We are back for 2022 with Fantasy Games Won!
I’m low on sleep and definitely probably should be working right now but Week 1 only comes around once a year. Let’s do this.
As usual I have a more extensive writeup on my website, this post is abbreviated: https://byroncobalt.com/2022/09/14/i-have-been-sent-back-until-my-task-is-done-fantasy-games-won-fgw-week-1-2022/
If you’re new, or feeling nostalgic, and you want to go all the way back to the beginning of the metric, here is where I described in-depth how the stat is calculated back in Week 1 of 2021: https://byroncobalt.com/2021/09/19/introducing-the-fantasy-game-wins-fgw-fantasy-football-player-scoring-system/
What is FGW? What’s New For 2022?
I’ve added a new component to the FGW calculation. Call it the Derrick Henry Adjustment. Before I explain that, though, let me quickly run through FGW as it was calculated in 2021. After all, it’s been a while.
Fantasy Games Won (FGW) is the total improvement a player makes to your expected wins each week. It is a product of two factors: Impact and Percent Started.
Impact is a conversion of points scored to a change in percent chance of winning a fantasy matchup. We start with an assumption that if your player scores the average for his position, you have an unmodified 50% chance of winning your weekly matchup. If one of your players scores way over the average for his position, he will up your chance of winning, say for example from 50% to 90% – that’s an improvement of 0.4 wins, or an impact of 0.4.
Impact is important because there’s a difference between a Will Fuller-type that scores 50 points in one week and disappears the next month, versus a Bobby Engram-type who scores 10 points per week repeatedly. Both players might show 50 points over a period, but they’ve had very different impacts on your fantasy wins and losses in that time.
Percent Started is exactly what it says – the likeliness that a player is actually in your starting lineup. Scoring 50 points on your bench doesn’t help you win that week. It might be an indicator of future returns, but that’s not what we’re calculating here.
Percent Started can be tricky to calculate. Using real data is a bad proxy for actual active fantasy managers as a known-injured-player might still be started by ghost ships in 10%+ of fantasy leagues. Expert rankings are better, but not perfect, as they don’t get updated with game-time decisions or consider how certain players never really get benched, even on weeks where they are ranked relatively low (e.g. Kyler Murray might be a rank 10 some weeks, but he’s probably not getting benched on that week, mean while a 10-ranked Trevor Lawrence might still be benched more than he’s started). I use a combination of the two factors and detail it in my full writeup linked above.
If the example player had an impact of 0.4, but was only started in 20% of leagues, his Impact * Percent Started is 0.08. In 2021, this was the full calculation of FGW.
New for 2022: The Derrick Henry Adjustment, i.e. Replacement Player Adjustment. Replacement Player Impact is a rough calculation of, for the times when you’re NOT starting a player, the FGW of the player you’re starting instead.
Replacement Player quality is generally inversely proportional to where a player was drafted. Your 7th rounder is probably on the bench in favor of your 1st/3rd/5th rounders…but if you’re benching your 1st rounder, that replacement might be that 7th rounder. Less ideal.
This came up last year with Derrick Henry. After a monster 8 game start, he was never really started again in fantasy. Yet, his FGW remained flat, as non-starting had zero impact on the stat. My controversial Eight Games of Derrick Henry Was Worth a Top 3 Pick post maybe pushed a little too hard on the legitimacy of this framework (though I maintain that intuition underrates the value of a replacement player and I was making a valid point). Nonetheless, Replacement Player Adjustments will bring down scores a bit for the top dogs. For example, I have Jonathan Taylor’s replacement calculated at 10.5 points, which is the lowest of all running backs. This grows linearly until players drafted outside round 10 have a replacement value of the average starter. For running backs, that’s 12.9.
I tried to roll the Week # into the replacement player calculation, as the later in the season you get you should have better fill-in options. However, there are clearly other factors in play (see the graph). At the moment, I have replacement player score as purely a function of draft slot.
To wrap up the calculation – Calculate Impact for replacement player (say, -0.05) and multiply it by the Percent Not Started (say, 80%, resulting in -0.04). This is the Replacement FGW and gets added to the classic FGW number. That leaves our hypothetical player with a 2022 FGW score of 0.04 for this hypothetical week in his hypothetical universe.
One other note for those new here – to factor in Flex in a reasonable way, RB and WR get lumped together for averages and such. They’re close enough in average that I can do this, and it makes it so much simpler to calculate everything with this shortcut.
Cool Story, Bro. Who Won Week 1?
- Justin Jefferson is the man. Though I can’t shake the fact that he was Ja’Marr’s #2 at LSU. So maybe he’s just da man. That’s a less prestigious title.
- Patrick Mahomes throwing to a lineup of receivers that might look like a Computer-Controlled Madden dynasty that was run for 4 simulated seasons back in 2018. Though if I were editing computer-generated rookie names, I would have gone with Smirnoff Moore over Skyy Moore.
- Great season for Saquon! Let’s just call it a wrap now. Looking forward to drafting him in the 4th round in 2023 after his recovery from a knee injury suffered in the 2nd quarter of Week 2 the previous season.
- Moving over to Josh Allen’s receivers, Gabriel Davis really changed to Gabe Davis? I love nicknames as much as the next guy – I am from New Jersey, after all – but Gabe?
- Seriously, though, where I grew up in New Jersey you’d see 100 guys named Chris and 100 Joe/Joeys before a single that went exclusively by Christopher or Joseph. Had a buddy named Gabe in 4th grade, actually. Wonder what he’s up to.
- Speaking of the man, there’s Ja’Marr.
- AJ Brown just reminding me that DeVonta Smith is a fantasy football jerk. Doesn’t matter what the experts say – he’s done nothing but kill lineups so far in his pro career.
- Kyle Pitts continuing the Falcons tradition of talented pass-catchers failing to ever score touchdowns.
- Also nice to see the award winners of last year continuing their trends, including the Razzie-style award winners. The Dak Prescott Manager Memorial Trophy could easily go to Allen Robinson and the Allen Robinson Bear Pelt to Dak Prescott. Would be a nice moment.
- And there’s Mike Williams doing Mike Williams things.
Metrics like dFGW will be turned back on as the season goes. And I did honestly lose a lot of sleep getting this started – we popped another kid out this year so I’m doing the column while working and Dadding for 3 instead of 2 now! Coffee fuels the column generation so if you want more content generation, the link to pour coffee in the fuel tank is in my Reddit profile.
Hope everyone has a fun 2022 with this crazy game we play!