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Now that the 2009 fantasy football season is long since in the books and the the 2010 draft season is about to kick off, I wanted to take a look back at the 2009 season and the benefits of using the PCDrafter tool that comes with your subscription.

In 2008, for the first time, I used PC Drafter as my main draft source in three leagues and the results were impressive: I was the top seed in 2-of-the-3 leagues and the second seed in the other. Unfortunately, my playoff success was just one second place finish.

This year I was looking to improve on that. I figured using PC Drafter again this year would give me a more accurate reading on just how great of a tool it can be after such an impressive regular season in 2008. Did I just get lucky in ’08, or can PC Drafter consistently produce winning results. Well, my 2009 results were right on par with 2008: playoff berths in all three leagues again, including two division titles. In perhaps my most competitive league, I won my third title in eight years.

If I wasn’t a believer in PC Drafter last year, I certainly am fully on board now. And you should be too.

At the very least, PC Drafter is like buying a magazine that updates throughout the summer leading right up to your draft. Why buy a magazine that was printed well before your draft day, when the rankings are so far out of date they’re barely accurate? What I think is the best part about PC Drafter that a magazine can’t provide is the fact it adapts to your league settings, and we all have little twists and turns that make our respective leagues different from the others. One of the biggest things you can do for yourself is know your league scoring system - inside and out. PC Drafter allows you to enter the point system for your league, and then the program calculates the best choices for you.

On top of that, it keeps track of your draft picks and your opponents, telling you what you need, what you don’t need, as well as your opponents’ needs. One quick glance on a highlighted player gives you bye week info as well as the matchups for the whole season. All you have to do is bring your laptop to the draft.

One personal twist for me this year was attending a live draft that started at 1 p.m. on the East Coast. However, I was scheduled to be in another draft, online, that was on the West Coast just a few hours later. It was a little tricky, but for about an hour, I was able to draft players in TWO different leagues at the SAME time, switching back and forth on PC Drafter as my ONLY source of information other than my own fantasy instincts.

The three leagues I participate in have significantly different scoring systems, too. League 1 is pretty standard with 1 point for every 10 yards and 6 points for TDs for QBs, RBs, WRs and TEs. One difference is a 5-point bonus for QBs going over 300 yards and RBs and receivers going over 100 yards. It’s also a keeper league.

League 2 is again a standard yardage keeper league, but you get a point per reception, which is obviously a major key.

League 3 is a league I run myself, and is a scoring league – 6 points for TDs and 5 points for going over 300 or 100 yards and then 2 points for every 25 yards after that. It rewards those players who have big days and we don’t have any keepers.

Here’s a look back at my drafts from this past season: 


League 1

Coming into this season I had Stephen Jackson and Brian Westbrook as my keepers for several years. In the offseason, I traded Westbrook to swap picks in the third and fourth rounds – giving me two picks in the third and none in the fourth. That allowed me to keep Jackson and Larry Fitzgerald instead. My first pick was in the seven slot, but there were some big players on the board including: Calvin Johnson, Chris Johnson, Andre Johnson, Peyton Manning and Tom Brady. (Editors Note: nice trade!)

Quarterbacks getting 6 points for TDs is a big deal, and while I hoped Manning or Brady would slip, I wasn’t optimistic. Since we play three WRs, I wasn’t optimistic about Andre or Calvin falling either as quality receivers are often gobbled up quickly. My realistic target was actually Brandon Jacobs, who ended up having a bad season in terms of fantasy. But Jacobs was actually drafted before I could get him and, believe it or not, it was Chris Johnson who slipped all the way to seventh. Thank you very much…

I didn’t need PC Drafter to draft Johnson, but if you remember back before the season, there was talk about him not getting the touchdowns since that was the trend the year before. With Johnson and Jackson or Fitzgerald as potential keepers for years to come, I’m poised to make a run for a few seasons, even when I have to pick 10th this summer.

Perhaps my most interesting pick was taking Boldin when it came back in the second round. Fitzgerald and Boldin on the same team was risky, but he was the best available at that point and I wanted to have 2 RBs and 2 WRs after my second selection. In the third round, I had my two picks, and drafted McNabb with Dallas Clark. McNabb, Johnson, Jackson, Fitzgerald, Boldin and Clark were a nice core to help me win a championship. 


