Friday, July 29, 2011

Links to carry you through the weekend

I'm squeezing in a little blog time here while our little dude is taking a nap (not gonna lie, taking my own smidge of a nap was a serious contender for my time right now...), so it's going to be a quick post here. I've mostly got free agency news bits for you today:

We're off to splash around in a baby pool once nap time is over...always with one eye on the NFL news of course. Oh yeah, that's a highly regarded parenting tip I just gave you. Enjoy.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

On the road again

I know, I know, I promised daily posts once the lockout was over...and here I am letting days (eons really) go by before posting again. My apologies, fantasy football friends, but we are finally on the road with our big move from Brooklyn to Knoxville and the past few days have been full of packing, movers, and driving - all with a decidedly poor quantity of internet access. But we hopped in a car last night and brought our son and 2 cats as far as my family's home just outside Washington, D.C., where we'll take a breather for a bit as our furniture slowly rumbles on down to Tennessee. It's a crazy week to be relying solely on my iphone for NFL news at times, but now it's time for a big ol' recap of this week's events.

But quickly before that happens, I've got another chance for you fine readers to win a draft kit from FantasyFootballXtreme.com - the first person to send me an e-mail who is not already an FFX member will win (I'll let you know here when the kit is spoken for The draft kit has been claimed!). Definitely something you'll want to get your hands on now that the season is swinging into motion.

So now let's get to all the big news happening in NFL land...

  • More than anything I'm guessing you're looking for a way to keep up with all the news, right? My favorite spot is the running thread from FootballOutsiders.com - here's their Thursday thread, which was just updated a little while ago.
  • Other good sites to check out though are Rotoworld's headlines (or even their There's a Lot More Left article) and NoOffseason.com's Following 2011 NFL Free Agency Fantasy Impact.
  • Also perhaps the most useful tool amidst these changes is FFToday.com's team-by-team depth charts - they are being updated at least daily.
  • Now onto the analysis - take a look at these good reads for thoughts on some of the big FA moves:
  • FFToday.com has updated their rankings and projections - click here for QB rankings. Note the thoroughness with the stats from 2008-2010 included as well as comments for several players. I've probably remarked on this several times over the past few years, but FFToday is my default site for rankings when I need to tweak them according to funky league scoring, etc. Very easy to do with a free account. Good stuff.
  • Finally, two strategy pieces for you:
    • I've only played in an auction league for one year so I can definitely use all the help I can get - if you're in a similar boat, take a look at The Fantasy Shrink's Step by step through a fantasy football auction article.
    • This is only a quasi-strategy piece since it revolves around kickers and most everyone here already knows the rule of thumb to wait, wait, wait on your kicker. But thought I'd toss it in for newbies, plus I'm a sucker any time a site throws up some tiers as SI has done in Draft kickers late, draft wisely.
That's all for today...fingers crossed I make it back to a computer for a post tomorrow since I'm sure there will be more news out there to share, analyze, and reanalyze. Ah, I love this time of year!

Monday, July 25, 2011

15 days

In a mere 15 days the first preseason game will be here - wahooooooo! I can only assume that you all are as excited as I am that a deal has been reached (as with every ESPN link, turn your volume down since a video starts ASAP). Hallelujah.

In other news, I just spent a glorious 2 days in Boston getting to know my 3-week-old niece - and now I'm back home and packing/cleaning like a hurricane since we're heading out of NYC for good on Wednesday. I'll be on the road a fair amount over the next week but since this is such a huge week with FA news and such, I'll do my best to keep the posts coming.

There's lots of news a.k.a. rumors about the NFL's timeline this week, but it's looking like full free agency begins at 6 PM on Friday, so gear up, readers. So much good stuff coming your way in a narrow time frame. It's like Christmas squared.

