Sunday, July 13, 2014

2014 Fantasy Football Draft Part I



How are you going to win your fantasy football pool this year? That is certainly a good question. No guarantees exist in fantasy football. One of the things you can do is try and have the best draft possible. I have won two championships in a row in an IDP standard league. What was the key to my success?  Who I drafted and when I drafted them. The most important element of the draft is drafting players when they slide down in draft position. I believe in drafting players who offer more value than their peers.
To find my approach to the 2014 fantasy football draft I first analyze last year’s numbers. It is important to analyze the numbers to understand how to group players, and to see the distribution of points at the various positions.  
The easiest way to display this principle is by examining the top 12 quarterbacks. I base my calculations off groupings of twelve due to being in a twelve team league.  I also do calculations based off the top 6 at a position. It is also a good idea to group players into tiers, but we will get to that later. The average of the top twelve quarterbacks from last year came to 366, the top six came to 399. By those calculations Stafford, Dalton, Brees and Manning were the truly exceptional quarterbacks. Peyton Manning was the most valuable fantasy football player last season.  He exceeded the average of the top 12 quarterbacks by 131 points.  Peyton Manning provided production that far exceeded his peers.
Player
FFPts
Peyton Manning
496.8
Drew Brees
437.5
Andy Dalton
377.1
Matthew Stafford
367.8
Cam Newton
359.7
Philip Rivers
359.1
Andrew Luck
345.2
Ben Roethlisberger
341
Matt Ryan
335.3
Russell Wilson
331.8
 Ryan Tannehill
321.5
Colin Kaepernick
320

Here is a list of players who greatly exceeded their positional top 12 average.
Name
Points
Peyton Manning
130.73
 Jimmy Graham
86.24167
Jamaal Charles
84.48333
Drew Brees
71.43
LeSean McCoy
53.08333
Matt Forte
37.68333
Vernon Davis
31.74167
Josh Gordon
26.275
Demaryius Thomas
25.875
Calvin Johnson
19.775
Julius Thomas
19.54167
Marshawn Lynch
13.68333
Andy Dalton
11.033

Although Peyton Manning was the best fantasy player of 2013, I am still trying to decide where I will draft him in 2014. The reason being the amount of quarterbacks I start in my league. I can only start one running back a week, while I have to start two running backs, and three receivers.   Over the next few days I will be participating in mock drafts to attempt to find out the best draft strategy from the 12th spot. The 12th spot is where I will be drafting in one of my leagues, so it will be beneficial research for me and hopefully for you readers!  I will also have general draft tips, and lot of information pertaining to the 2014 fantasy football draft.

Friday, April 04, 2014

Update

I am currently analyzing statistics from last season. I am going to be comparing year to year data, the NFL schedule (when it is released), and several other factors in order to make predictions for the upcoming year. I plan to make a great draft cheat sheet based of the wonderful one I used for fantasy baseball.

To prepare for my fantasy baseball draft I scoured the internet for solid advice/data. I came across  http://www.mrcheatsheet.com and was incredibly impressed with the cheat sheets I found. I plan to make a cohesive and helpful cheat sheet just as Mr.Cheatsheet did for baseball. I can't wait for the the upcoming fantasy football season!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

2013 Season Summary/What I Learned

My 2013 season was full of ups and downs. I learned many valuable lessons from both my leagues. I learned to not buy in on over hyped players, to value consistency, and to draft players who produce above average fantasy points at their position. A key to fantasy drafting is getting players when they slide down in draft position, and not reaching to get average players. My ten man league (no flex, 3 WR, with individual defensive players) saw me repeat as champion. I only lost once all season. I finished 15-1 including the playoffs. 12-1 was my regular season record.

I knew my season was going to be successful immediately after the draft. My first pick was Doug Martin. Doug Martin did not even end up being that great of a pick. My stellar drafting allowed that fact to not matter.  Doug Martin only played six games, had 456 yards, and scored one touchdown. His season ending injury did not even hurt my team. It would have crippled some teams if their first pick sustained a monstrous injury, not mine. My running backs included: Doug Martin, Knowshon Moreno, Chris Johnson, and Giovanni Bernard (at the time of Martin's injury). My receiving corps consisted of Dez Bryant, AJ Green, and Jordy Nelson. All of the players I mentioned in the past two paragraphs were draft picks except Knowshon, who I snagged off the waiver wire. Drafting is the key to any fantasy season. Picking the "wrong" player in the first few rounds can be devastating. The second, third, and fourth rounds are incredibly important. To be honest every round is important, but the early rounds more so. It is also important to keep your eyes out for players who slide. I drafted Jordy Nelson with the ninth pick in the 10th round! 

My twelve team league has shown me that it is never a good idea to draft a player who you are unsure of in the early rounds. I drafted Lamar Miller based entirely off the fact that "experts" were saying he was going to be a number one running back. People were claiming that he was the go to guy in Miami. He did show some flashes of brilliance, but did not produce solid numbers most of the year. It could have had to do with the Dolphins disastrous offensive line situation. The Johnathan Martin and Richie Incognito saga. I was attempting to draft three remarkable running backs. I wanted a strong running back in my flex spot. While my ten man league is a 3 wide receiver league, this league utilizes a flex. I know hind sight is twenty/twenty, but if I had not bought into the hype I could have drafted  Eddie Lacy or Demarco Murray. Lacy was a player who I had extreme confidence in going into the season, but as I sad I bought into Miller hype. My own personal belief was that Lacy was a strong runner and was going to be on a power house offense. I should have picked him and trusted my beliefs instead of taking a running back for the Dolphins. A running back for the Dolphins who I really knew nothing about.  I could have even drafted Eric Decker, or Wes Welker. I ended up finishing 7-7 this year. 9-7 if you count my wins in the consolation playoff. My whole season came down to my errant Miller pick. I almost has a trade deadline trade where I would have sent Tony Gonzalez and Miller for Julius Thomas. The trade did not end up going through, but it would not have saved me and bumped me into the playoffs.

