Thursday, September 28, 2006

Week 4's Start/Bench Analysis

Greetings and welcome to Week 4. This week the start/bench projections analysis will be done on the websites listed below, based on their calls on QB. Many of them don't have live links yet but as soon as they are posted I will update them.

NFLFreaks Start-Bench List
Fantasy Football Cafe
Ask the Commish Sit or Start
FootballDocs Bench-Start
SI Start 'em Sit 'em
NFL.com Start 'em Sit 'em
CBS Sportsline Start 'em & Sit 'em

FantasySharks Start/Bench List
Fantasy Football Advice Start 'em Sit 'em Recommendations
CoachBox Start/Bench
Yahoo/KFFL Who to Start, Who to Bench


Also, on an IDP note - don't forget to check out ProFantasySports.com's IDP Report.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Hopefully It's Not Too Late...

...like it is in two of my leagues. I'm talking waiver wire. In a classic waiver wire/news monger style way, one guy in my league picked up Maurice Morris in 2 of the leagues we're in together and another guy picked up Michael Robinson in those same 2 leagues. So like vultures at the feasting table, those guys went in for the kill on some of week 3's latest injuries (though Conway, you might've been a little pessimistic about my boy Gore [photo by ESPN]). Hopefully you can take advantage of some of the hot deals of the week. Read on for advice.

Fantasy Sharks Week 4 Waiver Wire Advice

Fanball's Hot Pickups

FF Toolbox Week 4 Waiver Wire Bargains

Running Back Predictions for Week 3

As noted in my previous blog Tight End Predictions, I am comparing the weekly sit/start calls made by several websites to help determine which one has the best predictions week after week. This week the results from 6 different websites with free projections are as follows:

1. NFL Start 'em Sit 'em by Fabiano
Suggested starters average ranking for the week: 16.14
Suggested starters average fantasy points for the week: 11.06
Suggested benchers average ranking for the week: 31
Suggested benchers average fantasy points for the week: 6.69

For the 2nd week in a row, the nfl.com/Fabiano did a great job at selecting which players you should start and which you should bench. This one was a close battle though with Ask the Commish, listed below, making similar projections. Fabiano suggested starting 3 of the top 10 RBs and all but one of his starters were in the top 25. With the exception of Ahman Green, he chose benchers who had pretty subpar or mediocre performances at best.

2. Ask the Commish
Suggested starters average ranking for the week: 16.10
Suggested starters average fantasy points for the week: 11.51
Suggested benchers average ranking for the week: 30
Suggested benchers average fantasy points for the week: 6.19

Right on the heels of NFL.com is Ask the Commish - the only reason they are getting 2nd place here is that a slightly lower percentage of their picks for starters ended up performing as a top 10 RB for the week. Good work, ATC - way to rebound from last week's poor performance.

3. NFL Freaks Start-Bench List
Suggested starters average ranking for the week: 17.73
Suggested starters average fantasy points for the week: 10.46
Suggested maybes average ranking for the week: 32.63
Suggested maybes average fantasy points for the week: 7.17
Suggested benchers average ranking for the week: 52.8
Suggested benchers average fantasy points for the week: 3.26

One of the reasons I really like NFL Freaks is that they categorize just about all players into one of these three categories: start, maybe, bench. It can be frustrating to look for advice/info on a player and find absolutely nothing. They did pretty well this week with 2/3 of their suggested starters actually performing in the top 20. They did miss the mark on 2 of their maybes - Green and Portis (number 7 and 2 RBs for the week, respectively) - and one of their benchers - Cadillac (number 11 RB). But overall they did a nice job with their predictions this week.

4. SI Start 'em Sit 'em
Suggested starters average ranking for the week: 25
Suggested starters average fantasy points for the week: 6.85
Suggested benchers average ranking for the week: 36
Suggested benchers average fantasy points for the week: 5.68

Another tough week for the SI predictors. Not as bad as their TE projections but still not good. There was only 1 RB in their starters that performed in the top 20 - and yet 2 in the top 20 on their benchers list.

5. Football Docs Bench/Start
Suggested starters average ranking for the week: 31.4
Suggested starters average fantasy points for the week: 5.75
Suggested benchers average ranking for the week: 47.33
Suggested benchers average fantasy points for the week: 3.36

They just can't really choose any good players either in their start or bench list. I would give these guys last place but at least their starters did actually perform better than their benchers...unlike the next site.

