Yo, Big Blue! Training camp is right around the corner, and I’m not talking about the NFL. I’m talking about mock draft season for fantasy football degenerates, like us. I don’t think you can do too many mock drafts, as you’re looking for trends and "situational" drafting strategies. You may share the philosophy of waiting to draft a QB, however, if Aaron Rodgers is still around in round 4-5, strategy be damned, you pounce. That’s the point of mocks, to literally practice your thought process during a live draft, and to become prepared for the unexpected. Below are some tips that I’ve grown to believe in over the years after doing WAY too many mock drafts. Enjoy!
- Use all the different fantasy sites for mocks. ADP (average draft position) is the most vital info that comes from all the mock drafts. These ADPs become the foundational player rankings, and therefore dictate the ranges these players will be listed, and eventually drafted. Each site has widely different rankings/ADPs, so it’s a great exercise to mix it up. The top three for me would be Yahoo!, ESPN, and Fantasy Football Calculator.
- Go in with a purpose. Willy nilly mock drafting just to see how "good" your fake lineup looks is meaningless. It’s not your real team, they will compile no stats, so what’s the point? Experiment drafting one position heavy early on, then see how you like the other positional options later on in the draft. Example: take three stud WRs with your first three picks, then see how you like your later round RBs. The whole purpose of the mocks is to beta test strategies that you may use on draft day.
- Make yourself uncomfortable. This is an odd one, but I think it’s invaluable. We all have fantasy emotions, meaning at our core, we just love some players, and hate others. But the deal with fantasy is thay EVERY player can become a value pick if they drop enough, so I like to emotionally prepare to take players I normally wouldn’t want on my roster. Example: I hate the Eagles (as we all should). Alshon Jeffrey is now an Eagle, and has a lot of theoretical upside. His ADP is late round three, a price I could NEVER stomach on draft day. Sometimes he slips to late round 4/early 5, and I will bite the bullet and hit draft. I don’t feel good about it, no warm and fuzzies, but at that price, he could very well be a great value. In short, I’m emotionally preparing for picking the smart fantasy team, no the "feel good" fantasy team.