Practice.  It’s how you become an All-Star.  It’s how you get to play at Carnegie Hall.  It’s how you win your fantasy football championships. Mock drafting is an integral part of your preparation and here at Fantasy Alarm, we give you the opportunity to hone your skills.  The Mock Draft Army was developed to give you the opportunity to draft with a few experts, ask questions, and try out different strategies. 

There are many sites out there that offer mock draft simulators and they all do a great job in allowing you to do a quick mock. The reason I got involved with the Army and Howard is that it offered a way to live chat with the likes of Howard, the late, great, Lawr Michaels, Steve Gardner, and many others.  The ability to ask questions while doing the draft was invaluable.  Computer simulations don’t let you do that.  It’s the most realistic mock you can do.  Don’t be shy and use the chat room.  If it weren’t for that chat room I wouldn’t be writing this today.

While doing a mock several years ago I was watching the Eagles play the Steelers in a preseason game.  There was Sammie Coates literally dropping every pass thrown to him.  Then someone drafted him.  I immediately thought of saying that he had hands of stone, but it was worse than that.  So by combining “Hands of Stone” and “Butter Fingers” I came up with “Hands of Buttered Stone” and typed that into the chat box.  Howard loved it, talked about it on his radio show, and I became “my friend Andy”.  This could never happen during a simulation mock!

Of course the chatter mostly revolves around your picks.  Ask questions.  Engage the industry members who are there to answer your questions. It’s why we are there. 

What mocks allow you to do is to try different strategies to see what strengths and weaknesses each will have. Looking at current ADP on various sites gives you an idea of when a player is being drafted, but remember, these are specific to each site. You may see a ten-spot ADP differential between sites due differences in rules. If you are drafting in a league with slightly different rules, our live mocks can help you determine if drafting a tight end early will hurt your running back or wide receiver depth later on in the draft.  Have your draft slot already determined?  Request to be put in a specific draft slot and see how your team plays out. 

In most drafts this year the first four picks are all running backs regardless of the scoring rules, with Barkley, McCaffrey, Kamara and Elliott being taken in various orders.  From the fifth spot on, the divergence begins.  Mocking gives you the chance to take DeAndre Hopkins at fifth overall one day, and Le’Veon Bell the next.   Want to wait until the third round for a wideout?  Give it a try from any spot in the draft order.

Another way to approach a mock is to take only players you don’t want from your draft slot.  Why would you do that?  Let’s say you really want Zach Ertz and you’re willing to take him with the fourth pick in the third round.  Don’t.  Then wait and see how long before he gets drafted.  Would he fall to you in the fourth round?  The other thing that can happen is that he gets taken before that third round pick. Do you take him in the second round to make sure you get him?  With the Mock Draft Army, you can try both and then talk about it in the chat room asking what others think.

Never take a quarterback early.  How many times have you heard that one?  Is Pat Mahomes worth taking at his current third round ADP on RTSports?   Try it.  I am not a fan of taking a top quarterback early, but it always depends on your league rules.  If passing touchdowns are worth six points, this drastically changes what a quarterback is worth and may make it worth taking one a little earlier.  On the other hand the depth at quarterback provides you with a high floor, and waiting for one may not be as detrimental as you would think.  You can easily wait until rounds nine or ten and get a serviceable QB while you build up that valuable depth at running back and wide receiver.

The plan is to offer several mocks each week.  Most will be in the PPR format, but we’ll sprinkle in a few standard scoring and super flex leagues to cover almost everyone’s needs.  Each week I’ll analyze one or two drafts and discuss what strategies were used and if they were successful.  I will employ several different draft strategies in order to make sure we cover each of them. The mocks will run on RTSports so if you are not signed up on the site, go ahead and do so.  When the mock schedule comes out each week, join the ones you want to try.  All we ask is that you show up on time and stay for the entire draft.  We want this is to be as realistic as possible and to have any autodraft picks defeats this purpose. 

We, at Fantasy Alarm, are very excited to be able to offer the Mock Draft Army as another tool to supplement our living draft guide.  As the new “General”, I am pumped to be involved in something that has helped me over the years becoming an important part of my draft preparation. I’d like to thank everyone at Fantasy Alarm for giving me this opportunity.  Follow me on twitter, @gasdoc_spit for updates, mock draft schedules, fantasy football and fantasy baseball advice.