Thursday, January 29, 2009

Top expert sites for TE predictions in 2008

One of the things I noticed in Tampa was the unbelievable amount of Steelers love. As I flew out yesterday, the plane that deboarded at my gate was full of Steelers fans - at least two gentlemen got a "Here We Go Steelers" cheer going and tiny children to old men were decked out in Steelers gear. I don't even think this plane came from Pennsylvania. The airport attempted to have some Cardinals/Steelers diversification going on but seriously, anyone with even half a good eye and even the crappiest of hearing aids could tell that Tampa is quickly becoming Pittsburgh's town. John Clayton reports that there are roughly 30 bars in Tampa that will be overrun with Steelers fans this Sunday - how many for the Cardinals? Zero.

So part of the fantasy sports conference I attended this week included a dinner cruise (for some it may have been more of a booze cruise...) and while I was waiting for the live band to really kick things off so I could get my dance-loving self onto the dance floor, it occurred to me that a conference with roughly 5 women and 150 dudes was not likely to erupt into a dance party. Must admit I was a little bummed but fortunately I instead had the pleasure of learning which fantasy expert is the most likely to serenade a boatful of conference attendees with some karaoke (not to mention a bit of a dance). I'll let you all ponder which fairly well-known writer that might be...

To the daily links, which are heavy on the Super Bowl details of course:

  • If you're not doing so well in the FFLibrarian's Challenge for the postseason and are looking for another way to show off your awesomeness, try competing against the ESPN fantasy crew in their Super Bowl pick 'em league. There are over 2500 in the group including Matthew Berry (whom I must note - not to blow his cover - comes across as a genuinely nice guy), Eric Karabell, etc.
  • Matt Cassel is among the droves of football-related folks in Tampa this week - The Big Lead has an interview with him covering topics ranging from his future in the NFL to his consumption of sports news to his favorite TV show (The Office).
  • Hey speaking of the Pats, the Tom Brady injury watch is so on. NFL.com sees Brady's fantasy stock on the rise for 2009 - Brady was just taken at the end of the 4th round of my mock draft. I toyed with grabbing him at the 4.07 spot but went with Welker instead. We'll see if that was a mistake. I have my eyes on a different QB in the 5th round though...and no, it's not my golden boy Jay Cutler; sadly he's already gone.
  • Worried about Ben Roethlisberger's ribs? You'll learn nothing new from the big guy himself in his interview with Gregg Rosenthal but the Big Ben Mum on X-Ray Report article kind of amused me nonetheless.
Finally, as promised here is my list of the top 5 fantasy expert sites in terms of their predictions for tight ends for the 2008 season...
  1. Fantasy Football Trader
  2. CBS Sports
  3. ADP (average draft position) from FF Calculator
  4. Fantasy Football Starters
  5. Fantazzle Fantasy Sports Games
I'm intrigued that fewer of the "big" expert names are on this list, but they are represented in other rankings and deeper into the top 10 as you'll see over the next week or so.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Wrapping up the fantasy sports conference

Well I'm sitting in the Tampa airport with a fair amount of time to kill (thanks for getting me to the airport super early, super shuttle) and am wrapping up a great couple of days at the Fantasy Sports Trade Association conference. I had a great time and really enjoyed the chance to actually meet so many of the guys whose content I link to on a frequent basis. They're an awesome group of people.

I presented my big award to the 2008 FSTA member site with the most accurate preseason rankings to Fantazzle Fantasy Sports Games, a site whose primary focus isn't even about content and advice but more about providing fantasy games. Gotta love the dark horse, eh? Next week I'll have an article up in the NY Times' Fifth Down blog with a list of the top 10 sites at each position and the top 10 sites across all positions - until then I'll slowly dish out the top 5 sites to you guys since that's the info I've already divulged at the FSTA conference. So check back tomorrow for the top 5 sites at the TE position.

Time for a few quick links:

  • Lester's Legends has been doing a solid job of comparing the two Super Bowl teams all week - take a look at Lester's comparison for the special teams.
  • Looking for some quality insight on which team will soon be adorned with Super Bowl rings? Try Tony Holm's The Prognosticator on Fantasy Sharks for for some stats-crunching-meets gut-feeling kind of perspective.
  • SportingNews.com gives lots of reasons why and how the Steelers will run it up on the Cardinals this Sunday. I have to admit (and I'm sorry Steelers fans!!) I think I'm pulling for the Cardinals here - may they keep their streak of unexpected wins running...
  • Finally, this time of year I love reading Gregg Rosenthal's Pancake Blocks blog to follow his media day experiences and other fun down here in Tampa. Read on - you won't regret it.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Tampa Bound

I'm watching the Winter X Games right now and realizing once again how addictive it is to watch the superpipe. And wishing that I was in Aspen to enjoy some of the sweet snow that's coming down there. But then again, I leave tomorrow morning for Tampa and am certainly grateful to be leaving snow and 20 degree temps in my wake for a little sun and sand. Freckles and a possible sunburn (no matter how much sunscreen I apply), here I come!

