There was an answer in the mailbag yesterday that I mangled. The question about the best draft position in a third-round reversal league.
Snake drafts aren’t really fair. They’re arguably fair enough, but there’s an advantage (in most years, at least) to drafting earlier. The teams selecting 1st, 2nd and 3rd tend to have an advantage over those drafting 10th, 11th and 12th.
The third-round reversal (3RR) attempts to correct this. In this format, the draft is just like a snake draft, except that everything flips at the end of the second round. That is, snake draft goes 1-12, 12-1, 1-12, 12-1, etc. With the 3RR, it’s 1-12, 12-1, 12-1, 1-12, 12-1, etc.
I like the idea, but I didn’t get it quite right in the discussion yesterday. In that one, I ran my numbers under the assumption that with the 3RR, the team selecting last in the first round would then select first in the next three rounds. That’s not right, because it’s not that just the third round is flipped. All of the remaining rounds are flipped as well.
With this in mind, let me dip back into that issue. I’ve got my current player projections, and I’ll look at the first 10 rounds in a couple of different formats. That’s 120 players deep.
To account for the reality that owners will select players from different positions, I’m using not total fantasy points but adjusted points. That is, maybe I think Stephen Gostkowski will score 140 points, but I think I can get a 128-point kicker outside the first 10 rounds. So Gostkowski would come with 12 points next to his name. To make it an apples-to-apples deal, I’ve done that with all players at all positions.
For a PPR format, using a regular snake draft, the best three draft positions project to belong to the guys picking 1st, 2nd and 3rd, in that order. All of those teams project to have 514-525 “points of value” after 10 rounds. The worst three draft picks project to belong to the guys choosing 10th, 11th and 12th; they’re all down at 481-484 points.
The 3RR levels the playing field. Picks Nos. 1, 2 and 3 are still in the top 4, but their projected totals all drop by at least 14 points. And the No. 12 spot moves up into 2nd overall, with a projected 502 points. The worst draft position appears to be No. 4, which drops from 495 to 485 points. But all of the other draft slots project to finish between 492 and 498 points, which is remarkably even.
The Third-Round Reversal, in my opinion, is a fairer way to allocate players than the traditional Snake Draft.
|POINTS AND DRAFT POSITIONS (PPR)|
The numbers aren’t quite as dramatic, but it tends to work the same way in a traditional (non-PPR) format.
In a traditional snake draft, the best draft positions are again positions 1, 2 and 3, and the worst three are again 10, 11 and 12.
When you go to a 3RR, all of those top 3 teams lose 2-3 points, and all of the bottom teams gain 2-3 points. The top 5 draft slots still belong to the teams picking 1st, 2nd, 5th, 4th and 3rd (in that order), and the bottom five still belong to the five teams at the bottom of the 12, but at least the overall spread narrows from 26 points down to 21 points.
|POINTS AND DRAFT POSITIONS (standard)|
The other option, of course, is to simply get rid of the draft altogether and go with an auction format, giving everybody an equal chance at every player. But if you’re going with a draft, it looks like the 3RR is the better, fairer way to go rather than the traditional snake.