10 Helpful Tips: Head-to-Head PPR Live Snake Draft
2. Create a Round-by-Round Players to Target Pick List
This is my favorite tool for when I know my draft position before the actual LIVE SNAKE DRAFT.
I have created a Pre-Draft Round-by-Round Player Pick List Template that is available for download for FREE!
Note: Spreadsheet becomes customizable once downloaded. If you do not have Excel, use Google Docs for free.
Assuming your league uses the Snake Draft method and your league decides team draft positions prior to the draft; as a manager, you want to take advantadge of this information and go into the actual Live Draft with a game plan. Why not play fantasy football as if you are the Bill Belichick of your league?
The Pre-Draft Round-by-Round Player Pick List Template is how you can create your custom draft board before the actual draft. When I go into my Live Yahoo! Drafts I want to keep my pre-rankings set to the default settings because I want to view the draft board exactly how the rest of the league is viewing it (or should be viewing it).
Let’s face it, no matter how competitive your league is, the majority of the draft pick selections follow the default pre-rankings the website has set for their users. These pre-rankings do not consider your league’s scoring settings so this is where your personal draft board comes into play and you can really gain an advantage on your competition.
When your league has Keepers you may want to create a separate pre-rankings list just for when projecting the availability of players for each round. Instead of creating an entire new pre-rankings list I just use my Player Pick List and take note of where the edited ranked players now start at my draft pick.
For instance, if there are 15 Keepers that are ranked inside the top 50 and you have three picks in the top 50 then you are going to have to adjust where your picks and the actual available players begin using the default pre-rankings.
Let’s say you have the 5th overall pick and there are 3 keepers ranked above/at 5 so you would have to move your rankings down 3 spots so that the 5th ranked player now becomes the 8th ranked player. Don’t expect the 5th ranked player to be available when you pick at 5 anymore. In this example the 5th overall player available would now become AJ Green CIN WR
Since it’s so early in the Fantasy Football Season, I used the FantasyPros PPR Overall Rankings for pre-rankings.
Example of a 16-team Keeper League
Here’s the list of Keepers in this example(1 Keeper per Team)
|First Name||Last Name||Team||Pos|
Adjusting the Overall Rankings for this example
Now the easiest way to remove Keepers and adjust the Overall Rankings for your Pre-Draft Round-by-Round Player Pick List is to make the adjustment at each round.
FantasyPros PPR Overall Rankings 1-19(as of 5/26/2017)
In this example we have the 5th Overall pick out of 16. Now we can begin to use the Pre-Draft Round-by-Round Player Pick List Template.
The 5th pick would then become the 8th ranked player where I have Shady McCoy as my top pick (if still available). The 28th pick plus the 12 keepers before the 28th pick would make my 2nd rd pick the 40th player ranked, but then we would have to move down 3 more rankings since there are 3 keepers ranked before 40! So technically we cannot expect players before the 43rd ranked player to be available at my 2nd pick.
The only other keeper is Cam Newton at 87 so we can add 15 spots to the rankings for rounds 3 (37+15), 4(60+15) and 5(69+15) and 16 spots for the rest of the player rankings.
This is what my Player Pick List would begin to look like after we made the adjustments for Keeper Players:
FantasyPros PPR Overall Rankings 20-41(as of 5/26/2017)
3. Create a Team-by-Team Positional Draft Table
NOTE: Check off Keepers if necessary
The table can be very helpful when targeting players if you list every team’s positional pick in rows where the starting offensive positions drafted can be checked-off during the draft.
This process assists in monitoring which positions teams are going to be targeting before or after your next pick. This could be the difference of you being able to wait another round before you draft your top target player; allowing you to draft someone who is certain to be taken before your next pick.
Once the starters are drafted you can basically quit using the draft table at this point. Most experienced managers are going to draft by value and not by position once they have drafted their core players of their starting lineup especially in 16-team leagues.
Warning! Keep an eye on those managers who feel the need to draft 5 running backs in the first 8 rounds. This guy is always looking for trade value too so watch out!
How the Player Pick List Works!
Scenario: YardPenalty has the 5th overall draft pick in a Live Snake Draft and it is the 2nd round (28th overall) of the draft.
At pick #5 I may be able to use this table at the turn of each rd as the snake draft gives me picks at 28, 37, 60, 92, etc. Playing off the example we have been using I will show you how and why I may want to create this table.
