Be sure to take a few minutes to examine the example and the other material below... it seems like a lot but once we get you on board with this, you'll be all set --- we all want you to win your league! (You may also be interested in our video tutorial on using 4for4 Value Based Tools)
Suppose you had a crystal ball and suppose it's always been perfect at projecting player stats for the coming year. The day before your draft, you decide to ask the Crystal Ball to give you all the player scores. You see all the NFL studs at the top of the list. BUT the #1 guy is your Buddy from high school --- you can't believe it! But, the crystal ball has ALWAYS been right and it gets even more interesting. Your Buddy just went to training camp today --- so hardly anyone even knows his name right now. The Crystal Ball tells you Buddy will play WR and will rewrite the NFL record book this year -- Buddy is going to make 190-receptions, score 38-TDs and rack up 2,700 yards! Remember, the Crystal Ball has never been wrong! The next day, you are sitting at your draft.... THE QUESTION... Where do you draft Buddy?
Some might say trade up ASAP and get the #1 pick -- draft BUDDY (it's a no-brainer). Others might say grab a known NFL stud in round #1 and draft Buddy in round #2 or #3. Others might suggest since so few people will be drafting Buddy you should wait until the end of the draft.
Others might say, I don't see Buddy on a "Consensus Cheatsheet" so I'm not going to look silly and draft him. And some will even say, I don't like the Crystal Ball's rankings so I'll ignore them.
Tick-tock, tick-tock so where would YOU draft Buddy?
In my opinion, all three of the "Winner" responses above are valid depending on how you balance risk-reward! The 4for4.com tools can't perfectly mirror YOUR risk-reward tradeoffs. So, only you can answer the question -- "Where do you draft Buddy?"
Okay, keeping the above example in mind, let's get back to the question...
If a TE is ranked very high in the Value Based Rankings, that's letting you know that player is a very valuable starter in your league -- but not saying that you must draft that player very early. Several other major factors come into play (including your own risk tolerance).
Our Value Based Rankings 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). All these factors have an influence on determining how valuable a player is as a starter. To get a good understanding of exactly what VBR does, be sure to check out this FAQ with a video tutorial with more information about VBD baselines.
All that said, "value as a starter" isn't exactly the same thing as where you should draft a player. The missing pieces of the puzzle include where your league mates will likely draft a player and how much you want to risk passing up a valuable starter (because he'll likely go later in the draft). In short, even if a player is valuable, you don't want to overpay for him and draft him "early." Also, keep in mind all your league mates won't have the Value Based Rankings and all these tools!
If your rules are very standard (example 1pt for 10 yards rushing or receiving, 6pt TD, etc..), then in addition to VBR I would suggest you work with the "Classic Style" Cheat Sheets and see the Bargains Report and the Do's and Don'ts listing.
However, the more your rules vary from "standard", the more I would lean to LeagueSync and certainly VBR. If you rules greatly vary from standard performance scoring, I would suggest you work with VBR as your guide and also consider Average Draft Position (ADP) in drafting. You can see ADP data here.
Also note... If VBR is rating a player very high, but his ADP isn't that high, you don't need to rank that player as high (as suggested by VBR) in your final draft list. However, moving a very valuable starter down in your rankings does come with risk (but in this case, risk also carries plenty of reward potential). You need to make the call on how to balance the risk-reward ratio.
In a nutshell, you want to draft highly ranked players just before they're selected by one of your opponents. In the process, you'll want to target and draft players that give you valuable starts -- a starting lineup that will consistently outscore your opponent's starters.