Friday, August 29, 2008

Preseason winding down

Happy Friday. With all but three preseason games left, things are really picking up in fantasy draft land. I know I'm more than halfway through my drafts but have two more to look forward to this weekend. I will also be spending some time this weekend updating my average draft position spreadsheet that so many of you have asked for. I should have the updated version up on Monday, Sept 1, so please feel free to e-mail me if you'd like the new version when it's available.

Now to fantasy links for the day:

  • Brandon Marshall's suspension is down to just one game. Everyone around me in Broncos Country is celebrating and FFFools has some thoughts up on this turn of events.
  • Did you hear that Dungy will be shocked if Peyton doesn't play the regular season opener? Or that Sam Hurd is injured? Or even that Kevin Curtis was injured many days ago now? If you've slacked on fantasy news up until now, don't worry, there's still time to catch up. Just don't forget to check out headlines before and after you draft to stay on top of player news - lots of good sites for this put today I'll recommend Ask The Commish's NFL and Team Headlines.
  • FFXtreme's free article of the week is a quick guide to Handcuffing Your Players in 2008. I'm becoming more and more of a fan of Ray Rice and Rashard Mendenhall - and in one of my drafts I even tried to pick up Jamal Lewis' backup, Jason Wright, but that was mostly a personal pick on my part since Wright is a fellow Northwestern alum of mine (but I was already maxed out on my RBs permitted on the roster, sadly).
  • While browsing through the FFToday articles I found myself clicking on The Gut Check column's Q&A with the founder of WomenAgainstFantasySports.com. I was amused by the banter and mostly I think I just enjoyed taking a little time off of reading about injuries, rankings, sleepers and other articles of that ilk. I confess that even I (gasp!) hit a saturation point with fantasy content.
Happy long weekend!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Contest reminder and draft reviews

Greetings fantasy fans. My mind is hanging on by a thin thread this week as can be evidenced by a few mistakes I've made - first, the FFXtreme free subscription contest entries need to be in today by 6:30 eastern, not 4:30 eastern (I automatically converted to my mountain time zone I guess). Remember to e-mail your guess for the WR with the most yards (and his yardage) to me today in order to win a free year-long subscription to FFXtreme. Good stuff, or as last week's winner Ghosty would say, big smiles.

I also somehow failed to see that signing up for the FFLibrarian's Challenge league, part of the $100K Fantasy Challenge, required a group number - I've corrected yesterday's post but for those who want to sign up, the group number is 1907 and the password is librarian.

A few links for the day:

  • My Bruno Boys' A Librarian's Touch column is up - FFL Draft Day Trends. I'm done with 4 of my drafts so I posted some brief thoughts on trends that I've seen so far.
  • Okay, this next link is one of the coolest things I've seen in awhile - the FFXtreme's freely available Injury Information Center. Soon they'll have info up about injured players but click on a body part and you get information about associated injuries, healing time and players who have suffered those injuries. Pretty rad I must say - makes you want to win that FFXtreme subscription so you can get into their paid content, too, doesn't it?
  • How should the wisdom of crowds/ADP affect your fantasy drafting? Check out Advanced NFL's thoughts in Fantasy Football and the Wisdom of Crowds.
  • Check out the latest upgrades and downgrades in NFL.com's Barometer: Several rookie standouts on the rise in fantasy land.
I'm venturing into the Denver burbs tonight to have dinner with a friend who has been in town covering the DNC; this will be my first DNC interaction since Boulder is really pretty far out from Denver and the convention chaos hasn't spread this far. Hopefully I won't get trapped in a parking lot of a highway with all the road closures in the area. Then I'd see very little of tonight's football games and that's just not cool. So enjoy the preseason games tonight - and the start of college football! Speaking of college football, my Northwestern Wildcats will be on ESPN2 for their game against Syracuse on Saturday morning. I. can't. wait.

Need another league?

So last winter during the playoffs I created a FFLibrarian's Challenge through NFL.com and more than 80 of you joined me in a playoffs fantasy league. I'm taking it a step further and inviting you all to join in me in a regular season FFLibrarian's Challenge league. NBCSports.com has a $100K Fantasy Challenge which involves setting a new lineup of players each week (a player can only be used once during the season) between weeks 1 and 12; those participants that qualify with high scores or perfect picks will make it to the playoffs from weeks 13 to 17 and the grand winner wins, you guessed it, $100,000. All the rules can be found here.

Does this sound like something you might be interested in? If so, join me in the FFLibrarian's Challenge group! You can either e-mail me and I'll send you an invitation or you can sign up on the NBCSports.com site, select the Groups option and then "Join New Group" - you'll then search for FFLibrarian's Challenge (update: not true, thanks for pointing this out to me guys - instead you'll need the group number which is: 1907). Either way you'll need the group password which is: librarian.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Why preseason week 4 games could be interesting...

Thanks to those of you who have sent in an entry for the Win an FFXtreme Subscription contest, week 2. FFXtreme is giving away a one-year subscription to an FFLibrarian reader and if you haven't sent in your guess yet, e-mail me the WR that you think will have the most yards in week 4's preseason games (and include the amount of yards in your e-mail, too, please!). All entries must be received by 4:30 eastern on 8/28. If you need a reason to actually make the final preseason games interesting, this could be it.

