OT: Fantasy Football analysis worth paying for?

Submitted by Class of 1817 on August 10th, 2013 at 10:51 AM
So let's remove luck and the need to feel regret from the FF experience... Has anyone gotten onto a site with reliable analysis on a pseudo-regular basis that's worth a fee? Y'know...with people who can predict the future for $3.99/mo.?



August 10th, 2013 at 11:04 AM ^

If you are paying for fantasy football advice you are doing something wrong. Most fantasy football analysts that I have found just parrot each other's opinions and contribute little of significance. I have been playing fantasy football for a long time and am very successful at it. Here are a few free tips to help you out.

1. Never draft a defense before the second to last round of your fantasy draft. Elite defenses are not worth enough week in, week out to matter. Instead play defenses who are facing bad offenses each week. You will end up doing better than the guy who drafted San Fran's defense in round 9.

2. Avoid "big play only" wide receivers. Do not try to draft players like Desean Jackson and Mike Wallace who are horribly inconsistent and rely on big plays to get fantasy points. You will find yourself having weeks where they only put up two or three points. Try to get receivers who are more consistent from week to week.

3. Collect running backs. This sounds obvious, but you would be shocked by how many people wait until the third or fourth round to pick their first running back. I always have at least three running backs in the first seven rounds. It is a position of great importance because the good ones go quickly.

4. Play the waiver wire carefully. Don't pop your waiver priority on someone you could get mid-week as a free agent. Every season there are always several players who become hot commodities in the waiver market usually due to a starter being injured. You're going to want to save your waiver priority for those guys.

5. Don't be afraid to make trades. I see alot of fantasy owners who refuse to make trades even if their team has holes. If you have four good running backs, but you're only two deep with solid receivers. Go out there and make a trade work. Find someone who needs a runningback and you will often see them giving more than enough to help your team out. Last year I traded Steven Jackson for Steve Smith. Jackson was my fifth round pick and Steve Smith was selected in the third round of our fantasy draft. That was great value all because that guy had no runningbacks.


August 10th, 2013 at 3:00 PM ^

Good solid advice Mike.I'd add 6.Take high upside players after the 1st 2 rounds.Last year I got A.J. Greene,RG III & Dez in 3rd-late 5th & 11th rounds and ranaway with the league.This year my upside guys so far are Randall Cobb (ahead of Fitz,Roddy,Julio,Demarius & Andre) , Leveon Bell (13th RB in my rankings).Don't be afraid to go against the grain. 


August 10th, 2013 at 11:43 AM ^

Yeah, don't pay for fantasy advice.  The best advice you can get is typically from asking various fantasy forums.  I can link you to a particularly good one if you so desire.

To piggyback a point from Mike: I've gotten to the point where I don't even draft a defense or a kicker.  It's better to have some late round WRs and RBs rostered in case an unepected workload change happens and you can benefit.  You can always pick up a K and DEF right before week 1.

QBs and TEs are pretty interchangable too. There is some significant noise from fantasy experts espousing Jimmy Graham as a cut above the pack at TE, but don't believe it.  A TE like Jason Witten has every bit the chance to be the #1 scoring TE in fantasy and is available 3-5 rounds later.

Your roster should primarily consist of RBs and WRs. Don't be the guy with a backup QB, TE, K, or DEF.  If you have a significant injury risk as your QB(e.g. Robert Griffin), then a backup QB is excusable, but it still probably isn't a good idea. There will be good value on the waiver for those positions, but not for RB and WR.

All of this is with a great big caveat of scoring settings.  All of this advice is moot if things aren't set to default.


August 10th, 2013 at 12:04 PM ^

It depends on what you mean by "pay." I have been married for 15 years so I "pay" by tiling the laundry room, putting in new light fixtures, or pretending to be interested in furniture items on ebay.

I have no idea about fantasty football, although I do sometimes have dreams about Michigan football. Usually Michigan is playing Notre Dame and they're down four or so but driving in the fourth quarter when I wake up.

I am aware that this is not an interesting post.


August 10th, 2013 at 11:52 AM ^

Footballguys.com is a great site.  I believe they charge like $27 for a yearly subscription.  They pump out so much info though.  Also that money gets you entered into their suscriber contest, which is a salary cap style best ball format with big money prizes. For me that is worth the price of subscription alone.  

Kinda Blue

August 10th, 2013 at 12:08 PM ^

Easily the best fantasy site and worth paying for. You still need to decide for yourself who you want to start, but the do give you a lot of information to use for that decision. Also, the do a good job of getting you that last minute injury information or late scratch.

But if you are playing dynasty, the best site is Dynasty League Football.


August 10th, 2013 at 12:00 PM ^

Michigan_Mike is on point in his response, but to answer your question, Football Outsiders puts out a cheatsheet they call KUBIAK that I think is worth a look. It's a touch expensive though, about $20.

