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Schwamm Sez: Draft Prep (3)

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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


Draft Prep (1):  Player Analysis Tools

Draft Prep (2):  Average Draft Position Analysis


A look at what I typically prepare to help me during the draft...




By this time of year, I’ve usually wrapped up most of my basic analysis.  I’d have player lists to help me identify where I see talent plateaus and cliffs, already adjusted based on all the other criteria we discussed (strength of schedule, surrounding talent, etc.).   I’d have a big board to see where I value players against other positions.


And I’d have ADP rankings to start to piece together a strategy for taking players in the right places, and… if you’ve already put 2 and 2 together… I’d have that ADP ranking tweaked based on what I’ve pieced together about my opponents.  If I didn’t make it clear in my last post, all the ADP analysis is ultimately intended to help you identify where you believe players are likely to go in your draft.


By now, I’d be waiting on any and all news I can digest coming out of training camps, and looking forward to watching as much preseason football as I can, in hopes of learning anything that ought to affect my rankings.  But I can’t hope to take all the crap I’ve compiled into a draft and hope to be organized enough to stay on the clock.  About a decade ago, I settled on a simple way of preparing my information to be more draft friendly.


I start with breaking my final ADP analysis into rounds (based on the number of teams in your league), and I allow myself to bump players I’ve determined to be values by as much as 10 positions up (more only if you think it’s a game changer guy… I typically might only identify one such a year).  I then knock all the reaches down by as much as I see fit, or remove them entirely from the board if I want.


My goal is to end up with a list of players in each round that I “grade” as appropriately going in that round.  Once I have a list for each round (I don’t worry about having as many players in each list as teams in the league, btw, but never more), I turn back to my original Big Board and Player Rankings to determine an ideal order that I am willing to stick to, within each round. 


During the draft, I cross off players from my cheat sheet as they get drafted, and push myself to stick to the best player available according to all the homework I’ve done.  If I find myself wavering during the draft, I didn’t do an adequate job.  Furthermore, my goal at every draft is to only take players in the round I have them valued, or later.  I haven’t found that I’ve had to do otherwise very often.




I try to allow the list for each round to be a little fluid, adjusting on the fly based on how satisfied I am that I’ve addressed certain positions to that point.  For example, if I have 4 RBs by the end of round 6, I might cool it at that position until I had QB, WR, and/or TE in better shape.


Next up... strategies for navigating draft day.



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