So I thought I'd throw up a few links tonight since I'll be traveling and chatting up fantasy sports folks for most of the day tomorrow. But before I get into the links I want to point out a new search feature that I have over on the right sidebar of my site - it's run by a Boulder-based company called Lijit and when you search you'll have the option of searching just the FFLibrarian blog or searching a predetermined group of sites that I've set up as my network. I trust all of those sites in my network to provide you with quality material, so I think this Lijit feature is an awesome way to really focus your search down to some of the best fantasy football resources on the Internet. Plus, if you still can't find what you're looking for, you can expand your search to the rest of the web. I'm still playing around with it a bit but like what I see so far.

Anyway, to the links!

  • Is Thigpen worth sticking with or should the Chiefs look elsewhere for their QB? I can't help but think of Derek Anderson's mighty quick fall from fame this season but I do think Thigpen has some promise.
  • Just a reminder that the mock draft I'm participating in is being tracked on FFXtreme - and has quite an informed crew of discussants on the forum. I've selected for three rounds so far and have an all-star crew of DeAngelo Williams, Chris Johnson and Brandon Marshall so far. I'm planning on going with another WR next but I'm curious about the QB talent that will be on the board then, too.
  • SportingNews.com's 2009 QB rankings: The 'Big 33' QBs for '09 - maybe it's the fact that I dislike the Chargers more every year (they keep beating my teams!) but I just can't accept Rivers as the #4 QB for 2009.
  • Since rookie RBs have been all the rage lately, I recommend scoping out Football Jabber's Top Ten NFL Draft Running Back Prospects - which of these names will be the guy to have in 2009?
  • If you're in the mood for some historical Super Bowl knowledge, check out the link that the Fifth Down provides in Everything You Wanted to Know About the Super Bowl (and don't forget to scope the comments since the NYT editor's comment made me laugh out loud).
I'll be back soon with more links - I hope you all are finalizing your Super Bowl plans for next weekend!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Making the conference rounds

Today begins a string of conferences for me - well okay, just two back-to-back conferences: a library conference in Denver until Sunday and then a fantasy sports conference in Tampa. Can you imagine two more disparate groups than librarians and fantasy sports lovers? Should be an interesting week for me and it could lead to some limited blogging - but the silver lining is that my report on the most accurate FF sites for the 2008 season will be coming mid-week.

Until then, here are a few links to keep you diehard FF fans happy as the weekend arrives...

  • If you're fishing around for keeper information, take a look at ProFantasySports' Keepers: Time to Dump Tomlinson - there will be keeper rankings coming from these guys over the next several weeks but for now, take a look at the great LT debate.
  • My sister and the rest of you Patriots fans will be psyched to see this - the Patriots are already favored for next year's Super Bowl at 6-1. The Colts, Steelers and Giants are also contenders according to Vegas.
  • In 2009 Defense/Special Teams Rankings, Fantasyfootball.com recommends taking a look back on this season's D/ST units as preparation for the 2009 season - see which units you can might be able to grab at a real value and which you might want to avoid if possible.
  • Will Westbrook's workload decrease in 2009? Gregg Rosenthal takes a look at why Westbrook might not be a top 5 back next year on his Pancake Blocks blog.
  • Wondering how the NFL draft might go and which rookies you might want to keep an eye on? Take a look at KFFL's 2009 NFL Draft Rankings: Top 100 for some ideas.
  • If your fantasy options are open for the Super Bowl and you're debating which WRs to plug into your lineup, read Lester's Legends Super Bowl Comparison: Wide Receivers.
A few reasons I'm proud of my alma mater, Northwestern, right now. The men's basketball team is rocking - they beat #7 Michigan State at home on Wednesday and while I don't want to jinx them, it sort of feels like they might just make it to the tournament this year. That's quite a feat for us. And then if you tune into Jeopardy tonight you'll see my sorority sister's brother (yes, I was actually in a sorority - stop laughing), Matt, also an NU alum, rack up the wins and show off his intellect. So go Cats!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Super Bowl fantasy prep begins

It is a crime that I am stuck in an office today; it is supposed to be 71 degrees - 71!!! - here today in Boulder and there's such a nice warm air blowing in through my window. Maybe I can take my laptop outside and just call the great outdoors my office for the day. Trust me, I'm pretty grateful for the awesome weather we have plus I leave for Tampa on Monday for the Fantasy Sports Trade Association conference...so in one week I'll be staring at the ocean. Life is so good.

So I'm partaking in a mock draft organized by the Bruno Boys, which FFXtreme is chronicling here. Take a look if you're interested. How did I do with my first round pick of DeAngelo Williams? I was 4th overall and think that might have been maybe ever so slightly early to take DWill, but frankly there wasn't anyone else that I was super confident about either at the 1.04 spot. Now I'm wondering whether I'll take another RB or a WR next...you can join FFXtreme's forum discussion on the draft if you'd like to make your voice heard.

