Many self-proclaimed fantasy football gurus have big egos
when it comes to their game, but they shouldn’t let that get in the way of a
seemingly obvious, but often overlooked resource for live, online drafts: the
league provider’s default draft rankings.
Of course, every fantasy veteran has their own personal,
scripture-like database that they’ve been updating year-long, and many of them
will purposely (and mistakenly) ignore the provider’s default lists.
You shouldn’t do this if it’s possible that
at least one other manager in your league is possibly drafting using the
I’m willing to bet that around
half of the managers in an average league will use these lists alone.
The main reason not to ignore the default lists goes
hand-in-hand with why you don’t draft your sleeper picks (or picks that you
know have more value to you than the average manager) too early when you think
there is a reasonably good chance you can get them later.
But at some point, you will need gamble when
deciding how late you think these players will go, and there are many factors
to take in consideration when deciding this.
Some examples include:
How many managers have that player’s position already
filled in their starting lineup?
should be able to view any manager’s team at any point during the draft.
For TEs and QBs, this should be easy to
If you’re thinking about a TE
and almost all the managers already have a TE, it might be wise to gamble and
let that TE fall.
Try to get an idea of who you think other managers are
targeting as good value, and see where these managers sit in the draft
As always, beware of intentional
Most managers know their
fellow managers and can tell if they are lying or not.
It is an ill-conceived notion among some circles that these
default lists do not affect the way managers value players during the draft,
even in ultra competitive and veteran leagues.
If you disagree, ask yourself when was the last time you went through
the trouble of manually modifying the default lists before the draft so that it
looks exactly like your personal list during the draft.
If you don’t do this, and I venture to say
not many vets do, you are physically drafting from the default lists
Then, ask yourself if you know
the exact psychological effects of having a player ranked in your personal top
30, then seeing him outside the top 50 of your provider’s default list when you
are thinking about drafting him during crunch time (even if you knew this would
be the case ahead of time).
many know how the brain actually works, no one can say that the default ranking doesn’t affect the way managers draft.
But don’t get me wrong, your
lists are still better, and always will be better than your provider’s default
list, but that’s not the point.
The most interesting aspect is how differently drafts turn
out over different providers because of differing default lists.
Of course, it does have more impact in
amateur leagues, but it still has some impact in seasoned veteran leagues.
If you don’t agree, participate in five mock
drafts through one provider, and five mocks through another provider.
You will see stark similarities in your
drafts between the same providers.
Whether you can swallow it or not, listen to your provider.