Here’s a rapid-fire list of weekly highlights from the vast array of NFL content we publish. Of course, we’ll also share some predictions and picks for NFL Week 3 and beyond.
NFL Week 3 Power Rankings Update
- The top 5 ranked teams are mostly the same. There wasn’t much movement in the top five slots of our predictive rankings this week. The ordering of the top four teams (Seattle, Denver, San Francisco, and New England) remained unchanged, while New Orleans was replaced at #5 by Cincinnati, who climbed one spot this week. Two game results is a very small sample size, so our preseason ratings still exert a good amount of influence on each team’s rating entering Week 3. However, the influence of preseason ratings will continue to decay over time, as the sample size of regular season game results grows.
Our inaugural one-day fantasy football tournament on FanDuel was a lot of fun last week. See the results below, and props to adamhasu for outscoring 72 other TR users, including us!
To amp up the prize pool this week, we’re going to give away a free Football Season Pass to TeamRankings (a $249 value) to the winner of our Week 2 tournament, along with $1,000 in cash prizes from the contest.
How To Get An Invite
All TeamRankings users are welcome to play, as these tournaments are for our entire user community to have fun. Here’s how to get in on the action.
As a complete newbie to one-day fantasy football contests, I spent most of my time last week just getting used to the FanDuel interface, and getting ready to dive into this new world.
It was a super busy work week here at TR, so I had my hands full just learning what the various game types are, figuring out how to enter contests, how to pick my team, what tracking features FanDuel has, etc. I also did some Internet research to try to find some resources to help me learn about daily fantasy strategy.
Week 1 Recap
As I mentioned in my first post yesterday, I’m starting the year with a $250 bankroll, and am going to be tracking my results and the growth (or shrinkage) of my bankroll all season. My username on FanDuel is tr_david, if you want to track me down on the site.
Remember, I am not an expert at this; I have no prior experience playing daily fantasy football. So I’ll be pleasantly surprised if I am able to increase this initial bankroll by the end of the season. And I fully anticipate losing some money along the way, especially in the beginning.
In Week 1, I entered two very low stakes leagues just to get my feet wet.
Hi, I’m David. I’m going to be playing one-day fantasy football for the first time this NFL season, and writing about it here on the TeamRankings blog.
A Bit About Me
For those of you that aren’t familiar with me, I write the weekly write up for our NFL survivor pool picks section, and give also give football pick’em and survivor strategy advice in our Q&A forums. Though really those things are only one small part of what I do at TR. My day-to-day job is mostly a combination of web development, data management and analysis, predictive modeling, and product development. And I blog sometimes. Oh yeah, and answer customer support emails. That’s life at a small company for you…
I also like to gamble (if I think I have an edge, of course) and play in contests and pools, mainly using the data and analysis here on TeamRankings to enter NFL and college football pick’em pools, Survivor pools, and March Madness pools.
My Interest in Daily Fantasy Sports
I used to play traditional fantasy football and baseball, but I quit years ago because it was taking up too much of my time, and the stakes I played for just couldn’t justify the huge amount of time spent on research.
However, I’ve heard a couple stories recently of gamblers who claim to be making great money playing daily fantasy sports. They say they have an easier time making a profit with daily fantasy than with sports betting, and that has me intrigued.
Here’s a quick-hit list of weekly highlights from the vast array of content we publish on TeamRankings.com. Of course, we’ll also share some predictions and picks for the current NFL week and beyond.
NFL Week 2 Power Rankings Update
- Vikings surge, Seattle now King Kong. Minnesota was the top gainer in our new predictive rankings this week, shooting from a preseason #25 ranking up to #18 after trouncing the Rams 34-6 on the road. Detroit’s three-TD victory at home over the NY Giants moved them from #14 to #9, a quite significant move as there is a decent drop in rating value between Detroit at #9 and San Diego at #10. Seattle made a statement with its blowout of Green Bay, and the Seahawks are now the undisputed king of the hill at #1 in the league, almost a full point better than our preseason #1, Denver.
- Some Week 1 upsets not as big as you think. While Tennessee’s road upset of Kansas City and Buffalo’s road upset of Chicago moved them both up in the rankings somewhat (TEN from #26 to #21 and BUF from #29 to #26), the impact wasn’t as huge as most people would probably think. The reason why is because our preseason ratings pegged both Kansas City (preseason rank #23) and Chicago (preseason rank #22) as teams that would be worse in 2014 than in 2013. These two upsets may provide the first evidence of that — we’ll have to wait and see. But bottom line, these two upsets were much more shocking to most people than they were to our ratings.
