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Pick 1 is overrated!

Draft Value Grouping applied to the AFL Draft

· Opinion

Why aren't we Draft Value Grouping the AFL draft?

Draft Value Grouping is the concept that the talent in any sports draft can be divided into several groups, known as Draft Value Groups (DVG), within which all the draft selections have a relatively equal chance of success and output quality. An important characteristic of a DVG is that the difference in the output of a pick in the group has a low or negligible difference to every other pick in that group.

Lystics are applying this theory to the AFL, using the average careers games played (ACGP) as a yardstick for measuring success. This measure isn't perfect, but other studies have shown 'careers games played' correlates very highly with 'career success' measures, which typically include position-independent achievements like All-Australian Selections and club Best and Fairest placings (the Brownlow and Coleman Medals are typically awarded to the best midfielder and best forward, therefore these are position-dependent awards).

Each new Lystics DVG is formed based on drastic differences in the chance of success.

To help make sense of the data information, let's look at some interesting findings:

  • A player selected with the 4th pick has approximately the same chance of success as the player selected 16th pick. 
  • Each DVG plays approximately 65% of the games as the group preceding them. 
  • In the 1st group, there are no occurrences where ACGP is below 125 games. In the 2nd group, there are no occurrences of ACGP being above 110 games.
  • In the 2nd group, there is only one occurrence where ACGP is below 80 games. In the 3rd group, there are only two occurrences of ACGP being above 80 games.
  • In the 3rd group, there is only one occurrence of ACGP being below 40 games. In the 4th group, there are only five occurrences where ACGP is above 40 games.

Using this data and plotting the AFL's Draft Value Index (DVI) curve against the Lystics DVG rating, we can identify draft picks that have previously been overvalued or undervalued. Draft picks with a Lystics DVG Rating below the DVI curve are overvalued, and draft picks with a Lystics DVG Rating above the DVI curve are undervalued.

Overvalued Picks: 1, 4 - 8, 17 - 31, 51 - 73

Undervalued Picks: 2, 3, 9 - 16, 32 - 50, > 73

It shouldn't surprise anyone that Pick 1 is overrated. While it is undoubtedly still a great pick, Pick 1 is overrated when compared with the success of Pick 2 and Pick 3, the other draft selections in its DVG.

This data is useful when used as a tool for drafting, but can be made more useful by adjusting the groups to suit each individual draft pool. If you'd like to know how the Lystics DVG Rating has been adjusted 2018 draft pool, simply subscribe below and we will email you out the 2018 Lystics DVG Rating Report.

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