Wednesday, July 31, 2013

For every Andrew Luck story in fantasy football, there is a Ryan Leaf. Or a Javon Walker. (Remember him as a Raider? Neither do we.) 

The list goes on and on when it comes to highly touted players who don't perform to expectations -- despite preseason hype and immense potential. Whether it be a change in scenery, injuries -- or rookies having trouble adapting to the game -- there are already a few potential busts in the making for 2013. 

Sometimes talent is not enough -- without the right supporting cast or environment. It is a continuing theme as we kick off the list:
Colin Kaepernick (QB - San Francisco 49ers): From backup quarterback to ESPN Magazine Body Issue coverboy, Kaepernick's rise to fame last season was nothing short of spectacular, considering he garnered a 98.3 quarterback rating en route to leading the Niners to the Super Bowl. 

Saturday, June 22, 2013

In fantasy football it is often claimed that a player has a very stable or consistent output while other players are considered unstable or inconsistent. These statements refer to the players point output on a week to week basis. Some people will argue that you're better off with consistent players and thus discount the players with high week to week variation. I'm writing this article to argue that variance should have no effect on your decisions while drafting players and I will give a few arguments as to why high variant players can be to your advantage.

Statistically if both teams have a Gaussian distribution the variance has no effect on the probability of victory for either team. The probability of victory for either team would be...

(E[x] = Expected or mean value of x (essentially points per game), P[x] = Probability that x wins)

P[TeamA] = E[TeamA]/(E[TeamA] + E[TeamB])

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Welcome to another installment of “Over/Under” where I highlight a player and determine some projections based on past tendencies and then state whether I think they will go “over or under” those projections. The criteria will be different for each player based on position and situation.

Today we are going to talk about a player who has been a former number one overall pick in dynasty leagues and a lightning rod for debate this off-season, Houston Texans running back Arian Foster. We will put his betting line at 1,500 total yards and 12.5 total touchdowns.

I’ve been playing dynasty fantasy football for 15 years now and barring injury, I have never seen the dynasty community bail on a player faster than they have on Foster. I’ve mentioned it before; I often pick my topic based on Twitter conversations and trends. The Foster debate is never ending. You can pretty much pick a night and find someone arguing about Foster’s outlook and downward trend. They cite age, yards per carry, number of touches and more. If that doesn’t work, a very specific, obscure metric that eliminates 95% of the field will pop up to support whatever they’re trying to convince you of.

The dreaded age of the performance cliff for running backs has historically been at age 30, Foster will celebrate his 27th birthday just before week one of his

Highly Productive QBs Are Even More Prevalent

Many of you who are reading this are likely to have participated in fantasy football during the 2000s, and a number of you likely began owning teams in the ‘90s. If that includes you, then you undoubtedly are familiar with the draft strategy of selecting RBs with each of your first two draft picks. That practice was essentially unchallenged for numerous years by fantasy experts and owners alike. And it was extremely logical considering the mammoth emphasis that NFL franchises placed upon their rushing attacks. Some owners even employed three of their first four picks to quickly build a stable of backs, while the quarterbacks and wide receiver positions were designated with lower priorities during the draft process. But that philosophy began to evolve in recent years to correspond with alterations in the offensive approach by NFL teams. The degree to which passing attacks have exploded has been well chronicled, as has the fact that highly productive QBs have become increasingly prevalent. Signal callers are now entrusted with an ever increasing responsibility to generating sizable yardage and TDs. That in turn has entrenched them atop the fantasy point leader board in recent years. And that will occur again this season, as prolific QB play should be more prevalent than ever for fantasy owners. The influx of exceptional new talent at the position during the 2012 season – RG3, Andrew Luck, Russell Wilson, and Colin Kaepernick – will merge with the collection of highly effective veterans to supply a massive number of enticing options during your drafts this summer.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Since the 2012 fantasy season ended, you’ve had time to reflect upon how your seasons unfolded. Yet, many of you have already started planning your next drafts. This column will help you evaluate which QBs provided the worst value for their owners during 2012. And it will also deliver the jump start that you need toward creating your 2013 draft plan, that will include a large number of legitimate options for your QB1.

