Draft Rookies for Safety and Upside – The Wrong Read, No. 41
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Welcome to the 41st installment of the “The Wrong Read.” This article series started as one that reflected on recent podcast episodes and extended the ideas discussed there to logical conclusions with broader applications. Since then it’s become a space for me to write about whatever I want, with irregular references to various podcast episodes. Nevertheless, I’ll link to the episode that started my train of thought if applicable. We have already seen that rookie running backs tend to outperform their veteran counterparts in the middle rounds of fantasy drafts. We even noticed that rookie running backs tend to outperform veterans in all rounds, even in the early rounds (though both underperform ADP-based expectations as a group). However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that we should be chasing massive outperformance and avoiding massive underperformance. Or, to put that another way, it doesn’t necessarily mean that rookie RBs are the best picks in the early rounds. We also postulated that the goal for early-round picks should be to avoid losing. That is to say, you want your early picks to be safe. It may be the case that a few rookie RB outperformances are skewing the numbers to such a degree that rookies as a group have a higher average outperformance, but still present a higher risk, and should therefore be avoided in the early rounds.