How to use Yahoo's default fantasy football rankings to your advantage when you're in the draft room

<h2 class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="By&nbsp;Adam Levitan,&nbsp;Establish the Run
Special to Yahoo Sports” data-reactid=”16″>By Adam LevitanEstablish the Run
Special to Yahoo Sports

I’d make a lot of changes if I was King of the season-long fantasy football world. But my No. 1 priority would be eliminating the default rankings from the online draft applets. These default rankings remove a lot of the hard work and preparation that is otherwise necessary when building your own ranks.

If the defaults are solid, fantasy managers can just show up the day of the draft, use the site’s rankings as their research, and emerge with a reasonable team. At a minimum, we know our opponents use the default rankings as a crutch. That means they may be afraid to choose X guy in the second round because he’s listed as a fourth-rounder in the applet. Or maybe they take Y guy earlier than they should because his name is on top of the applet. Even auto-drafters can have success if the draft applet rankings are solid.

The good news for us is there are edges for us to exploit against opponents who are relying on the defaults too much. The best process for us is to draft off of our own personal rankings, but also be aware of and adjust to what’s going on in the applet.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Below is what you should be aware of heading into drafts on Yahoo.&nbsp;” data-reactid=”26″>Below is what you should be aware of heading into drafts on Yahoo. 

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="*These rankings were found within Yahoo draft applet as of Friday, August 21.” data-reactid=”27″>*These rankings were found within Yahoo draft applet as of Friday, August 21.

<h2 class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="PLAYERS LISTED HIGHER THAN EXPECTED” data-reactid=”28″>PLAYERS LISTED HIGHER THAN EXPECTED

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="23.&nbsp;James Conner” data-reactid=”29″>23. James Conner

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="27.&nbsp;Adam Thielen” data-reactid=”30″>27. Adam Thielen

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="30.&nbsp;Chris Carson” data-reactid=”31″>30. Chris Carson

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="40.&nbsp;Mark Ingram” data-reactid=”32″>40. Mark Ingram

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="49.&nbsp;D’Andre Swift” data-reactid=”33″>49. D’Andre Swift

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="56.&nbsp;Ronald Jones” data-reactid=”34″>56. Ronald Jones

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="70.&nbsp;Jordan Howard” data-reactid=”35″>70. Jordan Howard

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="75.&nbsp;Matt Breida” data-reactid=”36″>75. Matt Breida

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="84.&nbsp;Matthew Stafford” data-reactid=”37″>84. Matthew Stafford

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="96.&nbsp;Ben Roethlisberger” data-reactid=”38″>96. Ben Roethlisberger

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="ADJUSTMENTS:&nbsp;No stealing&nbsp;Adam Thielen&nbsp;on Yahoo as he’s listed WR9. It will be much easier to show a profit on the ADPs of WRs like&nbsp;Calvin Ridley&nbsp;(42 overall) and&nbsp;DK Metcalf&nbsp;(53) … I’m hoping to be able to get&nbsp;James Conner&nbsp;or&nbsp;Chris Carson&nbsp;in Round 3 of a lot of drafts. Yahoo will make that difficult with these aggressive rankings … Speaking of aggressive,&nbsp;Mark Ingram&nbsp;is a whopping 41 spots ahead of&nbsp;J.K. Dobbins&nbsp;in the applet. I know Evan disagrees, but I actually prefer Dobbins straight up …&nbsp;D’Andre Swift’s projected Kamara-esque pass-catching is exciting, but this is a steep tag given the WRs available in the 40-60 range … Yahoo has somehow locked onto the&nbsp;Ronald Jones&nbsp;hype machine. It’s going to be really hard to get him without investing a high draft slot here … Hopefully, someone else bites on these wildly high rankings for&nbsp;Jordan Howard&nbsp;and&nbsp;Matt Breida … Almost all the QBs on Yahoo are pushed up high. Still,&nbsp;Matthew Stafford&nbsp;ahead of&nbsp;Carson Wentz,&nbsp;Tom Brady, and&nbsp;Aaron Rodgers&nbsp;isn’t what I want to see. Expect the QB run to start early in Yahoo formats.&nbsp;Ben Roethlisberger&nbsp;in the Top 100 speaks to that.” data-reactid=”39″>ADJUSTMENTS: No stealing Adam Thielen on Yahoo as he’s listed WR9. It will be much easier to show a profit on the ADPs of WRs like Calvin Ridley (42 overall) and DK Metcalf (53) … I’m hoping to be able to get James Conner or Chris Carson in Round 3 of a lot of drafts. Yahoo will make that difficult with these aggressive rankings … Speaking of aggressive, Mark Ingram is a whopping 41 spots ahead of J.K. Dobbins in the applet. I know Evan disagrees, but I actually prefer Dobbins straight up … D’Andre Swift’s projected Kamara-esque pass-catching is exciting, but this is a steep tag given the WRs available in the 40-60 range … Yahoo has somehow locked onto the Ronald Jones hype machine. It’s going to be really hard to get him without investing a high draft slot here … Hopefully, someone else bites on these wildly high rankings for Jordan Howard and Matt Breida … Almost all the QBs on Yahoo are pushed up high. Still, Matthew Stafford ahead of Carson WentzTom Brady, and Aaron Rodgers isn’t what I want to see. Expect the QB run to start early in Yahoo formats. Ben Roethlisberger in the Top 100 speaks to that.