Onto other links for the day:

  • KFFL is keeping the rankings coming - their player rankings by position for the Super Bowl are up though it's kind of amusing to have just a 2-player ranking as in QB. More to read at least with the RB, WR and TE rankings.
  • If you're feeling a little bit confounded by which RB to start during the Super Bowl - or are just curious about how they'll fare - read up on the Super Bowl Comparisons - Running Backs from Lester's Legends.
  • More changes on the Broncos coaching staff - a new QB coach and offensive coordinator plus four new assistants will see what they can do with my high-powered Broncos offense. Considering how much Cutler wanted the previous QB coach Bates to stick around, I'll be interested to see how this new QB relationship develops.
  • Wondering who might be a risky grab for the 2009 season? Read the Bruno Boys' 2009 Red Flag Players, which is chock full of some red hot players from 2007 and 2008.
  • Will LA acquire that NFL team they desire? See the latest news on that front from ESPN.
I'm off to the ol' bowling league tonight. Wish me luck!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Yes They Can - the Cardinals really made it...

Like the good native Washingtonian that I am, I will be watching the inauguration on tv tomorrow morning and likely won't get a post up until rather late in the day...so I thought I'd get a few quick links up tonight.

I hope you all enjoyed the conference championship games this weekend. I still cannot believe that the Cardinals are going to the Super Bowl, but kudos to Arizona and its fans; and of course to the Steelers as well. By the way this was the first Saturday without some sort of football in months and months and I for one was a bit bummed. The ability to go for a run in a t-shirt made it a bit better (it's supposed to be nearly 70 here tomorrow!) but this is just a reminder of the cold, dark time ahead for us football fans.

  • If you found yourself occupied with other events this weekend (like say, en route to the big inauguration celebration like millions of others) and didn't catch the conference championship games, scope out Dr U Fantasy Football Guru's Fantasy Studs/Fantasy Duds - Championship Week for reasons to love Fitz...and to curse McClain. I'm happy to report that I had TE Brent Celek in one of my two leagues, which felt brilliant, I'll be honest. Certainly makes me wonder where he might be be ranked come August...
  • I think it's worth noting that Jacob from Fantasy Football Fools called the Cardinals vs Steelers Super Bowl outcome and went all out this past weekend with fantasy players from those two teams - so if you're looking for someone with some solid insight, keep the Fools in mind for the offseason.
  • FFXtreme has taken a look at their 2008 Third-Year Breakout Wide Receivers rankings with some reflection - and list their top 5 2009 third-year WRs. There are some great players on that list like Calvin Johnson but personally I'm digging Anthony Gonzalez in '09 - I see him being a better WR than Ginn, Breaston and maybe Bowe next year.
  • Wondering about injuries and how that might affect your fantasy decisions for the Super Bowl? Sure, some leagues are locked for the Super Bowl; whatever decisions you have made already are likely set for the final game unless you played my FFLibrarian's Challenge well and have some room for edits in your lineup. If so, and you're wondering how injuries might affect your lineup choices (like Hines Ward) read The Hazean's Monday Morning Rehab.
So speaking of that FFLibrarian's Challenge, here's a list of the overall top 10 in my competition:
  1. Year of the Vikes
  2. Salem Cowboys
  3. Al Davis Wannabe
  4. Los Angeles Pro State
  5. Renegades
  6. 28Rams39
  7. Ryan's Falcons
  8. Pocket Kings
  9. I AM LEGEND
  10. Project Fantasy X
Enjoy the historic day for our country and I'll be back soon with more links!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Conference championship thoughts

I almost hate to admit this to those of you still trying to shake the cold that Canada graced us with this week, but it's supposed to be 60+ here in Boulder for basically the foreseeable future. And let me tell you, I am absolutely digging the prospect of a three-day weekend with those temps. But if you need a little fantasy linkage to warm you up, no problem - read on.

  • Fanball's staff does a weekly ranking of players by position so if you're wondering what the excellent Fanball experts are thinking for this weekend's matchups, take a look.
  • The Hazean's Start & Sit advice is up for your review - there is absolutely no fantasy love for Joe Flacco anywhere on the Internet - I get it, I agree but I have this strong desire for him to have an awesome game to show the naysayers he can do it. I think I'm actually pulling for the Ravens to make it to the Super Bowl now that I think about it...
  • Not that I endorse gambling but if you're say, making a friendly wager and wondering who might take the cake in the SB this year, see Advanced NFL Stats' Super Bowl Probabilities and Potential Match-Ups.
  • The Fantasy Sports Writers Association has concluded their voting process for the 2008 Fantasy Football Player of the Year and drumroll please...DWill came out on top. Read on for those who placed in spots two through five.
  • Athlon/Grogan Sport's Finger on the Pulse: 2009 Top IDP Free Agents has thoughts on some impressive IDPers that will be on the free agent market just over a month from now. Particularly helpful for those of us in IDP keeper leagues but really it's full of valuable information for all.
May you all enjoy the long weekend and the big conference championship games on Sunday!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Arctic blast leads to fantasy football's time to shine

I was back in the bowling alley last night, my friends. It appears as though the time off (about a month now since I last attended bowling league night) was a pretty good thing for me - but what is exceedingly clear now is that my secret to bowling well is a combo of random 80s music and about 1.25 beers. Throw out all that other stuff about form and finding your mark and whatever else all the hardcore bowlers in the league are spouting off...I finally know my secret weapon. I can't wait to get back there next week.

