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Analyzing Draft Slots for 2009

Welcome to the Brew Crew Corner. In this edition we look at draft slots and how successful each one is. I hope to make this an annual feature as the success of each draft slot changes from year to year. It’s hard to predict if your first-round selection is the reason you won a championship, but you can determine which draft slots give you the best chances to win. We’ll look at the results of the past three seasons for each draft slot. These statistics are based on over 21,000 leagues on myfantasyleague.com, thanks to Kevin Austin.

Having the first pick in the draft does not guarantee a playoff spot, but it does help. Many owners today know that and there has been a big trend of moving down in the draft. While some prefer to have a top pick in the draft, others would rather have a middle-round pick so they won’t have to wait too long in between selections. Recently, the popularity of grabbing a stud WR has some owners enjoying the end of the first round where they can grab two top WRs. Still, no matter what your preference is, the majority of the time you have no control other then when you mock draft of your draft position. I personally prefer the best draft spot possible. I want the best player I can get to start my draft. When you are picking from the middle slots you have to hope that someone falls to you, and then when you’re at the end of the round the draft dictates what strategy you can go with. For instance, you’re sitting at the turn and you’re planning on grabbing the top two WRs to start your draft, but then Larry Fitzgerald is selected at No. 3 and then right before your pick Randy Moss goes off the board. Now you’re left looking at RBs that are still available and wondering what direction you need to go in. So research and prepare your self just in case the situation happens.

TRENDS

I am surprised how high WRs are going in this years draft; you would think that the production at WR has influenced this trend, but if you look at the numbers, RB stats and WR stats have been pretty consistent over the past three seasons with the exception of 2007 where WRs had a better year of production but went back to the average production last season.

Production of RBs and WRs the past three seasons:

2006 RBs had 22 1,000-yard rushers with 11 having 1,200+ yards and nine with double-digit TDs.

2007 RBs had 17 1,000-yard rushers with nine having 1,200+ yards and six with double-digit TDs.

2008 RBs had 16 1,000-yard rushers with nine having 1,200+ yards and 12 with double-digit TDs.

2006 WRs had 19 1,000-yard receivers with seven having 1,200+ yards and five with double digit TDs.

2007 WRs had 20 1,000-yard receivers with 16 having 1,200+ yards and 10 with double-digit TDs.

2008 WRs had 21 1,000-yard receivers with eight having 1,200+ yards and 6 with double-digit TDs.

So as you can see, top RBs have remained consistent and top WRs’ production went back to its normal average. So grab if you’re like me, and you will grab your RB first.

2008 First-Place Finish Percentage

Now, let’s look at the success rate of each draft slot. In 2006, the third slot produced the highest percentage of first-place finishes at 16.49 percent. The 11th slot produced the least amount with just a 4 percent first-place finish mark. In 2007, the No. 1 pick dominated with 15.64 percent first-place finishes while the 11th spot once again was last with 4.22 percent.

The 2008 draft has a slightly different result despite the consistency of the RB and WR trends. Although we see the highest rate of success as the second draft slot, the eighth slot surprisingly had the same amount of success. For the first time we see a pretty even amount of first-place finishes throughout the draft slots, but as the draft spot get lower, so does the percentage of success on average. For the third year in a row, the 11th spot has the lowest success rate. The elbow, pick No. 12, had the second-least success. The same rate for the third straight year also.

Picking first meant finish first 8.37 percent

Picking second meant finish first 9.31 percent Highest

Picking third meant finish first 9.20 percent

Picking fourth meant finish first 9.02 percent

Picking fifth meant finish first 8.21 percent

Picking sixth meant finish first 8.89 percent

Picking seventh meant finish first 8.68 percent

Picking eighth meant finish first 9.31 percent Highest

Picking ninth meant finish first 7.54 percent

Picking 10th meant finish first 7.92 percent

Picking 11th meant finish first 5.07 percent Lowest

Picking 12th meant finish first 5.38 percent

This information can come in handy when you’re weighing the options of trading draft spots with another owner or you want to see what the chances you have at your current spot. 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 have drafts coming up and let’s get ready for the 2009 season.

Thank you for reading.

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