Fantasy Football Draft Preparation: Top 10, ADP And Cowboys Rankings

With preseason games less than 48 hours away, the true fantasy football aficionado has already started developing his strategy. By now, you probably have put a couple names in the back of your mind, hoping that you'll be able to get them for good value. Preseason should be used to confirm or reject those hypothesis, as the first three games often will indicate how a team plans on using that breakout star you've been keeping an eye on since last year. Preseason should be used as an opportunity to uncover those mid-round gems. Players without much fanfare could be the sleeper you need. While most people try to get star power for their lineups, it's the unheralded complimentary players that normally takes you to a championship. Just look at the production out of Arian Foster and Hakeem Nicks last season.

The casual fan will normally adhere to the pre-ranks of the website they are drafting on, but those are normally based on past performance. We all know that while it's a solid indicator, nothing remains stagnant in the NFL and you have to stay ahead of the curve to avoid falling behind it. It's no different for Cowboys fans, as each of their fantasy football candidates comes with a question mark. There are numerous fantasy football scouting services out there, for free and for fee. I've never been one to subscribe to a service, fortunate to have some success without it. In my opinion, there are great free tools out there for anyone to use, and I'll discuss a couple that you may want to check out after the break.

Quarterback Tony Romo is returning to a potent offense, but how potent? Most outsiders of the team probably think of Tony Romo at the bottom of the QB Top 10, however one reputable site lists him as the third best quarterback. That means that waiting until the late third, early fourth round could net you the steal of your league. With Antonio Gates still nursing foot injuries, Jason Witten might be the first tight end off the board. However, looking back at the last season the Cowboys played with two legitimate wide receiver superstars might have the savvy FF owner downgrading Witten's status. At running back, nobody seems to be putting any faith in Felix Jones' ability to be a top runner in the league. If you truly believe he'll be a breakout star in 2011, you should be able to get a borderline RB1 at RB3 prices.

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One of the greatest resources that I use is a website known as Fantasy Football Toolbox (fftoolbox.com). I've used this site for the last three or four years at least, as it allows you to put in the specific scoring options  to create a pre-rank list closer suited to how you're league will play out. Custom scoring is becoming the norm as opposed to the one-off, and it's extremely important to know more than Tony Romo is the 5th best quarterback. You need to know if the 5th best quarterback, in your league, is more valuable than the 12th best running back. FFToolbox has helped me dominate the casual IDP (individual defensive player) leagues I've been in for years. A lot of websites now have the customizable scoring options, and while most of the free services do have some limitations to the categories, I prefer FFT's to them all.

Another great resource that I often use is the website KFFL.com. They do a good job of providing composite ADP (average draft position) rankings of the major websites, so you can get an overview of where players are being drafted. For this post, we'll take a look at KFFL's composite PPR (point per reception) Top 10 Rankings for the various positions, including where the noteworthy Cowboys are being drafted. I'll mostly reference PPR leagues in my fantasy coverage, because really every league should be playing this version by now. Things will fluctuate over the next four weeks, but this is as solid of a foundation as you can get.

For the Cowboys that didn't make the top 10 at their position, I've included their rank in parentheses, as well as their ADP's.

8/9/11 QB ---------- RB ---------- WR ---------- TE ---------- DEF ----------
RANKING ---------- ADP ---------- ADP ---------- ADP ---------- ADP ---------- ADP
1 Vick 7.26 Foster 1.28 A Johnson 14.83 Gates 52.08 Packers N/A
2 Rodgers 10.07 Ch Johnson 3.21 R White 13.22 Witten 48.52 Jets N/A
3 Brees 22.26 Rice 9.95 Ca Johnson 16.49 Clark 59.78 Giants N/A
4 Romo 69.63 Peterson 1.99 Austin 26.28 Davis 56.21 Eagles N/A
5 Brady 33.78 McCoy 8.95 Nicks 19.82 Winslow 165.91 Bears N/A
6 Manning 26.74 Charles 4.17 Fitzgerald 26.83 Cooley 148.23 Steelers N/A
7 Rivers 38.87 McFadden 11.79 Wayne 23.89 Gresham 208.94 Patriots N/A
8 Roethlisberger 72.56 Jones-Drew 6.87 Jennings 21.6 Finley 67.19 Cardinals N/A
9 Schaub 79.51 Gore 15.66 Boldin 62.47 Daniels 127.78 Saints N/A
10 Ryan 103.45 Forte 20.49 Marshall 44.09 Gonzalez 98.72 Chargers N/A
      F Jones(23) 44.88 Bryant(30) 50.16     Cowboys(13) N/A
      D Murray(35) 204.74            
      Choice(69) 125.55          

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Side Note: We still have some folks that haven't checked into their BTB Yahoo! Sports leagues. If you do not create your team by this Saturday you will LOSE YOUR SPOT. It's not fair to keep everyone waiting, and there were enough people that didn't make it into the league that would love the opportunity. Thanks.

Yahoo! Fantasy Football supports SB Nation and pigskin awesomeness. It’s also the #1 Fantasy Football game thanks to dazzling player research, instant stats with free live scoring, iPhone, Android, and iPad apps this season. Plus, new scoring categories for long receptions and rush plays. (Yes!) Sign up at yahoo.com/fantasyfootball

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