Most Accurate Fantasy Football Draft Rankings

by Bobby Sylvester | Accuracy, Featured, NFL | Jul 28th 2016
full_94221


Fantasy Football Draft Accuracy

We’ve been waiting for 212 days, and finally fantasy football season has arrived. You’ve surely begun the countdown to your fantasy football draft, so as always, we are offering tools that will help crown you champion of your leagues. One of our foremost goals is to do the brunt of the work for you so your only task is to enjoy the fantasy football season while it is here. One of these tools is our annual expert accuracy assessment. Now that we are here in late July, it’s time we release the standings on who the most accurate experts are.

Before we jump to the results, here are a couple of quick notes about our annual accuracy study:

  • We analyzed 2015 preseason player rankings from 141 experts and took the results from QB, RB, WR and TE to give the experts an Overall rating.
  • You may be wondering what happened to the PAY %s. We’ve updated to a new methodology that we feel is more flexible with increased transparency. You can read more info about the reasons for the change in our FAQ.

Without further ado, below are the experts with the best draft rankings.

Top 10 Draft Experts in 2015

  Rank   Expert   Previous Top 40 Rankings
 1.  Joseph Dolan – Fantasy Guru  #3, #27
 2.  Kevin Hanson – EDSFootball  #16, #17 #19,
 3.  Raymond Summerlin – Rotoworld  none
 4.  Kevin Roberts – Breaking Football  #21, #23, #27
 5.  Mike Clay – ESPN  #28
 6.  Matthew Hill – DataForceFF  none
 7.  Justin Boone – theScore  #11, #29, #37
 8.  Addison Witt – Fantasy Team  none
 9.  Austin Lee – FootballGuys  #2, #13
 10.  Derek Lofland – FFManiax  #2, #12, #31

*View the entire field of 141 experts | Create a 2016 cheat sheet of the top experts

Notes

  • Congrats to Joseph Dolan – Fantasy Guru for winning our draft accuracy competition! Joseph is a force to be reckoned with, having competed just three seasons now, and finishing No. 1, No. 3 and No. 27 in those competitions. He was consistent across all four positions, ranking 10th for QBs, 12th for RBs, 5th for WRs and 15th for tight ends. Some of his more notable picks included ranking Todd Gurley the No. 18 RB (+9 vs. consensus), Blake Bortles No. 18 QB (+8 vs. consensus), Jarvis Landry right on target at No. 14 (+14 vs. consensus) and Gary Barnidge No. 40 (+17 vs. consensus). Only one expert was higher on Barnidge entering the season, where we saw him break out into the second best performing tight end in the league. In fact, Barnidge was such an obscure name, that less than 10% of our experts even ranked him within their top 50 tight ends. It is worth mentioning that Joseph finished a full 107 points higher than our second place finisher, which is higher than the difference between No. 2 and No. 12 in our rankings. Well done Joseph!
  • Our runner-up, Kevin Hanson – EDSFootballhas made himself a home near the top of our leaderboard. In fact, this marks the fourth consecutive season that Hanson has finished in the top 20. This season, Kevin barely edged out Raymond Summerlin – Rotoworld for the second spot, primarily because of his masterful RB rankings which placed third among the 141 experts. Placing well in our competition is by means of attrition, winning many small victories, and that is precisely how Kevin tore up the running back rankings. For instance, Kevin wisely faded Ameer Abdullah to No. 33 in his rankings (-11 consensus) while he accurately slotted Adrian Peterson No. 2, while most experts had him No. 1, and was 4 slots higher on Danny Woodhead (No. 37) than the expert consensus ranking. Kevin also graded well with wide receivers, and part of that is due to his aggressive ranking (No. 15) on breakout star, Allen Robinson, who was ranked No. 25 ECR. Next season, Kevin will look to make it five straight top-20 finishes.
  • We did not compile multi-year rankings this season because of the transition away from PAY%, but lets check in on our top five draft experts from 2011-2014. Our No. 1 ranked long-term expert has been Scott Pianowski – Yahoo! Sports. Scott won the competition in 2013, and found his way into the top 40 again this season, finishing No. 39. Last year’s champ, Bob Henry had a year of regression, dropping to 83rd in the rankings. The Sablich Brothers – The NY  Times continued their consistent string of performances, placing No. 35 this season. Then rounding out the multi-year top-five, both Jeff Ratcliffe – Pro Football Focus (No. 16) and John Paulsen – 4for4.com (No. 17) finished in the top 20 again. Based on this season’s No. 2 and No. 10 finishes, Kevin Hanson – EDSFootball and Derek Lofland – FFManiax, who were 8th and 6th in last year’s multi-year rankings, continued to build their already strong reputations.

Surprise Players

As always, there were more than a few players that performed above expectations last season. The difference between drafting or passing on these guys would have had a major impact on any team’s fantasy fortunes. Below are the experts that had the best read on these players in the preseason (i.e. they had the player ranked higher than anyone else). ADP data is included in the table below to show just how far out on a limb each expert went with their ranking.

