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Yahoo Autodraft rank strategy

Postby southernSteeler » Fri Jul 24, 2009 10:03 pm

I think I have figure out that I suck, at pre-ranking players for auto drafts in Yahoo. I generally play in leagues that use IDP's and I seem to have a hard time getting a good balance of bench players from autodrafts.

Are there any tricks to the trade for auto draft settings on Yahoo that you use successfully, or is it really a crapshoot because it is largely based on how others do or don't pre-rank their players on Yahoo?

thanks
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Re: Yahoo Autodraft rank strategy

Postby 204BC » Fri Jul 24, 2009 11:13 pm

My pre-rankings in Yahoo leagues depends alot on the scoring system used. Not sure if I can give you a definitive strategy but here's what I generally do.

Filter out all of the non-factor players. Guys that you pretty much know are going to be busts or possibly not play at all should be sent over to your "excluded players" list asap. I also throw a few players that I am personally biased against. That's just me, but there are certain guys I just don't want even if they have potential. An example of this for me would be Kevin Smith. I just don't like him. Has yet to perform to expectations IMO and so I exclude him from my draft list.

I never carry 2 kickers on my team. The way I figure it there will almost always be one guy that gets injured for the year or is just a plain old bust on my roster that I can drop when when my kicker has his bye week.

In IDP leagues it is very important to know what impact the scoring system is going to have on games during the season. It will depend a lot on how many points offensive players score vs what defensive players score. try and calculate what a 100 yard game will get a RB vs what a 100 yard game will get a WR vs what a 10 tackle game will get a defensive player. If they are pretty much equal then there are some defensive players that are worthy of earlier picks than normal. Usually I'll see teams fill their offensive roster and then start grabbing bench players for their offense. At this point you might want to sneak in and grab someone like Patrick Willis, Jon Beason, Barrett Ruud or a litany of other players who will score big points somewhere between rounds 7 - 9. I played in some IDP leagues last year where Patrick Willis was the top overall scoring player in the league and there were at least 5 other defensive players ranked in the top 10.

Tackles are usually the defining stat for defensive players. Sure guys like DeMarcus Ware had a bunch of sacks, but they generally didn't score as many points as a guy like Willis. Any player that can get you over 100 tackles in a season, especially if you get 2 pts per tackle, is worth a pick in round 7. Actually, at 2 pts, you might even want to grab them in rd 5.

Although some of the defensive players in certain scoring systems can be top 5 overall, you still want to wait a couple of rounds before grabbing them. The reason for this is that most often the other teams in your league are drafting their offense at this point and you don't want to get behind on that side of the ball. At least get your starting RB(s), WR(s) and QB(s) before grabbing your defensive players.

Also, If you don't have to start them, I would avoid defensive linemen. I only draft them if they are required. Otherwise, stick to LB's if you can. IDP leagues that only have the "D" position in Yahoo are the case in point here. There are a few CB's and Safeties that you can grab, but LB's are much more reliable.

I've found that in Yahoo, when ranking my players, it is easier to sort by position and alphabetically in order to find the guys I want to put on my draft list. Then spend some time sifting your list and moving guys up and down.

It's late and there's a ton of stuff I haven't mentioned here but I'm tired and need some sleep. Perhaps I can elaborate more on this tomorrow....
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Re: Yahoo Autodraft rank strategy

Postby southernSteeler » Sat Jul 25, 2009 12:22 am

Thanks for throwing that up. I guess thinking about it, I haven't gotten 2 kickers in an autodraft yet. What I have been doing, using a ten team league as an example, is making the very last 10 teams in my pre-ranking kickers. That way, I assume?, that the computer will have to go through the rest of the rankings to get the bench players. Is that at the right way of thinking about how the Yahoo Software goes through and picks?

I'm with ya on the LB thing. This is the first year that I got into some leagues that have specific IDP' players. That should be interesting.
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Re: Yahoo Autodraft rank strategy

Postby Firemoth » Sat Jul 25, 2009 11:00 am

I have not used yahoo autodraft in several years.

