to conclude on whether or not there is a player that you wouldn't trade for 4 random firsts

Planning a write up, but letting more data points come in, first. Especially for older seasons, if I can get them.
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League A - 2, 6, 7, 92012 - Doug Martin, David Wilson, Michael Floyd, Lamar Miller2011 - AJ Green, Mikael Leshoure, Shane Vereen, Roy Helu 2010 - Jahvid Best, Demaryius Thomas, Arrelious Benn, Toby Gerhart2009 - Chris Wells, Shonn Green, Percy Harvin, Jeremy Maclin2008 - Jon Stewart, Felix Jones, Ray Rice, James Hardy2007 - Calvin Johnson, Chris Henry, Dwayne Bowe, Sydney Rice2006 - Laurence Maroney, Vernon Davis, Chad Jackson, Matt LeinartLeague B - 1, 5, 7, 82012 - Trent Richardson, Lamar Miller, Michael Floyd, Andrew Luck2011 - Mark Ingram, Ryan Williams, Mikael Leshoure, Shane Vereen2010 - Ryan Mathews, Ben Tate, Toby Gerhart, Demaryius Thomas2009 - Knowshon Moreno, Donald Brown, Percy Harvin, Lesean McCoy2008 - Jon Stewart, Matt Forte, Ray Rice, Ryan ToraineETA 2011 draft data (wasn't available in any of my leagues at time of original post)

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  • 2 weeks later...

5,8,11,12

2002 Alstott, Mike TBB RB McCardell, Keenan TBB WR Stallworth, Donte' NOS WR Smith, Lamar FA RB

2003 Jones, Julius DAL RB Manning, Eli NYG QB Perry, Chris CIN RB Jones, Greg JAC RB

2004 Shelton, Eric CAR RB Williamson, Troy MIN WR Miller, Heath PIT TE Clarett, Maurice FA RB

2006 Maroney, Laurence NEP RB ® Davis, Vernon SFO TE ® Cutler, Jay DEN QB (R Jones-Drew, Maurice JAC RB ®

2007 Russell, JaMarcus OAK QB ® Bush, Michael OAK RB ® Booker, Lorenzo MIA RB (R Quinn, Brady CLE QB ®

2008 Forte, Matt CHI RB (R Rice, Ray BAL RB ® Ryan, Matt ATL QB ® Hardy, James BUF WR (R

2009 McCoy, LeSean PHI RB (R Maclin, Jeremy PHI WR ® Nicks, Hakeem NYG WR ® Britt, Kenny TEN WR (R

2010 Spiller, C.J. BUF RB ® Hardesty, Montario CLE RB ® Clausen, Jimmy CAR QB ® Thomas, Demaryius DEN WR ®

2011 Thomas, Daniel MIA RB ® Baldwin, Jon KCC WR ® Helu, Roy WAS RB ® Vereen, Shane NEP RB ®

2012 Wilson, David NYG RB ® Floyd, Michael ARI WR ® Quick, Brian STL WR ® Miller, Lamar MIA RB ®

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12, 4, 8, 11

Quick, RG3, Pead, Hillman

Cam Newton, Ryan Williams, Jon Baldwin, Helu

Gresham, Spiller, Ben Tate, McCluster

Randle, DWilson, Wright, Fleener

VBrown, Ingram, Cobb, Torrey Smith

Bradford, Spiller, McClain, Gresham

Harvin, Nicks, DHB, Stafford

CJ3, Forte, Felix, Malcolm Kelly

Olsen, Bowe, SRice, Jarrett

MLewis, VD, Chad Jackson, VY

Matt Jones, Braylon, Mark Clayton, Heath Miller

Jenkins, Fitzgerald, KW2, Chris Perry

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3-6-8-11 (2QB league)

2007 - Lynch/ B. Jackson/ Jarrett/ P. Willis

2008 - JStew/ Flacco/ CJ2K/ R. Rice

2009 - Moreno/ D. Brown/ Maclin/ DHB

2010 - Bryant/ Bradford/ D. Thomas/ Tebow

2011 - Newton/ Da. Thomas/ Locker/ Cobb

2012 - TRich/ Blackmon/ Wright/ Weeden

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enough participation here to draw any conclusions?

