Setting up a draft list

You have your draft’s date and time…and find out you have to work then! Better get that draft list created! Actually, it’s a good idea to have a draft list anyway, because you never know when you may need it anyway (i.e. your power is out and your phone is dead). Auto-drafting is a dangerous thing when you don’t have a pre-made draft list (although I have seen teams make it into the playoffs on auto-draft).

Here is my technique for creating the draft list in Yahoo. I won’t go into too many specifics, since I plan to use it for one draft (lookin’ at you, @SoBe717!).

  1. In the edit list screen, I set it for ADP. This gives you a nice starting point.
  2. I go down the list with the 1st round in mind, picking players in the order I value them. Obviously, JT is first. Since I’m drafting 8th, I doubt I will see JT, but if the entire league goes brain dead, I am ready!
  3. Naturally, there are 1st rounders I would never take in the 1st round. When I start on the 2nd and later rounds, I put these guys there, guys like CMC and Derrick Henry. Fortunately, in the mocks I have done, they tend to go in the 1st round anyway, so no biggie. I just don’t believe in high risk in the first round, even if the reward is high as well. Your 1st rounder needs to be the foundation of your team, and if he drops with a season-ending injury, you just wasted huge draft capital.
  4. Eliminate all players you don’t want. Don’t bother even adding them to your list. If nobody else wants them, even if you assign them a low value, you can still end up with them. Remember, the AI is very literal. It just picks the player that is next up on your list.
  5. Here is the hard part: Except for K and DST, you have to fill all your starting positions before working on your bench. Target players you want in those positions, look at the ADP, and then make sure you are taking them earlier than the ADP.
  6. Only take one K and DST! You only want to fill the starting position. If you start tossing in other K’s and DST’s, you could end up with them on your bench. You can get these in the season as needed. Use your bench for greater strength in the positions that matter. Also, if your K and DST aren’t available when the draft comes to your turn in the last 2 picks, then it will automatically revert to the default draft list to fill these positions. Not ideal, but I would rather have that then a bench full of K’s and DST’s.
  7. In situations where you only have one position to fill, and you target a player and even set up your list to draft them early, you will need a backup plan. After your lone K and DST picks, add a player for that position, just as a backstop, so you don’t hit that default list and end up with a terrible starter you don’t want.
  8. Mock mock mock! You have to take the list out for a test drive, repeatedly. When you draft, you want the players to drop off the list in the order you have them there. if you find yourself in a position where you need a certain position (except K and DST), but your list is indicating your next pick will be adding to your bench, you may need to tweak your list. Make notes about any changes you make to the draft list during the mock draft. Then go back and edit your list. Then take your newly edited list out for another mock draft. Wash, rinse, repeat. You will need to do this up until the draft day, as ADP’s are constantly shifting, not to mention your own views on players may change as news comes out.

Finally, remember that the draft is NOT the end-all, be-all of fantasy football. It is just step one. The waiver wire is your friend all season long. Even if your draft list fails, you can pick up free agents, or even trade for what you perceive as better value.