Wednesday, August 22, 2012

A hiatus

Update:  It is with a very heavy heart that I tell you all that yesterday, August 30th, I delivered our stillborn daughter, Caroline Mary. This has been an almost surreal and definitely heartbreaking experience and I appreciate the support in each and every one of your notes. Caroline will be honored and loved always. Thank you, thank you, thank you for your thoughts and prayers - they mean the world to our family.

I have been a very poor blogger this month and feel I owe you all an explanation, particularly as this is crunch time for draft prep. I hope this is not too personal of a look into my life since I know most of you are just here for the football. I am nearly 18 weeks pregnant and we have learned that our baby (a little girl!) has triploidy, a chromosomal abnormality that means she has three copies of every chromosome instead of the normal two. The doctors have explained that it's a completely random occurrence and fairly rare that she has made it this far along, but that ultimately she has a condition that is incompatible with life. My husband and I are blessed with an amazing almost-2-year-old son, as I'm sure you know if you've been around the blog long enough, and this situation has just completely blindsided us.

The next few weeks are going to be extremely complex and emotional for me and while I would like nothing more than to stay entertained by posting on the blog and enjoying all the awesomeness of fantasy football, I can't muster up the energy to do so these days. I am deeply sorry for this since I honestly enjoy being able to get you guys linked out to resources. Be patient with me. I will be back and posting again this fall, I just don't know when. Hopefully I'll be back around the first week or two of the season but until then, there are so many tremendous resources out there, many of which you'll find over under Fantasy Football Content on the right. Don't forget to stay tuned to the news via sites like Footballguys, Rotoworld, or Draft Sharks. And I always endorse checking out FantasyPros.com for consensus rankings and such.

I am still running my annual accuracy competition, which was announced by the FSTA today. If you would like to submit your rankings for inclusion, please see the template and info on the FSTA website and e-mail them in to us by September 5. I encourage rankings to come at the last minute to account for all preseason news/injuries. 

If it's not asking too much, please send positive thoughts and prayers for my family. I am sure many of you have been in similar shoes or just know the pain of losing a loved one.

So here's to the start of the season: may you draft well, start/bench wisely, and reign as the kings/queens of your leagues!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

2012 average position rankings

Back by popular demand is my annual average position rankings spreadsheet. This morning I gathered up the top 150 overall rankings from 11 different experts (10 sites, but CBS has their 2 gurus) and averaged them together to create a helping hand to all the drafters out there. The rankings for 2012 come from: ESPN, NFL.com, CBSSports.com (both Dave Richard and Jamey Eisenberg), KFFL.com, Ask the Commish, Yahoo!, FFCalculator (ADP), FFToolbox, ProFootballWeekly (winner of the 2011 multi-year - sorry, Fantasy Shrink won in 2011! - preseason accuracy contest) and SI.

This year I decided to go ahead and put the spreadsheet into Dropbox, which should be an easy way for you to all get the excel version. If you have any issues with this though, just shoot me an e-mail. Otherwise, click here for the 2012 average position rankings spreadsheet.

For some of the nitty gritty, read on:

  • I gathered all the ranking within an hour or two this morning, but some sites had been updated more recently than others. I also tried to ensure that the experts all used the same scoring system (this is non-PPR) but many sites didn't note their scoring system at all.
  • As in the past, I've included the standard deviation for each player's ranking so that you can get an idea of how much consensus there was on a player's ranking across the 11 experts. What this means is that the lower the standard deviation, the more of a consensus there is on the ranking for that player. In some cases where just one site submitted a ranking for that player, you of course won't see a standard deviation at all. I created another column that adds the standard deviation to the average ranking to create one number to represent both a player's ranking and the level of agreement on that ranking
  • You'll find these 11 rankings listed as separate tabs in the spreadsheet in case you just want to look at the data from each site or even want to do your own analysis. 
  • I included bye weeks in here and have my fingers crossed that they're all accurate but don't be surprised to see an error or two in there since I added those in at the end of this analysis when my brain was semi-fried. 
I'll try to get an updated version of this done at the end of the month and if there's a site/expert out there that you'd like to see included, please leave a note in the comments.

Enjoy!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Keeping up with the fantasy links

We are deep in the throes of home renovation. There are 4 trucks, 1 dumpster, 1 trailer, and a bobcat in our laughably small driveway/front yard/street. It's comical really and has thrown us into a good state of chaos for the past week or so. For about 10 days now we've been traveling and then staying with my in-laws to stay out of the house while our one and only shower is replaced and during some really hideous concrete floor demo. What started as a simple chance to upgrade our bathroom has turned into a discovery of significant water damage down in our basement...so our state of renovation chaos will probably reign for awhile here but at least we're hoping to sleep in our own beds starting tonight.

