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Analyzing Draft Slots

Welcome back to the Brew Crew Corner, in this edition we take a closer look at each draft slot and what your chances of winning your league are from each spot.

 

Each year around this time many owners start to look at what draft slot they have in each of their leagues. Once you get your assigned draft spot, you race to the nearest mock draft and practice drafting from that spot. You try to envision players that will fall to you in the draft and see where the value will be.

 

But what if you don’t get the #1 pick in the draft? Are your chances of winning any less? Not necessarily. Although having one of the top picks is an advantage, the fantasy season is long and full of changes that make it possible to over come a low draft spot or even an injury to your prized stud first rounder.

 

Our first analysis looks at 100 leagues from myfantasyleague.com. These drafts took place after August 1st 2007. To keep it simple I used redraft leagues with 12 teams. In these drafts I looked at the champion of that league, their draft slot and the player they drafted.

 

Number 1 Draft Slot

 

The first selection in the draft produced sixteen eventual champions. Out of these sixteen winners, fifteen of them drafted

LaDainian Tomlinson. The other champion selected

Peyton Manning. Although we all want the number one pick. 84% of the champions had other draft slots. It should be noted that the first draft spot produced more champions then any other individual draft slot.

 

Number 2 Draft Slot

 

The second draft position did not produce as many champions as the number one spot but still had ten champions. ten Champions were the second largest amount of champions along with slots eight, nine and ten. One of the ten champions landed

LaDainian Tomlinson with the second draft slot but the majority of the selections were

Steven Jackson.

Steven Jackson led seven owners to victory. The other two owners selected

Larry Johnson and

Peyton Manning.

 

Number 3 Draft Slot

 

The third draft slot showed the decline in champions. Eight owners won their league from the third slot. This is where the draft changes and owners viewed the third best player differently. Three of the owners selected

Brian Westbrook while two owners lucked out in getting

LaDainian Tomlinson or

Steven Jackson. The other champions selected

Peyton Manning,

Larry Johnson and

Adrian Peterson.

 

So far

LaDainian Tomlinson and

Steven Jackson have accounted for 25% of the championships won.

Adrian Peterson is the highest rookie drafted to win a championship.

 

Number 4 Draft Slot

 

The fourth draft slot only produced six champions. The lowest among the top 5 draft slots. Two of the owners selected

Larry Johnson. The other four owners selected

Frank Gore,

Joseph Addai,

Brian Westbrook and

Peyton Manning.

 

Number 5 Draft Slot

 

The fifth draft slot produced eight champions. Four of the eight owners drafted

Joseph Addai. The other four owners drafted

Frank Gore,

Shaun Alexander,

Willie Parker, and

Peyton Manning.

 

Number 6 Draft Slot

 

The sixth draft slot produced nine champions. Surprisingly, only three players took their owner to a championship.

Joseph Addai,

Brian Westbrook and

Shaun Alexander were selected.

 

Number 7 Draft Slot

 

The seventh draft slot produced only five champions. This is tied for the second lowest total with the twelfth slot. Two owners selected

Frank Gore. The other three owners selected

Reggie Bush,

Peyton Manning and

Terrell Owens.

Terrell Owens is the highest WR selected that lead to a championship.

 

Number 8 Draft Slot

 

The eighth draft slot produced ten champions. The eight, ninth and tenth draft slot are the highest producers of champions for slots three through twelve. Four of the owners drafted

Brian Westbrook. Two owners selected

Frank Gore and another two selected

Willie Parker. The other players selected were

Peyton Manning and

Chad Johnson.

 

Number 9 Draft Slot

 

The ninth slot produced ten champions. This slot was lead by

Willie Parker who won three championships.

Brian Westbrook was selected by two owners. The other players selected were

Joseph Addai,

Shaun Alexander,

Ronnie Brown,

Willis McGahee and

Maurice Jones-Drew.

 

Number 10 Draft Slot

 

The tenth draft slot again produced ten champions. Three of these owners drafted

Reggie Bush. Two owners drafted

Frank Gore and another two drafted

Peyton Manning. The other players drafted were

Marshawn Lynch

,

Willie Parker and

Chad Johnson.

Marshawn Lynch and

Adrian Peterson were the only rookies to win a championship.

 

Number 11 Draft Slot

 

The eleventh draft slot produced the lowest amount of champions with just three. The lone winners drafted

Peyton Manning,

Travis Henry and

Laurence Maroney.

