Saturday, July 31, 2010

Building a Fantasy Football Draft Value Chart

The yearly NFL Draft gave rise to NFL Draft Value Charts (see my earlier post on the matter). NFL Draft Value Charts were built and designed to give a numeric value to each draft pick position for an entire NFL Draft. The reason for building a chart was to be able to evaluate trades before, during (on the fly), and after the draft. If one were to receive draft picks in a trade or trade away draft picks one needed to know the potential value they were trading. Everyone knows earlier picks are more valuable than later picks but how much more valuable are they? Well, smart NFL executives have assigned values for each pick in the draft. So what does this have to do with fantasy football? Everything.

It should logically follow that fantasy football players build a league specific Fantasy Football Draft Value Chart. In a straight re-draft fantasy league the rule might not allow for trades during the draft so a chart would not be as beneficial to you and your league. The following discussion may still offer you some help. Some leagues, however, like Brothers Keeper, allow for trades involving keepers or draft picks before and during the fantasy draft.

While I haven't seen much out there by way of fantasy football draft value charts, some do exist. Here's an ESPN writer creating a Fantasy Football 2007 Draft Slot Rankings. You'll also discover's Pick Value Calculator and maybe stumbled across a related article like Lab Test: The Snake Draft.

First, a Fantasy Football Draft Value Chart needs to consider a few things. Most drafts do not draft the most productive straight fantasy point producer to the least productive fantasy point producer. If they did, QBs would take up most of the first round draft picks. Today's fantasy football drafts and rankings are ruled by replacement level baselines in order to equally value each position. Also called Value Based Drafting (most famously popularized by
The simplest formula is the last starter baseline. What you do is figure out how many people are going to start at each position. If you are in a 10 team league that starts 1 QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, and 1 TE then you figure out what the 10th ranked QB, 20th ranked RB, 30th ranked WR, and 10th ranked TE will score. Then you subtract that number from all the players in the same category (RB number from RBs, etc.) This will give you a last starter baseline of 0. Everyone ahead of the last starter will have a positive value while all those below will have a negative value. Now, you have a way of comparing positions to each other.
Because Brothers Keeper has 10 teams and starts 1 QB, 2 WR, 2 RB, 1 TE, 1 WR/RB, 1 K, and 1 DEF the baseline is thus: the 10th ranked QB, TE, K, and DEF along with the 50th Ranked WR/RB. They are the baseline of zero. Everyone else scores fantasy points above or below this baseline. This eliminates the variations for positional needs. The acronym for this is FPOB (Fantasy Points Over Baseline). If a player's FPOB is negative they are below the baseline, while a player who has a FPOB that is positive is above/over the baseline. Negative FPOB players may be on a fantasy team's roster but aren't usually starters on non-Bye weeks. Positive FPOB players should be regular starters on a fantasy team. That's the advantage of utilizing Value Based Drafting and FPOB. The result of employing this method means about 90 players will be above this baseline (10 teams with 9 positions for each team to start each week). There may be more than 90 as more than one player may score the same amount of FPOB around that 90th ranked player. It may be helpful to think of the baseline as Replacement Level.

Important caveats: By the way, each league's fantasy point scoring for offensive positions and defensive positions is different. So use your league's scoring model to calculate the information. Below I will list an Ideal Draft Value Chart which will not account for the fact that many draft strategies draft backup RBs or WRs before or during TEs and DEF. Nor does it account for a strategy where most fantasy players draft K's at the end of a fantasy draft. It is an Ideal Draft Value Chart with a static baseline not a dynamic baseline utilizing the historical data of the previous Brothers Keeper Fantasy Football seasons.

Before calculating a draft value chart outright, one needs to figure out what to use: Should we use real/actual draft data from previous seasons (an Authentic/Market Value Draft Value Chart) or the final season stats of previous seasons (an Ideal Draft Value Chart)? While there is little difference other than the rare anomaly, I chose the Ideal Fantasy Football Draft Value Chart as the point of departure. I want an honest assessment of how fantasy owners drafted without being subject to human choices or strategies. The idea behind an Ideal Fantasy Football Draft Value Chart is to highlight human error and try to avoid human errors. I do not want to use a Draft Value Chart laden with human errors in order to evaluate human error. The Authentic/Market Value Draft Value Chart doesn't tell you what the picks should be worth unless you assume perfect market efficiency, which is not what has occurred historically. I want a perfect standard to measure all others. Therefore final season stat lines should be utilized in creating an Ideal Fantasy Football Draft Value Chart.

