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Schwamm Sez: Draft Prep (1)

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For reference, previous Shwamm Sez posts can be found here:


Intro:  Introduction

Basics (1):  Know and Understand Your League's Scoring

Basics (2): Know Your Opponents

Basics (3):  Know the Talent

Basics (4):  Be Consistent, Not a Homer


let's dig into some of the analysis tools you can use to get ready for drafting...




I use rankings for each position to allow me to see where I would anticipate a substantial drop-off in production.  Those drop-offs then allow me to “set alarms” during draft day.


What do I mean by that?  Well, let’s say I’m looking at QBs, and I have them stacked as follows:  Rodgers, Brees, Newton, P. Manning, Brady, Stafford, Wilson, RG3, Ryan, Luck, Kaepernick, Romo, Big Ben, Cutler, E.Manning (for what it’s worth, these are last week’s rankings taken directly from Rotoworld).  Then let’s say I forecast a smallish drop after Brees, a slightly larger one after Brady, a fairly level plateau from Stafford to Kaep, but a substantial drop after Kaep (again, this is not based on deep analysis… just for the purpose of example).


If during the draft, I miss out on the top 5 guys because I’m addressing other positions, I am definitely going to want to hit on one of the next 6 to avoid that big drop.  That means I need to monitor any runs on QB pretty closely once Brady is off the board.  Conversely, if I really don’t have a strong preference amongst the group of 6, I can be patient and grab one as late as possible to ensure that I maximize value.




I’m generally inclined to read a ton of information about all the different teams, and I try to soak up as much as I can about as many players as I can.  As a result, I typically merge my positional ranking lists into one big player ranking board of my own creation.  For me, the big board is mostly a tool to allow me to see where I value players, relative to other players and other positions, and in terms of roughly what round I would take them if I was picking in a vacuum.


I then promptly set that big board aside.  I use it as a reference during my final evaluations, but it is never a tool that comes with me to the draft.  You’ll have a better sense of what I mean when I discuss ADP rankings in my next post.




In the thread I posted about knowing the talent, I mentioned all the different ways I like to look at evaluating players.  By looking at each position for strength of schedule, for weather implications, for age and proximity to “typical” cliffs or breakouts, for likely positions in depth charts, for health status, etc., I am usually able to identify players I think could be my “must starts”, my work horses, my shooting stars, my early go/late faders (future trade bait?), my late bloomers, and my spot starters.  I am also able to identify those guys I want to be cautious about, or outright avoid (or at least only take if available at a huge value).




Ultimately, these tools are not draft tools in and of themselves, at least not in my opinion.  Rather, they help me to navigate and codify the tools I ultimately use as my draft guide.  We'll get more into that in my next post.



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