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 led seven owners to victory. The other two owners selected
Larry Johnson and
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
Larry Johnson and
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
Brian Westbrook and
Number 5 Draft Slot
The fifth draft slot produced eight champions. Four of the eight owners drafted
Joseph Addai. The other four owners drafted
Willie Parker, and
Number 6 Draft Slot
The sixth draft slot produced nine champions. Surprisingly, only three players took their owner to a championship.
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
Peyton Manning and
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
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
Willis McGahee and
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
Willie Parker and
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
Travis Henry and
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
Laurence Maroney and
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:
LaDainian Tomlinson 17 Championships
Brian Westbrook 13 Championships
Peyton Manning 10 Championships
Joseph Addai 9 Championships
Frank Gore 8 Championships
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.
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.
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
Kellen Winslow Jr
Roddy White, ATL
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.