  • The FF Goat has more sleepers and value picks up - I just grabbed Anthony Fasano in the 16th round of a recent draft, perhaps largely because I had already maxed out my RBs and WRs, but as stated in my Optimizing your tight end column a few weeks ago, I think Fasano has a real chance to put up some solid numbers especially now that Pennington is in Miami.
  • Ross from Fantasy Football Starters has updated tiers for QB, RB, WR, TE, and Kicker and DST up - I'm intrigued to see Gore so highly tiered though I won't fight it since I, too, have a fantasy crush on Gore.
  • Since I can't seem to get enough of looking at other people's drafts, take a look at the Bruno Boys' draft recap - rounds 1, 2-3, 4-6, 7-9 and 10-12 are up so far. I'm hoping that once they have all the rounds posted you can find the whole draft on one page.
  • Last night my friend Ethan called to talk about our dynasty league and all of the ways that he can try and make his receivers a little bit stronger. Ethan, I can't believe I'm helping you but for you and others in dynasty/keeper leagues who are looking for WR advice, check out ProFantasySports' Dynasty Report - Wide Receivers, which really goes into depth with all the receiver options out there.
  • Junkyard Jake's Sleepers and Creepers list is up for your review...sure is nice to see a few of my Broncos on the sleepers list!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Contest winners...and football links of course

Last week many of you participated in the first FFLibrarian contest and we have not just one but two winners...oh yeah, you weren't expecting that were you? First, we have the grand overall winner: Christian "Ghosty" Pedersen of Tucson, AZ submitted the best guess for running back with the most yards (and number of yards) for preseason week 3 - Ghosty's guess was DeAngelo Williams with 115 yards; Williams finished the night at the top with 101 rushing yards. Congrats Ghosty, you've got a one-year subscription to FFXtreme to lord over your friends and foes!

However, another FFLibrarian reader submitted a guess of Rashard Mendenhall with 78 yards; Mendenhall had 79 rushing yards so I feel like this reader's precision needs to be rewarded as well. Therefore Adam Green has won honorable mention here and also received a free one-year subscription to FFXtreme.

Didn't win? No problem. Send me your guess for the WR with the most receiving yards in the preseason week 4 games and the number of yards that WR will have and you, too, might win an FFXtreme subscription. The same rules apply - you must be a new subscriber to FFXtreme and the submission must be e-mailed to me by 4:30 eastern time on Thursday, August 28.

Now onto the football links:

  • Check out CBS' thoughts on why the #3 receiver in New England will be very draft worthy...we just need to figure out who that might be...Gaffney? Jackson? Washington?
  • Fantasy Football Maniaxs have updated their top 45 RBs - I wish this list went about 10-15 players longer but I do like any list that includes commentary and explanations like the FFManiaxs do here.
  • More rankings! Football Jabber has updated his re-draft rankings - the positional ranking links are at the end of Jabber's blog post.
  • Updated average auction values from Fantasy Football Trader are available - these are from actual drafts that occurred earlier this month on FantasyAuctioneer.com. Both an overall and positional values are available.
  • Can I be honest? I don't believe the Chad Johnson injury stuff. Okay maybe I should say I don't believe this injury will hold him back; the injury itself is probably legit. I do own Chad as my WR1 in a league so this could just be optimistic thinking but I really don't think this will be a problem for him. Shopping Rudi Johnson around hardly says that the Bengals are immensely worried about Chad; to me it says they are finally realizing that Rudi has run out of juice. But for those of you who are sure that Chad will have a miserable season, convince me of it. I just don't see it happening. And p.s. this only furthers my love for Kenny Watson as a draft steal.
  • SI has a bunch of NFC fantasy sleepers and busts up...I disagree entirely on the Patrick Crayton and Jerious Norwood bust calls here but I like the majority of what I see, particularly the sleepers.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Deep into drafting season

I did a draft yesterday afternoon with some friends that just felt bizarre - it's a 6 points per passing TD league so QBs are definitely popular but I didn't expect them to be flying off the board at such a crazy rate. I mean Ben Roethlisberger was gone by the end of the 2nd round. What is that?! So here's the team I ended up with (drafting from 9th of 12) in a league that starts 2 RBs/3WRs (and yes, I do have some draft repeats like Patrick Crayton and Owen Daniels across my various drafts; how else will I remain sane this season? 2.5 drafts down, 4.5 to go...):
Marion Barber, 1.09
Reggie Wayne, 2.04
Torry Holt, 3.09
Darren McFadden, 4.04
Jay Cutler, 5.09
Thomas Jones, 6.04
Chris Johnson, 7.09
Patrick Crayton, 8.04
DeSean Jackson, 9.09
David Garrard, 10.04
Owen Daniels, 11.09
Seahawks DST, 12.04
Laurent Robinson, 13.09
Josh Scobee, 14.04

So far I have drafted with CBS twice; tonight I draft via Fleaflicker (for The Hazean's 2nd annual blogger league) and am interested in seeing some if the draft host differences. My only qualm about CBS is that once you draft a player, you can't see his bye week any longer. Bit frustrating since you then need to scramble to find bye weeks; that minor change would make a big difference to me.

