Using value based drafting numbers is a way of judging a positions relative value to the rest of the field. I typically don't use it for specific players because injuries happen, situations change, players age, and ultimately it all depends on where they are being drafted by everyone else on whether or not you should draft someone but its a great metric for gauging positions.
Let's Get to the DataThe value based drafting numbers for a specific player are calculated by subtracting the point total of the baseline player from the players point total. I'm doing these numbers for 12 team ESPN standard leagues and I'm going to use the same rankings as Karabell does in this VBD article (go to it for more explanation about value based drafting). Thus I will use the 17th ranked QB as the baseline, 43rd ranked RB, 40th ranked WR, and the 12th ranked TE. (If the 6th defense and 2nd kicker are used then these are the usual positions drafted in the first 120 picks according to Karabell, I neglected the defense and kicker positions).
The tables below show that this year the running back clearly had the most valuable player in Adrian Peterson. Peterson had 203 more points than the 43rd ranked running back. Peterson scored 49 more points than the next best running back (total and VBD) and likely secured his spot as the number one draft pick next year in redraft leagues. Running backs clearly dominated with the top 11 players. Personally I would argue that the baseline player for quarterbacks should be lower, 17th just seems pretty high (like I'd think it would be better to add maybe 8 for defense and 3 for kicker then 14th for QB but I figured I'd do it Karabell's way).
The receiver class was fairly weak last year (value based wise) and tight end was a disaster (in "The Year of the Tight End" of all years!). Receivers had a low value because the position was so deep which is why like last year I will once again be advocating drafting receivers in the mid-late rounds of the draft. I think that this year the strategy will be to load up on running backs and either grab a quarterback early or wait until late because the QB's drop off after the top guys then level off consistently (side note, I love Colin Kaepernick aka CK7 next year). For tight ends I think it is pretty unlikely that the class ends up being as bad as it was this year, the top guys were injured quite a bit this year. I'd suggest laying down a few fliers (2-3) on tight ends mid-late in the draft and hoping that one of them develops.
All in all 2012 was another exciting fantasy year and I hope you all followed my sleepers article last year ( Here's a link to the article) It was a good year for me fantasy wise.. should have wrote more articles. I'll be sure to post up my sleepers for next year here soon so stay tuned and Happy New Year.
Griffin III, Wsh
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