The consensus rookie rankings at Footballguys are one of the strongest features we produce each season. However, despite embedded commentary, the consensus rankings can be light on context. If you look carefully, you can see tiers, but it can be difficult to compare players within their position and across multiple positions.
Knowing Player X is the consensus RB3 is clear from the rankings. Knowing how nearly Player X was to being ranked RB2 or RB6, or how Player X compares to the WR5 or TE1 or LB2 is much less clear.
I prefer a more visual approach, one that tiers players by position but also shows the value of one position relative to another across my draft board.
NOTES ON THE DRAFT BOARD
**The first version of this feature is based on limited information. Coaching comments, mini-camp observations, debate within the fantasy community, and the clarity that comes from testing this board in my own drafts will bring changes to future versions.
**I build this draft board with the following league parameters in mind: 12-14 teams, PPR, balanced IDP scoring, and full IDP lineups that include defensive tackles and cornerbacks. The commentary that follows the draft board will sometimes address modifications for leagues that provide bonuses for tight end scoring, big play IDP systems, etc.
**There may be more than 12-14 players listed in a given draft round. (This is particularly true this year between the late second and mid fourth range.) That's a function of the tiering approach. It's also a natural reflection of the wide range of ADP valuations we always see as a rookie draft moves into the deeper rounds. In some years, there may be fewer than 10-12 players in a draft round. Drafting trends may change from year-to-year, but it’s important to recognize when it’s more correct to trade for a future pick than to reach for a clearly less valuable talent now.
**This board reflects my personal drafting philosophy. I prioritize upside over floor within tiers. I'm willing to accept a higher bust risk in all rounds. I prefer to draft players who are likely to be successful sooner if other variables are equal. And I'm not afraid to trust my evaluations of defensive players and draft a second tier IDP over a third tier offensive prospect -- regardless of positional scarcity.
**I do not personally evaluate offensive skill position prospects. I spend the majority of my preparation watching and discussing defensive prospects. The offensive columns of this draft board are informed by the in-depth process and work of Matt Waldman, Matt Harmon, Sigmund Bloom, Cecil Lammey, as well as Josh Norris, Dane Brugler, Emory Hunt, Charles McDonald, and Justis Mosqueda. I have also relied on the rankings of Bob Henry and Jason Wood at Footballguys for years. If you have other evaluators on your short list and they differ greatly from this board, tweak accordingly.
The draft board is designed to be read top to bottom and left to right. Each position is tiered from top to bottom in its own column. Separations within the columns represent relative tiers and the players are ranked by preference within those tiers. Relative value between positions can be tracked from left to right. The "suggested" draft rounds are based on my view of a player's value, with some consideration given to keeping the number of players with a given draft round grade to a reasonable total.