As a result I have collated the final season fantasy points and FPOB totals from the past 4 seasons and took an average from them. That's right, I am including the 2006 season's data (the season prior to Brothers Keeper's inception) because it's "one louder."

Another consideration that needs to be addressed is whether or not you average the baseline for all the years of production or if you utilize each year's baseline. The more years you collect in data the closer these two items come to one another. I imagine, if you couldn't decide you could just take the average between the two of them for a more stable guideline. But using each year's baseline makes most sense. That way the 90th player selected should be the baseline of 0. Namely, everyone, ideally should have all their starters drafted. After the 90th pick the players are below replacement level. This does not account for drafting strategies that delay Kickers or Team Defenses to later rounds. This is an ideal draft scenario which includes Kickers, Team Defenses, and Tight Ends as equal to the Quarterbacks, Running Backs, and Wide Receivers. Each position is treated the same as it relates to it's replacement level/baseline.

Baselines of Overall Performance For Each Year:

10th Ranked QB = 240.3 fantasy points
50th Ranked RB/WR = 148.9 fantasy points
10th Ranked TE = 112 fantasy points
10th Ranked K = 118 fantasy points
10th Ranked DEF = 139 fantasy points

10th Ranked QB = 281.18 fantasy points
50th Ranked RB/WR = 150.8 fantasy points
10th Ranked TE = 106.55 fantasy points
10th Ranked K = 127 fantasy points
10th Ranked DEF = 146 fantasy points

10th Ranked QB = 266.32 fantasy points
50th Ranked RB/WR = 163.28 fantasy points
10th Ranked TE = 100.9 fantasy points
10th Ranked K = 129 fantasy points
10th Ranked DEF =142 fantasy points

10th Ranked QB = 304.34 fantasy points
50th Ranked RB/WR = 155.65 fantasy points
10th Ranked TE = 138.6 fantasy points
10th Ranked K = 122 fantasy points
10th Ranked DEF = 137 fantasy points

Below is the Brothers Keeper Ideal Fantasy Football Draft Value Chart. The first column is the round each pick is made in. The second column is the individual team's draft position for a snake draft. The third column is the overall pick number. The next four columns detail each season's Ideal Draft Value for each pick from 2006 - 2009 (One Louder!). The column farthest to the right is the average of those 4 seasons at each pick. So without further ado:

If we were to chart or graph the Brothers Keeper Ideal Fantasy Football Draft Value Chart for 2006 - 2009 along with their 4 year average it would appear as follows.

As you can see, assuming an ideal draft, the earlier the pick the more valuable the player compared to the baseline. The 90th pick for all seasons is zero. So after that pick in an ideal draft you are beginning to draft below replacement level players.

A Fantasy Football Draft Value Chart can only tell you what the picks should be worth assuming perfect market efficiency. Because Brothers Keeper is a keeper league it will never be perfect market efficiency since players who are kept by their owners/GMs throw that off. But you can evaluate past performances of owners in the league and the future of your potential keepers better with an Ideal Fantasy Football Draft Value Chart than without it. It is a better evaluation tool than predictor of future success. Make sure this is clear in your understanding: An Ideal Fantasy Football Draft Value Chart does not project future statistics at all. It is merely an estimate of the FPOB each draft pick should be worth in a draft where perfect market efficiency exists. If one is using projected statistic of their own or from a website or magazine, then one might be able to compare a player's value for this upcoming year but it only helps to see if it is a good or bad value for the pick they are worth if the player achieves the projected statistics. An injury or some other set of circumstances may toss that out the window. However, this tool can be used for two other reasons as well.

What is the significance of Brothers Keeper's Ideal Fantasy Football Draft Value Chart? I began building this chart in order to better understand who to keep and who not to keep. My teams at the end of 2007, 2008, and 2009 were stacked with talent I did not want to see go to some other team. But I had no idea if B Westbrook RB in Rd 1 was better to keep than J Witten TE in Rd 11? I wanted a better gauge as to who to keep. I wanted the most value for each pick that I could get. Plus, I also did not know when I should let someone go. When were players going to under perform their draft value if they were kept? I did not want to waste a keeper on someone who was not going to perform better than his Ideal Fantasy Football Draft Value. Plus, I wanted to be able to evaluate previous seasons and see which owners/GMs had success and why.

Another reason I built this chart was so that I had some sort of standard by which to evaluate trades prior to and during the draft. We will be able to look back and evaluate the only draft day trade in Brothers Keeper's history. Is this tool useful for future trade discussions? We will explore all these questions at a future date but here is the raw data for Brothers Keeper. Improvements can and could be made or considered in the near future as well. For instance, should one utilize this information on a per game basis instead of on a full season level, thus accounting for injuries and the like?

