Draft Prepartion Tip No. 1: List Your Picks

Todd FarinoCorrespondent IFebruary 24, 2009

One of the biggest problems people have with drafting is preparation. Sure, you will have your favorite fantasy sites open to the cheat sheets, magazines ready to go, and some paper to write on.
We all study players for weeks before the draft, but the mistake we make is we don't make a list of the players we want to pick in time for the draft. Sort of a dream team with several choices in each position.
This blog will discuss the simple, but useful method of making a pre-draft pick list. After you have studied all the players or better yet while you are studying the players you think will be the best options for your team, write them done in sequential order for each position.
Say for 1B you have the following list: Mark Teixeira, Kevin Youkilis, Chris Davis, Joey Votto, and Mike Jacobs I think four to five players is fine. You could go deeper than that if you want to, but over preparing can be just as bad as under preparing.
Make a similar list for each infield position and catcher. For outfielders, make a list 15-25 outfielders . These guys go in bunches, so having at least 20 outfielders researched and selected will give you the best advantage when your sixty seconds comes up.
List 10 closers minimum and for starting pitchers make three lists; Aces, Stable Pitchers, and Sleepers/Breakouts. I would have 10 or more of each.
The reason you want to break up pitchers is to balance your rotation for at least the start of the season. You can have all aces and cheap sleepers you can draft, but you also must have your stable veteran pitchers who will do just about what is expected.
An even mixture of those types of pitchers is a winning formula. Once you have the lists completed and ready to go and you enter the draft room, you are now ready for most anything the draft can throw at you. Let's examine the first pick.
We will assume you have the second overall pick.
Hanley Ramirez is off the board. before the draft you probably determined a draft flow strategyfor which positions, player types, and scoring categories you would go for first if the option was available. We will do another blog of Draft Flow Strategylater this month.
You determined you want speed and power early and infield if possible. You look at your 3B list ( I assume players only qualify for the position they will play): David Wright, Aramis Ramirez, Chone Figgins, Edwin Encarnacion, and Melvin Mora.
You know David Wright is out there and he is speed and power. You check over your other lists and clearly he is the correct choice. Draft David Wright and cross him off your list. It's that simple.
Now, let's skip to the fifth round. Your first four picks were 3B, 2B, OF, OF. You pick is up. Lots of players are gone, but your lists are still intact. You check your information, your flow strategy, which was get infield early plus speed and power.
You then check the ADP and see guys that are going off the board at this time in the draft. Then you spot your pick looking at you 1B list. Mark Teixeira, Kevin Youkilis, Chris Davis, Joey Votto, and Mike Jacobs. There is your pick.
In the fifth round, you get Chris Davis. This strategy won't make you the best overall draft master, but it will give you an advantage to creating your dream team. In every position there are countless player combinations that can win.
If you trust your theories and research then use it along with your pick list to have a great draft. Don't be the guy that makes a critical draft mistake because 60 seconds wasn't long enough to research the best players in every position. Cut that work down into eight lists and I promise time will be on your side.
If you have any questions about draft strategy, email me at toddf@fantasybaseballsearch.com.