Archive for Mock Draft Analysis

The #2Early Mock Draft: Reaches and Steals

A little while ago, a bunch of industry dudes participated in a way-too-early slow mock draft aptly dubbed the Too Early (#2Early) Mock. On Tuesday, I dissected the team I drafted with some limited analysis for each pick. Some people find this helpful, entertaining, what-have-you. Personally — and while a particular owner’s strategy is certainly interesting to ponder — I prefer a more macro characterization of the draft.

There are several ways to approach something like this, the most prominent of which, in my mind, being to comb through each round or to comb through each position. I’ll take the latter route here, identifying a “reach” and a “steal” (or plural) at each position.

I rely heavily on my own projections and rankings come draft day. Alas, I must apply a caveat to this analysis: these reaches and steals are more of, uh, feelings. Like, it feels too late or it feels like a great price. I hope I can support some of these feelings with evidence. I typically hate relying on feelings, given I’m all about doing away with emotion, biases, and impaired thought processes to exploit market inefficiencies. But, hey. Let’s give this a shot.

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The #2Early Mock Draft: One Man’s Review

I’ll lead with a series of questions: What’s the preferred way to analyze a mock draft? Would you rather read about the writer’s breakdown for his or her specific draft results? Or breakdowns by position? Of each owner’s team?

I plan to take the former-most approach here in regard to the Too Early (#2Early) Mock Draft, as curated by Justin Mason and graciously hosted by Couch Managers. A 15-team slow draft that began as soon as the season ended, I did not hesitate to vocalize my discomfort in drafting, even in the spirit of mockery, with absolutely zero planning.

Alas, that’s the fun of the Too Early mock (or so David Wiers tried to convince me): just wing it. Or see what happens.

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An Early 1st Round for 2017

We haven’t even closed the book on 2016, but I’m already in a mock draft for 2017. What do you mean I have a problem? I don’t have a problem, you have a problem! I would normally say something trite like “it’s never too early to start studying for 2017”, but of course it can be too early. If I had done something in mid-May about the 2017 season, that definitely would’ve been too early. And let’s be honest, this current mock draft with the InThisLeague guys & company might also be too early for any sane person, but I take these bullets for y’all.

You’re welcome.

We’re just wrapping up the third round as it’s a slow mock so we’re going to focus on the first round of this 12-team standard 5×5 draft. Before we do that, let’s look at the ESPN Player Rater for the year so far. I obviously don’t think the top 12 from this year should comprise the first round, but I am interested to see how many of them go in the first round.

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A Response to a Diatribe Regarding Player Values

I don’t know if y’all are familiar with Tanner Bell. He recently joined the RotoGraphs staff and has wasted no time churning out quality post after quality post. He performs analysis, but he also offers technical advice regarding the “offline” components of fantasy baseball such as building cheat sheets in Microsoft Excel. It’s good stuff, even for people who consider themselves proficient in Excel — I do and, alas, it never occurred to me to conditionally format my draft prep workbook to strike out players already drafted.

Similarly, it seems Tanner recently experienced an epiphany (or two) of his own in regard to player projections and valuations. I mentioned to him I wanted to respond, so to speak, to his post, not as a criticism but as an expansion. A validation, I guess.

Also, rarely, if ever, do we engage in back-and-forth call-and-response posts. I don’t intend for this to be one of those. It’s just that Tanner inspired me, but I have some thoughts of my own to add.

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Actual Useful Advice From Two Drafts

Over the past two nights, I completed another two drafts – the 12-team MLBTR League and the 14-team experimental Fire and Forget. The following is a collection of player picks and strategic advice for unique formats. Let’s start with the easy one…

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How to Mess Up a Mock in 23 Rounds

It was 2:16pm on a Thursday afternoon. I was sitting on my couch, watching a DVR’d episode of Better Call Saul, when I got the DM that would unknowingly change the course of (the next few hours of) my life. Read the rest of this entry »


The Change: A New Strategy for AL LABR

Another AL-LABR draft is the books, and after finishing top half in 2014, and then at the very bottom in 2015, I figured I should change my strategy a bit going into this year’s draft. In some ways, I built the same team I always do for the League of Alternate Baseball Reality — I hate dollar players, and hate spending for the most expensive players, and I dive for the middle — but my preparation was different. You can’t completely change your stripes, in the end. You can only hope to tweak em.

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Don’t Win Your Mock: Industry Mock Draft Review

On Thursday I participated in my first ever industry mock draft, organized by Nick Mariano of RotoBaller (who reviewed it here) and which included our own Brad Johnson (who reviewed it here) and Justin Mason filling in for the ever-busy Paul Sporer.

Per FantasyPros’ playbook, which taps the site’s player projections, I — with a thousand air quotes — “came out on top.” Of course, a good draft is but one part of a championship season — thus, the many air quotes.

I never expected to do so well and had all sorts of excuses lined up for when I would rank dead last.

  • I didn’t have my cheat sheet. (True, although I have my first six-or-so rounds memorized at this point.)
  • I’m terrible at snake drafts. (Also true, at least in my obviously glowing opinion of myself. I adhere pretty strongly to the Studs and Duds strategy, and snake drafts, by their nature, tend to prevent it.)
  • It’s my first industry mock draft. (Still true. My heart was racing, which made me feel pretty embarrassed as I sat in my office, alone, eating microwavable pad thai out of a pouch, waiting for the draft to start.)

But, shoot. I pulled it off.

Except… I didn’t actually want to.

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Industry Mocking Gold

Last night, my friends over at RotoBaller hosted a 12-team industry draft. Nine major fantasy providers were represented including me, Paul Sporer, and Alex Chamberlain for RotoGraphs. Justin Mason provided the assist for Sporer who was also drafting his #BeatSporer league.

While we talked a big game about preferring auction drafts, we did a snake because they take half the time. And the league isn’t even real. As somebody said, it’s a fake fake baseball league. We picked 23 players – 2 C, MI, CI, 5 OF, and all the normal stuff. No bench. We didn’t use RTS so no pretty auto-generated table. Here is the team I drafted, and you should be able to view our league.

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What is BARF? Bay Area Roto-Fantasy

The worst kept secret in the fantasy sports industry is that the people in it are amazing. A little over a year ago, with the help of some friends (with fantasy benefits), I entered the industry with a silly little podcast, a website, and no real expectations that it would ever turn into anything more than a hobby. I was pleasantly surprised to find out how helpful and encouraging the majority of the fantasy industry is. No one ever said no to an appearance. I was given a ton of advice on what works and what doesn’t in the industry. You read what these people write and listen to what they have to say, but what you don’t realize is that they are just as cool in real life as they appear to be from the outside. Read the rest of this entry »