|Draft Position Strategy (Re-Draft)|
|Written by jeff-hoffman-editor|
|Monday, 02 August 2010 00:00|
If you’re reading this article, then you’re most likely a veteran fantasy football addicts who subscribes to the general VBD principle. This states that you always take the best player that fills a need on your roster, regardless of position. The problem is that if you follow VBD without a variation, then your really only keeping up with the rest of the crowd, and not giving yourself an advantage.
This is where we need to take VBD to the next level. I think one of the ways you can do this is really take a close look at your draft position and how it should effect your strategy. The reality is that with the current crop of fantasy players, where you draft will have a major impact on how you should draft. 90% of drafts still use a serpentine draft system, and while in theory this is supposed to level the playing field, the reality is that with the current group of fantasy players it does not.
With the current group of players on the league, I think we can all agree on the following premise: At the completion of the first round (assuming that VBD is used by all owners), the teams at the top of the draft have a small advantage over those in the middle of the rounds, and a large advantage over the owners at the end of the draft. At this point if you ended the draft, the teams at the beginning of the draft (say spots 1-3) have a huge advantage over the bottom teams (say spots 9-12) and would win the league after one round 60% of the time compared to say a 30% chance for the middle teams and a 10% chance for the bottom teams. Realistically the only chance the bottom teams would have would be in the top teams had a serious injury to their player.
Ok, so we have established that the top teams have a major advantage over the bottom teams in the first round, with the middle teams at a slight disadvantage. You only need to take a few examples from the current player pool to see this is true. Let’s say that a team in the top 3 takes Adrian Peterson, the team in the middle takes Michael Turner, and the team at the bottom takes Steven Jackson . It is clear after the first round that the first team to draft has a major advantage.
But wait, the serpentine draft is supposed to make up for that right? Wrong, for two reasons. First, there is the fact that most of the average league uses VBD in some form (cheetsheets, software, etc.), and second with the current crop of players the fantasy value of the top three players so skews the value of players that it is very hard to make up the difference during the course of the draft.
So now that we know this, what do we do? Simple, we make it a part of our draft planning! VBD should be a tool of your draft, but not the driving force of it. Instead you need to make your draft position the key factor that dictates where you draft. I feel there is a clear plan for each position in the draft. So let’s look at your best plan of action.
If you have your pick in the top 3 spots:
Your team is already in the top 1/3 of the league thanks to your selection of one of the top three backs. As a result you have a large advantage over most of the league after the first round. Your strategy should be to minimize the chances that the other 2/3 of the league has to close the gap in your squad. Here are the key concepts you should use.
· Use VBD drafting to draft your starting line-up on offense (don’t worry about a kicker or defense for now) as quickly as possible. Don’t worry about depth until you have a full starting offense. Why? I have seen so many teams at the early part of the draft focus too much on taking as many running backs as possible for depth. The problem is, you are letting other teams get an advantage over you at another position (say WR or QB) while you draft players for your bench. You are letting the other teams close the gap!
· If you are drafting and according to VBD, you have two players of equal value at the same position, take the player with the lowest risk. For example your high on a young rookie that might get the starting job, but there is also a solid veteran player that you know is going to be the starter. Take the veteran. Why? Again you have the advantage after the first round. Taking a risk that does not pan out will only help the other teams close in on you.
· Grab the back-up for your first round pick early. Generally these come from offenses that will allow their back-up to be fairly effective if they get hurt. Make sure that you identify the back-up during camp and make sure he is on your team.
If you pick in the middle of the draft (4-8):
You are going to have a solid player out of your first pick, which will give you an advantage over the owners after you in the first round. You have to close the gap with the owners who picked ahead of you. This should be your primary goal.
· If you are in the middle of the draft, you will have the ability to build a solid team. You should focus on using VBD to catch any players that slip to you, and make sure you make every pick count. If you draft well, and have a couple of players fall to you, you can get back up with the top of the pack by the end of the draft.
· Keep a close eye of what players the teams at the top of the draft take. If you see an opportunity to get an advantage over them by taking a player (let’s say you have a chance to take a top QB, and they don’t have one yet) go for it. While you may not be able to close the gap with your running backs, having a quarterback that gives you a chance to close the gap at another position can get you back in the game.
· If the players near the top of the draft neglect to grab a key back-up make sure you grab their back-up and lock the player up tight on your bench. If the teams above you loose their stud due to injury, keeping them from getting their back-up can move them back to the pack!
If you draft at the end of the first round (8-12)
By the end of the first round, you’re behind the eight ball. Simply relying on VBD might get you a solid team, but the chances you can close the gap with the rest of the league simply with VBD is slim. If you are going to get back into the game, you need to take some risks and roll the dice.
· You need to take the best player with each pick until you have a full offense. If this means you take a wide receiver in the first round and a quarterback in the second, do it. The key is you need to put the most points on the board as you can, and hope the other teams have a bad day. Points are the key.
· Take risks! You need an edge to get back up with the rest of the pack. If you have a hunch that a player is going to bust out, make sure you grab him for your squad. For example if a owner that selects late in their draft order took a gamble on DeAngelo Williams last year say in the fourth round, he could have gone from a also ran to a contender.
· Stash quality back-ups late in your draft. Since you need a break to be competitive stash some quality back-up so if an injury strikes you will get a benefit.
As you can see, you need to take a close look at your draft position, and how that should effect your plans for your draft. This will allow you to either keep your advantage, or find a creative way to take another teams advantage away. VBD will only take you so far, you need to use draft strategy to take your squad to the next level.
|Last Updated on Monday, 02 August 2010 03:31|