In a following series of posts I will begin a team by team assessment of their drafting and keeper skills utilizing this data as a gauge for the discussion. Perhaps it will also help highlight why certain teams perform better than others over the course of time.

UPDATE: Now that the 2010 season is over I posted an important update: A Fantasy Football Draft Value Chart Update: 2011

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Brothers Keeper 4 (2010) Fantasy Football Keeper Declaration Deadline

According to the league Commissioner, M Peltonen and no one's objection, the 2010 Brothers Keeper Fantasy Football Keeper Declaration Deadline is Sunday August 8th, 2010 at 11:59 PM CDT (cf. Section II.D.). Please notify the League Commissioner M Peltonen via email or phone or verbally in person.

If you do not wish to continue playing in the Brothers Keeper Fantasy Football League please contact the League Commissioner as soon as possible in order for Brothers Keeper to arrange a replacement player/owner. There are a number of things that the remaining league owners will need to decide before a replacement is offered to a current final roster as their team. Please be diligent toward the other Brothers Keeper owners in this regard. The last thing we would like to see is a time sensitive issue disrupt normative league activities like keeper declaration deadlines and drafts. Your cooperation will be greatly appreciative and go a long way toward your consideration for a later re-entry into the Brothers Keeper fantasy football league if such a need arises once older players die off or other players exit.

Be sure to take a look at your team's "Looking Ahead 2010" post on this blog to see your final rosters from 2009. From there you will be able to see each player's 2009 total fantasy starts, fantasy points, 2010 developmental eligibility, and 2010 keeper value. For instance, an Undrafted player on your final roster is worth a 15th round draft pick if retained. More information can be gathered there. If you see an error, please contact me so I can check into it and update your team's post to be more accurate.

For your review of the II. KEEPER DRAFT RULE please consult The Canon of Brothers Keeper Fantasy Football League.

11:15 PM CDT Update: And don't forget to Enter the League!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Helpful Random 2010 Fantasy Football Related Items

Here's a number of odd and random items for you to glean from as we lurch closer to the 2010 fantasy football season.'s Rapid Reports is always a fun read. You never know what you're going to get. But it is always good to get snippets of your favored NFL teams and their practices at training camp etc. Select a team and see that day's news. In fact, if you want to see archives of previous days you can do so. I have also attached their widget to the bottom of my blog. Select a team and read.

KFFL has a nice Running Back Handcuff Chart to secure your backups or RBBC (Running Backs By Committee).

The Pancake Blocks blog over at highlights some notable Training Camp Position Battles to monitor.

If you're worried about injuries you may want to consider this article highlighting 15 stars who could get injured in 2010. Not sure how accurate one can predict injuries in such a high contact sport, but you may want to bury this in the back of your head. I remain skeptical of this article's ability to predict injuries. There are only a few resources on the web I personally would trust concerning sports injuries. This is not one of them, but it is here for your consumption.

Over at ESPN Christopher Harris has some new stats to consider.

Ultimate Fantasy Football Strategy has an interesting article on Weekly Consistency for the different positions. Again, something new to think about when choosing your keeper or drafting your next fantasy player. has a Rate My Team function for use following your drafts.

Perhaps you just want a new fantasy football team name for 2010. If so, check out Razzball's Fantasy Football Team Name Generator. I'm sure there are a ton more available on the web if you just Google it. Perhaps you'll want to submit it to this year's team name contest?

A few of these more enduring items will be added to the links on the side bar for your easy access in the future. I hope your 2010 fantasy football preparation is going well. For more of these types of posts by another blogger, please consult the FFLibrarian's frequent posts. She has slowed some as a result of her pregnancy and moves, but she's pretty good at highlighting/selecting what is out there to be read and seen by the fantasy playing community.

I am hoping to get a new Twitter feed widget to show good fantasy football related tweets. I need to sit down and compile a list for a Twitter widget. The non-Twitter based widget I have had up on my blog has not been working in recent months probably as a result of an overload on the free server. If you are not using Twitter I highly recommend it. Twitter, along with other news feeds are helpful for live, up to date information, current discussions, and news. Last year I found out Michael Jackson died from Twitter. Today I knew before many that Terrell Owens signed with the Bengals.

