Just returned from another grueling 5:45 am crossfit workout. Really hate it. Mostly the waking up part.
One of my workout buddies told me he'd printed out my positional rankings and was heading into his draft tonight ready to follow them. I reminded him what I've written at the top of each chart:
Rankings are based on each player's projected position by the end of the 2011 season. This is a value ranking, NOT a recommended draft order. Players may be drafted significantly higher or lower based upon their perceived value to other owners.
Changing his name to protect his innocence, "Norm" had a hard time grasping the difference between my rankings and every other list he's seen out there. (Let's just say Norm's not the sharpest knife in the drawer.)
I asked him who was last year's #1 fantasy WR. He guessed Dwayne Bowe (close); but it was Brandon Lloyd. Let's say I was prescient enough to list Lloyd at the top of my WR rankings last year at this time. Does that mean you should have drafted him in the 1st or 2nd round? Heck, no! Take him in the 16th or 17th! There's no need to use an early pick on a sleeper like that. Even if you knew ahead of time how good he'd be, why would you waste a premium pick on a guy who's not even likely to be drafted at all?
This year, you'll see guys like Josh Freeman, Kyle Orton, LeGarrette Blount, Austin Collie and Plaxico Burress quite a bit higher on my lists than you'll find most anywhere else. That simply means I believe they'll significantly out-perform their average draft position (ADP) and, when the season is over, that's where they'll be in the final rankings. So even though I rank Collie #27 on my Top 100, you shouldn't use a 3rd-round pick to get him. He should last till the 5th or 6th round (maybe even later if the worries about Peyton Manning increase). If you want him, target him there.
You can find ADP lists anywhere. When you draft online with CBS, ESPN, FOX, etc. and see the pre-loaded lists they provide, that's exactly what you're looking at. I'm trying to help you filter through the conventional wisdom to find extra value -- as well as to avoid some guys I think are way over-priced (like MJD, Cedric Benson and Brandon Marshall).