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March 14, 2012 posted by Dave Shovein

NFBC: Setting your KDS

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Matt Kemp, Los Angeles Dodgers OF

When preparing for your upcoming NFBC drafts, just how important are your KDS settings? For those unfamiliar KDS refers to Kentucky Derby System.

Here’s what KDS does: The KDS process allows owners to rank their order of preference for Draft Day, ranking their preferences 1 through 15 BEFORE the leagues are randomly selected.

Some owners would rather draft in the middle, if they are selected early in their league; others like to stay near the top and others like to move down to the lower end. KDS allows that if you are fortunate enough. A sample KDS from an owner could look like this: 3, 2, 1, 7, 6, 8, 15, 14, 4, 5, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13. If an owner wants the third pick and he is selected No. 1 overall in his league, he would choose 3 as his top option and he would then be moved to third in that league on Draft Day.

NFBC officials will look at every owner’s Draft Preferences after the leagues and orders are randomly selected and then announce the draft orders for each league.

Every year it seems like numerous owners in every league don’t take advantage of this feature. They simply leave their preferences as 1-15 and take whatever draft slot is given to them. This is a critical mistake.

We need to exploit every possible advantage, and the KDS is no different. One strong methodology is to plot out several different drafts. This gives you an overview of how a team might be assembled at each position, and gives you a strong grasp of the player inventory.

For example, when looking at the player pool for 2012, let’s say you believe there are four players who are clearly above the rest of the field (Cabrera, Braun, Kemp and Pujols). Their values are  very similar in my mind, so I would prefer to roster the last of the 4 in order to have a better pick on the way back around. Therefore, I would start my KDS 4, 3, 2, 1…

However, maybe you don’t like what projects to be on the board in Rounds 2 or 3 from that spot. Glancing at the ADP, does anyone in the 27-34 range stand out to you? Can you find two players that are worthy of being the foundation of your team in that range?

How about picking at the end of the first round? From there, you can start your team with a couple of dynamic middle infielders like Hanley Ramirez and Ian Kinsler. What does the inventory look like next trip at 45/46 though?

What type of pitcher do you want do anchor your staff? To acquire that top arm, where do you need to take him to guarantee that you can roster him?

Where are the major drop-offs at each position? If you think that there is a significant drop after the first 8 1st basemen, which draft slots allow you to acquire one of those players and still build the rest of your roster the way you desire?

Do you have a few players who you absolutely love and “must have” on draft day? If so, how early do you need to take that player to guarantee you get them?

All of these things should be factored in when setting your KDS settings. This gives you the option to customize what you want to do on draft day. This exercise also provides the additional benefit of draft preparation and planning.

If you’re one of those people who would prefer to leave your preferences 1-15 and take what the luck of the draw gives you, more power to you. But you can never be over-prepared on draft day. Any aspect of the draft that may provide an additional advantage should be utilized to the fullest!

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