Editor’s Note: This is a guest post by a #footclan member detailing why the UDK is one of the best fantasy tools.
Since the conception of fantasy football, players have strived to gain a leg up on their competition. This dates back to the days when yours truly would print out a custom cheat sheet and player rankings from a homemade excel sheet and cross the names off with a Sharpie as each player came off the board. Times have certainly changed since then. Fantasy football has become a rite of passage, something larger than any of us could have projected, and with its larger platform comes a more saturated path to success. Reading over the same basic player rankings numerous times and basing opinions off of phone alerts, the same alerts that your whole league is receiving, is certainly not separating you from the pack.
If you have your ear to the world of fantasy football, then chances are you’ve heard of The Fantasy Footballers. Their widely successful podcast has helped numerous people take their fantasy knowledge and success to new heights. To further help fantasy players on their way to success, the leaders of the Foot Clan created an all-inclusive hub of fantasy information, known as the Ultimate Draft Kit. Let’s break down what they have to offer and see if the Ultimate Draft Kit lives up to its lofty name.
Player Rankings That Matter & Hold Up Over Time
The Ultimate Draft Kit (or UDK) provides you with award-winning rankings for each player. In fact, they have dominated the Fantasy Pros competitions for the accuracy of their predictions for several seasons in a row. This is primarily because you receive a huge compilation of information to determine the “rank” of any given player. UDK provides you with projected points, tiers, rank, ADP, risk, and more. Learn more about the components of their predictions and rankings below.
Tier Based Drafting
The first thing most fantasy users look at once a new season rolls around is the player rankings. Yet, you may be thinking to yourself what’s so special about player rankings, I can get that anywhere. In the Ultimate Draft Kit, the Fantasy Footballers take things up a notch from your regular run of the mill rankings.
In fact, UDK also offers you a list of their top-200 player rankings that is quite similar to your typical fantasy ranking system. However, they strongly caution their users against using the tool as their primary resource when drafting! This is primarily due to the fact that this type of ranking just doesn’t give you an accurate idea of who is most valuable based on which players and positions are left on the board.
[Editor’s Note: Find out who the Ballers have ranked in their top-10 WRs for 2019]
The UDK splits their player rankings into tiers. The tiers group together various players at the same position with similar projections, essentially saying that these handful of players are all at the same level. This is crucial come draft time, because it allows you to avoid reaching for players, get the most value per pick, and help build a deeper unit.
In traditional player rankings, you have no groupings to help compare players with similar projection outputs. When you work through tier groupings, you have a distinct advantage over those drafting based off of traditional rankings. This is primarily because tiered rankings give you the ability to compare groups of players at a given position based on their “tier” or value.
For example, if I’m trying to decide on my next pick and I’m hoping to snag a receiver, I can take a look at how many WRs are still left on the board in a top tier ranking. If I still have six WRs left in tier two, but only one RB in tier two, it might be worthwhile for me to snag a RB instead and then come back around and pick up a WR in the next round. This allows me to draft the best RB available at the position without missing out on top tier WR talent or vice versa. If you’re not using tier-based drafting, you’re likely not drafting a true contender.
Adjustable Rankings for All Scoring Formats
Not only do you have the advantage of using superior tier-based rankings with UDK, but you can also adjust those rankings based on the rules of your individual league’s scoring format. This tailors the rankings to fit your league specifically rather than giving you a one size fits all ranking format.
They offer several different scoring formats to choose from, including standard, half-point PPR, full PPR, and various QB point formats. If you want to really step up your game, you can use their customization tool. In customization mode, you can adjust virtually any point setting available to get the best rankings to fit your league’s format. These rankings are available for multiple league types, from traditional, dynasty, auction, rookie drafts, and much more.
Fantasy football is a game of high-risk, high-reward. No matter how “safe” a selection may seem from afar, there is still the outside chance you get burned. Risk Ratings is a numerical stat that helps lessen the chances of that occurring.
