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PostPosted: Tue 07.03.2007, 16:44 
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I was going to write an article on various draft strategies today and about half way into it I realized that their are people here who are much more capable of adequately explaining each common strategy than I am.

I would like it if everyone could please keep the arguing and trash out of this thread as I think if everyone chips in this could make a very valuable reference for new comers to the site as well as vets looking for information.

If you could please pick a draft tool/strategy that you are very familiar with and thoroughly explain it, why it is useful and it's downfalls as well as its positives.

Some threads and off site references I have used in the past:

General draft strategy
http://www.fantasysharks.com/forum/view ... 31&start=0
http://www.fantasysharks.com/forum/view ... p?t=119947

VBD
http://footballguys.com/05vbdrevisited.htm
http://www.fantasysharks.com/forum/view ... hp?t=42772
http://www.fantasysharks.com/forum/view ... hlight=vbd
http://www.footballguys.com/bryantvbd.htm

EVBD/DVBD
http://www.thecoordinator.com/dynamic-drafting.html
http://www.fftoday.com/articles/special/avt.htm
http://www.footballguys.com/bianchi_dynamicvbd.cfm

ADP
http://www.fantasysharks.com/forum/view ... hp?t=58049
http://www.fftoolbox.com/2005/articles/adp.cfm

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Last edited by BuckeyeFtblGod on Fri 07.06.2007, 12:24, edited 4 times in total.

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PostPosted: Tue 07.03.2007, 16:47 
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ADP in a nutshell...

ADP or Average Draft Position. ADP should only be used as a tool in assisting you with determining approximately where you can expect players to be drafted. ADP comes from multiple drafts and calculates the average position that the player was taken. ADP is essentially a ranking of players based on consensus with an assigned draft value.

I suggest you use ADP to ONLY help you determine when you can take a player you may have targeted. You should be incredibly careful about where you get your ADP numbers from. The reason I suggest this is because not all drafts are done based on the scoring system for your league. You must look at what scoring system and positional requirements the ADP is based on. You should also take into account what type of fantasy player uses that site (e.g. Fantasy Sharks tank ADP will more than likely be considerably different than the ADP from AntSports due to the people that mock on that site). Some sites have multiple scoring systems for drafts and only one ADP; these sites have absolutely no value and should be disregarded.

I use ADP to aid in deciding if a player I have highly valued will still be available to me in the next round and later or if I need to draft them at my current pick.

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PostPosted: Tue 07.03.2007, 16:51 
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This is an article I posted a while back, but it explains my draft strategy in detail and gives some background as to why I utilize it over other more popular options.

It might be overkill compared to what you are looking for though. If so, sorry.

....................

http://www.fantasysharks.com/artman2/pu ... Not_me.htm


Hi. I'm Bob....er, gridguru...and I don't believe Value Based Drafting is the best thing since sliced bread. It's been 7 years since I last used it.

*crickets*

Yea, as far as I can tell I'm the last one who still attends these meetings. As popular as VBD has become over the last few years, I guess I can understand why. But I for one (and probably only one) am not buying it. Well, I'm not buying it anymore.

I'll grant you that the theory is sound, well thought out, and mathematically accurate. There are even variations of VBD that make perfect sense. Some weigh in intangibles. Some consider the schedule. Some average in prior year stats. All good stuff mind you. VBD even takes most of the thinking out of the actual draft which is a great thing for Fantasy Football newbies.

NOTE: That last sentence just enraged every VBD purist reading this. It always does. I have no idea why. As I understand it, that is the whole point of VBD.

The problem I have with Value Based Drafting is that everything, the whole kit and caboodle, the resulting ultimate draft list, is based on projecting the stats for every draftable player. What? So if your projections are wrong your entire draft strategy is now flawed? Guess what Nostradamus? Every projection, regardless if you developed it yourself or if it was provided by some website (an idea which still boggles my mind) is inherently incorrect. Easily 99% of the time, the projections you feed into the formulas and use to rank the players will be incorrect. Ouch! I personally can't live with banking my Fantasy Football season on a bunch of wrong guesses. Me... I want to get my hands dirty during the draft.