my very rough look tells me that it takes roughly 3 or 4 1sts to get one good player.
So move 1st round picks if you can get proven good players? Sounds about right to me.
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enough participation here to draw any conclusions?

my very rough look tells me that it takes roughly 3 or 4 1sts to get one good player.
So move 1st round picks if you can get proven good players? Sounds about right to me.
The question never really has been whether you should move a single future pick for a good player; the question has been how many.
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3, 5, 8, 9 12 team league 3 rd rookie draft standard non-ppr 26 roster spots... Slight bump for return yds (1pt/30yds)

2010 (Startup) MJD, Frank Gore, Aaron Rodgers, Michael Turner

2011 (Rookies) Julio Jones, Daniel Thomas, Denarius Moore, Randall Cobb

2012 (Rookies) Doug Martin, Ronnie Hillman, David Wilson, Michael Floyd

and then again...

2, 6, 7, 10

2010 (Startup) Ray Rice, Andre Johnson, DeSean Jackson, Rashard Mendenhall

2011 (Rookies) Mark Ingram, Greg Little, Kendall Hunter, Cam Newton

2012 (Rookies) Andrew Luck, Justin Blackmon, Isaiah Pead, Coby Fleener

Interesting for sure...

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bump. enough participation here to draw any conclusions?

The last couple of years, the "draft pick grab bag" has crushed all comers- I'd take four random 2011 or 2012 firsts over anyone and everyone, thanks to Richardson, Martin, Luck, Griffin, Green, Julio, Newton, and Cobb. In fact, in most of the drafts since 2007, the rookie grab bag has been a very low-risk, high-reward play. Looking back on the older drafts, data is much more sparse, but the rookies wound up being terrible bets- the drafts before 2007 were real dogs. Still, my take on this is that, in a normal year, four random rookie picks are as valuable as any single player in the league, especially when you remember that when you trade for veterans, you only get their remaining career (so a rookie Calvin is worth substantially more than a 27 year old Calvin). I wouldn't call this year a normal year, and I'd be hesitant to trade a top5-10 player for a rookie grab bag, but I'd feel pretty comfortable making that trade for four random 2014 firsts, instead.
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bump. enough participation here to draw any conclusions?

The last couple of years, the "draft pick grab bag" has crushed all comers- I'd take four random 2011 or 2012 firsts over anyone and everyone, thanks to Richardson, Martin, Luck, Griffin, Green, Julio, Newton, and Cobb. In fact, in most of the drafts since 2007, the rookie grab bag has been a very low-risk, high-reward play. Looking back on the older drafts, data is much more sparse, but the rookies wound up being terrible bets- the drafts before 2007 were real dogs. Still, my take on this is that, in a normal year, four random rookie picks are as valuable as any single player in the league, especially when you remember that when you trade for veterans, you only get their remaining career (so a rookie Calvin is worth substantially more than a 27 year old Calvin). I wouldn't call this year a normal year, and I'd be hesitant to trade a top5-10 player for a rookie grab bag, but I'd feel pretty comfortable making that trade for four random 2014 firsts, instead.
SSOG brings this topic up a lot, and my biggest criticism is that he does not factor in roster space. My dynasty league only has 19 roster spots. If I trade Calvin Johnson for 4 future rookie picks, I am losing 3 roster spots. This severely limits my ability to play the waiver wire, and forces me to miss out on players of value I could have picked up for nothing but a five dollar fee. Beyond that, it loads my team up with rookies, thus hurting my chances that season.In a previous SSOG thread about this subject, it was statistically concluded that the most likely outsome in this scenario is that you get 1 Stud, 2 Average Players, and 1 bust. If this is the case, what is the point? Sure, maybe you'll beat the odds and get multiple studs, but it's just as likely (if not more likely) that you'll get no studs, and end up with a grab bag of players future owners will look at and exclaim, "He traded Calvin Johnson for what?!?"
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bump. enough participation here to draw any conclusions?

