In this article, I will review an optimal roster construction for the NFL side of Superflex dynasty leagues. I will start with a top-down approach, which will identify total points per game requirements to secure a playoff spot. I will then try to identify target points per game thresholds for each roster slot by maximizing the number of player choices for filling those slots. 

I have pulled standings data on 227 dynasty sleeper leagues between 2020 and 2021. These leagues are all formatted as 12 team, 2QB/SF, 1_ppr, 0.5TEPrem, 25 pass yards per point, ten rush/receiving yards per point, six points per rush/receiving TD, and ten starting roster spots. I did not have clarity on if the leagues were four points per pass TD or six points per pass TD, so I assumed 75% were four points per pass TD and 25% were six points per pass TD. To place top four (secure a playoff spot) within these leagues, a team needed to average 159 points per game or 15.9 points per game per roster spot. Using the 2020 and 2021 player scoring data, I ran a solver to identify the points per game thresholds for each starting roster spot that provided the most combinations of available players. A cutoff of four or more games played was used for this analysis.

The Solver Methodology

The solver methodology was constrained by a max point per game threshold, a minimum points per game threshold, and an average of 15.9 points per game for all starting roster spots. The max points per game threshold for a position one player (QB1, RB1, WR1, TE1) was taken as the average of the top 12 players between 2020 and 2021. The max points per game threshold for a position two-player (example: 2nd RB roster spot) was taken as the average of the next 12 players between 2020 and 2021. The max points per game threshold for a flex player was taken as the average of the top 12 remaining players between 2020 and 2021 after the top 24 RBs, top 24 WRs, and top 12 TEs were removed. This methodology was used to ensure the solver would not select the #1 position player, which is not always attainable in a draft. The minimum points per game threshold were set at a replacement-level player after the top 24 QBs, top 24 RBs, top 24 WRs, top 12 TEs, and top 36 flex players were removed. 

Reviewing the Data 

I have taken these thresholds within the solver and applied them to historical NFL fantasy football scoring data between 2017-2021. The goal is to redefine our roster spot requirements:

  • QB1:  21 PPG | Top 7 QB 
  • RB1:  17.87 PPG | Top 7 RB 
  • RB2:  15 PPG | Top 13 RB 
  • WR1: 20.37 | Top 3 WR 
  • WR2: 14.25 | Top 21 WR 
  • TE1: 15.16 | Top 4 TE 
  • SLFEX:  18.04 PPG | Top 13 QB

The takeaways: 

  • For all usable players that have met these thresholds, 9% were QB, 33% were RB, 45% were WR, and 12%  were TE. Winning the flex is best suited through acquiring more WR. 
  • Fantasy managers should aim to acquire a top 7 QB for their QB1 slot and a top 13 QB for their Superflex slot. This allows a manager more options within the rest of their roster.
  • Fantasy managers should aim to acquire a top 3 WR for their WR1 slot and a top 4 TE for their TE1 slot. Elite WR and TE are more scarce than Elite RBs. 
  • 48.5% of all usable players are within 1-4 years in the NFL.
  • WR1 is the only position group that has the highest percentage of players within 5-8 years in the NFL at 67.5%. A WR1 averages a 30% target share. 
  • RB1s have the highest percentage of players within 1-4 years in the NFL. An RB1 has averaged a 16% target share.

Implementation

Targets against 2022 Sleeper ADP for Position 1 players: Player (ADP | Round |Position #)

  • QB1:
    • Lamar Jackson (9.2 | Round 1 | QB6)  
    • Russell Wilson  (21.8 | Round 2 | QB9)  
  • RB1:
    • Najee Harris  (10 | Round 1 | RB2)
    • Saquon Barkley (41.3 | Round 4 | RB13)
    • Travis Etienne  (51.9 | Round 5 | RB18) 
  • WR1:
    • Justin Jefferson (7.3 | Round 1 | WR2)
    • Stefon Diggs (32.6 | Round 3 | WR9)
    • DK Metcalf (38 | Round 4 | WR12)
    • DJ Moore (52.7 | Round 5 | WR15)
  • TE1: Darren Waller  (57.7 | Round 5 | WR5) 
    • Long Shot: Evan Engram (181.1 | Round 16 | TE22)  
  • SFLEX:
    • Aaron Rodgers (47.8 | Round 4 | QB15)
    • Kirk Cousins (83.1 | Round 6 | QB21)

Count of Position by Roster Slot by Year

Count of Position per PPG Buckets

Count of Roster Slots by Years in NFL Buckets

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