 

Number 12 Draft Slot

 

The twelfth draft slot produced the second lowest total with just five champions. Many owners who get a low draft slot like to have this position because of the back to back picks. It only produced 5 of the 100 champions. Two owners drafted

Tom Brady while the other owners drafted

Travis Henry,

Laurence Maroney and

Rudi Johnson.

 

Overall Draft Slot Analysis

 

When it comes to the draft, the owners who drafted in the top three had a 34% chance at winning their league. Owners drafting in the eight through ten spot had a 30% chance at winning their championship.

 

Top 5 Players

selected that won championships were:

 

1)

LaDainian Tomlinson 17 Championships

2)

Brian Westbrook 13 Championships

3)

Peyton Manning 10 Championships

4)

Joseph Addai 9 Championships

5)

Steven Jackson/

Frank Gore 8 Championships

 

Other Notes:

 

Only

Peyton Manning and

Tom Brady were the only QBs drafted in the first round and won a championship.

Peyton Manning won in every draft slot except the sixth, the ninth and the twelfth.

 

Chad Johnson

and

Terrell Owens were the only WRs selected in the first round to win a championship. They accounted for just three of the championships.

 

Twenty one different players were drafted in the first round. Of the twenty one, seventeen of them were RBs. This accounted for 89% of the championships. If you needed proof that RBs win championships then here is your proof. Don’t toy around with any other draft strategy other then drafting a RB with your first pick. The only exception would be

Peyton Manning but the odds are still in the RBs favor.

 

First Place

Finish

 

We can dig deeper into these numbers by looking at every league and including not just the first round but the entire draft and final standings. With help from Kevin at myfantasyleague.com we can look at 17,000 leagues from 2007.

 

According to myfantasyleague.com:

 

Picking 1 meant finish 1st 15.64% of the time.

Picking 2 meant finish 1st 8.40% of the time.

Picking 3 meant finish 1st 7.56% of the time.

Picking 4 meant finish 1st 7.77% of the time.

Picking 5 meant finish 1st 7.95% of the time.

Picking 6 meant finish 1st 8.56% of the time.

Picking 7 meant finish 1st 8.56% of the time.

Picking 8 meant finish 1st 9.10% of the time.

Picking 9 meant finish 1st 7.61% of the time.

Picking 10 meant finish 1st 7.05% of the time.

Picking 11 meant finish 1st 4.22% of the time.

Picking 12 meant finish 1st 4.73% of the time.

 

 

As with the league championship analysis in the beginning of the article, the first overall pick finished in first place more than any other slot. The numbers are lower at the back end of draft with the eleventh slot producing the lowest amount of first place finishers. Finishing first is an advantage because you get the top seed, play the weaker first round team and have a better chance to win your league.

 

Looking at the data also shows that having other drafts slots can still lead to a first place finish. Notice the eight draft slot has the second highest percentage of first place finishers.

 

It is possible for the first draft slot to produce less fort place finishers then other draft positions.

 

According to myfantasyleague.com data from 2006, we look at 14,000 leagues from that year.

 

Picking 1 meant finish 1st 11.17% of the time.

Picking 2 meant finish 1st 14.65% of the time.

Picking 3 meant finish 1st 16.49% of the time.

Picking 4 meant finish 1st 7.90% of the time.

Picking 5 meant finish 1st 6.88% of the time.

Picking 6 meant finish 1st 6.87% of the time.

Picking 7 meant finish 1st 6.60% of the time.

Picking 8 meant finish 1st 6.60% of the time.

Picking 9 meant finish 1st 5.88% of the time.

Picking 10 meant finish 1st 5.73% of the time.

Picking 11 meant finish 1st 4.00% of the time.

Picking 12 meant finish 1st 4.72% of the time.

 

As you can see, the third draft slot produced the highest amount of first place finishes, not the first overall draft spot. The second draft slot had the second highest amount of first place finishers. Again the data shows selecting from the eleventh slot produced the fewest amount of first place finishers.

 

What does this mean for 2008? Regardless of whether your drafting first or last in your league you should always prepare yourself as much as possible to give yourself the best chance. The reason we have lower draft slots producing championships is do to preparation, value of players selected and mistakes by other owners.

 

Each draft slot will produce different combinations of players. I have mocked the first 5 rounds according to my own rankings of the top 60 players.

