Give me the middle. Back-to-back picks give you no control during a draft.
A popular drafting style is dividing players into tiers at each position. Your goal is to get as many players in the upper tiers as possible. Hypothetically, let's say you have Dunn, Sexson, and Delgado rated so close to each other that you don't care which one you get as long as you get one of them.
Drafting back-to-back means you have to wait 22 picks for your turn. That gives a bigger possibility that entire tiers worth of players can be drafted without you having a chance to grab someone you want. Runs will totally destroy your strategy.
Also, let's say you draft with the same group of friends annually. You will learn their drafting styles. Personally, I don't touch closers until the 10th round or later and for some reason tend to pick catchers early. Let's also say I'm drafting last and the person drafting right in front of me knows what I like. That person would be wise to draft a catcher on an odd round before I get my shot. Also any closer he wants, he can wait until an even round.
Take this to an even bigger extreme. Let's say you know all the other owners and their tendencies. You know this one guy who will take Scott Rolen in the 2nd. Another guy will take Zambrano in the 6th. Being in the middle allows you to narrowly beat them to their favorite players. Picking up someone elses sleeper right before they get a chance really throws them off kilter. Of course, they can do the same to you, so be careful how much your friends learn about you.
The same idea can be applied in a draft where you don't know the other owners very well. Let's say you have the 10th draft spot in the 12 team league. When it's your turn in round 5 and you need either a SS or a C, you can take a peak at teams #11 and #12. If they both have SS's but no C's, then you definately go after the next best C knowing full well that teams #11 and #12 would not touch the next best SS. That way, you get both players you want.
I hope that made some sense.
"And so he spoke, and so he spoke, that lord of Castamere. But now the rains weep o'er his hall, with no one there to hear." - The Rains of Castamere
Everybody has their own distinct preferences as to what position they like to draft.. My best advice to give is three fold
1. Do your homework pre-draft!!
2. Before you take your pick in the middle rounds look at the teams
between you and your next pick... see what positions they haven't drafted yet and how deep the positions are if you haven't taken that position either.. this way you can try to be ahead of the curve when a run on a postion starts
3. few leagues are won or lost in the first 10 rounds of the draft (or even the last ten) what wins leagues in my experience is the work you do during the season through FA and WW !
I have never finished a season with the same players I stared out with so draft position doesn't matter to me as far as how it affects my chances of winning. I do, however, like to draft in the middle so I don't have to wait so long in between picks. It keeps me more in tune with the draft.
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bleach has the best assessment i've seen so far. getting picks too close together makes you vulnerable to position runs and encourages you to reach. in general, the 6th or 7th draft spot would be the best (if not the least glamourous) spot to pick.
that said, if you're in a situation like fantasy basketball where there have been one or two guys who are far, far above everyone else in the league (a la garnett and kobe), then it can be quite useful to snag one of them early. this advantage usually dissipates later on in the draft, but there you go.
imo, it really just comes down to being able to select the best players available while simultaneously filling up your roster, and the best way to do this is with the maximum mobility on draft day. i believe this is accomplished, in general, by have the shortest gap between your picks.
of course, every draft is different, and in some drafts, the 11th dude to pick will just have things fall in place for him. but that's how it goes, and the best part is, you don't need to keep your roster for the whole season. last year, i think i had less than 10 players around for the whole season on my two flb teams, total. my fantasy hoops team had no one around from draft day last year. trades and WW are wonderful things.
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I havn't even read everything I've bought"
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Let's take a look at this NFBC mock draft in the other thread. With the first pick they took Pujols. With the 24th pick someone took Thome. Since that would make it two 1b's, let's go with the 25th pick, Schmidt (I would have taken Prior, personally).
With the 12th and 13th picks they took Santana and Rolen.
Now, I don't know about you fellas, but I would not trade Pujols and Schmidt for Santana and Rolen, but that is just my opinion.
If you had the sixth pick, Helton was the player taken, and at 18 went Renteria, but that was too high for him (although I like him a lot, you could have gotten him later) so we'll go with Beltre. So, Helton and Beltre are a lot closer to Pujols and Schmidt, but I would still rather have Pujols and Schmidt.
It is my opinion that in mixed leagues there is not a whole lot of difference between 12th and 24th, but there is a whole lot of difference between Pujols and Rolen. It is also my opinion that you really want a top 4 pick to snag what I think are the safest picks with the highest upside, Pujols, Guerrero, Beltran, or Helton. Failing that, a middle pick is the best option left. At the end of the first is the least desireable.
If you mean "does it make the difference between winning a league and losing it", then no...But if you mean "is it a factor" in winning then yes. Trades, FA and waiver wire acquisitions and how you use your picks are important too.
Last year, for example, many people on this board were talking about how great getting picks 1-3 would be (myself included), so that you could get AROD, Pujols, or Soriano. We had our reasons for thinking those would be great players, but Soriano obviously didn't merit such a high pick.
This year is a little different. For me, Pujols is the only guy that really stands out. I'd love to get the 1st pick and take Pujols. But if I don't (and I never do ) I'd rather pick at the end of the 1st round and grab 2 studs like Manny and Santana...
Bluto: Over? Did you say over? NOTHING is over until WE decide it is! Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? HELL, NO!
Boon: Forget it, he's rolling.
The way I see it is if you miss on either Pujols or Vlad (that is No. 1 or No.2 picks) then you are best placed later in the draft. I know there would be arguments to include Beltran in that elite group but IMO he is no better than Abreu.
No. 1 and No. 2 picks are clear cut and then No. 3 to about No. 12 -14 are all of similar value, and then it drops off again.
If you miss out on 1 or 2 you want to be very late in the draft to get 2 of the Top 12-14 players.
When you're right no one remembers, when you're wrong no one forgets - NZF
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Let's not forget one of the ADVANTAGES of being a bookend...
You can START a run.
Let's say you draft 12th out of 12, and the first five rounds goes as normal... the usual suspects...
Imagine the looks on your opponents faces when you take two top closers with the last pick of the fifth round and the first pick of the sixth.
This would be you:
This would be everyone else:
Now imagine the run on relief pitchers, and when it comes back to you, imagine you taking the last two really good corner infielders, the last two infielders capable of hitting thirty or so home runs.
This would be you, with a victory cigar:
This would be everyone else, stuck with guys with names like Hinske and Hillenbrand to man the corners:
Now after they fill out their infields, imagine you double tapping the very best of the starting pitchers... oh look Vazquez... Brown... guys like that with talent on very good teams... Barry Zito anyone?
This would be you with five good starting pitchers:
This would be the other guys, at the wrong end of the last decent starting pitcher run:
I laugh at the idea of not being able to control a draft at the bookend position.