The last couple of years, the "draft pick grab bag" has crushed all comers- I'd take four random 2011 or 2012 firsts over anyone and everyone, thanks to Richardson, Martin, Luck, Griffin, Green, Julio, Newton, and Cobb. In fact, in most of the drafts since 2007, the rookie grab bag has been a very low-risk, high-reward play. Looking back on the older drafts, data is much more sparse, but the rookies wound up being terrible bets- the drafts before 2007 were real dogs. Still, my take on this is that, in a normal year, four random rookie picks are as valuable as any single player in the league, especially when you remember that when you trade for veterans, you only get their remaining career (so a rookie Calvin is worth substantially more than a 27 year old Calvin). I wouldn't call this year a normal year, and I'd be hesitant to trade a top5-10 player for a rookie grab bag, but I'd feel pretty comfortable making that trade for four random 2014 firsts, instead.
SSOG brings this topic up a lot, and my biggest criticism is that he does not factor in roster space. My dynasty league only has 19 roster spots. If I trade Calvin Johnson for 4 future rookie picks, I am losing 3 roster spots. This severely limits my ability to play the waiver wire, and forces me to miss out on players of value I could have picked up for nothing but a five dollar fee. Beyond that, it loads my team up with rookies, thus hurting my chances that season.In a previous SSOG thread about this subject, it was statistically concluded that the most likely outsome in this scenario is that you get 1 Stud, 2 Average Players, and 1 bust. If this is the case, what is the point? Sure, maybe you'll beat the odds and get multiple studs, but it's just as likely (if not more likely) that you'll get no studs, and end up with a grab bag of players future owners will look at and exclaim, "He traded Calvin Johnson for what?!?"
Roster space and lineup requirement are huge factors. If you only start one our two rbs and two or three wrs and a te, I'd take the stud over multiple picks.
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8, 10, 7, 3

2012: Kendall Wright, Lamichael Jones, Michael Floyd, David Wilson

2011: Roy Helu, Demarco Murray, Daniel Thomas, Julio Jones

2010: Golden Tate, Sam Bradford, Montario Hardesty, CJ Spiller

2009: Jeremy Maclin, Kenny Britt, Percy Harvin, Chris Wells

2008: Chris Johnson, donnie Avery, Felix Jones, Rashard Mendenhall

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bump. enough participation here to draw any conclusions?