  • It's Draft Day Manifesto time - love him or hate him, head on over to Matthew Berry's early season thoughts, plus a bonus ESPN video.
  • Razzball.com's Chet Gresham shares some of his draft strategies on Fan Duel in Fantasy Football 2011: Draft Strategy Tips to Live By. I'm sure you'll agree with some suggestions, disagree with others, but it's a good read to get your mind right for drafting season.
  • I had a request for more 2-QB league rankings - working on it but in the meantime, those of you in leagues with 2 QBs should check out this recent 2-QB Forum Mock from WalterFootball.com for some suggestions on where players will go. Note the mock comes with commentary, too, for each of the 16 rounds.
  • LestersLegends.com keeps the rankings rolling, this time with his top 25 QBs in 2011 Fantasy Football QB Rankings.
  • More rankings, this time a look at the top team DSTs from ProFootballWeekly.com - There's no denying 3-4 powerhouses.
  • And if you're jonesing for as many rankings as your brain can possibly absorb (and then some), bookmark Fantasy Rundown. They do a great job of updating rankings from a variety of sources and noting the date of the update. Very helpful site.
  • I love Roto Arcade - one of my favorite fantasy sites out there. I've been anxiously awaiting the day that they start to shift their focus toward football and we're getting closer! Their Spin Doctors series where they pit two players against each for fantasy domination is up and running with a comparison of Jamaal Charles vs. Chris Johnson.

Friday, July 22, 2011

2010 rankings accuracy results revisited

I've heard from several of you recently who are looking for the results of my 2010 fantasy football expert rankings accuracy contest. For those new to the site, every year I take a look at how accurate the experts' preseason rankings are compared to fantasy performance by season's end, and I crown one site/ranker the most accurate of all. You can find the 2010 results here, but also take a look at my article on the NY Times' Fifth Down blog for more details.

A few of you have also gently reminded me that I need to update my aggregate look at the rankings results so that you have a current multi-year look at who the top sites are (here's a look at last year's aggregate RBs, for example). I really did intend to get this to you in June, but here we are at the end of July already. Pretty standard really. I will do my very best to get this aggregate ranking up for each position by next week, so stay tuned!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Rank-o-rama

I absolutely love it when I have a full slate of articles to share with you guys - seriously, my browser is chock full of excellent analyses and pretty much everything you need to get psyched about the 2011 season (for those interested, at the time this post is published, there still isn't a deal yet...). Let's dive right in to today's links without further ado:

  • Rankings, oh rankings - love 'em:
  • You all know I love stats, probably more than your average fantasy footballer and I'm sure I sometimes get carried away with stories that the stats tell. Rotoworld's When the stats deceive is a nice reality check - take a look for fluky stats/trends that might cause you to overdraft or underdraft a player.
  • Jay Clemons has taken his fantasy talents to the National Football Post - check out his classic smorgasbord style of fantasy info in These Ten Commandments. Speaking of smorgasbord (and this is a complete aside from fantasy sports), those of you who happen to live in NYC ought to make a point of cruising by Smorgasburg, which we hit up in Williamsburg last weekend for some tastiness from local food vendors. I wasn't sure I was painfully cool enough to hang with the Williamsburg hipsters (cruising around with a baby is an automatic knock on that front), but the food offerings were great and the crowd was entertaining.
  • A couple of free agent reads for you:
  • Footballguys.com's Matt Waldman never disappoints with his weekly Gut Check article - read up on this week's Dangerous Plays - Running Backs for a look at 5 guys whose risk outweighs the reward at their current ADP. 
  • We'll wrap things up with a draft strategy piece from 4For4.com - Assessing early round risk - which analyzes the strategy behind drafting a QB early.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Win a draft kit!

Victory feels so close, my friends. Let's keep our fingers crossed that all these positive 2011 season rumors aren't all for naught. And as a side note, as soon as the lockout is lifted, my goal is to get back to my normal in-season posting every weekday - as always, if there's a topic you're particularly interested in, shoot me an e-mail and I'll do what I can to include it in these links.

Speaking of e-mailing me, the first person to e-mail me wins access to FantasyFootballXtreme.com's 2011 Fantasy Draft Kit (I'll post an update here when the kit is spoken for, which based on last year's enthusiasm for FFX's draft kit will be in about 2.2 seconds Draft kit is spoken for, thanks for all the interest!). I'll be giving away another kit next week and then 2/week when August rolls around. West coasters, I promise to post this offer at a later time next week to make sure you get in on the action.