The UDK experts dig deep into all the outliers that can impact a player’s floor and ceiling. This culminates in a rating that best describes the confidence level you should have for a given player. Numerous factors go into setting one’s risk rating. For instance, age and a player’s consistency throughout the years is a good measuring stick to help project future statistical output. New coaching staff and schematics can either benefit or hurt a player’s stat lines. Did the team bring in new competition at the same position? Additional mouths to feed can lead to a lighter workload, which in return means fewer fantasy points.
Another major factor in one’s risk rating is a player’s injury history. Let’s take Todd Gurley for example. Gurley has been a fantasy stud for years, but injuries have brought major doubt into the minds of fans and media alike. Unless Gurley can prove he’s fully healthy prior to draft time, chances are his risk rating will be higher than others in his tier. For more on Gurley’s prospects, check out Five Possible Outcomes for Todd Gurley in 2019.
This tool makes for a great addition to your draft day arsenal when you’re debating between specific players with similar ratings.
Up to Date Expert Analysis & Research
The days of purchasing a fantasy football guide magazine at your local 7-ELEVEN, only for it to become utterly useless by the time draft day rolls around is a thing of the past. Receive breaking news, injury updates, and anything else that may factor into your fantasy success, all in real-time with UDK.
The Ultimate Draft Kit is constantly supplying you with valuable analysis and research. The guys at The Fantasy Footballers offer up their expert analysis on upcoming sleepers, breakouts, busts, and value picks for the upcoming season. They break down aspects such as coaching changes across the league, and how those changes will impact a team in terms of fantasy success. Other great features include rookie reports, free agency reviews, and injury reports, all of which help you keep tabs on the everchanging landscape of the NFL.
Ultimate Draft Kit analysis is backed by in-depth research. UDK breaks down player usage rates, red zone usage, target shares, and more, to get the best feel of a player’s importance to a team. Helping you determine if the player is a major part of an offense’s game plan or just a flash in the pan.
Arguably the coolest feature available in the UDK for us football nerds is something that also completely separates them from the rest of the competition. Reception Perception, which Matt Harmon created five years ago, is like Moneyball for the Wide Receiver position. Reception Perception takes virtually every statistic possible over the course of an eight-game span to tell you everything you need to know about a wide receiver.
Are you wondering how Jarvis Landry matches up against man coverage? How about against specific zones, or even just how frequently he’s getting open? Reception Perception tells you virtually anything you want to know about a WR’s performance on the field.
A true highlight of the UDK is the plethora of video content readily available. If you’re like me, you get tired of reading take after take on the same trending topics. UDK brings a visual aspect to help educate you in an arguably more pleasurable fashion. Video profiles are provided for all offensive skill players. These videos break down tons of major information on a player in a condensed form. Plus, if you’re on the move and can’t keep yourself glued to the screen, UDK also offers an audio-only version for each video. Videos are constantly being updated to provide the most efficient information to the user.
The video specs don’t stop there. You can find video tutorials covering all the brilliant features the Ultimate Draft Kit offers to help better convey each feature in full.
Fantasy Footballers Ultimate Draft Kit App
You can access most of the UDK features quickly and easily from your mobile device by downloading the Ultimate Draft Kit App for iOS or Android. The team also frequently updates the app based on user feedback to add various features for your convenience. Their most recent update gives users the ability to draft and mark players directly on the app.
The app is free to use, but you must be a paid member to access the exclusive features.
Overall, the Ultimate Draft Kit offers everything you could possibly need heading into your fantasy football season. They constantly update their rankings based on breaking news and expert research. If you’re looking for the edge to take home the championship this fantasy season, the UDK is truly a must-have.
We’ve moved into an era where buy-ins for fantasy football leagues can range in the hundreds and even thousands. Yet for the low price of $29.99 you can exponentially raise your chances of success.
Simply put, the Ultimate Draft Kit is just that, the ultimate draft kit.