7/27/10 Update: Here's an article about RB Turnover you may want to consider when thinking about your draft. Then there's the always standard advice for drafting to recall.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Looking Ahead 2010: Yer X-MOM

This is the final "Looking Ahead 2010" post of a series of ten blogs covering each team from Brothers Keeper in detail. We began with the last place team and have moved up to 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; Redmans CatPunters; Yankinfowlsandfeline; Simba's ButtKicker!CYBORG PIRATE NINJAS; and Sea Buzzards). This post will present our 2010 1st Place Gold Medalist/Trophy Winner and reigning Brothers Keeper Champion, Yer X-MOM (P Smith).

Overview of P Smith's Brothers Keeper History
2007 Yer X-MOM: 10-4-0 (4th Place) 1665.13 points; 38 transactions
2008 Yer X-MOM: 9-4-0 (4th Place) 1678.86 points; 41 transactions
2009 Yer X-MOM: 8-5-0 (1st Place) 1492.55 points; 39 transactions

2009 End of Season Commentary
After two consecutive years of exits in the semifinals as the number two seed in the playoffs, something needed to change. 2009 saw Yer X-MOM (P Smith) enter the playoffs again as the number two seed. Change happened. Yer X-MOM won the semifinal contest and entered the championship game against the number eight seeded team Sea Buzzards (M Peltonen).

For 3 consecutive years Yer X-MOM has been a league powerhouse posting high point totals and numerous wins. P Smith attributes this to strong drafting. The inaugural Brothers Keeper campaign in 2007 saw him pick eighth. He landed B Westbrook RB, M Harrison WR (who he traded later for S Smith WR [Car]), A Gates TE, Jamal Lewis RB, and A Johnson WR. A Johnson has been retained on his team ever since and been productive.

In 2008 Westbrook was retained for a final productive season. C Portis RB, S Slaton RB, and A Boldin WR were both great draft picks as well. During the 2008 draft, Yer X-MOM traded his 4th round pick to PAIN (D Kessler) for J Witten TE. Immediately after the draft and prior to the season's start, Yer X-MOM dropped D. J. Hackett WR and picked up an undrafted free agent rookie in C Johnson RB. This team was set for success once K Warner QB was retrieved from free agency as well. The choice for keepers for Yer X-MOM has always been a hard decision to make with all of that talent. C Johnson RB, A Johnson WR, S Slaton RB, and J Witten TE were kept for the 2009 season. Of those he let go from his final roster, B Westbrook RB and A Boldin WR were both 1st round draft picks by competitors in 2009. C Portis RB and K Warner QB were 2d round draft picks. That's 4 players from Yer X-MOM's 2008 final roster on other teams one year later by the end of round two. Unfortunately, none of those picks lived up to their high draft value for those competitors due to injuries and other reasons. Should other players beware of those players Yer X-MOM drops before 2010?

To supplement the solid 2009 keepers, 2009's draft was also strong with S Jackson RB, P Rivers QB, and R Brown RB taken in the first three rounds. This was supplemented by productive free agent pickups in R Mendenhall RB, L Maroney RB, J Harrison RB, and J Finley TE. P Smith said, "I totally wanted J Charles RB and M Austin WR too but I had no wiggle room on a talented roster to be able to maneuver. So I made a trade instead for a WR. I wish I had dropped some guys like L White RB and W Parker RB earlier. They were good protection for C Johnson RB and R Mendenhall RB though. Better safe than sorry I guess. Congratulations to the two gentlemen who did the right thing and picked those guys up." has published an intriguing list of Strong Finishers. It is a list of the top 40 RBs in average fantasy points during the weeks 12-17 of the 2009 season. This list may be helpful on two fronts: First, it could be an indicator of 2010 success. These RBs may be drafted higher than otherwise would have as a result of their productive streak late in 2009 because they may have just been a glimpse of their 2010 productivity.

Second, it is a good source to check to see if the RBs higher on the list impacted the Brothers Keeper fantasy football playoffs. After all, 2 of the top 3 RBs (also 3 of the top 15 and 4 of the top 20) listed were on the Championship roster of Yer X-MOM (P Smith). For a 10 team league that requires at least 2 RBs to be started each week (20 minimum in the league) out of a possible 50 RBs a week (assuming each team fills its WR/RB flex position with a RB) it is easy to see why Yer X-MOM had more success than normal in the playoffs. Playoff success is just as much luck as it is anything else. There is no way to predict this kind of success for playoff weeks prior to start of a season. Regardless, the results are there to be inspected and understood in their historical context.

