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What is a mock draft simulator, and why are they important?
Ever heard of the phrase "practice makes perfect"? Here at Football Diehards, we want all of our followers to feel confident the moment that they step into their Fantasy Football drafts - be it in a live room setting or with software. The easiest way to prepare for any given scenario (regardless of format, player count, bench depth or any other variable) is to "mock" (a.k.a. practice) through several drafts ahead of time against a simulator.
One of the worst feelings during a Fantasy draft is not knowing how to pivot, should the chips not fall in your favor. Was the player that you were eyeing scooped up right before your pick? Does another manager happen to have the same sleeper list as you? How and when should you address certain positions that are thinner than others? Does someone else share your opinion about a particular rookie that could breakout this season? Not knowing how to handle these scenarios (and countless others) places you at a significant disadvantage - and it goes without saying that the draft is one of the most important elements to a successful season.
Mock draft simulators allow managers to react in real-time to slight shifts and variances to their board or draft sheet. The results will vary each and every time, depending on the ruleset being tested or projections entered. Seeing how the entirety of a draft can change by addressing one position over another or testing out specific strategies is crucial, and better yet - free!
"Good luck is when opportunity meets preparation, while bad luck is when lack of preparation meets reality" ~ Eliyahu Goldratt
Benefits of Mock Draft Simulators:
- As ADP Shifts, so should you! Participating in Mock Drafts several times prior to the start of Week 1 allows Fantasy players to adjust to shifts in "ADP" or "average draft position". As players show off their skills in the preseason or injuries inevitably occur, their overall value will change, causing ebbs or swells in ADP numbers. The consensus top 10-15 picks might not change too much from April through August, but you better believe that everything afterwards moves around quite a bit. Understanding current trends and values is dramatically important. Working off an expert's outdated ranking sheet or the database from a website is a surefire way to crash and burn.
- Test out various draft strategies! There is more than one way to win a Fantasy Football league - especially over the last decade, new strategies have been formulated to take advantage of market trends. Whether it is waiting on a particular position (such as the "Zero RB" fad), targeting a particular conference or division that has an easier schedule, grabbing top-tier quarterbacks early in a SUPERFLEX or anything else - testing out different draft strategies is critically important. Fantasy Football leagues are incredibly diverse - some allow you to retain players for a few years (keepers) and others allow you to hold onto players indefinitely (dynasty), so youth is favored. Additional variables like unique scoring systems (PPR vs. Non-PPR, SUPERFLEX or otherwise) will have a direct effect on where players are drafted. Options, much like outcomes, are limitless.
- Allowing you to assemble a team at different draft positions - Although auction leagues have become increasingly popular over the past decade, "standard" or "snake style" leagues are still incredibly prevalent. Depending on draft order, a team selection in the top or bottom half of a draft can be structured totally different, so it is important to test outcomes. Managers with a draft slot at the tail end occasionally prefer to zig while others zag, picking positions ahead of runs and identifying sleeper players early. Understanding what sort of different outcomes will result from various draft slots affords managers a preconceived notion of what sort of roster they can afford to assemble.
- Mock Draft Simulators gives managers an edge in "best ball drafts" - Prior to the start of the regular season, many websites offer managers to participate in best ball drafts, where the leagues will still play out, but roster changes cannot be performed. As the entirety of the process centers itself around the draft, it is a fantastic way to gauge your skill versus other managers for a very low cost (most best ball drafts float between $5-$10). This format rewards managers who have done their homework and have the ability to assemble an elite group of picks across the board. The vast majority of betting sites (DraftKings, FanDuel and others) offer this to managers with existing accounts. Best ball drafts are also commonly used as a way to reward winners with entries into higher stakes drafts down the line.
- Finding Sleepers, busts and longshots - Your analysis of your nfl mock drafts can pay big dividends. You can start to spot sleepers, busts and longshots as you draft teams. Your cheat sheets and rankings will show you these players and prepare you for your actual fantasy football draft.
All these drafts using the tools will help you develop your draft strategy. The mock draft tool also incorporates your league's starting lineups, including QB, RB, WR, TE, PK and defense.
Fantasy Football Mock Draft Simulator Frequently Asked Questions
"Are mock drafts REALLY worth the time and effort?
Absolutely! Think of it like cooking a recipe for the first time before meeting your future in-laws. Is it possible to pull off on the first try without any practice? Possibly. Would it help if you took the time to try it out a handful of times first to be better acquainted with the process? Absolutely. Especially considering the prevalence of simulators available, and the little-to-no cost associated with doing them.
"How much time does it take to do a mock draft?
Without sounding cliché and providing too much of a grey answer, it really all depends on how many other "real life" managers you are competing against, and the depth of the league. Most Fantasy Football leagues tend to run between 10-14 players, and utilize a relatively standard format. Participating against seasoned managers (or few) should not take much longer than 30-45 minutes or so. If you happen to join a mock draft full of inexperienced managers who need to take the full amount of time per-selection on the clock, it will obviously be a longer process.
"What do you need to participate in a mock draft simulator?
Honestly? Nothing but a block of open, uninterrupted time. Mocks (as we alluded to earlier) are a great way to use a particular database or cheat sheet that you might have available on hand to gauge if the players perceived value has changed recently. The more you participate in, the better versed you'll become with the player pool and sleeper selections.
"How will I benefit from using the FootballDiehards.com mock draft simulator?
Our website provides a fantastic one-stop-shop to not only our draft simulators, but the latest news from around the league, articles from our insightful staff, and much more. After reading thoughts from one of our writers about the advantages to drafting tight ends early and how that can set you up for success in drafts, immediately test out that theory and see if you agree. Find that you share an opinion on a particular rookie with one of our award-winning writers? Go see what round he is being drafted in and try to snag him. Think that you can take advantage of other website's pre-determined ADP? Test out your theory here. Our customizable software will allow you to hone your draft strategies and reap the awards immediately.