The Contrarian – Mock Crock

Thomas Drance

2014-09-28

A Stock NHL Draft Image

 

If you’re doing a mock draft, trust in your player rankings.

Last week the people at NHL.com ran a mock fantasy hockey draft. You can view the results in the article, "Analysis of NHL.com's fantasy hockey mock draft" by Pete Jensen.

 

It is they who say that "Having a strategy entering your draft is important, but improvising is just as essential to strong decision-making. You should always consider the best player available, fill positional and category needs when possible and be mindful of which players will be attained in later rounds."

 

Before we get into the results I want to establish what the purpose of a mock draft is.

In my opinion, having a mock draft is important to simulate who you would have the opportunity to select based on what you can forecast of the other participants. You simulate what your opponents would pick. Some examples would be, a particular owner always takes the best goalie in the first round, one owner is a huge Montreal Canadiens fan and always wants one or two on his team and another owner cannot stand having any Toronto Maple Leafs so you'll know he will pass up on any opportunity to select them.

 

A secondary purpose to a mock draft is to understand where you can pick certain players. You have someone ranked very high but through a mock draft he ends up slipping several rounds, you kind of understand that there is some potential for you to hold off on selecting him and take the next best player instead. You hope that you can pick him up later but there are no guarantees. There is the case where you have a player ranked very low but the player gets selected very early. In these cases you most likely feel like the other owner wasted their selection but you hardly ever feel like you need to readjust your rankings because of their wildly early selection.

 

All in all, you still are simulating what you expect your opponents will do. Sometimes you know them very well and other times you have never met them before. If you never met them before then you are guessing.

 

One popular site, Yahoo! Sports Fantasy, gives you the opportunity to participate in mock drafts to test out your draft rankings. There are some major issues though.

Your league rules might not apply to the ones that they run under (roster positions and/or stat categories). They have mock drafts for eight, ten, twelve and fourteen participants but no other variations. Those are big caveats.

 

If you do end up participating in one of their mock drafts, you will find that you have an option to use your draft list or to use Yahoo's pre-draft rankings.

 

Once your mock draft starts you will notice that a substantial number