That said, this is how it worked when I used it:
There were two distinct phases.
UNTIL YOUR STARTING ROSTER IS FULL: It takes your highest ranked player at a position that you don't have enough starters. Once you have enough to fill your starting roster, that position is excluded.

ONCE YOUR STARTING ROSTER IS FULL: Take your highest ranked player unless you hit their limit on the number of that position you can have on your roster (which is based on the number of starters... in a 1 QB, 2 RB league it wouldn't draft more than 3 QBs(?) or 5 RBs(?), for instance.)

As such, you can manipulate things to your advantage. For instance, with 9 starting spots, nobody could draft a backup quarterback until the 10th round. So there is little drop in quality between drafting one in the 5th round and one in the 9th. If you are content to have the 10th or 12th QB off the board, by ranking all your QBs low, you could get him in the 9th round and get a higher ranked TE and Defense than you would've by going RB/RB/WR/WR/WR/QB.

Similarly, if you know you have an early draft position (like 4th), you could rank only the top RBs (like the top 4) high to draft RB/WR/WR, and be secure in the knowledge that you cannot be stuck with worse than the 20th or 24th RB for your RB2.


Another trick (which may be fixed by now) was to put EVERY kicker or defense on your excluded list. When the 8th round comes around, you have filled all other starting spots, and it will be unable to fill the K/DEF spots, so it will draft your highest ranked player (usually the ~#25 RB or ~#36 WR or even #13 QB) two rounds before anyone else can draft a backup. This allows you to get top backups... and after the draft is over, you could pick up a K/Def off the waiver wire.

The edge this last trick gives you is of debatable ethicality, so consider the dynamics of your league before performing. Friends/relatives may be very displeased with you for exploiting the system in this way.
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Re: Yahoo Autodraft rank strategy

Postby Fantasy Sports Genie » Sun Jul 26, 2009 5:02 pm

Firemoth wrote:I have not used yahoo autodraft in several years.

That said, this is how it worked when I used it:
There were two distinct phases.
UNTIL YOUR STARTING ROSTER IS FULL: It takes your highest ranked player at a position that you don't have enough starters. Once you have enough to fill your starting roster, that position is excluded.

ONCE YOUR STARTING ROSTER IS FULL: Take your highest ranked player unless you hit their limit on the number of that position you can have on your roster (which is based on the number of starters... in a 1 QB, 2 RB league it wouldn't draft more than 3 QBs(?) or 5 RBs(?), for instance.)

As such, you can manipulate things to your advantage. For instance, with 9 starting spots, nobody could draft a backup quarterback until the 10th round. So there is little drop in quality between drafting one in the 5th round and one in the 9th. If you are content to have the 10th or 12th QB off the board, by ranking all your QBs low, you could get him in the 9th round and get a higher ranked TE and Defense than you would've by going RB/RB/WR/WR/WR/QB.

Similarly, if you know you have an early draft position (like 4th), you could rank only the top RBs (like the top 4) high to draft RB/WR/WR, and be secure in the knowledge that you cannot be stuck with worse than the 20th or 24th RB for your RB2.


Another trick (which may be fixed by now) was to put EVERY kicker or defense on your excluded list. When the 8th round comes around, you have filled all other starting spots, and it will be unable to fill the K/DEF spots, so it will draft your highest ranked player (usually the ~#25 RB or ~#36 WR or even #13 QB) two rounds before anyone else can draft a backup. This allows you to get top backups... and after the draft is over, you could pick up a K/Def off the waiver wire.

The edge this last trick gives you is of debatable ethicality, so consider the dynamics of your league before performing. Friends/relatives may be very displeased with you for exploiting the system in this way.

This advice makes me chuckle, because until I fixed it last season, this trick didn't exactly give you an edge; what it did was bring out a bug in the autodraft algorithm that led to horrific autopicks for your team. For football, this typically manifested itself with a team getting like 6 quarterbacks, many of whom were bottom of the barrel guys. This has since been fixed ;-)

So while I can't describe exactly what the algorithm does, what is described in this post (while not exactly right) is close enough for purposes of discussion. The one thing I would warn is this: at some point the algorithm is going to end up relying upon rankings, and at least today our rankings are based on public league settings. Public leagues do not use IDP, so I would expect the algorithm will really not be at its best in an IDP league. The best advice I could give under these circumstances, aside from attending your draft if at all possible, is to focus on pre-ranking your IDP players as much as possible, because the algorithm will probably do a comparatively poor job evaluating them.

