Thursday, February 25, 2010

2010 NFL Draft: Mocks and Reality

The NFL Draft chatter is heating up. All I know is that on the door of the professor who has two PhD's are written two Latin words: ad fontes. For all of you who do not "habla Espanol" it stands for "to the sources" or "to the founts." Always good advice when trying to obtain good clean water. Might I just say that all the NFL Draft coverage on the internet is just a lot of hot air and intrigue for fandom to think about and so writers can make money. All of it gets thrown out of the window when the actual draft occurs... trades and all. If anyone thought they should apply ad fontes to only believing what the front offices say this time of year, forget it. They are full of lies as admitted by the front office of the Baltimore Ravens.

Some facts: It has been announced that the 2010 NFL Draft will begin Thursday, April 22 at 7:30 p.m. ET, with the second and third rounds on Friday, April 23 at 6:30 p.m. ET, followed by Rounds 4-7 on Saturday, April 24 at 10 a.m. ET.

I do not pay much attention to college football. However, I do know the importance of the college game for the NFL Draft and therefore for fantasy purposes. This blog post will be more about information one can seek to keep up to date with the 2010 NFL Draft. The best information will be the final NFL Draft results after all the hot air balloons of the internet are deflated. Then there will be more hot air about who will perform and who will not perform with each NFL team getting graded for their draft. No one knows until the fresh bodies play on the professional turf.

The 2010 Senior Bowl, usually considered the initial start toward the NFL Draft study among NFL Draft aficionados (other than watching a lot of college football games), was on January 30th at 3pm CT on the NFL Network. Here's the Box Score.

2010 NFL Combine is usually the next step. Most sites with the results of the combine are pay sites. Here's some links for the Combine, but most info is being tweeted on Twitter live:

Combine preview: What to watch for at Indy show

Researching the NFL Scouting Combine

Football Outsiders Combine Reports:
Thursday Combine Report
Friday Combine Report
Saturday Combine Report
Sunday Combine Report

CBS Sports Combine Wrap-Up

MMQB: Notes from Combine

2010 Combine Results from FFToolbox

Combine wrap-up: Value runners, DT conundrum, diva QBs

Combine 'stars' rarely pan out
Myth busters for the combine
Combine an idiotic way to find NFL players

Pro-Day Results
Pro Day Results: Florida (Tebow, Haden, Spikes...)

Top 2010 NFL Draft Prospects by Position

2010 NFL Draft Websites of Note


CBS Sports

2010 NFL Draft Discussions

Post-Combine NFL Mock Draft

Should QBs sit?

2010 NFL Draft Order Update

2010 NFL Draft Compensatory Picks
There is one blogger who has a great niche in the NFL Draft coverage. He knows the compensatory draft pick stuff pretty accurately although the NFL has never published the rules. So check him out his accuracy and then check out 2010's NFL Draft Compensatory Projections.

2010 NFL Draft Order Coin Tosses

Coin tosses firm up first-round order

2010 NFL Draft Restricted Free Agent Tender Impact
Update: The Great Big Tender Thread
Will need to combine this information with the Free Agent Trackers available:
See Off-Season Player Tracker and KFFL's Tracker.

2010 NFL Mock Drafts
Kiper 1st Mock

Post-Combine NFL Mock Draft

First Round Mock


Pat Kirwan (

2010 NFL Mock Draft 4.0 (


CBS Sports and

FanHouse's 2010 NFL Mock Draft 3.0

National Football Post: NFL mock draft: Version V

Drat Site


NFL Draft Blitz

The Football Expert


The Draft King

The Football

2010 NFL Draft Talent Rankings

2010 NFL Reality Draft

2010 NFL Draft Grades

I apologize that this post is not as polished as most of my posts on this blog, but I am more concerned about sending you ways to start looking into the NFL Draft on your own. Not trying to be exhaustive on the subject at all. It would be an endless task to keep up with it all, but I'll update the stuff I think is legitimate to post. The results of the draft might not be known for a few years however.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Looking Ahead 2010: Redmans CatPunters

This is the fifth post of a series of blogs covering each team from Brothers Keeper in detail. We began with the last place team and are moving toward the top of the league standings as it stood at the end of the 2009 fantasy football season (cf. Kabuki Strikes Back; CustodianPandemonium; Favre$Footlong; Ghost). Fifth up, Redmans CatPunters (D Pilcher). My apologies for the delay.