 Player   Position   Top Expert(s) Expert Rank* ECR*
 Blake Bortles  QB
Alex Gelhar – NFL.com
16 26
 Kirk Cousins  QB  David Dodds – FootballGuys

Lenny Pappano – Draft Sharks
17 30
 Cam Newton  QB  Dave McKay – The Fantasy Sports Brain

Benjamin Zeidler – FantasyFifty
George Banko – Fantasy Football Helpers
4 12
 DeAngelo Williams  RB  Alex Gelhar – NFL.com 34 55
 Thomas Rawls  RB  Eric Mack – Fantasy Fatcast 55 91
 David Johnson  RB  Andy Holloway – The Fantasy Footballers 30 44
 Devonta Freeman  RB
Maurile Tremblay – FootballGuys
20 37
 Jeremy Langford  RB  Graham Briggs – SoCalledFanEx 59 100
 Doug Baldwin  WR  Benjamin Zeidler – FantasyFifty

Chris Hadlock – Pigskin Addiction
37 58
 Eric Decker  WR  Scott Engel – RotoExperts

Jeff Paur – RTSports
22 33
 Allen Hurns  WR
Kevin Roberts – Breaking Football
36 59
 Allen Robinson  WR  Jeff Tefertiller – FootballGuys

Alex Gelhar – NFL.com
14 25
 Jarvis Landry  WR  Joseph Dolan – FantasyGuru 14 28
 Jordan Reed  TE  Raju Byfield – WinMyFantasyLeague 7 20
 Gary Barnidge  TE  Neil Parker – Fantasy Sports LR 33 57

*Ranks & ECR are at the positional level. 

Busts

On the flip side, here are the notable disappointments from 2015 along with the experts that went against popular opinion with their rankings. Note that some players (e.g. Jordy Nelson) are not listed if their seasons were completely derailed by unforeseen circumstances. Consider yourself fortunate if you avoided everyone on this list!

 Player   Position   Top Expert(s) Expert Rank* ECR*
 Andrew Luck  QB  Marcus Katkin – Blindside Football 5 1
 Peyton Manning  QB  Derek Lofland – FFManiax 14 4
 Aaron Rodgers  QB  Maurile Tremblay – FootballGuys 4 2
 DeMarco Murray  RB  Nick Wallace – Wally D. Fantasy Football 21 9
 C.J. Anderson  RB  Robert Lange – RotoWriters 17 6
 Eddy Lacy  RB  Raju Byfield – WinMyFantasyLeague 9 2
 Marshawn Lynch  RB  Matt Schauf – Draft Sharks

Matt Harmon – NFL.com
8 5
 Andre Ellington  RB  Mike Rigz – Gridiron Experts 33 19
 Keenan Allen  WR  Richard Savill – Fantasy Six Pack 37 17
 Davante Adams  WR  Matt Waldman – FootballGuys 61 23
 Andre Johnson  WR  Matt Waldman – FootballGuys 43 16
 Mike Evans  WR  Muntradamus – Beast Dome 20 10
 Randall Cobb  WR  Robert Lange – RotoWriters 14 8
 Alshon Jeffery  WR  Scott Engel – RotoExperts 19 9
 Dez Bryant  WR  Six Experts Tied 6 2
 Jimmy Graham  TE  Seth Klein – The Fantasy Fix 7 2
 Martellus Bennett  TE  Neil Parker – Fantasy Sports LR 11 5

*Ranks & ECR are at the positional level

That wraps up our analysis of Draft Accuracy from 2015. Congrats again to Joseph Dolan and the rest of the top-rated experts. To view the entire standings, including breakouts by position and IDP, please check out the accuracy section of our site.

What’s next? See how you rate vs. the top experts in a 5 minute mock draft >>


What's your take? Leave a comment

Fantasy Games
Get 5 free NFL entries
with your first deposit
Join a League for Free
Serious Fantasy Football
1David Johnson (ARI)RB
2Le'Veon Bell (PIT)RB
3Antonio Brown (PIT)WR
4Ezekiel Elliott (DAL)RB
5Julio Jones (ATL)WR
6LeSean McCoy (BUF)RB
7Mike Evans (TB)WR
8Jordan Howard (CHI)RB
9Odell Beckham Jr. (NYG)WR
10Spencer Ware (KC)RB
 View all Flex Rankings 
11Devonta Freeman (ATL)RB
12Jordy Nelson (GB)WR
13Amari Cooper (OAK)WR
14T.Y. Hilton (IND)WR
15Matt Forte (NYJ)RB
16Doug Baldwin (SEA)WR
17Lamar Miller (HOU)RB
18Michael Thomas (NO)WR
19Larry Fitzgerald (ARI)WR
20Dez Bryant (DAL)WR
21Brandin Cooks (NO)WR
22LeGarrette Blount (NE)RB
23Brandon Marshall (NYJ)WR
24Jimmy Graham (SEA)TE
25Latavius Murray (OAK)RB
26Jay Ajayi (MIA)RB
27Julian Edelman (NE)WR
28Michael Crabtree (OAK)WR
29Devontae Booker (DEN)RB
30Mark Ingram (NO)RB
1Mike Trout (LAA)CF
2Paul Goldschmidt (ARI)1B
3Nolan Arenado (COL)3B
4Jose Altuve (HOU)2B
5Josh Donaldson (TOR)3B
6Bryce Harper (WSH)RF
7Manny Machado (BAL)3B,SS
8Mookie Betts (BOS)RF
9Kris Bryant (CHC)1B,3B
10Anthony Rizzo (CHC)1B
 View All Rankings 
11Clayton Kershaw (LAD)SP
12Miguel Cabrera (DET)1B
13Max Scherzer (WSH)SP
14Edwin Encarnacion (CLE)1B,DH
15Madison Bumgarner (SF)SP
16Chris Sale (BOS)SP
17George Springer (HOU)RF
18Jake Arrieta (CHC)SP
19Carlos Correa (HOU)SS
20Andrew McCutchen (PIT)CF
21Nelson Cruz (SEA)RF,DH
22Charlie Blackmon (COL)CF
23Joey Votto (CIN)1B
24Corey Kluber (CLE)SP
25Carlos Gonzalez (COL)RF
26Starling Marte (PIT)LF,CF
27J.D. Martinez (DET)RF
28Chris Davis (BAL)1B
29David Price (BOS)SP
30Yoenis Cespedes (NYM)LF,CF