The keys to the successful championship run for Yer X-MOM in 2009 are thus: (1) Productive keepers supplemented by (2) a good draft and (3) midseason free agent pickups followed by (4) playoff luck. There was enough talent on the roster to sustain season ending injuries to S Slaton RB and R Brown RB. There was even enough in the week 16 starting lineup to win the championship despite S Jackson's late scratch from participating in week 16's St. Louis game. It was not the result af any in-season trade. The formula sounds so simple really but it was 3 years in the making.

So here's Yer X-MOM's trophy for the 2009 Brothers Keeper Fantasy Football Season:

Yer X-MOM's 2009 Draft
Yer X-MOM (P Smith) had the 8th overall draft pick position in the 2009 draft thanks to his strong playoff performance (4th place). His 2009 draft results are thus (noting that those who were kept from his 2008 final roster:

1. (8) Steven Jackson RB
2. (13) Philip Rivers QB
3. (28) Ronnie Brown RB
4. (33) Andre Johnson WR (Keeper)
5. (48) Willie Parker WR
6. (53) LenDale White RB
7. (68) Felix Jones RB
8. (73) Santonio Holmes WR
9. (88) Domenik Hixon WR
10. (93) Jason Witten TE (Keeper)
11. (108) Steve Slaton RB (Keeper)
12. (113) Jerious Norwood RB
13. (128) San Diego DEF
14. (133) Torry Holt WR
15. (148) Chris Johnson RB (Keeper)

Yer X-MOM's Final 2009 Roster
I have included the 2010 draft round and pick overall (overall pick is in parentheses) value of each player on Yer X-MOM'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. (10) Steven Jackson RB (1st Rd Keeper Value); 15 fantasy starts; 228.70 fp
2. (11) Philip Rivers QB; 13 fantasy starts; 352.16 fp
3. (30) Ronnie Brown RB; 9 fantasy starts; 136.58 fp
3. (30) Andre Johnson WR; 15 fantasy starts; 236.45 fp
4. (31)
5. (50)
6. (51)
7. (70)
8. (71) Santonio Holmes WR; 8 fantasy starts; 170.20 fp
9. (90) Jason Witten TE; 15 fantasy starts; 157.50 fp
10. (91) Steve Slaton RB; 7 fantasy starts; 140.55 fp
11. (110) Rashard Mendenhall RB; 8 fantasy starts; 191.12 fp
12. (111)
13. (130) Laurence Maroney RB; 7 (4 with Yankinfowlsandfeline + 3 with Yer X-MOM fantasy starts; 149.95 fp
14. (131) Chris Johnson RB; *3 fantasy starts; 367.75 fp
15. (150) Kevin Kolb QB; *0 fantasy starts; 60.54 fp (Undrafted)
15. (150) Jerome Harrison RB; *2 fantasy starts 1 with CustodianPandemonium + 1 with Yer X-MOM); 171.03 fp (Undrafted)
15. (150) Hakeem Nicks WR; *1 fantasy starts (1 with CYBORG PIRATE NINJAS); 123.83 fp (Undrafted)
15. (150) Jeremy Maclin WR; *2 fantasy starts (1 with Favre$Footlong + 1 with Simba's ButtKicker!); 121.52 fp (Undrafted)
15. (150) Jermichael Finley TE; *0 fantasy starts; 116.80 fp (Undrafted)

Looking Ahead at 2010
To begin with, Yer X-MOM will have another year of picking late in the draft. Not too much of a problem when you have a good talent pool to select keepers from.
Contract issues aside (see C Johnson and A Johnson's holdouts), over the last two seasons, A Johnson WR has 609 more receiving yards (3,144) than any other player in the NFL (Roddy White is next with 2535 yards followed closely by Larry Fitzgerald with 2523 yards). The parity is quite stark. There's no major changes in the offense or coaching for the Houston Texans in the upcoming season either which bodes well for A Johnson WR. Houston Texans QB M Schaub proved to remain healthy in 2009 and if all goes well he will continue to outproduce Indianapolis Colts QB P Manning's yardage totals. Nothing contributes more to a WR's success than a good quality QB and visa-versa, a good QB's completion percentage is dependent upon his WRs catch rates.

