The Gut Check No.512: Waldman's 2020 Draft Tiers

It's time...

It's Time...

I've written enough about players this summer. I have comments on almost every ranking. The Upside designation for the players in the Draft Dominator and Top 250? I write those.

And, there are all the Gut Check articles from this summer. You should know where I stand with most of these players. Let's put the pieces of the puzzle together.

How the Tiers Work

The tiers are based on 12-team PPR formats. I will not be doing a non-PPR tier.

The Obvious: Each tier is ordered based on the ADPs of players.

  • First Tier: Rounds 1-2
  • Second Tier: Rounds 3-5
  • Third Tier: Rounds 6-8
  • Fourth Tier: Rounds 9-11
  • Fifth Tier: Rounds 12-15

The No-So-Obvious: The players within each tier are not ranked in the order that I prefer them. They are ranked close to a mid-August Average Draft Position (ADP).

The Significance of "Round?": The Round (Rnd) is either where that player is getting drafted or my calculated "sweet spot" between my value of that player and his ADP. You'll either notice a straightforward number (1 = first round, 2 = second round, etc.) or you will see initials and numbers combined.

  • E1 = Early portion of the first round.
  • M1 = Middle part of the first round.
  • L1 = Late part of the first round.
  • M2/L3 = The sweet spot for that player, depending where you draft is between the middle of the second and late part of the third round.
  • Rd 16-20 = The range of the player's ADP is wide enough in the later rounds that you should plan to draft him between rounds 16-20.

These sweet spot estimations are exactly that...estimations. If you value the player as I do or more, you may want to draft him earlier if you look at these tiers and decide you like 2-3 players from one tier and could acquire more of them if you deviate from ADP conventions and build a reach or two into your plan.

After the First Tier there are tables to the right of the rest of the tiers with names from previous tiers: That's right, these players listed to the right are players from previous tiers whose sweet-spot values are lower than their tier. It means I value these players significantly higher than your ADP and you can get them later.

In other words, it's merely a reminder that these players from higher tiers should earn the highest priority of consideration if you agree or trust my valuation of them.

What about players with "Round" values higher than the tier they're in? These are players where I ranked them slightly lower than their tier but I value their upside enough to keep them off the No-Fly List.

In this case, I'm hoping they fall to me a little lower than my projected round valuation of where to take them. A good example of Dak Prescott. Prescott could get selected as early as the fifth round but I'd prefer not to take him at least until the sixth round.

What's this No-Fly List?

I wrote an article about my 2020 No-Fly List of players that I won't be considering for drafts unless they fall well below I could reasonably project their drop in value. Here's my current list so you can decide whether you want to add them back into these tiers on your own.

The "Rnd" is the round where I would have valued them. "MW" is my exact value. "ADP" is Average Draft Position. And "Diff." is the difference between my value and ADP.

I create a curve so the deeper we get into the draft, the wider the difference between my value and the ADP had to be for these players to wind up on this No-Fly List.

One Last Thing about the list: I will add many of these players back into my own draft plans based on slight changes to scoring or lineup formats that use more than one quarterback, four receivers, and three running backs. 1.5 PPR scoring for tight ends would also lead me to put the tight ends on this list back into my draft plan.

Players that I will often consider in my draft plans against top competition where I will employ less conventional builds are in bold on this list. My tiers are designed to be safer than the crazy things with my draft plans against fantasy writers or in highly competitive leagues.

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