Now let’s play off the Keeper list which consists of 1 keeper per team where my team has Travis Kelce as my Keeper. I am currently on the clock and it is my 2nd pick 28th overall (43nd ranked player!).
Looking at my Player Pick List, I have Drew Brees as my top available player and I can either risk losing Brees here at 28 and draft Marshawn Lynch since he is one of the last studs at RB or I can take a gamble and wait and see if Brees is there at 37 and draft Beast Mode.
Remember this league is QB weighted, but only 3 out of the 4 teams could possibly draft Brees before I pick again at 37. Depending on which QBs are available will ultimately determine whether or not I will risk losing Brees for the benefit of drafting Lynch as my RB1.
Let’s say that Aaron Rodgers and Brady are gone and it is likely that Team #2 is going to take Marshawn. Can I live with Andrew Luck or even a QB from a tier or two below? It depends on which RBs are left. I will let you use your imagination and decide which player I would take at 28th overall!
Remember that this is a simple table used for when we have to decide which position to draft next. This can only be effective when you have a draft pick that is near the beginning or near the end of a round.
You will only want to attempt predicting a handful of teams next pick by position. There are some circumstances when all teams before your next upcoming pick have already chosen their starting QB or possibly their starting RBs. This may be that opportunity to wait on a positional player so you can go out and take the best player available before you take that top QB or top RB from your player pick list.
Hopefully you get the picture and really see the value of a Team-by-Team Positional Draft Table especially if you are drafting at the turn of each round in a Live Snake Draft.
4. Consider Strength of Schedule
The fftoolbox brought to you by Scout Fantasy is home to the best Fantasy Football Strength of Schedule Tool. The tool allows you to view the strength of schedule for the entire fantasy season or just the playoffs.
Analyze Player Opponents
Begin with an overview of the players you are targeting and how easy/difficult their overall matchups are from week-to-week when it comes to the following:
- Division and Conference Matchups
- Indoor/Outdoor Games during the Winter Months
- Playoff Matchups
- Last Year’s Defensive Units
Compare your targeted players to similar players ranked in the same tiers and analyze the pros and cons of these factors and make an informative decision on who becomes a member of your roster this season.
Beware of the Hangry Defense!
It is difficult to predict a defensive unit in December based off of how well they performed in dress rehearsals in August. However, talent is not hard to evaluate and with the exception of injuries you pretty much know what players are up against when playing top rated defenses so try and target players from the same tier that appear to have an easier schedule without reaching for a player or passing on a superstar.
Strength of Schedule during Playoff Weeks
It is NOT a good idea to pass on elite players just because of who they play during the playoff weeks. Although, quarterbacks, running backs, and kickers playing in the wind, snow and sleet are less attractive than ones playing inside a dome come December.
5. Draft Players you will Enjoy Rooting for!
Many Fantasy Football Experts would have turned the other cheek upon reading this insane declaration, but for those of you who are true NFL fans who love playing the role of Fantasy Football Head Coach; just think about this for a moment….
Fantasy Football is Painful Win or Lose
As much fun it is to win from week-to-week; as Fantasy Football Head Coaches we endure some punishment along the way. The regular season is a long grueling 17 weeks before our favorite teams may or may not have a shot at the Lombardi Trophy.
Why not root for players on your Fantasy Team that you truly enjoy rooting for every Sunday? What fun is it if you take the element out of Fantasy Football where your team consists of of players other than the ones who would be part of your favorite Football Card Collection? The love for Fantasy Football should bring out your inner child and if it doesn’t then you must think you are the Chris Moneymaker of Fantasy Football.
6. Drafting Best Player Available.
Be the team to catch him when he falls!
When a player somehow slides down a round or more during your league’s draft he can be considered a steal. When he’s on your personal draft board you take him! An example is when I am trying to fill out my starters and somehow a starting RB falls onto my lap. I will then have to draft him as my RB3.
The player could end up being trade bait (Oh how I hate trades…real men draft their winning fantasy squad) or even become a starter due to injury or a bad draft pick on your part. Never be afraid to take someone who seems to be a bench player when you have other needs at the moment when this bench player is better than some teams starters!