The last couple of years, the "draft pick grab bag" has crushed all comers- I'd take four random 2011 or 2012 firsts over anyone and everyone, thanks to Richardson, Martin, Luck, Griffin, Green, Julio, Newton, and Cobb. In fact, in most of the drafts since 2007, the rookie grab bag has been a very low-risk, high-reward play. Looking back on the older drafts, data is much more sparse, but the rookies wound up being terrible bets- the drafts before 2007 were real dogs. Still, my take on this is that, in a normal year, four random rookie picks are as valuable as any single player in the league, especially when you remember that when you trade for veterans, you only get their remaining career (so a rookie Calvin is worth substantially more than a 27 year old Calvin). I wouldn't call this year a normal year, and I'd be hesitant to trade a top5-10 player for a rookie grab bag, but I'd feel pretty comfortable making that trade for four random 2014 firsts, instead.
SSOG brings this topic up a lot, and my biggest criticism is that he does not factor in roster space. My dynasty league only has 19 roster spots. If I trade Calvin Johnson for 4 future rookie picks, I am losing 3 roster spots. This severely limits my ability to play the waiver wire, and forces me to miss out on players of value I could have picked up for nothing but a five dollar fee. Beyond that, it loads my team up with rookies, thus hurting my chances that season.In a previous SSOG thread about this subject, it was statistically concluded that the most likely outsome in this scenario is that you get 1 Stud, 2 Average Players, and 1 bust. If this is the case, what is the point? Sure, maybe you'll beat the odds and get multiple studs, but it's just as likely (if not more likely) that you'll get no studs, and end up with a grab bag of players future owners will look at and exclaim, "He traded Calvin Johnson for what?!?"
Obviously roster space is a huge consideration, and makes it impossible to create a "one size fits all" solution. That's no different than any other dynasty analysis- no matter how general you make it, it will never be universal. That's why I like to put it in the context of a startup draft- it's a lot more general and broadly applicable than an established league. In a very shallow league like your 19-spot example, if you're drafting the "rookie grab bag" with the #1 overall, you're also sacrificing your 17th, 18th, and 19th round picks, too. That's a much smaller cost than if, say, you're an established team that's already started accruing depth. Complicating the analysis is the fact that, since rookie picks are not executed immediately, they actually increase your "roster spots" for a finite period of time- you can have 19 players AND 4 picks up until the time you finally execute them. In fact, on my deeper teams, I often find that trading players for picks is a great way to ease a roster crunch. Also, as I'm fond of saying, rookie picks are the only universal currency. When shopping a specific player, you have limited potential partners- some owners will already be set at the position, some owners won't like that particular player, some owners won't have enough to trade. Rookie picks, however, expand the trade market- everyone has them, everyone wants them. Their individual value is lower than that of a stud player, which makes them much more liquid (in the same way that it'd be better to have five $20s instead of one $100 if no one was capable of making change). Rookie picks make your roster much more liquid and flexible. It's not an easy question with a simple answer. Like any other value comparison, it's going to be highly contingent on dozens of other factors, ranging from the quality of the draft class to the composition of your roster. As a broad generality, though, and without trying to ignore any of the myriad caveats, I would say that the value of four random rookie firsts outweighs the value of any one single player. I hope to take a closer look into this question, as well as the marginal value of an additional roster spot, as the offseason progresses.
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since rookie picks are not executed immediately, they actually increase your "roster spots" for a finite period of time- you can have 19 players AND 4 picks up until the time you finally execute them. In fact, on my deeper teams, I often find that trading players for picks is a great way to ease a roster crunch. Also, as I'm fond of saying, rookie picks are the only universal currency. When shopping a specific player, you have limited potential partners- some owners will already be set at the position, some owners won't like that particular player, some owners won't have enough to trade. Rookie picks, however, expand the trade market- everyone has them, everyone wants them. Their individual value is lower than that of a stud player, which makes them much more liquid (in the same way that it'd be better to have five $20s instead of one $100 if no one was capable of making change). Rookie picks make your roster much more liquid and flexible.

I agree with your universal currency agrument. Trading for future picks is a great way to free up roster spots without losing value. The problem I have is with trading a stud for a bunch of picks. The goal in fantasy is to acquire studs who will win you championships. It is much better to have that $100 bill instead of five 20s for obvious reasons. Maybe I am just more risk averse than you are, but I would never trade Calvin for any amount of random picks. Maybe I would trade him for what I knew was a Top 2 pick in the last couple drafts, and 3 more firsts, but I would never make that trade before I knew the location of the picks. Even if I knew it was a Top 2 Pick, and I could pick Richardson, Luck, Green, or Julio, I would be skeptical of making the move. Sure I was super high on all these guys coming out, but I was also super high on Laurence Maroney, Braylon Edwards, Jay Cutler, and many others in the past, that I have whiffed on. I will take the proven commodity most of the time.This is not to say that I do not think your overall premise has validity. I guess I would just change it to, "All but the most elite players are worth 3-4 first round picks."
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since rookie picks are not executed immediately, they actually increase your "roster spots" for a finite period of time- you can have 19 players AND 4 picks up until the time you finally execute them. In fact, on my deeper teams, I often find that trading players for picks is a great way to ease a roster crunch. Also, as I'm fond of saying, rookie picks are the only universal currency. When shopping a specific player, you have limited potential partners- some owners will already be set at the position, some owners won't like that particular player, some owners won't have enough to trade. Rookie picks, however, expand the trade market- everyone has them, everyone wants them. Their individual value is lower than that of a stud player, which makes them much more liquid (in the same way that it'd be better to have five $20s instead of one $100 if no one was capable of making change). Rookie picks make your roster much more liquid and flexible.