  • The FF Geek Blog has taken stock of this week's preseason games and what that they might mean for the rising and falling stock of a bunch of players. Check out Best of the Rest: Leinart back in the doghouse. I'm surprised that Jonathan Stewart isn't back on here with rising stock; one week the experts say he's the best thing to hit Carolina in years, the next week his toe is going to ruin everything. Oh the fickle fantasy world. (update: wow, I'm blind. Yes, Stewart is indeed listed there...)
  • Okay, I'm about to post to a bunch of Sports Outlaw links - first, why you shouldn't be basing your picks solely on ADP (average draft position) but should be using your brain and gut, too. And then tips on drafting from the top, middle and bottom of a draft order - interesting stuff. My biggest recommendation would be that no matter how much draft strategy advice you read, remember that crazy things happen in drafts that will mess up your draft plans - be flexible.
  • I was thinking of looking at preseason performances in the past and determining just how meaningless they really are (or aren't) for my A Librarian's Touch (ALT) column this week, but turns out Football Outsiders has been there, done that and found that "a 50-carry preseason workload has usually put you among the league leaders" and other such gems - so anything in particular you all want to read about in my ALT column this week? I'm waiting for inspiration to strike here...
  • I'm diverging a bit from my norm of only posting links to free content - if you happen to have money burning a hole in your pocket, consider becoming a Footballguys subscriber. Now since I'm not a subscriber, I can't 100% attest to the awesomeness of the site, but I do know how great it is during the off-season. I love their multitude of cheat sheets, too. How awesome is that?
  • I'm on the brink of purchasing an iPhone and ending my 9 year Sprint relationship; of course as soon as I start considering leaving Sprint, I see that they're now offering a free app of live radio broadcasts for NFL games.
  • The Bruno Boys have posted an interview I did with Chris Ziza at Bruno Boys - I feel a bit self-promotional in linking to it but if you're interested in hearing some of my own sleepers and busts - or knowing a little more about me - check out Sitting Down with the Fantasy Football Librarian.
Finally, we almost have a winner for the FFXtreme subscription contest; there's one more game tonight but without any guesses for tonight's RBs, I'm feeling pretty confident that we've found our winner...winner, I'll be in touch later today. And on this contest note, I'm brainstorming this coming week's contest for another FFXtreme subscription - it will either be the WR with the most receiving yards in preseason week 4 games or something more subjective like, "send me the best fantasy football resource that I don't know about" or maybe both. Thoughts? Preferences?

Friday, August 22, 2008

Friday means football research day

So I've had a few of you ask if the average ranking positions spreadsheet I created could be manipulate to reflect your league's scoring system. Sadly, I am but one person and that is beyond the scope of what I can do - however, there are plenty of sites out there that excel at this. I've only looked at Cheat Sheets Creator a little bit but since they're in beta, they're giving their product away for free this year and it could be well worth your time. Or take a look at FFToday whose rankings can all be customized to your own system. There are probably plenty of other options out there and if you know of one, feel free to leave a suggestion in the comments section.

  • Wondering which injured players out there are risks versus those that might just come back better than ever? Or at least good enough to be worthy of a roster spot? Take a look at CBS' Draft prep: Injury risks and bounce backs.
  • FFToday's Gut Check column (worth a read every week) assesses the 2007 All-Gut Check Team and provides a look at 2008 sleepers - I like a lot of the guys mentioned here. I think I'd love playing in an all-sleeper/late round league if such a thing existed. Note that the end of the article includes updated tiers by position (though Kevin Curtis is still listed pretty highly, so keep that in mind when looking at the tiers).
  • Speaking of tiers, I'm a big fan of Rotoworld if you haven't noticed, so pay attention here - their QB Tiers of Heaven are up and worth reading, printing, plugging into your own rankings, memorizing, whatever it takes.
  • Mark St. Amant's Fantasy Football Amnesia on the NYTimes looks at how some of our favorite (and not so favorite) fantasy players have landed themselves in new situations this year and why you should be paying attention to them.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Quick links and contest reminder

My in-laws came into town last night so I've actually spent most of today NOT thinking about football but just being a Boulder tourist. Can you believe it's possible to not think about football during this time of the year?

First, a quick reminder that you have about 30 minutes left (as of this posting) to get your picks in for the contest for the RB with the most rushing yards during this weeks' games. Send me an e-mail with the back and his numbers and if you're the closest one to the correct answer you'll win a free one-year subscription to Fantasy Football Extreme. Smitty from FFXtreme and I are in a draft together which has been drafting for several days now - here's an article from Smitty on our draft. And speaking of our draft, I gave you all a recap of who I had on my team as of round 7 and here is who I have now through round 11:
LaDainian Tomlinson, 1.01
Chad Johnson, 2.12
Peyton Manning, 3.01
Calvin Johnson, 4.12
Selvin Young, 5.01
Jonathan Stewart, 6.12
Chris Johnson, 7.01
Owen Daniels, 8.12
Patrick Crayton, 9.01
Andre Hall, 10.12
D.J. Hackett, 11.01

The league starts 3 WRs so I think that's my biggest weakness (especially with all of the Chad Johnson injury mystery that has since come out over the past few days)...but you never know!

