Pre-Rankings

Fantasy Football Definition of "Pre-Ranking"

"Pre-Rankings" is the word used to refer to preseason rankings of NFL players and defenses put together by the various "fantasy docs" around the world. A player's pre-ranking can have a serious impact on his ADP as well as your ability to sign him in your fantasy football drafts.

A player's pre season ranking is a complicated thing. Projections about a player's potential are made based on that player's "raw talent", their position on a team's roster (first string players will naturally be ranked higher than backups), their performances in past seasons, and (occasionally) their average draft position in mock drafts. Sounds complicated, and it is. If you ask five fantasy 'experts' for their top 5 players in pre-rankings you are likely to get a few different answers.

Looking at pre-rankings for the past few fantasy seasons you can see that pre-rankings are far from Holy Scripture. Try not to put too much emphasis on any one stat, including a player's "pre-rankings", when devising your draft strategy. I am not a big fan of the "pre-ranking", but because so many fantasy players treat it like gospel, you need to understand it.

That's because regardless of how you feel about pre-rankings, they will impact your league's fantasy draft. Let's say you have a middle to late pick in a league of a dozen players. You'll need to try and get in the heads of the managers ahead of you in order to figure out what players they will grab, and what guys you should plan on having access to. If any one of those guys ahead of you understands pre-rankings and follows the advice of pre-ranking strategists, you can pretty much predict who they're going to draft. If you see a guy make a textbook pre-ranking based draft selection, you can bet he'll make a similar pick in the rest of the draft as well. Congratulations, you are now in his head.

The danger of pre-rankings is that they are just like fantasy projections -- educated guesses about stats that are chock full of intangibles. Is a high pre-ranking QB prone to injury? Will a young RB come out of nowhere to put up monster fantasy numbers? Using traditional pre-ranking systems, these intangibles are completely ignored. Use pre-rankings if you want, but understand that no piece of fantasy football advice is bulletproof.

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