I've never liked autodrafts when it comes to fantasy leagues - especially Yahoo!. Since they basically ignore your preranks, I normally choose not to deal with them - yet I gave in to some friends so I decided to do an autopick team. Thinking that I could get around their dumb rule of filling out rosters > preranks, I wanted to try a new strategy, and it sure did backfire.
For those of you who don't know, Yahoo!'s autodraft feature's first priority is to fill your starting lineup, and almost ignore your preranks.. Therefore, the computer will pick you a kicker and defense before if will give you a backup RB. So if for some divine intervention Shaun Alexander falls to me in the third round, it will pass him up if you already have two RBs.
In order for me to try and circumvent this crap, I thought I would try to put ever eligible Kicker, Defense, and TE in my "Do Not Draft" section of my rankings - except for Chicago's Def, and Antonio Gates. For some unknown reason, Yahoo!'s PC came back with a big 'ole "DOES NOT COMPUTE!"
The first few picks of mine looked quite good. After the first 6 picks, my team looked like this:
QB John Kitna WR Terrell Owens WR Andre Johnson WR Plaxico Burress RB Frank Gore RB Brian Westbrook
After this, Yahoo! decided to punish me for my insolence. These are my next few picks: Brandon Miree Bradlee Van Pelt Jason Dunn Eric Moulds Bobby Engram
Yahoo! autodrafted me this team, even when I still had preranked players above all these scrubs.. Looks like I got outsmarted (and screwed) by Yahoo! yet again.
Yahoo will fill in all roster slots first using your pre-rankings. IT WONT IGNORE YOUR PRE-RANKS! I don't know why you're saying that since its simply not true.
You should be able to get 2 rbs, 2wrs, a qb, and probably another RB to fill any available flex slots from your pre-ranks. It then will draft a TE, a D, and a K even if you dont have any pre-ranked. That's the way it works. If you dont rank TEs then you get whatever it thinks for you. Good luck with Dunn. After those slots are filled in it will then fill out your bench the same way as it did your starters, by using your pre-rankings first filling out the slots based on those ranks.
Though I prefer live drafts, I'm in a friends league that always autodrafts, and I'm fine with that. I always do well and wind up with a good squad. I don't exclude K, or D, but I put them near the bottom of the rankings. I spread TEs around in various slots, but generally well behind players I want higher. I put my 2nd string QBs just above the K and D.
what i think happens is that yahoo tries to draft a K/TE/DEF, whatever... it scans your list. when it doesn't find one, it picks the last player that it scanned, which is usually the last player on the merged ranking list (yours + yahoo's).
How is my typing? Call 1-555-382-5968 Many posters could benefit from this.
I never said it was complicated... its actually quite elementary. They simply fill your roster before you get any backups - so yes, it does ignore preranks to a point. Player A could be 100 spots higher on my rankings than player B, but Yahoo! will refuse to draft player A if I, say, don't have a kicker...
Anyway, using logic, my strategy should have theoretically worked - and really, it did. Once my team was drafted, I did not have a K, Def, or TE on my team. However, for some reason, Yahoo! specifically drafted horrible players in my middle rounds, actually IGNORING my preranks, since none of those players I ended up with were even ranked by me, and several others who were left that were, were not drafted.
Edit: Matmat - man, I wish I would have seen that thread before trying this. Well, I think I can be pretty competitive as long as I don't get bit hard by injuries. So note to everyone, don't try this - haha.
I had read elsewhere about "tricking" the algorithm by putting entire categories of players on the exclude list, so I signed up for a public league a few days ago to try it. It worked quite well.
I put all K, DEF, and every TE not named Gates on the exclude list, and pre-ranked the maximum number allowed by Yahoo (150 in this case).
1. (3) Joseph Addai RB 2. (18) Willie Parker RB 3. (23) Antonio Gates TE 4. (38) Andre Johnson WR 5. (43) Calvin Johnson WR 6. (58) Joey Galloway WR 7. (63) Philip Rivers QB 8. (78) Willis McGahee RB 9. (83) Mark Clayton WR 10. (98) Kevin Curtis WR 11. (103) Jay Cutler QB 12. (118) Julius Jones RB 13. (123) Tatum Bell RB 14. (138) Ladell Betts RB 15. (143) Chester Taylor RB
Interestingly, it seems to have overloaded on RBs, which I don't quite understand.
Thus, it would seen that YMMV on this trick. I would bet that you have to pre-rank the maximum number of players allowed by Yahoo (teams x rounds) so it can't/doesn't slip to the default rankings for this to work.