I agree with your universal currency agrument. Trading for future picks is a great way to free up roster spots without losing value. The problem I have is with trading a stud for a bunch of picks. The goal in fantasy is to acquire studs who will win you championships. It is much better to have that $100 bill instead of five 20s for obvious reasons. Maybe I am just more risk averse than you are, but I would never trade Calvin for any amount of random picks. Maybe I would trade him for what I knew was a Top 2 pick in the last couple drafts, and 3 more firsts, but I would never make that trade before I knew the location of the picks. Even if I knew it was a Top 2 Pick, and I could pick Richardson, Luck, Green, or Julio, I would be skeptical of making the move. Sure I was super high on all these guys coming out, but I was also super high on Laurence Maroney, Braylon Edwards, Jay Cutler, and many others in the past, that I have whiffed on. I will take the proven commodity most of the time.This is not to say that I do not think your overall premise has validity. I guess I would just change it to, "All but the most elite players are worth 3-4 first round picks."
The point I'm trying to make is that the risk of rookie picks plummets dramatically once you start stacking large numbers of them. With four picks, you've got a 75% chance to land a top three selection (the typical size of the top tier of rookie prospects). With five picks (four plus your own), you've got an 84% chance. Not that top 3 picks are the be-all, end-all (see Newton, Harvin, Cobb, Rice, McCoy, etc), either, I'm just addressing your stated concern. In fantasy football, 75% and 84% are extremely high-percentage plays- as Larry Fitzgerald and Mathew Stafford and Maurice Jones-Drew and Darren McFadden so nicely demonstrated last year, even known, proven, elite studs don't have an 84% chance of remaining so. The fact that the rookie picks have upside from there is gravy- the investment is fundamentally a risk-averse one. If you stick with Calvin, all that value is tied up in one player. What if he gets injured? What if his QB gets injured? What if he gets traded? What if he develops a degenerative knee condition? What if Detroit gets a phenomenal second option and his targets plummet? What if the passing environment chills again? What if several of the young guys make a huge leap, and Calvin's numbers regress, and suddenly he's producing as WR5 instead of WR1? Calvin could easily see a value decline ranging from minor to major over the next season. First round picks don't decline in value- just the opposite, actually. I think in the end it gets down to the fact that people are just fundamentally bad at pricing risk. They underrate the risk profile of guys who are putting up huge numbers right now. They overrate the risk profile of the unknown. They don't understand how multiple trials mitigates risk. That's kind of why I started this thread- I wanted to show some real-world data demonstrating that the risk is radically overblown. Read through the lists in this thread- there were 133 player sets posted so far. The sample is a bit skewed because we have far more drafts from 2011 and 2012 than any other year, and those were both very strong rookie drafts (2012 exceptionally so), but even so... how many of those sets wound up being complete dogs? Only 29 of those 133 sets do not include a single player who isn't either currently in the top 30 in dynasty ADP, or has accumulated huge VBD totals (e.g. Larry Fitzgerald, MJD). That's a a measly 22% bust rate. The four rookies are not a "high risk play"- four times out of five you're walking away with at least one extremely valuable piece. To offset that bust risk, you have the 40 sets (33%) that included multiple such players. And even that understates the upside, because it ignores the not-insignificant number of sets that included 3 top-30 players, or 2 top-10 players, and it also completely ignores guys like Matt Ryan, Stafford, Nicks, Blackmon, Crabtree, McFadden, Bowe, Britt, JStew, etc. who are still clearly very valuable pieces even if they missed that arbitrary "top30" cutoff. It also ignores the fact that, all else being equal, rookies are fundamentally more valuable than their veteran counterparts because they have more career left in front of them. A rookie Calvin Johnson will pile up a lot more career VBD than a 28 year old Calvin Johnson because he has all those seasons up through age 28 to look forward to, as well. Now, again, these numbers are skewed by the quality of recent drafts (which are overrepresented in the sample), I'm just parsing the data that's available and discussing the picture it paints. I wouldn't use this as a "one size fits all" philosophy, and have already said I don't know how applicable it is to a weak draft like this one. I'm just breaking down the data from this thread and trying to demonstrate that the rookies aren't anywhere near as risky as they seem.
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If you stick with Calvin, all that value is tied up in one player. What if he gets injured? What if his QB gets injured? What if he gets traded? What if he develops a degenerative knee condition? What if Detroit gets a phenomenal second option and his targets plummet? What if the passing environment chills again? What if several of the young guys make a huge leap, and Calvin's numbers regress, and suddenly he's producing as WR5 instead of WR1?

