Rankings No More: Building Big Board Final

Personal Preference Matrix

This final step is something that I have been experimenting with this year. In the previous series you should be sufficiently well prepared to create a big board and use it on draft day. Most rankings and cheatsheets fall into the garbage can after the draft, and not surprisingly big boards are folded up and locked up in archives or deleted.

This time, however, I am proposing a use for your cheat-board. You can be happy about the way your draft went, and perhaps even be lucky enough to win the championship. Or perhaps you were the few unlucky ones who drafted underachievers and injured players. The season is unpredictable and it is true when they say, “You can’t win your league through the draft.” However, chalking your fortune up to luck is basically a motto for someone who stops trying to improve. For those who believe that luck controlled their fate, you may stop reading because this next part will just ask you to do more work than what is necessary. For you who are eager to develop and become a stronger fantasy owner, your time and energy is required of you. I do not deny that “luck” doesn’t play a factor in your draft. I drafted Julio Jones in 2013 and lost him by week 4; nobody saw that coming. However, I think that without holding yourself accountable, you may overestimate the “bad luck” that happened to your team.

One of the many ways you want to elevate your drafting prowess is to go back and learn from it. Many experts do it, and that is how they are different than your run-of-the-mill casual owners. What I am proposing to you is the Personal Preference Matrix (PPM). It is a simple tool that doesn’t require any fancy statistical expertise or have background in any math. It is a subjective placement of players on a two-dimensional axis that juxtapose the perceived vs. personal values (confused yet? That was intentional). In other words it’s a like/dislike chart that measures how you value player X vs. how consensus view player X (see picture 1).

Sometimes fantasy football is simply that: how you feel about a certain player and having your own conviction about his value, regardless what others tell you. The fact of the matter is, when you’re high or low on player X, it influences the way you value player X. There can be hundreds of podcasts or articles that give you contradictory info, but you have your convictions. The PPM lets you do a re-check on yourself after the season is over, and be a reminder of why you had certain players higher or lower than consensus ranking. Furthermore, it will also allow you to what were actual luck and what were good or bad decisions on your part during the draft. As humans, we only remember the instances that stick out the most, and forget about the rest. Using the PPM, you can do a general check on your draft throughout.

Personal Preference Matrix

Personal Preference Matrix

So, here are the suggested steps to create a PPM:

  1. Focus on using the PPM for one draft per Big Board
  2. Give yourself 2-3 days after your real draft before doing the PPM
  3. PPM: Draw a horizontal line (X-axis) and a vertical line (Y-Axis) and form a cross (see picture above)
    1. On the X-axis, label it “Me”
    2. On the Y-axis label it “Consensus”
  4. The quadrants are split into 4 groups:
    1. Top right I (players that Me and Consensus like);
    2. Top left II (players that “Me” like better than Consensus);
    3. Bottom left III (Players both Me and Consensus dislike);
    4. Bottom right IV (Players Consensus like more than Me).
  5. More than likely you’ll focus on II and IV, but sometimes it helps to be thorough and try to fill out all the quadrants.
  6. Consensus rankings – There are too many out there, so I suggest using FantasyPros.com ranking

An advance way to use it is to place certain names higher or lower within a quadrant, but let’s keep it simple for now and just put them in list forms (see pic. 2)

When the season is over, you can go back to this list and check for yourself when you should’ve listened to consensus and when your gut was more accurate. As you develop your fantasy prowess, you want to minimize the “luck” factor and be able to control of your information intake.

Hope you enjoyed the series, and you can start building your big board. In the near future, I may decide to do a consultation session with owners who need help building a customized big board. Be on the lookout for me on Twitter.


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