Before we can explore the tenets, concepts, and methodologies of Game Theory applied to the format of best ball, it is imperative that I first state the fact that these applications are higher-level functions of sustained profitability. Thusly, in order to utilize these principles in the most profitable way, we must first build a solid foundation of basic draft theory, roster construction, and portfolio management. I would advise you to develop these areas of your game into the level of unconscious competence (being able to perform a given task, at a high level, without thinking about it) before continuing your journey into Game Theory.
The best way to highlight this assertion is through an example. You could theoretically have the perfect draft utilizing Game Theory by mixing the various concepts that we will cover throughout this course and leave the draft quite literally drawing dead if you fail in the basic areas of draft theory, roster construction, and portfolio management. If your wide receivers are perfectly executed utilizing Game Theory but you only draft five of them, you are the rake. If you fail to account for bye weeks and leave gaping holes in your potential points, you are the rake. If you punt one position, you are the rake. Excuse the bluntness, but it is imperative that this fact is known by all before we proceed.
Draft theory defines the basic methods of handling a draft from start to finish. It includes bye week triage (managing bye weeks throughout the roster), “reading the room” (paying attention to how others in your draft are building rosters), minimizing mistakes, and managing the pressures of a short timer during which decisions need to be made.
Roster construction defines the ways in which you build the roster overall. It includes optimal positional player allocation, which varies dependent on multiple factors like where you draft certain player groups, managing positional variance (more on this later!), and range of outcomes within each positional group (more on this later!), tiered drafting, and macro floor and ceiling tendencies from your roster as a whole.
Portfolio management defines the act of managing variance of your portfolio of rosters as opposed to on a more micro level, or each individual roster. It also considers player exposure and bankroll management.
Once more, you simply cannot expect sustained profitability or boosts to expected value through the utilization of Game Theory in this format until you have a solid foundation of the fundamentals first (we are not going to explore the basic facts of best ball theory in this course like tiered drafting, ADP, and reactionary drafting). For more information on these elements, I invite you to check out the huge pile of FREE resources OWS is supplying on the subject. Finally, before we begin, some of the terms, strategy discussions, and elements of this course could seem highly foreign to most, so I recommend reading it in its entirety multiple times before applying the principles to your own draft strategy. I will also be available in discord or on Twitter to openly discuss my findings.
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