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Online Fantasy Football Mock Drafts

A fantasy football mock draft is a simulated draft performed in anticipation of a coming live fantasy football draft. Mock drafts help fantasy owners practice under similar conditions to what will exist on draft day.

A player can enter online mock drafts with the same basic scoring rules and the same number of teams as they will have in their official fantasy league, while selecting a draft where they select in the same spot they expect to draft from in their real draft.

Individual Mock Drafts

Some fantasy football league owners will get together with one or two players in their local league and have their own mock draft. Using experience with the other owners in the league, those participating in the mock draft will not only draft for their team, but a select number of other teams in their league, using tendencies in past years to try to predict what the rival owners will do.

This gives those players involved in the mock draft process some idea who might be available when they draft in each round. Knowing who is likely to be available in each round helps a player craft a strategy based on draft tendencies.

Even more common is the individual mock draft one fantasy owner performs, trying to speculate who will end up selecting whom in their local draft. Usually, these players will only draft for the first 4 to 8 rounds, after which the selections become increasingly speculative. Given the unpredictable nature of fantasy football drafts, any mock draft is going to prove inaccurate at predicting what will happen in the live draft, when owners are on the clock and some are inevitably less informed than others.

Still, I know one owner who keeps a notebook of mock drafts every year, creating new mocks as the fantasy football news comes in from training camps. He also does up mock drafts to see the potential value of trading up or down in the draft, or trading for extra (or fewer) picks.

Because these mock drafts are conducted by 1 to 3 owners in the league, a person’s own prejudices about NFL players or league owners are likely to slip into the drafting process, making the eventual accuracy of these picks unlikely. Still, a mock draft of this type can sketch a broad outline of what a draft is going to look like, so the owner is less likely to be surprised on draft day.

Online Mock Draft

Most mock drafts are online mock drafts performed on various fantasy football websites online. Simply find a mock draft site on the Internet, sign up under a log-in name and join a mock draft. Select the scoring system, starting lineups and roster requirements which most closely resemble you league, then draft when your time comes.

Generally, these fantasy football mock drafts will include 10-12 different drafters, and each will have a certain amount of time (12 hours is common) to make their selections. In the mock draft, one or two teams will invariably stop drafting, which means the site’s fantasy football computer database is likely to draft for that team off an “ADP” list.

(You can find mock drafts that only allow a minute or two to select, if you prefer a less laid-back, more immediate mock draft simulation.)

Mock Draft ADP List

ADP stands for “Average Draft Position”, and simply drafts the next player on a list of average positions drafted during all the drafts performed on that website. While this keeps mock drafting from coming to a complete halt, the ADP lists are self-reinforcing, so you’re likely to have players rise and fall less quickly (as fantasy football updates happen throughout the summer) than they would otherwise.

Once again, the online mock draft has reasons it’s not entirely a gauge of where the fantasy football public would draft a player on that day, on average.

That being said, online ADP lists offer a nice snapshot of what the average fantasy football player is thinking. Since mock drafts tend to draw the most dedicated and studied fantasy football team managers, they are likely to put some thought into their selections and the ADP list will be pretty solid. ADP lists are good references.

In fact, I have a friend in one online keeper league who can’t get to the computer much during August, but wants to continue playing in our league. So he sets up draft preferences for each round (by position), then simply sets autoselection pick from our fantasy football league management site’s ADP list. Strangely, this has drafted better teams the last three years than he likely would have drafted for himself.

Fantasy Football Mock Draft Resources

So fantasy football mock drafts can be used as a valuable tool for someone getting ready to draft in their local league. You can use mock drafts to practice being “on the clock”. You can use fantasy mock drafts to study the tendency of your opponent and get an idea of what you’ll have to select from when it comes your turn in the high rounds. Or you can look at the online mocks to see exactly what the rest of the fantasy football world thinks about the players you’ll be drafting this year.

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