In today’s fantasy landscape, there is no shortage of analyst/expert rankings, trade calculators, etc. that you can reference when trying to make determinations between players. While those are no doubt useful, I believe creating your OWN fantasy football rankings is one of the most basic yet beneficial exercises you can leverage. By creating rankings, comparing to consensus, and continually updating/referencing them, you can begin using a tool that is customized to your preferences and helps you in player valuation.
Creating your own rankings is by no means an easy task, especially when you get past the top 100 players or so. When I am trying to decide where to put John Ross among WR’s (I have him as my WR56, because, well, maybe Coach Taylor can salvage him??) or Lamar Miller among RB’s (my 41st ranked RB), I feel about as excited as I do when watching these players. The first time you create rankings, it is a little tedious and I would recommend taking some breaks along the way. You can start by first ranking each position group, and then from there reordering them into overall rankings. Once completed, I then recommend revisiting your rankings in the following days with a ‘fresh’ set of eyes. You would be surprised how many updates you might make after sleeping on it. From there, you can choose to update your rankings as often as you like, but probably once or twice a month is sufficient. What I do NOT recommend is changing your rankings after every piece of training camp chatter is Tweeted or after a couple of rough games during the season. You will potentially end up over analyzing yourself and becoming a slave to the coach speak.
If It’s Not a Fun Task, Why Should I Invest the Time?
I respect the opinions of many fantasy analysts and over the years have found a few in particular that I tend to value more than others. Those analysts usually have rankings that I would reference from time to time, but I didn’t always agree with how high or how low they ranked a given player. However, I obviously cannot tell someone else how they should value a player – so what better way to find rankings that I 100% agree with than creating my own? Since first creating a top-240 dynasty rankings back in May, I have seen the value of having MY list in MY ‘perfect’ order to look over when necessary. If I am trying to decide who I want to trade for in a league, I look at my rankings and see who I rank higher than others and could potentially snag for a ‘discount’ in my eyes. Just last week I was approached by a league mate asking me how I value Kenny Golladay versus Corey Davis. In the past I would have referenced other people’s rankings, then tried to figure out if I agreed with them or not. In this instance, I was able to easily see about how far apart I value each player (Golladay as WR24, Davis as WR35) and then go from there in negotiations to try to close the gap. Trade calculators are nice tools to give you a general idea on player values, but ultimately you are relying on how someone else views a player instead of how YOU view the player.
Don’t Wait – Get To It!
As mentioned previously, creating your own rankings can take some time and effort initially, but I believe the reward is certainly worth it. You don’t have to start with a 250-player rankings, instead, try to first nail down your top-20 QBs, top-30 RBs, top-50 WRs, and top-20 TEs. This will give you a pretty good idea of how you value the most relative fantasy assets. You can customize based on the leagues you play in (i.e. your QB’s may rank higher in overall rankings in SuperFlex leagues, and TE’s higher in TE Premium leagues) and start identifying who you like more than most to begin targeting those players in trades. Remember: Create. Compare to consensus. Continually update and reference. Commence trading.
Bonus Section: Insight Into Taylor’s Rankings
While I have ranked 240 players total, here are some fun tidbits from my dynasty top-100:
- Biggest Riser Since May: Tyreek Hill (from WR30 to WR8)
- Biggest Faller Since May: Sammy Watkins (from WR29 to WR38)
- Players I’m Lower on Than Most: Aaron Jones (RB23) and Corey Davis (WR35)
- Players I’m Higher on Than Most: Tyler Boyd (WR18) and DK Metcalf (WR23)
Anyone else you are interested in seeing where I have them ranked? Any players I have mentioned above that you completely disagree with? Shoot me a tweet @RotoHeatTaylor and I would love to converse!