I feel a bit like a crazed juggler here trying to keep up with fantasy football, our renovations, and a few other major changes we have in our lives right now, so you won't be seeing quite as many posts from me in the run-up to the season as you usually do. It pains me to say this but I just want to put expectations in the right place. I'll probably still post 2-3 times a week but my daily posts are likely out of the question.

But for now let's live it up and link, link, link:

  • A handful of rankings:
  • Roto Arcade is pulling together positional primers - see what they've done already in QB Primer, RB Primer, and WR Primer.
  • Similarly, SI takes a nice long look at receivers in their Fantasy football 2012 WR preview article.
  • AthlonSports has some suggestions and rules to keep in mind when it comes time to sprinkle in some youth in The Rules for Picking Rookies.
  • Some IDP linkage:
  • I always enjoy the Football Outsiders' Wisdom of the Crowds series and they kick off the season with QBs and RBs to see what kind of projections their twitter followers foresee for 2012. Check out the article to get more details on the series. 
  • Now that all of the Week 1 preseason games are in the books, Fake Teams gives us their thoughts on who is climbing up the fantasy ladder in 5 ADP Risers, Andrew Luck Impressive.
  • Or on the flip side, which guys does FantasySharks.com see as their Top 10 Most Overvalued Players?
  • Finally, a little bit of auction love:
    • The Fake Football has their auction values posted based on a league with a $200 budget.
    • DavidGonos.com talks strategy in 25 Dos and Don'ts for auction leagues

Friday, August 10, 2012

FF links for the weekend

Wow, the football season is rolling now. I've spent some of today with last night's preseason games on in the background (I know, it's only the preseason but I can't help it!) and it really makes me realize how quickly the summer is coming to a close. It's crunch time, baby, time to get your prep in gear if you haven't done so already. Take a look at a handful of links below for advice:

  • First up, let's take a look at some items related to last night or the preseason in general:
  • Matthew Berry's Loves and Hates for 2012 - always a good read in my book.
  • I've got a couple of mock drafts for you:
    • CBSSports.com delights in the riches one can find in a 10-team draft in this PPR mock draft. 
    • Rotoworld meanwhile goes for the 14-team angle in an In-Progress Fantasy FB Draft that is currently closing out the 5th round.
  • Yesterday I asked if you all are still interested in having me create a consensus top 100 ranking from 10 expert sites out there and I've heard you loud and clear - I'll keep it up. It might take me a week or so to pull together but it's coming. In the meantime, those of you who are in auction leagues might really enjoy what FantasyPros.com has pulled together: Consensus Auction Values pulled from 4 sources (though that number may grow as more become available). 
  • While we're talking about FantasyPros.com, you guys should know about two other items they're offering: 1. they're another excellent pit stop for links out to fantasy advice for days when I'm slow to post and 2. they've finagled a deal with some awesome pay sites like Footballguys and Rotowire to offer some of their paid content for free on the FP site. Here's a link to Footballguys.com's From the Gut.
  • Let's talk players with sleeper/breakout/rising star potential. Keep in mind that many of these were written before the first week of preseason games kicked off but I find them to still be on target for the most part:
  • The Fifth Down has a look at some young RBs and determines which are worth relying upon for the 2012 season (and beyond) in Predicting Careers for Second-Year Backs.
  • IDPers, I haven't forgotten about you. FantasySharks.com has a look at some old dudes that can still contribute greatly this season in Gray beard IDP options that are fantasy gold

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Join the monster league!

So as many of you know, I've been running the FFLibrarian Monster League for several years now - it's a 72-team, 6-conference league full of fellow FFL readers. Each conference has their own draft and own pool of players and this year I actually have 18 spots open. If you're interested in playing in the monster league and are ready and willing to be competitive for the full season, please send me an e-mail with your team name and e-mail address. In order to give the west coast a fair shake here I'll be taking the first 9 people I hear from after this is posted (update: these first 9 spots are taken) and then the first 9 e-mails I get as of 5:00 PM eastern/2:00 PM pacific (second update: all spots are taken but I'm creating a wait list). These spots go fast so if you're interested, please send an e-mail to me as quickly as possible and check back here to see when all of the spots are taken. I will eventually reply to everyone that e-mails me to let you know if you're in the monster league or not, but it's best to check back here for an update before e-mailing. Thanks for the interest, my little monsters (too Lady Gaga of me?).

I'll be back later tonight or tomorrow with some links. Thanks for being patient with me, I know it's a crucial time of the year.