Hopefully all of you in the midwest, northeast, mid-atlantic, heck even my family as far south as Knoxville and Atlanta are cozied up with a cup of coffee, blanket, snuggie (now you want one don't you? do you think snuggies are the only thing turning a profit right now?), pet, loved one, whatever it takes to keep you warm. I think the arctic blast is a great excuse to stay home and work on your fantasy football team for this playoffs weekend, no?

Did you happen to notice that poll over there to the right side? If so, I'd love your thoughts on whether or not you'd actually pay money for FFLibrarian t-shirts, hats, mugs, stickers, baby bibs, whatever. I've found a venue for selling the gear, now I just need to design what it would look like (contact me if by chance you'd like to share your design services with me) but only if this is something you guys would actually purchase. Personally I'd probably line my desk with FFLibrarian mugs but I realize I'm probably the exception to the rule.

Onto links for the day:

  • Yesterday I linked to RotoExperts' QB Rankings for this weekend's games and today they have their Championship Playoff Round - RB Rankings up.
  • The Hazean's Sleeper Watch this week might be a bit of a misnomer as The Hazean sees no real sleeper options. But read on for key players and game predictions.
  • Lester's Legends has some start/sit thoughts for you for this weekend in NFL Playoffs Conference Championship Start/Sit - I'm glad to see that Lester likes a lot of Eagles since my two fantasy playoffs rosters are full of Eagles - McNabb, Westbrook, Celek, Jackson and the Eagles D/ST all make an appearance at least once in my leagues...
  • There's some speculation that Terrell Owens may be released from the Cowboys during the offseason. As an owner of Owens in my keeper league, I'll be keeping a close eye on how this progresses.
  • The AccuScore simulator goes to work again - take a look at their predictions for how the games will go with game forecasts and fantasy rankings in Playoff Fantasy Football: Conference Championship Round.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Classic links for a fantasy playoffs win

I'm feeling very cultured right now - by a coworker's request I created a Pandora station of classical tunes as background music for a library party in my office suite later today. Knowing an embarrassingly small amount about classical music, I basically just threw on Bach, Beethoven and Mozart and called it a day. Now I'm testing out the station and my sophistication and productivity levels are through the roof;I'm cranking out e-mails and powerpoints like it's my job (oh wait...).

So while I'm at such a high level of efficiency, let's get to today's links:

  • If you don't do this already, I implore you to stay hip to NFL news either via KFFL's Hot Off the Wire segment or Rotoworld's NFL Headlines. Knowing about new coaches, GMs and surgeries will make a big difference, I promise.
  • More KFFL link love - check out their QB, RB, WR, TE, and Kicker non-PPR rankings for the Championship Round, or week 20 as they call it.
  • RotoExperts have a Championship Playoff Round - QB Rankings article if you're struggling with which QBs to start this weekend.
  • If it's RB advice you're looking for this weekend (and what a weird group of RBs if you ask me...) take a look at the Bruno Boys' FF Playoff Rankings - Running Backs (Championship Round). I have to admit that I'm kind of digging Mewelde Moore here - I like Moore in general but I also like his flexibility to receive as well as run. Who knows, maybe the Bruno Boys are right but I might just take a chance on Mewelde...
  • For some 2009 rankings, take a look at what the FFManiaxs have up for their QBs and WRs, which will be updated on a monthly basis as we get closer to the 2009 season.
  • If you're itching for more 2009 advice and want to focus on rookies that might step up big this year, give FFXtreme's 2009 NFL Draft Prospects & Profiles a look.
  • More 2009 prognostications from SI's The Thinking Chair - includes a ranking of the top 15 QBs and WRs and the top 20 RBs for next season.
Finally, an update on the FFLibrarian's Challenge for the NFL postseason - here are the top 10 teams overall for the past two weeks of playoffs:
  1. Los Angeles Pro State
  2. Ryan's Falcons
  3. Topeka Librarians
  4. chirs johnson
  5. bengalsrule
  6. Al Davis Wannabe
  7. Hittites2
  8. Pine Lake Posse
  9. Year of the Vikes
  10. I AM LEGEND
Remember, the #1 team gets a $25 gift card courtesy of the Bruno Boys and the top 3 will acquire some FFLibrarian gear of some sort. Highly desirable, I know.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Prep for the Championship Round

Greetings football fans. I'm wrapping up my analysis for the Fantasy Sports Trade Association on the expert fantasy football website that was most accurate with their 2008 preseason rankings. I'm looking at positional rankings this year rather than just overall rankings so I think this year's analysis is going to be pretty strong. The award will be presented at the FSTA conference in two weeks and right after that I'll have an article up on the NY Times' Fifth Down describing the process and winners. There will be an overall winner for the site that most accurately captured QB, RB, WR and TE outcomes, but I'll focus on the individual positions, too, and which sites were particularly strong this year at say WR. I should emphasize here (as I'll emphasize a billion more times over the next few weeks) that this is just one year of data - to really know which site is "the best" we need to look at many more years of data.