Now before I go into detail about my personal strategy, I do want to say that I know a lot of guys that I consider expert drafters that do use VBD. However, none of them use it exclusively. Not one of them looks at their list and instinctively drafts the player with the next highest X-Value or whatever. Not one of them chooses Antonio Gates in the first round. They may start with a VBD list, but I find that they abandon the base theory pretty quickly as the draft goes on.

That said, my drafting strategy isn't necessarily an alternative to VBD either. It can easily be used in conjunction with it if you want to spend the time projecting the scores for every player. Hey, knock yourself out. It's not something I'll be doing again, but whatever floats your boat is okay with me.

The method I use incorporates several items, all equally important. These include a tiered player list, player ADPs, an "opponents drafting tendencies" cheat sheet, and a running list of league rosters. I know that sounds like a lot of papers strewn about but in reality I have great eyesight and print really small so I rarely have more than two sheets of paper myself. But like I said, I like to get my hands dirty.

Tiered Player List: This is your typical player "rankings" list broken down by position. However, instead of just having WRs (for example) listed 1-60, I have them broken into 8-12 sub-groups. Each sub-group (tier) includes a group of players I feel will produce very similar numbers over the course of the year. Again, unlike VBD, I am not going to guess at what exactly those numbers will be. All I am concerned about is that those numbers will be similar for all of the players in this tier.

ADPs: Average Draft Position lists found on the web vary wildly, so be sure to pull a list based on the group you will be playing with. If it's a league of new guys, a Yahoo list will work. An average league could use a list from one of the many Mock Draft websites out there. If you're playing with Sharks, I'd suggest following the Monday Morning Mocks and the ADPs that come directly from the tank. I rarely bring an ADP list with me to the draft because I do so many mocks during the preseason (embarrassed to say how many) that I gain a real good grasp of where players will go and when a good value is available. Mocks are your friend. Learn it. Live it. Love it.

Opponent Drafting Tendencies:
Obviously, you probably won't have this available to you unless you have been playing with the same group for a long time and have been noting how they draft. I know this part may sound silly to some and be considered overkill to others, but knowing that a guy is more likely to take a backup WR over a backup RB or that he will take a QB before the 5th round can be invaluable information if you are paying attention. I am rarely surprised in my money league. I suggest if you haven't been tracking the drafts, you start now. If you have access to old draft reports from your league, go back and do some analysis. You'll be surprised to see how consistent most players are. Perhaps even yourself! (For those in my leagues....yea, I'm watching you!)

League Roster List: This is one of the most important things that I keep at my finger-tips during a draft: A chart showing each franchise and who they have drafted so far, again broken out by position. This will give you much of the information you need to make the tiered draft list work for you. Tracking the other team's progress, needs, and wants is crucial.

Below are a couple of "tiering" rules I follow that may be helpful.

1. As I mentioned, I establish my tiers by grouping players who I feel will have similar stats throughout the year. I don't try to guess what those stats are exactly; I just want to feel each tier will include similar players that are better or worse then the groups around them.

2. I see many people who tier in even numbered groups. For example, every tier has 5 players in it, or ten players in it. That makes no sense to me. Some tiers might have 2 players, some might have 15 (Late WRs for example). Don't get tied into a norm for simplicity sake.

3. Be sure to rank your players within your tiers. Using whatever method you prefer (perhaps VBD), rank the players within each tier. Be sure the players are similar enough that you would feel basically equally as comfortable taking the last player in a tier as you would taking the first player in a tier. If you don't, you need to re-adjust your tiers as this is a very important aspect of this type of drafting.

"So how about getting to the 'Strategy' already!"


Okay, here's the idea. Say you’re in a 12 team league and it's the 4th round of a serpentine draft. You are in the 4 Spot (pick 4.09) and you think you need a WR and a RB in the next couple rounds.

5 of the 8 WRs in the current WR tier are still available.
2 of the 5 RBs in the current RB tier are also available.

