Fantasy Football

A funny thing has happened to NFL fandom over the last decade. You can no longer be a fan without a fantasy team. Or two. The internet has made it easy for anyone and everyone to play. Fantasy football dominates the "water cooler" conversation at my place of employment during the fall and winter. Fans get to "participate" in the games by proxy. It's a great marketing tool for the NFL too. Fans no longer are satisfied with how their favorite team did. Now they have to keep up with all the little games and the second string players.

This year the success of my fantasy team** will be determined by the success of the Colts. I happened to receive Peyton Manning and Marvin Harrison in the draft. Since they're on the same team, and because one often passes to the other for touchdowns, if they do well, I'm almost guaranteed a win. If they don't, I'm almost guaranteed a loss. Here's to a repeat.

** Ron Mexico's Dogpound

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Fantasy Football and the Net

You read Football Outsiders, right? There is a ton of good information to be gleaned there. The internet has really revolutionized fantasy football and made it much easier for everyone to be competative. For example, you can shell out $26.95 at Football Guys and they'll give you a spread sheet that customizes draft rankings based on your league's size, roster requirements and scoring rules. And free sites like Rotoworld have removed the need for fantasy players to scour multiple sources for breaking news.

Football Outsiders is one of the few sites that's still somewhat cutting edge, although with outfits as big as ESPN plagarizing them the rest of the net is catching up.

They've done some good studies. Two come to mind:

1. The three things that predict future professional success for college quarterbacks are: (1) Stayed in college for their senior year, (2) the more games started the better and (3) the higher their completion percentage the better. Downgrade 1-AA quarterbacks accordingly. I think Texas Tech quarterback Graham Harrell is going to be the best pick in the 2009 draft. He's now beginning his Junior season with a career 68% completion rate and became the team's starting quarterback prior to his sophmore campaign. 

2. The 370 touch rule. There is a strong historical precedence for running backs coming off a 370+ touch season (touches = carries + receptions) to decline significantly the following season. Based on this rule I dealt Larry Johnson for Brian Westbroook in my keeper league which looks like a very sound move two weeks into the season.