Mock, Mock, Mock
As the old saw goes, practice makes perfect. Fantasy drafts are no different.
If you haven’t seen it before, odds are you won’t know what to do when you do. Sure, three minutes feels like a world of time when you know exactly who you are taking next. But when you get deep into the middle rounds, your lists get jumbled, your head gets cluttered and mistakes can happen.
Luckily, there’s practice. Find a mock draft lobby, register and dive in.
I recommend conducting three mock drafts per year. And if you don’t know your draft order more than a few hours before your live draft, do at least four: one from position Nos. 1-3, one from position Nos. 4-7 and one from position Nos. 8-10. Then, whichever method produces the least satisfactory squad, repeat that one in your fourth mock.
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In all cases, mock drafts help you test and refine strategies. What if I go tight end early? When should I nab that mid-round diamond in the rough? Is Zero Quarterback the right call for me? All of these questions (and more) can be answered during mocks.
Of course, life is unpredictable. And if your league mates are anything like mine, they’re going to make some head-scratchingly offbeat selections. Even more reason to come prepared. That way, when that star player that you never thought would fall to you actually does, you’ll know how to adjust all of your ensuing picks on the fly.
Finally, I always like to participate in at least one draft with local market participants, e.g. San Francisco, Oakland, etc.
Regional biases are real. By drafting local I get a hot read on whether or not I’ve let any hometown heroes unduly creep up my draft board. And guess what? If you’re not the homer, someone else in that draft room is.
That’s a good thing. Unless you’re playing the international fantasy circuit, your actual draft will have at least one homeboy (or girl) in it too. Again, great practice.
Don’t get caught with your fantasy pants down. Dial up a few mocks, so that you can see the board coming.
Next: Top Ten 2016 Fantasy Draft Strategies Summary