Moving onto today's links:

  • Fantasy Hulks have taken a look at the 2008 season and offer up their retrospective on MVPs and busts in 2008 Hulk Awards.
  • I believe I'll be participating in a 2009 mock draft with the Bruno Boys later this week and one resource I'm sure to turn to is the FFManiaxs' 2009 Fantasy Football Rankings: Running Backs, which lists the top 40 backs and some commentary on non-ranked players as well.
  • For the mock I will also be scoping out CBS Sports.com's 2009 rankings by position and Top 200 overall rankings.
  • The Bruno Boys will be adding their positional rankings for the Championship Round games all week long - so far we have the QB rankings up.
  • Gotta love the Broncos fantasy talk in Gregg Rosenthal's blog Pancake Blocks.
That's it for today - our library is under construction and we're opening up a new floor of study and research space next week. Somehow I found myself moving and reshelving books for 2+ hours yesterday, which is not an activity I normal partake in since I'm more of an online resources librarian - but hey, it was nice to help out. So now I'm off to go see if my crafty shelving skills are needed again...

Monday, January 12, 2009

Head Coach! And other football thoughts...

I think you all can imagine that the first piece of football news I'll link to today is the emergence of Josh McDaniels as the Broncos new head coach - yea for a new head coach! I don't have strong feelings about this - from a fantasy standpoint it puts a smile on my face to think of our already potent Denver offense being led by someone with McDaniels' offensive success. I've also heard rumors that Mike Nolan or Dom Capers will come in as the defensive coordinator, a position that I'm very interested in hearing about of course.

Apparently my teams have a thing for going with extremely young coaches - a few years ago Pat Fitzgerald became the head coach of my alma mater Northwestern at 31, making him the youngest Div 1-A coach; Lane Kiffin is now head coach at the University of Tennessee, which is where my husband grew up; and now a 32-year-old McDaniels takes over my Broncos...

But there is other news in the football world, like who made it through the Divisional Round games this weekend. I really can hardly believe that either the Eagles or the Cardinals will be in the Super Bowl. Crazy thought. No offense, Cardinals fans, but I had you guys pegged at losing the first playoffs game...especially after that nasty game against the Patriots. I think my sister is still fuming about the Pats failing to make the playoffs after dominating the Cardinals. Anyway, if you missed any of the games, take a look at Peter King's Sixth Sense: Two bottom seeds find way to championship games for more details and insights.

Speaking of the playoffs, the weekly standings aren't available yet for the FFLibrarian's Challenge but the group continues to grow and we're now at 227. Very solid.

Moving onto more links:

  • Throughout the offseason The Hazean will keep up the Monday Morning Rehab feature which provides updates on players that we'll probably all be wondering about as the weeks and months go by. So scope it out for some weekly insight on injuries, surgeries and recoveries.
  • CBSSports.com has their first mock draft of 2009 going on right now - they'll slowly update it as they get through the results of all 17 rounds, so remember to check back over the next week or two. Who went first? Not surprisingly, Adrian Peterson.
  • The Fifth Down has some quality commentary on the Divisional Round in Trend-Spotting in the N.F.L. Playoffs: Divisional Round, Part 2. I'm still trying to make up my mind about which QBs I want on my team for the rest of the fantasy playoffs - I think in the FFLibrarian's Challenge I need to stick with McNabb due to a lack of changes/flexibility in my lineup. But in the Bruno Boys/ESPN playoffs league I'm in, I have more freedom and just can't quite make up my mind...
  • You've gotta love that Santonio Holmes took the time to update his YardBarker blog after the Steelers' win against the Chargers yesterday.
  • Don't underestimate the import of the offseason - take a look at SportingNews.com's 10-Pack: The moves that shaped the final four for some thoughts on how coaching and player shifts have led the Cardinals, Eagles, Steelers and Ravens to the Conference Championship games.
All for now - I need to go find a heater to stand in front of so I can finally get dry after the surprise 5 inches or so of snow this morning. Apparently I should just keep a spare pair of pants at work for days like today...

Friday, January 09, 2009

Heading to FL for FF

Good afternoon, fantasy football fans. I had a great time watching the BCS game last night and my Florida friends seem to be pretty happy with the outcome. Congrats, Gators.

