Welcome back to fantasy football season! You’ve got your draft date circled on the calendar and are eagerly waiting along with the rest of us. In the meantime we are, as always, offering tools that will help you get that championship in your fantasy 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’s here. A key tool to help is our annual expert accuracy assessment. With August on the horizon, it’s time for us to 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 2016 preseason player rankings from 145 experts and took the results from QB, RB, WR and TE to give the experts an Overall rating.
- If you remember the PAY %s from a few years back, we have since updated to a new methodology that we feel is more flexible and has 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 2016
*View the entire field of 145 experts | Create a 2017 cheat sheet of the top experts
- Congrats to Dalton Del Don of Yahoo! Sports for winning our 2016 draft accuracy competition! Dalton has been among the most consistent and reliable experts across multiple sports in our expert accuracy contests. This past year, he accomplished his feat by being the #3 expert at the quarterback position and top 40 for both RB and WR. Some of his more notable picks include Spencer Ware No. 27 RB (+13 vs Consensus), Davante Adams No. 59 WR (+16 vs Consensus), Tyrell Williams #75 WR (+26 vs Consensus) and Kirk Cousins No. 8 QB (+5 vs Consensus). Only a handful of experts even ranked Tyrell within their top 75, or Adams in their top 60. The fact that Dalton had the insight to forecast both as surprise players is absolutely remarkable.
- Our runner up, Joseph Dolan of Fantasy Guru was just 4 points behind Del Don which would have made him the back to back champion. All four times he has entered the contest, Dolan has finished in the top 20% of experts and three out of four times, he finished within the top 3! This year, he dominated at projecting QB rankings and was 13th for tight ends while finishing #21 at ranking running backs. He was one of only five experts to correctly predict Isaiah Crowell to be a top 27 running back. He was also one of only three to assess a top 7 WR ranking to Brandin Cooks. Perhaps most amazing, however, was the fact that he ranked Cole Beasley a full 27 spots above consensus. Well done, Joseph, for the fourth straight season!
- Now that we have two years under our belt with the new methodology, we began tracking two-year expert accuracy using the new metrics. We also still list 2010-2014 multi-year rankings if you want to find those. Let’s take a look at how some of our long-term leaders performed in 2016. Scott Pianowski, who like two of the top four 2016 experts is from Yahoo! Sports!, was #2 among all experts from 2010-2014. He finished #29 last season, giving him his 5th top 40 performances in 7 years. John Paulsen of 4for4.com has finished in the top 20 now 5 of 6 seasons after grading out as the #11 draft accuracy expert of 2016. After finishing #2 in 2015 and in the top 20 three straight years prior, Kevin Hanson of EDS Football was again in the top quadrant, placing #27 overall this season.
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). ECR (Expert Consensus Rank) info is included in the table below to show just how far out on a limb each expert went with their ranking.
|Player||Pos||Top Expert(s)||Expert Rank*||ECR*|
|Matt Ryan||QB||George Banko – Fantasy Football Helpers||7||16|
|Dak Prescott||QB||Smitty – SleeperU||9||23|
|DeMarco Murray||RB||Bill Latin – Dynasty League Football
Smitty – SleeperU
|LeGarrette Blount||RB||Brett Talley – Fantasy Alarm||21||35|
|Melvin Gordon||RB||Bill Latin – Dynasty League Football||9||23|
|Jordan Howard||RB||Ben Standig – CSN Mid-Atlantic||37||59|
|Jay Ajayi||RB||Matt Francisovich – NFL.com||15||39|
|T.Y. Hilton||WR||Daniel Marcus – Fantasy Phenoms||6||16|
|Davante Adams||WR||Smitty – SleeperU||40||75|
|Michael Thomas||WR||Jody Smith – Gridiron Experts
Eric Karabell – ESPN
Huseyin Aksu – Fantasy Couch
|Tyrell Williams||WR||Rich Piazza – Fantasy Shed||61||101|
|Tyreek Hill||WR||Chris Meaney – FNTSY Sports Network||109||173|
|Jimmy Graham||TE||Brad Pinkerton – Sporting News||6||17|
|Cameron Brate||TE||Seth Klein – The Fantasy Fix
Liz Loza – Yahoo! Sports
George Banko – Fantasy Football Helpers
|Kyle Rudolph||TE||Jason Moore – The Fantasy Footballers||12||25|
*Ranks & ECR are at the positional level.
On the flip side, here are the notable disappointments from 2016 along with the experts that went against popular opinion with their rankings. Note that some players are not listed if their seasons were completely derailed by unforeseen injury circumstances. Consider yourself fortunate if you avoided everyone on this list!
|Player||Pos||Top Expert(s)||Expert Rank*||ECR*|
|Cam Newton||QB||Jason Willan – Gridiron Experts
Scott Smith – RotoViz
Bobby Sylvester – FantasyPros
|Carson Palmer||QB||Scott Cullen – TSN
Muntradamus – Beast Dome
|Eli Manning||QB||Smitty – SleeperU||19||8|
|Todd Gurley||RB||Muntradamus – Beast Dome||6||1|
|Lamar Miller||RB||Scott Cullen – TSN||15||4|
|Eddie Lacy||RB||Mike Rigz – Gridiron Experts||18||10|
|Doug Martin||RB||Bob Lung – Big Guy Fantasy Sports
Kaz Kalita – DraftStars
|Allen Robinson||WR||Daniel Marcus – Fantasy Phenoms||17||6|
|DeAndre Hopkins||WR||Bill Latin – Dynasty League Football
Terrance Bridgett – Fake Pigskin
|Brandon Marshall||WR||George Banko – Fantasy Football Helpers||20||8|
|Randall Cobb||WR||Robert Waziak – Pyromaniac||29||18|
|Jordan Matthews||WR||Ryan Noonan – The Fantasy Fix||43||29|
|Allen Hurns||WR||Adam Pfeifer – ProjectRoto||53||34|
|Gary Barnidge||TE||Rich Piazza – Fantasy Shed||15||7|
*Ranks & ECR are at the positional level
That wraps up our analysis of Draft Accuracy from 2016. Congrats again to Dalton Del Don 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