With all the talk the past few weeks about possible trades in the upcoming draft, I keep reading about the value board that NFL GMs use when trading with other teams. This is the board that states that the first pick is worth 3,000, the 4th pick is worth 2,200, a pick somewhere in the 2nd round is worth 680 and a 6th rounder is worth 20 points.

We could also create a similar graduated scale for fantasy drafting. The value of ensuing picks would decrease at a slower rate than they do for the NFL draft for the simple reason that the talent pool is much deeper because you're talking about all the players in the league and not just one single incoming class. It should still be an exponential scale, however, and not a linear one because in a 16-round draft, for example, the first pick is worth FAR more than two 8th-rounders.

I think a good way to determine the lowest pick that has any value is to calculate the total number of roster spots in the entire league. For example, if there are 10 teams and 20 roster spots per team that's a total of 200 roster spots. IMO, picks in the 19th and 20th rounds have essentially no value at all because you will most likely be dropping those players for waiver wire and free agent players anyway. Picks in the 17th and 18th rounds have a little value, but not much. We could assign a value of, say 10 points, to 18th round selections. If the first pick is worth 1,000 points, what are all the picks in-between worth? Another way of looking at is is which picks would you have to give up to grab the #1 pick or another pick in the draft? To determine this, we have to think about what kinds of players would still be available at each selection in each round.

Rather than assigning a value for every single pick, let's start with every 5th pick and then we can smooth the scale from there. This value scale might look something like this:

1.1 1,000

1.6 850

2.1 720

2.6 620

3.1 550

.

.

.

18.1 10

18.6 10

Again, the rate at which the value decreases is somewhat subjective; that's why I'm looking for some more opinions. But, I think this is somewhere in the ballpark because I believe two picks at the beginning of the third round, say 3.1 and 3.2 are similar in value to the 1.1 i.e. if I were trading up to 1.1, I would expect to have to give up an early 2nd-rounder and a mid/late 3rd-rounder or two early 3rd-rounders. In addition, the combined value of the 1.10 and 2.1 picks is nearly equal to the value of the 1.1 and 2.10 selections with the latter pair having a slightly higher value, which I believe models the actual fantasy value of those picks as well. Thoughts?