So just a quick thanks to all of you who are part of the FFLibrarian's Challenge - there are now 203 of us participating in this fantasy playoffs run via NFL.com's fantasy game and I really appreciate all of the interest. Remember, a $25 gift card to the store of your choice is yours if you win (courtesy of the Bruno Boys) , and the top 3 winners will receive some FFLibrarian gear...who wouldn't want an FFLibrarian mug or t-shirt, right? Now moving onto fantasy links for the day:

  • Lester's Legends has some sleeper thoughts of sorts for this weekend in Fantasy Football Out on a Limb - Lester offers up a low-profile player that will outplay a more high-profile in this weekend's matchups.
  • If you're itching for more 2009 thoughts, take a look at Scott Engel's One-Man Mock Draft where he takes a stab at the first six rounds of a 10-team draft with standard scoring.
  • Bruno Boys continues their rankings for the Divisional Round this weekend with TEs, Kickers and D/STs.
  • ProFantasySports continues their Start/Bench thoughts with Divisional Playoffs Start 'em/Bench 'em Report. I too am loving the idea of starting Steve Smith (CAR) this week against Arizona.
  • FFToday's Inside the Matchup: Divisional Playoffs provides projections for this weekend's games but also specific thoughts on the passing and running games for each matchup.
In other news, I just decided to attend the Fantasy Sports Trade Association annual meeting in a few weeks in St. Petersburg, Florida (ahh, the beach in January...). I'll be presenting an award for the expert website with the most accurate 2008 preseason rankings and projections - and after the award is presented at that conference, I'll be posting the results up on the Fifth Down and here on my blog. I'm looking forward to the conference so that I can meet some of the faces behind the sites that I link to on this blog.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Divisional Round Around the Corner

So that crazy wind I wrote about here yesterday? Right, well the wind knocked down some power lines which turned into a couple of wildfires which came incredibly close to our home last night. I left work early after hearing reports of where the fire was located and around 5 PM or so our neighborhood, which is on the edge of town, got those good ol' reverse 911 calls telling us to evacuate. Needless to say, I didn't make it to bowling. Instead we forced two unhappy cats into the car and I found myself staring at all of our possessions, wondering what to take with me to a friend's house. Turns out not much. I have surprisingly little need for about 98% of our material possessions; kind of a nice feeling to be honest. So we basically just grabbed our laptops (gotta have my husband's dissertation and my analysis of the fantasy football expert sites for 2008, which is in progress), a few photo albums (though really most of our images are digital now) and a bunch of important papers like passports, SSN cards, marriage certificate, etc (my mom would be proud to know I had those documents all carefully filed in one folder for just such an occasion). I wistfully stood there looking at our beautiful tv and considered trying to put it in the trunk but in the end decided that if our place actually burned down, we had much larger problems than just losing our sweet tv.

Anyway, we're back home and we're safe and considering we're hosting a BCS Championship Game party tonight, everything turned out pretty well for us. No seriously, I am pretty grateful that things worked out well for us and my thoughts are with those who haven't been quite as lucky.

So moving on to football links:

  • Football Jabber has some good jabber on this weekend's games and the NFL draft - those with LT in your lineups better think again.
  • Dr U Fantasy Football Guru has a few rankings up by position for this weekend's Divisional matchups - scope out the QBs, RBs and WRs.
  • Every time I read an AccuScore article I think "dang, these guys are good" and this week is no exception. Read up on your fantasy options for this weekend in Playoff Fantasy Football: Divisional Round and get some game breakdowns and rankings - be sure to scope out the value element of the rankings.
  • SportingNews.com's Ranks: Trust WRs who have been there gives solid advice on veterans you might want to plug into your lineup this weekend like Hines Ward, Steve Smith and Derrick Mason. There are rankings for each position with buy, sell and sleeper candidates noted.
  • No-Offseason.com has their Divisional Round positional rankings up - all positions can be found off of this link. If you're a No-Offseason.com subscriber you'll get the full rankings, otherwise just the top 5 at each position are available.
Enjoy the BCS game tonight!

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Fantasy thoughts from a wind tunnel

So last night the weather forecast alerted me to possible hurricane-force winds here in Boulder - that the wind would be somewhat constant all day with these crazy gusts that will come along. And I kid you not when I say that I think I might have gotten some lift-off this morning as I was walking to the bus stop (not to mention the Cousin It look I was rocking since I didn't clamp down my hair before meeting the wind - poor choice). No joke, I honestly think both of my feet left the ground for a second. Not sure that's really possible but trust me, as I look out my window at this massive construction crane that seems to be swaying in the wind, I am not very excited about exiting the building at any time today.

But tonight I will bowl again. You regulars out there know about my bowling exploits and somewhat default participation in a bowling league - due to the holidays, I haven't bowled in several weeks (except on a Wii - does that count?) so I'm thinking there's a chance I will either be really awful or the break will have done me some good. I'm leaning towards the latter since who doesn't want to be optimistic when they hit the alley?

Let's get to some fantasy football links now...

