Thread: Stage Four

It doesn’t exist. But we keep hoping.

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If everyone plays it straight down the middle, respecting our prices and having the same prices, everyone is going to end up tied.

That doesn't happen because our projections/bids are not that exact, so there's deviation all over the place, but I think this thread is hitting on something that's really important.

I've seen the tyranny of ADP in every draft room, Gene, and long lobbied Mock Draft Central and Couch Managers to allow Touts to upload their lists, so that users would be using all sorts of lists, instead of the one or two they usually allow. 

I also threaten every year to make Tout Draft draft in a Google Sheet, without ADP. It adds all kinds of problems with timing, but the pros don't need the Fantrax ranking list. Or shouldn't. And it is a major distraction to know that everyone is seeing who the highest rated undrafted players are.

As for auctions, Eugene and Walter are dead on. Your own list and prices is the way to beat the groupthink.

I see the Patton software/spreadsheet  as a way to codify groupthink (PK5, MF5, AP4), compare those prices to my projections, and ask Eugene if he'll share all his projections <g>, to get an alternate take. And then go for the guys who you think stand out versus what they've gone for in CBS, LABR and Tout.

Being outside the box is the fun part.

Ps. Being outside the box means that when things go wrong your team might really suck. But when things go right, bingo! You have to be able to endure the former to gain the latter.


Peter Kreutzer Rotoman
Feb 26

I think that's actually why I follow projections calculated prices with my own AB/IP factor rather than pricing by gut.  Because, when I do the calculations in the blind, there are always surprises.  Guys who cost significantly more than what I would have expected.  Those are the guys I anticipate getting, of course, passively.  If I can earn profits on 5 guys who I anticipate will earn $12 for only $5 each, I'm going to do well.  That's essentially how I've tried to build my pitching staffs for years.

Eugene Freedman EugeneFreed
Feb 26

Even in auction leagues, I have come to the conclusion that there are only two ways to win: 1). Get exceedingly lucky with a cheap buy like, say, Aaron Judge in 2017; or 2). Figure out an effective way of evaluating players that goes against the massive consensus. 

You can't plan on getting lucky with a cheap pick who massively outperforms all expectations, especially yours. And I find by late March, an overwhelming consensus on player evaluations (even at this site and in Rotoman's book). Any blinding insight in mid-March tends to become the conventional wisdom by the end of spring training.

But I still nurture the belief that being contrarian is the only way to survive an auction. 



Walter Shapiro WShapiro
Feb 26

Well, I think that even in drafts, the ability to go against the room is the way to win. May well be difficult/impossible to go against the grain in the first or second round, but thereafter, finding that space in the room in which others haven't found is the way to go. Whether it's drafting someone 9/12 who your list days should go 8/1, or buying someone for 4 that your list says should go for 12, you're making profit. (Assuming you're right in your valuation.)

The issue is, creating your own list, independent of the ADP, and finding the variances. It does depend on your confidence in your list (and especially the variances thereto), but that is how to win, in either auctions or drafts. 

mike fenger mike
Feb 26

If that's right, Eugene, we are headed back to the Pleistocene. Snake drafts reign supreme, challenged only by DFS.

But what Gene says is fascinating. If everyone is sticking to ADP's, does that mean, when it's all over, a certain section of the first round -- let's divide it into thirds, first five, middle five, last five -- has a preponderance of winners?

Did people even exit in the Pleistocene? I said that because it sounded better than Stone Age and, perhaps, was less offensive to our members who play in snake drafts.

Alex Patton Alex
Feb 26

If what I see is universal, all players will go for their par price at auctions. The principle is the same, even for the lumpen proletariat.

Gene McCaffrey GeneM
Feb 26

I thought the Stages applied to auctions only and draft leagues are for people who haven't yet evolved.

Eugene Freedman EugeneFreed
Feb 26

In two recent snake drafts I couldn't help but notice how positively slavish the drafters were in sticking to the ADP's. Has anyone else noticed this? If so, doesn't it mean that Stage Three has nowhere left to go? And that Stage Four has to be "where is the consensus wrong?"

Gene McCaffrey GeneM
Feb 26

Rotoman:  much appreciated, that's exactly what we need.  Thanks!

Mike Dean TMU2009
Feb 7

I've got the draft spreadsheet we use for Tout Wars on Google Sheets at https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1XXvdV_obvo4pk4xIMZBtyAXWRHu7ZTHKBKUMObxKugY/edit?usp=sharing. You should be able to delete all the bad picks and make one tab your own.

Let me know if you have problems.

Peter Kreutzer Rotoman
Feb 7