Overview of D Pilcher's Brothers Keeper History
2007 RedMans Warriors: 10-4-0 (7th Place) 1795.57 points; 39 transactions
2008 RedMans CatChuckers: 7-6-0 (6th Place) 1303.53 points; 33 transactions
2009 Redmans CatPunters: 6-7-0 (6th Place) 1494.79 points; 14 transactions

2009 End of Season Commentary
There are rules for this kind of thing. The Tom Brady rule allows for a previously kept player to earn a new developmental status eligibility if played less than 3 times total in a fantasy season (including playoffs) due to injury. Reman's CatPunters entered 2009 exercising this canonical right. With T Brady QB, R Wayne WR, and M Forte RB all in the fold for Redman's CatPunters, it seemed like 2009 was his championship to lose. However, that darned obstacle called a draft was still in the way.

Some inconsistent choices were made. For instance, while P Thomas RB was highly effective when he played in 2009, it was known that he was injured before the season began. When you have a T Brady QB by round one why do you pick a E Manning QB in round 5? No fantasy owner can start 2 QBs at the same time. That means one of your top 5 picks is going to be benched every week. Not quite understandable until you realize the fear that D Pilcher had concerning the loss of T Brady in 2008. Understandable I guess. But take a look at the 6rh pick: S Greene RB. The NY Jets had L Washington and T Jones at the helm of the RB position. Carries to a rookie RB were going to be sparse. That's 2 of your top 6 picks overall that are going to be benched weekly. That, my friends, is what the internet calls a FAIL. It's like the Olympic hurdler hitting half his hurdles if you consider the P Thomas injury. Perhaps something more was eating poor Gilbert Grape. O wait. This is the same guy who drafts Closers without end in fantasy baseball and usually wins deep into the playoffs.

But this is fantasy football and when the playoffs arrived, Redman's CatPunters exited quickly only to win enough to lose the consolation 5th place game. He entered the playoffs at the 6th seed and the playoffs left him 6th in the standings. A lot of good those 3 weeks proved to be. Actually, if you look at his past 3 seasons, he's maintained these subpar standards. He's a 100% 6.3 place guy. Not as bad as Simba's ButtKicker! (R Johnson) but not as good as Ghost (B Garner) either. A lot of good these 3 years has done on Ol' Scratch's trophy case. A little draft medicine may be in the doctor's orders.

Redmans CatPunters's 2009 Draft
Redmans CatPunters (D Pilcher) had the 4th overall draft pick position in the 2009 draft. His 2009 draft results are thus (noting that those who were kept from his 2008 final roster):

1. (4) Tom Brady QB (Keeper)
2. (17) Reggie Wayne WR (Keeper)
3. (24) Pierre Thomas RB
4. (37) Matt Forte RB (Keeper)
5. (44) Eli Manning QB
6. (57) Shonn Greene RB
7. (64) Chris Cooley TE
8. (77) Philadelphia DEF
9. (84) Fred Jackson RB
10. (97) Donald Driver WR
11. (104) LeSean McCoy RB
12. (117) Rob Bironas K
13. (124) David Garrard QB
14. (137) Muhsin Muhammad WR
15. (144) Antonio Bryant WR (Keeper as Developmental)

