Whose Draft Rankings are the Most Accurate?
As fantasy players scramble to prepare for their drafts, we’ve received some nice feedback regarding how our tools are helping to eliminate a lot of the “work” involved in getting ready. One popular request, however, has been to share expert draft accuracy scores in addition to our main weekly accuracy analysis.
Today we’re excited to announce the results of our first Draft Accuracy study! Specifically, we’ve rated the (2010) accuracy of 34 preseason cheat sheets from many of the top experts in our industry.
A few notes before we reveal the top experts:
- We first want to acknowledge the tremendous work the FFLibrarian (Sara Holladay) does with her long-standing draft accuracy contest. Note that we use a different methodology to measure the results so we feel our study serves as a companion to Sara’s assessment.
- This assessment should not be confused with our weekly accuracy study. We personally put more stock in the results of in-season rankings since there are more data points and limited exposure to unforeseeable factors such as injuries. Ultimately, though, draft rankings play a huge role in guiding roster decisions so we see the value in rating this advice.
- While there were 34 experts in our accuracy pool last year, that total will more than double this upcoming season.
With that said, here are the top 5 experts we tracked last season! If you’d like to view the full standings, you can do so in the accuracy section of our site.
Top Draft Accuracy Scores
|Overall* Draft Accuracy Scores|
|1.||Jamey Eisenberg – CBS Sports||64.4%|
|2.||David Dodds – FootballGuys||63.6%|
|3.||Pat Fitzmaurice – ProFootballWeekly||62.6%|
|4.||Bob Henry – FootballGuys||62.2%|
|5.||Jeff Pasquino – FootballGuys||61.7%|
*Overall standings evaluate experts’ STD rankings at the QB, RB, WR, & TE positions
- Congratulations to Jamey Eisenberg (CBS Sports) for taking home the honor of Most Accurate Expert! Eisenberg worked much of his magic at the QB position, where he was notably down on several players that flamed out during the season (Brett Favre, Donovan McNabb & Kevin Kolb). He also did well at nailing the top guys. Specifically, he ranked 8 out of the top 10 fantasy QBs as well or better than the Expert Consensus. Eisenberg’s success wasn’t limited to the QB position, however. He also finished in the top 8 at ranking RBs. And, as you might expect, he was ahead of the curve by ranking Arian Foster above the majority of experts.
- If we can say one thing about David Dodds (FootballGuys) it’s that the man knows how to predict fantasy football outcomes! He finished in the top 5 of our weekly accuracy assessments in both 2009 & 2010 to go along with his #2 rating in this analysis. In other words, of all the experts we’ve tracked, he’s been the most consistent at providing accurate advice. His lofty rating this go-around can be primarily attributed to nailing the WR position (#1 ranking). Specifically, Dodds correctly spotted several standout players and ranked them considerably higher than the expert consensus: Mike Williams (+19 spots vs. consensus), Terrell Owens (+10 spots vs. consensus), Hakeem Nicks (+7 spots vs. consensus), and Mike Wallace (+7 spots vs. consensus).
- Another expert that knows a thing or two about fantasy prognostication is Pat Fitzmaurice (ProFootballWeekly). Fitzmaurice ranked #2 overall in our weekly contest in 2009 and he now finds himself in the top 5 of our draft assessment. Most impressively, he was the only expert in the draft contest to rank in the top 15 of at least 3 positions (QB, RB, WR).
- Arguably the most remarkable showing came from FootballGuys’ kicker specialist, Mike Herman. For those that aren’t aware, Herman is a devotee of all things kicker related and even operates his own blog, appropriately named Kickology. It’s only fitting, therefore, that he lapped the field in the one category he submitted rankings: Kicker. Herman’s accuracy score, 76.3%, was so far and away the #1 rating (#2 was 46.1%) that we’ll be requesting he submit to a doping test within the next 24 hours. In all seriousness, congrats are in order because this was an incredible performance. Now might not be a bad time to ask FootballGuys for a raise, Mike.
As always, there were several key players that performed above expectations. The difference between drafting or passing on those guys would have had a major impact on any team’s fantasy fortunes. That’s why we’re recognizing the experts that were the strongest advocates of each player (i.e. they had the player ranked higher than anyone else). ADP data is included in the table below to show you just how far out on a limb each expert went with their ranking.
*Note that you won’t see someone such as Michael Vick on this list since no one could have reasonably anticipated his performance given that he was expected to be a backup.*
|Notable Breakout Players|
|Player||Position||Top Expert||Expert Rank*||ADP*|
|Arian Foster||RB||Brad Evans – Yahoo! Sports||8||21|
|Darren McFadden||RB||Staff Projections – Fantasy Sharks||24||Outside top 40|
|Mike Wallace||WR||David Dodds – FootballGuys||16||31|
|Mike Williams (TB)||WR||David Dodds – FootballGuys||25||46|
|Hakeem Nicks||WR||Maurile Tremblay – FootballGuys||9||19|
|Jamaal Charles||RB|| Christopher Harris – ESPN
Maurile Tremblay – FootballGuys
|LeSean McCoy||RB|| Paul Greco – FantasyPros911
Andrew Garda – FootballGuys
|Dwayne Bowe||WR|| Matthew Berry – ESPN
Bob Henry – FootballGuys
*Ranks and ADP info are at the position level
- No one jumped on the Arian Foster bandwagon earlier than Yahoo!’s Brad Evans. Not only was Evans driving the bandwagon, he was practically holding up a megaphone imploring all on-lookers to give Foster a chance. If you need further proof, check out this preseason article from last year or this column to see how high Evans was on Foster. Heck, you can even go back to 2009 to find Evans touting Foster as a player “at the precipice of Fantasyland stardom.” We’re honestly not sure what’s the bigger accomplishment: That Evans nailed his prediction of Foster becoming a star or that he seamlessly inserted “precipice” into a fantasy football column. Either way, consider us impressed.
- Another big hit was Fantasy Sharks’ ranking (#24) of Darren McFadden. This was effectively a statement that the Sharks expected him to put up RB2 numbers. While that may seem like a ho-hum prediction now, it was surely a risk 12 months ago given the lackluster start to McFadden’s career. It’s safe to say the gamble more than paid off considering that McFadden finished the season as a top 5 RB.
- We already touched on David Dodds and how he hit it big in the wide receiver category by pegging several breakout performers. Another FootballGuys expert who represented himself well on this list is Maurile Tremblay. Tremblay identified both Hakeem Nicks and Jamaal Charles as #1 options at their positions. He was a full year ahead of the pack with that advice as most expert rankings this season have both players definitively in the top 10 at their positions.
That wraps up our analysis of 2010’s expert draft rankings. Congratulations again to Jamey Eisenberg and the rest of the top 5 experts. Those experts shouldn’t get too comfortable though….with nearly double the entrants in our draft study this upcoming year, the competition will only get tougher!