What Are Mock Drafts?
As the name suggests, a mock draft is a simulated fantasy draft experience where players can practice their draft strategy without pride or money being on the line. Conducted before a league’s official draft takes place, mock drafts give new players a chance to thoroughly familiarise themselves with the process and experienced ones the opportunity to experiment with the order of their picks.
Mock drafts are an incredibly popular resource for most dedicated fantasy sports players, especially during their favoured sport’s off-season, as they allow them to cement their approach to the real thing, monitor what picks other players are making and identify trends going into the new season. In addition to hosting regular drafts, mock draft websites also compile a host of useful data on picks.
What Are The Benefits?
The main benefits of entering a mock draft are twofold: firstly, in cementing your overall strategy and the order of your picks and secondly in identifying which under-the-radar players are proving popular with fellow users. Indeed, with most mock draft sites recording each player’s average draft position, it’s easy to get a pre-season heads-up on which stars are likely to go first in the real thing.
Furthermore, if you’re entirely new to the world of draft fantasy sports, entering a few mock drafts before your chosen league’s draft day will (hopefully) ensure that you don’t get stuck with a team of turkeys when the season begins. By outlining a basic strategy for which players and which positions you’ll pick first, you’ll not only improve your own chances – you’ll hamper the opposition’s too.
Mock Draft Strategy
Studying a player’s average draft position is key to planning a successful mock (and real) draft strategy. By drawing out a list of players that you believe will be key performers over the course of a season and determining how quickly they’re likely to be snapped up, you can weight your own picks accordingly; prioritising big hitters early in the draft and swooping in for the value picks later on.
Try experimenting with draft pick orders that are both top-heavy (i.e. designed to secure several ringers early on at the expense of later picks) and more balanced (foregoing the obvious superstars in favour of a well-rounded team) to see which approach leaves you with the better line-up. Be warned, however, that if one of your opponents drafts a kicker or back-up quarter-back as their top pick, your control conditions have been blown and the mock draft will not reflect the real thing.
Mock drafts are a great way for new players to familiarise themselves with the draft process in fantasy sports and also provide plenty of opportunity for experienced competitors to refine their draft strategy. Regular use of mock draft websites can not only help you determine the best way to structure your picks, but also identify popular players that may not have originally been on your radar. If you are intending to draw solid conclusions from your mock draft, however, make sure the other players are taking it seriously and that the results are in keeping with average draft positions.