League 2

In this league, points per reception are obviously huge. My keepers were Westbrook and Jacobs, so, for me to make the playoffs and win the division, I certainly needed to have a great draft – as it turned out.

This league uses a flex position along with two RBs and two WRs. My strategy is to always try and play three RBs every week, but with two protected I was leaving it open to the best available player for my first selection. After taking second last year, I picked ninth this season.

Reggie Wayne was my first pick and obviously that was an easy one. Since this draft doesn’t snake, I was picking ninth every round. In round two, I took Pierre Thomas, who ended up pretty solid, especially in certain matchups and was always getting receptions. Round three was Tony Gonzalez and round four was Tony Romo (after McNabb was snagged right before me). After that it was Santonio Holmes, which rounded out my skill starters.

My lineup didn’t look back at the time: Romo, Jacobs, Westbrook, Thomas, Wayne, Holmes and Gonzo. With Westbrook protected, I felt I needed to spend an earlier pick than normal on LeSean McCoy to back him up. I did the same and got Ahmad Bradshaw, and, also hit with a late-round pick of Rashad Mendenhall (no roster limits in this league). Another late round pick was Brett Favre and I managed to pick the right weeks for matchups between starting Favre and Romo. About midway through the season, Westbrook and Jacobs weren’t even part of my lineup, and not being able to play your two keepers could doom any team, but I managed to get a strong crop of players to get me to the playoffs. Unfortunately, I fell short in the first round but making the playoffs I managed to get my league fee back. 


League 3

This league has a different scoring system, but it was easy to make PC Drafter recognize that and help me pick the guys who would find the end zone. While a lot of owners in my league still struggle to understand the concept of scoring leagues, magazines will base their rankings on yardage leagues and that could be a problem...

This is a 12-team league and I ended up drawing the 10th pick in a snake draft. Thinking back to the beginning of the year, I remember telling a friend I either wanted a top-3 pick, or to just pick at the bottom. So, I wasn’t all that upset about where I drew.

My first two selections at 1.10 and 2.3 were Stephen Jackson and Brandon Jacobs. Quarterbacks are huge in this league but most of them were taken and I thought I could get better value later. Jacobs, again, was a huge disappointment. While Jackson had a slow start, he ended up productive as the year went on. Boldin and McNabb were my next two picks followed by Kellen Winslow and Ochocinco. That gave me a lineup of McNabb, Jackson, Jacobs, Boldin, 85 and Winslow.

While it wasn’t a bad lineup, it struggled to get me points but I was pretty consistently in the 40s while the elite teams were getting 50s and 60s. Where I went horribly wrong was drafting Favre and then releasing him a few weeks into the season to snag the younger Joe Flacco, who was playing incredible at the time. Favre ended up having some monster games and his point totals alone could have helped me keep pace with the owners who drafted Brady, Rodgers, Manning and Brees and were averaging 5-10 points a week more. Turns out the team that picked up Favre won my division and made it to the finals before losing. If only I could consult PC Drafter for in-season moves. Releasing Favre still haunts me a bit today. 


Overall, PC Drafter certainly did its job again this season. That’s two years, six total seasons and six playoff appearances. You can’t ask for more than that. Well, you can, but there’s a lot of uncontrolled factors that go into winning a title. Getting there is a big part of the battle and PC Drafter can help you do that.

PC Drafter is so easy to use and keeping track of a draft is just a matter of a few clicks. The hard work can be set up ahead of time, like the league settings, draft order, etc. Once the draft comes, the program keeps track of everything else.

So, if you found yourself on the outside looking in when your league playoffs came around this past season, try giving PC Drafter a serious try next year at your draft. August is only a few weeks away!


PCDrafter is the best draft day tool on the market, combining projections with the GOLD algorithm to dynamically deliver the most robust player recommendations on the planet. PCDrafter (a $17.95 value) is FREE with your subscription. Learn More and Download Today. Not a subscriber? Sign Up Now!

Filed Under: Preseason, 2010

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