  • Those of you in the market for a little draft day strategy advice should turn to FantasySharks.com's The WR-WR Approach.
  • Offensive line rankings, you're the best. So hats off to Fantasy Alarm for getting their o-line breakdowns up and rolling, starting with the Bills who earn a solid D+. 
  • Take a look at Fantasy Douche's A Framework for Flagging Potential WR Busts - a large part of the reason I'm linking to this one is that I enjoy the sparring in the comments section with some other various FF experts. 
  • As a Broncos fan, I can't help but drink up all the Tim Tebow stats I'm given so that I can figure out what exactly to make of this guy. ProFootballFocus.com is trying to help us do just that in their Dynasty Slants - Can Tim Tebow Be a Top-10 Fantasy QB?
  • The word sleeper isn't really thrown around in this article from FFToolbox.com, but that's basically what you can find here in Heirs Apparent - dudes who have potential not seen by the masses. Yet.
  • My husband and I walked past a Blimpie over the weekend and were greeted with a substantial number of Beanie Wells endorsements, which led to a larger discussion of Jared from Subway watching Arian Foster's mechanical bull escapades (Blimpie and Subway occupy the same space in my brain). And while it's entertaining that Foster is bull riding much like my sister on her bachelorette weekend extravaganza, that's neither here nor there. Back to Beanie Wells. KFFL.com's Making the most out of a crowded backfield is really where I'd like to focus your attention since it includes a nice synopsis of how things look in Arizona and how Wells, Hightower, and Williams could be most effective.
  • Finally, FantasyOmatic.com spins a little number magic and looks at 2010 data to see all the red zone scoring that was done last year - and how that might apply to 2011. As FantasyOmatic puts it in Red Zone Scoring SOS, it's basically a look at how easily a team offense will score in the red zone against their 2011 opponents...acknowledging that strength of schedule does take time to develop, this is a nice overview to add to your draft prep arsenal.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Receiver round-up

Promises of the 2011 season are becoming increasingly frequent and hopeful (or is that just desperation?) and I hope that between news of the lockout talks, anticipation of the Women's World Cup final, and the British Open, you'll be able to squeeze in some time to read the latest fantasy football links. We've got lots of articles focusing on receivers today:

  • First up on the receiver front, GoAheadScore.com has a FF PPR Gems 2011 article listing about 15 guys, some are no-brainers, others are buried a bit deeper, including a handful of rookies to watch. 
  • Two of my top sites take a look at potential breakout WRs:
    • Matt Waldman's Gut Check series for Footballguys.com is extensive and chock full of interesting tidbits - as always - so you'll definitely want to scope it out when you've got several minutes to invest in a top-notch article - Profiling WR Breakout Candidates.
    • KFFL.com also supplies a lengthy list of receiver names that you'll want to pay attention to during your draft prep - Third- and fourth-year wide receivers.   
  • CBSSports.com now has their third mock draft of the season up - I appreciate that they offer a different format for each of their mocks, varying the number of teams and positions drafted. This time they've got a 14 team PPR mock with team-by-team analysis of best/worst picks plus a draft grade.
  • And if you're a CBSophile and just can't get enough of them, take a look at their completed 2011 team-by-team fantasy outlook for each team in the NFL. This includes sleepers, busts, a schedule breakdown, plus training camp topics. Good stuff.
  • FantasyGuru.com's John Hansen is a fantasy expert that you'll want to have on your radar if you don't already. Keep an eye on his blog this season, and perhaps start with his Top-25 stories to follow once the lockout is lifted.
  • Moving on to QBs, check out these two rankings:

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Rankings abound

It's been a long, full day here - we're closing on our new house in Knoxville, Tennessee at the end of the week and since we won't actually be there in person for the closing, we unexpectedly found ourselves today with 24 hours to turn around 82 pages of paperwork, which required visits to two different notary publics and multiple trips to Kinkos. Good times. But the papers are signed, the funds are being transferred...the deal is nearly sealed! Two weeks from tomorrow the movers will truck our stuff out of here and I'll be a travelin' blogger for a week or so.

In the meantime, plenty of fantasy football to talk about here:

  • With the lockout talks going so swimmingly, I feel like folks are feeling more comfortable putting rankings out there. Here are a few that have been posted or updated recently:
  • Next up, a little IDP love:
    • Footballguys.com has a great introductory article (and also really a strategy article) for those considering IDP leagues or those who want to up their game a bit. Figure out what the IDP angle is all about in Incorporating IDP Concepts.
    • Or head on over to FFToolbox.com for their 2011 IDP Sleepers for 10 names you'll want to put in the vault.
  • ProFootballFocus.com has a nice look at 2011's top RB handcuffs - it's carefully noted that these are pre-free agency selections. Frankly, what really caught my eye is that Jacquizz Rodgers should be up for player-with-the-most-awesome-name contention this season...
  • Speaking of handcuffs, more advice along those lines from FantasyFootballSharks.com with their Drafting Your Backup Quarterback article - find out which players complement the top QBs.
  • Finally, The Hazean bestowed a nice honor on this blog today - he listed his top 10 fantasy football blogs for 2011 and FFLibrarian came out on top. Much appreciated and definitely head on over to this link for The 10 Best Fantasy Football Blogs to read the other top contenders - no doubt you'll recognize many of the names, though you never know when you'll find a new favorite.

