Fantasy Football players undoubtedly seem to fall into one of two groups during the preseason. Those that mock…and those that mock those that mock. Follow me?
Okay, let me put it this way. There are guys like me who will do tons of mocks in the preseason for a wide variety of reasons, and there are guys who think it’s a waste of time. Those of us who mock like to refer to the others as “
draft day prey”.
But don’t get me wrong. Just participating in a bunch of mocks in the preseason won’t make you a draft day guru. As the saying goes…”
you will only get out of it what you put into it“. You need to be taking part in them for a reason; for some ultimate goal you hope to accomplish. That goal might differ from one person to the next, but it should exist in some form.
That’s the question I hear most from non-mockers. Why do we bother? Well, different people mock for different reasons. Some just want to get into the fantasy football frame of mind again. Some are so geared up for the season they just want to do whatever they can to fill the fantasy football void. Some people are just flat out bored. Me, I do it for a variety of reasons…all of which help me immensely by the time the drafts roles around. Since this is my article after all, we’ll concentrate on those.
To see what works…BEFORE it counts.
I see these guys who participate in 10 to 20 drafts a day on some of the websites that offer mocks round the clock. Watching their progress, I can’t help wonder why the majority of then use the same exact strategy each and every time. RB in the first, RB in the second, WR in the third, etc…. Personally, one of the primary goals I have is to use these mocks to try out different strategies from different positions. I want to know what my roster will look like if I take a RB2 in the second round compared to a WR1 or perhaps a QB like Tom Brady. I want to know if my team will be as bad as I think it will be if I take Gates in the third.
Mock drafts allow me to try all of these things without any strings attached. When the mock is complete, with good or bad results, I can start over and try again. To me it would be crazy to try to figure these things out on the fly, when it counts, and when money is potentially on the line.
To be prepared.
The boy scouts have nothing on me when it comes to draft preparedness. Having a well thought out and defined strategy is all good and well, but rarely do the other owners fall right into place and allow things to go as planned. Very often things go differently than you expected them to in a draft, leaving you in a position to go in an alternate direction than you initially intended to.
No worries whatsoever if you’ve been mocking correctly.
My experience has taught me that after months of mocks, the surprises that pop up during a draft are usually good ones. You know the kind, a few guys over-reached early in the draft allowing someone to fall to you that you never expected to see there. However, if you didn’t have a good expectation as to what would happen later in the draft if you grab this stud QB or WR (or whatever) now over the RB you expected to take…well, that might be an anxiety filled decision for you. One that you might ultimately pass on due to your uncertainty and unwillingness to alter “
the plan”. Sure, the guy drafting after you might buy you a beer for giving him an early Christmas present, but other than that what have you gained by not being prepared? Nada.
To get feedback on your ideas.
Most mock draft sites these days include a chat area that participants can use to voice their concerns or compliments on certain picks or strategies. Sometime suggestions from the other participants will help you develop the strategy that works for you. Sometime these same participants will talk you down from the ledge when ideas such as
“what if I take Brady AND Gates!” creep into your head.
To acquire an intimate knowledge of this years Average Draft Positions (ADPs).
Yes, ADP lists are widely available throughout the web this time of year. Yes, they are all compiled using the results of hundreds of mock drafts. Yes, you can print one out and have it sitting idly by on draft day.
But I don’t trust them. At least I don’t trust them all.
Growing up, your mother probably told you a hundred times “
don’t touch that…you don’t know where its been!” The same goes for ADPs. You don’t know who participated in the hundreds of drafts used to develop it. You don’t know if they were comprised of mostly rookies and inexperienced players, or primarily RB whores, or bored teenagers who think drafting Todd Yoder in the first round of 30 drafts a day is fun. Sure, with this many drafts involved, most of this kind of thing is weeded out, but the experience level of the players can still drastically alter an ADP list. For example, I participate in weekly mocks called the
Monday Morning Mocks right here in the FantasySharks Mock Draft forum, along with a large group of extremely experienced sharks (I am purposely not using the term “experts” as that seems to be a description used for every mock draft under the sun these days). I compile my own ADP list based on these drafts and others in which I know the participants to be leaders in the game. Comparing this list to Yahoo’s ADP list at the end of the summer is simply put… hilarious.
I don’t expect you all to create your own ADP list each year of course. By doing numerous mocks throughout the summer, you will begin to develop a feel for where you expect to see players be drafted. Sure, you can still have the printed ADP list with you at the draft, but you won’t be relying on it anymore. You will know that they have “
so and so” too high, and “
whats-his-name” too low and will be able to adjust accordingly.
To dominate the non-mockers.
Perhaps the biggest reason of all is gaining the ability to walk into your money league draft room and watch bargain after bargain fall into your lap as you ultimately own your draft. Combining all that you have learned over the off season and actually putting it into practice amongst the non-mockers of the world is what it’s all about.
Remember, few have won a championship during the draft, but many, many have lost one.
Don’t be one of them.
Please feel free to participate in a Monday Morning Mock or two this summer! Just visit the Mock Drafts Forum to sign up!