I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, there’s no better way to prep for your upcoming fantasy football draft than a good, old-fashioned mock draft. Check that…pluralize it – mock drafts. If you’ve even taken the SAT test or the LSATs or the MCATs, what’s the best way to prepare? Sure, you study the information, but you also do a series of practice tests to see how you fare under similar circumstances as the actual test. Well why should your fantasy draft prep be any different?

By now you’ve gotten your copy of the 2014 Fantasy Alarm Fantasy Football Draft Guide, and if you haven’t, what are you waiting for? It’s 210 pages of the most in-depth analysis you’re ever going to find. Ready it. Study it. Sleep with it under your pillow. You want to make it your Bible from now right up until the day of your draft. Between that, the added articles we provide and the extensive player notes that I have immersed myself in to provide you with the best possible instant-analysis you could want, you have all the information you could possibly need. But just like those aforementioned entrance exams, you need extensive practice runs, and that’s where I come in, once again.

Welcome to the Mock Draft Army.

For those of you who have participated in the Army over the last few years, you know how invaluable a tool this can be for your draft prep and in-season success. If you are not familiar, allow me to offer up a brief explanation.

Over the last 10-plus years, I have worked with some of the most amazing minds in the fantasy industry. The Army is my way of bringing you and them together in a forum that will best help you prepare for your upcoming draft. From now through the start of the regular NFL season, I will be running a series of mock drafts in which half the room is filled with industry experts and the other half, readers, Twitter followers, and listeners to both the Fantasy Alarm Podcast and the shows we all host on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio. You draft with the big boys (and girls).

One of the issues that most people have with mock drafts is the level of interest and skill of those participating. We’ve all participated in a mock draft where, after the first four or five rounds, people start to bow out and the auto-draft feature takes over. The draft goes from being a strong, accurate representation of how your draft could go to, basically, a listing of the host site’s preseason rankings. As we all know, the studs are the studs, but fantasy championships tend to be won or lost in the later rounds as those with a more extensive knowledge of the player pool begin to reveal the true bargains and sleepers. You can, but don’t always, win getting first-round value out of your first few picks, but should you get third-round value out of your 15th-round pick, well that’s just pure gold. With the Mock Draft Army, you never have to worry about people dropping out midway through the draft. Everyone is committed to the full draft.

We are also helping to develop a much more accurate ADP listing which many people use when deciding in which round to take a particular player. The knowledge and draft styles of everyone participating will help guide towards knowing whether you need to reach for a guy or if you can wait a few rounds and grab him later. Unfortunately, with so many people not participating in the entire mock draft, many sites’ ADP rankings are just a minor deviation from their player rankings. When the Army has a few drafts under its belt, you’ll have a much better set of ADP to help guide you. Obviously the sample size isn’t going to be ideal, but even with a handful of drafts to use, the ADP will still be a more accurate representation.

The key to these drafts is found both in how you participate and how active you are in the chat area. You’ve got six or seven amazing fantasy minds at your disposal for questions on player value, draft strategy, sleepers, you name it. Ask them whatever you want. Ask them about their dog if you like. The floor is yours. They are participating because they want to help you win. With their advice and your use of these drafts to try out a variety of different strategies, you’ll be able to confidently walk into any snake draft and dominate your competition. You’ll know your opponents’ moves before they will and if they throw you a curve, you’ll be able to adjust on the fly with ease.

So if you don’t follow me on Twitter -- @rotobuzzguy – you should start now. If you aren’t listening to me on Fantasy Sports Tonight on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio every Sunday night from 7-10pm (ET), you better start that too.  I will be announcing several mocks each week so you don’t want to miss them. I will also be writing all the drafts right here on Fantasy Alarm and within a couple of drafts, I’ll be posting a Mock Draft Army ADP for your use. Stay tuned, people. There’s so much more on the way.

If you would like to get a jump on things and would like to participate in the Mock Draft Army’s next draft, you can email me at rotobuzzguy@gmail.com and put "Mock Draft Army Sign-Up" into the subject heading. Drafts are filled on a first-come, first-served basis so the time to act is now.

UPDATE:  Mock Draft Army's next draft -- Friday, August 8 at 5pm (ET)

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The 2014 Fantasy Football Draft Guide is HERE!! 210 pages of system breakdowns, offensive line breakdowns, injury reports, 30 proven winning strategies and of course over 550 players ranked. Sign up for a new DraftKings account to get the guide, the NFL in-season Assistant GM and all of our daily fantasy football tools for FREE!!!




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About Howard Bender

Howard Bender is a Managing Editor at Fantasy Alarm, Co-Host of the Fantasy Alarm podcast and Co-Host of Fantasy Sports Tonight on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio. Follow him on Twitter at @rotobuzzguy and on the RotobuzzGuy Facebook page. You can also email him directly at rotobuzzguy@gmail.com.

Howard Bender on Twitter

@nsegall25 @FantasyJudgment @FantasyAlarm Dez, Gordon, Marshall....you play your moneymakers here

@Villafane83 If Murray is able to play, then him, but I'm thinking Allen is the safer bet.

@Villafane83 Crowell and Allen for me

Let's save the thanks and talk targets! My latest #FantasyFootball Target Watch is now up on @FantasyAlarm. Dig it! http://t.co/E6M3cBiMSc

Hey @davidwiers, back in the trunk. This doesnt concern you. But if you must know, I'm one @Swydan comment away from selling you elswhere