Category: August

Review of “Fantasy Life” by Matthew Berry

If you are looking for a book that will make you a better fantasy player this is not it.  Matthew Berry was able to write a whole book and not even give one piece of mediocre advice on how to make your team better. He did not get into stats, much less deep secret stats that the pros use to win their leagues.  What was he thinking?

Turns out he was writing more about the “life” part of the title. TMR (Talented Mr. Roto AKA Matthew Berry) was going to take you on his journey to a happier life.  He does go at length on how you can make your league better. But, really he is telling stories about enjoying your league and life.  Although, I am not sure how getting a tattoo that someone else picks for me makes my life more enjoyable. TMR’s book should be a must read for all you fantasy league commissioners out there.  It will help you find ways to bring your league together. Mostly, it may help you find ways to have even more fun with the people in your league.

I found the book to be very interesting for a different reason than I thought I would.  I found that we have something in common even though Matthew Berry and I have had very different journeys in life. The book was truly about finding a way to enjoy life. I feel that this book should be read by every high school kid or college student looking for direction in life. Nowadays we push our youth to find a career. To pick a path to security or wealth. This is all well and good except, we have so many people unhappy with their jobs and lives.

TMR is able to show you how he was able to find happiness by following his dream. That even though he was somewhat successful in his past career he was not happy. For me this story hit home. I have always felt that people should try to find a career/job that makes them happy. Look work is still work, but if you love what you do the bad days will not seem so bad.

I am an oddity when it comes to finding a career. I know every boy growing up at some point says they want to be a fireman. For me it was different. I got my first job in a factory and joined the volunteer fire company at age 14. I quickly realized that working in a hot factory doing the same task every day was not for me. I also found a second home at the firehouse. I found it fun to go out and help my neighbors, whatever their emergency was. I set out to make firefighting my career. I joined the Army reserves at 17 years old knowing that it would help me land a position as a firefighter.  I attended basic training between my junior and senior years of high school. I then set off to college to earn a degree in Fire Science.  While at college I lived at a firehouse for free as long as I responded on calls for them.  I was offered a firefighter position at age 20. 19 years later I still love my job.  There are bad days at work. I always say those are the days they pay me for. I still love helping the community however I can. I will never be a millionaire as a firefighter, but I feel wealthy in life. I believe that this is the point Matthew Berry is trying to make in his book Fantasy Life.

Matthew Berry did a great job of mixing life and fantasy sports in this book. The book is written in the same way that he writes articles for ESPN and the way he hosts his podcasts for ESPN.  His work always has more in it then just fantasy.  Some people may not like all the fluff, but I think that he is able to spice up a sometimes vanilla topic of fantasy sports.  I mean there are only some many ways to say here are my top QBs this year. The book is inspirational to the point of, find what you love to do in life and then do it. Sometimes you have to climb out on a limb and take that risk to enjoy life.  Hey I am a firefighter, I know about risk.  Take a risk and download the book. From what I know about Matthew Berry he does not even care if you read it.  Although, I suggest that you do.

By Chuck Amspacher @captainchuck46

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WR ADP Ranks as of 8/18/2013

It always amazes me when I watch teams drafting that go right down the sites cheat sheet.  Barring the fact that they are filled at that position they will let their site pick for them.  Why even show up for the draft if this your plan? Just let it auto pick. The key to winning your league is the draft.  You need to prepare for it.  Find ways to get the players you believe in.

There are many reasons for differences in drafts.  You will see the “Homer Effect” when there are many people in your league from the same area. This will create an area for you to take advantage of.  Use your leagues Homerism against them.   Let them reach for their favorite players and steal the ones they let slip by. This works even better in auction leagues where you can run the price up on them.

There are also differences in league set up that can change the way players are drafted. “Format Effect” creates areas for you to take advantage of when you play in a non typical league. Most information out there is set to the sites typical league.  Most of your league mates will only use the standard information. You would do yourself a great service to find those market advantages in your format.

The information below also affects the way a draft will go.  The “Site Affect” is how a site ranks players is reflected in their ADPs .   If that site likes a player, it is reflected in that players ADP. Inversely if they are down on a player it also is reflective in their ADP.   Below I have created a list of three different sites and their ADPs for WR.  I have listed them in order of the average of the three.  I also listed Standard Deviation(STDEV).  When the sites have large differences in the players ADP it will show a higher number for STDEV.  These are players that for some reason on site has more love or more hate for. You can then use this information to decide what players you want to target. By using this and my Counting Calories and ADP’s blog on how to make ADPs work for you, you can dominate your draft by having a plan on who to target and when to get them.