Chris Johnson RB (2009 Offensive Player of the Year, Unanimous All Pro Team Choice, and Best Breakthrough Athlete ESPY winner) flirted with the historic yardage total of Eric Dickerson's 1984 single season rushing record in 2009. But as the 2003 Jamal Lewis found out , it is really hard to break 2,104 yards. Johnson missed by exactly 100 yards from being the undisputed leader. Dickerson is closer to holding the record for an impressive 20 years as a result. However, the question then becomes, will C Johnson be able to repeat his production if teams stack the box against him in 2010? After all, he did break the single season record for yards from scrimmage in 2009. The amazing thing about Yer X-MOM's use of C Johnson is that he was only utilized 3 times in 2009. It is baffling to think that having only spent a 15th round pick on C Johnson in 2009 he was only used a mere 3 times as the most productive fantasy player in 2009. Yer X-MOM was either keeping the playing field even or had something else in mind. When asked by R Smith of Custodian Pandemonium why C Johnson wasn't utilized, P Smith responded that it was due to the tougher matchups each week early in the season. By mid season C Johnson had only been used once or twice while the other RBs had already exceeded their developmental status limits so it seemed legitimate to try and keep C Johnson a developmental status if it were possible. Despite C Johnson's contract dispute, he does appear to be preparing for the 2010 NFL season.

S Jackson's RB statistics were very impressive when understood within the context of the poor team he played for. Jackson only scored four TDs, but ranked second in the NFL with 1,416 rushing yards behind C Johnson RB in only 15 games of play. Things can only get better in St. Louis this season, which should lead to a few more scores. The only way St. Louis can go is up from their past performances. Further, the offense with rookie quarterback Sam Bradford at the helm should yield more pass-catching opportunities for the running back thus increasing fantasy production in the PPR format Brothers Keeper enjoys. However, he did have an offseason back surgery which appears to have gone well.

Philip Rivers is definitely an above average QB. However, his production fromt he past two seasons may decline slightly depending on how present V Jackson WR is. V Jackson will have at least a 3 game suspension but is also in a contract dispute with the San Diego GM. The GM seems unwavering and V Jackson has been as grounded in his position too. A Gates TE and M Floyd WR will still be on the receiving end, but not having V Jackson is quite a loss for Rivers. It will be interesting to see if he'd be able to maintain his high production despite the loss of V Jackson's services. Rivers is competitive enough to probably be close to his past two seasons of production but it is not certain. It will also come down to whether or not he is worth a 2d round value to keep.

R Brown RB has been injured 2 years in a row now. However, when he was playing in the past two seasons, he has been very productive. It will be interesting to watch his production with C Henne as the Miami QB and R Williams RB still in the fold. Plus, we need to consider his health.

While S Slaton was an excellent value pick in 2008 and could have been a lucrative RB kept in 2009 it remains to be seen as to whether or not he will remain the starting RB in Houston. Speculation on who their starter will be is rampant. Will it be A Foster, S Slaton, or a rookie? Regardless, Slaton has been cleared for training camp following his neck surgery. But a neck injury is nothing to pass over quickly.

R Mendenhall, L Maroney, J Harrison all had a good year at RB in 2009. Do any of them merit being kept for 2010? R Mendenhall seems to be a clear starter in Pittsburgh with the offseason departure of W Parker RB to the Redskins. He is going in the late 1st Rd or early 2d Rd in mock drafts. However, with B Roethlisberger QB out at least 4 if not more games (just this week there were rumors as to whether or not Roethlisberger was seen urinating in public on a golf course by a female; will the Pittsburgh Steelers "relieve" themselves of him finally?), it definitely merits questions as to whether or not Mendenhall is worth that high of a pick. Plus he plays the stout defenses in the AFC North. It will not be a cakewalk for Mendenhall in 2010 just as it was not easy for S Jackson in 2009 in a St. Louis uniform, but he could be productive. J Harrison may or may not be the de facto starter in Cleveland and L Maroney's career has not been a fantasy footballer's pleasure. So they are probably not on the same par with S Jackson, C Johnson, R Brown, and R Mendenhall discussion as to being keepers.

At WR Yer X-MOM has a number of guys with upside in S Holmes WR (who will be serving a 4 game suspension with his new team the New York Jets), J Maclin, and H Nicks. But none of them are elite WRs like A Johnson, L Fitzgerald, or R Moss. With a team as stocked as Yer X-MOM's it will be hard to retain them without giving up better talent elsewhere. As The Talented Mr. Roto Matthew Berry advises,
If you are in a keeper league, you obviously need to figure out whom to keep. You keep your difference-makers, and that's it. I define a difference-maker as someone who is clearly better than most of the others at his position. Guys like Adrian Peterson, Drew Brees and Randy Moss. But that's it -- other than an elite tight end, which might be OK to keep.

