How to calculate draft inflation

by on February 2, 2010 @ 00:00:00 PDT


If you've completed a freeze list worksheet for all the teams in your league, you now have all the information you need to calculate draft inflation.

In keeper leagues, draft inflation is important to account for in the planning and budgeting process. With many players locked up at salaries typically far below their projected value, there will be more dollars available to spend than draftable talent. Draft inflation tells you what percentage to increase your projected values for those remaining players.

In short, draft inflation is calculated by dividing the amount of free salary on Draft Day by the amount of free value.

In a standard keeperless AL league, teams spend up to $3,120 ($260 x 12 teams) in salary on Draft Day to buy up to $3,120 in projected value (the amounts are equal because the top 276 AL players in any reputable fantasy guide should total the Draft Day bankroll). In other words, $1 of value costs $1 of salary.

Suppose now that the owners had earlier spent $1,000 of salary to freeze $2,000 of value. On Draft Day, $2,120 of free salary is chasing only $1,120 of free value. Inflation results - $1 of value costs $1.89 ($2,120/$1,120) of salary.

Calculate the sum of the frozen salaries of those players you believe will be protected on each team, along with the sum of the projected values of those players. These processes will provide you with how many dollars and how much value will be protected going into your draft.

You then subtract these figures from the total available dollars to be spent in your league.

If the result shows that there is $1,200 left to spend at your draft, but only $950 of available talent, by dividing 1200 by 950, we come up with an inflation factor of 1.26, or 26 percent.

Now, during your draft, if a player you have valued at $15 comes up for bid, you need to tack on that additional 26 percent (multiply his value by 1.26), thereby raising his bid value to $19.

You can also calculate inflation more finely by considering batters and pitchers separately, using a 70/30 salary split (or, better yet, your league's historical breakdown).

Note that you must be able to predict the freezes of every team to within a handful of keepers. Note also that inflation hinges on projected value, not actual value. Because the projected top 276 players usually turn out not to be the actual top 276 players, inflation tends to be slightly tamer than calculated, because there's greater free value than suggested.

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