I can not emphasize enough that the majority of your fantasy football success hinges on the draft. Acquiring players who find themselves in starting roles off waivers is important, it could be one of the vital points to your season, But you can not win an entire year off waivers, you need a good draft.

About Me

I am a passionate football fan. I have loved the Phoenix/Arizona Cardinals since using them while playing Tecmo Super Bowl on the Nintendo Entertainment System. I remember launching passes with Tom Tupa, making catches with Ricky Proehl, running the ball with Vai Sikahema, and playing defense with Ken Harvey. I have watched Jake Plummer, Josh McCown, Matt Leinart, Kurt Warner, Derek Anderson, Max Hall, John Skelton, Kevin Kolb, and Carson Palmer all launch balls to quality receivers like Larry Fitzgerald, Anquan Boldin, and David Boston.  

I could list off Cardinals players for quite some time (on both sides of the ball). How does any of this relate to fantasy football? Fantasy football allows you to draft a team that you manage over the course of an NFL season. I am a fan of football to the point where I watch Thursday night games with two sub .500 teams. I don't just watch Cardinal games, I'll watch any NFL game. Not everyone loves the sport to that degree, but fantasy football could give any fan a reason to watch a game.

Fantasy football makes every NFL game more significant. The Texans had a disappointing 2013 season, but I'm sure Andre Johnson owners had to be at least some what pleases with his performance. Lots of people enjoyed watching Josh Gordon amass yardage through the season on the Cleveland Browns. Fantasy football can make you upset when a team chooses to run the ball in for a touchdown instead of passing it to the tight end who happens to be on your fantasy team. Fantasy football gives every game more meaning to the casual and/or hardcore fan.

Fantasy football can lead to happiness, glory, frustration and sadness. It covers the whole spectrum of emotions. It puts you in charge of all decision making regarding your team. It will lead you to pick players on rival teams, take chances on rookies, and lead to wishes for production from old stars.

This site is dedicated to knowledge. I give advice on fantasy football. This advice is not based off personal bias, my favourite teams, my favourite players, or any other elements of bias. The information on this site is based off analysis and math.  I examine statistics and attempt to provide readers with the most educated guesses I can give as to what happen. My draft guides attempt to give the reader the best information possible. I examine stats and mock drafts to prepare you for your fantasy draft.

I would love to write about football full time, but this site is currently just a labour of love. I put tons of time into my research and writing of draft guides, articles, game predictions, and all other aspects of the website. If you have any questions or comments please leave me a message in the comment box.

Good luck!
Travis

Friday, January 17, 2014

Team Defense Passing Yards

Passing Defense

In the year 2012 the average NFL team gave up 231 yards a game or 3701 yards a year through the air. The average from 2009-2013 was 227 yards a game, or 3637 yards a year. I examined the stats from 2009 to 2013 and attempted to figure out how much teams passing defense deviates from year to year. Below are the passing defense numbers from 2012.





In 2013 the average team allowed 237 yards a game through the air, or 3770 throughout the year. A slight increase compared to 2012. Below are the passing defense stats for teams from 2013.





My main interest in examining these numbers was to find out what the average change in a teams pass defense was from year to year. The chart below illustrates the amount of change that teams went through from 2012 to 2013. The number does not indicate whether the change is positive in yardage or negative, but displays the total amount of change in yards. I will examine the teams that changed positively or negatively in more detail after displaying the chart.




The average change in passing yardage given up from the year 2012 to 2013 was 30 yards a game, or 480 yards in a season. The inter-quartile mean average (eliminating the top 8 and bottom 8 teams) was 26.6 yards per game or 424.8 yards in a season. The average change over the five years I examined (year to year change, ie; 2009-2010, 2011-2012 etc;) was 26.2 yards a game or 419.2 yards over a season.




The chart above displays teams overall passing defence rank. In 2012, 17 teams we're above the average passing yardage allowed in the league. In 2013, 16 teams were above the average passing yards allowed for the league. The following teams we're able to stay above average from 2012 to 2013: Seattle Seahawks, Houston Texans, Buffalo Bills, Cincinnati Bengals, Carolina Panthers, San Francisco 49ers, Pittsburgh Steelers, Baltimore Ravens, Arizona Cardinals, and the Chicago Bears. That is a total of ten teams. The following teams did not return to being above average: St. Louis Rams, New York Jets, Detroit Lions, Green Bay Packers, Kansas City Chiefs, Denver Broncos, Philadelphia Eagles. That totals to seven teams.

The following teams finished with below average defenses from 2012 to 2013: Tampa Bay Buccaneers, New England Patriots, Washington Redskins, Atlanta Falcons, Jacksonville Jaguars, Oakland Raiders, San Diego Chargers, Dallas Cowboys, Minnesota Vikings, Philadelphia Eagles. That totals to ten teams. The following teams finished below average in 2012 but improved to being above average in 2013: New Orleans Saints, Cleveland Browns, New York Giants, Tennessee Titans, Indianapolis Colts, Miami Dolphins. That is a total of six teams.

It is clearly possible for teams to improve their passing defense from one year to another. It appears that it is more likely for a team who is good one year to be good the next. More teams return to being above average then slip to being below average. The same can be true of the below average teams. More teams remain below average as opposed to improving and becoming above average.