August 6, 2020 - by Tom Federico
Drew Brees said he wouldn't retire until we launched a fantasy football section so here we are (Photo by Stephen Lew/Icon Sportswire)
We’re excited to introduce the new Fantasy Football section on BetIQ.com.
(If you’re not yet aware, BetIQ is a sister site of TeamRankings that will evolve into our hub for all things sports betting related. At least for 2020, our fantasy content will also be on BetIQ.)
Our new venture into fantasy analysis covers projections, rankings, and strategy for preseason fantasy football drafts. Draft decisions are almost always the most important decisions a fantasy owner needs to make, so it made sense to us to start there.
In the Fantasy Football section on BetIQ.com you will now find the following pages:
As the 2020 NFL season starts, we may continue to add some features to the new fantasy football section. It will likely depend on what level of reception the new fantasy content is getting, as well as competing priorities.
After years of off-and-on internal discussions about applying our analytical and technical skills to fantasy sports, we’ve finally decided to take some baby steps in 2020.
Fantasy football is our top priority, so we spent the past few months developing a few data-driven models based on frameworks for NFL player projections that we’ve been kicking around. We then built a set of new data tables and pages to publish the results of those models, along with some fantasy football strategy content that we’ll continue to release as the NFL season draws nearer.
This initial foray into fantasy football analysis and content is a test. For the 2020 season, all of our data and content will be 100% free. If it proves to be useful and popular with our users, we’ll think seriously about expanding our fantasy coverage in the future.
Of course, we would never publish anything that we didn’t think was worthy of the TeamRankings stamp of approval from an analytical standpoint. We think the methodology behind these new fantasy projections is legit, but at the same time, this is our first push into extensive player-level NFL projections. So an appropriate amount of caution and wait-and-see observation is warranted.
It’s crazy to think about it now, but we originally evaluated getting into the fantasy football analysis game back in 2007, a whopping 13 years ago.
Way back then, TR partner, fantasy sports nut, and geeky engineer Matt Koidin already had built an insanely complicated, macro-filled Excel spreadsheet to help him dominate fantasy baseball. As it turns out, Matt’s magical spreadsheet incorporated many features that became hugely popular on other web sites that didn’t launch until years later. (One feature was the ability to create customized composite rankings based on multiple expert rankings, now known as the extremely successful FantasyPros.)
Against Matt’s strong recommendations, we decided to forego fantasy analysis and instead focus on betting and office pools. In retrospect, seeing how fantasy football has exploded in popularity over the last decade, we probably should have listened to Matt!
Now that it’s 2020, we’re keenly aware that fantasy football analysis is a crowded space. There are a zillion sites out there offering fantasy football advice and news and several of them do a very good job.
At the same time, we have heard from our users that they are interested in seeing the “TeamRankings take” on fantasy analysis, and we’ve also been eager to extend our modeling efforts down to the player level for a long time now. Last but not least, we’ve expanded our internal domain expertise around fantasy sports in recent years thanks to team members Jason and Seth, which helps a lot.
So we thought this initial project could serve as a valuable proof point, especially by focusing it on areas of fantasy analysis where we think we’re most likely to help raise the current standard of sophistication (e.g. predictive modeling, or analyzing the impact of dynamics such as league size on a player’s relative draft value).
Like any brand new thing we release, we’re most curious to observe how our users react and hear what they think.
We hope that you find our new fantasy football section useful, but more than anything, we would love your feedback — good or bad. Drop us an email at email@example.com and let us know.
As always, your suggestions are welcome.
Visit our new Fantasy Football section
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