2011’s Most Accurate Experts

Dec 29, 2011

The results are in! If you’ve been following along all season, you know that our accuracy competition has been building towards this moment: The unveiling of 2011’s most accurate fantasy football expert.

 

For those unaware of our process, we’ve painstakingly tracked the weekly player rankings of the industry’s top fantasy pundits. Using our PAY™ methodology, we scored over 2 million start/sit predictions from 67 experts. That field size is nearly double the expert pool of 2010 & 2009. It goes without saying, therefore, that this was an extremely competitive competition.

 

So what’s in it for the experts, you ask? The top performers will earn bragging rights, prestige, a little “bling”, and a ticket to our FantasyPros Invitational league. We’re also considering throwing in congratulatory handshakes from Jim Schwartz & Jim Harbaugh.

 

Without further ado, here are 2011’s top fantasy experts. You can view the full standings over at the accuracy section of our site.

 

Overall Accuracy Standings

 

Top 10 Expert Ratings
 Rank  Expert  PAY™
 1.  Scott Pianowski – Yahoo! Sports  63.7%
 2.  John Paulsen – The Fantasy Shrink  63.7%
 3.  Kevin Hanson – EDSFootball  63.5%
 4.  Josh Moore – 4for4.com  63.5%
 5.  Sablich Brothers – The New York Times  63.3%
 6.  Jeff Ratcliffe – Pro Football Focus  63.2%
 7.  Staff Composite – Yahoo! Sports  63.1%
 8.  Gregg Rosenthal & Chris Wesseling – Rotoworld  63.1%
 9.  Mike Woellert – FantasyFootball.com  62.9%
 10.  Site Rankings – FantasyFootballNerd  62.9%

 

Notes:

 

  • Congratulations to Scott Pianowski (Yahoo! Sports) for earning the title of 2011’s Most Accurate Expert. Pianowski narrowly (and we do mean narrowly) edged out John Paulsen (The Fantasy Shrink) for the crown. In fact, the accuracy scores of both experts were so close that you can’t even tell the difference in the standings! We had to extend the decimal points on the ratings to see that Pianowski’s PAY™ (63.711%) was literally a fraction better than Paulsen’s score (63.705%). The difference in scores is the virtual equivalent of choosing between LeSean McCoy and Ray Rice for your top fantasy RB. You’d be in great shape either way and that’s likely how things turned out if you followed either expert’s advice.

 

  • As you might expect, Pianowski landed the top honor by delivering well rounded advice across the positions we track. Fantasy owners want recommendations at every position so our scoring rewards versatility. Pianowski’s picks ranked him in the top 15 among all experts at RB (#2), QB (#4), TE (#14), & WR (#15). He even threw in strong performances at Kicker (#5) and DST (#6) just for good measure. In doing so, he was the only expert to finish in the top 15 for all 6 major positions tracked.

 

  • As the defending champ from last season, John Paulsen deserves a lot of credit for finishing right near the top of the standings once again. Similar to Pianowski, he was a top 15 performer at each of the 4 major positions we monitored: WR (#4), QB (#6), TE (#3), & RB (#15). Perhaps most impressively, Paulsen saved some of his best advice for when the stakes were highest. His week 16 accuracy rating (70.3%) was a personal best and vaulted him from 4th in the standings to 2nd overall.

 

  • If we handed out an award for the competition’s top newcomer, it would undoubtedly go to Kevin Hanson (EDSFootball). Hanson was a fixture in the top 5 throughout the season and even led the contest heading into the final week. He also owns the distinction as being the only expert to eclipse the 70% PAY™ mark for a single position. Hanson’s #1 QB rating (70.3%) means that following his relevant advice would have netted owners over 70% of all available fantasy points. Simply put, if you needed QB advice in 2011, the ultimate source to go to was over at EDSFootball. That’s not to say that Hanson was a one-trick pony, however. He also earned a top 10 rating at both WR (#3) & RB (#8), demonstrating that he’s among the best of the best when it comes to fantasy prognostication.

 

  •  One of the key takeaways we continue to have from these competitions is that there’s a definite skill involved in providing accurate fantasy advice. Consider this: Half of this season’s top 10 experts also finished in the top 10 last season. That’s pretty impressive considering that we added nearly 30 experts to the fold this year. Another 2 of this season’s top 10 finished right outside that mark last season (#11 & #12), so effectively 70% of the experts held onto their placement atop the leaderboard. The remaining 30% that joined the upper portion of the standings were new entrants to the competition. All and all, this indicates that there is less “luck” involved in fantasy prognostication than some may think.

 

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
 Position  Expert  PAY™
 QB  Kevin Hanson – EDSFootball  70.3%
 RB  Dave Richard – CBS Sports  64.2%
 WR  Mike Woellert – FantasyFootball.com  63.1%
 TE  Walter Cherepinsky – Walter Football  64.2%
 K  Pat Fitzmaurice – ProFootballWeekly  58.3%
 DST  Mike Krueger – FFToday  60.0%
 IDP  Ross Miles – Pro Football Focus  55.6%

 

This officially wraps up 2011’s accuracy contest. Congratulations again to Scott Pianowski (Yahoo! Sports) for coming out on top as the highest rated expert. Kudos also go out to the entire field of experts that participated. These experts are among the best the fantasy industry has to offer and the tight gap between the accuracy scores shows how highly competitive the contest is each season.

 

Lastly, 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. In the meantime, you can view the full standings both overall & by position to see how the entire field rated. Thanks!


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