Anyway, here are a few quick links for the day:

  • Ultimate Fantasy Football Strategy has updated their rankings - they've got PPR and non-PPR rankings.
  • Steven Jackson ends his holdout, allowing all Jackson owners and admirers a chance to breathe a sigh of relief.
  • Fabiano's NFL.com blog had a few interesting tidbits, such as Kevin Curtis' surgery that will put him out "for awhile" (giving rookie DeSean Jackson a big bump), and insider info that Fabiano received on McGahee's knee and why we might not want to have a whole lot of faith in his running game this year.
  • Finally, ProFootballWeekly has some solid preseason thoughts up in Fitz on Fantasy - I really like this quick style of updates; gives you what you need without too much extra info. Nicely done PFW.
That's it for today - enjoy tonight's 49ers and Bears matchup.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Creating Fantasy Football Tiers

As mentioned earlier, my A Librarian's Touch column is up with a cluster analysis run on the average ranking positions spreadsheet that I blogged about earlier this week. So if you want to see how the tiers fell out - keep in mind the only human input was how many tiers to break the positions into - check out my column Creating Fantasy Football Tiers.

Dreaming about football

Hello fantasy footballers. It's a new day in fantasy land and I somehow lived through a 29-round draft with only a few dreams about drafting players. Seriously, I was dreaming about drafting last night (and this is only the tip of the iceberg for me in drafting...) - I woke up with players names on my mind. This really might be a sickness. I'd love comments on the draft if you have any - and if you have the time to look at all 29 rounds...

Yesterday I mentioned that I have teamed up with Fantasy Football Xtreme to give away a free year-long subscription to their site to an FFL reader. All you need to do is send me an e-mail with your best guess at the running back who will have the most rushing yards in this week's preseason games (week 3) - if you'd like to enter, please send me the player's name and number of rushing yards by 7:30 eastern time on 8/21. There are some rules I posted in yesterday's blog but they're pretty basic. And for those of you who are already FFXtreme subscribers, I'm looking into offering other sites' products up as well in future weeks and months, potentially including Fantasy Football Starters.

  • Rotoworld has released their new mock drafting site. It has some very similar characteristics to Fantasy Football Calculator if you've mocked at that site before.
  • Also on Rotoworld, I recommend taking a look at their Looking for value late which shows a recent industry draft rounds 9 through 18. A few picks that I particularly like (though am hesitant to share since I know some of my league mates read this blog...) in each round include: Anthony Gonzalez in Round 9, Patrick Crayton in Round 10, Jerious Norwood in Round 11, Kenny Watson in Round 12, Jerry Porter (if healthy) in Round 13, Jason Campbell in Round 14, DeSean Jackson in Round 15, Laurent Robinson and James Jones in Round 16, Jags D in Round 17 and Josh Scobee in Round 18.
  • Draft strategy articles abound - there are plenty of good reads out there including:
    • Stuff-n-Stuff's analysis of Yahoo! rankings versus ADP and where he sees discrepancies is worth the read, particularly for those of you in Yahoo! leagues (which is around 60% or so of FFers, I believe) or those who play with fantasy footballers who rely upon Yahoo!'s rankings to draft well.
    • Cosmic Penguin. First, that's an amusing name and I will use it as much as possible here. Cosmic Penguin has taken my average ranking position (ARP) numbers and compared ADP and my ARP (alphabet soup here, eh?) for a look at the overrated and underrated players out there. Cosmic Penguin just gained my eternal respect for taking my work and adding to it; thank you, Cosmic Penguin.

Later today my tiering/cluster analysis from my ARP numbers should be up on Bruno Boys' A Librarian's Touch. I'll get a post up here when it's live.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Win a subscription to FFXtreme!

Greetings fantasy footballers. Drafting season has arrived (I'm deep in the 20th round of a 29-rounder right now...) and what could be more helpful than a free one-year subscription to Fantasy Football Xtreme? These guys produce some of my favorite content throughout the season and I've teamed up with FFXtreme to offer a few free subscriptions to you all, my loyal FFLibrarian community. How to win? Well a contest of course! Send me an e-mail with the running back that you think will have the most rushing yards and your projected yardage for that back in this week's preseason games (week 3). I must receive your e-mail before Thursday, August 21, 7:30 pm eastern time. If you are correct (or the closest one to being correct), you will win a one-year subscription to FFXtreme. A few rules to note (doesn't every good contest require rules?):

  1. in order to win, you must be new to FFXtreme - you can't already be a subscriber.
  2. if there is a tie, the individual who e-mailed me their projections first will win.
  3. on the morning of Tuesday, August 26th, I will send an e-mail to the winner to let them know of their dominating win - I will even announce your name to the FFLibrarian world if you so desire; also on 8/26/08, you will be set up as a subscriber with FFXtreme.
If you don't win this week though, have no fear! This contest will last for several more weeks and I might mix it up a bit. So by all means if you have any contest suggestions, bring 'em on.

Live expert drafting

Follow along with a live expert draft that I'll be doing today with CBS, KFFL, Rotowire, Rotoworld, FootballGuys, Football Outsiders and others. Draft starts at 2:30 eastern time.

