When you first start working on your draftlist, chances are you look at one of those top 200 draft lists put out by the big guys. They're kind of hard to avoid. When it comes to draft day you'll find all of the players sorted by this list and this is the list that most of your teammates will use when drafting. I don't like using this list because it doesn't take into consideration into how your league scores points. I find these rankings, often determined by "experts", to have little to no relevance to your success in the draft. In fact, if they did then the people who autopick would end up with the best teams in fantasy football, not the worst.
Let me give you an example as to why I don't like to use these lists. Let's say you're a fan of the Denver Defense. According to the Yahoo Top 200, they currently have Denver ranked at #128 but the Denver defense has an ADP of #86. So their ranking is basically irrelevant because if you wait until the 12th round to grab them, the team will be long gone. Also, when you draft a team on Yahoo it doesn't matter how that league scores points, the list is in the exact same order every time! I call it a straight jacket because drafters mostly adhere to the list order when they draft, even when it's not in their best interest!
For a while, I preferred using ADP rankings instead, but they have their own set of problems. For the most part, ADP is better for players with stable value, meaning they're not moving very much on the list. The weakness comes in when a player is moving rapidly up or down the list. In this case, ADP lags their actual position because it's taking the average of where they've been taken in mock drafts. Because of this, a player that's rapidly moving up from the 100s to the 50s will display an ADP in the 70s or 80s. Again, that's not real helpful to you because if you're relying on that number being accurate you will find that player has already been taken by the time your draft gets to that ADP ranking. It works in the other direction as well, where you end up picking a falling player too early because the ADP is showing a number lower than when he's actually being picked. Finally, the closer we get to the fantasy draft the more rigid the list becomes as the number of mock drafts swell and the average gets harder and harder to move.
The other problem with ADP is the bunching that occurs once you get to pick 120. Because it is using an average, all of a sudden the average position for players #110 - #140 are all bunched in the 120s. This doesn't really give you a good idea as to when these players are being taken. Likewise, this is when many drafters start picking longshots and no-names, so some guy that's only drafted 2% of the time shows up ahead of another player that's drafted 75% of the time!
This is the part that gets me the most. I personally have to check 6 different websites in order to get the information I need on a single player. Even within a single website I have to visit multiple pages (example: ESPN Projections, Player page, season stats and individual games stats are all on separate pages). I also like to check their contract information and headlines about that player. If it takes me 15-20 minutes to find all my different criteria for each player, how long is it taking me to look up everyone in the top 200? I have specific criteria I need to know when picking a player, whether it's their age, or their yards per carry, or did they switch teams or sign a big new contract in the off-season. I would end up building these super complex spreadsheets that were just a mess because I was trying to track so many different pieces of information. On top of all this, the news was constantly changing as things were happening to players during the pre-season so that would require further modifications to my draftlist! It was taking a colossal amount of my time to keep up on this but it wasn't providing me with any real benefit on draft day.
Instead of using someone else's list, why not create your own? This list will produce a customized ranking based on how your league scores points. There are a lot of moving parts when it comes to your league's scoring settings and all of them have an impact on how each player scores points. The list is also dynamic and will update based on what's happening to players. If a player is injured or suspended that will be reflected in their projected stats and it will immediately impact their value.
Then, instead of using ADP, I've created M-ADP, which stands for Modified Average Draft Position. I use ADP for most players in the top 100. Any player that I see moving rapidly up or down I use an average of their draft position from the most recent 5 mock draft that have been completed. I also use this average for players taken after 100. This will help give you a much better idea as to when players are actually being taken. This is all designed to give you the best information possible as to what players are available at each round of the draft.
I also created some stat categories of my own that none of the big guys provide, but I want to know come draft day. Along with projected stats, I created what I call the 5 critical stats that will allow you to easly compare players apples to apples when looking at the different player positions. I have icons listed next to the players indicating important information such as: is it a contract year, are they a punt/kick returner, are they injured or suspended or did they receive an excessive workload the prior season. Each player is also assigned a value based on their projected stats and calculated by your league's point schedule (which can be customized). This will allow you to easily find the hidden value in your draft.
I instituted filters on the draft list to help you craft a list of players that meet your criteria. No more needing to research all the Running Back's Yards per Carry. Simply use the Yards per Carry filter and set it to whatever level you want and it will elminate every RB from the list that doesn't meet your criteria. There are a wide variety of filters to choose from and many of them have variables that you can adjust to craft the perfect draftlist for you! The filters can either be applied to the entire list or just a portion of the list, so if you want to be more selective in the early rounds you can do that!
Finally, new this year I have created DRAFT MODE which further breaks down the list to each round of the draft based on the size of the league you play in and your draft position. Each round will show you all the players that are available between this pick and your next pick sorted by value. All the most valuable players will be at the top of the list making it easy to find the right guy and helping you when you get to those middle and late rounds when you're not as familiar with the players or their outlook.
Remember, Fantasy Football is more fun when your winning! Use this app and you will have a great draft! A great draft is the foundation to having a great fantasy season!