Using Our Draft Kit to Win Your Yahoo Fantasy Football League

Knowing your draft lobby inside and out can help you dominate your draft. Here's how to do it on Yahoo.

Nobody likes to admit it -- at least I don't -- but luck is a big part of fantasy football.

You can get lucky or unlucky with your draft slot. You can get unlucky if your players get hurt. A fingertip deflection or two can alter your entire fantasy football season. You need a number of things to go right every week, and being prepared for everything is a good start.

One overlooked area of your fantasy season is the draft. Not the strategy and preparation itself of course. I'm talking about knowing your league lobby. Maybe you're primarily an ESPN player and you know the intricacies of their lobby well by now. Maybe your friend's buddy needs another guy in his Yahoo league, and you agree because there's no such thing as too many leagues, even though you barely know Mark.

Well, you can get a rude awakening if you haven't studied the Yahoo lobby (or whichever new site you're joining). I'm here to help you defeat Mark and his pals.

I'll start by setting up our fully customizable cheat sheet (and the draft kit app so I can have even more spreadsheets open during the draft) to Yahoo's default settings and see which players and positions are overvalued and undervalued.

Let's dive in.

Fundamental Principles

1. Yahoo's default leagues require three wide receivers. It's a one-quarterback, three-receiver, two-running back, one-tight end setup. It's also non-PPR.

2. Quarterbacks are generally undervalued on Yahoo's list. Compared to our rankings, quarterbacks can be had later than they should be.

3. It's a balanced app. Like it was last year, the app is pretty much in line with ours in terms of the number of receivers and running backs inside the top 25, top 50, and top 100.

4. But we disagree on individual players. That's the real key, and that's where we'll try to scrounge up the most value.

5. You have just six bench spots. That means you have a 15-man roster rather than 16 on ESPN. That means you can't stash players as easily, but it also means the waiver wire will be a little more forgiving, provided your commissioner doesn't change the bench size.

Overvalued Yahoo Players According to Our Projections

So, I wasn't really being coy when I said that we disagree on individual players. There are 24 players inside Yahoo's top 100 alone that we think are listed at least 16 spots too soon, once you factor in position scarcity, roster settings, and scoring settings.

Player Position Yahoo Draft App numberFire Rank Difference
Tyrell Williams WR 80 141 -61
LeGarrette Blount RB 59 113 -54
Adrian Peterson RB 68 115 -47
Samaje Perine RB 83 129 -46
Jimmy Graham TE 58 102 -44
Derrick Henry RB 93 137 -44
Mike Gillislee RB 32 73 -41
Travis Kelce TE 33 66 -33
Martavis Bryant WR 48 80 -32
Jameis Winston QB 71 97 -26
Doug Martin RB 87 110 -23
Joe Mixon RB 28 50 -22
Marcus Mariota QB 63 85 -22
Tyreek Hill WR 42 63 -21
Jordan Reed TE 50 70 -20
Leonard Fournette RB 17 35 -18
Marshawn Lynch RB 34 52 -18
Davante Adams WR 44 62 -18
Delanie Walker TE 78 96 -18
Eddie Lacy RB 51 68 -17
Dalvin Cook RB 57 74 -17
Demaryius Thomas WR 29 45 -16
Martellus Bennett TE 92 108 -16

I probably love Tyrell Williams more than the next guy, but listing him 80th is pretty bold, even with the injury to Mike Williams. The Los Angeles Chargers have a bunch of pass catchers to contend with, and he's our biggest "overvalued" player inside Yahoo's top 100.

I can understand being bullish on Adrian Peterson and Samaje Perine, but LeGarrette Blount at 59th is hard to understand in a format where you can get away with (i.e. can only play) just two running backs each week.

Mike Gillislee at 32 is pretty spicy, as he's ahead of Travis Kelce, both of whom our algorithms value at least 40 slots lower than they're found in the Yahoo app.

