So because I’m not a writer, I have struggled with the follow up “strategy” piece to the MFL10 Intro that I had done a couple weeks ago. I’ve sat down a few times to try and crack something out, but could never quite get it going. Anyhow today during my daily #MFL10 Twitter search, I happened upon the below:
For some reason this provided the kickoff I needed. I do have strategies, but they have been created, tweaked, and influenced over time. Considering this time spans months, years, and at this point, decades of playing; was really struggling with how to get it out. Where to start? What to include? Etc. So while I might not be able to layout a specific strategy for you here, I can provide a few tips that will set you up for success. Have few MFL10 specific tips, but the others will help with improving your drafting, and creating your own blueprint.
Block the Noise.
We are totally inundated with information today. It was bad enough years ago when you could buy any number of a dozen magazines off the rack. Remember those littered around Home League drafts? Today we have what seems like 1000s of sources of information. This is easily the biggest obstacle we face, as players we need to find a way to filter the noise. Not everyone can process the same amount of data, at the same rate. Nor can everyone compartmentalize, or distinguish that information for what it is. Did you note the data? Or was it lost in the way it was provided? It’s really hard to parse out what becomes redundant information. Often we are effectively receiving the same message, but with the personal touch of each source, we can mistake it for being different. My best suggestion to avoid this is a bit of life mantra I like to apply to things, KISS – Keep It Simple Stupid. So I’d recommend going over your favorite sites, links, Follows, etc. and consider trimming them down. Less is truly more in life, and Fantasy Football.
Find a source for Rankings.
Years ago I stumbled onto a post by Sara Holladay (@fflibrarian) from fflibrarian.com She had done a Rankings Accuracy contest, or study. I checked out some of the top performers, and ultimately selected one from the Top 10. From then on, I have used this as my base set of rankings. I do adjust for my own opinion as needed, and cross reference with others I trust on occasion, but the litmus test is against this base. For those wondering, the site is www.4for4.com and no I am not on the payroll. Just happen to remember Josh saying their biggest challenge is getting people to recommend them to others in their Leagues, and well I have done well for myself using them … now if I could only get one of them hoodies.
Use an ADP Tool.
Average Draft Position (ADP) is calculated by a few sites. These aggregators are compiling large amounts of draft information and presenting it to us. Using an ADP tool is going to let you know how drafters, as a whole, feel about a player. It will give you an idea of the area of the draft you will need to select a player you are interested in. Some provide the High and Low value that a player was drafted at. Some will provide a visual of where a player has been drafted over a timeline. This information will let you capitalize on players that are falling down a board, allowing you to scoop that value.
A quick Google search will lead you to a few different ADP providers. In terms of MFL10, your best (And free) option is http://fantasyadhd.com @FantasyADHD is the mastermind behind the curtain, it is amazing, and very easy to use. Give him some love on Twitter.
Read the Board.
We’ve prepared ourselves through our Rankings, and we know how others collectively feel from the ADP data. The information we have and our intuition are about to merge, as we make our picks. You’ll need to try and project your opponent moves, and how those will affect your own plans. This skill will take time to learn, and will never be entirely scientifically accurate. However, you’ll gain a huge advantage just by simply trying to do this. Many players don’t attempt to do this, they are squarely focused on their team. If you’ve ever played Risk, and swapped seats a couple hours in, you’ll know why this is a foolish approach, and what it usually leads to.
Next time you’re on the clock, take a look at the other rosters. Look for who has just been drafted, and how many players’ teams have at each positions. Try to identify if a run on a position is occurring, or is about to. Give some extra attention to all the teams that are picking between your current pick, and your next pick. These are the players you can influence the most with your pick, and who will conversely, have the most influence over you. Much like poker, there will be times when you will have the ability to tilt a table, or at a minimum a player or two at a table. Pay attention, and try to capitalize on that.
Specific MFL10 Tips
Use the My Leagues Details page, don’t bother with a first in, first out approach. Batch your picks. It frees up time in your life, and will allow you to compare drafts against each other. It will also quickly allow you to see if any Pre-Pick opportunities exist.
In the Draft tab, use the Grid Format. Take note of the number behind the position. That is referencing how many at that position have been drafted. That information helps to quickly assign a value, or place marker for your pick for that position. I.e. below I selected Riddick as the 33rd RB taken (RB3), the Rankings I used had him around RB25 (Fringe RB2).
MFL10 data is widely available. There are some really skilled data, and coding folks that are driving down into the data and providing a great look at the game. My first experience looking at Fantasy Football from this angle was reading about a Monte Carlo simulation run by folks at http://rotoviz.com/ on MFL10s. The simulation was the basis for explaining how winning teams built their rosters the previous year. It has grown and evolved over time.
As a loose rule you’ll want your 20 slot roster to fall into the below frames:
2-3 QB – TE – DST where we only have to start a “Onesie”
Playing outside of these guidelines has a detrimental effect on your ability to win. Check out some of my favorite data guys on Twitter right now @beerswater @Slavin22 @broadwayg_ff @DataScientistFF They are providing an in-depth, data driven breakdown of the above Roster allotments, drafting tips based on draft slot, historical references revolving around points scored, etc. All of these can be used to apply different specific strategies.
If you aren’t already there, get on Twitter. It’s the perfect medium for our game, anything newsworthy is breaking there, and with your filtered down list you’ll see it easily. Another tab that will always be open when I am drafting is http://www.rotoworld.com/ it’s really easy to check in on players, and there is generally a small historical timeline. It’s especially helpful for following updates to injuries, before you ultimately click “Draft Player”.
I’d wish you luck with the above, but I am firmly in the camp that believes this to be a skill based game. So with having said that, hopefully there is something new to you above that can be of use in your repertoire. Please feel free to get at me on Twitter (@Th3What) with any questions, or comments, and I look forward to seeing you in a draft room in the future.