That was one of the famous slogans from around 1980... "Fall into the Gap." Today I want to talk about a different gap... The one between the time that the experts make their rankings decisions and the time that you draft.
Typically the guys from ESPN, Yahoo, and CBS are doing their pre-draft rankings in January. Most of the time you will be drafting in late March. That's a serious gap my friends. A lot can change in that time, I assure you.
Spring Training stats are supposed to mean nothing, but I beg to differ. Most of the time the actual numbers might not carry that much weight, but there is a lot you can learn from what happens in February and March. Playing time decisions, health, pitch command, and more is sorted out in Spring Training. Pay attention! Pre-draft rankings can't take these things into account and this is a market inefficiency that you can exploit.
When you are drafting most people will default to the rankings from the site on which you are drafting. It just happens. Even the most prepared drafters will look at the site's rankings and average draft position, when available.
But you, please do not fall into that gap. Rise above. Create your own rankings and use them above everything else. Know what everyone else is thinking, but know it so that you can exploit the inefficiencies as they present themselves.
You will be able to know what most of your leaguemates are thinking and take advantage of the under-valuing of certain players in the middle rounds. And it is the middle rounds, I assure you, where true value can be found.
Best of luck this drafting season.