Hope this helps...
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Re: Yahoo Autodraft rank strategy

Postby RSersen » Fri Aug 27, 2010 3:17 pm

Fantasy Sports Genie wrote:This advice makes me chuckle, because until I fixed it last season, this trick didn't exactly give you an edge; what it did was bring out a bug in the autodraft algorithm that led to horrific autopicks for your team. For football, this typically manifested itself with a team getting like 6 quarterbacks, many of whom were bottom of the barrel guys. This has since been fixed ;-)


I know this is a bump of an old thread, but I'm wondering if this has really been fixed.

My company is actually putting together a league this year, and will be using an auto-pick draft. Tried to protest, but to no avail.

So I'm setting up my pre-rankings, and through some googling, found many of the tricks listed here - excluded all Ks, all but my top tier of defenses, and all but my top couple tiers of TEs.

I've been joining some Yahoo mocks using these rankings, and putting myself on auto, to see what I get. Must have done 8-10 today. Every single time, it fills out my starting roster (and does a decent job of it)...but once it's full, it literally picks RBs the rest of the way. Every one, I end up with 3 WRs (starters), and 9 running backs (with a QB, TE, DEF rounding out the roster).

And this isn't just due to bad luck - I watch as receivers still on the board get ignored, that are ranked higher than any remaining RB. Ditto with QBs. Sometimes I don't even get the right RB. It'll give me, say, Forsett, even though I have Portis ranked a few spots higher, and he's still on the board.

In comparison, I did the same mock method (going on auto), but used Yahoo's default rankings. Worked like charm - filled my roster (K included), and then drafted me a couple bench WR, a RB, a backup QB, and even a backup K.

Granted, getting a ton of RBs is more valuable than say, 6 QBs. But this is going to be a large league (min 14, maybe as many as 20)...if I can't depend on the auto-pick to get me a backup QB or WRs, I'll be scrounging the waiver wire for the 28th or 40th best QB (assuming everyone else drafts two). Fairly big disadvantage. Ditto with bench receivers...since we start three, I need a backup who won't be the 80th best.

Very frustrating. If I have to, I guess I'll put the kickers back in and deal with having to get one in the 9th, and a backup. Anyone else using auto-pick drafts encountered an issue this year? Or have any tips/tricks/strategies of your own?
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Re: Yahoo Autodraft rank strategy

Postby bigh0rt » Fri Aug 27, 2010 4:09 pm

RSersen wrote:
Fantasy Sports Genie wrote:This advice makes me chuckle, because until I fixed it last season, this trick didn't exactly give you an edge; what it did was bring out a bug in the autodraft algorithm that led to horrific autopicks for your team. For football, this typically manifested itself with a team getting like 6 quarterbacks, many of whom were bottom of the barrel guys. This has since been fixed ;-)


I know this is a bump of an old thread, but I'm wondering if this has really been fixed.

My company is actually putting together a league this year, and will be using an auto-pick draft. Tried to protest, but to no avail.

So I'm setting up my pre-rankings, and through some googling, found many of the tricks listed here - excluded all Ks, all but my top tier of defenses, and all but my top couple tiers of TEs.

I've been joining some Yahoo mocks using these rankings, and putting myself on auto, to see what I get. Must have done 8-10 today. Every single time, it fills out my starting roster (and does a decent job of it)...but once it's full, it literally picks RBs the rest of the way. Every one, I end up with 3 WRs (starters), and 9 running backs (with a QB, TE, DEF rounding out the roster).

And this isn't just due to bad luck - I watch as receivers still on the board get ignored, that are ranked higher than any remaining RB. Ditto with QBs. Sometimes I don't even get the right RB. It'll give me, say, Forsett, even though I have Portis ranked a few spots higher, and he's still on the board.

In comparison, I did the same mock method (going on auto), but used Yahoo's default rankings. Worked like charm - filled my roster (K included), and then drafted me a couple bench WR, a RB, a backup QB, and even a backup K.

