Plans for 2012

Are you here looking for my fantasy football content? I have joined 4for4.com full-time starting this season, so all of my analysis, projections and rankings will be hosted there. I think I’ve found a home at 4for4, and I intend to be there for the foreseeable future.

Here is an up-to-date list of all of my articles, including reaction to free agency and the draft, along with profiles of Robert Meachem and Brandon LaFell, and I’m just getting started. The content is completely free for now.

Please note that my award-winning rankings — FantasyPros In-season (#1 in 2010 & #2 in 2011) and FFLibrarian/FSTA Preseason (#1 in 2011) — will no longer be freely available. I am taking over the projections/rankings process at 4for4, so my rankings will be over there, behind an affordable subscription wall. I wish I could continue to provide my rankings for free, but unfortunately clicks don’t pay the bills.

A subscription to 4for4 is $29.95 for the entire 2012 season.

If you’ve utilized my rankings in the past but can’t afford the subscription, I understand. If you decide to subscribe, please know that I do appreciate it. Once again, I’ll be giving first Q&A priority to those that subscribe by clicking any of the 4for4 links in this post or the 4for4 banner to the right. Just send me an email (using the icon on the right sidebar) with your name and I’ll try to answer your questions as best I can.

Thanks again for your support.

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The Impact of Rest on Production

My latest study for the Yahoo! Contributor Network is intended to quantify the impact of rest on fantasy basketball production. The results are interesting. Check it out.

Who Are the Most Consistent NBA Studs?

My latest article for the Yahoo Contributor Network studies the game-to-game dependability of the top NBA stars. Take a look.

The Stud Bounceback Theory

I wrote another article for the Yahoo Contributor Network that studies how stars in the NBA rebound from bad games. Have a look.

How does playing at home affect fantasy performance?

I wrote my first fantasy basketball article for the Yahoo Contributor Network (YCN) which calculates the increase in production for players playing at home versus playing on the road.

I think it turned out well. Take a look. (Click the table in the upper right to see a bigger version.)

On the topic of Tim Tebow…

Tim Tebow creates controversy because he wears his religion on his sleeve. Non-religious people (and even some religious ones) don’t like being preached to and find the super-faithful quite annoying. The other issue with Tebow is that he is a completely non-traditional QB, and that opens him up to football criticism from people who don’t like him for other reasons, as well as his QB play.

I am a non-religious person but I don’t hate Tebow for his beliefs or lack of traditional QB skill. I root for him because I think he’s a good, genuine person. The world needs more good, genuine people. If he proves to be a hypocrite in his personal life, I will stop rooting for him.

If there is a God, I doubt he spends his time manipulating the outcome of football games. There are Tebow supporters who point to his success as proof that God exists. I find this notion to be ridiculous, but they are entitled to their beliefs.

I do believe that Tebow can find long-term success as a NFL quarterback. He brings enough to the table in the other areas of the job that make up for his shortcomings as a passer. As we’ve seen throughout the season, he can typically make enough throws to keep his team competitive, and he should only get better with practice.

No matter how the Broncos fare against the Patriots next week, Tebow’s season was a success. I wouldn’t describe it as a resounding success, but he showed enough potential, moxie and leadership to earn him QB1 honors in Denver to start the 2012 season. I’m interested to see where his career goes from here, as it’s always fun to see a player with an unorthodox style help to redefine a position, much like Steve Young, Randall Cunningham and Michael Vick did before him.

DT ROS SOS: Week 15

DT ROS SOS = Defensive Team Rest-of-Season Strength of Schedule

The table below shows the relative strength of the matchups for DTs for the rest of the season. The bigger the number (i.e. fantasy points), the better the matchup. Green indicates a good matchup while light red indicates a matchup to avoid. “ROS” averages the Schedule-Adjusted SOS for the remainder of the season, excluding Week 17.

This is simply strength of schedule and does not take into account the quality of the DT in question. Use this table to compare two or more similar DTs.

Note: 4for4.com offers Schedule-Adjusted SOS for QB, RB, WR, TE and K.

How to fix fantasy basketball

Fantasy football has exploded in popularity and is in large part to thank for the explosion in the popularity of the NFL. But what about fantasy basketball? If fantasy football is Arnold Schwarzenegger in the movie “Twins,” then fantasy hoops is Danny DeVito. There a way to fix it?

I think so. As a fan of both sports, I think fantasy hoops struggles for several reasons:

Problem #1: Roto or category scoring systems are convoluted and difficult to understand/manage.
Most fantasy basketball leagues utilize one of two formats. A roto format awards points based on a team’s rank in each of several categories. The team with the most roto points at the end of the season wins the leagues. Another format is category scoring, where each team plays head to head with another team in several categories, so one team might win in points, rebounds and assists, but lose in FG%, turnovers and blocks. Blah blah blah.

Solution: Go to a head-to-head fantasy points system.
My recommendation is to use the NBA’s Efficiency statistic to calculate fantasy points for each player. Here is how Efficiency is calculated:

EFF = ((Points + Rebounds + Assists + Steals + Blocks) – ((Field Goals Att. – Field Goals Made) + (Free Throws Att. – Free Throws Made) + Turnovers))

That may look complicated, but really it just adds up a player’s points, rebounds, assists, steals and blocks, while subtracting his turnovers, missed free throws and missed field goals. I like this statistic because it covers all the major stats while rewarding an efficient shooter more than a volume shooter. For example, a player that scores 20 points on 15 shots is probably going to have a higher Efficiency than a player that scores 20 points on 20 shots, because of the negative effect of missed field goals. Most importantly, a fantasy owner can look at a box score and have a pretty good idea about how his player performed that night.

Problem #2: There are too many games.
With NBA games going on throughout the week, owners have to pay more attention to their teams, and this narrows the appeal to only those people with enough time or desire to check/set their rosters on a daily basis.

Solution: Set rosters once-a-week.
Every Monday (or any other day of the week), fantasy owners set their roster for the week and it is frozen when the first game tips-off. This would only require that the most laid-back owners manage their teams once a week. Many leagues have already adopted this schedule.

Problem #3: One player might have four games, while another has two or three games in a given week. Who do you start?
While some fantasy owners may appreciate the strategy involved with maximizing their team’s schedule, this is beyond the scope of casual fans.

Solution: Instead of total fantasy points, use the AVERAGE EFFICIENCY for the week.
If LeBron scores 40 fp in his game on Monday, 35 fp on Thursday and 30 fp on Sunday, his average would be 35 fp per game. His average would be added to the averages to all of the other players in the starting lineup to come up with a total (average) fantasy points for the week. This would allow fantasy owners to start their best players every week and not worry about the number of games they play week-to-week. It would also keep the games interesting heading into the weekend. A team that’s trailing could pull out a win with an epic performance from its star player or even win with a horrible performance by an opposing player.

During the 2009-10 season I acted as commissioner of a league with these settings and everything went pretty well. I’m considering starting the league back up, so drop me a line using the email icon in the right sidebar if you’d be interested in joining.

DT ROS SOS: Week 14

DT ROS SOS = Defensive Team Rest-of-Season Strength of Schedule

The table below shows the relative strength of the matchups for DTs for the rest of the season. The bigger the number (i.e. fantasy points), the better the matchup. Green indicates a good matchup while light red indicates a matchup to avoid. “ROS” averages the Schedule-Adjusted SOS for the remainder of the season, excluding Week 17.

This is simply strength of schedule and does not take into account the quality of the DT in question. Use this table to compare two or more similar DTs.

Note: 4for4.com offers Schedule-Adjusted SOS for QB, RB, WR, TE and K.



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