More links to come soon!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Get your tiers, get your cheat sheets, get your rankings...

My Bruno Boys online draft with a few of the big dogs in the FF world continues. I drafted #1 overall and so far my team includes:
LaDainian Tomlinson, 1.01
Chad Johnson, 2.12
Peyton Manning, 3.01
Calvin Johnson, 4.12
Selvin Young, 5.01
Jonathan Stewart, 6.12
Chris Johnson, 7.01

Thoughts? How am I doing? Yup, I'm taking a risk with Young and the rookie platter of Stewart and Johnson, but I feel like right when Young might be at risk of having Hall swoop in on his carries, Stewart and Johnson will be at the point of dominating their backfields. We'll see how that plays out but I start 2 RBs and 3 WRs in this league so I need to flesh out my WRs a bit more.

Depending on Tropical Storm/Hurricane Fay and her fury on Internet access, I may have a draft tomorrow, too, where I will be drafting from the 6th spot. So I've got lots of tiering and rankings and projections on the brain...as I know so many of you do, too.

  • Advanced NFL Stats deviates from their norm to provide some fantasy football insight. Check out Fantasy Draft Strategy (part 1) for some thoughts on the consistency of positions year after year and how that might affect your drafting strategies. Part 2 of this analysis is forthcoming and will spell out a strategy "that will give you a big advantage in your league's draft"...that's always desirable, no? So I'll be sure to get a link up to part 2 when the time comes.
  • The Bruno Boys have posted their Top 150 Cheat Sheet. The scoring system for this list is at the bottom but it's a 4 pts/passing TD and I believe non-PPR. I included this ranking (or at least the top 100 guys) in the latest update to my average ranking positions.
  • The Goat is a non-stop sleeper machine - he's posted about lots of players that could be nice value picks this draft season so take a look at 2008 Fantasy Football Sleepers and Value Picks Volume 3 before you draft.
  • Finally, if you want more tiering, I definitely recommend checking out FFToday's Cheat Sheets - good stuff there. Here's the QB & RB sheet, WR & TE sheet and the K &D/ST sheet...plus an IDP sheet. Love it.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Average ranking positions reanalyzed

A few days ago I posted an average rankings position spreadsheet and as promised I've updated it (added the Bruno Boys' top 100) and added two new analyses to it. First, in addition to averaging all of the rankings, I ran the standard deviation for each player's rankings to determine how much of a consensus there is across all the experts; the lower the standard deviation, the more consensus on the ranking for that player. I then added the standard deviation to the average ranking position to get a better picture of these rankings - this tells me both a player's ranking and the level of agreement on that ranking, which changes the list I posted earlier ever so slightly. For example, Adrian Peterson is now #3 since there's more agreement on the ranking of Brian Westbrook, who is now #2 - so it's interesting stuff and I think the average+consensus gives a more holistic view of the overall rankings.

Second, I did some average rankings within positions; I'm running these off of the same overall rankings that I mentioned last week, so keep in mind that I'm not averaging positional rankings, just the overall top 100 rankings.

Finally, I ran a cluster analysis on the averages+ consensus numbers, too, which is basically just a way of tiering/clustering players. Keep in mind this is just a statistical tool that I used to create tiers; for better or for worse there was no additional human input into the tiering (outside of the initial rankings from the experts of course). I'll be talking about this in more detail in my weekly column for the Bruno Boys' A Librarian's Touch, which will be posted mid-week.

I've saved the full spreadsheet in Scribd again and also as a google spreadsheet this time, but once again feel free to e-mail me if you'd like an excel version. Also, I'm sharing this data with Sports Data Hub, who will load it into their database and Kevin at SDH and I are probably going to write up some thoughts on the rankings in the next week or so. And a hearty thanks to my brilliant husband for helping me run all this data in Stata.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Football thoughts for a rainy day

So for those who haven't noticed this in the past, I tend to talk about weather a lot - I kind of dig weather forecasts, patterns, etc. Nerdly of me I know, but if you could do fantasy weather I probably would. So I just have to comment on the fact that it's only in the mid-50s today and rainy in Boulder - a solid 30 degree drop from yesterday. Gotta love the crazy Colorado weather.
But don't worry, I've been focusing on fantasy football more than the weather. I'm doing an online draft organized by the Bruno Boys with some other fantasy football advice-givers like Rotoworld, Athlon/Grogan FF, Fantasy Sharks, Rotowire and many others. We're doing it so each of us has a 6 hour window to make our picks though it's certainly go by at a much faster rate than that. I had the first pick of the draft and snagged LaDainian Tomlinson - my 2nd and 3rd round picks are coming up quickly...

