Here is the truthof rating draft choices... it can't be done.†Not with any real certainty anyway, if we're being honest and practical.
That doesn't meanyou can't have a winning plan, however.†Most winning drafting strategies react to the draft as it progresses,whereas drafting from a pre-determined top 400 is a 'sure fire' loser, becauseit doesn't take your clubs need at positions in account.
To try anddetermine the 'best' overall pick of the draft, is futile for many reasons, notthe least of which is the particular rules of your FFL, and how they relate tothe way that your players will be scored.
Each season therewill be a few obvious upper echelon players that will succeed, as well asseveral others that will 'step up' to previously unseen performance levels,while others that will remain consistently mediocre, an still others that willfail miserably.
The reasons forthis disparity of performance are relatively obvious. They are in part due totalent, in part due to surrounding cast, part is the teams offensivephilosophy, part is schedule, and in part due to just plain luck.
The following'rules of thumb' are not written in stone, as there will always be exceptions.Occasionally players may actually go from the average to the 'upper crust' ofplayers, while some players will have career years, with no particular rhyme orreason, never to find that groove again. Remember, they will be as rare as a'Kurt Warner come out of nowhere' appearance.
Which leads us tomy solution. The 'tiered' system.
#1] The first tierof players are the can't misses.... the players who lead the league,continuously hover near that 'rarified air', or who certainly will be, by theseasons end. These are the players everyone talks about, yet few are able todraft, yet rarely bringing FFL championships by themselves. These are also theplayers that will always be FFL team leaders, usually to be found among yourleagues highest scoring players at their position.
#2] The secondtier are the 'step-up' players, who are ready to make the leap to a higherlevel of play, or to return to the top tier, after injury, replaced coaching orother circumstance beyond their control. While some may be former first tierplayers, who thru injury, age, or club attrition, will never return to thatlevel of play again. Expect these players will always be near your leagues topscoring players at their position.
#3] The nextlevel, or third tier will be the majority, and is the middle of the road tier.These players will likely have average/workmanlike seasons... not too good,nothing too bad...not really horrible, yet nothing to 'write home about', andcertainly nothing to build a team around. These will always be the majority ofplayers. Steady and true in many ways they are the most predictable, yet theirscoring will be as much determined each week more by the variables of thematch-ups (team or personal injuries, opposing defense, offensive game plan,weather, etc.) as their actual performances on the field.
#4] The final tieris the bottom rung, these players either have careers needing time to develop,or for others, it is time to find a brand new career. Some of these playerswill progress to the next rung up, or just plain won't ever get there, whilestill others will never return to their previous level.
How do you usethis 'tiered' knowledge to your advantage?
At the draftitself.
First you mustdetermine which positions your league rules have weighted as the most valuablepositions, in your particular league.†In most leagues it is the RB, while in others it is the QB.
Once that isdetermined, remember that you want the very best at the position your leagueweighs most heavily, yet your drafting position may rule out some picksimmediately.† Depending on how yourposition falls in your FFL draft, you may be willing to wait on a position (ifyou know that the difference between the best and worst players in anyparticular level is not that great) while jumping to a higher tier player atanother position, who may not be available to you, later on in the draft.
For instance, eventhough your league is weighted to the QB position, settling for an average QBin the forth round, to get a shot at 2 top tier RB's and a first level WR, mayactually put your team at a distinct advantage, in comparison to one who takesthe best available player at a needed position.
No plan is perfecthowever, and there are exceptions, as drafting a #1 kicker or Defense in thefirst few rounds, is a surefire method to mediocrity, however.
With all thatsaid... let's see what the Beeg Mon has wrought.
Oh, and by theway...GOOD LUCK!