  • Wanna win a 42" LCD tv? Then scope out the Fifth Down's post Most Valuable Player (for the Money) about Vizio's contest for the Top Value Performer - possible winners include Nick Collins, Matt Cassel, Steve Slaton, Antonio Bryant and Brandon Marshall. I can't help my Denver-loving self for voting for Marshall but I think Cassel is likely going to be the winner here. Agree? Disagree? For those who are curious, last year's Top Value Performer was David Garrard.
  • CBS Sportsline's Under the radar: Players not on marquee, but still key in playoffs discusses some of the clutch playoffs players that you might not have noticed like Charles Godfrey, Heath Miller and Quintin Mikell.
  • FFManiaxs are still rolling with their January 2009 IDP Rankings - this time they have an initial ranking of defensive backs that you might want to focus on in 2009.
  • The Bruno Boys are putting up their Divisional Round playoff rankings - they have QB and RB rankings up with more to follow later this week.
  • Finally, a link that many dynasty/keeper league players will find invaluable, check out Rotoworld's 2009 Keeper Rankings divided into the guys ranked 31-50 and then 1-30. Good stuff as always. What I really like here are seeing the 2007 and 2008 rankings as well - gives some nice perspective and insight into Gregg Rosenthal's mindset for rankings. I have to admit, I'm intrigued by the top 5...

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

FFLibrarian's Challenge Leaderboard

Drum roll please...here are the top 10 contenders in the FFLibrarian's Challenge thus far:

  1. Ryan's Falcons
  2. Dux
  3. milehighbronc
  4. Rogues
  5. FFGeekBlog.com
  6. Amish Rake Fight
  7. Monster Blitz
  8. Topeka Librarians
  9. chapelgators
  10. Renegades
Congrats, job well done and keep up the good work! I am hoping to sneak my way in there but I have a long way to go...

My husband has returned from his interview-fest and I've been entertaining ideas of moving to some of my favorites from his list of interviews. The list is long and widespread - California, Oregon, Ohio, Wisconsin, Utah, New York, DC and Colorado are all options at this point - and if I'm moving to a city near you this summer, you can sure bet that I'll be looking for tips on good sports bars and such. So stay tuned on that front since I might need you to be my new best friend in six months.

Now let's get to the links:
  • Gregg Rosenthal is putting together his annual Top 50 Keepers list and before we get a taste of his top choices, take a look at his Also Receiving Votes crew of players that didn't quite make the list, but were close. Note that the snuggie gets some press here, too. Seriously it's taking over the world.
  • Oh KFFL, thank you for keeping up the rankings and regular posts - you guys rock. Check out their rankings for QB, RB, WR, TE, K and D/ST. There are also PPR rankings available here.
  • Lester's Legends also continue to bring us quality playoffs rankings, updated for the Divisional Round in Revised NFL Playoff Fantasy Football Rankings.
  • Finally for those of you who are mulling over how the NFL 2009 Draft will go and which players your team might snag, take a look at this Mock Draft Database from Hailredskins.com (thanks for the link, Tones!).
It's a light content day out there, friends. I'll be back tomorrow with more though and remember to start getting your lineup ready for the Divisional Round this weekend.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Thinking about the Divisional Round and MVPs

For those of you who are in the playoffs FFLibrarian's Challenge (and wow, the group keeps growing!) it looks like the weekly standings for my FFLibrarian's group aren't available quite yet - however the top 20 overall for the NFL.com's fantasy playoffs challenge are up and all of those top scorers were around the 144+ mark and basically all had Sproles and Peterson at RB. Interesting stuff.

There will be plenty of links with advice for the Divisional Round this coming weekend, so if you're like me and you have say 5 of your 8 man roster to replace, no problemo. Take a look at what the experts have to say throughout the week. As for today, welcome back to work for the first time in 2009 to many of you - not so fun to have to come back to work after a holiday break, eh? Well here are some links to try and make the return a little easier:

  • First, if you missed any of the games and are wondering whose star shone most brightly, check out Lester's Legends Fantasy Football Peak Performers - Wildcard Round.
  • You can always count on The Hazean to provide an injury update in Monday Morning Rehab - the news on LT's injury continues to swirl and who knows exactly what will happen this weekend. I for one would be nervous about starting him this weekend but more news is sure to come over the next several days.
  • Fifth Down has a very quick look at the Divisional Round matchups - I'm currently debating between starting Heath Miller against the Chargers or Brent Celek against the Giants. I know a lot of people see the Steelers going far, so I'm leaning towards plugging in Miller, especially with his excellent matchup this weekend.
  • If you dig Berry's sense of humor, you'll enjoy his Fantasy Predictions 2009: You heard me where all sorts of randomness is answered.
  • If you're feeling a bit retrospective what with 2008 in the books, scope out the Bruno Boys' Fantasy Football MVP Awards (Position by Position) - I find myself wanting to add more names to this list in more of a fantasy fashion, like RB2 MVP or WR2 MVP...I mean it's great to know which WRs are top dog but, for example, which of the Welkers, Moores and Royals of the world were a great grab?
By the way, my brother-in-law gave me a solid Christmas present - NFL Game Rewind (thank you Brian!), which shows full games, sans commercials but with integrated stats as you can find the time to watch them. It would have been a nice little tool to have for the full 2008 season but I'm actually really psyched to go back and scope out some of the games during the offseason (at least until March 31 when it expires) and see if there are any players that really have escaped the radar in some way - particularly IDPs.

