It’s never too early to start preparing for your draft. Most of your league-mates will be busy and fantasy football is the last thing on their mind. That’s your opportunity! It’s pretty simple. The more you prepare starting now, the easier your draft will be and the less decisions you have to make on a whim, putting yourself in a much better position to leave that draft happy with your team. A great way to do this is my mock drafting – early.

But mock draft?? Now?? What’s the point? Player’s ADP (Average Draft Position) will change dramatically between now and August. And that’s okay. If a player’s draft position changes between now and August, you will have context of why it changed. For example, Kelvin Benjamin’s weight gain might slide him down draft boards between now and draft day, and without context you might be thrilled to see him available in the 4th or 5th round. Or Marlon Mack rises in ADP because Luck has been targeting him like crazy in training camp. Now you have context of where he was, and how much of a steal someone like Frank Gore might be, instead of just writing off Frank Gore because you assumed Mack has taken over by looking at draft-time ADPs alone.

Now let’s get to how mock drafts themselves can help this early. The more you mock draft, the more you prepare yourself with all the different scenarios of your draft. Drafting from all the different spots is important. Would you rather have the #1 overall pick, a mid-round pick, or the pick at the turn so you can draft two players in a row? By drafting at all these different spots, you can see how your team shapes up and get used to the players that are likely to be there.

Another advantage of mock drafting now is that you have plenty of time and opportunity to try different strategies. Do you draft a QB early? Grab a mid-level QB? Or wait until the very end of the draft to take your sleeper? What if I grab Russell Wilson in the mid-rounds? Did that mess me up? Could I have taken a solid starting WR3 instead, grabbed a QB later in the draft and been a little happier with my team? What about drafting Gronk? How does my team shape up? Did I see a TE at the end of my draft that could’ve been fine if I drafted a RB3 or WR2 where I drafted Gronk? All of these scenarios can be played out, and will be much easier to evaluate on draft day because you know what your team can potentially look like in all scenarios.

While mock drafting, look up players who you’re unsure about, or a group of players who you find yourself taking a long time to pick between. That’s a good time to stop and do some research. Look at last year, trends in the last few years, and how you think their opportunity and upside has changed for this upcoming season. If you do this during every mock draft, the information will be at your fingertips come draft time.

Once you’ve done enough mocks, you’ll likely form some tiers in your head and it’s great to get them written down before your draft to help you out. Tier based drafting is a great strategy and I’ll have more on that in an upcoming post. The best place I like to do mock drafts are at FantasyPros Draft Wizard… it’s easy and fast. The best thing about mock drafting now is that it gives you something really fun to do during the offseason!