Redmans CatPunters's Final 2009 Roster
I have included the 2010 draft round and pick overall (overall pick is in parentheses) value of each player on Redman CatPunter's final roster followed by the name of the player, player's position, total # of fantasy starts for the season (a * indicates developmental eligibility for 2010's draft; some players were on more than one team but their total starts for all teams is listed); and total fantasy points scored by the player for the 16 fantasy week season (which is not subject to the # of starts):
1. (4) Tom Brady QB (Keeper); 15 fantasy starts; 362.32 fp
1. (4) Reggie Wayne WR (Keeper); 15 fantasy starts; 221.20 fp
2. (17)
3. (24) Pierre Thomas RB; 11 fantasy starts; 180.03 fp
3. (24) Matt Forte RB (Keeper); 14 fantasy starts; 193.45 fp
4. (37)
5. (44) Eli Manning QB; *0 fantasy starts; 304.34 fp
6. (57)
7. (64)
8. (77) Philadelphia DEF; 12 fantasy starts; 163.00 fp
8. (77) Tennessee DEF; 7 fantasy starts (4 with Sea Buzzards + 3 with Redmans CatPunters); 117 fp
9. (84) Fred Jackson RB; 13 fantasy starts; 233.93 fp
9. (84) G Olsen TE; 13 fantasy starts (4 with Sea Buzzards + 9 with Redmans CatPunters); 138.60 fp
10. (97) Donald Driver WR; 15 fantasy starts; 158.35 fp
11. (104) LeSean McCoy RB; 5 fantasy starts; 143.10 fp
12. (117)
13. (124)
14. (137) Antonio Bryant WR (Keeper as Developmental); *1 fantasy starts; 93.00 fp
15. (144) M Bell RB; *0 fantasy starts; 97.50 fp (Undrafted)
15. (144) F Davis TE; *0 fantasy starts; 109.45 fp (Undrafted)
15. (144) L Tynes K; 12 fantasy starts; 128 fp (Undrafted)

Looking Ahead at 2010
Potential is a funny word. Potential could become squandered. Ask the 30 year old C Palmer QB if his potential has been squandered. I bet he might be furious inside. At least he has the money to show for it. I guess. For Redman's CatPunters I see the potential for squander. T Brady and R Wayne are nearing the end of their peak years of performance. They might be able to keep Redman's CatPunters in 6th place again, you know, just those two alone. They are easily the front runner picks to be kept.

If the RB situation in New Orleans is thinned with the exit of R Bush RB in th offseason, then P Thomas seems to be a keeper to consider too. Caughing up M Forte RB might be a good or bad move after his surgery. We're not yet sure. A new OC in Chicago could be a world of good or just further evidence of a Refrigerator's Curse. F Jackson RB could maintain his position as starter in Buffalo, but he's doubtful to be kept unless his draft position is attractive enough. Because, when you face it, who wants to poke around the cadavar that the Bills are with the loss of all their coaching staff? Even more so, L McCoy RB is the future in Philadelphia whenever he and K Kolb QB usurp the duo of B Westbrook RB and D McNabb QB. But it could be two years away... not 2010 away.

My Best Guess at Redmans CatPunters's 2010 Keepers
Because Redmans CatPunters seems so willing to occupy the 6th place spot annually I am going to guess he stays with the two guys who have kept him there the past 3 years in T Brady QB and R Wayne WR. After that, it is a toss up between MForte RB, P Thomas RB, and L McCoy RB. L McCoy could have been a developmental eligible keeper but he was played 2 too many times. If Redmans CatPunters wants to show up late for the 2010 draft he mind as well keep P Thomas or M Forte. At least he'd hurdle his first three obstacles called draft picks. Don't you think Redmans CatPunters looks the same as Redmans DraftHurdles? I do. Perhaps a name change will be in order.
Brothers Keeper Third Party Consultant's Best Guess at Redmans CatPunters's 2010 Keepers
"he's got two easy one's in brady and wayne but after that i hard to decide between forte, pierre, mccoy and fred jackson. u already know forte, pierre and mccoy are gonna start but i really dont think they were better per game start vs fred jackson he was a top the rb the first three weeks of the season then lynch came back and stole his carries not cuz of but cuz of the buffalo pays him. if it was me i would keep jackson if lynch is traded if not i would have forte as far as keepers go i would keep fred davis or mike bell toss up cuz bell could steal a bunch of carries from mccoy and fred davis could start over cooley either way both are backups and both could end up starting but i would favor davis."

Just got to see one more hurdle failure:

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Revisiting Age Associated Decline of NFL Players for Fantasy Purposes

When do players in the NFL decline? At what age do NFL players generally decline at each position? These are important questions for fantasy players.

Doug Drinen (How Important is Age?) summarizes his research: "According to this data, the word 'old' means 28 for a running back, 30 for a receiver, and 32 for a quarterback. This is probably not a surprise, as it squares fairly well with conventional wisdom." UPDATE (4/6/10) Do star safeties have shorter careers than players at other defensive positions?

Boy am I glad someone has already crunched and published those numbers.

