NFL Team Needs | Team Needs Updated

NFL Team Needs | Team Needs Updated

By Chris Barry,

NFL Team Needs BeggingWhen you run the Live Draft on our site, whether you do it literally live along with the real Draft or some time later, the NFL teams will pick the prospects that they pick in real life, in the actual NFL Draft.

Not so when you run a Mock Draft.  When you start a new Mock Draft, you have some options to select.  You can decide whether or not to include your iGM virtual team.

Including your team is great for practicing for the Live Draft; who might you be able to draft when?  If you want to draft for your favorite NFL team only, you can omit your iGM team and check only the box for your favorite team.

Check or un-check as many teams as you want.  If you let the computer pick for every NFL team and omit your iGM team, you’ll get a completely automated Mock Draft.

The subject of Team Needs and how they affect Mock Drafts is a bit more complicated.  I’ll explain it here, but I am simplifying a bit…

When you give a grade and a ranking to a prospect, our system gives that prospect a numerical grade behind the scenes.  This number ranges from 10.00 down to 0.00.  Each of the grades (e.g., “R1+/R1”) corresponds to a range of 1.00, so that top grade will have players with a numerical grade from 9.01 to 10.00.

Our system automatically spreads the grades evenly through the range, so if you put 10 players in this top tier, they’ll have grades of 10.00, 9.90, 9.80, etc. (this is the part I’m simplifying.)  Our system is designed to work best if you put approximately the suggested number of prospects in each tier, as shown on the right on the Board Stacking page.

If you put too many in a tier, the grades will be “squeezed together,” making it hard for our system to differentiate them.  If you put too few, the grades will be too spread out and lead to the computer just picking the “best available” every time.

The numerical grade is only half of the equation.  The other half is positional need, which varies by team.  You can set your own custom team needs on the Team Needs page.

A “Medium” need is neutral, and is represented by a value of 1.00.  Changing a need lower makes this number lower (e.g., .985,) and vice-versa.  When our system is presenting you with your board for your pick, it is taking the highest-ranked remaining players and multiplying each one’s numerical grade by your team’s need at his position.

Similarly, when the computer is drafting for an NFL team, it takes the highest remaining “need-adjusted” prospect, and then adjusts the need downward to prevent a team from picking the biggest need over and over.

How you can manipulate Team Needs has default Team Needs.  For 2013, these were provided by Shane J., better known in our Forum as dcowboys112233.  Shane has been periodically updating them to keep them current.  I’d like to take this opportunity to thank him sincerely for all his hard work; this is not an easy thing to manage!  Thanks, Shane!

You can use the site default needs in Mock Drafts by selecting them from the drop-down.  You can also click “Reset” on your own Team Needs page to overwrite your own team needs with the site default, after which you can make your own changes.  To change a team’s needs, click on the team name on the left, which will activate the row for editing.

You can start from scratch also, if you want, and set the needs for all 32 teams yourself.  You can also set Team Needs for your iGM team.  The computer will never pick for your team, but setting the needs causes the prospects you see when it’s your turn to pick to reflect your team’s needs.

Make sense?

A final word on setting Team Needs:  Be careful about using extremes.  If you stray too far from “Medium,” the results can be severe.  This feature is about subtlety.  Play with it some, and you’ll get the hang of it!

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