You glance at your running League Rosters list and notice that the guys ahead of you (who will pick twice before your next pick) have the following rosters so far.

1 Spot: QB, RB, WR
2 Spot: RB, WR, WR
3 Spot: RB, RB, WR

Just by looking at these current rosters, it would be safe to say that at least two RBs will be chosen before it gets back to you. You could also say with some confidence that at least 1 WR, perhaps as many as 4 could also go before your next pick. At this point, knowing your opponents drafting tendencies takes out a lot of the guess work out of this process.

With that knowledge you can safely choose the a RB in your current tier now, while knowing that at least one of your remaining WRs will still be there after the turn. If you were to choose a WR here because their X-Value was a point higher than the RBs, you would have missed the boat.

Often times there will be no guarantee that you will be able to get the players you want if you wait. In those cases, you have to play the odds. As in any situation that you are playing the odds, whether it be poker or the stock market or a Fantasy Football draft, the more information you have the better your chances are of playing them correctly.

It takes some thinking during the draft and confidence in your choices (as does every decent drafting method), but it gives you a reference point for when to draft a certain player and when you have the luxury to be able to wait on them.

Anyway, that's pretty much it. Perhaps you'll find this useful. Perhaps you'll stone me in the halls for talking bad about VBD.

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PostPosted: Thu 07.05.2007, 10:17 
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I like the "Take the best guy out there in my opinion, based on my needs and potential upside/past performance history" method.

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PostPosted: Thu 07.05.2007, 11:06 
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In my hometown league, I like the: "Take the guy that will pi$$ off the guy immediately after you the most." method.


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PostPosted: Thu 07.05.2007, 11:34 
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gridguru wrote:

Below are a couple of "tiering" rules I follow that may be helpful.

1. As I mentioned, I establish my tiers by grouping players who I feel will have similar stats throughout the year. I don't try to guess what those stats are exactly; I just want to feel each tier will include similar players that are better or worse then the groups around them.

2. I see many people who tier in even numbered groups. For example, every tier has 5 players in it, or ten players in it. That makes no sense to me. Some tiers might have 2 players, some might have 15 (Late WRs for example). Don't get tied into a norm for simplicity sake.

3. Be sure to rank your players within your tiers. Using whatever method you prefer (perhaps VBD), rank the players within each tier. Be sure the players are similar enough that you would feel basically equally as comfortable taking the last player in a tier as you would taking the first player in a tier. If you don't, you need to re-adjust your tiers as this is a very important aspect of this type of drafting.

"So how about getting to the 'Strategy' already!"

Okay, here's the idea. Say you’re in a 12 team league and it's the 4th round of a serpentine draft. You are in the 4 Spot (pick 4.09) and you think you need a WR and a RB in the next couple rounds.

5 of the 8 WRs in the current WR tier are still available.
2 of the 5 RBs in the current RB tier are also available.

You glance at your running League Rosters list and notice that the guys ahead of you (who will pick twice before your next pick) have the following rosters so far.

1 Spot: QB, RB, WR
2 Spot: RB, WR, WR
3 Spot: RB, RB, WR

Just by looking at these current rosters, it would be safe to say that at least two RBs will be chosen before it gets back to you. You could also say with some confidence that at least 1 WR, perhaps as many as 4 could also go before your next pick. At this point, knowing your opponents drafting tendencies takes out a lot of the guess work out of this process.

With that knowledge you can safely choose the a RB in your current tier now, while knowing that at least one of your remaining WRs will still be there after the turn. If you were to choose a WR here because their X-Value was a point higher than the RBs, you would have missed the boat.

Often times there will be no guarantee that you will be able to get the players you want if you wait. In those cases, you have to play the odds. As in any situation that you are playing the odds, whether it be poker or the stock market or a Fantasy Football draft, the more information you have the better your chances are of playing them correctly.

It takes some thinking during the draft and confidence in your choices (as does every decent drafting method), but it gives you a reference point for when to draft a certain player and when you have the luxury to be able to wait on them.

