Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

26 Aug 2009

Autopick strategy with the KUBIAK

I have a live draft coming up which I can't attend, so I'm going to pre-set my roster. The problem is, its a deep league (16 managers) and we have IDP's in our league. Since its hard to anticipate who's going to do what in a 16 team league, I just decided to rank my players EXACTLY the way my KUBIAK results came out. Is that a good strategy? I'm asking because I am putting a few IDP way ahead of some of the other services (ESPN, CBS) rankings. Is there a specific thing I should do on Yahoo like excluding all TE's, DEF's and K's?

Posted by: John Cannady on 26 Aug 2009

10 replies , Last at 03 Sep 2009, 7:35pm by tally

Re: Autopick strategy with the KUBIAK
by tally :: Wed, 08/26/2009 - 11:26am

Since you cannot be there to see the picks round by round, I'd use ADP to see where KUBIAK differs with popular opinion. With players that KUBIAK ranks significantly higher than ADP, I'd drop them in your rankings to about a round ahead of ADP, rather than drafting them where KUBIAK suggests that their value indicates.

I think Yahoo's autopick system automatically fills out your starters before filling out your bench, so your TE, DEF, and K will be picked sooner or later, and there's not much you can really do about it.

Re: Autopick strategy with the KUBIAK
by Marcumzilla :: Wed, 08/26/2009 - 1:10pm

If possible, buy someone dinner to draft for you. They don't have to know anything about football, just give them a Kubiak-based cheatsheet, an ADP list, and a few instructions about when to pick K, DEF, etc. Anyone who can follow that will be way better than Yahoo's autopick. I've actually got my dad doing an auction for me, so we'll see how that experiment goes in a week and a half.

In an autodraft-only league, I used tally's strategy and got some nice talent, and won the league.

Re: Autopick strategy with the KUBIAK
by alsep73 :: Wed, 08/26/2009 - 2:48pm

In one of my leagues, all the players are so spread out in terms of geography, timezone and lifestyle, that auto-pick is unfortunately the only way we can have a draft. This year, I've been trying to use KUBIAK to game the rankings system, keeping in mind not only Tally's thoughts, but the fact that, as others have mentioned, Yahoo's auto-pick insists on filling all starting spots before filling the bench (and also on drafting a backup kicker, a backup tight end and even a backup defense, all of which everybody cuts as soon as the draft is over). I'm not even bothering to rank kickers, for instance, and I'm only ranking 10 tight ends and 10 team defenses. We also play with 6 IPD's, and because Yahoo's IDP rankings are completely nonsensical (this is another area where everybody basically cuts Yahoo's picks and starts from scratch after the draft), I picked 6 likely candidates and placed them in a spot in the rankings right after all my starting positions save kicker would be filled. Hopefully, it'll work.

But I definitely think Tally's on to something. KUBIAK ranks Nate Burleson, for instance, at 31 with my league's scoring, when Yahoo has him at 138 in their standard rankings (which the auto-pick relies on once you get past the 25-30 players most people ranked). I moved him up about 25 spots, and could probably safely get him just by moving him up 10 or 15.

Re: Autopick strategy with the KUBIAK
by alsep73 :: Thu, 09/03/2009 - 9:16am

And FWIW, we had the auto-pick draft the other day, and I did more or less manage to game the system. I obviously didn't get every player I wanted, and I got stuck with a couple of bench guys I'm going to cut in favor of waiver wire pick-ups, but I managed to get at least one of every tiered group I was targeting, simply by pushing guys I loved (like Leon Washington) way up, pushing guys I didn't want under any circumstance (Roy Williams) way, way down or off the list altogether, and not bothering to rank more than 10 TE's, 10 QBs, 10 defenses, and only a couple of kickers.

Re: Autopick strategy with the KUBIAK
by spotatl :: Wed, 08/26/2009 - 2:14pm

bribe a friend to draft for you. Seriously- autopicking when everyone else is live drafting is just going to be a disaster no matter what you do. If you really have to fill your entire starting lineup with IDP's before you can get a backup RB or WR then you are just screwed.

Re: Autopick strategy with the KUBIAK
by Marcumzilla :: Wed, 08/26/2009 - 2:28pm

Yahoo auto-drafting definitely fills all starter spots before backups. We had a mix of online vs autopick drafters a couple weeks ago, and you saw the K and Ds come off the board in the 7-8 rounds.

Re: Autopick strategy with the KUBIAK
by John Cannady :: Wed, 08/26/2009 - 3:15pm

All very good points that I will keep in mind. I was a little worried because KUBIAK had a lot of IDP's(I'm a HUGE football fan, and I haven't even heard of some of these guys) very high and I didn't want to take some clunker just because he was in a certain order. I wish I could have someone do it for me, but I'm in a league with all of my friends so that wouldn't work and the only other outside party that could do it would be my father, but the last thing he would want to do is to spend a couple of hours in front of a computer. It's on Sunday, so I'll let you guys know how it went.

Re: Autopick strategy with the KUBIAK
by socctty :: Wed, 09/02/2009 - 10:52pm

Yahoo is horrible. I don't know how ESPN's auto-pick works - at $120 buy-in, no one in my league lets Auto-Pick go for them - but it can't possibly be worse than Yahoo's, can it?

Re: Autopick strategy with the KUBIAK
by Zheng :: Thu, 09/03/2009 - 3:37pm

ESPN's is all right, mainly because ESPN's rankings are good enough to prevent anyone from drafting crippled or retired players. I don't think it fills starters until towards the end of the draft--i.e., if there are only three rounds left and you still have no starting TE, D, and K, it'll not let you draft any QB, RB, or WR.

It occurs to me that both autodraft and live drafting ought to be done off the same list. Basically what you want to do is sort the players by ADP and then move them up or down proportionally to the KUBIAK delta--BUT you don't move anyone up by more than a round or two, to prevent reaching. And moving up is also dependent on which round you're in. I haven't been able to figure out how to get Excel to do this for me automatically, but it shouldn't be that hard to do manually. Time consuming, maybe.

Re: Autopick strategy with the KUBIAK
by tally :: Thu, 09/03/2009 - 7:35pm

ESPN auto-draft is actually vastly superior to Yahoo's. You can adjust settings by round to pick, for instance, only certain positions in certain rounds and only a certain number of specific positions. For instance, you can limit TE/D/Ks to only 1 each, to pick only QB/RB/WR in the first five rounds, etc., to only pick K in the last two rounds.

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