Granted, getting a ton of RBs is more valuable than say, 6 QBs. But this is going to be a large league (min 14, maybe as many as 20)...if I can't depend on the auto-pick to get me a backup QB or WRs, I'll be scrounging the waiver wire for the 28th or 40th best QB (assuming everyone else drafts two). Fairly big disadvantage. Ditto with bench receivers...since we start three, I need a backup who won't be the 80th best.

Very frustrating. If I have to, I guess I'll put the kickers back in and deal with having to get one in the 9th, and a backup. Anyone else using auto-pick drafts encountered an issue this year? Or have any tips/tricks/strategies of your own?

On the Dark Side, Genie let us know that this was, in fact, fixed. Check out his post mid-way down this page. The discussion was about football drafts at that point, so it should apply.
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Re: Yahoo Autodraft rank strategy

Postby RSersen » Fri Aug 27, 2010 6:38 pm

I still believe something's not working right.

I moved several receivers up my board to compensate for the RB problem. I had Gaffney ranked 97th overall, and Mike Williams (TB) 103rd.

I'm in a mock right now using that list, and although I already have 6 RB on my team (two starters, and my first 4 bench players), the auto-draft just took Tim Hightower (my 99th) over Gaffney (97th)....and then followed it up taking Leon Washington (114) over Mike Williams (103) and Gaffney again.

And as I typed this, I was auto-picked Tashard Choice (119th), while Louis Murphy (118), Cribbs (117), Williams (103), and Gaffney (97) still sit there. I now have 7 backup RB for a position that starts 2, and no backup WR for a position that starts 3.

EDIT: And with the last pick, I get WR Sam Hurd (not even on my list), while Gaffney, Williams, and Murphy went undrafted. In the end, I got:

1 - AJ
2 - Charles
3 - Steve Smith (CAR)
4 - Gates
5 - Foster
6 - Mike Wallace
7 - Alex Smith

8 - Bradshaw
9 - Thomas Jones
10 - Jerome Harrison
11 - Chester Taylor
12 - Tim Hightower
13 - Leon Washington
14 - Tashard Choice
15 - Sam Hurd

Guess Hurd finally breaks the RB chain, but I still don't think getting 9 RB, 4 WR, and ignoring your top-ranked remaining players for four consecutive rounds is how the auto-drafter was really designed to work. I've taken the kickers and defenses off the excluded players list, and will run another mock from the same spot to see if this ends up any better.
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Re: Yahoo Autodraft rank strategy

Postby RSersen » Fri Aug 27, 2010 7:32 pm

Complete opposite when you include enough K, TE, and DEF as there are teams in the league.

After getting my entire line-up filled, and Jerome Harrison as my first bench player (who was the top ranked):

I was given Gaffney, again at 97...this time over Chester Taylor, who was #90.

And then Mike Williams, again at 103...this time over Taylor, still at #90, and McFadden, at #102.

Then a backup K (Kasay), and Cassel as a backup QB. Not awesome picks, but enough to show that Yahoo is now trying to get me a proportional, balanced bench.

Seems clear to me that something unintended still occurs in the auto-draft code when you have too many exclusions to field an entire starting lineup.
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Re: Yahoo Autodraft rank strategy

Postby CBMGreatOne » Fri Aug 27, 2010 7:58 pm

Another trick (which may be fixed by now) was to put EVERY kicker or defense on your excluded list. When the 8th round comes around, you have filled all other starting spots, and it will be unable to fill the K/DEF spots, so it will draft your highest ranked player (usually the ~#25 RB or ~#36 WR or even #13 QB) two rounds before anyone else can draft a backup. This allows you to get top backups... and after the draft is over, you could pick up a K/Def off the waiver wire.


Lol, that reminds me that last year a guy in my league couldn't make the draft so he excluded every kicker. Unfortunately, after he set his rankings Yahoo added another kicker to their player pool so in the 9th round he drafted Shane Andrus, kickoff specialist for Indy. We were all like "who the eff is Shane Andrus?"

Oh well it was funny at the time ha.
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