We haven’t covered snake and auction drafts for Premier League purposes here at Rotoworld. I have received a few emails in the past week or so with different questions from readers regarding the formats and wanted to take a minute here and address how to tackle the American style drafts for the Premier League.
In this column, I’ll examine some very basic tips on how to approach a snake style draft and then proceed to give you a few bargains based on www.fantrax.com’s average draft positions (ADP). ADP is the position at which a player is taken on average from all drafts on the website.
Lets begin with the basics.
Always take best value on the board. Let me give you an example. Let’s say your league starts a 3-3-1 formation (3 defenders, 3 midfielders, 1 striker) and you take a striker in round 1. When your turn comes up in round 2 and the best player on the board is a striker, don’t be afraid to take them. You can always trade after the season begins to add depth elsewhere and/or play matchups with your two very good strikers.
A good way to make sure you are always getting the best value is to create a list of where you rank each player and then take the best player available in each round. You can create a list from scratch or modify an existing ADP list.
Don’t be afraid to take a goalkeeper early. There is a big drop-off in quality of goalkeepers between the first and twelfth goalkeeper in the league (considering you are in a standard 12 man league).
Same can be said about defenders. Premium defenders are a way above mediocre ones and you shouldn’t be afraid to take some earlier than usual. One thing to remember is that there are MANY mediocre defenders, so once you miss out on the top 5-10 defenders, you can wait around for a bit and go with defenders in the later rounds.
Study your scoring system. A different scoring system can make certain positions or players more valuable than others. For example, a very high reward for a clean sheet gives defenders a bump, and increases the value of Chelsea defenders(just as an example) in particular because of their high clean sheet chance. Studying the scoring system can give you a huge edge.
Here are some players I consider I would consider targeting or avoiding in relation to their average draft position.
Players to target
Christian Eriksen(32.14) – Eriksen was fantastic towards the end of last season and takes free kicks at Tottenham. He should be a big part of what Mauricio Pochettino is doing and should be great value at his ADP of 32.14.
Theo Walcott(65.31) – Walcott is being mentioned in conversation for top goal scorer if he can remain healthy. We know that’s a big if, but the health concerns are factored into his ADP. Huge bargain here.
Mathiu Debuchy(68.56) – We know what Debuchy can do in attack and Arsenal are good enough to be in the top five in clean sheets kept. That’s huge upside for Debuchy, who was a premium fantasy defender even without playing at a top team last season.
Steven Caulker(82.44) – Caulker was a top fantasy defender last year despite playing on one of the worst defensive teams. This year, he should be on a better team and I don’t understand the low ADP. To put it in perspective, players around him in the ADP rankings generally had less than 75% of the points Caulker had last season.
Stevan Jovetic(91.42) – Jovetic has been fantastic in preseason and Manchester City like to play with two strikers, meaning he’ll likely have a starting job until Sergio Aguero comes back(at least). That’s good value on one of the team’s highest scoring squads.
Erik Lamela(93.41) – Lamela was no where to be found last year but has been great in pre-season and finally feels comfortable in England. Mauricio Pochettino is an upgrade over any of Tottenham’s managers last season and I trust him to find a way to utilize Lamela’s skill.
Joel Ward(91.88) – This is mind boggling. Ward is an elite fantasy defender and should be going much sooner than this.
Honorable mention: Graziano Pelle, Roberto Soldado
Players to avoid
Sergio Aguero(7.62) – Don’t get me wrong, I love Aguero as a player, but he hasn’t been able to stay healthy for a while now. After struggling with muscle problems all of last year, he couldn’t stay healthy for the World Cup either and is now missing the start of the season. I’m waiting until at least the second round to take him.
Lois Remy(41.45) – His future is STILL uncertain and even if he stays at QPR, I’m not certain he can score enough in that attack to be worth his ADP. I’d stay away until at least the 50th pick.
Andre Schurrle(47.9) – Andre Schurrle was spectacular during the World Cup but I’m still not convinced he has a starting spot at Chelsea. His best position is on the left-flank where Eden Hazard has been a staple over the last few years at Chelsea. If he was a starter, I’d draft Schurrle in the second or third round, but the uncertainty makes even this low ADP too high.
Pablo Zabaleta(54.55) – Read what @nealjthurman had to say here: http://www.rotoworld.com/articles/bpl/47984/370/fantasy-pl-overrated-players
Jesus Navas(66.86) – Navas wasn’t a frontrunner for playing time last season and not much has changed at the Emirates. Do you really want a bench warmer with your sixth round pick?
Let us know how your draft is going and give us your best tips in the comments below!