This appears to be an argument for depth over starting line-up. In my opinion it is best to assemble the best starting line-up possible at the expense of depth. If you have 3 WR1s and 3 WR2s, you should look to package that talent for a guy like Calvin, Rodgers, Green, etc. You don't need that much depth, chances are one or two of your WRs will never see your starting line-up. You can't plan on injuries, so just assemble the best starting line-up you can, and you do this by acquiring studs and filling out the pieces around them, not by trading studs and acquiring draft picks you hope will be studs. It also depends on where your team is at. If you're a contender, and in win now mode, this strategy probably isn't best for you. But, if you have a team mired in mediocrity it's probably best to trade any quality players you have for as many first round picks as you can get, as this thread demonstrates.
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bump. enough participation here to draw any conclusions?

The last couple of years, the "draft pick grab bag" has crushed all comers- I'd take four random 2011 or 2012 firsts over anyone and everyone, thanks to Richardson, Martin, Luck, Griffin, Green, Julio, Newton, and Cobb. In fact, in most of the drafts since 2007, the rookie grab bag has been a very low-risk, high-reward play. Looking back on the older drafts, data is much more sparse, but the rookies wound up being terrible bets- the drafts before 2007 were real dogs. Still, my take on this is that, in a normal year, four random rookie picks are as valuable as any single player in the league, especially when you remember that when you trade for veterans, you only get their remaining career (so a rookie Calvin is worth substantially more than a 27 year old Calvin). I wouldn't call this year a normal year, and I'd be hesitant to trade a top5-10 player for a rookie grab bag, but I'd feel pretty comfortable making that trade for four random 2014 firsts, instead.
We are forgetting the +3 roster spaces for free agents that you would also have with the stud. Take ingram and D thomas for example. It is very possible that the best thing to do with them right now is a trade or even drop to make room for another guy, but we can't do that so soon since we invested so much in them.Or you can look at it the other way. You clog up roster spaces for 1-3 guys who will bust in 2-3 years. Also, we normally have a decent idea whether or not a draft class is above or below average. This class is a poor one. Most of us understood that the last 2 drafts were very good ones going in to them.
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If you stick with Calvin, all that value is tied up in one player. What if he gets injured? What if his QB gets injured? What if he gets traded? What if he develops a degenerative knee condition? What if Detroit gets a phenomenal second option and his targets plummet? What if the passing environment chills again? What if several of the young guys make a huge leap, and Calvin's numbers regress, and suddenly he's producing as WR5 instead of WR1?

This appears to be an argument for depth over starting line-up. In my opinion it is best to assemble the best starting line-up possible at the expense of depth. If you have 3 WR1s and 3 WR2s, you should look to package that talent for a guy like Calvin, Rodgers, Green, etc. You don't need that much depth, chances are one or two of your WRs will never see your starting line-up. You can't plan on injuries, so just assemble the best starting line-up you can, and you do this by acquiring studs and filling out the pieces around them, not by trading studs and acquiring draft picks you hope will be studs. It also depends on where your team is at. If you're a contender, and in win now mode, this strategy probably isn't best for you. But, if you have a team mired in mediocrity it's probably best to trade any quality players you have for as many first round picks as you can get, as this thread demonstrates.
I'm a big proponent of starters over depth and have written several posts on the subject over the years. I am not advocating a depth over starters approach, I was simply addressing your concern that the rookies were somehow "riskier" than the stud. That's simply not true- for all the advantages of a studs-over-depth approach, one thing it is lousy at is mitigating risk. Choosing Calvin over the rookies does not reduce your exposure to risk- quite the contrary, it increases your exposure to risk, as a single injury or unlucky break can sideline a substantial portion of your roster value. Also, the stockpiling rookies strategy is not just about accumulating depth. That's why I chose those arbitrary top30 cutoffs, ignoring guys like Stafford and Ryan and Nicks who are certainly non-trivial assets in their own right. By focusing strictly on top30 players according to ADP, I'm looking only at your chances of landing a Percy Harvin, Randall Cobb, Robert Griffin, or Andrew Luck type, at worst. A top-30 player, by ADP, means a top 5 QB, top 13 RB, top 9 WR, or top 2 TE (and yes, that only adds up to 29 names because I was going off of average ADP, and only 29 players had an average ADP below 30. Increasing the list to 30 players would add Demarco Murray and make the rookie grab bag look substantially better than it already does). Dynasty RB1s or WR1s are not "depth", they're studs in their own right, which makes it less a "studs-for-depth" scenario and more a "studs for multiple slightly lesser studs" or "studs for lesser studs and other quality pieces" trade.