Five tight ends make this list, and it's not just because we think the position is totally overvalued. Yahoo does have 10 tight ends in their top 100 and we have just 6, but there are plenty of undervalued tight ends, according to our projections.

Undervalued Yahoo Players According to Our Projections

By comparison, these players are undervalued by at least a full round (12 picks) and are still inside Yahoo's top 100.

Player Position Yahoo Draft App numberFire Rank Difference
Matt Ryan QB 67 23 44
Stefon Diggs WR 100 64 36
Golden Tate WR 74 40 34
Cam Newton QB 77 49 28
Eric Decker WR 91 65 26
Kirk Cousins QB 85 61 24
Jarvis Landry WR 60 37 23
Russell Wilson QB 65 42 23
Kelvin Benjamin WR 82 59 23
Jeremy Maclin WR 99 77 22
Larry Fitzgerald WR 64 43 21
Drew Brees QB 41 22 19
Tyler Eifert TE 86 67 19
Aaron Rodgers QB 30 12 18
Spencer Ware RB 49 31 18
Ameer Abdullah RB 66 48 18
Frank Gore RB 72 55 17
Tom Brady QB 35 21 14
Michael Crabtree WR 45 32 13

That's a lengthy list for sure. Seven big-name passers are undervalued by at least a round, per our algorithms, and even if you don't want to spend an early pick on them, you can probably get them later than you should be able to if your league drafts in line with the app.

Stefon Diggs at 100th in the app is a bit puzzling. He's 64th in our ranks for this type of default league, and here are numerous reasons to love him in 2017.

Some veteran wideouts make the list, too, most notably guys who tend to have more value in PPR leagues (Golden Tate and Jarvis Landry, for example).

Speaking of receivers, pretty much every player inside our top 100 whom we rank at least 20 spots ahead of their Yahoo rank is a wideout.

PlayerPositionYahoo Draft AppnumberFire RankDifference
Robby AndersonWR19010090
Matt RyanQB672344
Rishard MatthewsWR1248242
Rob KelleyRB1299039
Stefon DiggsWR1006436
Randall CobbWR1077235
Golden TateWR744034
Jordan MatthewsWR1178334
Kenny BrittWR1057530
Cam NewtonQB774928
Eric DeckerWR916526
Kirk CousinsQB856124
Jarvis LandryWR603723
Russell WilsonQB654223
Kelvin BenjaminWR825923
Jeremy MaclinWR997722
Corey DavisWR1209822
Larry FitzgeraldWR644321
Mike WallaceWR1169521

Sure, a lot of names were on the last list, too, but there really are big difference between our individual ranks and Yahoo's, despite being mostly on the same page with how to value certain positions in your draft.

Hidden Gems

Kareem Hunt is the big one at 2,454 in the Yahoo lobby (not a typo). He has an outside chance to push Spencer Ware for the top running back duties for the Kansas City Chiefs and is getting run with the first-team.

Chris Thompson, the third-down back for Washington, is 296th, so not quite so hidden as Hunt is.

The same can be said for Shane Vereen, who is listed 303rd on Yahoo. He's our 253rd-ranked player in this format and is healthy after a torn triceps last year. He really only needs to steal receiving work from Paul Perkins to pay off that tag and could wind up a lead back if Perkins can't take over that role successfully.

Other backups listed way down the list include Darren McFadden (1,934) and Alfred Morris (2,372), in case you're worried about the Ezekiel Elliott suspension scare.

Detroit Lions rookie standout Kenny Golladay is our 143rd-ranked player in this format but is pretty hidden in Yahoo's lobby, and Braxton Miller and Jaelen Strong, who could have an early-season role while Will Fuller misses time early in the year.

Josh Gordon is listed 269th.

Low-end tight ends Jermaine Gresham (1,907) and Benjamin Watson (1,903) are listed as afterthoughts, and Austin Seferian-Jenkins is 256th.