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Using Warren Buffett’s Investing Strategy to Win at Fantasy Football

Fantasy managers are always looking for the most profitable strategies on draft day. Since profit is on their minds, it might be a good idea to take advice from a duo who knows a thing or two about getting a strong return on investment.

Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger are two of the greatest investors in the history of the world, as their decades of running Berkshire Hathaway culminated in a company with a market capitalization of nearly $700 billion.

One of the ways they have achieved this remarkable success is by pursuing what Munger calls the lollapaloza effect, which is when two or three or more forces act in the same direction and cause a cascade of effects .

It’s not easy to find lollapalooz effects, but a key factor in doing so is to avoid negative elements. Munger and Buffett know that any noticeable negative factor in a business, whether in management, product quality, or a change in customer desires, will almost immediately prevent that business from enjoying a positive lollapalooz effect. If there are enough negative factors in a company, it can actually cause a negative lollapaloza effect which can be disastrous for its employees and shareholders.

So how does all of this apply to fantasy football? It’s pretty simple, because fantasy managers should apply Buffett and Munger’s lollapalooza philosophy on draft day by taking a floor draft approach.

Drafting on the floor means that a fantasy coach should always find a reasonable floor value for a player and never draft that player higher than that. For example, if a fantasy coach determines that a running back has an RB2 floor and an RB1 ceiling, that player should only be drafted as RB2 and not RB1.

To illustrate why drafting this player as RB1 is a bad idea, take a look at this chart which shows the 2021 PPR point difference between players in the middle of each scoring tier for running backs and wide receivers.

Job levels Level pt. spread
RB1 to RB2 48.8
RB2 to RB3 35.3
RB3 to RB4 35.4
RB4 to RB5 21
WR1 to WR2 62.2
WR2 to WR3 28.9
WR3 to WR4 43.2
WR4 to WR5 22.5

To clarify, this graph shows that the difference between a mid-level RB1 and a mid-level RB2 last season was 48.8 points. That’s a difference of almost three points a week in a fantastic season, which is a huge negative. Downward point totals for other tiers of RB and WR don’t have as much of an impact outside of the 62.2 point drop from a mid-tier WR1 to a mid-tier WR2, but even the lower point levels here indicate that this is not the case. take many draft mistakes of this nature to crush this roster’s chances of competing for a title.

The preferred option would be to find an RB2 candidate with RB1 upside down and draft it to the RB2 level. The initial upside of this might seem obvious, but consider what happened to the fantastic managers who did when drafting Najee Harris last season.

Harris had an average PPR ADP of 18 for much of the 2021 fantasy draft season. This means he could have been selected in the third round in an eight-team league, near the end of the second round in a 10-team league. teams and halfway through the second round of a 12-team league. In other words, almost every fantasy manager had this option available to them at one point or another.

It was clear that Harris was likely to have RB2 floor value as the leader in the Steelers offense, but there were also plenty of signs that he had RB1 upside down. Harris set Alabama career records in rushing yards and rushing touchdowns and set the all-time single-season record for receiving touchdowns by a Crimson Tide running back. He was also going to a Pittsburgh team whose head coach had a reputation for relying on a bell-cow approach to carry whenever possible.

This confluence of events led Harris to third in RB PPR points, so he provided the RB1 comeback, but the real value of his pick at RB2 level is how that successful pick impacts the rest of the roster. fantastic by doing the following:

  • This gave the RB1 team depth if the drafted RB1 got injured.
  • The team could produce RB1-caliber points in the drafted RB1’s bye week.
  • Any running back listed as RB3 or lower could now be fully dedicated to filling a spot on the flex roster rather than having to occasionally fill in as an RB2 matchup.
  • If RB3 or lower running backs end up being capable flex candidates, the entire WR body could focus on generating value at that position rather than splitting starts between WR and flex positions.
  • The player handcuffed to a cowbell back costs very little in terms of draft or free agent capital.

This is the definition of a lollapalooz effect for a draft pick, as it increased the potential value of players across the roster. This level of cascading impacts doesn’t just work with RB1 candidates, as a spike in cross-roster production can occur when selecting players for any roster slot.

In addition to the positive benefits of the ground draft strategy, there is built-in insurance against downside if the player does not hit their cap. Using the Harris scenario as an example, if he ended up producing RB2 caliber points as an RB2 draft pick, that would mean his draft pick returned the expected value. It wouldn’t produce a lollapaloza effect, but it also means it wouldn’t prevent one, which may be just as important.

Ultimately, fantasy managers should heed the advice Munger gave when he said that if you eliminate all the negatives, you’ll only be left with the positives. This is what the draft-to-the-floor concept helps fantasy managers do.

(Photo by Najee Harris: Scott Galvin/USA Today)


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