The goal is to put out the best product on the virtual field come Sunday (oh yea, Thursday). The only problem is the season is long; injuries happen like clockwork, players are busts, bye week fill-ins become every week starters, drafted starters become free agents and so on. That is just how Fantasy Football Works. Your WR4 becomes your WR3 one week and your WR5 is your WR2 another. Anything can happen!
Even though there are only 17 weeks to the regular NFL season, the regular eason can be broken down into 3/4 mini-seasons. What I mean by this is that players get hot and cold not only based on the factors listed above.
For instance, veteran teams tend to turn it up come mid-November as their playoff mentalit begins to kick in. Some players take three or four games before they really start to build chemistry with the team. Some players are just the opposite, as they start to run-out-of-gas or become so banged-up their performances decline as the season goes on.
These are just simple facts about players you observe over the course of their careers. There are teams that are out of the playoff hunt who might throw out their playbooks altogether just to get some offensive momentum going into next season. Head coaches become chopping block candidates so instead of calling it safe they start to air it out hoping that the head coach/quarterback relationship grows just enough to keep them together. Divisional games that are meaningless come November tend to be offensive showdowns. Take advantage of these situations if your roster has players that fall under these categories.
7. Drafting Running Backs with your first 2 Picks?
The Running Back Position is the most volatile assest in Fantasy Football. I have never had a top 3 pick in the 15 plus years of playing in my favorite 16-team PPR QB weighted Fantasy Football League.
I failed at drafting a top RB when I used a 5th overall pick and then a 7th overall pick on an RB a few years later and never made the playoffs. After making this mistake twice, I made a pact to myself to never reach for an RB in the first 3 rounds of the draft no matter what.
Just like the Patriots are known for beating up on the Indianapolis Colts, I want to beat that horse to a bloody pulp; put the best product out on the virtual field every week! Studs are studs. The more studs you have in your lineup from week-to-week the more likely those studs are going to win you your week. You can always tinker with your RB2 and your WR3 based on matchups and hot streaks. Our benches are not their for a mere bye-week fill-in.
Drafting Players with the same Bye Weeks?
16-team Fantasy Football Leagues offer little help in Free Agency and the Waiver Wire, especially after the first month of the season when most starters have settled in and trends become more obvious. If this sounds like your league you may want to consider drafting players with the same bye weeks so you can knock out your bye weeks in one or two weeks. This could possibly end up as an automatic loss, but the goal is to win in the playoffs. Once again, the Colts lineup in their sneaky ‘Swinging Gate’ formation when the Patriots have nothing of it as they put their best product on the field every single week!
Think of accepting an automatic loss jammed packed with bye week players as a week of rest before a playoff run. In larger Head-to-Head Leagues the odds of going undefeated in the regular season are slim to none and have no official bearing on whether or not you become League Champion. GO ahead and throw in the towel week 10 if it means rolling out the big dawgs the other 13 weeks of the regular season.
9. Rookie Class Assessment
Let’s face it, the 2016 Rookie Class was a rare class as it brought us two instant every week starters on the same team! Other than that though, if you planned on starting rookies on your fantasy team you were disappointed.
An NFL Rookie Class that produces more than a half-dozen starting offensive fantasy football players is rare. You can only truly count on a few rookies to become every week starters.
ARRRR Matey! The 2017 Star-studded Rookie Class is Fantasy Gold!
Outside of the Majority Consensus likely to “walk the bloody plank” to get a piece of Christain McCaffrey in 2017, there are a couple handful of rookies I truly believe will have a fantasy impact in 2017.
2017 Rookie Running Backs
The running back position is evolving before our very eyes as the Adrian Petersons are akwardly fading into the sunset, while Mr. east Mode has his last wordz for us ‘Straight Outta Compton’. The style of running where versatility becomes the norm at RB is upon us.
While there are a few 3-down RBs on our draft boards that are must draft RBs if available, the PPR running back is where you are going to find the most value at the RB position and the steals of the draft. This evolution is yet another valid point as to why the future of Fantasy Football should remain trending towards the PPR format. If your league if PPR, then target the RBs who you think will get the majority red zone/goalline touches and the 3rd down/passing down scatback who can play the slot as well.
As much as I love the Rookie Running Back Class of 2017, I am not signing off on the rookie quarterbacks nor the rookie WRs. There is a couple rookie WRs I like, but as of right now they are being overvalued. I will re-visit the Rookie Class in a later article called, “Yard’s Rated Rookies”.