Expert
Mock Draft

Augusta - Masters

Mock drafts at one point in time were a really integral part of who Fantasy Sports players got ready for their drafts. You would go to your favorite site, do a few mock drafts to see where the players you liked would fall, and you would be on your way. Over time though, it seems like people are using mock drafts much less. There are a few reasons for this.

  1. Average draft position (ADP) data is now more available, and also offers more context. We used to see data that was maybe a month old, or a few days at the very least, but that is no longer the case, some sites are providing us with mock draft data that is as up to date as the time that their last draft completed.
  2. The fantasy sports community has grown so much that some folks feel like they don’t really need it. They can read, listen to or watch their favorite fantasy sports personalities drafts and see how they drafted and try to follow a similar path.
  3. The advent of best-ball leagues has led to people using them like mock-drafts so they no longer have to look back and say, “I really liked this team in my mock draft, but it’s gone now”.

With that said, there are still great reasons to do mock drafts. Depending on the sport you are playing the format of your league vary wildly whether that be how many quarterbacks you use each week in a fantasy football draft, to the weighting of categories in a fantasy hockey draft, or if you’re using on-base percentage or average in a fantasy baseball draft. Many people are unique leagues, and being able to get comfortable with the player pool, and start to build a functional draft strategy is an advantage that any fantasy player can leverage in every draft.

Cowboys Draft

One of the key items in the previous paragraph was “draft strategy”. Strategy is one of the most over used terms that you will see. To Build a strategy is to leverage an advantage that you believe can make you successful. So when you use this in terms of your draft you need to understand what you think that advantage is. Here are a few examples.

  1. Fantasy Football - this might be the most popular or it was for a period of time, and that is zero-running backs. What this strategy was doing was leveraging that in a period of time, that there are many running backs in the field that will be equal, or close to equally productive in the middle and late rounds of a draft, that you can avoid taking them in the first five or six rounds. So you would gain a strategic advantage by building a solid core of receivers as their later round value was significantly less.
  2. Fantasy Baseball - Punt a category. The punt a category strategy in fantasy baseball is the idea that in a rotisserie league there are some categories that are difficult to fill and are not worth their cost because they are rare. The primary categories that we would see this coming from are steals and saves.
  3. Fantasy Hockey - Goalies are Voodoo. Goalie outcomes are hard to predict across the board as there is a lot of variance in their production, so spending your early draft capital isn’t wise as you can get the same production in the middle and late rounds.

With these examples, you can use mock-drafts to see how your team looks with no up-front cost. This is particularly valuable if your strategy is new, or new to you. You should play it out in a mock draft to see how your team looks and if you are comfortable with a similar outcome.

While I don’t believe that mock drafts will go away anytime soon, I do think that many fantasy players could do more to leverage them to gain an edge on draft day against their opponents from big money leagues to your friendly home league.