What Went Right, What Went Wrong – More Preseason Prediction Accounting

Via estenh

Via estenh

In this article I do something I think this is important for all writers and prognosticators to do: self-evaluation. I reviewed all of my articles for this season and graded my performance. A couple notes: I didn’t include several of my preseason articles that were essentially just “blurbs” passing along some training camp tidbit from a beat writer. (For example, this article speculates about Vernon Davis playing more WR this season. As it turns out, he’s gotten almost the same percentage of targets “wide” this year as last. But that wasn’t my prediction; I was just passing along some information.) I also haven’t included my in-season weekly Observation pieces or my FanDuel Value Exercise pieces; I plan to evaluate those series separately. This article focuses only on my team/player projections. In some places you’ll see two or three articles ranked as one. These are articles that have a lot of overlap or deal with the same player(s), so rather than scoring them separately, I scored them together. Finally, thanks for reading. I hope my misses didn’t hurt as much as my hits helped, and your suggestions and feedback are welcomed in the comments.

The Envelope Please

I’m putting the results first, since that’s what you likely care about the most. Read on for a roughly chronological article-by-article breakdown.

Self Rating

# of Articles

Percent of Articles










Incomplete (not included in percentage calculation)




The Breakdown

Houston, We Have An Option: Patrick Edwards

Success. Made the roster and has been active on game days. He got the opportunity, which was the projection. Also my first ever published fantasy football article, so yay me.


Dynasty Building Blocks: Demaryius Thomas

Success. Through 14 games is PPR WR 4. No reason to think he won’t continue to have a successful career.


Dynasty Building Blocks: Russell Wilson

Dynasty, Who Ya Got: Russell Wilson or Andrew Luck?

Success, so far. Wilson is QB 7 on the season (6 pt/passing TD) while Luck is QB 9 (8th and 12th respectively, on a per/game basis). Wilson continues to produce on fewer pass attempts (330 vs. 466). He’s second in QB run attempts (81 so far) and 4th in QB rushing yards (458) as well, which helps his numbers. Luck is playing well too though, all things considered. Obviously many years to go before a final ruling, but Wilson is in the lead, especially when you consider the difference in draft capital it took to acquire these guys (both real life and fantasy).

Dynasty Building Blocks: Matt Forte

Full Time Forte: Further to My Love of Marc Trestman

Success. Forte has had a very productive and healthy season. He’s also the type of back (pass catcher) who’s likely to stay productive at an older age. Another season or two of high productivity seems a reasonable expectation- and really, how far in the future can you project any RBs utility? He’s the number 2 PPR RB this season, at 21.5 points/game, trailing only Jamaal Charles (22.9), and well ahead of McCoy (20.2), Moreno (19.7), and Peterson (17.9).

What Will Marc Trestman’s 2013 Chicago Offense Look Like?

Success. I actually underestimated how productive Chicago would be offensively. But are you really upset that players out performed expectations? My favorite article so far:

Player Projection Actual Pace
Jay Cutler 578 Attempts, 4161 yards, 26 TDs Cutler: 530 Attempts, 3816 yards, 26 TDs. Cutler & McCown combined:  596 Attempts, 4430 yards, 32 TDs
Matt Forte 258 Attempts, 1058 rushing yards, 70 receptions for 609 yards, 7 total TDs 208 Attempts, 1320 rushing yards 80 receptions for 637 yards, 11 total TDs
Brandon Marshall 98/1244/7 103/1341/11


Joseph Fauria is a Six Foot Seven, Touchdown Catching Machine

Success. Made roster, has been active every game.

Can Joseph Fauria Make an Impact with the Lions in 2013?

Success. 6 TDs from a rookie UDFA TE constitutes an impact, even if the overall performance is inconsistent.

The Pats’ Problems at TE Make it Time to Talk About Zach Sudfeld, the 6’7″ Bro with the 37″ Vertical

Betting on Sudfeld over Ballard in New England?

Success. Prediction was making roster, which he did, over Jake Ballard. Although cut by NE, he was picked up by NYJ, and has appeared in 8 games.

Moar Alex Smith, Please

Is More Passing Bad? Alex Smith, Andy Reid, and the KC Chiefs

Success. Not dynamic, but currently performing as QB15, averaging 20.4 points/game (6 pt/passing TD), which is very close to the projection range I offered (17.2 – 21.4). Won’t win your league by himself, but keeps you competitive at the QB position and presumably allowed you to draft a higher ranked RB/WR/TE because of his low ADP. His completion percentage, yards/attempt, adjusted yards/attempt, and QB rating are all at or slightly above his career averages, his interception percentage is below his career average, and he’s 37 yards/game above his career average.