6. Fantasy Football Cafe
Suggested starters average ranking for the week: 21.67
Suggested starters average fantasy points for the week: 10.07
Suggested benchers average ranking for the week: 15
Suggested benchers average fantasy points for the week: 10.58

This earns the lowest placing for the week. Not such a great set of predictions when your benchers outperform your starters. They also recommended many, many more players than any other site (21) but only benched a mere 2 players. So who knows how accurate they could've been if they thought things through a little more.

Monday, September 25, 2006

All Eggs in the Marques Colston Basket

When I started this blog I intended to try and leave my own weekly performance woes (or delights) out of the blog as much as possible. Yet I knew it was inevitable that I would post on here some Monday morning (or will it be every Monday morning?) with my hangup of the week. So here's my concern of the week...

I'm pretty sure one of the unofficial rules of fantasy football is to avoid having the same guy in all of your leagues - a little diversification is good for lineups. I however did not follow that advice, nor another unofficial rule that says you should never count on a rookie to perform in week 3 as he has in weeks 1 and 2. In an overwhelming Marques lovefest, I picked him up in all 3 of my leagues and am now on the edge of either winning or losing in all 3 of those games. So here I am, sweating bullets over Marques Colston's big Monday Night performance tonight. Marques, my record depends on you.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Last Minute Help for Week 3

For those of you who have procrastinated in getting your lineup set for the week - or those of you who want as much advice as you can get - here are a few articles for last minute counsel:

1. SI's Ten Fantasy Tips - advice ranging from Portis to Plummer to the Pep

2. FantasySharks The Prognosticator - includes a chart forecasting the rushing and passing status for each matchup as well as a couple paragraphs on key players in each game

3. Sportingnews.com's Sportingblogs with tips on your lineup from some "experts"

Friday, September 22, 2006

Week 3's Start/Bench Analysis

For week 3 I will be analyzing the start/bench calls made on running backs from the sites listed below. Check out each of the links for advice on your lineup but remember to check back on Tuesday to see which site actually gave the best advice.

NFLFreaks Start-Bench List

Fantasy Football Cafe

Ask the Commish Sit or Start

FootballDocs Bench-Start

SI Start 'em Sit 'em

NFL.com Start 'em Sit 'em

Thursday, September 21, 2006

IDP advice for Week 3

Fantasysharks.com has a great article each week on IDPs called The Hive - the studs, strong plays, gut checks, and stay aways are noted for each matchup with a sentence or two of analysis. Highly recommended.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Tight End Predictions

As noted a few days ago, one of my goals with this site is to be able to provide ongoing stats on which websites out there really give the best advice on who to start and who to sit. So this week I focused on tight ends. I randomly chose 5 sites and compared results by looking at each noted player's ranking for the week among all the tight ends in the league as well as their total points for the week awarded by my yahoo league. Then by comparing the averages between those that a site picked to start and bench, you can get a good idea of how well their predictions turned out. If you happen to like numbers and would like to see the excel spreadsheet/formulas, let me know. I can work on posting that up here.
Results below:

1. NFL.com Start 'em, Sit 'em by Michael Fabiano
Suggested starters average ranking for the week: 18.29
Suggested starters average fantasy points for the week: 4.81
Suggested benchers average ranking for the week: 27.29
Suggested benchers average fantasy points for the week: 3.76

Of the 7 TEs that Fabiano recommended as starters, 5 of them finished in the top 20 performers of the week (2 of them even in the top 10); of the 7 he recommended as benchers, only 1 even finished in the top 20 - Desmond Clark, the top TE for the week. This week nfl.com and Mike Fabiano appeared to have a pretty accurate set of predictions and the best of the 5 sites I looked at - well done.

2. NFLFreaks Start-Bench List
Suggested starters average ranking for the week: 18.8
Suggested starters average fantasy points for the week: 5.217
Suggested maybes average ranking for the week: 38.17
Suggested maybes average fantasy points for the week: 1.65
Suggested benchers average ranking for the week: 35
Suggested benchers average fantasy points for the week: 1.98

While there is a pretty substantial difference between the starters they picked and everyone else, the maybes and the benchers performed essentially in the same way. They did a fairly nice job in picking starters that would perform well and benchers that would not. And kudos to NFLFreaks for being the only ones here that fully endorsed starting Desmond Clark.

3. Ask the Commish Start-Sit
Suggested starters average ranking for the week: 18.5
Suggested starters average fantasy points for the week: 3.8
Suggested benchers average ranking for the week: 9.5
Suggested benchers average fantasy points for the week: 6.04

As you can see, the players Ask The Commish recommended benching actually performed significantly better than those that they recommended starting. Fantasy points were essentially doubled by the benchers. Not a great job with the predictions this week.

