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A mock draft is the equivalent of Fantasy Football batting practice. Without it you still might hit a home run, but you might also take a huge swing and miss.

On the other hand, with plenty of batting practice, you will be more prepared for whatever curve ball your real draft throws you.

I am not breaking any Taylor Swift-boyfriend news with any of this. We all know mock drafts help prepare you for the real thing.

The real question is how to maximize your effort. I mean, you would not take 100 swings at low-speed fastballs just trying to hit home runs.

You want to see all the different types of pitches possible. You also want to try to hit the ball to all portions of the field. This way, when the pitch dictates you going opposite field, you are ready and prepared for it.

How to Mock Draft

Before diving in to the mock draft pool, it is paramount to have a plan. Every now and then a quick mock draft while killing time can be fun. It is just not as helpful as a strategy-filled mock.

It is nice to have at least a preliminary cheat sheet in hand. It is even nicer to have your draft slot.

Either way, you want to have the most current preparation for each mock draft. If you don’t treat it like a real draft then there is nothing to be gained.

 

Mock Draft Medium

I have written before and I will write again: the FantasyPros Mock Draft Wizard tool is the best way to mock. Not only is it the best, but it is the fastest.

You can complete a complete mock draft in just a few minutes. The tool also allows for analysis of the mock draft as well as the ability to change a pick and start over from that point.

Some of the features with the tool are for premium subscribers. I promise you it will be the best money you have spent.

With that said, the Wizard is not the only tool a Fantasy Player should use. I find that using the website that my league is hosted on provides good information.

The first 15-20 players will be about the same no matter which site you play on. However, in the middle-to-late rounds, there are some drastic differences in rankings.

While none of us utilize the site’s stock rankings as our draft list, I would be lying if they still don’t have an effect. Just because your third round target is showing up in the sixth round area does not mean he will still be there.

By using your league’s host site for some of your mock drafting, you can see how their rankings affect draft positioning.

 

Preparing For Different Pitches

Predicting and projecting Fantasy players is a problematic endeavor. No one will ever get it all right.

You know what’s even harder than those prognostications? Predicting how a Fantasy Draft will unfold. No one knows exactly which players that your league mates like more or less than their ADP.

Because of this unpredictability, just like a baseball pitch, you have to be ready for anything. You want to see as many different draft scenarios as possible.

This calls back to preparing for each possible draft slot if you don’t know yours already. You also need to have different strategies ready. Just because you wanted to start with WR/WR, it does not mean that the draft will throw you a pitch with which this is the right course of action.

If the majority of the league is using the same strategy as you, then you have to remain flexible. Mock drafts will show these different strategies in play.

 

Deep Sleepers

 

Everyone has their own personal late-round flyers. These are those guys that are not taken in every draft, but may provide solid value if the situation presents itself.

The problem with this type of player is when to draft them. These guys do not fall within normal ADP or rankings to be drafted. Their positioning is much harder to predict.

Having as many mock drafts as possible under your belt can help you see when your own flyers can be taken. I have said before to not fall in love and over-draft these guys. But you do need to see when the rug can be pulled out from under you.

If your guy is getting drafted more often than not, you know that you have to pull the trigger a round or two sooner. If you notice him not getting drafted at all in the mocks, you can wait longer.

Obviously this is not a guarantee. Someone in your league could like your late-round flyers even more. It will, however, give you more information.

 

Fake Drafts and Real Information

Information is what you are gaining by doing mock drafts. I am a believer that the amount of Fantasy Football information has hit a plateau between players..

We all are using the same type of analytics and statistics. The difference is how we develop our own strategy from this information.

By participating in as many mock drafts as possible, you can gain an upper hand in the information war. The key is to capture and utilize this information.

I am not advocating keeping track of every single pick made in each of your drafts. I do, however, advise keeping notes on how each strategy worked out and where your swings connected and missed.

 

Mock Draft Away!

Remember these tips as you prepare for your draft:

  • Participate in as many mock drafts as possible, but use real strategy: don’t just waste time.
  • Use both Draft Wizard and your league’s website.
  • Practice all your different strategies from different draft positions.
  • Take notice of how early and how late you can try to grab your deep sleepers.
  • Compile this information into a notated, easy and quick to read version that can help you decipher the Da Vinci Code that is your Fantasy Draft.

Mock drafts are not just for wasting time. They can be the key to finding the best value with each of your picks and developing the most efficient strategy for your real draft day.

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