In sabermetrics, one of the biggest concepts is the idea of the value over a replacement level player. In baseball that stat is WAR, wins above replacement, and in basketball it is WAR and also VORP, quite literally value over replacement player. For our Corner Three fantasy rankings we have followed the sabermetric path to create the only fantasy football stat you need, Points above Replacement, or PAR.
Here is how PAR works.
Using a number of projection systems (of course including our favorite fantasy site, NumberFire), we wanted to get the group consensus on the projected points for the whole year. This idea stemmed from Bracket Matrix, which uses a host of “bracketologists” to predict the seedings for the NCAA basketball tournament, and the Massey Index, which aggregates college football and basketball rankings to create one of its own. The key idea behind aggregating different projection systems is that as more predictions and more opinions are added together, mathematics say that you tend to get closer to the correct future result.
After creating our aggregate projections, we attempted to find the “replacement level player” in two ways. The first way was by using the auction values of the same aggregate sites to figure out how many players at each position are above the minimum bid threshold ($1 projected auction value). After finding these numbers for all of the main projection sites (ESPN, Yahoo, NumberFire, etc), we then moved on to finding the typical total yearly points produced by a replacement level player at each position. Then we also ran a regression using the Standard Deviation, to check our results and to make sure each position was properly adjusted for the replacement level player.
Lastly, we used these numbers for replacement level to rank all of the 2014 fantasy football players based on their projected points above replacement, which resulted in the 2014 Corner Three Fantasy Football Rankings, and our PAR stat.
In the coming weeks we will have more draft analysis using PAR and will help you decide who to take on draft day and other fantasy football insight, however if you have a draft extremely soon, we would recommend going to NumberFire.com to get your insights for now, they do a great job with fantasy analysis.
You can view the PAR rankings here.
by Robert Garcia, Northwestern University