Value-Based Rankings (VBR) can be a powerful tool to help you make the best draft decisions for your league. However, understanding how to effectively use VBR requires an understanding of its principles and some real-world application. Let's consider an example scenario.

Imagine you had a perfect prediction system for the upcoming NFL season. This system tells you that a virtually unknown player, let's call him "Buddy," will have a record-breaking season at WR. Given that this system has always been correct, you face an important question: when do you draft Buddy?

Different strategies might be considered:

  1. Some may say grab the #1 pick and draft Buddy immediately.
  2. Others might suggest drafting a known NFL star in round one and waiting to draft Buddy in round two or three.
  3. Yet others might recommend waiting till the end of the draft since Buddy is not widely known.

However you choose to proceed will depend on your risk tolerance and draft strategy.

Applying this to VBR, if a player ranks highly, it means they are predicted to be a highly valuable starter in your league. It doesn't necessarily mean you should draft them early. Other considerations come into play, such as where your league mates will likely draft the player and your risk tolerance if you decide to pass on a valuable starter in hopes of drafting them later.

VBR is designed to help identify the most valuable starters for your league based on your scoring rules, the number of starters by position, and the number of owners in your league. It's important to understand that "value as a starter" isn't synonymous with where you should draft a player.

If your league rules are fairly standard, using the "Classic Style" Cheat Sheets, in conjunction with VBR, can help you see which players are bargains and which to avoid.

If your league rules vary significantly from standard scoring rules, consider using VBR as your guide and referencing Average Draft Position (ADP) data during the draft. If VBR rates a player highly, but their ADP is lower, you may decide to adjust your draft strategy accordingly.

Remember, the goal is to draft highly ranked players just before they're selected by one of your opponents. You want to target players that will give you valuable starts and a lineup that consistently outscores your opponent's starters. How you balance this process with risk and reward is ultimately up to you.