Friday, August 19, 2016

2016 PPR average rankings spreadsheet

Yo. It's average rankings spreadsheet time, friends. I'm throwing this up here with very little extras and flashiness to the spreadsheet (and admittedly, I already found a few spots that need to be fixed) - hope to tweak it as the weekend goes on. I started with PPR this year (1 point) since the poll on my site gave the slightest of edges to PPR over standard. I'll try to get to standard scoring rankings in the next few days, too. But for now, feast your eyes on the average rankings spreadsheet for 2016.

Sites included this year are: CBS (Dave and Jamey), ESPN, Fantasy Pros, Scout Fantasy, numberFire, The Fake Football, The Fifth Down, and Yahoo. I gathered the overall rankings from these sites, which varied from 175ish to 300ish players. As usual, I've included the standard deviation so that you can get a sense of agreement on each player.

If you need this sent as an e-mail instead, let me know and I'll do my best to get it out to you within a day or so.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

FFLibrarian Monster League

It's that time of year - the FFLibrarian Monster League is open for business. I've shrunk the league down to 60 teams (instead of 72) this year to make things more manageable (that seems to be a theme for me...), but we still have a handful of open spots. For those who need the lowdown: there are 5 conferences, each with its own draft; you primarily compete within that conference for the season, but in the final weeks, the winners of each conference are pitted against each other for the grand Monster League Winner. The winner is crowned with glory and a prize from me: access to your FF resource of choice (FantasyPros, FootballGuys, etc) for the following season. On that note, congrats to PT Bruisers, the 2015 league champ.

You want in don't you? Then send me an e-mail - please please check the website and see if I've closed this offer up before sending me an e-mail. I'll update when I've filled all the spots. UPDATE: SPOTS FILLED. For the first time in years and years, I think I might actually participate in the league, too, which I'm looking forward to a great deal. So thanks for your interest and hope to have you in the league!

Monday, August 08, 2016

New rules for drafting your kicker

I'm flying solo with my youngest son right now while my husband and oldest kiddo are at a conference-beach trip together. Nerdy academics stuff for my husband, beach camp and hot tubs for my son. I wandered my son's empty bedroom last night, rearranging the bonus stuffed animals/toys on his bed, and feeling a pit in my stomach. I mean, he is living the good life at the beach but I miss him immensely. Turns out these little people have really burrowed their way into my life and I'm getting a sense of what it's going to be like one day when my kids go off to overnight camp, college (uh move away?!) and it's going to ugly on my end. 

Anyway, in their absence, my youngest and I have been bonding over potty training (ha! if you've had kids, you know this is such a fun, fun phase) and I've been watching a healthy dose of the Olympics. Meanwhile my mastermind buddy Bob has been whipping up more excellence for the 2016 season. You'll remember Bob's amazing team defense articles last season and he'll be back with more of that goodness this year. First up though, his look at kickers and his new rules on how to draft 'em this year.

Hey out there Fantasy Football fans, it’s another glorious season with trends, trades, twists, technology, and tirades. That’s a lot T’s to be sure, but Sara and I are out to guide you through some of the turmoil, conflicting data, and advice overload.

I like to concentrate on the often overlooked positions of Fantasy Football, and that’s the Placekickers and Defenses. Rookie owners are more likely to violate some of the normal strategies revolving around these positions for a couple of reasons. First, Rookies don’t see the value of Ks and Defs because you don’t usually get mind-popping points from them. Second, there is a perception that there is little difference between the 1st best player and the 12th, and there’s some advice out there that supports that position. But it’s no mistake that Intermediate and Advanced owners spend a lot of research on these two positions, when owners are so well matched that 1 or 2 points can make the difference in an important matchup. And that’s why I will give you my 2 cents on these positions.

For my inaugural article of the new football year, I would like to cover the Placekicker position first. Many have started drafting already, so I thought I would get this one out sooner the better.

