Fantasy Football: Value Based Drafting for Beginners

You may have heard the term value based drafting (or VBD for short) thrown around in fantasy football circles, and are wondering just what it is, and why it should matter to you.  I’m here to break it all down to help you understand why value based drafting is an important idea to implement at your fantasy football draft.

Origins of value based drafting: In the late 90’s Joe Bryant came up with the VBD approach to fantasy football and it has stuck around ever since. Feel free to read the link for more info.

Fantasy Football Value Based Drafting

What is value based drafting? While it may seem like a complicated question, it is actually a relatively easy concept to understand.  On draft day, using projections, you want to select the players who are going to outscore the worst starter at their position by the most points.

With me so far? Lets use QB as an example:

Say you are in a 10 team league with 1 QB roster spot.  That means there will be TEN starting QB’s in your league (as each team starts one QB).

All you have to do is compare the current QB to the 11th overall QB in your rankings to get their value based drafting number. (Note: We use the 11th overall QB because that is the first replacement level player)

Value based drafting approach for fantasy football leagues

In the PTS column you can see projected points. On the right you can see the VBD number for each player


So.. if Aaron Rodgers is your first overall quarterback, and you have him projected to score 365.3 fantasy points, and Derek Carr is your 11th overall quarterback, projected at 293.2 fantasy points (for the season), Aaron Rodgers has a VBD score of 72.  Makes sense right?

Now, all you have to do is come up with this number at each and every position to receive a value based drafting score for all players.  What you’ll find in fantasy football is that the value based drafting number for running backs and wide receivers is typically much higher at the beginning of the draft, as there is a sharp decrease in projected scoring as you get to the “worst” starter in the league, while there isn’t as large of a difference between the 1st and 11th overall quarterback.

Applying value based drafting to your fantasy football draft

Here is a screenshot from our fantasy football draft guide. Notice the VBD rankings section that has mostly RB and WR at the top of the list to start the draft. Using our draft guide to chart your picks, it will consistently let you know which player has the highest value based drafting score based on your personal rankings, so you always make the best choice on draft day!

Fantasy football value based draft rankings on the right help easily identify the top values

If you have any questions about VBD and how it relates to fantasy football, feel free to let me know in the comments below.  Good luck with your upcoming season.

By | 2017-07-11T02:11:36+00:00 June 27th, 2017|Fantasy Football, Fantasy Football Preseason Analysis|2 Comments

About the Author:

Passionate about fantasy sports. Huge Angels and Rockies fan. For DFS I cover NBA, MLB and NFL. You can find me in live chat each night as we discuss the day's top plays and cash game lineups. Part time purveryor of fantasy team names


  1. doctorsaj August 27, 2017 at 23:15

    the top 25 value draft board (VDB) column is all quarterbacks now. wasn’t this a mix of positions before? is something wrong with the program?

    • KJ August 27, 2017 at 23:19

      Thanks for notifying. Issue has been corrected

Comments are closed.