First, let’s rewind to last August or early September, when your fantasy drafts occurred. Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady and Drew Brees were almost universally the initial three QBs selected. Then, Matthew Stafford and Cam Newton departed the draft boards before the end of Round 2. After that? There was an assemblage of signal callers that consisted of Michael Vick, Eli Manning, Matt Ryan, Philip Rivers, Tony Romoand Peyton Manning. Then an additional tier of Robert Griffin III, Ben Roethlisberger, Andrew Luck, Jay Cutler and Matt Schaub.

Of these QBs, some performed extremely well, others produced satisfactorily, and others were complete disappointments. This article will provide an in-depth look at five whose overall production failed to match their average draft positions. That conclusion will be based upon the numbers that each signal caller generated, using a scoring system of six points per TD, one point per 20 passing yards, and one point per 10 rushing/receiving yards in a 12-team league. After conducting an overall assessment of their ADP from six primary fantasy sites, those results will be combined with their overall production to determine their value to fantasy owners.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

At the end of every February, hundreds of coaches, scouts, doctors, and staff members flock to Indianapolis. At the same time, die hard football fans start to show the effects of rookie fever and flock to their TVs to set their DVRs for the NFL Combine.

When you stop to think about it, it really is a strange phenomenon.

We watch these young men run, jump, and lift over and over again. They get measured like prize cattle and prodded by team doctors to see if they fit the bill. The only issue is that no one really knows exactly what to look for in these measurements. Some NFL teams are known to have a strong affinity for one measurement over the others (for example, Oakland and 40 yard dash times) and there are a ton of commonly held beliefs such as quarterbacks needing to be 6’2” or taller to succeed. What exactly does the combine mean to us, the dynasty fantasy footballer? Sure, faster and bigger is better. But the question that I’ve always had is exactly how fast is fast enough? Is it just a fast 40 or do I need to look at cone, shuttle, 10 yard splits and everything else too?

Friday, January 4, 2013

The quarterback class is looking very deep for 2013. So deep that players who used to be starting fantasy quarterbacks are being pushed out of the top 12 by the promising young quarterbacks that lit up the league in 2012. Some of the players that are being pushed down out of the starter tier this year are some big names like Eli Manning, Philip Rivers, and Michael Vick.

This is being written before free agency, the draft and training camp so things could change but as of January 4th, 2013 this is my quarterback sleepers list. I am going to assume that things are as they are today. Also note that when I say "sleeper" I mean undervalued players (according to the "experts"). That means that these quarterbacks don't necessarily have to be picked in the late rounds although, most of them still are.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Note:Post 2013 Value Based Drafting Numbers found here

I was crunching some numbers this weekend for myself so I thought I'd post up some value based drafting numbers from the 2012 season to help you get ready for the 2013 season. These numbers were compiled with standard scoring settings.
Using value based drafting numbers is a way of judging a positions relative value to the rest of the field. I typically don't use it for specific players because injuries happen, situations change, players age, and ultimately it all depends on where they are being drafted by everyone else on whether or not you should draft someone but its a great metric for gauging positions.

Let's Get to the Data

The value based drafting numbers for a specific player are calculated by subtracting the point total of the baseline player from the players point total. I'm doing these numbers for 12 team ESPN standard leagues and I'm going to use the same rankings as Karabell does in this VBD article (go to it for more explanation about value based drafting). Thus I will use the 17th ranked QB as the baseline, 43rd ranked RB, 40th ranked WR, and the 12th ranked TE. (If the 6th defense and 2nd kicker are used then these are the usual positions drafted in the first 120 picks according to Karabell, I neglected the defense and kicker positions).

Welcome to the final edition of this season’s Dynasty Aftermath. This Tuesday staple has long been one of our signature pieces as we have a little fun after a tough week at the Dynasty League Football office. You’ll find this article will review the week’s happenings in a variety of ways. Fantasy seasons are over, but that just means we’re starting all over with a new year’s worth of content. Thanks for making the aftermath one of most viewed articles each and every week this year.

Let’s take our final weekly spin around the league and look at the best scoring lineups for this week and for the entire season

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