bump. enough participation here to draw any conclusions?

The last couple of years, the "draft pick grab bag" has crushed all comers- I'd take four random 2011 or 2012 firsts over anyone and everyone, thanks to Richardson, Martin, Luck, Griffin, Green, Julio, Newton, and Cobb. In fact, in most of the drafts since 2007, the rookie grab bag has been a very low-risk, high-reward play. Looking back on the older drafts, data is much more sparse, but the rookies wound up being terrible bets- the drafts before 2007 were real dogs. Still, my take on this is that, in a normal year, four random rookie picks are as valuable as any single player in the league, especially when you remember that when you trade for veterans, you only get their remaining career (so a rookie Calvin is worth substantially more than a 27 year old Calvin). I wouldn't call this year a normal year, and I'd be hesitant to trade a top5-10 player for a rookie grab bag, but I'd feel pretty comfortable making that trade for four random 2014 firsts, instead.
We are forgetting the +3 roster spaces for free agents that you would also have with the stud. Take ingram and D thomas for example. It is very possible that the best thing to do with them right now is a trade or even drop to make room for another guy, but we can't do that so soon since we invested so much in them.Or you can look at it the other way. You clog up roster spaces for 1-3 guys who will bust in 2-3 years. Also, we normally have a decent idea whether or not a draft class is above or below average. This class is a poor one. Most of us understood that the last 2 drafts were very good ones going in to them.
I addressed both of these concerns in a later post. More players take up more roster spots, but draft picks initially carry no roster cost, giving you more open spots to work with in the short run. Draft picks also serve as a universal currency and are easy to sell when in a roster crunch. All in all, they increase your roster flexibility at the same time as they decrease it. Still, marginal roster spots have a non-zero value, and like any other dynasty recommendation, this can't be viewed as universal- shallower leagues will skew more heavily toward the studs, deeper leagues will skew more heavily toward the rookies. It's more a general principle that one needs to consider and adjust for their specific circumstances. If my league is shallow, my team is deep, I'm a heavy favorite, rookies receive short contracts, and the draft is weak, I probably wouldn't trade Calvin for 6 rookie firsts. If my league is deep, my team is shallow, I'm a massive underdog, rookies receive friendly contracts, and the draft class is particularly strong, I'd easily sell Calvin for 3 random firsts, or even two non-random firsts I strongly suspect will wind up being high. There is no one-size-fits-all answer to any question in dynasty, and this one is no exception. With that said, in the closest thing you'll ever find to a vacuum in dynasty- a startup draft in a typical league with typical rosters and solid owners, facing a typical incoming rookie class- if you packaged together four random rookie picks into a single "player", I would draft that "player" at #1 overall.
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Just curious. A trade happened in one my leagues that was essentially Cam for the 6th, 7th, 11th, and 12th picks in the rookie draft. Ssog, since you seem to advocate taking the picks over the players, if you traded a stud for the grab bag, although they all ended up lateish, and ended up with those 4 picks, would you be happy?

Most people seem to think the guy getting Cam got the better end, but this thread has me intrigued as to if the guy taking the picks actually got the better end.

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Just to get you some earlier data. Unfortunately MFL didn't maintain the data pre-2006 for the 3 leagues I looked at. First two listed are non-ppr as well.