Remember, plan to draft the players you feel are going to make a difference.  Don’t lose your league on draft day by drafting the next guy on the cheat sheet, have a plan!

RANK PLAYER, TEAM POS NFL FOX MDC STDEV AVG
1 Calvin Johnson, Det WR 9.6 8.8 5.42 2.2187 7.9
2 A.J. Green, Cin WR 15.6 18.1 13.78 2.1689 15.8
3 Dez Bryant, Dal WR 18.3 18.9 13.88 2.7416 17.0
4 Brandon Marshall, Chi WR 21.3 16.2 19.02 2.5548 18.8
5 Demaryius Thomas, Den WR 26.4 21.5 17.38 4.5156 21.8
6 Julio Jones, Atl WR 22.6 27.2 17.94 4.63 22.6
7 Larry Fitzgerald, Ari WR 33.9 24.8 26.6 4.8191 28.4
8 Roddy White, Atl WR 29.5 29.6 27.6 1.1269 28.9
9 Andre Johnson, Hou WR 30.3 30.5 32.16 1.021 31.0
10 Victor Cruz, NYG WR 37 35.3 37.08 1.0054 36.5
11 Vincent Jackson, TB WR 33.3 35.5 43.64 5.4469 37.5
12 Randall Cobb, GB WR 35.8 39.6 37.12 1.9293 37.5
13 Marques Colston, NO WR 43.8 44.1 43.78 0.1793 43.9
14 Wes Welker, Den WR 35.8 37.8 68.38 18.26 47.3
15 Jordy Nelson, GB WR 67.4 44.8 34.1 17.001 48.8
16 Dwayne Bowe, KC WR 57.1 59.5 37.22 12.23 51.3
17 Mike Wallace, Mia WR 48.8 51.5 53.82 2.5124 51.4
18 Reggie Wayne, Ind WR 46.3 45.2 66.76 12.143 52.8
19 Danny Amendola, NE WR 46.7 67.8 45.62 12.506 53.4
20 Hakeem Nicks, NYG WR 55.8 59.1 47.78 5.8217 54.2
21 Torrey Smith, Bal WR 68.6 70.9 39.92 17.261 59.8
22 Eric Decker, Den WR 58.8 65.4 57.46 4.2505 60.6
23 Steve Smith, Car WR 56.7 62.1 68.56 5.9379 62.5
24 Antonio Brown, Pit WR 67.9 64.1 61.7 3.1262 64.6
25 Pierre Garcon, Wsh WR 71.5 72.7 58.04 8.1397 67.4
26 DeSean Jackson, Phi WR 69.8 81.2 61.26 10.004 70.8
27 Cecil Shorts, Jac WR 81.3 80.6 53.6 15.794 71.8
28 James Jones, GB WR 60.6 72.2 84.56 11.982 72.5
29 Steve Johnson, Buf WR 86.8 83.9 68.98 9.5618 79.9
30 Anquan Boldin, SF WR 78.3 90.4 73.68 8.6344 80.8
31 Greg Jennings, Min WR 80.7 80.9 93.46 7.3099 85.0
32 Mike Williams, TB WR 100.3 99.5 59.16 23.525 86.3
33 Miles Austin, Dal WR 92.9 86.5 84.04 4.5737 87.8
34 T.Y. Hilton, Ind WR 89.9 92.6 83.16 4.8619 88.6
35 Tavon Austin, StL WR 81.5 120.2 79.36 22.986 93.7
36 Lance Moore, NO WR 102.1 101.1 81.2 11.789 94.8
37 Sidney Rice, Sea WR 89 107.6 88.2 10.977 94.9
38 Kenny Britt, Ten WR 110.2 103.9 71.36 20.845 95.2
39 Denarius Moore, Oak WR 115.7 135.2 87.34 24.066 112.7
40 Josh Gordon, Cle WR 119.3 125.9 93.88 16.907 113.0
41 Emmanuel Sanders, Pit WR 112.7 136.8 109.38 14.965 119.6
42 Chris Givens, StL WR 115.1 143.1 104.1 20.108 120.8
43 Michael Floyd, Ari WR 128.1 143.5 96.62 23.895 122.7
44 Brian Hartline, Mia WR 145.6 133.9 107.84 19.33 129.1
45 Malcom Floyd, SD WR 134.3 147.6 107.04 20.677 129.6
46 Alshon Jeffery, Chi WR 140 142 111.5 17.061 131.2
47 Justin Blackmon, Jac WR 146.1 121.6 127.3 12.82 131.7
48 Golden Tate, Sea WR 119.6 143.4 132.3 11.909 131.8
49 Kendall Wright, Ten WR 137.8 126.5 133.68 5.7186 132.7
50 Darrius Heyward-Bey, Ind WR 154.7 148.6 96.82 31.803 133.4
51 Rueben Randle, NYG WR 138.7 149.1 118.58 15.516 135.5
52 DeAndre Hopkins, Hou WR 131.4 144.5 131.4 7.5633 135.8
53 Cordarrelle Patterson, Min WR 140.3 149 122.88 13.3 137.4
54 Ryan Broyles, Det WR 137.6 150.4 136.24 7.8123 141.4
55 Greg Little, Cle WR 159 150.9 118.68 21.329 142.9
56 Aaron Dobson, NE WR 147 150 133.82 8.6072 143.6
57 Vincent Brown, SD WR 128.8 149.3 164.56 17.944 147.6
58 Jacoby Jones, Bal WR 142.7 144.4 167.74 13.992 151.6
59 Austin Collie, SF WR 153.3 150.8 1.7678 152.1
60 Andre Roberts, Ari WR 148.5 150.5 169.8 11.763 156.3
61 Brandon Lloyd, FA WR 143.1 148.5 209.48 36.865 167.0
62 Santana Moss, Wsh WR 147 148.8 209.64 35.657 168.5