At TE Yer X-MOM has two fantasy producers in J Finley and J Witten. While Witten was solid last year his TD total decreased from 2008 and 2007. It might not bode well for 2010 but his receptions and yardage were still high enough to make him a worthy weekly fantasy starter. J Finley came out of nowhere to become a highly sought after free agent in fantasy leagues in 2009. He is among a large group of viable fantasy TEs. This year's class of TEs for fantasy purposes seems quite deep as opposed to the sparse nature of the position in the past. When there are at least 10 good TEs to choose from you really have to like the keeper draft value of Witten or Finley to retain them. Witten is gold in the 9th Rd and Finley in the 15 Rd for Yer X-MOM's consideration. But for Finley, you also need to consider whether or not he's ready to maintain a high level of performance as he hopes to reverse his past immaturity.

The other QB on Yer X-MOM's final roster is K Kolb. Kolb is the de facto recipient of the starting QB job for the Philadelphia Eagles following D McNabb's trade to the Washington Redskins. As such, Kolb will still compete with M Vick QB to play even though they are friends. If Vick continues to be a problem in society Kolb could be the only NFL starter on the Eagles roster. But is he ready? Some think so.

Every year Yer X-MOM dreads having to make the decision to let guys go from his final roster and it will be another tough decision this year as to who he should keep.

My Best Guess at Yer X-MOM's 2010 Keepers
The best guess at this point will be C Johnson RB as developmental for the 14th Rd pick since he seems to be one of the top 2 or 3 overall draft picks in most early fantasy football mock drafts. Alongside C Johnson is A Johnson in the 3d Rd since he is considered the top WR and is being drafted in the 1st Rd of many mock drafts as well. R Mendenhall RB is a solid pick for the 11th Rd and for now it appears he'd be a decent value too. The final keeper depends on a lot of things like who all is projected to be kept by other teams by Yer X-MOM and who he thinks will be the best value in 2010 and onward too. If Yer X-MOM wants to try for another dominant campaign and run for the championship then S Jackson RB is a safe pick as long as he recovers from his back surgery in time for a full season of production. But that is not so safe is it. It is hard to guess who else would be kept but TEs  J Witten and J Finley are also an excellent value keeper at Rd 9 and 15. At QB, P Rivers was an excellent commodity in Yer X-MOM's championship run and would also be a solid keeper for 2010 possibly. After C Johnson, A Johnson, and R Mendenhall, it is tough to project who the final keeper will be for Yer X-MOM in 2010. I'll just say S Jackson for now.

Brothers Keeper Third Party Consultant's Best Guess at Yer X-MOM's 2010 Keepers
"if it was me i would take andre johnson, chris johnson, kolb, and have finley as my developmental player. the value u would get on finley if he lives up to the hype would be better than everyone other than chris johnson finley is probly going to outscore the top and last TE drafted by atleast 350 combined! thats a crazy high diffrence u gotta take that risk to reap the biggest reward your ever. gonna get at least from a TE. value drafting key to winning u could keep mendenhall instead of kolb as well but would u risk the qb for the rb or just draft a new stud rookie rb later in the draft."

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

FFLibrarian's Multi-year Accuracy Results

Question: Who produces the most accurate fantasy football projections on the internet? The FFLibrarian has taken it upon herself to rate the accuracy of fantasy projections produced by a good number of familiar fantasy football sites. Her work has been introduced on a previous blog. Now she has begun to collate her yearly rankings from her dead laptop's hard drive into a multiyear assessment of the accuracy of fantasy projections for each position. Here's the links to the following results:


I look forward to her assessment of this year's projections following the 2010 fantasy season. May her impending birth and last days of sleep go well.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Brothers Keeper Playoffs Format Discussion

The history of the Brothers Keeper Playoffs while short in its sample size, is large in its scope. The first year of the league's history saw a 3 week playoff format of 8 teams beginning in week 15. This was changed to begin in week 14 in 2008 and 2009. This move was toward the standard in the industry. Very few people like it when an NFL team clinches a playoff spot only to bench fantasy football's top performers in week 17... the week of the fantasy championships. So the easy sacrifice has been to play one less fantasy week and allow for a competitive week 16 championship. This is common sense across the industry.

However, there is an oddity still needing to be addressed in the Brothers Keeper playoff system. Right now 8 out of 10 teams make the playoffs. In fact, it is hard not to make the playoffs. Only one team has missed the playoffs twice in the 3 years of Brothers Keeper. Two of the other four teams who missed the playoffs were also league champions either the year before or the next year. The parity is kind of interesting. Most fantasy football leagues only sporting 10 teams will have either a 6 team or 4 team playoff. Definitely not an 8 team playoff. I'm all for thinking outside the box of conventional wisdom but there needs to be a forum to discuss the playoff format of Brothers Keeper for the future health of the league. So what are the pros and cons to the various playoff formats?

