The basis of my fantasy projections and rankings revolves around VORP, or value over replacement player. That may be a familiar term for some of you, but for the rest here’s a brief explanation of it and how it applies in a fantasy hockey context.

I first learned about the concept when I was preparing for my first fantasy football draft last year. On that side it’s commonly referred to as VBD, or value based drafting, but it’s sometimes referred to as VORP as well and that’s probably a better way to describe it anyways.

Here’s the gist:

You’ve got four players at two different positions: two stars and two replacement players, one at each position. Replacement here meaning position players available outside the top 100 of your rankings.

John Tavares, a star C, projected for 375 points

Brent Burns, a star D, projected for 360 points

David Krejci, a typical replacement C, projected for 290 points

Justin Faulk, a typical replacement D, projected for 250 points

Who’s more valuable between Tavares and Burns? The answer is Burns. Tavares may get 15 more points, but he’s only worth 85 more points then Krejci, a guy that’s ranked as the 27th best centre available, or about the amount of centre’s that get drafted in the top 100. Burns on the other hand is worth 110 more points than Faulk, the 18th ranked d-man. Good centres are extremely plentiful compared to good d-men and that’s why Burns, despite scoring fewer points, is more valuable than Tavares.

The idea behind drafting isn’t getting the most fantasy points, it’s about getting the most value for each position available relative to their draft slots. You can’t play five centres so the positional requirements are something that needs to be accounted for. It’s about striking the proper balance at every position and getting the most value relative to the rest of the field.