<h2 class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="PLAYERS LISTED LOWER THAN EXPECTED” data-reactid=”40″>PLAYERS LISTED LOWER THAN EXPECTED

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="80.&nbsp;Will Fuller” data-reactid=”41″>80. Will Fuller

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="89.&nbsp;Darren Waller” data-reactid=”42″>89. Darren Waller

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="98.&nbsp;Evan Engram” data-reactid=”43″>98. Evan Engram

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="129.&nbsp;Rob Gronkowski” data-reactid=”44″>129. Rob Gronkowski

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="141.&nbsp;T.J. Hockenson” data-reactid=”45″>141. T.J. Hockenson

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="144.&nbsp;Christian Kirk” data-reactid=”46″>144. Christian Kirk

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="159.&nbsp;Jalen Reagor” data-reactid=”47″>159. Jalen Reagor

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="165.&nbsp;Golden Tate” data-reactid=”48″>165. Golden Tate

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="170.&nbsp;Henry Ruggs” data-reactid=”49″>170. Henry Ruggs

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="181.&nbsp;N’Keal Harry” data-reactid=”50″>181. N’Keal Harry

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="ADJUSTMENTS:&nbsp;Yahoo hasn’t adjusted for the&nbsp;Will Fuller&nbsp;hype, meaning we could try to wait until Round 7 to grab him against applet-drafters … There are a lot of edges in this Yahoo applet, but the TE rankings are a big one.&nbsp;Darren Waller&nbsp;and&nbsp;Evan Engram&nbsp;are somehow well behind&nbsp;Tyler Higbee&nbsp;(62),&nbsp;Jared Cook&nbsp;(71), and&nbsp;Hunter Henry&nbsp;(73). Don’t be afraid to jump ahead a little here … If waiting on tight end, the&nbsp;T.J. Hockenson&nbsp;ranking means he should be available very late. Same with&nbsp;Ian Thomas&nbsp;(see below) … I definitely don’t agree with some of these WR rankings, but perhaps the most egregious ranking is on&nbsp;Christian Kirk, who shouldn’t last past the 10th round in any circumstance.” data-reactid=”51″>ADJUSTMENTS: Yahoo hasn’t adjusted for the Will Fuller hype, meaning we could try to wait until Round 7 to grab him against applet-drafters … There are a lot of edges in this Yahoo applet, but the TE rankings are a big one. Darren Waller and Evan Engram are somehow well behind Tyler Higbee (62), Jared Cook (71), and Hunter Henry (73). Don’t be afraid to jump ahead a little here … If waiting on tight end, the T.J. Hockenson ranking means he should be available very late. Same with Ian Thomas (see below) … I definitely don’t agree with some of these WR rankings, but perhaps the most egregious ranking is on Christian Kirk, who shouldn’t last past the 10th round in any circumstance.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="[Visit Establish The Run for more premium fantasy football analysis]&nbsp;” data-reactid=”52″>[Visit Establish The Run for more premium fantasy football analysis] 

<h2 class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="WHERE THE BUZZ GUYS ARE LISTED” data-reactid=”53″>WHERE THE BUZZ GUYS ARE LISTED

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="37.&nbsp;Terry McLaurin” data-reactid=”54″>37. Terry McLaurin

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="67.&nbsp;Marquise Brown” data-reactid=”55″>67. Marquise Brown

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="85.&nbsp;Diontae Johnson” data-reactid=”56″>85. Diontae Johnson

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="94.&nbsp;Antonio Gibson” data-reactid=”57″>94. Antonio Gibson

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="109.&nbsp;Zack Moss” data-reactid=”58″>109. Zack Moss

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="117.&nbsp;Damien Harris” data-reactid=”59″>117. Damien Harris

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="138.&nbsp;Chris Herndon” data-reactid=”60″>138. Chris Herndon

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="151.&nbsp;Curtis Samuel” data-reactid=”61″>151. Curtis Samuel

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="164.&nbsp;Mecole Hardman” data-reactid=”62″>164. Mecole Hardman

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="167.&nbsp;Teddy Bridgewater” data-reactid=”63″>167. Teddy Bridgewater