Friday, July 08, 2011

Get your submissions in!

So I'm guessing there's a burgeoning fantasy football writer or two somewhere out there reading this post...if so, pay attention to what comes next, my friends: here's your shot at being a season-long columnist on Razzball.com and FanDuel Insider, plus a little $300 in your pocket.

How?

Enter The Next Great Fantasy Football Writer contest hosted by Chet Gresham from Razzball.com fame and Mark St. Amant, author the top-selling fantasy football book of all time (among other accolades). I'm honored to be a judge with a handful of other top-notch fantasy football gurus/writers. So jump on in and submit your first article for this week's topic: Five Locks and Five Crocks by July 22.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Fantasty football prep: draft tools, twitter lists, etc

The Fantasy Douche has done us all a great favor - at least those of us who are on Twitter. He used the magic of excel, coding and the Twitter API to develop the Fantasy Football Discovery List, which will guide you to high relevance fantasy football tweeters - basically those folks who have a fair number of fans and are also followed by a lot of FF experts, too. Fascinating list really and you'll definitely want to scope it out for suggestions on new folks to follow. The FD followed it up with another list of names/Twitter handles if you want to dig a bit deeper.

Lots of links for you guys today so let's get after it...

  • With so much optimism that the NFL labor talks are hopefully coming to an end (for some of the latest on today's talks, see the Fantasy Guru's notes), I'm seeing free agency articles cropping up all over the place. Here's a taste:
  • This new draft tool from John Paulsen at FantasyShrink.com and Josh Moore at 4for4.com is just badass. Basically it scours draft data from MyFantasyLeague.com and gives you the likelihood of a player being available at any point in the draft. Can guarantee that most of you will find this tool not only helpful but insanely addictive...
  • The Fifth Down's first fantasy analysis of the season rolls on with the top 10 WRs for 2011 in Fantasy First Take: Wide Receivers.
  • I'll be the first to admit that I really know very little about John Beck, and perhaps for good reason - but Matt Waldman lays out an incredibly in-depth look at why Beck should be given the chance to be a starter. He also lays out the Redskins' QB outlook here, which is worthy of a read even if you aren't all that interested in the seriously impressive overview of Beck.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Extra little firework for the 4th

It was a tremendous weekend here - my niece was born in the wee hours of July 4th! My sister and baby are doing well and I am over-the-moon excited about the little one. I'll head up to Boston to meet her in a couple of weeks; just hoping I can wait that long. Happy, joyous times here!

Let's hope the great news continues and we get some real progress on the NFL season front. There are big meetings today (aren't they all big though really?) as the labor talks continue, so fingers crossed. In the meantime, let's get to the latest fantasy football articles out there:

  • ProFootballFocus.com's Fantasy: 2011 Top 150 overall players are up, based on their updated auction values and projections. 
  • A little while back, Razzball.com looked at the latest ADP (average draft position) numbers and put together a list of guys that you might want to target in this year's drafts. They're taking another stab at it based on updated ADPs - You down with ADP? Yeah you know me #2.
  • I love rankings as you have probably guessed by my consistent linking to them - and of course the annual rankings analysis. I think they're just such interesting fodder for draft prep, particularly when they're slightly unique or different than the standard. For example, The Huddle's Better Than Average Player Rankings - this link goes to RBs - and basically tells you how effective each player was in the context of all other players in that position. I definitely spent a little while with this one - hope you enjoy as much as I did. 
  • ProFootballWeekly.com has us covered with all the buzz coming out of the NFC and AFC so far from a fantasy standpoint.
  • FantasyFootballCafe is taking a look to the future - dynasty leaguers will want to scope out their Dynasty Dynamos for suggestions on players you might want to snag this year, squirrel away on your bench until they've ripened accordingly.
  • I love how early Smitty and FantasyFootballXtreme are with their projections every year - always a highlight to see Week 1 Projections from these guys. Makes it seem like the season isn't so far off. Fingers still crossed.
  • Finally, I know some of you are sitting around with great FF articles churning away in your brains, and you're thinking how you ought to get down to business and start writing rather than just reading. Turn to Razzball.com's How to Become a Fantasy Football Writer for inspiration. Or intimidation. Or something in between.