Let’s go over some of the ‘prevailing wisdom’ regarding Placekickers.
1.    “Thou shalt not draft a placekicker until the last pick.” This is a common one, and points to the average points difference between the 1st and 12th best placekickers as proof positive. And there is some wisdom to this. Let’s use a common scoring scheme for arguments sake, of 3 pts for field goal make up to 39 yards, 4 pts for a field goal 40 – 49 yds, 5 pts for fg 50+yds, and 1 pt per extra point. Last year, Gostkowski averaged 10.6 pts/game, and the 12th highest, Cairo Santos averaged 8.6 pts/game. That’s only 2 points per game. How many games did you lose by 2 points or less? I’ll bet most of you had that occur at least once.
2.    “Draft kickers that play on a home field indoors.” Others have researched this and I’ve read many of the articles and they conflict between big advantage to no advantage at all. Conclusion: yes there is a slight edge for playing on a weather-friendly field more often, but the slight edge is easily overcome by other factors.
3.    “Draft kickers that have a better success percentage for long field goals.” Here’s where I get on my soapbox about the skill level of kickers. I personally believe that there is a smaller difference between kickers’ skill lever than there is with the average points per game of kickers 1 -12. Yes, they may kick the long ball, but kicking is not just on the kicker. There’s the line, the hiker, and the holder that play into the success of the long ball. One tip here to gauge the quality of the supporting cast is to look at how many extra points were missed. Missed extra points are more a function of the supporting cast than the kicker. Plus, you need the opportunity to try them in the first place. Teams that are attempting long field goals are usually those desperate for points, because they can’t get it in the end zone, therefore there will be less opportunities for a kicker on a team with an offense that can’t move the ball. There are just too many other factors that may cancel out any long ball skill advantage.
4.    “Draft a kicker on a team with a poor offense.” This one assumes that because they can’t get the ball in the endzone, then the kicker will have more opportunities. However, the data doesn’t bear it out. The top 12 kickers last year were on good to great offenses. It turns out that kickers on good teams get more opportunities because the offense can move the ball into field goal territory more often.

So what are the best factors in choosing a PK and when should I draft them? From the above discussion let’s set some ‘new rules’.

1.    Look for kickers on good offensive teams. This will get your kicker the higher amount of looks at a field goal per game. If the choice is close for what is available, then you can use the indoor kicking advantage, or the ‘long ball’ stat to break the tie.
2.    Look for consistent track records of kickers. In other words, how many times has this kicker placed in the top twelve over the last 4 or 5 years. Here’s a great article from FFToday that addresses this factor. Using the data provided from FFToday, you would be wise to target Stephen Gostkowski, Justin Tucker, Dan Bailey, and Steve Hauschka, with a nod to Mason Crosby as well. Notice, all four teams are known good offenses.
3.    Dare to draft a kicker before the last round, but don’t be too daring. In a 15 player roster with 9 starters, I want 4RBS, 4WR, 2QBs, and 2 TEs before contemplating drafting a kicker. So that makes round 13 the earliest I would draft a kicker. In bigger rosters, you can adjust a little later, but not earlier.
4.    Stephen Gostkowski is the Gronk of kicking. He has been the highest points kicker for 4 years in a row. Much of his success is due to playing for a great team. But he is also very good on a very good team. Gostkowski would be the only kicker I would draft in round 13.
5.    And here’s a new one, pick a kicker that is on a team with a late bye date. This assumes that you will not be picking a backup kicker, and you really shouldn’t, unless you are in a very deep league. You will have to waiver in a kicker for the bye week and if you swap out your present kicker for the waiver, you may lose your top choice to and opponent that wins him in the following week’s waivers. Drafting the kicker with a late bye date minimizes the loss of points between your top choice and your replacement. Alternatively, you could swap out your worst or never used bench player for the bye week kicker instead of your stud kicker. Tough to do in shallow leagues, easier in deep leagues. I would not waiver away the top 4 kickers listed above, but would have no problem with the rest.

