Mock Draft Mayhem – 5 Reasons to Mock Alone

You don’t need Tom Smykoswki’s people skills to get your mock draft on.  Fantasy Football Mock Draft Rooms are up and running again on ESPN.com and I’ll give you 5 good reason you should be honing your draft craft alone.

“I have people skills! I am good at dealing with people! Can’t you understand that? What the hell is wrong with you people?” – Tom Smykowski (from Office Space)

#1 You need to learn the ins and outs of your league’s draft room.

From a technical standpoint you need to know that your operating system supports the draft application from your league’s host site.  Every year sites update their systems and the look of their draft rooms.  Before you can start selecting sleepers you need to learn how to find them.  Figure out how to search for players by name, team, position, and ranking.  The last thing you want on draft day is to end up with a time lapsed, auto-draft selection instead of a hidden gem.

Always use a strong internet connection and learn the logistics before you take on the opposition.  Your fellow mock drafters will appreciate you working out the bugs on your own time.

#2 Mocking solo teaches you to be quick on your feet.

It goes hand in hand with Reason #1.  The time alloted for each pick is already condensed in mock draft formats.  When you mock alone the time between picks is significantly reduced due to the accelerated pace of the auto-draft feature.  This is excellent preparation for making better decisions on draft day when time is on your side.

#3 Recognizing the need to reach for sleepers.

Nowadays we all have access to the same articles on sleeper picks and draft day steals.  The fact is that this information is completely useless unless it gives you an edge over the competition. In order to stay ahead of the curve, you must develop a feel for each player’s value relative to your spot in the draft.

Mock drafting alone is an excellent way to learn because it guarantees your simulated draft position and reduces the likelihood that highly ranked players will fall easily into your graces.  You can better recognize patterns in your preferred drafting style by practicing against predictable, rankings based AI opponents.

After several practice runs you’ll start to identify the players you’re continually missing out on because of pre-draft rankings.  The end result is a better understanding of when sleepers (and handcuffs) are worth reaching for.

Capitalizing on mid to late round value (and a little luck) wins championships.  If you develop strong convictions about a sleeper, back it up with your draft day actions.  Be aggressive in your mock drafts.  Practice reaching a little earlier for touted sleepers.  Invest the time in learning how to draft against the rankings before you introduce human error into the equation.

#4 Avoiding auto-draft after a few rounds.

We all have our own motives when it comes to mock drafting.  Some people only want to practice the first few rounds so they bail after a couple of warm up laps.  Others will abandon a mock draft as soon as things don’t go their way. Both situations put a kink in the draft ranking helix and leave the avid mocker drafting against half assembled cyborg opponents.

The integrity of the mock draft is ruined when the computer makes selections based on empty roster slots rather than perceived value.  Not to mention, leaving a mock draft without clicking the auto-draft button is a party foul. The only way to avoid auto-draft donkeys is to mock alone.

#5 Avoiding mock draft mockery.  

The only thing worse than #4 is #5.  We have all been in mock drafts where our human counterparts find entertainment value in selecting kickers, defenses, and Tim Tebow ahead of their time. Good for them.

I will leave you with this quote from English journalist and political philosopher William Godwin.

Study with desire is real activity; without desire it is but the semblance and mockery of activity. – William Godwin

Happy Mock Drafting!

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Photo courtesy of http://matthagen.org/?cat=1

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