Fantasy Draft Preparation: Getting Good Projections
The best way to get projections that you have confidence in is to make them up yourself, using as much information as you can
get your hands on. This is also the most time-intensive method, and is probably more work than is necessary to be successful.
Most people who use projections to evaluate players simply take someone else’s projection and tweak them a little, if at all.
There is nothing wrong with collecting a few examples of other people’s projections to look at, even if you’re going to make your
own. There are a lot of projections available online, both free and for a fee, good ones and bad ones. Just to be clear – a good
projection isn’t necessarily one which is accurate, it’s just one that takes as much information as possible into account.
It may not be totally accurate at the end of the season, but it’s more likely to be close. When evaluating someone else’s
projections, typically I will make my own projections for about five players or so – players whose performance next season should
be significantly different than their performance last season, for one reason or another. Then, I can look at how those players
have been projected according to the set of projections being evaluated. If the projections for those players are pretty close to
what I projected, then I feel fairly confident about the quality of the other person’s projections as a whole.
There are a host of things that should be taken into account when making your own player projections, either for evaluating
someone else’s projections on a few players, or when building your own projections from scratch. Roughly, the factors can be
grouped into player-specific factors and situation-specific factors. Player-specific factors come from the player himself. Is
this player young and improving, or old and declining? Is this player recovering from an injury? Situation-specific factors come
from the player’s situation. Does the player have a full time job? Will the player’s teammates make it easier or harder to generate
positive statistics? These sorts of questions regard situation-specific factors. I’ve made up short lists of specific factors to
be taken into account for each sport, with links below.
Note – although this is a list of factors to take into account, each individual factor should be taken into account on a case-by-case basis.
There is no absolute rule on making player projections. It can be a good idea to look at other players’ historical performances year over
year who have been affected by similar factors. How has their performance changed?
Next Section - Making Projections into Values: Waiver-wire Value