So with that here’s my list of kickers I’m targeting and in what round:
Round 13: Stephen Gostkowski

Round 14: Justin Tucker, Steve Hauschka, Dan Bailey

Last round: Mason Crosby, Graham Gano, Chandler Cantanzaro, Robbie Gould, Josh Brown, Chris Boswell, Matt Bryant, and Mike Nugent

Honorable mention: Brandon McManus, Cairo Santos (for those of you that have someone in your league that picks a backup kicker…)

Tuesday, August 02, 2016

August means mock season

Happy August and happy training camp, fantasy footballers. Time to get things going for the season. In our house, things are definitely trending toward the fall/football season: we have season ticket to University of Tennessee games for the first time; our oldest starts Kindergarten in about a week and is begging us to sign him up for flag football this fall; and I'm getting the FFLibrarian Monster League lined up again. (Side note: if you've played in the Monster League before, check your email and get yourself signed up again for 2016 by the end of this week!)

It's also time for the mock drafts and cheat sheets and other FF goodness to begin, so let's see what the fantasy universe is thinking right now:

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Feed the monster

My 5-year-old son is a baseball fanatic right now. This is how life unfolds for us every single morning: kiddo comes into our room and within seconds of arriving, asks for daddy's phone. He finds the ESPN app where he's programmed all his favorite teams and starts rattling off the latest scores from around the league. He inevitably starts with the Dodgers, my husband's favorite team, which I find totally endearing. He has a soft spot for a variety of teams including - but certainly not limited to - the Cubs, the Reds, the Rockies, the Nationals. So scores, records, game times - they're all reported back to us in great detail (mark my words, the boy may end up some sort of sports statistician). He's also been known to go boneless if we tell him, no, you may not sit and watch an entire baseball game on tv ("but I need to watch them play so I know how to swing the bat!" oh kid, so clever...). But I'm now wondering at what age he can grasp and enjoy fantasy sports. Are we there? And are we building /enabling a monster? Likely. 

Anyway, time to feed your inner fantasy football monster:

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

A kernel of offseason fantasy advice

It's strawberry season in Tennessee, which is basically what I live for all year. Oh and football. But seriously: strawberries. Fresh strawberries are epic. My oldest son and I could probably eat our body weight in strawberries, so we frequent the local produce store often these days. I was in there with both my boys yesterday afternoon ("don't touch anything!" "that's not your produce!" "hands to yourself, don't squish the berries!" "be good, we can't be banned from this store!"), which is like herding cats to get in and out safely with the store still intact. We get in the car and my 5-year-old has a funny look on his face and he holds something tightly in his hand, which he claims to be a corn kernel that he found on the floor of the store near some bins of dry goods. I considered having him march back into the store to return this kernel to its rightful place but 1) everyone was already back in their car seats (enough said? need I go on?) 2) I don't even know that this is a corn kernel since it is so tightly grasped in his hand that I haven't been able to see it 3) why would they have dried corn in a bin? No for real, what does one do with that?! So after getting an earnest promise that in the future we won't just take things from a store because we want it, we drove home, and the boy slithered out of his car seat and ran straight for his shovel. He planted the "corn kernel" in our front yard. Before bed last night, he requested a lengthy discourse on how that corn kernel might grow into a gigantic corn stalk given the right amount of sun and water. So this morning when we walked out into a light rain, he cheered "My corn! This rain is great for my corn!"

My boy is an optimist. A gardener. Focused and delighted with the little things. And it makes my heart happy. As do all of you who sent me e-mails and commented on the blog here, letting me know that posting once a week is enough. That you'll still come back for more if that's all I can give this year. I'm deeply appreciative of your loyalty. I've got a handful of links below, but go forth today and find that "corn kernel" that fills you with a 5-year-old's sense of joy and purpose.

Thursday, May 05, 2016

It's been awhile...

Hellllllooooo! It has been nearly 6 months since I last posted. Let's get that out of the way since I know that is a new record. I hope this finds you all well and relishing the approaching football season. All is just fine in my world with a 5.5 year old that is obsessed with playing and watching any and every sport (currently completely into baseball), and a 2.5 year old that is tyrannical and also somehow completely adorable, as most are.

Okay, cold hard truth time, my friends: my heart hasn't been in this blog for awhile now. Surprised? Didn't think so. But the thing is, I can't quite seem to completely walk away and call it done. I have loved this blog, it has brought me so much enjoyment, made enough money to cover an extensive coffee habit, and I've met some incredible people. And learned a hell of a lot about fantasy football along the way.

