Draft Strategy

Exploiting Recency Bias And Overpaying For Last Year: Fade Dragons, Don’t Chase Them

When players like Cam NewtonDevonta Freeman, and DeAndre Hopkins win championships, they’re usually overvalued the next year from chasing the dragon. No article I wrote last season was more polarizing (that’s a nice way of saying it made people angry, and they insulted me on Twitter about it) than this one. It said to fade Rob Gronkowski as a first-round pick (and top-12 overall flex player), to avoid Andrew Luck as the QB1, and to pass on Keenan Allen as an overall WR2. Here’s how that turned out:
PlayerCallOverall FinishPPG Finish
Rob GronkowskiNot Top 12 FLEXFLEX15FLEX20
Andrew LuckNot QB1QB27QB6
Keenan AllenNot a WR2WR41WR6
While definitely bailed out by Allen’s injury, both the Gronkowski and Luck predictions came true on a season-long and points-per-game basis.

THE CONCEPT OF CHASING THE DRAGON

The introduction to that article still rings true:
If we dwell on our mistakes, we’ll make illogical choices in the future. This is a key issue for fantasy players: accepting that you cannot predict the future, and being comfortable playing for the most likely outcome every time, regardless of whether or not that outcome actually happens. If you let hindsight tell you that you made the wrong decision, even though you played for the most likely outcome, you will start to do illogical, overly exuberant things. FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) is very real, and leads people to badly overpay, abandoning any rational approach to value in hopes that they’re catching lighting in a bottle that either has already struck, or never will. This article isn’t so much about these specific players, but more of a general way to think about recency bias, identify it when you see it, and weigh whether or not it’s playing for the most likely outcome. You may disagree on the individual names, but what is more important is weighing the concepts, and applying them broadly to team construction.
This season, people are chasing that dragon again, for fear of missing out on the players they didn’t own last season, when they were underpriced, fantasy juggernauts. Three examples of this unbridled enthusiasm are Cam NewtonDevonta Freeman, and DeAndre Hopkins.

CAM NEWTON

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By 14Team Mocker | @14TeamMocker | Archive

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