Welcome to our weekly post on NFL survivor pools, where we recap the previous week and list a few teams you should definitely avoid this week if your goal is to win your pool.
Week 1 Recap
For a while it looked like chaos would rule in Week 1. The most popular pick, the Eagles at 44%, were down 17-0 at halftime to the lowly Jaguars before ultimately winning. And the second most popular pick, the Bears at 19%, did lose to the Bills in overtime. So including some of the other upsets, over 70% of survivor players were nearly eliminated in Week 1!
The actual value ended up being only 28%, but that’s still a very good week…provided you didn’t pick one of those losing teams, of course.
Weeks like Week 1 serve as great examples of why mathematically optimal survivor strategy, which drives our recommended picks, often advocates avoiding the most popular teams — even if they have higher win odds (Philadelphia) and/or less future value (both Philly and Chicago) than the team you choose.
If you survived Week 1, your surviving entries just had their expected share of the prize pool go up by almost 40%, assuming an equal split among all surviving entries. If the Eagles had lost as well, the expected share for your surviving entries would have more than tripled.
This fall, we’ll be hosting private one-day fantasy football tournaments for TeamRankings users on FanDuel, with large cash prize pools. (Learn how to get an invite.)
To show everyone just how easy it is to play on FanDuel, we put together this quick tutorial.
First, once we put together our private tournament for a given week, we’ll email a link to the tournament to everyone who signs up for FanDuel using our Promo code, TEAMRANKINGS.
Once we send you the link to the tournament, entering the contest is all done on one screen, which makes things quite easy to understand.
(Click the image below to enlarge it.)
We’re excited to introduce a new initiative this football season. The TeamRankings Nerds are going to be playing in weekly football contests on FanDuel. These contests are reserved exclusively for TeamRankings users, and we want YOU to play along with us.
To get invited to our private tournaments, the first step is to sign up for FanDuel at the link below, using Promo code TEAMRANKINGS.
(If you already have a FanDuel account, please just email email@example.com and ask to get on the tournament invite list.)
Here’s the full story:
What is FanDuel?
FanDuel is a site that runs one day long football contests for real money prizes. Like traditional fantasy football, you first draft a team of NFL players. The twist is that this the “season” only lasts one day, and you can draft your team whenever you want to.
You then enter your team in a tournament, and within hours you’ve got a chance to win cash — deposited in your account right after the contest ends. Then the fun starts all over again the next Sunday.
We are total newbies at this daily fantasy sports thing, but here’s what we do know:
- It’s easy to play
- You win real money
- It’s legal in the USA
- It’s getting huge (you may have seen or heard ads lately)
That all sounds pretty awesome to us. So this year we decided to partner with FanDuel to bring the action to TeamRankings.
Note: This post is taken from our NFL Survivor Pools product, which includes our picks, analysis, and tools for survivor/eliminator style contests. We’re posting it on the blog to provide an example of the depth of Survivor pool analysis we do. If you like what you see, we invite you to check out the full product.
A Quick Refresher Course on Survivor Strategy
A quick review of our picking methodology is in order since it’s Week 1. Our goal is to maximize your expected winnings in your survivor pool. We assume your #1 goal is winning your pool — not just surviving for a certain number of weeks so you can tell your friends you made it that long.
Maximizing your odds to win your pool most often requires a slightly riskier picking strategy than most of your opponents will use. In most weeks, we’re looking to avoid the most popular public pick in favor of a less picked team, and rooting for an upset to take out a large percentage of your pool competitors.
With the NFL season kicking off Thursday in Seattle, here is our annual post outlining our NFL preseason ratings, with season projections added for good measure, for every NFL team in 2014-15. Below the data table is more information on how we rank and project teams.
Preseason NFL Rankings Highlights
When we make comparisons to Vegas below, we are using Chase Stuart’s implied Vegas SRS Ratings as the basis for comparison. Those rankings are based on preseason lines that are several months old now, but they should still be close enough for our basic purposes here.
- Agreement with Vegas regarding top teams. There is close agreement between us and Vegas on the top six ranked teams this year: Denver (#1 TR, #2 Vegas), Seattle (#2 TR, #1 Vegas), San Francisco (#3 in both), New England (#4 TR, #5 Vegas), New Orleans (#5 TR, #6 Vegas), and Green Bay (#6 TR, #4 Vegas).