Finally, your feedback on the Snuggie has been impressive. You guys are too funny - I should have been busting out commentary on infomercials all season if I had known it would provoke as many e-mails and comments as I've received. So I'll keep looking for the next ridiculous product that I kind of covet...

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Colts out = bad things for my fantasy lineup

For so many reasons I'm bummed that the Colts lost last night - not only are they one of my favorite teams (and my husband would like to name our firstborn child Peyton Manning Holladay) but they are a major component in my fantasy playoffs lineup. This is an unfortunate turn of events. Today I will be eschewing my fantasy needs and will pull for Miami - love the feel-good story there - despite the fact that I have absolutely zero Dolphins on either of my fantasy playoffs lineups.

Speaking of which, thanks to all of you who are in my FFLibrarian's Challenge - there are 161 of us and I'm floored by how many of you have shown interest. You guys are awesome and I'm excited to see who will come out on top! Onto the links for today:

  • Bruno Boys' Wild Card Weekend Updated Rankings - Risers & Fallers - sure, half the games are over but the Bruno Boys nailed Sproles here so you might want to scope their thoughts on today's games before finalizing the remainder of your fantasy lineup.
  • If you have the Eagles D/ST on your fantasy lineup like me or you're just curious about the Eagles vs Vikings matchup, check out Football news from a chick's Eagles sure to blitz.
  • Perhaps you're not into this playoffs fantasy football thing but you're still looking for FF info and links - no problem. FFXtreme has the results from six rounds of their 2009 non-PPR mock draft up with commentary on guys to keep an eye on and possible sleepers for next season.
  • Or take a look at CBS Sportsline's Fantasy & Reality: Buckle Up for some early thoughts on 2009 - Dave Richard promises an extremely busy offseason, which frankly makes me quite happy. You already have a head start on the rest of your league by being here since I will do my best to keep you updated on all things fantasy football.
By the way - and this is apropos to nothing - if you saw someone show up at a football game wearing a Snuggie (yes, I apparently have been watching a lot of ESPN lately and therefore getting a heavy dose of infomercials on the Snuggie), would you laugh your head off or feel a little bit jealous? The Snuggie looks absolutely ridiculous but as a person who is often cold and found covered with a blanket, a tiny part of me actually covets the Snuggie...though I cannot possibly fathom why an individual would risk wearing a Snuggie to a football game, much less donning the entire family in Snuggies. That's asking for some serious trouble if you ask me.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Getting through the first round

Right now my husband is at a conference in San Francisco, gearing up to spend the next four days going to nearly 20 different interviews - can you imagine many things more painful than being "on" for that long and being able to talk about 20 different schools/companies? I'm sending all sorts of good thoughts his way and think it's appropriate that his interviews coincide with the first weekend of the NFL playoffs. See, I kind of envision this first round of interviews as his first weekend of job playoffs if you will. There are second round interviews, fly-outs and job offers to be had down the line much like there are late round playoffs and the Super Bowl for NFL teams.

But as always, it doesn't take much for me to relate my personal life to football in some way...

Now to today's links:

  • The Hazean has kept the Start & Sit suggestions rolling through the New Year. Check our Start & Sit: Fantasy playoffs - I'm strongly considering using LeRon McClain in my FFLibrarian's Challenge lineup.
  • The RotoExperts have a fairly in-depth ranking by position up for the fantasy playoffs in Fantasy Football: Playoff League Guide.
  • Ultimate FF Strategy has odds up for each team to reach the various rounds of the playoffs as well as start/sit advice with projected fantasy points in Playoff Player Projections.
  • The Bruno Boys have more rankings up for this weekend's games - Kicker, WR and TE rankings are up now in addition to the QB and RB rankings I linked to earlier.
  • And speaking of the Bruno Boys, my final column for them this year went up on Wednesday - Best & Worst of 2008. I had a great time writing that column this year and if you all have any feedback or thoughts on things you would do differently with either the Bruno Boys column or my NY Times Fifth Down column, please let me know.
  • The FFGeekBlog guys aren't usually big on playoffs fantasy leagues so I must admit that I am honored to have them along for the ride via my FFLibrarian's Challenge group in NFL.com's contest. As Matt points out, and I think I've failed to do so far, the grand prize is indeed a trip to Super Bowl XLIV in Miami. Who doesn't want that prize?! Anyway, read on for the other playoffs leagues that the Geeks are partaking in this year.
  • And finally, perhaps the best for last, as promised Rotoworld has their Post-Season Fantasy Football Guide up and it is chock full of quality positional rankings.