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Thread: What's your favorite draft position? And Why?

  1. #1
    4T2's Avatar
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    Default What's your favorite draft position? And Why?

    Mainly focused on one-year leagues here for obvious reasons.

    Do you prefer drafting first overall? Mid-round? Near the turn? Given your choice, what draft slot would you choose?
    Without me, it's only "aweso".

  2. #2
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    Default Re: What's your favorite draft position? And Why?

    Statistically, 1st overall. Normal (gaussian) distribution of statistics suggest that the "extreme" data is fewest in quantity.
    Thus, there will typically be largest separation between "highest/best" and "next highest/best"... and then data gets tighter and tighter towards average/typical/common events/data.
    [This is easily seen by looking at NHL scoring from any given year... it may look like this: 105, 100, 96, 94, 93, 92, 92... something like that. Biggest gap between highest, properly evidenced if you gathered, say, 10 years of data, grouped the top scorers together and averaged it... grouped the 2nd highest, and averaged that... grouped the 3rd highest and averaged that... you'd see the difference between spots tightening.)

    For fantasy hockey, 1st overall, statistically (/proven) is the correct answer - despite what some people may say they "prefer".

    Personally, for me, order of choice would be:
    1. 1st
    2. 2nd
    3. 3rd
    4. 4th
    (then there is a hitch, that I use to my favour)
    5. Two spots off "the turn"
    6. Three spots off "the turn"
    7. "The turn" (meaning LAST PICK in round 1, FIRST PICK in round 2)
    8. 5th
    9. 6th
    etc... (*This based loosely on a 12-team draft... in a 24-team draft, I'd probably want 5th/6th/7th/8th... before jumping out to wanting those "off the turn" picks)

    If you are INCREDIBLY keen (yes, I'm backpatting), then drafting "just off the turn" can have tactical advantage in fantasy hockey snake-style drafts.
    I've been tracking this for years in One-Year Leagues.

    Say you are Team C... and the draft is coming back to you, then Team B & A will draft inside your picks.
    If Team B & A don't have a goalie yet, you might realize that they will both be NEEDING/WANTING a goalie at their pick.
    So if YOU need/want a goalie + skater in those two picks... then you should be going GOALIE... B/A/A/B... then SKATER.

    Conversely, if Team B & A already seem to have their goalies... and are likely to take skaters...
    There, you may go SKATER... knowing they will pass on goalies... and then take your GOALIE after the turn.

    I also like the turn in fantasy hockey when drafting a goalie-tandem is CRITICAL.
    I hate nabbing one goalie in a 50-50 situation and not getting the 2nd goalie.
    Carolina was my team for that this year - which turned out to be a good bet. Also Florida goalie I wanted - didn't turn out so well.
    Only LOCK place you can draft all 82gp from a goalie-team is at the turn. But you don't get the ++ strategy of knowing what people "inside" your picks might do.

    I've used this well in past one-year drafts for 3+ years now.
    Anyways - that's my 2 cents... (since I consider the forums a small fun community to share knowledge... and not personal-guard tactics... even when I know for which league it applies, wink/nod).

  3. #3
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    Default Re: What's your favorite draft position? And Why?

    6/7 in a 12 team. I prefer never missing more than 12 picks in a row.
    That said. I've won 1yrs at some point or another from every draft position there is.

    On the turn you need to be more savvy in your picks. And really dig for that value. An entire tier can disappear before it comes back to you.
    Or even two tiers of a position G/D
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  4. #4
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    Default Re: What's your favorite draft position? And Why?

    For me it can depend on the league and the settings. If I have a choice, I'll usually try to map out the first 4-5 rounds with some targets, and sort out what draft position is most likely to land me those guys. You can start with targets or a strategy, and go from there.

    That being said, I usually default to either the end of a tier (say top 5 this year in a ROTO multicat - Crosby, McD, MacK, Ovie, Kuch), or I go straight to the second pick off the turn.

    As much as first is supposed to be the "best" spot statistically, it's my least favourite. You get one pick, watch the first two rounds go, and then you're directly on a turn the entire draft.
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    Default Re: What's your favorite draft position? And Why?

    1st or last overall. I hate getting a mid draft pick. I always finding myself guessing - will player x be available next round ect. I just feel more comfortable making back to back picks all the time.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: What's your favorite draft position? And Why?

    Every year and every league bring a new inflection point. Generally, the shallower the league, the higher I want to be to the top (1, 2, 3).
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  7. #7
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    Default Re: What's your favorite draft position? And Why?

    Middle of the pack for me..just because I dont like waiting a long time between picks like 1st or last in a snake draft.
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  8. #8
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    Default Re: What's your favorite draft position? And Why?

    Love P7's take and while I don't see it exactly the same - I think the underlying reasoning is spot on.

