The FFD 2015 Draft Package includes customizable projections, tiered rankings, and lists of sleepers/busts. The projections come in Excel and can be easily altered to fit your league and scoring system. I will update the draft package throughout the preseason, and you’ll receive regular updates bi-weekly on August 11 and August 25.
The draft package contains the actual projections and rankings I use for my own drafts.
Here’s a screenshot of the projections from a past season:
Everything in the spreadsheets updates automatically when you change the bulk stats. If you don’t like my projections for a receiver, for example, you can change his receptions, yards, and touchdowns, and Excel will do the rest, automatically calculating his efficiency metrics and re-ranking him based on the new numbers.
A few common FAQs:
What’s your methodology for creating projections and rankings?
I use a combination of dice and women’s intuition. Actually, I pretty much do the exact opposite of that, attempting to take subjectivity and randomness out of the equation as much as possible. I don’t think you can rely solely on numbers by any means—there are all kinds of subjective determinations that must be made to create accurate rankings—but when it’s possible, I prefer an analytics-based approach.
When I say I want to take “randomness” out of the equation as much as I can, it means I don’t provide much weight to fluky low-frequency events. So if a quarterback carries the ball only six times inside the opponent’s five-yard line but scores on all six of those runs, it’s a pretty sure sign that his future rushing touchdown total will regress. My general process is to seek out various stats that are consistent, and thus likely to repeat themselves, versus those that are volatile, and likely to regress toward some sort of league mean.
Ultimately, I think much of the process of creating fantasy football projections is just that. . .a process. As you acquire more and more new information, it helps shape your view of players so you can create the most accurate projections possible. I know most people don’t have time to run through C.J. Spiller’s comps to see how similar players have performed in the past, then analyze his efficiency stats to determine how he might perform with a heavier workload, then calculate historic success for running backs with his elite speed.
But guess what? I’m a huge loser, so I do have the time.
Are the projections customizable?
Yes. You can change the projections as you’d like, but be sure to change only the bulk stats (yards, touchdowns, etc). Most of the other categories automatically update when you enter that information. If you add in a quarterback’s attempts and completions, for example, it will automatically update his completion percentage, so you won’t ever need to change that. The same goes for player ranks; you won’t ever need to update them. I’ve done the heavy lifting for you. Just add in the stats you want to project for each player and Excel will do the rest.
Why don’t you rank defenses or kickers?
Both are extremely volatile; I’d recommend waiting until the last two rounds to draft your defense and kicker. There’s actually zero year-to-year consistency among starting kickers, so you can pretty much just pick one that you like and not think twice about it. In terms of defenses, search for one that you think will generate a lot of sacks. All the other stuff—fumble recoveries, interceptions, and even points allowed—are very susceptible to randomness. It’s simply not worth it to rank defenses when you can use that time on the other positions.
What’s the purpose of the tiers in the rankings?
The tiers represent major drops in player talent. They can help you understand which positions to draft at which times; generally, you want to go for the scarcest position. That means if you’re in the third round and there’s one running back left in your top remaining tier but eight wide receivers left in the top tier, you’d generally want to draft the running back because you can get a comparable wide receiver later.
I formed the tiers based on a combination of projected points and risk/reward. I create ceiling and floor projections for each player, then use the deviation within those projections to help determine where to rank players.
What’s the difference between an undervalued player and a sleeper?
An undervalued player is one whose expected production—as in the most likely scenario—exceeds the cost to draft him. Undervalued players can be found anywhere in the draft, even the first round. In general, you want to fill your team with undervalued commodities. A sleeper—at least in the way I use the term here—is a low-ranked player who could break out if things fall the right way for him.
Are you going to send out updates?
Yes. I’ll update the projections/rankings and send out a new mock draft (with analysis) on the following Tuesdays: August 11, and August 25.
– Jonathan Bales