Updated QB Rankings

Image

Tom Brady is getting dropped here. He is also dropping in my rankings!

  1.  Aaron Rodgers stands as the #1 QB this year again.  He is consistent and a SAFE pick that will give you one of the top QB totals.  The only down fall is he will go in the first round.  If you want him you better use your mid to late first round pick to get him.  His ADP is 9.7 on ESPN http://games.espn.go.com/ffl/livedraftresults and Rotowire  www.rotowire.com has his ADP at10.7.  If he falls to the second round he is a steal.
  2. Drew Brees at number two and for many of the same reasons as Rodgers.  As with Rodgers, Brees is consistent and I feel safe in thinking he will out perform last years numbers with Payton reinstated as head coach.  They are pass happy in New Orleans.  If Brees controls his INT this season he could be the #1 QB at seasons end.  You will need to get him in the second round.
  3. Cam Newton is ranked here because he has the ability to carry you team with his legs.  He had a down year last year as a sophomore, but he did enough to show he is growing as a QB.   He is worth a second round pick to me.  However,  ADP put him in the third round.  I would take him sooner, but don’t let him go past the third if you do not have one of the two guys mentioned above.
  4. Matt Ryan has improved in each of his first 5 years.  Matty Ice may be the on the verge of another leap forward with the weapons they have around him.  He may bring the best value of any of the top 10 guys.  He currently is a fourth round pick according to ESPN ADP.  I would take him in the third.  If you go RB-RB with first two picks fill your QB slot with Ryan.
  5. Andrew Luck has proved he was the most polished QB to come out of the draft since the man he replaced.  He may end up better then some of the guys ahead, however I think there is always a chance he does not take any huge steps forward this year.  He will at some point in his career be at or near the top of this list.  So for those of you in keeper leagues,  get him before the 6th Round.
  6. Peyton Manning was no doubt the come back player of the year last year.  He came back from multiple neck surgeries to put up solid numbers.  I am way out there on this one I know.  But listen, he is 37 years old, he has had multiple neck surgeries, he will score almost 0 points in rushing, and the 37 TD is his highest total since  2004.  I know he is going in the 2nd round according to the ADPs I looked at, so I will not own Peyton this year.  I am okay with that.  You should be too.
  7. Matthew Stafford is ranked here for what he can do.  He has a high ceiling, just not sure I am buying he will ever get there.  He has the ultimate weapon in Calvin Johnson which helps his case.  With his ADP in the 6th round it seems others are not buying it either.  However,  my projections put him here.  What does this mean? Do I trust my projections or my gut?   If I still need a QB in the sixth I will draft him for his value in round sixth round.
  8. Tom Brady has a very different looking set of receivers this year.  He has lost Hernandez and Walker.  Who knows for sure when Gronkowski will be back.  Even then, how good will he be when he returns from his injuries.  Brady is now 35 years old and we may see him start to regress some.  This rank may be as much about him as it is about the other QB that are passing him.  We are seeing the position  depth grow at QB the last few years.  This depth and the NFL’s wide open passing rules may push QB’s up the board as their point totals get higher.  Add in the fact that there are more offenses featuring two RB.  This dilutes the RB pool even more.  I am not saying QB’s are going to take over the first round, however there should be more looked at more closely in the 2nd through 5th round.
  9. Colin Kaepernick has an ADP in the 4th round.  He was amazing last year.  But, I feel safer with the QBs ahead of him. His passing numbers will be hurt with Crabtree out for what will be most of your fantasy season.  Even though I projected him for around 600 yards rushing and  7 Rushing TDs, his passing numbers bring his overall point total down to this 10th place ranking.
  10. Robert Griffin may be one of the best QBs in the future.  Move him way up this list if you are drafting in a keeper league.  My concern is that he is being pushed to make Adrian Peterson type of return.  No one before Peterson has ever done that.  No one may ever do it again.  Watch him in preseason and see how he looks.  Move him up the list if he is going to be healthy.  I however am not going to risk a higher pick on someone coming off an ACL who relies so much on his legs.
  11. Russell Wilson is yet another player I may not own ranking him here.  I feel that he does not through the ball enough to be higher on this list.  NFL Defenses are going to make adjustments to all of the  running QBs.  If he is contained more in the pocket I see the INT rate going up and the Rushing yards going down.  We will see how this works out for the undersized QB.
  12. Tony Romo seems to be losing his shine after throwing 19 INT last year.  Yet, somehow puts up lots of fantasy points.    This is a much higher ranking then what I have seen in other places.  I really just put my projections together and where they fall they fall. His ADP is 78.9 with ESPN and 68.5 on Rotowire.  That is almost a full Round difference.  I would take him if he drops past 80 and fell like I got a good value.   I feel the next four QBs have a higher potential and may look to grab one of them.  However, he should be noted as a nice pick who puts up solid numbers year in and year out.
13 Andy Dalton
14 Eli Manning
15 Joe Flacco
16 Carson Palmer
17 Josh Freeman
18 Matt Schaub
19 Ryan Tannehill
20 Philip Rivers
21 Sam Bradford
22 Jake Locker
23 Alex Smith
24 Jay Cutler
25 Ben Roethlisberger
26 Michael Vick
27 Christian Ponder
28 Brandon Weeden
29 Matt Flynn
30 EJ Manuel
31 Geno Smith
32 Chad Henne
33 Blaine Gabbert
34 Matt Barkley
35 Jason Campbell
36 Kirk Cousins
37 Kevin Kolb
38 Matt Cassel
39 Colt McCoy
40 Matt Hasselbeck