The Good: They use their massive database to objectivly evaluate each player with their advanced metrics which helps you identify who is getting drafted on hype (like WR who are late in their careers, Randy Moss, Terrell Owens). By the same token, you can also identify Value picks that are getting drafted too late; good for drafting in the middle rounds or for targeting needs

The bad: Going off the sheet alone will probably get you killed. Like, funeral and everything. If you just rely on the sheet you'll probably overpay for guys you can get much later. That's pretty standard criticism for any cheat sheet, though.

No matter what you do, you need to spend a little time becoming familiar with everyone's relative value, and checking out who might be poised for a breakout. Buying a sheet and going into a draft cold turkey will also get you killed.

My last piece of advice, don't be afraid to reach for a dude. Now, don't go crazy or anything but a round, maybe two if you LOVE him. I've had many a draft where I ended up with a solid playoff team but missed out on guys that would have won me a title that I knew I wanted but waited too long to pick up. As in everything, there are no guarantees, and there is a luck factor to it. Playing it safe will likely save you from looking stupid, but usually wont bring home the hardware. Plus, you'll like your team a little more, too.


August 10th, 2013 at 1:04 PM ^

I certainly don't mean to crap on people's hobbies, and if you enjoy playing fantasy sports, then you're doing it right. Howeva, I personally detest fantasy sports (in particular, football) for the following reasons:

  • Football, the ultimate team sport, is reduced to a "sum of its parts" affair. As an example from the NCAA, Junior Hemingway+Denard Robinson is a lot better than the sum of their individual skill sets. 
  • Building off the previous point, we assign blame and credit to individual players when this is a dubious assumption at best. Let's say that your QB throws three interceptions and sinks your fantasy team. Now, in real life, that was because his receivers twice slipped coming out of their cuts, and what would have otherwise been UFRed a DO is suddenly a pick six. 
  • Defense is underrated relative to its actual impact on a game. Same with the offensive line. Fantasy football merely reinforces our misguided obsession with flashy skill players.
  • People won't shut up about their stupid fantasy teams when you're trying to talk about real-life sports.



August 10th, 2013 at 1:48 PM ^

I understand that thinking, but as a very serious Lions fan and someone who plays fantasy football (though I like baseball better), it's easy for me separate those things. If I have Adrian Peterson on my team, I'm not pulling for him to roll over the Lions D and score touchdowns. If it happens it happens, but I'm always rooting for the Lions in that situation. I'll set my lineup with the best matchups and when my team is involved, real life comes first, fantasy is an afterthought.

As a baseball example, I have Mariano Rivera on my team, and last night when Miggy hit that homer I was nothing but ecstatic as a Tigers fan. It never crossed my mind that my fantasy team took a hit with a blown save.


October 4th, 2014 at 1:53 AM ^

I found that fantasy football has done just the opposite for me. While your point about defense may be true, I've found that studying offensive lines and positions other than the glamour spots, is one of the best ways the project for your skill layers. I had never paid much attention previously.


August 10th, 2013 at 12:20 PM ^

Fantasy Baseball and Basketball are better games than fantasy football insofar as that the superior skilled player wins more often, but they are an honest to goodness chore to play.

Fantasy football has a much smaller sample size, where individual injuries or seemingly arbitrary personnel decisions of NFL clubs can make or break seasons.  FF leagues, particularly Head-to-head leagues, are able to be played and won with a time commitment of <1 hour a week.  It's only a chore if you make it one.


August 10th, 2013 at 1:59 PM ^

Get ESPN insider to read Eric Karabell's FF advise.  It's worth it.  He's one of the best in the business and you also get to read of course all the other insider content like "rumors" , recruiting nation, and ESPn the Mag.


For free fantasy rankings and weekly rankings, I like to follow Jamey Eisenberg from CBS.  Has always been pretty good...


August 10th, 2013 at 2:58 PM ^

They average rankings from 60ish experts.  Removes a lot of personal bias.  Need PPR rankings?  Got em.  Dynasty rankings?  Got those too.  Just want rankings updated today/last two days/just dont trust football outsiders because all their rankings reflect the Rich Rod era?  You just unclick their box.  And the best part...its free.

Here's the deal though...They're only going to be 60-65% accurate(that is the best you are going to do anywhere).  It's still a numbers game.  There is a 20% chance a player is going to be significantly worse than they rank him.  There is also a 20% chance a player will be significantly better.  That's still an 80% chance you're going to get a useful player at each spot. 


August 10th, 2013 at 4:32 PM ^

Not exactly what you're looking for, but I like to use pcdrafter because I can't be bothered to invest enough time and energy into my draft planning, and it helps a lot with figuring out who should be drafted based on what's going on in your draft.