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2010 Draft Slots

It’s time for the annual Brew Crew Corner draft slot analysis. This is the fourth year that I’ve looked through the success of each draft spot in 12-team leagues hosted on We track a large sample of leagues and how successful each draft spot was in finishing in first place. Many people think having the top pick will help you win a championship, but that is not always the case. Another favorite is drafting at the elbow at the end of the first round. This spot also doesn’t always yield success. You will be surprised that the percentage of each draft slot changes from year to year. I wonder if that is because of the players’ average draft position (ADP) or the draft trend of that year. These statistics are based on over 14,000 leagues on and provided by Kevin Austin.

The fantasy football season is not won or lost on draft day, but you can put yourself in a really good position to win or end up having to work the trades and waiver wires to be competitive.

What do fellow sharks think about draft slots? In a poll conducted in the Main Tank, there were three choices for draft slot preference. The choices were Slots 1-4, Slots 5-8 and Slots 9-12. The majority of the votes went to the first four slots.

Which draft slot would you prefer to draft from?
Position 1-4   60%     [30 votes] Position 5-8   20%     [10 votes]
Position 9-12  20%     [10 votes]

Total votes: 50

Here are comments from the poll question discussion in the Main Tank (no edits have been made to any of these comments):

I have drafted many already and I am finding that the 10 thru 12 spots contain the most juice and leave you the best team. Lots of good stuff lying around in those spots.

My ideal spot would be either 4 or 12. With 4 I can get whoever is left out of CJ, AP, MJD, and Rice, and I don’t have to make a huge decision(5 wouldn’t be bad either). And generally on the way back I can get a Greg Jennings or maybe even Calvin Johnson. And with 12, at least in my league, I can get #1 WW priority, at least one top WR, and we redraw every other round so I’d get a higher pick next round(most likely). And it’s possible someone like Stephen Jackson might fall to 12 since most people in my league don’t like him. That’s in a PPR league though. Not sure about a standard league.

In the abstract, most seasons have a strong bias for the front seats. This season rates to be no different. It is likely that Chris Johnson yields a more valuable season than Rashard Mendenhall and Shonn Greene combined. The typically ideal seat is the last seat from which you can draft an elite RB. This year, that is the 4th seat in standard scoring.

I’m going first. Never choose sloppy seconds if you can help it. 12th? Disgusting.

Best is up front. From the 1 spot in a 12 team your get 3 of the top 25 picks. Most fun to draft from the middle so you don’t have to wait too long or choke on back-to-back picks.

In my 12 team league the 10 spot has had the best record 3 years in a row.

I like 4th this year, especially if you’re in a position to trade down. In line with what Agenda said, Rice should finish in the top tier, and then you have a great shot at a top tier WR, then a chance at a Romo or a Benson/Addai/Moreno/P.T.

I’d say it varies even this year…..of course a top 4 is nice and gives you a for sure stud, but in tail end there are RB’s that have a ton of potential of being top 4 next year (imo) then you can add a top 2 WR on the swing back. in any event the 4th through 7th rounds can make your team just as much as the first 2 rounds.

A league I run we can choose our draft spots. 1-11 (randomly drawn) choose their order & one team that earned the right from the previous season gets to pick their spot after the other 11 picked, thus bumping everyone down one spot where they picked. Last year 1-7 went 1-7 & 8 chose the last spot. pretty similar every year. So far this year 1-4 have taken 1-4, only one year did the person that gets the final pick of spots not pick the 1 spot & went with the 2.

The truth is that the percentage of finishing first in your league varies from year to year. The success rate for the top pick is always higher than at the tail end of the draft. In 2008, we saw that the percentage of success from Slots 1-8 were pretty even. The greatest success came from Slot No. 9, which had Peyton Manning as ADP of 9. The least successful came from Slot 11, which had Terrell Owens as ADP of 11. Position 12 was the second least successful.

For 2009, the success rate of the draft slots were close from 1-9. The No. 1 slot improved its success rate from seventh in 2008 to first with an increase of
1.86 percent. Last year’s No. 1 ADP was Adrian Peterson. If you look at the statistics below you can see that having an early draft pick didn’t always translate into finishing first in your league. For instance, the third pick last season showed the biggest drop off by
-1.77 percent, where it fell from third in 2008 to 10th.

For those owners that would rather have draft slots at the elbow of the draft in slots 11 and 12 should consider that these two positions offer the lowest success rate of any other position. For the past four years, the 11th spot has finished last and the 12th spot has finished right in front of it. Surprising to me, is the low rate from the 11th slot, as last year Chris Johnson’s ADP was in that spot.

Picking 1st meant finish 1st 10.23% of the time. % Change

  Highest Success Rate (7th in ‘08)
Picking 2nd meant finish 1st 8.22% of the time. % Change
    7th Highest Success Rate (Tied 1st in ‘08)
Picking 3rd meant finish 1st 7.43% of the time.  % Change
1.77-    10th Highest Success Rate (3rd in ‘08)
Picking 4th meant finish 1st 7.46% of the time. % Change
1.56-     9th Highest Success Rate (4th in ‘08)
Picking 5th meant finish 1st 7.63% of the time. % Change
0.58-     8th Highest Success Rate (8th in ‘08)
Picking 6th meant finish 1st 8.29% of the time. % Change
0.60-     6th Highest Success Rate (5th in ‘08)
Picking 7th meant finish 1st 8.94% of the time. % Change


   4th Highest Success Rate (6th in ‘08)
Picking 8th meant finish 1st 9.43% of the time. % Change

   2nd Highest Success Rate (Tied 1st in ‘08)
Picking 9th meant finish 1st 8.70% of the time. % Change
   5th Highest Success Rate (10th in ‘08)
Picking 10th meant finish 1st 9.06% of the time. % Change

3rd Highest Success Rate (9th in ‘08)
Picking 11th meant finish 1st 5.60% of the time. % Change
0.53+  Lowest Success Rate (12th in ‘08)
Picking 12th meant finish 1st 5.99% of the time. % Change
  11th Highest Success Rate (11th in ‘08)

For most of us drafting, you are given a slot based on last season’s results or a random draw. This information can come in handy when you’re weighing the options of trading draft spots with another owner or if you want to gauge the success of the draft spot you have been given. Last season in one of my money leagues, an owner traded me his third draft slot for my 11th. He felt that he would have a better advantage in that spot rather than waiting 18 picks in between selections. I finished the season with a better record.

No matter where you pick this year, make the most of every selection and be prepared for how the draft unfolds. Because you might have to abandon your draft plan or you may find tremendous value at one position that you will decide to let a position slide because of it.

Good luck to those who haven’t drafted yet and have a great 2010 season.

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