I'm also interested in whether or not you guys find value in the spreadsheet I pull together that creates an average top 100 ranking from 10 or so major sites. I've done this for several years now (here's the 2011 version) but there are a lot of sites that are doing this these days so I wanted to see if you all would like me to continue before I jump in and create the spreadsheet again. Please leave a comment for me if you'd like me to keep it going.

Monday, August 06, 2012

Taking a few days off

Just a heads up that I am traveling and taking some unexpected time off this week. I hope to be back up with links by Friday and will answer your questions regarding my recent accuracy post. Thanks for being patient. For the latest awesome fantasy stories scope out the great sites I have linked to the right side of the blog. Happy draft prepping!

Friday, August 03, 2012

Most accurate fantasy football experts, 2008-2011

Greetings. As longtime readers are well aware, since 2007 I've been running a contest that analyzes the accuracy of fantasy football experts' preseason rankings. I look at rankings for each of the offensive skill positions and generate results for each position as well as an overall accuracy winner across all four positions. You can find the details behind how the annual rankings are created here with the 2011 results as posted to the NY Times' Fifth Down blog back in January.

If you're uninterested in the details of the contest and just want the results, skip ahead through the next few paragraphs to the charts below. Otherwise, read on.

We all know that accuracy results from one single year are great, but obviously when you combine several years you get a better picture of which sites really excel. I ended up throwing out the 2007 results I had since I ran that contest by merely looking at sites' overall rankings; in future years I switched to looking at specific positional rankings. Over the course of the contest from 2008-2011, I have amassed submissions from 79 different sites/experts. I decided that it's really not fair to combine the sites that have participated for just 1 year with those that have been in it for multiple years; too much can happen in 1 year, good or bad. So I threw out all sites that only participated once, which amounted to eliminating 33 sites (note: this includes Fantasy Shrink, the 2011 winner, though it also includes a few sites that aren't even in business any longer).  For those that are curious, 17 sites have participated for 2 years, 12 sites have participated for 3 years, and 16 sites have participated all 4 years.

In creating the original rankings I developed both a score (essentially the accumulation of points from all players in a position by measuring the difference between the expert's preseason ranking for a player and the actual ranking of that player at the end of the fantasy season) and a ranking (based on the score relative to other participants) within position. Now in order to get at the multi-year results, because the scales differ from year to year, I normalized the scores for each year where 0 is the average expert, negative scores are more accurate than the average expert, and positive scores are less accurate than the average expert. I then averaged across the number of years that that expert had participated. I thought about creating the multi-year results by merely averaging the rankings but decided that the scores are a more appropriate way of analyzing sites since it rewards the more accurate sites and punishes those who were just way, way off.

What you have below is a list of only the top sites that have participated at least twice. Each year when I ask for participants in this contest I promise that only a top percentage will be displayed to the public. I do this largely to keep sites participating but also because I'm really not in the business of spreading bad news about sites. I completely understand your desire to see the full list but hope this abbreviated version will do.

Again remember that due to the normalization I did, negative scores indicate more accurate predictions relative to the average expert. So here, negative = good.

First up, the overall accuracy across all 4 positions from 2008-2011:



Next, quarterback accuracy from 2008-2011:

 

Running back accuracy from 2008-2011:

 

Wide Receiver accuracy from 2008-2011:


Finally, Tight End accuracy from 2008-2011:


Congrats to the crew of fantasy writers/rankers at ProFootballWeekly.com!

Update: as requested (and sorry I didn't think of this originally) here are the 46 sites that participated for 2+ years and ended up being involved in the analysis. They are listed below alphabetically:

4for4.com
Accuscore
Ask the Commish
Bruno Boys
CBSSports.com, Dave Richrd
CBSSports.com, Jamey Eisenberg
Draft Analyzer Ultimate
Draft Sharks
ESPN
Fantasy Football Geek Blog
Fantasy Football Nerd
Fantasy Football Starters
Fantasy Hulks
Fantasy Mojo
FantasyFootball.com
FantasySharks.com
FantasySherpa
Fantazzle
Fantistics
FFCalculator (ADP)
FFManiaxs
FFToday.com
FFToolbox.com
FFTrader
FFXtreme
Football Outsiders
Footballguys
FOXSports
Hatty Waiver Wire Guru
Junkyard Jake
KFFL
LestersLegends.com
NFL.com
Pigskin Addiction
ProFootballFocus
ProFootballWeekly.com
Pyromaniacs
RapidDraft
Real Time Fantasy Sports
Rotoprofessor
Rotoworld
Sports Illustrated
The Huddle
WhatIfSports
Yahoo!