Originally written on Fantasy Baseball Dugout  |  Last updated 10/15/14
Tampa_bay_rays_e6b7
Evan Longoria is a cool first round pick if you are drafting last. A statistical analysis of the best draft position in your fantasy baseball draft. There’s a lot of debate among fantasy baseball managers as to what is the best position to have in your fantasy baseball league draft.  The reason that there is any debate at all is that most leagues use a snake format.  If you are a beginner in fantasy baseball, this means that the manager that picks last in the first round, gets the first pick in the second round and this format proceeds throughout the draft. Many leagues will allow the manager to draw a number out of a hat.  Then, the manager, in his first attempt at fantasy baseball strategy in the draft, chooses his actual draft position. Steve Gardner of USA Today likes being in the middle in his drafts. I prefer to draft somewhere in the middle of a snake draft depending on the strength of the top of the player pool on a given year. That way, you don’t have to worry as much about waiting so long in between picks and you can avoid getting shut out of a particular position (shortstop) or a particular category (stolen bases). Here are some thoughts from other fantasy baseball managers at Fantasy Baseball Cafe about their personal preference for draft position: I’m increasingly convinced that draft position doesn’t matter diddly. It’s much more important, IMO, who you draft in rounds 11+ than in the first few.  –mkultra Draft position matters much less in fantasy baseball than other fantasy sports. With fantasy baseball you need to have a deep understanding of the game and of many players if you want to do well. In football it’s mostly about the RBs and in basketball you need to have one or two superstars (because basketball can be dominated by one man in both real life and fantasy).  –Jake2005 Still others didn’t take our question as seriously. I like drafting from the sitting up position in the bed. I’ve got my laptop hooked up and I’ve got everything I need within reach. — Cadensdad
A lot of fantasy baseball managers like to pick one of the elite players and are willing to move down since there are multiple top players in a mixed league.  That means that if you think Cabrera, Pujols, and Kemp are much better than the next group of  Bautista and Tulowitzki, then you decide on the third pick. Miguel Cabrera is ESPN's top pick with an auction value of $35. To most managers it comes down to personal preference.  Some like having the first pick in the draft; others like the last pick so that they can make two consecutive picks.  Others like to have it somewhere down the middle–exactly the spot where our presidential candidates will be come October. At Fantasy Baseball Dugout, however, we like to try to figure things out statistically sometimes.  Not Bill James kind of statistically, but statistically anyway.  So, we took the top 300 rankings at ESPN and figured out the total auction dollar points that you would draft if you went right in order based on the ESPN rankings. We looked at a Mixed 10-team league which is likely the most common format.  After 12 rounds, you drafting at the $9 level and there isn’t much change from round to round or pick to pick so we figured that was adequate to make our determination of what is the best draft position in a 10 team mixed league. After 12 rounds, the total auction dollars drafted varied from a high of $212 to a low of $206.  The fact is that the lower positions of the draft make it harder to make up the dollars.  Surprisingly, its not the first and second rounds of the snake that make the big difference, its actually the third and fourth rounds.  The top pick in the first round was Cabrera at $35 and the 10th pick was Longoria at $30.  That $5 dollar difference, however, was made up in the second round snake where the 11th overall pick was Halladay at $29 versus Reyes at $24–surprisingly another $5 differential.  In the third round, however, the team drafting first chose Lee at $24 as the overall 21st pick while the team drafting last chose Weaver at $19.  This $5 differential, however, was not made up in round four where the last team drafting picked up Lincecum at $19 for the 31st overall pick and the team drafting first got Hamilton as the 40th overall pick at $18. ...but you'll take a haircut with the 20th overall pick with Reyes valued at just $24. The results of our study show that after 12 rounds, here are the total auction dollar values that your team would have in a 10-team mixed league draft.
  • Position 2 – $212
  • Positon 1 – $211
  • Position 3 – $211
  • Position 4 – $210
  • Position 5 – $209
  • Position 6 – $208
  • Position 7 – $207
  • Position 8 – $207
  • Position 10 – $207
  • Position 9 – $206
Based on our analysis of the 2012 fantasy baseball talent pool, we believe that drafting in position # 2 is the best position in the draft.  The worst is position # 9 with a significant $5 swing from the best to the worst draft positions.      
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Mike Pettine considered benching Hoyer for Manziel

Percy Harvin speaks out: 'I'm not a perfect person'

Report: Kobe has prevented Lakers from signing top talent

Red Sox may be ready to move Yoenis Cespedes

Alleged details of War Machine's suicide letter released

Austin Davis says Rams security didn't recognize him

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

LeBron: Bulls are 'much better' than Cavs right now

Redskins to stick with Colt McCoy over Kirk Cousins

Rick Pitino: Louisville will beat FSU in football

Report: Rams considered favorites to move to LA

Kobe to Julius Randle: You’re an idiot if you (expletive) this up

Slava Voynov arrested on D.V. charge, suspended indefinitely

WATCH: Boxer viciously attacks referee at Euro Championships

WATCH: Salvador Perez hassles Lorenzo Cain at media session

Lane Kiffin trashed in Tennessee political ad

WATCH: Lawrence Timmons throws up on field during MNF

10 NBA players who could be traded by the All-Star break

WATCH: Jimbo Fisher gets annoyed, cuts interview short

WATCH: Les Miles has classic reaction to dumb question

WATCH: Tennessee coach tried to trip Ole Miss player?

News station congratulates Gary Payton for breaking TD record

Did Sidney Crosby troll Flyers fans with Halloween costume?

Why Dan Mullen is not leaving Mississippi State

12 amazing stats from Week 7

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Lane Kiffin trashed in political ad

Details of War Machine's suicide letter leaked

Angry Jimbo Fisher cuts off interview

Is Kobe's deal hurting the Lakers?

Tenn. coach tried to trip Ole Miss CB?

GGG continues his reign of terror

The 6 things that mattered this weekend in the premier league

News station congratulates Gary Payton for TD record

Ray Rice could be back by Week 10?

12 amazing stats from Week 7

World Series preview

Favre: I got calls about playing last season

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.