Game of Thrones Fantasy Draft Rankings: Season 8 Ultimate Guide
Here at FantasyPros, we enjoy all kinds of fantasy sports, and we’re willing to interpret the word “sports” very generally. With the final season premiering this Sunday, fantasy Game of Thrones drafts are happening now, courtesy of Fantasizr and The Verge. It works like any other fantasy game: there are 54 “players” – characters in the show – and you draft them into teams. There is a detailed scoring system based on what each character does (and in some cases what happens to them). The scoring can be separated into five categories: violence, sex/nudity, wit, status/power (including bonus points for surviving the series or finishing the series on the throne) and eating/drinking. I encourage you to check out the full list. Values range from 5 points for incapacitating an unnamed character or delivering a funny one-liner to 150 points for killing a dragon or 200 points for taking the Iron Throne. There’s also a great record of people asking detailed questions about the scoring (does a dragon-rider get credit for the dragon’s kills?) on the official Twitter account.
Understanding the scoring is important. It’s easy to assume Cersei Lannister would be one of the top picks, and indeed she has the highest ADP of any character. However, the scoring system isn’t particularly kind to her. While incest is the highest-scoring form of sex (really, it’s 25 points), she’s unlikely to score in some of the other valuable categories, such as using magic (50 points, limit 1/episode) or killing someone with her own hands (25 points for a named character) rather than delegating to the Mountain or Jamie. While she might end the series as Queen for 30 points (I give that a 45% chance), she can’t take the Iron Throne since she’s already on it.
To prepare for my draft and yours, I went to the trouble of creating projections for each character. This isn’t quite as scientific as we’re used to being at FantasyPros, but I went through each character and did my best to judge how many times I expect them to score in each category. If you think my guesses are crap and want to make your own projections, I’ve uploaded my template as a Google sheet that you can download and edit.
|3||The Night King||449||9.9||6.9|
There aren’t huge surprises here. Daenerys and Jon Snow are easily the top two picks when you give them a 50% chance of taking the Iron Throne. They both have high potential for violence, and there will probably be at least one more sex scene between them. The Night King is a little high here compared to ADP, but I stand by it. I think it’s likely that he kills another dragon, and he will almost certainly kill some named characters. He also has high potential to get the 50 points/episode for using magic.
There are some more deviations from ADP here. I expect Bran to use magic in every episode, and I put his odds of surviving the series higher than most. I think Melisandre and Beric are great sleepers that will give late-first-round value but be available much later. They are both liable to use magic every time we see them, especially since Beric lighting his sword on fire counts as magic, not to mention the odds that someone else will find a way to bring him back from the dead. I also place his odds of being revealed as Azor Ahai above zero because of the flaming sword. In addition to Melisandre’s magic, she has high odds to kill named characters (as long as they have royal blood), and is likely to have another sex scene. She’s also a good candidate for some of the status/power categories, like forming an alliance or betraying someone. Viserion is the dragon the Night King turned into a zombie, and my highest rated dragon. Like the other dragons he will probably max out the limit of 50 points/episode for killing unnamed characters (in battle) in more than one episode, and I give him a 50% chance of killing one of the other dragons.
|15||Brienne of Tarth||168||15.8||0.8|
I have both non-zombie Dragons well above their ADP. They both have high potential to score points in battle, the chance to re-kill Viserion, and it’s likely that one of them will die (memorably). Harry Strickland is a bit of a wildcard. He’s a character from the books that’s new to the show. All we know at this point is that he and his army are recruited by Euron Greyjoy to be a part of Cersei’s coalition. This gives him potential in some of the status categories and violence. Gilly is also way above her ADP. In my mind, it’s almost certain that Gilly and Sam will have at least one more sex scene, and very likely that they get pregnant in the process. She also has potential for one-liners and to kill in self-defense (maybe a white walker?).
Sansa Stark is another victim of the scoring system. There is a slight chance she takes the Iron Throne if the Lannisters lose but Daenerys and Jon Snow die, but her potential for violence is low and she seems unlikely to form new alliances or betray anyone. There is a chance she gets engaged again. Jorah Mormont, Qhono and Tormund Grisbane will do some fighting but that’s probably it. I have Theon Greyjoy way below his ADP because I think he is broken beyond repair. I expect him to fail to save Yara and get killed by Euron. I’m sort of confused that Podrick Payne’s ADP is so high. There’s room for a little bit of violence and maybe a sex scene, but he’s unlikely to hit the very high-value categories. I think Ned Umber and Alys Karstark are good late-round fliers – their introduction in season 7 seemed kind of out of left field to me, so I’m assuming they’ll have bigger roles in season 8.
In this tier, the differences in projections are pretty small, and these are all minor characters I don’t expect much from. I would be surprised if Robin Arryn did anything other than die memorably, and I don’t expect Meera Reed to show up in season 8 hardly at all after her falling out with Bran Stark.
Jacob Herlin is a Senior Data Analyst for FantasyPros. For more from Jacob, follow him @jacoblawherlin.