Fantasy RB 13-24

MJD

13. Maurice Jones-Drew – Bounce  Back year for MJD.  His biggest hill to climb is the lack of offensive options for the Jags.  With that said they will lean on MJD and he will return to form this year.

14. Steven Ridley – No reason to believe that Ridley can’t repeat last years numbers, as long as NE stays with Ridley as they did last year.

15. Matt Forte – I like Forte, but not as much as many others.  So ranking him here means I will not own him this year.  My issue is that Bush gets all the goal line action.  However, PPR leagues should move him up to top 12 RB.

16. Frank Gore – The Question here is, How much gas is left in Gore’s Tank?  He is the main man in SF so if there is fuel in the tank he will be a good RB2 option.

17. DeMarco Murray – Injury concerns are the reason for this ranking.  A healthy Murray could be a top 12 back.  Draft and hope for health. Then go get a quality RB3 just in case.

18. David Wilson – Should be the man in NYG backfield.  However, watch how he and Andre Brown are used in the preseason.  Also, Handcuff Brown if you can.

19.  Reggie Bush – Now with the Lions and reported to be a key part of their offense this year.  Could be a nice sleeper for you.  PPR leagues should be drooling!

20. Darren McFadden – See DeMarco Murray

21.  Ryan Mathews –  For you Fantasy Focus listeners this is for you.  Mathews has been my fantasy kryptonite.  He should be better, but injuries and the fact he has not proven it makes him a risky RB2.

22. Montee Ball – Rookie, Skill, good offense, but can he protect Manning is the question.  If he can, he will be a top 12 RB.   However, he will not be on the field if he can not pick up the blocks in pass protection.  Great upside, at 22 ranked RB.

23. Le’Veon Bell – Rookie #2.  I feel that his upside is not as high as Balls.  His path to carries seems to be clearer.  He is a good fit for the Steelers.

