February 22, 2010

My Draft Process

I might not have been on this Earth for all that long, but I've done my fair share of fantasy drafts. I've done in-person, on the computer and slowly on message boards. I've called out bids in auction drafts, and gone traditional with serpentine. Roto, H2H, Points, the combinations to your fantasy baseball league can be endless, and I've done my best to explore all of the different settings to find what I like best. With that, this is the way I like to play, from setting myself up for a championship to the day of the draft.

Spreadsheets, spreadsheets, spreadsheets. I use Excel more than I use Word, which probably explains some of the grammatical mistakes I make here... and unfortunately, in my school work. I put together a list of my rankings, alongside those of magazines or sites I find reputable. I usually use a simple formula to help weight the different rankings, thus giving me a list that is not just my picks, helping to minimize any biases I might have.
Probably the most useful feature within this sheet, is the ability to filter by position. From there, all I need to do is assign numbered tiers to each of the players, and voila the tiers section is done. This comes in handy the most during the middle to late rounds, when you need to know who you would still be happy with starting on your team at a position in need.
Finally, the newest addition to my rankings spreadsheet, and my favorite thus far, is a list for each team, where their picks can be recorded. After that, I set up a conditional formatting setting for the lists, to work with the rankings so that each selected player will be crossed off the sheet. If you want to know how to do this, leave me a message and I'll be more than happy to help you get a sheet like this.
After that, its time to pick a league.

League Settings that I like:
First off, there is nothing better than having a group of people that you know, and can be competitive with in your league. Everyone has been in the league where it is down to 2 people at the end of the season, because the others forgot it was there. Plus, the best part of knowing your opponent is the trash talk. There's nothing better than telling the guy who is right behind you in the standings that if you win you're taking his sister out to dinner.
Now, with these friends, I usually like to keep leagues at the standard 12 teams. Otherwise, a lot of the advice you will find out on the internet won't mean much to you, and it is a number that will leave you with your fair share of talent, while making you work to fill out your roster with sleepers.
After that, I like to play roto more than anything. Yes, Head-to-Head allows for more trashtalking and is a bit more exciting on a day to day basis. But let's face it, rotisserie is a season long challenge that makes you pay close attention to your team at all times. I feel a lot more accomplished winning a roto league rather than streaming pitchers or punting categories in H2H.
The last thing I've really started to enjoy are keeper leagues. This is one way to not only get to know your leaguemates from year-to-year, but also adds another twist to the game, as you don't just have to know what's going on in the league this year, but down the road as well.

Draft Day:
Finally, the day has arrived, its right up there with getting your driver's license and going to prom (I'm only 20 mind you, so in a year or so I'm sure I'll have better analogies). But this is the time to put all of the hard work back in the preparation section to work. All that I bring to draft day with me is my laptop, or a printed out version of my list so I wont look like too big of a nerd. Other than that, I'll bring something to drink and a relaxed mind. While live is definitely the way to go, since you can actually carry real conversations with your draftmates, online works well just because everyone doesn't have to be in the same place. Let's face it in this age, that's near impossible. But after that, just enjoy yourself. The game is meant to be fun, and I always remind myself of that. Just sit back, relax and lay an absolute whooping on everyone else.