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How Does Draft Order Influence The Standings?

Reader Chris O. writes:

Are you aware of any research on the relationship of draft order to ultimate league finish order? I was in a draft a few weeks ago where some participants were complaining about where the commissioner had place them in the draft order and I started wondering if it made any difference. I went back to all of the 2008 baseball and football drafts that my son and I took part in and tabulated draft position and finish position for each. Out of 39 total drafts, only 1 team with the #1 pick overall ended up winning the league. No team that had the last pick in the first round won the league. I know this is a small sample size, mixes autopick and live drafts, and had leagues of 8, 10, 12 and 20 teams so it is by no means a uniform sampling. Do you know of any other research that would support or refute this?

Unfortunately I don't have any data on this, but I'd love to see how draft order and the standings correlate.  If we're to figure this out it'll require a lot of help from readers. It's worth a shot.  Check out the attached Draft Order spreadsheet  - I'm asking for the team name, draft spot, and finish in the standings. In an attempt for some amount of uniformity, we will only include 12 team leagues in this study.  Also, please only submit if your league did the snake style of draft, where the first round goes 1-12 and the second round goes in reverse order.  If your league(s) fit those two criteria and you'd like to help, fill out the spreadsheet and email it to rotoauthority@gmail.com.  You can include as many leagues as you want in the spreadsheet.

If we can gather data from, say, 100+ leagues, maybe we will be able to conclude that the person drafting first finished, on average, in position 3.8 (for example).  What do you think this study will reveal, and are we going about it the right way?  Has it been done before?


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