Roto Arcade - Fantasy

If you go to your league's homepage and click on the "Research" tab, you'll find that Yahoo! offers several analytical tools. Some of these tools are useful, while others are fairly ridiculous...but fun.

The MVP table is a perfect example of the ridiculous/fun variety. It's simply a list of the players who appear most frequently on successful fantasy rosters.

The current table looks like this:

If the list looks familiar, that's because it's just a slightly shuffled version of the year-to-date scoring leaders. Basically we're telling you that the best fantasy teams tend to own the highest-scoring players. Perhaps you could have figured that out on your own.

The interesting thing about the table above -- well, aside from the fact that the top three guys are all on the same team in that totally randomly selected league -- is that nearly every player on the list was actually drafted. Steve Slaton was the only exception, but he was picked up in mid-August in the Friends & Family League, three weeks before the NFL regular season began.

So by Week 1, the top 30 candidates for year-end fantasy MVP were already owned. Maybe you don't find that surprising, but it's worth noting that things look very different in other sports.

Let's review the MVP table from 2008 baseball roto leagues:

At least eight players on that list -- including three of the top five -- went undrafted in most Yahoo! leagues. Frank Francisco didn't earn his first save until August 27. Denard Span didn't get interesting until July.

Aviles? Werth? Ethier? Those guys were still getting hyped in Closing Time in September

The baseball version of the MVP table doesn't match up neatly with player values at all. It's not exactly a 2009 pre-draft cheat sheet, and you'll find no support for positional scarcity arguments. Instead, the table suggests that the most successful baseball managers are also the most active managers. (And maybe it tells you not to think about saves until late in your draft. Note the closers: Francisco, Soria, Broxton, Wilson, Wood). You'll also notice that the percent-ownership numbers at the top of the list are not terribly big. No single player carried anyone to a public league baseball title.

But we don't need to discuss rotisserie baseball roster construction right now, not during football season. I'm more interested in the relative importance of the draft in each game. (Consider this a small diversion before we get back to position ranks tomorrow). 

If you're a football owner who somehow made it to Week 15 without drafting anyone at the top of the MVP table -- let's say Boldin through Cutler -- then please share the details in the comments section. If you've made it to the semi-finals only through aggressive adding and trading, tell your story. 

I'm sure you can overcome a disastrous baseball draft through daily roster maintenance. This happens every year. But in football, if you didn't draft well this season, hopefully you fleeced someone who did.


Photo via US Presswire 

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