Rich and Murf's Weekly Fantasy Rankings

Value over PAS (VOPAS)

Value over PAS (VOPAS) has been a process in the making. Over the past couple of years, Rich and Murf have found themselves shifting towards more of a value over replacement approach to their rankings. Because, with more and more of our leagues becoming quirky with individual setups, starters, and scoring, they wanted more robust rankings. They tweaked rankings depending on the league and wanted an easier way to adjust using data.

Therefore, Rich started using value over replacement as an easy way to assess positional value. However, one thing he found was that whilst it helped him value the starters accordingly it didn’t take into account how teams approached bench spots. In a traditional 12 team 1QB league with 7 starters (QB, RB, RB, WR, WR (WR/Flex), TE) with 5 or 6 bench spots. Because most teams are using their bench spots to load up on Running Backs and Wide Receivers. Therefore, value over replacement is skewed heavily because whilst RB25 is the “replacement” Running Back the best available Running Back of Waivers is like RB60-70. In contrast, QB13 is the “replacement” Quarterback and the best available Quarterback off waivers is likely QB15-17 because most people aren’t rostering backup Quarterbacks.

Top 10 Fantasy Players in Points Scored

To illustrate this point, we are going to highlight, using some data. So taking the 2020 fantasy points the top 10 in points scored was the following:

Rank Player Pos FF Pts
1 Kyler Murray QB 386.9
2 Josh Allen QB 385.9
3 Patrick Mahomes II QB 380.3
4 Alvin Kamara RB 377.8
5 Aaron Rodgers QB 362.1
6 Russell Wilson QB 354.5
7 Deshaun Watson QB 349.6
8 Davante Adams WR 341.8
9 Dalvin Cook RB 337.8
10 Tyreek Hill WR 328.9

Adding Value over Replacement to the Top 10 Fantasy Scorers

But if you apply the Value over Replacement metric the top 10 most valuable players are the following: (replacement players deemed as QB13 TE13 RB25 and WR37)

Rank Player Pos FF Pts VORP
4 Alvin Kamara RB 377.8 219.3
8 Davante Adams WR 341.8 179.9
9 Dalvin Cook RB 337.8 179.3
15 Travis Kelce TE 312.8 174.4
10 Tyreek Hill WR 328.9 167
14 Stefon Diggs WR 314 152.1
17 Derrick Henry RB 298.1 139.6
19 DeAndre Hopkins WR 280.3 118.4
1 Kyler Murray QB 386.9 116.3
2 Josh Allen QB 385.9 115.3

What does this mean?

Unsurprisingly, it reduces the value of the top-end Quarterbacks. But taking what we discussed earlier around the use of bench spots to load up on Running Backs and Wide Receivers, Rich decided to tweak the metric slightly to produce the value over Waiver Wire. This shows the value of a player over the replaceable player off the waiver wire.

Rank Player Pos FF Pts VORP VOW
4 Alvin Kamara RB 377.8 219.3 317.2
9 Dalvin Cook RB 337.8 179.3 277.2
8 Davante Adams WR 341.8 179.9 241.5
17 Derrick Henry RB 298.1 139.6 237.5
10 Tyreek Hill WR 328.9 167 228.6
14 Stefon Diggs WR 314 152.1 213.7
29 James Robinson RB 250.4 91.9 189.8
15 Travis Kelce TE 312.8 174.4 180.3
19 DeAndre Hopkins WR 280.3 118.4 180
36 Aaron Jones RB 240.4 81.9 179.8

This further reduces the value of a Tight End and Quarterback as the reduced use of them in a bench spot and prevalence of available players on the waiver wire.

Rich then shared this information with Murf who raised a fantastic point. The Waiver Wire is not a stable organism. It moves, changes, and adapts on a weekly basis. So he suggested I used the PAS metric to assess the Value over the streamable option. And that is how Value over PAS (VOPAS) was born.

For those new to the PAS metric it is:

A metric taking weekly streaming picks from my column to work out the replacement value of the streaming players and where they would finish in a season-long position. I have worked out how to analyse each player, based on the games they played and broken down how they performed against their stream counterparts.

Why is PAS important?

The answer is truly two-fold:

1) It highlights position scarcity and how many players will finish above the streaming average. This also takes into account injury so players who finished below the stream model’s point total might end up over the PAS threshold line as their average per game will be higher. This is useful to know and truly understand position scarcity.

2) To help in drafts by giving you visibility about who to draft and when?

So taking Murf’s PAS metric for the 2020 season, Rich reduced the PAS results by 1/16th due to the presence of a bye week for all players. The season-long PAS results were as follows:

POS Points Adj points
QB 302.34 283.44
RB 205.00 192.19
WR 159.80 149.81
TE 154.00 144.38

How does that change Value Over Replacement?

