Fantasy Football Projections

Fantasy Football ProjectionsI’ve received numerous requests to analyze Fantasy Football Projections. I’ve been playing Fantasy Football for 4 years and successfully make it to the Super Bowl 2/3rds of the time.

In this tutorial, I’ll take you through the process I follow when I create my projection or cheat sheet.

It basically comes down to combining and averaging out what all of the experts think. I then analyze that data to eliminate human bias.

Fantasy League Format

All of the projections I provide in this article, are based off of the most common Fantasy Football team format: 1 QB, 2 RB, 2 WR, 1 WR/RB, 1 TE, 1 DEF, 1 K. These stats will be valuable in most any league however.

Supposed Fantasy Football Facts

NFL Position ComparisonUp until recently, professional fantasy football analysts used to state that one should never draft any position but running backs in the first round.

While the vast majority of your 1st and 2nd round picks should be running backs, I think anyone would be very foolish to not get your QB by the end of the third round.

As you can see on the right, the quality QBs and RBs fall off quite quickly. Then you can see stabilization in the available RBs available while the quality QBs are in very short supply.

Gathering Fantasy Football Projections

To avoid any human bias like I just mentioned, I gather data from all of the reputable sources and then combine that data into one spreadsheet. I provide those projections here. Please note I don’t abdicate drafting a QB in the first 3 positions. This is just my raw data.

Fantasy Projected Points

As you can see, I bunch of experts online this year are very pro-QB. I have at times picked teams based off of just the above data while taking advantage of major screw ups by the average drafters. You can see some major sleeper picks in this information alone being:

  • Philip Rivers QB San Diego
  • Cedric Benson RB Cincinnati
  • Josh Freeman QB Tampa Bay
  • Matt Ryan QB Atlanta
  • Ben Roethlisberger QB Pittsburgh
Fantasy Rank Based off of Opponent Pass Defense
  • Pittsburgh 1
  • Indianapolis 2
  • Cincinnati 3
  • Seattle 4
  • Philadelphia 5
  • San Francisco 6
  • St. Louis 7
  • Arizona 8
  • Cleveland 9
  • Baltimore 10
  • NY Giants 11
  • Tennessee 12
  • Denver 13
  • Tampa Bay 14
  • Carolina 15
  • Dallas 16
  • Jacksonville 17
  • New Orleans 18
  • Houston 19
  • Washington 20
  • Buffalo 21
  • NY Jets 22
  • Miami 23
  • Atlanta 24
  • San Diego 25
  • Oakland 26
  • Minnesota 27
  • Green Bay 28
  • Detroit 29
  • Chicago 30
  • New England 31
  • Kansas City 32
Fantasy Rank Based off of Likelihood to Run
I then get the rankings for opponent run defenses so that I can figure out which teams are most likely to run versus pass. That list looks like this:
  • Atlanta 22
  • Minnesota 22
  • Chicago 22
  • San Diego 15
  • Houston 13
  • Kansas City 13
  • Tennessee 11
  • Miami 9
  • New England 9
  • Carolina 8
  • Baltimore 7
  • Green Bay 7
  • New Orleans 6
  • NY Jets 6
  • Dallas 3
  • San Francisco 2
  • Oakland 2
  • Detroit 0
  • Jacksonville -3
  • NY Giants -4
  • Cincinnati -6
  • Tampa Bay -9
  • Pittsburgh -10
  • St. Louis -11
  • Washington -11
  • Buffalo -11
  • Denver -13
  • Indianapolis -15
  • Cleveland -16
  • Arizona -19
  • Philadelphia -23
  • Seattle -26
This tells me that running backs are going to do much better for teams like Minnesota and Atlanta versus running backs in Philadelphia and Seattle. That also made me pause before taking Vick and guaranteed I instead took Adrian Peterson first!
Fantasy Football Cheat Sheet Based on Experts
If you don’t care about my opinion on how important strength of schedule is, I provide a Fantasy Cheat Sheet based off of combining all of the expert opinions.
I also provide a ton of other information. In the upper right hand corner I list the players age because most players have their best years at the age of 27 – 28. Under that number I list:
  • A number representing opponent running defense rank. The lower the better
  • Opponent passing defense rank
  • Average draft position in the average fantasy league
Then the numbers on the left represent projected fantasy points for 2011 and last years points.

Fantasy Football Stats

My Personal Fantasy Football Projections

As I stated before I think strength of opponent schedules is very important. I also like to pay attention to past performance if possible.

Based off of that information the data is telling me that there are 3 top notch running backs that deserve to go before Vick and Aaron Rodgers:

  • Adrian Peterson
  • Arian Foster
  • Chris Johnson
After those 3 running backs I don’t feel strongly that any other back stands heads and tales above my 2 QBs based off of schedules. So, then you have to ask which QB do I pick?
  • Michael Vick: Age worries me, but since he’ll face the 5th easiest Pass Defensive schedule I have to bite.
  • Aaron Rodgers: Faces the 11th strongest run defense and 6th strongest pass defense!
I could continue trying to explain my final picks, but I’ll present them instead and leave it to you.

My Fantasy Cheat Sheet

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