 

2008 5 Round Mock Draft

 

Draft

               Overall

          Round

             Player

Position

         Selection

       Selection

       Drafted

 

Slot 1

           1

       

          1.01

   

          RB

LaDainian Tomlinson

                   24

     

          2.12

   

          RB

Ronnie Brown

                   25

     

          3.01

   

          WR

Steve Smith

                   48

     

          4.12

   

          WR

Santonio Holmes

                   49

     

          5.01

   

          TE

Tony Gonzalez

 

Slot 2

           2

       

          1.02

   

          RB

Brian Westbrook

                   23

     

          2.11

   

          WR

Andre Johnson

                   26

     

          3.02

   

          WR

Chad

Johnson

                   47

     

          4.11

   

          WR

Roy Williams

                   50

     

          5.02

   

          RB

Thomas Jones

 

Slot 3

           3

       

          1.03

   

          RB

Adrian Peterson

                   22

     

          2.10

   

          RB

Maurice Jones-Drew

                   27

     

          3.03

   

          WR

Marques Colston

                   46

     

          4.10

   

          TE

Kellen Winslow Jr

                   51

     

          5.03

   

          WR

Roddy White, ATL

 

Slot 4

           4

       

          1.04

   

          RB

Steven Jackson

                   21

     

          2.09

   

          RB

Ryan Grant

                   28

     

          3.04

   

          RB

Jamal Lewis

                   45

     

          4.09

   

          RB

Laurence Maroney

                   52

     

          5.04

   

          WR

Lee Evans

 

Slot 5

           5

       

          1.05

   

          RB

Joseph Addai

                   20

     

          2.08

   

          WR

T.J. Houshmandzadeh

                   29

     

          3.05

   

          QB

Drew Brees

                   44

     

          4.08

   

          RB

Darren McFadden

                   53

     

          5.05

   

          RB

Rudi Johnson

 

Slot 6

           6

       

          1.06

   

          WR

Randy Moss

                   19

     

          2.07

   

          WR

Larry Fitzgerald

                   30

     

          3.06

   

          WR

Anquan Boldin

                   43

     

          4.07

   

          TE

Antonio Gates

                   54

     

          5.06

   

          RB

Jonathan Stewart

 

Slot 7

           7

       

          1.07

   

          RB

Frank Gore

                   18

     

          2.06

   

          QB

Peyton Manning

                   31

     

          3.07

   

          RB

Brandon Jacobs

                   42

     

          4.06

   

          TE

Jason

Witten

                   55

     

          5.07

   

          WR

Santana Moss

 

Slot 8

           8

       

          1.08

   

          RB

Clinton

Portis

                   17

     

          2.05

   

          WR

Braylon Edwards

                   32

     

          3.08

   

          WR

Torry Holt

                   41

     

          4.05

   

          QB

Tony Romo

                   56

     

          5.08

   

          WR

Calvin Johnson

 

 

 

 

Slot 9

           9

       

          1.09

   

          RB

Larry Johnson

                   16

     

          2.04

   

          RB

Reggie Bush

                   33

     

          3.09

   

          WR

Brandon Marshall

          

         40

     

          4.04

   

          RB

Willie Parker

                   57

     

          5.09

   

          WR

Joey Galloway

 

Slot 10

          10

     

          1.10

   

          RB

Marion

Barber III

                   15

     

          2.03

   

          RB

Willis McGahee

                   34

     

          3.10

   

          RB

Edgerrin James

                   39

     

          4.03

   

          QB

Carson

Palmer

                   58

     

          5.10

   

          WR

Dwayne Bowe

 

Slot 11

          11

     

          1.11

   

          WR

Reggie Wayne

                   14

     

          2.02

   

          WR

Terrell Owens

                   35

     

          3.11

   

          RB

Michael Turner

                   38

     

          4.02

   

          WR

Wes Welker

                   59

     

          5.11

   

          QB

Marc Bulger

 

Slot 12

         12

     

          1.12

   

          QB

Tom Brady

                   13

     

          2.01

   

          RB

Marshawn Lynch

                   36

     

          3.12

   

          WR

Plaxico Burress

                   37

     

          4.01

   

          RB

Earnest Graham

                   60

     

          5.12

   

          WR

Kevin Curtis

 

Looking at the first five rounds, the teams drafting in slots 1-3 seem to have an advantage over the other teams drafting in terms of talent. The players selected will change a lot from now until you actually draft. Once you’ve receiver your draft position and you’ve done several mock drafts, you will know what players will fall to you in the drafts and what players you will need to jump on before the next round.

 

In conclusion, owners who draft in the first three draft slots have a 31% chance at finishing first, increasing their odds at winning a championship. Having a lower draft slot does not necessarily mean you won’t finish first or win your league. Take it as a warning that you should be more prepared on draft day, aggressive with waiver wire selections and very active with trades through out the season. Spend plenty of time in the tank and keep up with the articles on this site and you will be in great shape no matter where you draft.

 

As always, Thanks for reading.

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