  • NoLimitSportsline has an excellent overview on auction draft strategies for those of you who are auction style drafters.
  • Take a look at Rotoworld's Tiers of Heaven: RBs to get prepped and ready to roll come draft day.
  • Fantasy Football Maniaxs bring us Top 10 Fantasy Handcuffs, which also includes a list of players they wouldn't consider handcuffing. I think the latter piece there is almost the more interesting evaluation...
  • Dominate Your League has projections up listed alphabetically (updated 8/9) for RBs, QBs, WRs, TEs, Ks, D/STs
  • Now speaking of projections, Sports Data Hub (SDH) is now live with all of their awesome data and one of the pieces they offer is one-stop shopping for player projections. They're adding projections to their database as we speak so you'll only see a handful of projections in there but it's pretty cool to see such a graphical representation of them. Now it does require registering for free but once you're in, click on the Data tab and you should see the Player Projections tab. Enjoy!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

2008 Average Ranking Positions

I've pulled together an average ranking position spreadsheet from 11 different freely available Top 100 overall rankings from expert fantasy football sites. There are a few important details to note - first, as I mentioned earlier this week, I tried to ensure that sites all used the same scoring system to create their rankings, but the majority didn't list their scoring system. Second, I gathered all of these lists within about 36 hours of each other so they should be as close to comparable as possible in terms of player news. Third, as with last year, players that didn't receiving a ranking within the top 100 from an expert were given a ranking of 125 for purposes of averaging.

Keep in mind that there are lots of useful tools out there including ADP (average draft position; based on where players are drafted in thousands of mock drafts), a tiering system (for an example, see the tiers in the Bruno Boys draft webazine), and of course your own gut instinct. This can merely be another supplement to help you while drafting. And for those who want a position focus, this weekend I'll create an average rankings within positions from this list.

The top 30 overall average ranking positions are as follows (but for the full spreadsheet from Scribd click here or contact me if you'd like the excel version):




LaDainian Tomlinson RB 1.0
Adrian Peterson RB 2.7
Brian Westbrook RB 2.9
Steven Jackson RB 4.5
Joseph Addai RB 5.5
Tom Brady QB 7.1
Randy Moss WR 8.0
Clinton Portis RB 9.5
Frank Gore RB 10.6
Marion Barber RB 10.7
Larry Johnson RB 11.2
Marshawn Lynch RB 11.3
Ryan Grant RB 15.1
Terrell Owens WR 15.4
Reggie Wayne WR 16.1
Peyton Manning QB 16.8
Maurice Jones-Drew RB 17.9
Braylon Edwards WR 20.1
Willis McGahee RB 20.1
Jamal Lewis RB 21.8
Larry Fitzgerald WR 21.9
Tony Romo QB 22.3
Andre Johnson WR 23.5
Marques Colston WR 27.2
T.J. Houshmandzadeh WR 28.7
Brandon Jacobs RB 30.3
Drew Brees QB 31.5
Reggie Bush RB 33.4
Steve Smith WR 33.6


The sites I pulled overall rankings from included:
Yahoo!
FFToolbox (10-team, performance-based scoring)
ESPN
NFL.com
Fox Sports
CBS Sports
ProFantasySports
SI
Ask the Commish (12-team, TD+ yardage scoring)
KFFL (TD+yardage, non-PPR scoring)
Football Burrito (used a PPR, 6 points for pa TD system)

Let me know if you have any questions - I'm certainly open to looking at this in other ways. Since the last two sites clearly have different approaches to PPR (point-per-reception), you could rerun this analysis pulling one of them out - let me know if you want the Excel version to play around with this.

Enjoy!

Pick your kicker with some statistical perspective

Check out my latest column for the Bruno Boys, Pick your kicker with some statistical perspective. I know, researching kickers isn't on the top of everyone's drafting strategy but you don't want to forget about them completely. So I took a look at offensive stats from 2003-2007 and compared them to final season fantasy rankings for kickers to see if there are any patterns in determining which kickers end up on top. Read on for the results.

More links to come later today!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Is there time for football with so many gold medals to be won?

I'm currently crafting an average ranking from about 10-12 top 100 overall rankings lists that are freely available - I should have the list up by Friday 8/15 at the latest. This year I'm enlisting the help of my husband's Stata program so that the process won't be quite so painstaking. Now one of the major questions from all of you last year was: are you comparing rankings with similar scoring systems? And much like last year, many of these sites do not list the scoring system that they used to devise their rankings. So while I agree that we want to be comparing apples to apples here, I simply don't know what kind of scoring system was used for a lot of the sites' rankings. I hope you all can get down with that slight ambiguity. And just to whet your palate, some of the sites I'm looking at include FFToolbox, CBS Sports, NFL.com, SI, ESPN, Ask The Commish, KFFL, etc. I'll be using this same set of sites and several more like Rotoworld and Football Outsiders for my "how accurate were they" analysis for 2008 (but don't hold your breath for that bit of analysis - it won't come until February 2009).