ADP Arbitrage: Joique Bell, Danny Woodhead, and Shane Vereen

Success. Correct in noting Bell’s opportunity vis-à-vis Mikel Leshoure. Bell is vastly over producing his ADP, especially when you consider that if you drafted Bell you could also have drafted Eric Decker, Torrey Smith, or Pierre Garcon at Woodhead’s ADP. Overall, Woodhead is PPR RB 8, Bell 15, and Vereen 35. On a per-game basis, Vereen is RB2 (21.6 points/game), Woodhead is RB12 (15.3), and Bell is RB20 (13.4). Woodhead leads Bell, but the ADP savings made up for it. Vereen was well worth his ADP (a bargain even) on a per-game basis, but you’ll only get, at most, 7 games from him.

How Chip Kelly’s Offense Could Be Just Fine for LeSean McCoy

Dynasty Building Blocks: LeSean McCoy

Projected 18.6 attempts, 85.6 rushing yards, 2 receptions for 14.4 yards, and 0.74 TD/game. Averaging 20.1 attempts, 100.4 yards, 3.1 receptions for 33.8 yards/game, and 0.62 TD/game.

The River Wild: What is Philip Rivers doing ahead of Sam Bradford and Alex Smith?

Fail. He’s been fantastic. Kudos to him and the SD coaching staff. If I had stuck to just recommending Alex Smith and Sam Bradford based on lower ADPs, this might not be so bad. But no, I went all the way to saying Rivers was done, and shouldn’t be drafted. Oops.

Chris Givens, Denarius Moore, and Vincent Brown – Which One Should Be Your Late Round WR?

Success. So far their PPR rankings match the projection, with Moore (46th) the only useful one so far, well ahead of Givens (74th) and Brown (75th).

Chip Kelly is Not Steve Spurrier; Subtitle: What to Expect from College-to-NFL Coaches

Success. So far in 2013, the Eagles’ leading QB, RB, and WR are outperforming their 2012 pace.

The Quarterback is Toast: Why Michael Vick and Philip Rivers are Done

Success AND Fail. Vick struggled with turnovers (7 in 6 games) before losing his job to injury/Peyton Manning’s love child Nick Foles. Rivers however, has had a very productive season. I missed bad on that call (or, I was just a year early…)

Kerley’s Cue: Holmes Not Ready for Jets

Success. Holmes was ready by week one, but has been in and out of lineup. Stephen Hill has been unproductive. Despite injury and atrocious QB play, Kerley is the Jets leading fantasy receiver in terms of both total and per-game scoring. He’s even come close (9.9 vs 11.6) to his per-game scoring projection.

Ray Rice, Reggie Bush, and an Optimized Lineup

Push. Rice has been a major disappointment, Owen Daniels and Jeremy Maclin got injured, and Pierre Garcon and Steve Johnson have underperformed. On the other hand, Russell Wilson, Eric Decker, Reggie Bush, Andre Johnson and Brian Hartline have worked out well.

Drafting Antonio Gates is a Great Idea; and Other Articles from 2006

Fail. Gates is currently 7th overall, and 11th per/game, in TE scoring. That beats all but Jordan Cameron (overall and p/game) and Owen Daniels (p/game) of the other TEs recommended.

Overvalued/Undervalued – Fixing Some Broken Tight End ADPs

Success. 2/3 of avoids accurate; 2/3 of targets accurate, though was Finley lost to injury.

Overvalued/Undervalued: Fixing Some Broken Wide Receiver ADPs

Success. 3/3 of avoids accurate, although Reggie Wayne was productive before injury. 3/3 targets accurate.

On the Radar: Christine Michael

Fail. Accurate about him making roster and being worth a dynasty stash, but missed on the projections. I thought he’d get regular usage, in lieu of Turbin. With only 18 attempts through 14 games, I was way off.