4. Fantasy Sharks Start/Bench List
Suggested starters average ranking for the week: 23.5
Suggested starters average fantasy points for the week: 4.38
Suggested benchers average ranking for the week: 47.5
Suggested benchers average fantasy points for the week: 0.89

A decent job at predicting decent starters though they varied widely from 5th and 6th ranked L.J. Smith and Todd Heap, respectively, and 45th ranked Gonzo. Though apparently their bencher predictions are right on target. Come here to find out which players should be benched.

5. SI.com Start/Sit
Suggested starters average ranking for the week: 51.5
Suggested starters average fantasy points for the week: 0.64
Suggested benchers average ranking for the week: 35.5
Suggested benchers average fantasy points for the week: 1.52

This was abysmal. I'll be honest, I expected more from SI but perhaps this goes to show that the big guy doesn't always know what he's doing. The 2 starters they suggested performed so poorly that neither one could even muster up one measley point. Meanwhile, the benchers more than doubled the starters in points - though also not exactly a stellar set of performances. Here's to a better job with the week 3 predictions from SI...

Looking a Bye in the Face


Welcome to the first bye week. Personally, I have a handful of holes to fill and feel that it's time to check out the waiver wires and see who is out there. One of my personal favorites has got to be Marques Colston (photo by Elsa/Getty Images) - this rookie NO Saint can be your WR or TE and has TD notches on his belt for both week 1 and week 2. Colston came from Hofstra so give a little love to the 1-AA - I've learned the hard way that not all 1-AA teams should be so underrated. At least I'm in good company this fall though...go Buffs.
Need some advice? Check these out:

1. FantasySharks.com - an overview of some good pickups off the waiver wire

2. Fanball.com - already about a week old and you've always gotta be quick with that waiver wire, but there's definitely a solid chance that some of these guys are still around and available.

3. cbssportsline - a little repetitive of the fantasysharks overview mentioned above...what that really says to me is that the number of good steals on the waiver wire are few and far between. Act now or be sorry come Sunday.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Digging deeper with your D

I don't really want to jinx myself but I'm pretty sure I'm going to go 2-1 this week...maybe even 3-0 if Heath Miller has another great game tonight. Based on my performance last weekend, this is pretty spectacular news and it's mostly thanks to some of my outstanding IDPs. In fact, I think Julius Peppers might have singlehandedly helped me dominate my buddy Ethan this week - so Ethan, this blog's for you.
I took another look at my individual defensive players (IDPs) last week since I was frustrated with how poorly many of my drafted set of IDPs had played and I made some changes. Originally I had based my draft picks off of a pre-draft ranking based largely on predicted sacks for the year. Foolishly I overlooked the need for guys who can really tackle consistently - so I found new sources and compared options. My best addition for the week was Adalius Thomas who gave me 19.90 points and in my league (7 tackles, 2 sacks, 1 interception, a safety, and 1 pass defensed against Oakland). That is simply outstanding. And while part of me wants to suggest that you just pick a good defender who is playing Oakland every week, I think there's also a little more to it (plus, Oakland has a bye in week 3).
Here's a list of some of the sites I found that were helpful and generally reliable:

1. ProFantasySports has an "IDP Report" column under featured stories on the right that I found quite helpful. IDPs are divided up by each game - and then each team - and then those who are "defenders" versus those who are "defenseless". Granted for week 2 they made some questionable predictions such as calling Terdell Sands "defenseless" since his first name "starts with the sound 'turd'" and he then ended up going for 8 tackles. But all in all, I like this site and it's one sentence blurbs on their chosen IDPs. And a little humor goes a long way in the fantasy football world as far as I'm concerned.

2. IDP Picks and Pans from rotoworld is located here for week 2 (I'll update for future weeks) but appears to also be picked up by USA Today, perhaps? This one is divided up by position, which is good for those of us with required IDP position slots, and lists a handful of starts and sits for each position. I also like the accountability bit at the end where he notes whether or not his predictions from the previous week were a hit or miss - nice. I'm all about keeping a tally on predictions.

3. MyFantasyBall.com has projections for the week that can be filtered based on position (again, very helpful) and can be ordered by a vast number of options. The default is to list the projections based on the number of potential fantasy points however you can also reorder by the number of tackles (solo, assist, or total), sacks, or interceptions. Since I was looking for consistent tacklers this past week, I liked the easy navigation of this page. Plus, just click on a player's name and you can get their stats for past games and past seasons. Helpful in determining a player's consistency.

