The fantasy baseball season is rapidly approaching and as anyone who has won a championship can attest, proper and sometimes extensive prep work is one of the most important keys to winning. With the variety of fantasy baseball web sites that are out there, there are number of different player rankings, projections and cheat sheets available to you, as well as a number of articles outlining a variety of different fantasy baseball strategies you can employ both before and during the season. But for me, one of the best tools you can use before heading into your draft is the mock draft.
What better way to gauge a player’s draft day value than to see where everyone continues to take him in drafts? Sure, we can look at general Average Draft Position (ADP) numbers and get a rough idea, but those numbers may not be as accurate as you would like based on small sample sizes and each site’s inability to differentiate between the massive number of different style of leagues. Some sites can give you numbers for Mixed, AL-only and NL-only leagues, but how many really differentiate between roto and head-to-head? How about one and two-catcher leagues or leagues that require only three outfielders instead of five or six? With so many different formats out there, the ADP numbers can be helpful, but are still flawed. By participating in a variety of different mocks, you can gauge the public’s interest in a particular player so that you can see whether or not you need to take him a round or two earlier than his ADP says or if you can, perhaps, wait another round or two before making your move. Sure, you’ll always have your homers who reach higher than they should for some local favorites in the real draft, but the mock will at least enlighten you as to just how bad a move they are making and your best course of action to counter it.
Now one of the issues that some people have with mock drafts is the level of interest and skill of those participating. We’ve all participated in a mock draft where, after the first five or six rounds, people start to bow out and the auto-draft feature takes over. The draft goes from being a strongly accurate representation of how your draft could go, but then suddenly falls into a listing of the host site’s preseason rankings. As we all know, the studs are the studs, but fantasy baseball championships can be won or lost in the later rounds as those with the extensive knowledge of the player pool start to reveal the true sleepers of the upcoming season. You can, but don’t always, win getting first-round value out of your first few picks, but should you get fifth-round value out of your 22nd-round pick, well that’s just pure gold. With the Mock Draft Army, you never have to worry about people dropping out midway through the draft. Everyone is committed to the full draft.
What I’ve done here is assemble an extensive list of fantasy baseball writers and experts so that with each and every draft done by the Mock Draft Army, half of its participants will be someone from a major and reputable fantasy baseball site while the other half is made up of you, the readers. The hope is to not only improve the early ADP numbers, but to afford you some of the insight that our experts have to offer. After doing this last season, I received numerous emails from people applauding the process, but raving even more from the chat room discussion that took place. You’ll learn a great deal through just the numbers, but understanding the reasoning behind the numbers from those who help create them is invaluable.
So stay tuned over the next few days. Follow me on Twitter if you don’t and look for #MockDraftArmy. You can also come visit the RotobuzzGuy Facebook page for additional updates. You’ll get draft recaps, expert analysis, public opinion and, of course, a schedule for when the drafts are and how soon you can join.
It’s never to early to start your prep work. We’ve already begun so you’ve got some catching up to do.
Good luck and I’ll see you all in the money this year!