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Avoid losing your drafts in the first round by focusing on the right kind of players

If you end up with one of the first two picks, selecting Jose Altuve or Mike Trout is a no-brainer. But everything gets a lot less certain once you hit the No. 3 pick. Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

It is possible to lose your draft in the first round, so you would expect that with such high stakes, fantasy managers would be experts in identifying elite players. We're not.

Over the past 14 years, our success rate at projecting which players will earn top-15 value, based on average draft position, is about 35 percent. Our success rate at projecting who will earn top-30 value is better, but it still only sits at about 50 percent. If we are facing nothing more than a coin flip, then it behooves us to figure out how to maximize those odds.

Some first-round failures are unavoidable. Madison Bumgarner was ranked No. 14 last year, but nobody could have foreseen a dirt bike accident. Other failures might seem just as random, but sometimes