Friday, September 15, 2006

A new face for the league

I don't particularly care for change. So this year when one of my leagues switched from yahoo to cbssportsline.com as the league host, I got pretty grumpy about some of the new - or missing - features of sportsline. During the draft I'm pretty sure that most players in our league experienced a moment of panic when they realized that they hadn't actually read the rules on sportsline and that there are only 5 total slots alloted to RBs and WRs during the draft. In fact you are forced to take two team defenses, which I found to be especially egregious. This was a particularly hard lesson to learn with only 20 or so seconds remaining in my alloted minute-and-a-half during a late round in the draft...and not enough research conducted on my backup D.
However, with a little time I have grown to enjoy certain aspects of sportsline far more than I anticipated. Following is a list of my pros and cons:


  • CONS:

--stingy draft rules in regards to position drafting as noted above


--there is no fast way to get immediately to your team's roster; instead you must go through the main league site and wind your way through the "team" column (please, if someone knows of an easier method, let me know). On that main league page under "At a Glance", each team should be a live link.


--I'm irritated by the whole points that a player is given rather than the fractional point system in yahoo. For example, I have Broncos TE of the future Tony Scheffler (photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images) in my dynasty league - in week 1 he caught one pass for 9 yards and made a tackle - yahoo gave me 2.35 points for this (though sorry Schef, you've been on the bench) and yet sportsline would give me 0. If I'm in a close matchup I certainly think those 2.35 points are valuable. I'm sure it was just the default for our league's setup but come on cbs, make fractional points the default. Far more satisfying as it rewards all plays.



  • PROS:

--I really like the "preview" option when you're looking at an upcoming matchup. Provides a nice analysis including interesting options such as Schedule Difficulty, Passing/Rushing/Defense Rank, and even Coach Rating. I'd like to note that I am comfortably in the middle of the pack at 6th with the Coach Rating. Not really sure how that's determined but I'd like to make my move and slide on up to 1st.


--on the scoreboard there is a notation for PMR - player minutes remaining; this is a far more accurate way to analyze the remaining players that you and your opponent have (thanks to Scott for noting this nice benefit)


--and perhaps the biggest benefit of all to sportsline versus yahoo - the live stats are free. On yahoo, stat tracker costs $9.99. Considering Scott and I are in on a combined 7 leagues we opted for the stat tracker option to keep every Sunday even more interesting than usual.

Just the facts

What if all you're looking for are sites that will provide player news? Read on...

  1. NFL.com - One of the things I like about this news portion of nfl.com is that you can click on weekly headlines and get a review of all the headlines separated out by day. Along this same vein, they keep their news archives up going back to 2001. Want to look back and see who the top rookies were a year ago or just how many years in a row a certain player has gotten injured - check out the archives. Also linked off this site is the Injury Report - always helpful in making those sit or start decisions. What is it missing? A web feed. (What is a web feed?)
  2. Rotoworld.com - The Player News is frequently updated and offers a line or two of commentary to go with each piece of news. Call it the girl in me, but I like having the player's name listed in a heading that depicts their team's colors and logo. Nice. Also of benefit is the ability to sort by team, position, or go directly to a specific date.
  3. kffl.com - Hot Off the Wire brings news from many sources - if you want further information than their one sentence blurbs, don't worry, HOTW offers links to the players, teams, and news sources. You can divvy up your news information by Breaking News, Fantasy, Injury News, Transaction, Draft Information, or Free Agency News. The downfall to this site are the irritating ads for kffl products/subscriptions that are sprinkled throughout the rest of the player news. No thanks.

Whose advice do I take?

One of my goals with this site is to do a statistical analysis of a lot of the "start 'em, bench 'em" sites that give you advice on which players to start each week. Everyone is hoping to find that gold nugget of information to give them an extra edge - but which sites give the most accurate advice? I will be compiling this information and will post the percentages weekly so you will know where - and where not - to go. If you have any sites that you would like included in this analysis, let me know.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Starting off

Well, we're into Week 2 of the 2006 season and I keep trying to remind myself that this is a marathon not a sprint. After an 0-3 start from the three leagues that I am in, I feel less confident about starting up this blog. But then again it seems like just the right time to create what I hope to be the ultimate resource for fantasy football. I don't intend to give advice on who to bench, who to start - but advice on how to find the most promising information out there. As a librarian, information is my business; but football is my passion.
More coming soon!