Anyway, that's pretty much it. Perhaps you'll find this useful. Perhaps you'll stone me in the halls for talking bad about VBD.



That sums it up for me...this system of Tiering and sticking to it in a strict manner is the key..never fails..oh..and there's the X factor..your sleepers and when to pull the trigger....gotta use the GUT!

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PostPosted: Thu 07.05.2007, 15:32 
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BuckeyeFtblGod wrote:
ADP in a nutshell...

ADP or Average Draft Position. ADP should only be used as a tool in assisting you with determining approximately where you can expect players to be drafted. ADP comes from multiple drafts and calculates the average position that the player was taken. ADP is essentially a ranking of players based on consensus with an assigned draft value.

I suggest you use ADP to ONLY help you determine when you can take a player you may have targeted. You should be incredibly careful about where you get your ADP numbers from. The reason I suggest this is because not all drafts are done based on the scoring system for your league. You must look at what scoring system and positional requirements the ADP is based on. You should also take into account what type of fantasy player uses that site (e.g. Fantasy Sharks tank ADP will more than likely be considerably different than the ADP from AntSports due to the people that mock on that site). Some sites have multiple scoring systems for drafts and only one ADP; these sites have absolutely no value and should be disregarded.

I use ADP to aid in deciding if a player I have highly valued will still be available to me in the next round and later or if I need to draft them at my current pick.


Lemme tell ya something else about ADP - don't look at it until after you've made your own rankings. Don't let it infect your thinking. The absolute best scenario would be to not look at an ADP sheet until you get to your draft - but nobody's that strong, even I peek a little.

You look at it too much, and your cheatsheet will look just like the ADP sheet. Then it's worthless.

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PostPosted: Thu 07.05.2007, 16:07 
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gballs1 wrote:
BuckeyeFtblGod wrote:
ADP in a nutshell...

ADP or Average Draft Position. ADP should only be used as a tool in assisting you with determining approximately where you can expect players to be drafted. ADP comes from multiple drafts and calculates the average position that the player was taken. ADP is essentially a ranking of players based on consensus with an assigned draft value.

I suggest you use ADP to ONLY help you determine when you can take a player you may have targeted. You should be incredibly careful about where you get your ADP numbers from. The reason I suggest this is because not all drafts are done based on the scoring system for your league. You must look at what scoring system and positional requirements the ADP is based on. You should also take into account what type of fantasy player uses that site (e.g. Fantasy Sharks tank ADP will more than likely be considerably different than the ADP from AntSports due to the people that mock on that site). Some sites have multiple scoring systems for drafts and only one ADP; these sites have absolutely no value and should be disregarded.

I use ADP to aid in deciding if a player I have highly valued will still be available to me in the next round and later or if I need to draft them at my current pick.


Lemme tell ya something else about ADP - don't look at it until after you've made your own rankings. Don't let it infect your thinking. The absolute best scenario would be to not look at an ADP sheet until you get to your draft - but nobody's that strong, even I peek a little.

You look at it too much, and your cheatsheet will look just like the ADP sheet. Then it's worthless.


That's an interesting point and not often stated. I never look at the ADP's until the night before the draft..I use it as a cross reference sheet when I'm torn or conflicted between picks, or gauging when I can approximately wait on that "one guy' I want, but need to fill up a certain position due to scarcity when I see a value pick.

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PostPosted: Thu 07.05.2007, 18:00 
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The other thing to remember about ADP's is that as the draft goes on they become less and less effective. I would say depending on the depth of the draft you probably have no use for the ADP beyond round 8.


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PostPosted: Thu 07.05.2007, 20:26 
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i also use to tiers to see when i can wait on a player asnd when to jump on them

like grid pointed out keeping good records will let you know when to pass on a wr to gain an advantage at the rb spot based on the other owners current rosters.

also dont get locked on certain guys and be blind to others that may give better value

be smart,be ready and go with your gut if all else fails

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PostPosted: Thu 07.05.2007, 21:47 
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I would say grid is spot on here. I use practically the same method. I use tier rankings and have been playing in the same money league for 8 years. By the way grid, great write-up.

