By Shamin Shah, June 17, 2020 – 10 minute read
Ensure you have read part 1 first.
Create Tiers for each position:
Creating tiers instead of ranking each individual player will allow you to be a lot more flexible during the draft. Regardless of where these players land in the rankings, you will feel comfortable and confident when you are ready to select your pick if your pick is in the same tier as a player that just went off the board. Tiers can range from having only one to multiple players. There are no set rules here. Some would argue McCaffrey is on a tier by himself, and last year’s fantasy rankings would definitely support that. Others would argue that Zeke and Saquon belong in the same tier with him. There is no right answer here and that’s okay. Go with your gut. My rule of thumb is that if you would take Player A over Player B 100% of the time, without even thinking about it, those players don’t belong in the same tier.
List out players you like and don’t like as per their ADP:
This is a key step where looking at multiple rankings can help you find major value. Look for players whose rankings differ significantly between expert rankings. These are the risky players people may be scared of drafting. Todd Gurley is a great example of this. Sure, we know he has an injury history and he’s playing for a new team. But he also has the backfield to himself on a good offense, and he picked it up last season once he got opportunities. Juju is another example. By all accounts he had a terrible season last year but the Steelers had one of the toughest schedules against WRs, not many other weapons to take some of the pressure off, and of course, he didn’t have Big Ben throwing at him. You can find value anywhere.
Know the backups:
This one is not only important for handcuffs, but also knowing who will threaten some players starting jobs. There are only a few handcuffs that are worthy of a draft pick. Others need either 1) an injury, 2) a coaching decision, or 3) a team to start playing for next year (which won’t happen until later in the year). Often injured stars such as Dalvin Cook come to mind here as Mattison would likely step into the role and have a huge impact if an injury were to occur. However, players such as Justice Hill may have less of an impact if Mark Ingram got injured with the crowded backfield in Baltimore. WR2’s are less likely to fill in for WR1 starters as workload tends to be spread out between multiple players. If you are going to draft a backup, make sure the situation would be ideal.
Look at team schedules:
This is most important for QBs and Defenses, and less impactful for WRs and RBs. The reason is that QBs and defenses need huge games to be relevant and replacements for these positions are easier to find. In most situations, RBs and WRs will get their stats even against bad matchups and there will be many more replacements to consider on your team for those positions. Either way, it is important to look at team schedules and identify players who have the easiest route, especially early in the season. Don’t worry about fantasy playoff weeks as much as NFL teams change drastically every year. One great example of this is Josh Allen who has a cake walk of a schedule the first half of the season, but has (for now) a horrid playoff schedule. Don’t let that deter you. While people may shy away because of this, you can take advantage and adjust on the fly.
Part 3 will go over how to practice draft using the information you have gathered and organized