## Fantasy Football: How to Value a Player Who Will Miss Games (FBG)

Over at Footballguys.com, I explain my method of how to value a player that we know is going to a certain number of games. You can’t simply use the player’s projected number of fantasy points because that will underrate him. But if you go by his projected points per game average, he’ll be overrated. Using Rob Gronkowski as an example, I explained my method:

First, you need to determine the fantasy value of a perfectly healthy Gronkowski.  Prior to today’s news, David Dodds had projected Gronkowski to record 70 catches for 938 yards and 9 touchdowns… but in only 14 games.  This means Dodds had projected the Patriots star to average 10.6 FP/G in standard leagues, 15.6 FP/G in leagues that award one point per reception, and 18.1 FP/G in leagues like the FFPC that give tight ends 1.5 points per reception.

But those numbers aren’t useful in a vacuum: the proper way to value a player isn’t to look at the number of fantasy points he scores.  Instead, the concept of VBD tells us that a player’s fantasy value is a function of how many fantasy points he scores relative to the other players at his position.  I like to use a VBD baseline equal to that of a replacement player at the position, and “average backup” is a good proxy for that.  In a 12-team league that starts one tight end with no flex option, that would be TE18.  In standard leagues, TE18 on a points per game basis is Brandon Myers, the ex-Raiders tight end now with the Giants.  Footballguys projects Myers to average 5.4 FP/G in standard leagues and and 8.9 FP/G in PPR leagues.  In 1.5 PPR leagues, Martellus Bennett comes in at TE18 in our projections, with an average of 10.6 FP/G.

• mrh

Good article. This was the exact method I used a few years ago when Steve Smith was suspended for the first game of the year. He was being drafted as if his production was equal to 15/16 of his full season projection, I realized it should be 15/16 plus one game’s projection of a backup WR. In ended up with Smith on several rosters and did very well.

In a case like Smith – or say Blackmon this year – this method might even be better because while there might be some “rust” diminishing performance, you can assume reasonably good health. With Gronkowski as you point out there remains the chance of further injury to consider.

• Chase Stuart

Thanks mrh. Blackmon is a good example, too — I should have used him. It will be interesting to monitor his ADP.

• Ed

I don’t understand why the first few weeks of fantasy would be any less valued than any other regular season week. They all count equally towards your final record when determining playoffs entrants and seeding.

I am interested in where TE18 came from for this article. Is the assumption made that half the leagues teams carry two TEs, so the next available replacement is TE18 (should actually be TE19 with this approach).

• Chase Stuart

The assumption is that when your TE1 is out, you will play your backup TE, which for the average team will be the 18.5th best projected TE. I chose to round to TE18 instead of TE19.