If you then plug those results into the value spreadsheet it highlights how valuable a player is over the streamable option every week. Looking at Value over PAS (VOPAS) in more detail you can see:

Rank Player Pos FF Pts VORP VOW VOPAS
8 Davante Adams WR 341.8 179.9 241.5 197.42
4 Alvin Kamara RB 377.8 219.3 317.2 185.61
10 Tyreek Hill WR 328.9 167 228.6 184.52
14 Stefon Diggs WR 314 152.1 213.7 169.62
15 Travis Kelce TE 312.8 174.4 180.3 168.42
9 Dalvin Cook RB 337.8 179.3 277.2 145.61
19 DeAndre Hopkins WR 280.3 118.4 180 135.92
21 Calvin Ridley WR 270.9 109 170.6 126.52
23 D.K. Metcalf WR 266.2 104.3 165.9 121.82
25 Allen Robinson II WR 257.2 95.3 156.9 112.82
28 Justin Jefferson WR 251.9 90 151.6 107.52
27 Darren Waller TE 251.9 113.5 119.4 107.52
17 Derrick Henry RB 298.1 139.6 237.5 105.91
1 Kyler Murray QB 386.9 116.3 140 103.46
2 Josh Allen QB 385.9 115.3 139 102.46
32 Keenan Allen WR 245.1 83.2 144.8 100.72
33 Adam Thielen WR 244.3 82.4 144 99.92
3 Patrick Mahomes II QB 380.3 109.7 133.4 96.86
34 Mike Evans WR 241 79.1 140.7 96.62
38 Robert Woods WR 237.5 75.6 137.2 93.12

What is the practical application of this data?

It’s really about trying to understand who are the true league winners based on performance against their replacements and the Waiver Wire. You can understand the positions that are scarce, but to truly dominate your drafts, you need to be able to understand the true value picks that will outperform ADP every time, whilst also delivering you league championships and hardware. 

Too many people try and second guess analytics as it doesn’t combine enough film knowledge. Some people disregard analytics because they do not understand it, or know what to look for. However, this one article about Value over PAS (VOPAS), along with the datasheet, will highlight to you who are the true values in drafts.

Two parts to the Data

This data is looking at it in two parts. What is a player’s value over a replacement on the Waiver Wire? But then, knowing the Waiver Wire is not static and therefore you need to assume your league is full of sharp players, minimising your potential edge, looking at a live streaming replacement quotient that was put together by a FantasyPros Expert Ranker who knows how to find deep values on the Waiver Wire. This approach also takes into account errors. No player will pick the best streamable option every week, not even a FantasyPros Expert Ranker. Therefore, we wanted to present to you a more realistic model you can take into drafts to work out who the true values are against ADP, what positions are they, and who are the league winners you need to be drafting where possible. This is why Value over PAS (VOPAS) is so crucial.

What about WAR?

Now, most of you would have heard about WAR (Wins against Replacement) however it is a static number against the best mathematical option on the Waiver Wire. However, who determines who is on the Waiver Wire for that metric? What is the ownership? Who makes the theoretical selection every week? What analyst is right 100% of the time? What about if you pick the right player but they get hurt on the first play. WAR won’t allow for these sorts of tolerances. It’s therefore a purely theoretical outcome that is highly unrealistic. Unlike VOPAS, which is far more realistic in the landscape we play in.

No model or metric is perfect. However, you would like to feel a metric takes into account real-world factors where possible. That is what separates VOPAS over any other metric out there.

The Value over PAS metric highlights a few things:

1. It appears we are potentially overvaluing average RB production whilst undervaluing elite Wide Receiver production? With RB being such a volume-based position it makes it easier to stream any given week. Whereas the available Wide Receivers are so hit and miss they’re almost impossible to stream successfully.

2. Travis Kelce and Darren Waller really were true league winners last year. With Kelce the 5th most valuable player across all positions.

3. Are we undervaluing elite QB production? Whilst the prevalence of the late-round QB approach has truly taken hold over the past few years we have seen the prices of elite Quarterbacks start to rise recently. But are we still undervaluing them? Kyler Murray, Josh Allen, and Patrick Mahomes all produced around 100 points more than the streamable QB option. Good enough to finish in the top 20. Yet no Quarterbacks will be drafted in the first two rounds of most drafts this year, with the exception of possibly Mahomes. 

What’s next for VOPAS?

By taking the Value over PAS (VOPAS) metric further we can work out the average PAS across the previous season and plug that into 2021 projections in order to work out a projected VOPAS with which to draft from.

Below is the datasheet for VOPAS based on 2020 PAS and points. If you would like a copy against either of our projections or your projections, then reach out to us and we will, for a donation to our charity partner UNIQUE. 

– Rich (@DynastyIsland) and Murf (@Murf_NFL)

To view in more detail- Click the link below and save a copy.


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