Overvalued/Undervalued: Fixing Some Broken Running Back ADPs

Success. Only 1/3 of the avoids was right (Ridley), but 2/3 of targets were accurate. But: Adrian Peterson and Marshawn Lynch were suggested avoids, and both are having very good seasons. However, Forte and Murray, two of the recommended targets, are also having very good seasons. Both Forte and Murray are outscoring Marshawn Lynch on a per-game basis. Forte is also outscoring Peterson, and Murray is essentially tied (17.9 vs. 17.7 PPR points/game). Doug Martin was the other suggested target; he underperformed before being lost to injury.

Overvalued/Undervalued: Fixing Some Broken QB ADPs

Success. I recommended avoiding Andrew Luck(12th in points/game), Eli Manning (31st), and Michael Vick (22nd), based on ADP. Russell Wilson (7th), Andy Dalton (8th), and Ben Roethlisberger (11th) were the suggested targets.

Geno Smith: Browning Nagle or Peyton Manning

Incomplete. Geno has certainly performed miserably this season. But it’s still too early to completely write him off.

Dwayne Bowe, Jamaal Charles, and a Rigorous Accounting of the Kansas City Offense

Fail. Projections for Bowe/Receivers were way too high; projection for Charles was solid.

Keeping an Eye on High Ceiling Tight Ends Zach Sudfeld and Joe Fauria

Success. Sounded caution regarding first year expectations. Fauria performing as well as other rookie TEs. Sudfeld hasn’t done much yet, but has held on to a roster spot.

Buffalo Bills will run C.J. Spiller ‘until he throws up’ –

Fail. Prediction based on 15 touches/game; he’s averaging less than that. Suggested 18-20 PPR points/game; he’s currently at 9.9.

Could Greg Salas Be the Real Eagles WR Sleeper?

Fail. Cut in Philly, he’s latched on with the Jets, where he’s appeared in just 5 games. The inability to crack the Jets’ receiving rotation is a bad sign.

Montario Hardesty Broke Something While Reading This Article

Success. Dion Lewis did make opening roster, had opportunities before injured.

Austin Collie, Jeremy Kerley, and Jarius Wright

Success. Collie has been a non-factor. Kerley, Burleson, and Avery have had useful stretches.

Donnie Avery Set to be Chief’s Number 2 Wide Receiver

Fail. He is their #2 WR, but I projected him to finish as PPR WR 32; he’s currently 59th.

Ryan Mathews? Ryan Mathews.

Success. Overall RB19 in PPR (26th in per/game scoring), outperforming many of the guys drafted ahead of him.

Are We Sleeping Too Hard on Roy Helu?

Fail. He’s had some moments this season, but never got consistent usage. Maybe a regime change helps.

Wes Welker, Pierre Garcon, and Wide Receiver Dissonance

Incomplete. Below 50% on recommendations.

Ryan Mathews, Shane Vereen, and Running Back Dissonance

Success. Over 50% on recommendations.

Bernard Pierce, Bryce Brown, and the Handcuff Question

Push. Roughly 50/50.


Ravens – Broncos GLSP Projections: Flacco = Manning, Decker & Thomas > Welker

Fail.  A lot of fail. Many of the secondary projections were pretty good, but the headline Flacco/Manning projection didn’t work out (understatement).


The Welp Report: Looking for Help on the Fleaflicker Waiver Wire

Success. 8/9 have had several useful games. Some have been difference makers (Josh Gordon) or had solid seasons (Woodhead, Hartline, Bennett).


The Welp Report II: Looking for Help on ESPN, Yahoo, and NFL Waivers

Success: Included Alex Smith, Knowshon Moreno, Charles Clay, and Julian Edelman.


Ahmad Bradshaw Likely to Still Have Value Even With Trent Richardson in Town

Success. Bradshaw was lost to injury shortly after this published, but the general point was accurate: Richardson hasn’t impressed, and has found himself in a committee situation where the other RB (Donald Brown) is more valuable.


Tavarres King: What’s He Worth?

Fail. Didn’t stick with Denver, and hasn’t made a game day roster. There are more interesting dyno adds out there.


Can Joseph Fauria Keep On Dancing?

Fail. Long term I think he can, but short term he’s only recorded 4 catches (1 TD) since this article was published.


Window Shopping: Jermaine Kearse

Incomplete. Check back next year.


Window Shopping: Ryan Griffin

Incomplete. Check back next year.


My FanDuel Value Start of the Week

Fail. Complete and total fail. I think my thought process was good (Woodhead is a good DFS play against Miami), but the result was not (5 rushes, 21 yards, 2 receptions, 16 yards).



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By James Todd | @spidr2ybanana | Archive

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