I love picking 12th, like this year, because that means I won my league last year! But seriously, I like picking on the ends better than in the middle. Generally, the best spots for me are probably #2 and #11, since you just have one other manager to figure out between your two picks. By tracking what positions he needs to fill, you get a nice advantage in waiting until that 2nd pick for certain players. This year, #11 would be great.
There are a few angles to look at with this question.
1) overall draft value - Take the 2009 stats from a points league and stick the players in order and assume each team just picks the most valuable player. You'll find that pick #1 earns the most value with a considerable lead over the later picks. The early draft slots are just easily more valuable. You'll also find that somewhere in the middle it flattens out so picking 12th isn't much more of a disadvantage than say picking 9th.
2) Draft strategy - Personally I consider picking twice in succession to be an extreme disadvantage. Some people like to 'set the tone' of the draft by picking on the ends but I've never seen it actually work because you are stuck waiting 23 picks before you go again. I like there to be at least a 4-5 pick wait between each rounds picks. That way if i like 3 players at a position about equally I can let that position slide a round and pick it on the next turn almost every time. I find this adds a lot of flexibility to the draft. So this one is a disadvantage for picks 1-2 and 11-12. This is also a bit harder to do in the very middle so this is a slight disadvantage for 6 and 7 as well, though not as big as for the ends.
3) First/Second round value - The early rounds are where the biggest gaps in player talent are. I think Pujols/Ramirez are a significant step above the rest and there are 7 or 8 other players who are a significant step above the 3rd group of players. That 3rd group of players lasts the entire 2nd round and part of the 3rd round though.
Combining those 3 factors I think the 12th pick is by far the worst this season. I'd probably want pick #1 or #2 but to be honest I'd just go in order this season. If I had a league where I had to decide which pick to get I'd just take the highest one left when my turn came around. There isn't much of a reason to take 11 or 12 and I don't think 10 is significantly better in any way than 9 or 8 etc.
This always seems to be a tough call every year. Personally, i'd like picks 1 or 2 for the obvious reasons, but if I can't get those, I think I'd like picks 8, 9, and possibly 10. Reason being there always seems to be 1 or 2 guys who reach for a pitcher and another guy who simply LOVES a player who shouldn't be picked where he picks him at.
That being said, by going in the later slots, you get one of those top 11 guys and still have a chance to get another one on the way back down.
This year, unlike in years past, seems pretty wide open though...can't wait till Opening day!
AussieDodger wrote:1 or 12. I like having back-to-back picks
Could you tell us why you like it? Is there some strategic reason or do you just like having a lot of time between picks?
The last couple of years I've done exclusively slow drafts and with the time difference between me and my league mates it makes me hold up the draft far far less. Also it's just more fun IMO to fill your team two players at a time.
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My preference seems unique to most here. I prefer to either have the 2-3 or 10-11 picks of the draft.
This gives me the unique advantage of being able to better project the next 3-5 picks that will be made and apply them and adjust the best available theory. Reading a GMs mind is great advantage; by looking at who they already have and what our shared needs are makes it easier for me to decide when it is wise to reach for a player over taking best available.
Example: lets say I have the 10th pick, Picks 3(10) 4(3). I'm looking to address 1B & 3B here, the 11th/12th (next 4 picks) already have 1B but also need 3B. Votto is the best 1B available, Zimm the best 3B. VEventhough Votto maybe the best available player, I can more safely risk taking the lesser player (Zimmerman) because odds are good the two GMs will overlook Votto and he will still be available when my pick comes back around.
If my pick is 5-8 I would be more compelled to take the best available (Votto) rather then risk taking the lesser player and hope Zimmerman will still be available 9-12 picks later.
As you read through this thread, many of the responses indicate a preference of draft position in concern for the first part of the draft. In each of my 12 team leagues we have 26 & 28 rounds of drafting. So I can’t justify picking a position unless it works well for the entire draft because our drafts are deep.
I think we all try to look for others mistakes in drafts, and smile when our targeted players fall to us for good value like the lucky squirrel that finds an acorn. I feel I get more chances for acorns when I draft at the 6-7 position. I know after my turn its 10 picks and then back to me, and when the snake goes the other way its 12 picks and then back to me, and I rarely ever have to reach for a player. In this fashion, I get a steady flow of my top targeted players throughout the draft due to the 3-5 & 8-10 range mistakes, and the end positions reaching too much. I know you can’t win a league on draft day, but I believe you can lose it when you are consistently reaching for players.