By Douglas Menefee 09/03/20 8:28 AM
None of your research matters much if you don’t draft “well”. The actual draft is more important then all the rankings you looked at prior because if you don’t properly construct your line up based on needs and are not mentally prepared then it doesn’t matter.
Let’s pretend I am your fantasy coach. You are on the bench (couch actually) and I am speaking to you before we go out for the big game (the draft) and I want to talk some sense into you. You are Rocky and about to go fight Clubber Lang.
I want you to focus and clear your mind 30 minutes before your draft starts. Sit and focus on nothing. Take some deep breaths and chill for like 10-20 minutes (or just drink an ice cold beer). Then 10 minutes before your draft go into the room and start queuing up some guys you like.
Now I am going to give you some cheesy “Ra Ra” lines. “You can do this” “You got this” “You are going to kill in this draft”. Now get out there and crush it. You are the best fantasy drafter in the history of the game. You are the Michael Jordan of drafting.
Executing your draft
You can have all the rankings and advice in the world but if you don’t execute your knowledge in your draft properly by minimizing mistakes then its all for not.
Even if you do execute properly you could have the wrong mix of players in mind but let’s assume you have done your homework and let’s assume the players you have in mind are correct. With all that being equal let’s now prepare for the draft.
The first goal here is to treat the draft a little bit like poker. Read the room, know your opponent and avoid going “on tilt” if things don’t go your way or a guy you were expecting to take went ahead of you. Things like this can throw your mind off and this draft is a mental game. Get into the draft rhythm and deal with things that don’t go your way. That’s pretty much how real life works. Be able to pivot and have another out.
Know your opponent
Know the teams your opponents like because they may target players on that team. Know what players your opponents like based on asking them and or seeing who they have owned in the past. How did your opponent draft last season and are they in a similar position this year. Are they zero RB or do they typically draft two running backs. Do they take QB’s early. Know your opponent. This helps you script your outcomes.
Read the room
I will put this in a different article but drafts have their own “script” and by that I mean if the guy ahead of you has two running backs in their first two rounds then the probability they will pick a player other then a running back is significantly higher in the next round. Be able to predict patterns and they way the draft is flowing so you can stay on point in executing your own picks. You can use this to your advantage knowing what more then likely someone may pick next or behind you.
Avoid going on tilt
Be prepared for multiple outcomes. I like to “script” out about 8 plays in advanced but it doesn’t mean its going to go your way and people you were expecting to get may get taken. How many times have you said or heard this? “I was going to take so and so but he took him right before me”. Who cares it happens every draft get over it. Be prepared that “your guy” gets taken. Have other options ready that suit your roster construction. If someone throws you off in a draft by picking someone and or someone is “auto” drafting in front of you don’t let it affect you.
Be Mindful/Roster Construction
Be mindful of the draft and don’t let anything throw you off. Get into the rhythm of the draft and fill your spots wisely. I am going to go over this more in detail in another article (and just because I am writing this out doesn’t mean that I am the Gandhi of fantasy football drafting) I make mistakes but if we pay attention to draft outcomes then we can be better at drafting.
I am sharing with you one of my drafts that happened on 09/2/20 at 7PM PST.
To set the stage this is a 2 QB league standard scoring 10 man league (even if you are not in a 2 QB league it doesn’t matter as far as the point I am making here) with one of the QB spots being a superflex so you don’t have to start a 2nd QB but probably should.
1 QB, 1 Superflex, 2 RB, 3 WR, WR/RB, 7 bench, 1 IR, 1 IDP. Now the QB scoring in this league give you negative scoring for sacks – 2 and Interceptions – 3. Dumb but you need QB’s with good offensive lines. Anyways not my point here.
Try to get a feel for roster construction and if you think the moves made sense by one of the teams above. By seeing where others may have made “mistakes” and I use that term loosely then we can make our own drafts better. My team is Shits and Kittles.
(Since this is standard scoring and 2 QB the most important positions are running backs and QBs)
Let’s analyze the top two positions starting with Garropopotamus.
Round 1 – Seems like a good pick solid pick and has one of his QB’s knocked out.
Round 2 – I would say another solid pick and RB’s will start getting thin.
Round 3 – Although Julio is good I think this is a mistake seeing as running backs are a thin position. (I could be wrong what do you think?) I instead would grab another running back here.
I am not going to go through ever round but as you see the way he drafted got him some nice WR’s but they don’t mean as much in a non ppr league and he left with not much running back depth.
Sin City Marauders (a Raiders fans as you can see in his picks)
I think this is an excellent draft. Yes obviously he has McCaffrey but he has a great QB, 3 “good” running backs, some top notch WR1 and 2. I probably wouldn’t have gone with the Darren Waller homer pick but I get it. I would get another solid WR3 there but overall his draft mostly makes sense and seemed to properly construct his line up.
As you can see even in similar spots two people can have vastly different drafts and outcomes so be mindful of the draft. Just because you know Michael Thomas is a good pick doesn’t mean you know how to execute a draft properly. Good luck with your draft and don’t waste your knowledge of the research you have done.