After 16 weeks of NFL action, we’re ready to officially crown this year’s most accurate fantasy expert. From breakthrough studs (RG3, Doug Martin, etc) to players who re-emerged beyond expectations (A.P., Peyton Manning), the pundits certainly had plenty of chances to prove their fake football mettle in 2012. So which experts nailed their predictions, you ask?
Before we get to the results, a few quick notes about the competition:
- Experts were judged using their in-season (weekly) rankings. In total, we analyzed over 3 million predictions.
- This is the 4th season we’ve tracked expert accuracy (see: 2011, 2010 & 2009). During that time, the expert count has grown from 21 during the first season to 90+ in 2012.
- The detailed methodology of our rating process is available here. You can also check out our Accuracy FAQ for a quicker read that omits some of the gory details.
Without further ado, below are this season’s top 10 fantasy experts (click to view full standings).
Overall Accuracy Standings
|Top 10 Experts – Overall Leaderboard*|
|1.||Jody Smith – Gridiron Experts||62.6%|
|2.||Mike Clay – Pro Football Focus||62.3%|
|3.||Sablich Brothers – The New York Times||62.3%|
|4.||John Paulsen – 4for4.com||62.1%|
|5.||David Dodds – FootballGuys||62.0%|
|6.||Mike Tagliere – Tags Fantasy Football||61.9%|
|7.||Bryan Fontaine – Pro Football Focus||61.9%|
|8.||Justin Boone – TSN||61.8%|
|9.||Ken Zalis – Fans Fantasy Football||61.8%|
|10.||Muntradamus – Beast Dome||61.8%|
- If you’ve been following along throughout the season, it should come as no surprise to see Jody Smith (Gridiron Experts) take home the crown as this year’s Most Accurate Expert. As a pillar of consistency, Smith held the #1 spot for the competition’s final 11 weeks. That’s a winning streak longer than any NFL team this year. As part of his weekly reliability, Smith provided top notch advice across the positions we track. He was the only expert to rate in the top 10 at 3 of the 4 main positions monitored (QB/RB/WR/TE). That kind of well-rounded prognostication ultimately earned Smith a deserved #1 rating for 2012.
- If anyone needed advice down the stretch, there was arguably no better expert to seek out than Mike Clay (Pro Football Focus). Clay delivered the best end-of-season run of any expert we’ve monitored in *any* season (2009 – 2012). He finished as the top rated expert in both weeks 15 & 16 and also turned in top 10 showings in weeks 13 & 14. Besides hitting on sleepers like Russell Wilson (weeks 15/16) & Joe Flacco (week 16), Clay also had his share of correct calls on more typical studs (e.g. Eric Decker in week 16). Those heroics down the stretch undoubtedly steered more than a few owners towards a championship and helped land Clay the runner-up spot in our standings.
- Speaking of dependability, there are several experts who proved once again that they’re among the best of the best when it comes to imparting their fantasy knowledge. John Paulsen (4for4.com) – 2010’s champ & 2011’s runner-up – delivered as a top 5 expert for the 3rd straight season. Meanwhile, David Dodds (FootballGuys) added another triumph (#5 Overall) to his track record of success. In the 6 assessments we’ve undertaken (In-Season & Draft), Dodds has now been a top 5 performer an extraordinary 5 times. This clearly indicates that predicting fantasy football outcomes involves more than just luck.
Top Experts by Position
In addition to the overall results listed above, we also want to briefly highlight the top rated experts by position. Congratulations to the following experts for nailing down the best accuracy scores:
|Highest Rated Experts by Position|
|QB||Ken Zalis – Fans Fantasy Football||63.1%|
|RB||Mike Tagliere – Tags Fantasy Football||67.2%|
|WR||Muntradamus – Beast Dome||61.6%|
|TE||Jody Smith – Gridiron Experts||63.4%|
|K||Scott Pianowski – Yahoo! Sports||61.9%|
|DST||Site Rankings – Fantasy Football Nerd||61.9%|
|IDP||Jeff Ratcliffe – Pro Football Focus||59.0%|
This officially wraps up 2012’s accuracy contest. Congratulations again to Jody Smith (Gridiron Experts) for earning the title of Most Accurate Expert. Kudos also go to the entire field of experts for sharing their advice and helping owners everywhere this season.
Thanks to everyone who followed the competition throughout the season. We appreciate your support and look forward to running the accuracy contest again next year.