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="ADJUSTMENTS:&nbsp;I regret to inform you that a lot of the “buzz” guys are pushed up to an appropriate place. We’re not stealing&nbsp;Terry McLaurin,&nbsp;Diontae Johnson, or&nbsp;Antonio Gibson … There is room to get&nbsp;Zack Moss&nbsp;and&nbsp;Damien Harris&nbsp;at a very reasonable draft investment, two guys with major up-arrows during camp. I wouldn’t hesitate to take either in the 10th round if they are there … Speaking of camp buzz,&nbsp;Chris Herndon&nbsp;is listed appropriately here but it’s tough to get too excited given the ranks of&nbsp;Evan Engram&nbsp;and&nbsp;Darren Waller, discussed above … You may not need Teddy Bridgewater if you’re in a 12-team, 1-QB league. But if you do, he should be close to free against applet-drafters.” data-reactid=”64″>ADJUSTMENTS: I regret to inform you that a lot of the “buzz” guys are pushed up to an appropriate place. We’re not stealing Terry McLaurinDiontae Johnson, or Antonio Gibson … There is room to get Zack Moss and Damien Harris at a very reasonable draft investment, two guys with major up-arrows during camp. I wouldn’t hesitate to take either in the 10th round if they are there … Speaking of camp buzz, Chris Herndon is listed appropriately here but it’s tough to get too excited given the ranks of Evan Engram and Darren Waller, discussed above … You may not need Teddy Bridgewater if you’re in a 12-team, 1-QB league. But if you do, he should be close to free against applet-drafters.

<h2 class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="WHO TO SCROLL DOWN FOR” data-reactid=”69″>WHO TO SCROLL DOWN FOR

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="192.&nbsp;Allen Lazard” data-reactid=”72″>192. Allen Lazard

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="198.&nbsp;DeAndre Washington” data-reactid=”73″>198. DeAndre Washington

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="207.&nbsp;Parris Campbell” data-reactid=”74″>207. Parris Campbell

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="212.&nbsp;Sammy Watkins” data-reactid=”75″>212. Sammy Watkins

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="226.&nbsp;Ian Thomas” data-reactid=”76″>226. Ian Thomas

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="233.&nbsp;Laviska Shenault” data-reactid=”77″>233. Laviska Shenault

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="243.&nbsp;Brandon Aiyuk” data-reactid=”78″>243. Brandon Aiyuk

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="246.&nbsp;DeSean Jackson” data-reactid=”79″>246. DeSean Jackson

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="259.&nbsp;Irv Smith Jr.” data-reactid=”80″>259. Irv Smith Jr.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="ADJUSTMENTS:&nbsp;Evan Silva has&nbsp;Brandon Aiyuk&nbsp;76th overall and he’s 243rd here. Silva has&nbsp;DeSean Jackson&nbsp;83rd overall and he’s 246th overall here. Be aware that you don’t have to take Aiyuk and Jackson where Silva has them listed given the applet rankings; we can likely get them in the 100s … A lot of the tight ends are pushed up on Yahoo, but not&nbsp;Ian Thomas&nbsp;or&nbsp;Irv Smith …&nbsp;DeAndre Washington&nbsp;is a nice piece of a RB Anchor or Zero-RB team and can likely be had in Round 12 or 13 against common opponents.” data-reactid=”81″>ADJUSTMENTS: Evan Silva has Brandon Aiyuk 76th overall and he’s 243rd here. Silva has DeSean Jackson 83rd overall and he’s 246th overall here. Be aware that you don’t have to take Aiyuk and Jackson where Silva has them listed given the applet rankings; we can likely get them in the 100s … A lot of the tight ends are pushed up on Yahoo, but not Ian Thomas or Irv Smith … DeAndre Washington is a nice piece of a RB Anchor or Zero-RB team and can likely be had in Round 12 or 13 against common opponents.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Adam Levitan has been writing about Fantasy Football professionally since 2008 and is a two-time FSWA award winner. A podcast host since 2015, his podcasts have been downloaded over 5 million times.” data-reactid=”82″>Adam Levitan has been writing about Fantasy Football professionally since 2008 and is a two-time FSWA award winner. A podcast host since 2015, his podcasts have been downloaded over 5 million times.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Establish The Run is a premium football analysis website. Don’t miss their free&nbsp;fantasy football podcast. ETR will be providing exclusive content for Yahoo Fantasy Sports players leading into the 2020 NFL season.” data-reactid=”83″>Establish The Run is a premium football analysis website. Don’t miss their free fantasy football podcast. ETR will be providing exclusive content for Yahoo Fantasy Sports players leading into the 2020 NFL season.

Listen to the Yahoo Fantasy Football Forecast

Latest posts