    In a points-only format, yeah if you can grab one of the top 3-4 picks you're typically getting an advantage over the other drafters. As P7 noted, once you get past the first few "outliers", the difference really starts to shrink, making it (almost) negligible, save for perhaps a slight advantage when it comes to drafting track record and less-injury risk.

    If it's NOT points-only though, first and foremost, my choice would be influenced by the particular draft strategy I want to try out that year. Often my draft position winds up informing my strategy... but if I get to choose my draft slot... then I want the slot that will (ideally) optimize the strategy I'm trying out.

    Where I really agree with P7 - although not in the same way of wanting to draft a few spots off the turn - is that for me, draft position would be HEAVILY influenced by the other GM's I'm drafting against. Being able to have an educated guess on the targets/favourites/tendencies of your fellow GM's is where I think the GREATEST advantage is to be found.

    Like EB noted, if you can map out the first 4-5 rounds, plus you know you the majority of your competitors are "likely" to lean towards - you can (theoretically) select a slot that would offer you the greatest chance at maximizing options. (e.g. positional scarcity)

    In that case, I'd personally prefer to be dead in the middle (or close to it), minimizing picks between mine, thereby maximizing (again theoretically) the likelihood that a guy in my "tier" is going to be around (as Luca mentioned). At least through the first 4-5 rounds.

    In really competitive leagues, this is obviously much tougher, as savvy GM's will switch up their draft strategies/tendencies year-to-year. (Although almost every league has a few GM's who are pretty consistent in their draft approach).

    Oh - and while P7 is correct on locking down the 50/50 tandem only at the turn... some GM's actually like drafting a starting goalie too (JK Peng!)

    One final thought:
    There is that "line" in every draft, where the group of guys you really want/value are gone. Let's say there's the top 100 guys you rank, and then after that, you'd be fine taking player A or player B based on remaining needs.

    I want the maximum number of picks possible inside that first window.

    In a 12-team snake, pick 100 lands 4 picks into Round 9. So I'd want to be drafting 1,2,3,4 to ensure I had that max number of picks before hitting 100.
    Whereas if my window ends at pick 110, I'd want to be drafting 11,12, giving me max number before hitting 110.

    Inexact to be sure - but at least I know I can go 9 (or 10 or however many) rounds deep and be certain to get guys I value.
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  9. #9
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    Default Re: What's your favorite draft position? And Why?

    I like middle of the league, I like consistent drafting rather than drafting 2 real fast and waiting forever with first or last pick...

  10. #10
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    Default Re: What's your favorite draft position? And Why?

    I normally prefer the mid-picks myself but it depends on the size of the league.

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  11. #11
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    Default Re: What's your favorite draft position? And Why?

    Mathematically it is hard to argue with Pengwin7 (EVER!)

    That being said I have 2 thoughts about draft position. Generally I like the middle somewhere between 4-9. I have one main draft every year and find having a consistent pick allows me to: keep up with drafted players, track my own needs, never have a huge gap to miss a tier of players and not panic when I have 2 picks close together (alcohol often becomes a factor in the later rounds).

    At the same time, I believe that knowing the current player makeup and the tenancies of my league real value can be acquired in the first few rounds in a few key spots. Given the current players in the NHL, looking at next year's draft I would really like in order:
    9th pick
    8th pick
    4th pick
    3rd pick

    Then fill in 5,6,7 then 2,1 then 11, 12
    My entire preference for the 8/9 slot is predicated on acquiring one player - Brad Marchand. Marchand is just scary good in multi-category leagues, Marchand was #3 with Dobber's predictions pre-season and ended the season as #1 according to FHG. Yet he's not a "superstar" so always falls to #9/10 or later. If I draft at 4/5/6/7 I should really take him (even at 1/2/3!), but I know I can get him at 8/9. Also, having a few more sexy guys off the board makes it easier to take him at 8/9 because a MacKinnon is not staring me in the face. Last draft I ended up with the #5 pick, Crosby and Marchand fell to me, I knew the math was saying Marchand but I took Crosby, Crosby had a fine season but I made the "sexy" pick over the correct pick.

    The 2nd half to this equation is the 2nd round. The last few years I've felt like there was about 18-20 really good picks and then some risk creeps in. Getting Marchand at 9 leaves me much better options at pick #16 then if I take him at 4 and pick at 20.

    The reason I want a 3/4 pick is because I believe there is a "big-4" who are the best players and who are going to go top-4: McDavid, Kucherov, Ovechkin, MacKinnon (in no particular order). Next year I can guarantee that McDavid will go #1 and Kucherov #2, nothing wrong with that they are studs and good picks. But 3/4 allows me to acquire a stud as valuable (Ovy and MacKinnon out ranked McDavid in FHG) and keeps me off the turn and gets me a 2nd round pick a few spots higher.
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