100 Fantasy Football Tips in 100 Days, Day 6: Predictability
I’m happy to see that my original fantasy football book, Fantasy Football for Smart People: How to Dominate Your Draft, is selling even better in its second year than the first. I wrote it to be timeless, and if there’s one book of mine that you purchase (horrible idea), it should be How to Dominate Your Draft.
One of the primary concepts in that book, and a fundamental aspect of drafting, is predictability among both positions and individual players.
The ability to predict the final rankings within a given position is a matter of consistency; how consistent are top fantasy performers at particular positions? I will of course analyze this topic more, but another form of predictability and consistency with which we need to concern ourselves is that among individual players.
We all know certain players carry more risk than others heading into a football season. Whether it is due to poor character or an injury in the previous season, there are players we label as “high risk/high reward,” and the risk we associate with them has huge implications on our ability to predict their future performance.
In 2011, I had Chris Johnson projected to score the most fantasy points among all running backs, ahead of Adrian Peterson, Ray Rice, and Arian Foster. But I had CJ2K ranked behind all of those players because the risk surrounding Johnson’s contract situation and potential holdout made the ability to predict his 2011 performance quite volatile. The greater the ability to predict a player’s performance, the more weight that can be given to his projections.