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PostPosted: Fri 07.06.2007, 10:39 
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sport.nut wrote:
The other thing to remember about ADP's is that as the draft goes on they become less and less effective. I would say depending on the depth of the draft you probably have no use for the ADP beyond round 8.


VBD, ADP and Best player are good for the 1st 50-60 Players, after that you need to draft based on position.

This is a good thread, the mods should sticky it.

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GQ1NYC wrote:
sport.nut wrote:
The other thing to remember about ADP's is that as the draft goes on they become less and less effective. I would say depending on the depth of the draft you probably have no use for the ADP beyond round 8.


VBD, ADP and Best player are good for the 1st 50-60 Players, after that you need to draft based on position.

This is a good thread, the mods should sticky it.

Now if only I can get Agenda in here to do his VBD thing... I'm horrible at explaining so people actually understand it.

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GQ1NYC wrote:
This is a good thread, the mods should sticky it.
8)

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gridguru wrote:
This is an article I posted a while back, but it explains my draft strategy in detail and gives some background as to why I utilize it over other more popular options.

It might be overkill compared to what you are looking for though. If so, sorry.

....................

http://www.fantasysharks.com/artman2/pu ... Not_me.htm


Hi. I'm Bob....er, gridguru...and I don't believe Value Based Drafting is the best thing since sliced bread. It's been 7 years since I last used it.

*crickets*

Yea, as far as I can tell I'm the last one who still attends these meetings. As popular as VBD has become over the last few years, I guess I can understand why. But I for one (and probably only one) am not buying it. Well, I'm not buying it anymore.

I'll grant you that the theory is sound, well thought out, and mathematically accurate. There are even variations of VBD that make perfect sense. Some weigh in intangibles. Some consider the schedule. Some average in prior year stats. All good stuff mind you. VBD even takes most of the thinking out of the actual draft which is a great thing for Fantasy Football newbies.

NOTE: That last sentence just enraged every VBD purist reading this. It always does. I have no idea why. As I understand it, that is the whole point of VBD.

The problem I have with Value Based Drafting is that everything, the whole kit and caboodle, the resulting ultimate draft list, is based on projecting the stats for every draftable player. What? So if your projections are wrong your entire draft strategy is now flawed? Guess what Nostradamus? Every projection, regardless if you developed it yourself or if it was provided by some website (an idea which still boggles my mind) is inherently incorrect. Easily 99% of the time, the projections you feed into the formulas and use to rank the players will be incorrect. Ouch! I personally can't live with banking my Fantasy Football season on a bunch of wrong guesses. Me... I want to get my hands dirty during the draft.

Now before I go into detail about my personal strategy, I do want to say that I know a lot of guys that I consider expert drafters that do use VBD. However, none of them use it exclusively. Not one of them looks at their list and instinctively drafts the player with the next highest X-Value or whatever. Not one of them chooses Antonio Gates in the first round. They may start with a VBD list, but I find that they abandon the base theory pretty quickly as the draft goes on.

That said, my drafting strategy isn't necessarily an alternative to VBD either. It can easily be used in conjunction with it if you want to spend the time projecting the scores for every player. Hey, knock yourself out. It's not something I'll be doing again, but whatever floats your boat is okay with me.

If you're going to post this again, I'm going to have to respond to this again.

The above portion of your article, as Amish aptly omitted, is nothing but antagonistic, sensationalist, self-righteous crap, and your criticisms are nonsensical:

"If your projections are wrong your entire draft strategy is now flawed" This is true of any predictive system. If your assumptions are wrong about the guys you pick -- whether they're calculated, ranked, tiered, collated, or alphabetized -- your results are going to suck.

"I personally can't live with banking my Fantasy Football season on a bunch of wrong guesses." Once again, if you "guess" wrong about what "tier" the guy you pick is in, you are going to suffer the consequences.

Whatever methodology you use for organizing your predictions, the outcome boils down to this: garbage in = garbage out.

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