24.  Darren Sproles – He is a RB by name, but a receiver is his job.  PPR league should take him as a strong RB2.  Non PPR leagues should not look at rushing totals.  They should look at the whole man and see someone who is a favorite target for an elite QB on a passing team.

2013 RB Fantasy Rankings 1-12

Ap2

  1.  Adrian Peterson –  I always have felt that Peterson was an injury risk.  But, last year he was able to heal quicker than anyone thought was possible from an ACL tear.(http://hofsportstalk.wordpress.com/2013/07/28/the-acl-injury-and-why-is-it-so-bad/)  Then he did not just play, he was incredible.  He ran for 2,097 yards.  Rewarding all those fantasy players who took a risk on him last year.  His owners in keeper leagues will be rewarded again this year.  However, he should be the #1 pick in all single year leagues.  This means that you better be picking first if you want to get him.
  2. Doug Martin – What a rookie season for Martin.  He had over 1400 yards rushing, 49 Receptions, over 400 yards receiving, and 12 total TDs.  He has a good situation in Tampa to repeat these numbers. In the end I could see upwards of 2000 combined yards and 14 TDs.  His ADP is 5.8 currently at ESPN (http://games.espn.go.com/ffl/livedraftresults). I would have no problem taking him #2 overall.  If you can get him at picks 3 through 6  or later, the other owners did you a favor.  Run up to the board and place Martin on your team with a big smile.
  3. Arian Foster – Many have Foster at # 2 in their rankings.  ESPN has his ADP at 2.9.  I have 1 big problem with this ranking.  His Receptions have gone from 66 in 2010, to 53 in 2011, and 40 in 2012.  His Receiving yards also have dropped from over 600 in 2010 and 2011 to just 217 last year.  That is a huge drop in value.  He has been consistent in Rushing yards and TDs. So, I still need to give him credit for that.  He is a good safe early first round pick.
  4. C.J. Spiller – I have been a big C.J. fan for years.  Up to last year I had little to show for my man crush on Spiller. He was finally given the opportunity last year and he made the best of it. He should take it to the next level this year with a new coach and new system.  I like him #4 overall.  His ADP at Mock Draft Central (http://www.mockdraftcentral.com/report_adp.jsp) shows I am not the only one with a crush on C.J.  His ADP is 3.64.  That means he may not even be there at #4.  If he is grab him.
  5. Trent Richardson – I want Richardson here for several reasons. First, he had a good start to his career last year and proved he could find the end zone.  Second, he had 51 receptions last year and even if that just stays stable its a great number from your RB. Third, If he can keep from being nicked up his overall numbers will improve.  I like him 6th overall behind Megatron.
  6. Jamaal Charles – What a year he had after ACL surgery.  Maybe, he should be higher on this list when you see he has 5.8 YPC in his career.  Yea, nobody has a better YPC than him.  His ADP’s put him in the area of the 7th pick.  I have no problem with that.  I like everyone above him here but, I would have no issue if someone took him above Richardson.
  7. Marshawn Lynch – Lynch is in a good situation in Seattle.  He has shown durability the last 3 years after having some injury issues early in his career.  A safe consistent pick.
  8. Ray Rice – One of the best duel threat guys in the league.  He has had 60 plus receptions in every year except his rookie season.  You will not see any drop in those reception numbers and maybe even an increase with Pitta out for the season.  His stock may rise as we see how the Ravens will make up for the lost of their possession receiver.
  9. Alfred Morris – If Rice is the Duel threat guy, Morris is the exact opposite of that.  Lets hope he improves on the 11 receptions he had his rookie year.  Even if he does not improve that number he is a solid first round option. As long as a certain coach, does not start some practice squad guy over him.
  10. LeSean McCoy – Shady McCoy had a rough season last year.  Lets face it the Eagles had a rough season last year.  I look for a bounce back year with Chip Kelly taking over the reins. McCoy is a perfect fit for what we perceive to be Chips offensive scheme.  Late first round is a good time to gamble on a return to form for LeSean.
  11. Chris Johnson – All he does is put up 1000 plus yards every year. Yes, he will never have a 2000 yard season again. He may not be a sexy pick, but he will not hurt you either. That is why he is here in the beginning of the second round.
  12. Steven Jackson – Here we are again with this pick.  All Jackson does is run for over 1000 yards every year.  Jackson has seen some decline in his numbers. He also was playing for some bad teams.  Maybe Jackson is rejuvenated now that he is on a good team.  On the other hand, he is now on the wrong side of 30.  He may be a high risk, high reward pick.