Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Looking At Value From All Sides

One of the things I love about fantasy sports is trading players. I just love the back and forth negotiation that goes into it. And of course I love it when my trades work out. But I can't guarantee that when I trade Johnny Gomes after he hits 10 HR in April that he'll fall off the face of the earth. You have to make the right trade at the right time, and in order to do that, you really need to understand player value.

As I see it, there are three different aspects of player value:

  • Current value: How well the player is doing right now. You might look at last week's or month's stats to see this. Michael Turner's current value is sky high. Troy Tulowitzki, not so much. Before the season this would be last season's stats.
  • Projected value: How good a player is perceived to be. Albert Pujols's projected value is always near the top. Despite Hank Baskett's awesome performance this weekend, his projected value is still low.
  • Perceived value: A subjective measure of how good a player is. For example, I think Jericho Cotchery is awesome. And I hate Melky Cabrera.
There are also two implied aspects:
  • Potential value: The difference between current and projected value. Tulowitzki has a high projected value, but a low current value, so he has a high potential value.
  • Estimated value: A combination of current and projected value. You would use this to compare a journeyman-type player (similar current and projected values) to a rookie (low current, high projected value) in player evaluations.
When people talk about "buy low, sell high", they're usually refering to the potential value; Baskett is a sell high candidate, Peyton Manning a buy-low. Most people are aware of this phenomenon, so buy-low and sell-high opportunities can be hard to move on (no one is likely to dump Peyton based on his week 1 performance). But you can exploit an owner's perceived value of a player if that value differs from your estimation of that player's value.

How do you determine an owner's perceived value of a player? You can look at several things:
  • Did the owner draft the player higher than average?
  • Does the owner start the player over other players?
  • Did the owner list the player on his trading block?
  • Is the player's name part of the owner's team name?
  • When you proposed a trade for this player, did he counter-offered with another?
  • When you proposed a trade for a different player, did he counter-offered with the player?
If you can figure out an owner's perceived value of players, you can possibly make a trade that leans towards you.

Now, I just finished writing this post and I can't remember what I really wanted to say. This seems obvious, but I know I had a better idea when I started. Oh well, maybe it will come to me later.

Post a Comment
All rights reserved. Take that!