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Fantasy Football Research

Lets be better than a coin toss

"In poker, you never play the hand. You play the man across from you" - James Bond, Casino Royale

Up until now, Fantasy Football coverage has focused on playing the hand, who to draft, who to start or sit each week, which players should you trade for.  Advice like this is available anywhere and therefore will not be covered here. Instead, I focus on the man across from you. Should you trust projections or go with your gut? should you draft zero rb or robust rb? How do your league settings affect your approach? By analyzing 1000's of fantasy football managers I am trying to answer these questions while building products that leverage this information to create personalized insights about YOUR league. Check out my fantasy tools for the latest interactive resources. Or read my recent posts for my latest insights. Finally, look through answers to some common fantasy football questions below.

Fantasy Tools

Fantasy League Report

Fantasy League Report provides personalized analysis about your ESPN fantasy football league.  A web app tracks and analyzes historical data from your league while weekly automated reports provides matchup recaps and power rankings

League Settings vs Positional Value

In order to properly evaluate players, you have to understand how your league's unique settings change a player's value. PPR, QB td value, number of starting wrs. All of these affect the relative value of a position. This web app allows you to explore many of the common settings to adjust your player rankings to your specific league

  • How Accurate are ESPN's Projections?
    Espn's Projections get a bad rap as everyone takes them as a guarentee as to what will happen, when in reality they are a best guess. And while ESPN's projections are far from perfect (missing the optimal lineup by close to 20 points each week), they consistently outperform the average fantasy manager by 3 points, which results in one more win on average. To Learn More, Check Out: How Good Are ESPN's Projections? Are you smarter than ESPN? Ranking Showdown: ESPN vs FantasyPros vs Reddit vs YOU
  • How have different draft strategies have worked over the last few years?
    For a review of 2022 draft strategies vs previous 3 years, check out: 2022 Draft Strategy Recaps: Snake Drafts Zero-RB Strategy effectiveness for different league settings For a review of 3 years of Draft Strategies, check out: Snake Draft Strategies Auction Draft Nomination Strategies Auction Draft Roster Construction Strategies For a review on 2021 Draft strategies, check out: 2021 Draft Strategy Recaps: Snake Drafts For a review on 2020 Draft strategies, check out: 2020 Draft Strategy Recap: Snake Drafts 2020 Draft Strategy Recap: Auction Drafts 2020 Draft Strategy Recap: The QBs
  • What players were most common on championship teams in previous years?
    At the end of the year, I like to look back and see which players were the most and least common on playoff and championship teams. Check them out: 2021 Championship Rosters 2020 Championship Rosters
  • Is Fantasy Football All Luck?
    While luck certainly plays a role, at most, luck with who you play each week and whether your players hit shifts your teams win total by 2 wins in either direction. And that is when you sum it up over an entire season. That said, when we look year to year, we find that skill accounts for about 20% of year to year performance. To learn more check out: Better to be lucky than good. Is it really in Fantasy Football Luck vs Skill: How much does luck matter in season long fantasy football
  • How Do My League Settings Change My Strategy?
    Obviously, Every league is different. And different scoring and roster settings will change how you should approach a league. For instance, PPR makes wide receivers more valuable, and having 2 QB slots in your starting roster increases QB value. But How Much? and How would that change your draft strategy? The following posts attempt to address this: How do Different League Settings Affect Positional Value? The Effect of League Settings pt 2
  • Playoff odds given a record and are all wins created equal?
    Each week you play a different opponent in each league. How important that game is will depend on who you are playing, what your record is, and at what week in the season you are. Put simply, the closer you are to the playoff bubble, the more important each week is. And this only grows as we get closer to the fantasy playoffs. Check out: Dont Panic! or your playoff odds given your record Weekly Leverage or are all fantasy football wins created equal
  • What is the purpose of Start Sit Articles?
    After looking at start sit advice articles from 7 different sources, I've found that the start sit article does not provide better information than ESPN's projections. Instead they should be viewed as in depth justification for any ESPN projection that seems either higher or lower than expected. To learn more, check out: To start or to sit: What is the value of weekly start sit posts for fantasy football?
  • Can we use gambling lines to better predict Fantasy Football Performance
    There is a wealth of non-traditional data that can be used to predict fantasy performance, with my personal favorite being gambling lines. Vegas makes a lot of money by accurately predicting real world performance, so can we use their predictions to better inform our fantasy football predictions? For instance, looking at game over under totals can help predict kicker and Defense performance and adds significant value over just ESPN's predictions. Check out: Using Gambling to Improve Fantasy Football Predictions
  • How important are sleepers and busts?
    Everyone is interested in finding the next sleeper and avoiding the next bust. In these posts I explore just how sleepers and busts affect your championship odds, how predictable are they? and what are some indicators to look out for. Check out: How important are sleepers and busts in a fantasy draft? The value of sleepers pt 2: Opportunity costs
  • Should you Stack Players during your draft?
    I find no difference between your teams performance whether you drafted a stack or a comparable player that is not stacked. Note this is opposition to research done by establish the run which used different methods. Check out: Should you stack players in redraft Fantasy Football Leagues? Deep Dive: Stacking in Season-Long Fantasy (from Establish the Run)
  • How does team level performance affect other fantasy players?
    Looking at whether a bad defense leads to more passing yards or if a bad passing game leads to more rushing fantasy points. The general rule of thumb is that you want good players on good teams overall. Think a rising tide lifts all boats. Check out: How does team level output affect fantasy production? Or do you want a QB with a bad Defense?
  • Are interceptions good for QBs and WRs Fantasy production?
    There is an idea that interceptions are actually good for QBs and WRs because it forces the team into a negative game script where they have to pass more to get back into the game. While in general, this idea is false, there are some exceptions. My favorite exception is Jameis Winston who does have more fantasy points in games where he throws an interception than those where he does not. Check out: Are interceptions good for fantasy football performance? The Jameis Winston Theory
  • How do players perform on Thanksgiving?
    Thanksgiving is a big day for football and therefore fantasy football. Unfortunately (or fortunately), there is no consistent change in fantasy production on thanksgiving check out: Thanksgiving Games: A decade in review
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