Until the averages are ready, I'll keep posting some of the best fantasy content out there that I can find:

  • RotoExperts have Scott Engel's first edition of Mailbag up for the season. And it's a good one. Read on for advice that we can all probably use. Check out the guy who has to decide between keeping Tom Brady, Joseph Addai, Steven Jackson, Frank Gore, and Terrell Owens...wow.
  • The NFL.com's 2008 Fantasy Football Draft Kit is up - take a good long look; lots of quality stuff in there including sleeper picks, players to avoid and breakout candidates.
  • I have no clue what spot I'm drafting in for 6 of my 7 leagues but I'm pretty sure I won't own Brady in any of them. My Brady-loving sister probably just gasped (sorry, Katie). But the fact of the matter is I don't trust that he can repeat 2007 and therefore isn't worthy of a first round pick in my book, which means there's no way he'll ever land on my roster. Russ from FFStarters has my back in his Tips from the Red Zone blog where he encourages all not to draft Brady quite so early.
  • Check out the news about new FF league host Citizen Sports, Inc. from the FF Geek Blog. I'm playing with Yahoo, CBS, MyFantasyLeague.com and Fleaflicker this year - should be an interesting comparison of the different hosting sites.
  • Can't get enough fantasy football? Why not play in a survival league with The Hazean?
  • I'm off to go listen to Fantasyfootball.com's IDP Blitz - The All-IDP Radio Show in just a few minutes...

Monday, August 11, 2008

First MNF for the preseason!

Monday Night Football kicks off tonight with a preseason battle between Cincinnati and Green Bay. Who else is psyched to see Aaron Rodgers for at least a few snaps?

The news on important players keeps coming...

  • Willis McGahee is undergoing knee surgery that should take him out for 2-4 weeks, returning hopefully just in time for the first game. This makes me quite cautious about drafting McGahee as an RB2 even - perhaps that's overly reactionary of me...but Ray Rice's value continues to tick upwards.
  • There's so much else to share but I'm going to rely upon the good people at Rotoworld, namely Gregg Rosenthal, to keep you posted via his Moving Day article which notes players that are moving up and down in value thanks to their injury or preseason play. Keep in mind that Gregg also has a blog, Pancake Blocks, that has multiple updates a day for those of you that need constant FF news.
  • NFL.com's Michael Fabiano also has a daily blog, though it doesn't seem to be updated with the same frequency - Friday's blog has notes on David Clowney (um, I might draft him merely for his awesome name) and Robert Meachem and how you should be wary before jumping on their drafting bandwagons...as with any preseason belle of the ball.
  • Speaking of which, the new fantasy darling of the week seems to be Tennessee's Chris Johnson - Yahoo!'s blog RotoArcade breaks down his appeal in Exhibitionist: There's breakaway speed, and then there's whatever Chris Johnson has. Read up and know his potential before draft day.
  • Check out PFW's consensus draft board, updated today, August 11. It's divided up by position as well as a top 100.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Back in the football saddle again

So I must confess, I think I'm in over my head this fantasy season. I've now agreed to be in 7 fantasy football leagues - my previous high was 4 leagues so this is bound to be a big change for me and I'm wondering how things will go. One of the changes this year includes playing in a league that is solely IDPs and special teamers. While two of my leagues in the past have included IDPs, I certainly haven't played in an IDP-only league before and the prep for this 29-round draft feels very different. In preparing for this draft I came across a pretty interesting article from FF Maniaxs - How to win a fantasy IDP league. We have similar approaches to IDP drafting - find the "tackle machines" so I particularly enjoyed reading this piece.

Some other fantasy football articles for you:

  • Running with the Ones from Rotoworld reports on some of the latest training camp battles
  • I love the weekly Gut Check column from FFToday and a recent column on draft strategies is likely one of the best strategy articles I've ever read. Check out Draft Strategy (What I Really Think) - you won't regret it.
  • Mr. Fantasy's 2008 Top 200 Draft Rankings are available; I didn't agree with Mr. Fantasy all the time last season (and can already see I might disagree with some of this year's rankings) but I enjoy reviewing his rankings nonetheless.
  • Football Outsiders provide us with a list of guys you might not want to grab in Taking a Pass: Fantasy Players to Avoid - I agree with most of this list but am not so sure I agree with the Garrard or Graham analysis. I also can't help but be a homer and think that Cutler isn't getting enough love here; Cutler makes things happen.
All for now...I'm catching up with my normal life now that my summer wedding obligations are over and I'm not traveling again for another month. Hopefully that will mean daily posts - as well as an averaging of some top 100 rankings out there. Stay tuned!

Friday, August 08, 2008

Happy Olympics Day!

Ahh, the Olympics. A time for me to reflect on how many other sports exist outside of football. I'm a bit of a one-trick pony; sure, college basketball can be really fun and track events are another one of my favorites but sometimes I forget that the world of sports doesn't revolve around football alone...

I'm in a wedding this weekend and off to the rehearsal dinner in just a few minutes, so excuse the brevity of these links (that seems to be my refrain this week...):

  • With Steve Smith out for the first 2 weeks of the season, I've seen a lot more attention paid to the other WRs in Carolina. Check out fantasyfootball.com's thoughts in Position Analysis: Carolina WRs.
  • Speaking of suspended WRs, Bruno Boys posted some Brandon Marshall analysis in their Bruno Boys Crystal Ball: Brandon Marshall article. Looks like I'll be far more likely to have B-Marsh on my team than the BB guys...
  • The FF Geek Blog has some musings up on last night's preseason games, including doubts about Maroney and Eli and some possible fantasy love for Meachem. Meachem did look pretty solid last night, though my opinion might have been swayed by my Knoxville-native husband getting really psyched about this UT alum...
  • Ultimate FF Strategy has updated their rankings - here's the QB, RB, WR, TE - and note that non-PPR are available as well.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Preseason games begin!

