Ultimate Draft Kit Review: Research Tools (Fantasy Football)
The Fantasy Footballers Ultimate Draft Kit (UDK) is one of the most powerful tools that I use both as a fantasy manager and as an analyst. The plethora of information at your fingertips is second to none. You can find Andy, Mike, and Jason’s Projections, Rankings, exclusive Video Series, plus even more new features the team has added for 2021.
The data compiled in this year’s UDK is extensive, and while that is excellent to prepare for your drafts, it can also be a bit daunting.
This UDK Review series will highlight some of the award-winning features you can find in the Ultimate Draft Kit and serve as a tutorial to walk you through how to unlock the potential behind each category. You can check out Kyle’s Tier-Based Ranking review for a comprehensive explanation of how to use this both before and during your drafts.
This article will review the categories and information you can find under the Research tab in this year’s UDK and how to understand all of the incredible insights therein.
Target Share and Market Share Breakdown
The first two data sets you will find under the Research section of the UDK can be a little confusing to keep straight. Target Share and Market Share are two reports that can be used separately but can be even more insightful if used to complement one another.
The Target Share report details each TEAM’S percentage of targets distributed and completions by position to the WRs, RBs, and TEs. These percentages are displayed as either a table or a chart as pictured below.
Let’s take the Arizona Cardinals from our example above. As we can see, the Cardinals targeted the WR position 69% of the time and the WRs also made up 67% of the team’s total completions. Furthermore, running backs were targeted 18% of the time but had 21% of the team’s completions, and tight ends saw only 13% of the targets and 12% of the team’s total completions.
If we put this into terms of what we know of the Arizona Cardinals, this data makes a lot of sense. The Cardinals boast one of the best WRs in the league with DeAndre Hopkins while both Kenyan Drake and Chase Edmonds saw far lower targets, and TE Dan Arnold was fantasy irrelevant.
Here is another example with the Los Angeles Chargers.
Here we can see a more balanced distribution, albeit more heavily weighted for the wide receivers. The Chargers targeted the WRs 46% of the time, RBs 21%, and the TE position a whopping 21% of the team’s total targets. Hunter Henry is no longer on the Chargers and instead, they picked up veteran Jared Cook. That indicates that Cook has the potential to see 20% of Justin Herbert’s targets in 2021. (We’ll revisit Cook as we continue to discuss the other Research Tools).
While the Target Share focuses on the target distribution to each position group, Market Share looks at the player’s totals compared to their team by that position. I particularly like this breakdown when I am comparing teams with running backs by committee. Let’s go back to the Cardinals who had Kenyan Drake and Chase Edmonds competing for rushes and targets in 2020.
This gives me a much clearer picture of what identity each player had in the Cardinals’ offense. Remember, Drake is now with the Las Vegas Raiders and James Conner has taken his place while Edmonds remains on the team. Not only does this help understand Edmonds’ role, but it also helps give us a better guess as to how Conner could be utilized on his new team.
Not only can you use this to figure out a committee backfield, but let’s use this to understand Cook’s potential on his new team with the Chargers.
Here are Hunter Henry’s numbers from 2020.
That 76.4% of the tight end targets shows me that Cook (who is taking Henry’s position) will have very little competition against other tight ends on the Chargers and could see 17% of the team’s total targets to tight ends by himself.
NFL Draft Recap
The NFL Draft Recap is rather straightforward and shows the Round, Pick, team, height, and weight of each player. You can search for a player and you can “View Dynasty Rookie Rankings” from the Ballers.
Red Zone Report
The Red Zone Report is another incredible breakdown of data that looks at both passing and receiving data within the 20-yard line (red zone) and the 10-yard line. The 10-Zone Rushing tab further breaks this data down to include the 5-zone numbers.
Sticking with the Cardinals and the Chargers, let’s take a look at what these tables show us.
Right away, you can see that Drake outperformed Edmonds in 10-zone and 5-zone rushing. Remember, this is rushing within 10 yards of the endzone. If you move one tab over, this tells even more of the story when it comes to Red Zone Receiving.
While Drake (and possibly Conner this year) can be productive on the ground for the Cardinals, Edmonds is still involved in scoring and in the Red Zone through the air.
Henry also saw work in the Red Zone as we can see in the table below.