8 Team Playoff Format
80% of the league gets to play in the final 3 weeks either in the playoffs or in. 2 out of three years the number 8 team in the playoffs has defeated the number 1 seeded team in the quarterfinals.

No one's feelings are hurt... except the 2 teams that don't make the playoffs at all.

The 8 team format devalues 13 weeks of fantasy play. Too many teams make the playoffs. Why devalue the whole season for a mere 3 weeks of play. I understand desiring to include more teams in play to keep interest, but a leading team in the league can clinch the playoffs by week 8 or 9 and snooze for 4 or 5 weeks. That is not fun for a dominant team either. A playoff should reward a full season of play. An 8 team playoff does not reward those who succeed most of the season. In fact, it could be down right depressing if a number 8 seed team upsets a number 1 seed in the first round of the playoffs as in 2007 and 2009. That doesn't seem so interesting of a semi-final or championship when the strong teams don't make it. In fact the number 8 seed in 2007 and 2009 were both crushed once they lost later on in the playoffs.

In the worst case scenario an 8th seeded team wins the playoffs. That's just not cool. A sub .500 team makes the playoffs then wins it all? That's just not right. One 3 week hot streak is no reason to win a championship. The playoffs are too heavily valued and the regular season of play is devalued too much. Look at the last 3 years. 2007 saw a third place team with a 5-9 regular season record above two teams with 10 wins during the regular season. In 2008, another sub .500 team makes third place with a 6-7 record. Then in 2009 a 5-8 team made second place. Think about it for a moment. These teams were weak and now because of their performance will have a later draft pick in the following season's draft thus increasing the likelihood that they will remain weak for another season.

At least one team has made the playoffs all three years and has never had a winning regular season record (6-8; 6-7; 5-8). Does that encourage you to play hard in the regular season? It actually sounds depressing. Akin to Socialism's attempt to rob the rich and give to the poor.

Two teams don't get a chance at the playoffs or the consolation bracket.

6 Team Playoff Format
This system rewards the top two teams of season play with a bye week. They have an instant shot at the semifinals to make the championship. They are spared the humiliation of being defeated by the number 8 or number 7 seeded teams in the quarterfinals. Plus, the top two teams have a reason to play hard at the end of the season especially if the number 3 or 4 team has a viable chance of gaining a bye week in the final weeks of the season.

This format still has over half the league (60%) interested in the last 3 weeks of play. This seems to correspond to the history of the league's playoffs where the top 5 teams have the best chance of advancing: In every single playoff in Brothers Keeper's history the number 5 team has advanced to play in the semifinal matchup against the winner of the number 8 v number 1 seeded team game. On the other half of the playoff format as it is currently, the number 4, 7, and number 6 seeded teams have never advanced to the semifinals. It has always been a number 2 v number 3 seeded matchup. That means that the same 50% of the league every season has not made the semifinals. Every year the number 4, 6, 7, 9, and 10 seeded teams has not made the semifinals. The 2, 3, and 5 teams have made it every year and they should being on the top half of league play by the regular season's end.

Who wouldn't like a chance at a bye week?

If it comes down to two teams tied for 5th place in their regular season record they both make it.

If multiple teams have the same record for 6th place the team with the best regular season point total advances, therefore making the quarterfinal more competitive with a good point scorer.

A consolation bracket could include the worst 4 teams thus prolonging their fun.

Cons: At most, one team could be below .500 on the regular season and make the playoffs.

4 Team Playoff Format
The benefits here mimic the 6 team v 8 team playoff format except for one caveat. The playoffs for a 4 team playoff format is a week shorter. Only weeks 15 and 16 of the NFL season are employed to sift out a league champion. Another argument for a 4 team playoff is that it only includes the best teams. The cream of the crop get to duke it out. Worst case scenario the 4th seeded team wins the championship. Nice. Much easier to live with than a number 8 seeded champion with a record below .500.

The Talented Mr Roto, Matthew Berry advocates a 2 week 4 team playoff in his yearly "The Draft Day Manifesto 2010 edition: Your guide to winning your fantasy football league ... while having fun".

Fantasy football is for men. Men can handle it if they do not make the playoffs. Men are devalued if losers make the playoffs.

If one wanted to consider a 4 team playoff instead of a 6 team playoff, you have eliminated the 5th place teams who have always made it to the seminfinals.

I have begun the discussion. Please add comments below in this Pro or Con format for which playoff format you would prefer.