Draft Strategy

Exploiting Recency Bias: This Is T.Y. Hilton’s Time

Everything has aligned for T.Y. Hilton to destroy fantasy leagues far and wide. 

“Heaven has no rage like love to hatred turned” -W. Congreve

Last season, I wrote two articles in this vein, the first about Peyton Manning and Drew Brees, and the second about Brandon Marshall (two out of three ain’t bad, I’ll take it.)

These two sentences, from the introductions to those articles, encapsulates the idea:

  1. Identifying the illogically cheap is just as fruitful as identifying the illogically expensive.
  2. Exploiting emotionally fueled avoidance helps us find underpriced assets.
“Recency bias” describes a natural flaw in the way humans think. University of Rochester Professor of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, and contributor to ESPN and RotoViz, Dr. Renee Miller explains:
“The Primacy Effect, the finding that things that happen first in a sequence of events are preferentially remembered and hold a more prominent place in our memory than subsequent events, with the exception of the most recent event (Recency Bias).” Recency Primacy Bias
Primacy effect is something else, that Dr. Miller has written about extensively, here, here, and here. Her articles are some of the most interesting and helpful that are hosted on the site, they are something I read annually.  What happened most recently dominates our memory, and it unavoidably causes people to draft in fantasy football with the notion that last year was the only year that has ever taken place. None of us are above it, and recognizing it is the first step to capitalizing on it. After he was drafted as the WR9 last season, T.Y. Hilton finished as the WR23, in a season that Andrew Luck struggled through only seven game appearances. That’s the kind of thing that leaves people mighty wary of investing again the following season. Currently being drafted as the WR15, drafters might have begun to realize that they were falling prey to this behavior: Hilton ADP Not quite the drastic value that he once was, that’s still too cheap.

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By 14Team Mocker | @14TeamMocker | Archive

Comments   Add comment

  1. PaulC says:

    Where would you put Hilton versus Marshall, Jeffery, Cooks and Cooper? Talking PPR. Those guys all are come before him by consensus ranking, but honestly I would rather have Hilton than any of them. They all have their risks (age, injury for first two) or limitations (target limitations for latter two), but Hilton's floor seems pretty good as you made clear, and if the Colts are pass-heavy once again, Hilton's ceiling is incredibly high. Would you say I'd be crazy to take him before any of those four?

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