So here we are at the precipice of another fantasy football season and I feel the itch to blog again - but as you have probably figured out, my energy and enthusiasm for it seems to wane as the season continues. I don't want to let you all down mid-season so here's what I need to know from you - even if I just post once a week, is that still valuable for you all? Should I keep this train going? Or call it quits?

Mull that over while you read some post-NFL draft links and previews of the season:

Friday, November 20, 2015

2015 Streaming Defenses: Week 11

Hello hello from a busy week in Knoxville. My mom is in town visiting and we're preparing for the upcoming holidays (bets on whether or not either of my boys will actually eat anything on the Thanksgiving table? Outlook is grim) and I've gotten a bit behind here on the blog. I've got Bob's streaming defense thoughts for you now (sorry for the delay!) and will be back later tonight or tomorrow with some start/sit and rankings links.

What a difference a week can make. Last week you couldn’t buy a defense, this week the points were sky high. Only problem was, the points were being scored from unexpected sources. The highly owned and recommended only averaged 8 points, while the 3 recommended streamers averaged 12. SEA came through in spite of tempered expectations and BUF came through in spades when we expected a low ceiling. So it was the week of the streamers, and if you started PIT, CIN or NYJ, good for you. That’s 2 weeks in a row now that the streamers have outperformed the highly owned Defs.

So what does this week look like? Here are some links you can use to help you sift through week 11. As usual, my analysis, may or may not align with the pros. 

Here are the ownership and projections for Defs this week of the ‘highly owned’ defenses. Highly owned being better than 80% this week. The highly owned are slated to do well this week, so start ‘em if you got ‘em.
Highly Owned
Yahoo Pts
Rams are 4th best Def, the Ravens aren't all that generous, but tend to give up points to good Defs, and STL is good on the road, start them with confidence.
Chi is 7th most generous Off and Den is #1, another juicy matchup. With Osweiler at the helm expect DEN to be on the field a lot and wreaking havoc, some additional upside
#3 Def against 5th most generous Off, yeah gimme some of that, 1st best start of the week.
This one may be a trap, the Jets had 9 points off of BUF last week, and they are a better defense, I say start the Pats, but temper expectations.
This is another one that may be a trap. CIN is the 3rd least generous OFF, and the Cards are 2nd best Def, I would start but temper expectations.
Another mismatch, #6 Def against 14th most generous OFF, CAR at home is a formula for big points.
PHI is 5th best Def against 3rd most generous OFF, this is the 3rd best start of the week, keep 'em in your lineup.
Until the Pack gets back to dominating on Def, I would steer clear of this one. MIN plays great ball control with the running game, look elsewhere.

With only 7 recommended starts of the highly owned, there isn’t much to choose from for this week’s streams, but I like TEN and KC, with 2 more with high upside. Then I throw in a couple of courageous picks if you have no other options.
Week 9 Best Streams
Yahoo Pts
TEN isn't especially good on Def, but JAC is just too juicy. TEN's starting CBs are a concern here. Best stream of the week if TEN's CBs start, otherwise it's a mediocre start.
I hope you've been noticing the trend on KC, averaging 15 points in last 5 starts. SD isn't that generous but it doesn't matter, KC still gets its points, 2nd best stream.
This is your sneaky start of the week, TEN is the most generous of all Offs, and JAC can play some DEF especially at home. Just never know which JAC Def shows up, sneaky start with upside.
This is another sneaky start, on paper it doesn't look great, but Revis gets Hopkins, which appears to be Hoyer's only reliable target. Jets will stop the run as usual and force long down situations and sacks. Good stream with upside.
With ATL Off sputtering of late, expect ATL Def to be on the field a bit, which will give them some opportunities against a fill in, but safe QB. ATL has been improving since week 4, so if you don't have any other options, this is a start with some upside.
DAL just can't operate without Romo, so they're still a good target. MIA's Def has struggled as of late, but with Cassel, there's good upside.

The streams are listed in order I think they will score, and we keep targeting QBs that are struggling. Good luck on a tough week for Defs.