The Tale Of Two Drafts (Three Actually)

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    08/18/2011 12:28 PM - 

    The best thing about working for a fantasy football company is that I get to participate in a ton of drafts (and a few auctions). I usually average around 10 drafts per year… sometimes more sometimes less. Either way, I’m able to work on new draft strategies each season to see if there’s a trend out there that I’m missing, so I can pass it on to you.

    But that’s not necessarily the reason for this article today. The main thought process for this piece was an email I received a few weeks ago from a visitor to our website.

    Basically, the premise of his email was that “customized cheat sheets are a ripoff and any good fantasy player can draft a good team without one.”

    So I thought… maybe he’s right. Maybe you can draft just as good of a team without the assistance of Draft Planner or Draft Predictor. Maybe my fantasy football knowledge really was enough to get me over the hump and allow me to draft a competitive team.

    So I decided to put this theory to the test.

    I’m currently in the middle of three “expert league drafts” with site owners and operators from all over the country. In League 1 (ffWebmasters), I decided to draft blind. No cheat sheets, no rankings lists, no Draft Planner or Draft Predictor… NOTHING. I just drafted based on gut feeling and who I thought would add value to my team.


    - This league is almost finished drafting. I had the third overall pick and, not surprisingly, Arian Foster and Adrian Peterson went ahead of me. To me, there were only three obvious choices here, and two of them were riskier than the other… so I decided to take Chiefs RB Jamaal Charles. As many of you know, I have Charles as my top ranked fantasy player based on a number of factors, so even considering Ray Rice or Chris Johnson here never really entered my mind. Johnson is still holding out and Ray Rice needs a new offensive line as his seems to be having issues right now.

    On the way back I had to a wait a while, and I was obviously considering at least one WR here. Without having the comfort of using my Draft Planner or Draft Predictor, I was drafting based on filling need, which WR was clearly my next most important need. As the RBs and QBs continued to go off the board, I was left with two very talented WRs staring back at me… and I took them. Reggie Wayne and Mike Wallace are both possible WR1 guys, and I was able to get both of them.

    So after three rounds I had the best (in my opinion) fantasy player in the league and two top-flight receivers. I followed that up with two complementary RBs to go with Charles, and I actually like both of my picks, Daniel Thomas and Knowshon Moreno.


    Josh Freeman
    Sam Bradford

    Jamaal Charles
    Daniel Thomas
    Knowshon Moreno
    Toby Gerhart
    Bernard Scott
    Jacquizz Rodgers

    Reggie Wayne
    Mike Wallace
    Mike Thomas
    Nate Washington
    Roy Williams
    Denarius Moore

    Brandon Pettigrew
    Ed Dickson

    St. Louis Rams DST

    Follow the entire draft HERE.



    - So this was the next league I started drafting, and currently we’re in the 6th round. For this league I only used my customized cheat sheets from the Draft Planner at Although it was obviously better than not using anything, I still felt “naked” without being able to use the Draft Predictor… that’s how dependent I’ve become on a drafting tool.

    In this league I was “blessed” with the #1 overall pick, and after several feeble attempts to trade down out of that spot, I proudly took Jamaal Charles despite some good-natured ribbing. I realize I’m the only one in the country taking Charles that high, but I’ve told all my clients that I practice what I preach, and if I expect you to draft Charles then I better darn-sure take Charles that high.

    I figured I could gain a few extra draft picks by moving down a few spots… and I still would have been able to draft Charles. Didn’t work. These guys, who apparently like to trade draft picks (because plenty of it has gone on after the draft started) were hesitant to want the #1 pick… and I don’t blame them.

    After taking Charles I knew I had to watch and wait for 23 picks. As expected, I was left with Mike Wallace and Reggie Wayne at 2.12 and 3.01. Ironically, these were the exact same three players I took in the first three rounds in the ffWebmasters league that started a week earlier. So in two different drafts where I received the #1 overall pick and the #3 overall pick I end up with the same three players after three rounds.

    Obviously, even without the help of a cheat sheet, I know who I like in the early rounds and I tend to gravitate towards those players. Knowshon Moreno and Steve Johnson were my next two selections, giving me two RBs and three receivers after five rounds… which is where we stand now.

    It might be my sub-conscious or it might be the fact that I’ve never drafted QBs early… but it’s very eerie how my first four picks were all the same from two different draft spots. Am I overvaluing Charles, Moreno, Wayne and Wallace?


    Josh Freeman

    Jamaal Charles
    Knowshon Moreno

    Reggie Wayne
    Mike Wallace
    Steve Johnson

    Kellen Winslow

    Follow the entire draft HERE.



    - This league is one of the most enjoyable leagues I play in every year. 28 roster spots. Slow draft. We must start one QB, two RBs, three WRs, one TE one K, two DL, three LBs and three DBs every week. It’s a massive undertaking, but I wouldn’t trade this league for anything.

    It really challenges your draft strategies, and that’s where Draft Predictor will come in VERY handy. So far we are only through three-and-a-half rounds and I had the 12th (last) overall pick in the first round (first pick in the second round). 12 teams.

    Following Draft Predictor, I was able to land WR Larry Fitzgerald and RB Steven Jackson with back-to-back picks. The third round hasn’t gotten back to me, but I’m guessing it might be time to take a TE and a QB. Gates is still on the board. Manning and Brady are also available. If they’re gone, Jahvid Best and LeGarrette Blount are RBs I’d look at along DeSean Jackson at WR.

    EDIT: I selected Antonio Gates and LeGarrette Blount in the third and fourth round.

    I’m probably not looking at a LB until at least the 5th round.


    Steven Jackson
    LeGarrette Blount

    Larry Fitzgerald

    Antonio Gates

    Follow the entire draft HERE.



    1. Paul Williams says:

      your draft sucked

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