Fantasy points over replacement allows us to compare players across positions in fantasy because positions score varying amount of points. Today we'll see how many points Travis Kelce scored over the TE12, Jalen Hurts scored over the QB12, Justin Jefferson scored over the WR36, etc.
I made some tweaks to make it better for Underdog Fantasy users. First, I found out how many points each position scored each week to see how many half PPR fantasy points the QB12 (17.9), TE12 (8.1), RB24 (10.1), and WR36 (9.0) scored on average in 2022. Then I looked at which positions are filling the flex on average, which ended up going down to the RB31 (8.0) and WR41 (8.0). Those are the averages to hurdle in order to get into the average best ball lineup. Afterwards, I took each player's game logs including the postseason, but I only counted the fantasy points scored above those positional thresholds to count "Better In Best Ball Points" or fantasy points over replacement.
For example, Travis Kelce only scored 7.6 half PPR points in Week 2, which is less than the TE12 scored on average last year (8.1), so Kelce gets 0.0 Better In Best Ball Points for that week. But in the divisional round of the NFL Playoffs, Kelce went off for 28.8 half PPR points, so he gets 20.7 Better In Best Ball Points (28.8 - 8.1 = 20.7).
Minimum four games to qualify. Numbers are per game, including playoffs.
2022 Better In Best Ball Points vs. 2023 ADP
Top 48 Overall Players (First 4 Rounds):
2022 Better In Best Ball Points: 6 QBs, 19 RBs, 22 WRs, 1 TEs
2023 Underdog Fantasy ADP: 7 QBs, 14 RBs, 23 WRs, 4 TEs
Top 120 Overall Players (First 10 Rounds):
2022 Better In Best Ball Points: 16 QBs, 48 RBs, 48 WRs, 8 TEs
2023 Underdog Fantasy ADP: 17 QBs, 36 RBs, 56 WRs, 11 TEs
I already wrote about this here, but this is more evidence that there aren't enough RBs going early enough. There's far more uncertainty about which RBs are undervalued because the usual studs are approaching or at age cliffs, but as a position on the whole, it's definitely undervalued. Spend time on which RBs are particularly mispriced, or spend another pick on the position.
Weekly upside by position
Because this is a week-by-week statistic and because best ball is a week-by-week format, this is a good metric to value weekly upside to see which positions are going to help take down our huge best ball tournaments. Across all games including NFL Playoffs this year, here are how many times each position cracked X-amount of Better In Ball Points:
30+ Points Over Replacement Games: 0 QBs, 3 RBs, 2 WRs, 0 TEs
20+ : 7 QBs, 30 RBs, 24 WRs, 7 TEs
10+ : 43 QBs, 155 RBs, 157 WRs, 33 TEs
It looks like the narrative that WRs provide more valuable spiked weeks and hit those spiked weeks more often than RBs isn't supported by last year's math. This is particularly interesting as RBs are currently going nearly a full round later in drafts than they did last year.
(Oh yeah, the best games of the year came from Joe Mixon, Josh Jacobs, and Mike Evans. Not bad for washed up, slow players.)
Travis Kelce vs. The TE Field
He was 13th overall in Better In Best Ball Points per game last year, which is a tad lower than his current 5th overall ADP in 2023 drafts. But this stat is only comparing his points versus the weekly TE12, when his numbers are far higher than the other top-five players at his position, too. In fact, Kelce was the only TE to place inside the top-50 overall, as George Kittle was 51st overall followed by Mark Andrews (64th), T.J. Hockenson (67th), Dalton Schultz (84th), and Evan Engram (93rd).