This does not mean there are not anomalies. For some reason D Mason WR performed above average after 30. We all know some elite QBs like the Warners and Favres of this world also performed well after the normal age of decline (32). Likewise, there are exceptional RBs who performed well after the peak years (e.g., T Barber). There may be other factors at play like the health and effectiveness of an offensive line or the number of carries prior to the years of decline. This is one of those proverbial rules where this is the general norm but not supposed to explain all exceptions. It is helpful to the fantasy player in general but it should not be the end all reason for no longer drafting or keeping T Brady or P Manning etc. But this is also not sensitive to when players begin to peak. For instance WRs usually don't have a breakout year until their 3d year in the league. Same goes with QBs. Their breakout year usually is not their first year in the league. It also depends on how long they have or may not have been a backup before acquiring the starter status. Regardless, this is the gnomic or customary guideline of ages for understanding the decline of NFL players at these positions.

Taking Drinen's research into consideration I want to revisit the age of the players on the final rosters of the fantasy teams in Brothers Keeper. On a previous post I showed the general average age of each team's players for the 2010 season excluding Kickers and Defenses for obvious reasons (by the way I sure hope the Ravens pick up Matt Stover). Here are the results again (noting that they are not position specific, rather, they are overall age of players divided by number of players on the fantasy team):

Team                              Avg Age
Yer X-MOM                     25.87
Yankinfowlsandfeline      26.64
Sea Buzzards                  27.25
Ghost                            27.46
CustodianPandemonium  27.54
Simba's ButtKicker!         27.69
Redmans CatPunters       27.83
Favre$Footlong               27.92
Cyborg Pirate Ninjas       28
Kabuki Strikes Back        29.46

If, however, we use the age of decline for each position as a baseline (negative numbers are good!) and we total up the years above or below the baseline we get these results:

Team                           Total Years Above/Below Age of Decline
Yer X-MOM (P Smith)                                   -50
Yankinfowlsandfeline (J Smith)                     -31
Ghost (B Garner)                                         -27
CustodianPandemonium (R Smith)                -25
Sea Buzzards (M Peltonen)                           -24
Simba's ButtKicker! (R Johnson)                   -23
Favre$Footlong (D Kessler)                          -21
Redmans CatPunters (D Pilcher)                   -18
CYBORG PIRATE NINJAS (R Smith)                -16
Kabuki Strikes Back (J Fullerton)                     2

In order to eliminate the variation of numbers of players on each team here is the average of the previous list:

Team                      Average Years Above/Below Age of Decline
Yer X-MOM (P Smith)                                  -3.33
Yankinfowlsandfeline (J Smith)                    -2.82
Ghost (B Garner)                                        -2.08
Sea Buzzards (M Peltonen)                          -2
CustodianPandemonium (R Smith)               -1.92
Simba's ButtKicker! (R Johnson)                  -1.77
Favre$Footlong (D Kessler)                         -1.62
Redmans CatPunters (D Pilcher)                  -1.5
CYBORG PIRATE NINJAS (R Smith)               -1.23
Kabuki Strikes Back (J Fullerton)                  0.15

These stats are only helpful to understand who may or may not be as poised to make a long term impact in Brothers Keeper from the available players on the final rosters of 2009. Those at the top of the lists have a better chance of retaining talent below the normal age of decline than those at the bottom of the lists. While it may be more probable, it is still possible for a team like Favre$Footlong to keep players that are older than Kabuki Strikes Back might keep and therefore these lists are in no way a final predictor of fantasy success in the long term.

A few caveats are also necessary. This does not account for future NFL strength of schedule and other factors like offensive linemen turnover/age/effectiveness. This should not directly correlate to fantasy points. It does not factor in over usage of players who may burn out faster. This may have some correlation to injuries but not entirely as some injuries are entirely random. This is merely a snapshot in time of how young the current fantasy rosters are and a small projection of the probability of keeping talent below the age of decline. Some teams are more able to keep players younger than the declining ages than other fantasy teams.

Monday, February 1, 2010

NFL Free Agents Tracker from KFFL

For a quick look at the NFL's Free Agents look at KFFL's Tracker.

3/17/10 Update: Another Off-Season Player Tracker

Might want to double check it before declaring your keepers for 2010.

It is also a good idea to see who's contracts are coming up in 2010. Common fantasy football wisdom suggests that players in the last year of a contract perform better than normal since they are motivated financially to do well.