Ah, the fantasy baseball mock draft season – one of my favorite seasons. It’s up there with summer (of course) and Season 2 of The Office. You’ve done all the prep work you can – podcasts, articles, injury updates, and personal rankings. Mock drafts cap that off by allowing you to draft against people who have also been doing their homework. Fantasy sites everywhere offer mock drafts and it’s the best way to prepare yourself for your real drafts.
As wonderful as these mock drafts are, they do not exist without major flaws. If you are competing in a mock draft with 10 to 14 strangers, one of three things happens:
- You immediately become irritated by an internet troll who bypasses Mike Trout with the first pick of the draft. The selection? Tim Tebow of the New York Mets… rookie level team. You quit the draft angrily.
- No trolls exist this time! However, after the first three picks, a drafter decides that he didn’t like the way his team started so he leaves. His team auto-picks the rest of the way. The other drafters see this and decide to quit too. Suddenly, it’s just you and this other person who won’t quit bragging about his picks in the chat room. You either decide to leave or get nothing out of staying for the whole draft.
- Wow, everyone actually stayed and drafted competitively. You finish your draft and check out the clock. Holy crap, drafting a fake team took three hours? You blew off your plans to complete this stupid mock. Now your friends label you as ‘that guy who never shows up to stuff anymore’.
Let’s avoid this madness by using the FantasyPros Mock Draft Simulator. For the normal baseball league, it takes about a half hour to complete and returns very realistic results. You draft against the experts who input rankings at the website, so you still see your reaches and value picks you would experience in a normal draft.
I could go on and on about all the positive vibes I get from this tool. So… I will! Time to review the free software and also go through what extra possibilities are out there with an upgraded FantasyPros account.
FantasyPros Fantasy Baseball Mock Draft Simulator Review
Customized Draft Settings
We all know how weird baseball leagues get roster construction. The custom draft settings are perfect for any league. You go through and update the drop-down boxes based on your league settings. I have set the parameters to fit our Fantasy Six Pack league.
An underrated part of this is the Eligibility Rules option. Each site has their own gimmicks and this allows you to filter out those differences. For example, Yahoo has given Kyle Schwarber catcher eligibility despite not catching once last season. This was fluky, as he was injured in the first weekend of the 2016 season, and different people have differing opinions about it. Besides the point though – it’s just nice to make sure you are drafting as close to what your real draft looks like as you can.
PRO / MVP: Additional Settings
Throughout this article, I will touch on what additional options you can receive with a PRO or MVP plan. The cost for one of these plans is not incredibly taxing and could easily make you the money back with league championships.
There are a few notable draft settings that can be used with a premium plan:
- Auctions: Self-explanatory here, but yes you can definitely do auctions on the upgraded account.
- Categories: The free software only gives you the standard 5 x 5 categories. Whether your league substitutes AVG for OBP or saves with saves+holds, the Draft Wizard has you covered.
- Keepers: Yes, you can even account for keepers. Simply input your league and you tell it which players you are keeping and the rounds they are kept in.
Once the draft settings are completed, it’s time to draft! What happens with draft simulation is not just based on ADP. It basically slots a rankings expert at every other team. So you aren’t just auto-drafting against computer picks – you are drafting against the best in the business! What better way to practice, am I right?
The image above shows how a normal picking process looks. The top seven picks have been made and I am up at pick No. 8. The suggested players section is shocked that Paul Goldschmidt hasn’t been selected yet. 100% of experts agree that I should take him here. You can even filter it down to singular positions.
Speaking of those positions, the bottom of the page gives you options to see what remains according to Expert Consensus Rankings (ECR). I usually like to toggle the Hide Drafted Players checkbox to clean it up. You can also look at the Draft Board and Roster Watch to see what your opponents are doing.
PRO / MVP: Live Draft Assistant
The other options above the player pool require a premium plan. This is all part of what FantasyPros calls their Live Draft Assistant, which is a top-notch tool for the serious fantasy player. It totals up your statistics based on their Zeile Projections and spits out your Strengths & Weaknesses as your draft progresses. Follow the video link at the bottom to get a lecture on this tool. (They only had an instructional video for fantasy football, but you’ll get the idea.)
With the Pick Predictor, you can determine whether or not to reach on your targets at certain points in the draft. It formulates a percentage that tells you whether your target will be available by your next pick. For example, Wil Myers was a large target of mine last year, but I was worried in drafts that I would reach too high or miss out completely. So, with the Pick Predictor, I was able to scoop him up between rounds 15 and 17 without sweating.
Upon finishing your mock draft, a results block pops up and gives you a grade for your draft. I got an 87 out of 100, good for a B+. How does that stack up against the rest of the imaginary league? FantasyPros has you covered with a detailed results page.
Each tab gives you a different perspective on the overall results of the draft.
- Projected Standings: As seen above, these are standings based on how well FantasyPros projects you to do on offense and pitching. My team had high grades in both departments, so they gave me the kiss of death to finish first place.
- Draft Analysis: This is a good tool to see players selected by round and position. The best use is to form tiers at each position. For example, there were four third basemen selected in the first round. After that, Kyle Seager was selected as the next 3B in the fifth round. Steep drop-off!
- Details By Category: See PRO / MVP section.
- Final Draft Board: Just your typical draft board with color-coded players by position. It’s like a visual version of the Draft Analysis tab.
- Team Rosters: This is also similar to the Draft Analysis tab, but you can directly compare your players to other teams to figure out strengths and weaknesses.
PRO / MVP: Details By Category & Draft Analysis
With the Details By Category tab under a premium plan, you can see exactly how you graded out in the mock draft. As mentioned earlier, if you are doing a real draft, you can see these standings as you are drafting. Think about just how incredible that is! That takes out tons of error and time spent in that regard between picks!