Overpaid Free Agent Positions?

In the last couple posts, the relative draft value of each position was calculated by summing the conventional draft points for each position. The same can be done with Massey-Thaler draft surplus value for each position. Here is the result:

RB, WR, TE, and CB top the list. But what does that actually mean? It's not as clear as draft point value. The point value from the conventional draft chart represents the draft "capital" spent to select a player. But the M-T surplus value represents the typical performance of the pick above his contract cost. The value of the pick's performance is based on the cost of a free agent with equivalent performance.

So what the table above actually shows is how each draft position overperforms compared to free agents at the same position. So the positions at the top of the list are the positions at which free agents are the most overpaid relative to draft picks.

Take RB for example, the position at the very top of the list. The data basically says that teams are probably better served by employing drafted RBs rather than free agent RBs. One example that comes to mind is the recent experience of the Colts. Marshall Faulk was an excellent player throughout his initial draft contract but the Colts did not resign him. They drafted Egderrin James who performed practically at the same level, and for half the price. When James' contract came up, the Colts allowed him to leave and replaced him with another draft pick--Joseph Addai, who was more than talented enough to help the team win a championship.

The same might be said for WRs, CBs, and TEs.

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