2,3,7,10

2012 - Martin, Wilson, Hillman, Pead

2012 - Martin, Luck, Hillman, Pead

2012 - Martin, Blackmon, Floyd, Coby Fleener

2011 - Ryan Williams :shock: , Julio Jones, Greg Little, Kendall Hunter

2011 - Julio Jones, AJ Green, Greg Little, Randall Cobb

2011 - Ingram, Julio Jones, Greg Little, Shane Vereen

2010 - Jahvid Best, Montario Hardesty, Arrelious Benn, Golden Tate

2010 - Jahvid Best, CJ Spiller, Arrelious Benn, Jonathan Dwyer

2010 - Ryan Mathews, Jahvid Best, Demaryius Thomas, Golden Tate

2009 - Chris Wells, Donald Brown, Shonn Greene, Brian Robiskie (WR CLE)

2009 - Chris Wells, Donald Brown, Hakeem Nicks, Jeremy Maclin

2009 - Knowshon Moreno, Chris Wells, Percy Harvin, Darrius Heyward-Bey

2008 - Rashard Mendenhall, Jonathan Stewart, Ray Rice, James Hardy (WR BUF)

2008 - Darren McFadden, Rashard Mendenhall, Kevin Smith (DET RB), James Hardy (Wr BUF)

2008 - Jonathan Stewart, Rashard Mendenhall, Chris Johnson, Ricky Williams (came out of retirement) pick 11 was Jerome Simpson (CIN WR)

2007 - Calvin Johnson, Marshawn Lynch, Robert Meachum (NOS WR), Lorenzo Booker (MIA RB)

2007 - Calvin Johnson, Marshawn Lynch, Sidney Rice, Robert Meachum (NOS WR)

2007 - Calvin Johnson, Marshawn Lynch, Michael Bush, Robert Meachum (NOS WR)

2006 - Laurence Maroney, LenDale White, Jerious Norwood (ATL RB), Matt Leinart

2006 - Laurence Maroney, DeAngelo Williams, Vince Young, Jerious Norwood (ATL RB)

2006 - Joseph Addai, Laurence Maroney, Jerious Norwood (ATL RB), Chad Jackson (NEP WR)

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Just curious. A trade happened in one my leagues that was essentially Cam for the 6th, 7th, 11th, and 12th picks in the rookie draft. Ssog, since you seem to advocate taking the picks over the players, if you traded a stud for the grab bag, although they all ended up lateish, and ended up with those 4 picks, would you be happy?Most people seem to think the guy getting Cam got the better end, but this thread has me intrigued as to if the guy taking the picks actually got the better end.

Honestly, I would give up that for Cam all day long. The whole point of the grab bag is that the odds are incredibly high you're getting something really valuable. This isn't a grab bag, though- the odds of getting a top-3 pick here are 0% (as opposed to about 75% with a true grab bag). 2013 is also a weak draft, although it's actually pretty decent in the back half compared to most years. Anyway, if someone offered me picks 9-12 for Calvin, I'd shoot them down. If they offered me four random picks (in a better draft than 2013), I'd take it because I'd be as likely to get 1-4 as 9-12. If I wound up rolling snake eyes and getting four crummy picks, of course I wouldn't be happy, but that is the nature of the beast. All you can do is create good processes and execute them. Sometimes even good processes lead to bad outcomes. If I go all in on trip aces only to lose when the other guy hits an inside straight draw on the river, I'm not happy... but that also doesn't mean I made the wrong decision.
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SSOG - Any update to your rankings coming soon?

That's actually a pretty good idea; now seems like a pretty good time to get a real in-depth set of rankings together before the draft. I'll see what I can do in the next week or so and keep you posted.
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I think this is a cool idea in the abstract, but becomes very difficult in real practice. The problem is that nobody just has 4 random first round picks to offer in a trade. In order to get 4 firsts it is generally going to require a series of trades. You are banking on the extremely rare scenario of somebody else spending the better part of 2 or 3 offseasons in order to accumulate four first round picks in some future year and then offering them all to you in exchange for one player. Sure it could happen, but if somebody went through the trouble of accumulating four firsts, he is probably planning a strategy similar to yours. The only way he is going to decide to dump them all is if the season is over and either he knows he didn't end up with picks in the top four or it's a year like this where the draft prospects are underwhelming.

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