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Part II: Organize your data.

The most crucial part of the 3P system is organizing your data. You need to lay out your past drafts in such a manner that patterns reveal themselves and quantitative summaries can be created. Fortunately for you, I’ve already created the tool you need to do just that: the free Draft Planalyzer, available under Resources above. All you need to use it are copies of your last three year’s worth of drafts, and a spreadsheet program compatible with Microsoft Excel 2003 or later for the Excel version, or Libre Office 4.0 for the Calc version.

Note there is a brief video walkthrough to how to fill this workbook out (created for last year’s version but setup hasn’t changed).

The idea here is to help you spot trends and patterns in your established league’s drafts. I used three years worth of data, and I generally weigh each year to then make some sort of prediction about what will happen this year. In my experience, fantasy football players change year to year (somewhat) depending on what worked for them, what didn’t, what slot they’re in, etc. Yet, year over year, you often see only incremental differences in each round of the draft, totals of each position player taken, etc. By looking at your last three years, you can get a pretty solid idea how your draft is going to go in terms how deep into each position you will be at any point in the draft. This means you can derive a strategy on things like when to take your second quarterback, when do IDP players start flying off the board, how many running backs are gone through the first two rounds as compared to wide-receivers, etc.

So, using the Planalyzer as our tool of choice, you’ll open it up and click on the ‘Setup’ tab at the bottom of the workbook.

SetupTab

Then we need to setup a few parameters. On the left of the work sheet you’ll see the draft lists (preloaded with ADP data from MyFantasyLeague.com), but we want to start in the boxes on the right.

 

At the top right, you see ‘Team Managers/Draft Orders’. Here, you need to enter the draft order, using owner or team names, for each year.

TeamOwnerSetup

TIP- Use your owner names. Many team owners change their team names yearly (or weekly, or daily..).

Once that’s done for all three years, move down and enter the number of rounds you have. Note that you want to keep this the same for all three years, so use the largest number of rounds you had if they were different. You also can select your league’s draft type, leave it at R for serpentine (snake, even-rounds reversed), select S for straight drafts (like the NFL does), or T for Third-Round Reversal.

 

We come to another critical aspect of our setup- what position notations you will use in listing your draft. You see, we only put in the position drafted- no name, no team. Just QB, RB, WR, etc. If you are going to cut and paste, make sure this list matches what you will be pasting in, or you will get an error message.

ValidPositions

 

Start at the top and use as many slots as you like. We’ll ignore the extras (denoted with X and a number for uniqueness). Each position must obviously be unique, and you’re limited to three characters.
Finally, there is an area to weight the significance of the three years. It is virtually equally weighted by default, with an extra 1% going to your most recent year. You can change these if you wish to favor whatever years you wish.

TIP- Use all three years or else some calculations won’t work correctly. If you want to minimize a year, just put in 1% for that one.

NOW you are ready to go ahead and enter your draft picks. If you have your info electronically, and it matches the valid position list, that is your fastest way. But it isn’t too bad to manually enter it either. You only have to do all three the first time. After that, you can copy year 2 to year 3, last year to 2 years, and just enter the latest year.

Trust me, it’s worth the effort, as we’ll see in the next section- Plan. Back to Strategy.