Today is the beginning of the football season now that the Hall of Fame Game has come and gone and preseason football starts in just a few hours. I couldn't be more excited. I've been quiet this week since I've been traveling to/from Seattle and helping a friend with last minute wedding prep. But I'm back and hopefully better than ever. So let's jump right in and read up on the latest:

  • NFL.com's Fabiano takes a look at how Favre's trade to the Jets will impact Favre's fantasy value in Favre's move to New York could be detrimental to his fantasy value. I'm also wondering how this might impact Thomas Jones; before Favre arrived, Jones was probably the most obvious offensive weapon that the Jets had...will this spotlight on Favre help Jones gain a few more yards here and there?
  • How does losing Ryan Torain to an elbow injury affect Selvin Young's status? I have more faith in the Denver back system than the rest of the planet, so I must admit that I'm a little more encouraged about drafting Young now that Torain is out of the picture. Am I crazy? Maybe.
  • Take a look at the NFC West landscape now that several receivers have changed teams in ESPN's How receiving departures affect NFC West teams.
  • FFXtreme...you're killing me! Your content is no longer freely available and this is a serious bummer. I love the FFXtreme site and am really sorry to see that virtually all of the articles and rankings on your site are for subscribers only. Sorry to be a complainer (and I don't begrudge you the chance to make a living off of this), I'm just sorry to see the change.
  • ProFootballWeekly's Overrated and Underrated fantasy performers for the 2008 season has some interesting commentary - I like a lot of what I see here, particularly in the underrated section.
I'll be back tomorrow with more...

Optimizing your tight end

My next column on the Bruno Boys' A Librarian's Touch is up - Optimizing your tight end (8/7 note: um, I forgot to actually link to my article for a full 24 hours - feel free to contact me the next time I'm clearly not paying attention). Check it out for some thoughts on late round TEs you might want to grab.

I'm back from several days of conferencing in Seattle and promise to get lots of links up over the next few days. Until then, enjoy the TE thoughts!

Monday, August 04, 2008

Get your SDH on

This is a beautiful day, football fans: Sports Data Hub has gone live with their beta release (oh and I'm in gorgeous Seattle where I think I could spend the rest of my life). But the release of SDH is big news for those of you that like data - no more searching around for stats on different sites and trying to manipulate it on your own. Data warehousing gurus who happen to love football have brought the fantasy football world something awesome - to see how you can use some of their free analysis tools on SDH, check out this video.

Since I'm short on time tonight, here are just a few quick links:

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Camp news & Hall of Fame Game!

Hi fantasy footballers. Before I jump into training camp news (and how it will definitely affect your drafting and rankings), I just wanted to note that I will be traveling to a library conference in Seattle today; I'll try to keep the postings coming this week but if I'm a little quiet through 8/6, don't be too surprised.

So last night was the Hall of Fame induction for Fred Dean, Darrell Green, Art Monk, Emmitt Thomas, Andre Tippett and Gary Zimmerman - and tonight is the HOF Game - the Colts vs Redskins (the Redskins have a 4-0 record at Canton, fyi). I realize this is a relatively meaningless game for the season but how can you not be excited about the chance to see football on tv again? In prime time no less! As noted above, I'll be traveling and not sure how much of the game I'll catch but I certainly am looking forward to it.

  • Javon Walker tried to retire. Favre isn't the only one on the brink between retirement and playing, but I'm far more concerned about Walker than Favre. Al Davis apparently talked Walker into staying but Walker has had a less than successful camp and offered to return his $11 million signing bonus and retire. Hmm. So while Walker claims to have had a change of heart over the past few days, I'm avoiding him like the plague this year and won't be taking a draft pick on this guy, not even a flier.
  • Matt Prater, the new Broncos kicker now that Jason Elam has left for Atlanta, kicked a 68-yard field goal (quite comfortably I might add) at training camp yesterday. While losing Elam hurts, having someone who can boot the hell out of the ball like that is comforting. Will Prater end up being an excellent fantasy kicker this year? Don't draft him quite yet, but keep an eye on his progress over the first few weeks.
  • A few other news nuggets:
    • Steve Smith suspended for two regular- season games after his altercation with Ken Lucas that left Lucas with a broken nose last week.
    • Ryan Grant has reached a deal with the Packers. Rest easy, Grant drafters.
    • Wes Welker was taken off the Pats' PUP list and is concerned to be 100% healthy. Rest easy, Welker drafters.
  • Have a listen to the FF Goat and Football Jabber discuss quarterback races and sleeper picks around the league in Sleepers, Value Picks and Average Draft Position.
  • Fantasy Football Fools talks a bit about his drafts and why grabbing your RBs a little later this year might work out just fine for you in The Incredible Depth at Running Back in 2008.
  • FFToolbox has updated their IDP Rankings in their Free Fantasy Football Cheat Sheets. They also have updated offensive position rankings, too, so take a look around their site.
  • Fantasy Football Sharks is a bit unsure about Frank Gore - read up on why the Sharks don't think you should grab Gore as early as his ADP (mid-first round) in Don't Waste a First-Round Pick on Frank Gore.
Enjoy the HOF Game tonight!