Of course, this is projecting similar numbers for Cook, but we are looking at 14 targets within 20 yards of the end zone and seven targets inside the 10-zone.
The current ADP (Average Draft Position) is an excellent way to understand in what round you can get certain players. These numbers are always changing as news emerges every day from the offseason. When used in conjunction with all of the other tools in UDK, Current ADP can help you uncover some hidden gems at the very best value. You can view ADP by Half PPR, PPR, STD, and even 2QB.
Players to Target by Team
Let’s combine all we have discovered about the Cardinals’ backfield and which RB we should target in 2021 using our Research Tools. We are assuming that Conner will be taking Drake’s role in the offense and that Edmonds will largely remain the same.
Using the Target Share Report, I can see that the Cardinals don’t target their running backs much, and rely on their wide receivers instead. If I am looking for a pass-catching, work-horse back, I should avoid the Cardinals.
However, if I am facing the decision during my draft of taking either Conner or Edmonds to complement my other running backs, I may need to draft one of these players. Through the Market Share Report, I see that Conner could potentially produce a little more than Edmonds (56.4% compared to 42.9%) but Edmonds would see more of the targets (12.3% compared to 6%).
Using the Red Zone Report, I can see that Conner will also have the potential to rush more often inside the 10-Zone than Edmonds (35 attempts to 3) but Edmonds will have more targets in the Red Zone than Conner (6.5% to 16.4%). If you are playing in non-PPR leagues, Conner maybe the back to draft while PPR scoring formats may favor Edmonds.
According to the Current ADP, Conner is a steal (especially in non-PPR leagues) and being drafted in the middle of the 9th Round in half-PPR formats. Edmonds also has some value going off the board toward the end of the 6th Round.
Players to Target by Position
Let’s do one more example. In fantasy football, the tight end position is frustrating. There are the elite few like Travis Kelce, Darren Waller, and George Kittle and then there is everybody else. If you are unable or unwilling to spend high draft capital on one of those elite TEs, recognizing opportunity and value are vital to get the most out of the position.
Using the Target Share Report, I can sort all 32 teams by the percentage they target tight ends. The last thing I want to do is grab a tight end in the later rounds that will see barely any volume (like we saw with Cardinals). We can see in the report that the Chargers targeted tight ends 21% of the time, which resulted in 20% of the team’s total completions. It’s not through the roof incredible, but it isn’t as bad as teams like the Panthers who targeted the TE 8%, the Patriots with 8%, or the Bills at 13%.
Then let’s take a look at the Market Share Report and click on the TE tab to see a list of players. If I search “Hunter Henry” in the search bar, I can see his statistics from last year. Out of all of the possible points to be scored by a TE for the Chargers (not just touchdown points) I see that Henry had well over three-quarters of those points. This tells me he had very little competition at TE, which means Cook will also have very little competition at the position.
I can now use the Red Zone Report to look at Henry’s production in the red zone and I can see that QB Justin Herbert was not afraid to go for his TE in the red zone. In fact, if we look at Herbert’s Red Zone Report, we can see he isn’t afraid to target any player in the red zone. (Please purchase the 2021 UDK to see Herbert’s Red Zone Report.)
Now that I know that the Chargers’ new tight end could see roughly 20% of the team’s total targets, be the team’s main guy at the position commanding 76.4% of the tight end targets, and gets work in the red zone with a QB who isn’t afraid of passing in the red zone… I am intrigued with Cook’s potential in 2021 but where can I expect to draft him?
Current ADP has Cook being drafted at the end of the 16th Round. Yes, the end of the 16th Round or going undrafted completely.
Strength of Schedule & Bye Weeks
It’s always good to have a snapshot of what a team’s year could look like and that is exactly what we have under Strength of Schedule.
Strength of Schedule has been hotly debated as either useful or not useful at all. No matter how you use this data, the UDK has it readily available and color-coded for quick reference.
The same is true for bye weeks, which are listed out under the Bye Weeks section. Nearly every table in the UDK is sortable so you can see how many teams have a bye in what weeks and plan accordingly.
TIP: If you hover over table headings, you can get an explanation of the data.
Remember to purchase this year’s Ultimate Draft Kit to unlock all of the tools and features to dominate your drafts and stay tuned for even more reviews of the tools and insights from our staff.