Beginner's Guide to Fantasy Football, Part 5: Draft Prep and Footballguys Tools

Our beginner's series highlights some of the site's tools to help fantasy football team owners succeed

A lot goes into draft prep. Luckily, there's a tool here for every job. Footballguys has built a suite of tools and applications that continues to evolve and improve every single year. These tools are invaluable in helping you prepare for your draft. We at Footballguys use these tools ourselves because of how valuable they are.

Preparing for your draft is a comprehensive affair. Don't be that person who buys a dated fantasy magazine three hours before your draft. Though our fine friends who publish those magazines do a great job -- and even feature Footballguys sometimes -- it takes more than flipping through sometimes months-old information to properly prepare. Using Footballguys tools will help you get to where you need to be by the time you sit down to draft.

EXPERT STAFF RANKINGS

You can always create your own set of player rankings, but that can be a time-consuming effort. Luckily, Footballguys has you covered. Our expert staff compiles and curates player rankings right here. You can sort through your favorite expert’s rankings or look at a conglomeration of our expert opinions. This may be the single biggest pre-draft time-saver on the web.

OFFENSIVE PROJECTIONS

For many of our experts, their rankings are based on offensive projections. Combining mathematical wizardry, past precedent, projected roles, and a host of other factors, Footballguys experts cultivate a set of projections for each team and individual offensive player in the league. The projections are updated as needed, usually when fresh information about a team or player comes out. Our expert projections can help you determine the value each player will have for your team, particularly during the draft. If you have come up with your own rankings, you can take these numbers and adjust those rankings based on your own research and intuition.

AVERAGE DRAFT POSITION (ADP)

Average draft position can be a divisive tool. It tells you where each player is being drafted on average. So, for example, if a player is being drafted as the first quarterback off the board with the 29th pick on average, you can reasonably expect that player to go as the top QB somewhere in the third round. ADP is divisive in the fantasy expert community because it can lead to rigid drafting strategy, but it can also give you insight into what your leaguemates are going to do during the draft. This tool also highlights the disparity between where a player is valued among fantasy owners versus where you or our experts have him ranked. So if you rank a running back 13th but he is going off the board 27th, you know you will probably be able to wait a round or two longer beyond where you have him ranked before taking him.

ADP is a great tool to help owners anticipate when a player will be taken in the draft. It is very helpful when an owner has a player ranked 7th in his rankings but the ADP of the player slots him as being the 27th player taken at his position. Knowing information such as this can really help an owner determine when to draft a player and when to hold off for another round or two.

NEWS BLOGGER

Scouting reports are vital during the offseason and preseason. Understanding the nuances of positional battles and the progression of players helps you adjust your rankings and gain insight into how much fantasy value they will ultimately provide.

Our news page is invaluable when it comes to tracking information for each player and NFL team. This will help you avoid unknowingly drafting or picking up an injured player, and it can give you a leg up on leaguemates when it comes to nabbing a backup who might be seeing starter level touches due to an injury. Scouring the news yourself could be a full-time job. Let Footballguys do it for you.

OFFENSIVE DEPTH CHARTS

Even if you are new to the fantasy football realm, you probably have a good idea of who the top skill players are on most teams. But what about the second and third receivers on the Oakland Raiders? Who is going to back up Ezekiel Elliott in Dallas this season? When Tyler Eifert gets injured again, which tight end should you be ready to pick up? Our frequently updated depth charts help fantasy owners know the answers to these questions before they are even asked.

VBD APPLICATIONS / DRAFT DOMINATOR

Of all the tools here at Footballguys, the Draft Dominator may be the coup de grace. The Value Based Drafting (VBD) tool is the Godfather of them all. Here is what Joe Bryant has to say about the VBD tool:

...This method is something I began evangelizing to the public way back in 1996 when guys like Keyshawn Johnson, Eddie George, and Marvin Harrison had yet to play an NFL down. It's called the Value Based Draft System (or VBD for short) and today, you'll find it's the hot ticket among serious FF Owners. Even among other writers. They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Let's just say I'm flattered and leave it at that. But my system has gained wide popularity for one reason: It works.

With my VBD system, you'll be able to finally place a tangible value on these players that makes sense to you. Always before, no one really knew if a quarterback throwing 22 touchdowns / 3000 yards is more valuable than a running back scoring 9 touchdowns / 1000 yards or a wide receiver posting 7 touchdowns / 1100 yards. Now you'll know.

I'm here to tell you that success in your Fantasy Football Draft is all about understanding "Peer Pressure". And I'm not talking about being the last guy on the planet to get a tattoo (that was last year) What I'm talking about is the surest way I know of to accurately place a value on Fantasy Football Players for your draft.

In it's simplest form: The value of a player is determined not by the number of points he scores, but by how much he outscores his peers at his particular position.

Think about it for a moment. The goal is not to score a ton of points. You can score a ton of points and still lose. The goal is to outscore your competition. In other words, the goal is to distance yourself ahead of the competition. How do you best do that? You do that by selecting players who outscore their peers, not necessarily the players who score a ton of points as you fill a roster with a specified number of players at specified positions. This is extremely important. Copy this and paste it somewhere prominent. It's the key to success in this game...

You can read the rest of that article here.

OTHER TOOLS AND FEATURES

In a nutshell, anything you may need you will likely find within the Tools section of the Footballguys site. If you need strength of schedule, past statistics, top 300 lists, dynasty rankings, rookie rankings, team reports, and/or articles on fantasy football strategy, all you have to do is sign up and reap the benefits of having a large staff of fantasy fanatics doing everything to help you succeed in this hobby.

Twitter

When all else fails, join Twitter.

Depending on your tastes and social media presence, you may already have years’ long experience on Twitter. Or you may have never joined the platform. Either way, Twitter can be a powerful tool for draft prep. Any information you may get about players will likely break on Twitter before it hits the airwaves, giving you an upper hand if your leaguemates aren’t hip. The key is to follow the right people. That includes many Footballguys, but there are a ton of great people to follow that give good insight, reports, and news.