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The Weekly Gut Check - Vol. 100
Crank Score Projections
8/6/07

Rookie Scouting Portfolio The “Gut Feeling” is often synonymous with a sense of desperation resulting from a lack of preparation. The Gut Check is a huge proponent of studying the numbers, but there’s a point where one can place too much emphasis on the wrong information. This can result in the undervaluing or overlooking a player’s potential. Therefore, The Weekly Gut Check is devoted to examining the frame of reference behind certain number-driven guidelines that fantasy football owners use to make decisions.

Although The Weekly Gut Check doesn’t claim to be psychic, he does believe that he can dispel certain numbers biases and help you make the best choices for your team. We’ll keep a running tally of The Weekly Gut Check’s insights. This way you can gauge his views as something to seriously consider, or at least seriously consider running the opposite way as fast as you can!


Crank Scores are officially three years old (If you are new to Crank Scores begin here as a primer) and it has created the desire among other fantasy football sites to explore player consistency in greater detail. One of the common criticisms of The Gut Check’s projections method is the ability to reasonably estimate player performance with a theory used to measure past production. This is really no different than other statistical projection methods because one year’s worth of stats don’t guarantee similar performance for the next.

Yours truly has to agree with the basic validity of this argument: the Crank Score has lacked a clear basis for projecting from one season to the next. Much of this criticism comes from certain proponents of a Value Based Draft System or other draft theory. What yours truly has discovered is that none of the popular statistical theories touted elsewhere have any solid basis for projecting performance from one year to the next. The research that has led the Gut Check to this conclusion will be provided throughout the month of August. He will use this information to not only discuss the hit or miss “craft” of projecting performance—because it is far from science at this stage of history in fantasy football—but to also use the results to create a profile of players who performed well in 2006 and have a strong shot of attaining excellent weekly productivity at a highly consistent level in 2007—the essence of what the Crank Scores measure.

Keep in mind the Gut Check was once an avid VBD/AVT/stat projection strategist as a fantasy owner. Although the Crank Score is still evolving, he has certainly benefited from his use of his formula as a fantasy owner. He has used the formula as the basis for his cheat sheets in four leagues between 2005-2006. In those four leagues he has one playoff appearance (in his local league) and three championships in showcase/expert leagues—including back-to-back championships in the Fantasy Auctioneer Experts Invitational. The Gut Check believes the Crank Score is excellent for creating cheat sheets or refining the results of a traditional, statistically based set of projections.

This week he’s simply going to post his initial August Crank Projections based on his projection methods from 2005-2006. He’ll also touch upon some historical stats, which will impact how he’ll refine his projections in subsequent weeks. First, a short breakdown of the method used to create these initial projections:

1. He looked at 10 years of Crank Scores for each starting position in a 12-team league (Top 32 QBs, Top 36 RBs, Top 36 WRs, and Top 24 TEs). The scoring factored into this Crank Score is the traditional set up:

  • .1-point per yard rushing/receiving
  • .05-point per yard passing
  • 4 points per passing touchdown
  • 6 points per rushing/receiving touchdown.

2. He listed the Crank Scores in descending value and compared various years with the 2006 results. He found that the 2-year average of 2005-2006 matched very closely with his projected Crank from last year. This high level of accuracy came from using the 2-year average of Crank Scores from 2004-2005, which was used for the projected values last year. This is very similar to the way one projects fantasy points for the Average Value Theory. In fact, here’s the Projected Cranks Scores vs. Actual Crank Scores for 2006 and the differential (table below). The Differentials in bold indicated a more significant difference between the projected and actual performance. For instance, the 10-plus, point differential for the #2 RB and #3 RB meant these were players the Gut Check undervalued. In theory, the #2 and #3 RBs should have held higher value than the best at every other position. Since yours truly is a proponent of the stud RB theory in most drafts, this wouldn’t have made much of a difference for him, but for some willing to experiment it might. Regardless, there are 8 players out of 129 (6% overall) that the 2-year average Crank Score overvalued/undervalued significantly enough to notice and one could argue the there were no glaring issues. The closest to one might be the near, 20-point overvaluing of the #1 WR.

2006 - Projected vs. Actual Crank Scores
Rk Projected
QB
Actual
QB
Diff Projected
RB
Actual
RB
Diff Projected
WR
Actual
WR
Diff Projected
TE
Actual
TE
Diff
1 73.24 75.45 2.21 97.33 102.94 5.61 71.12 52.29 -18.84 29.47 22.30 -7.17
2 68.20 70.63 2.43 73.30 83.64 10.34 59.78 52.06 -7.72 22.40 13.87 -8.53
3 55.77 55.34 -0.42 69.09 79.56 10.47 55.92 48.89 -7.03 17.20 12.74 -4.45
4 49.94 44.67 -5.27 62.74 59.53 -3.20 54.23 46.04 -8.20 15.35 12.05 -3.30
5 45.45 42.45 -3.00 57.50 47.81 -9.69 53.70 44.00 -9.71 13.26 11.54 -1.72
6 40.30 38.20 -2.10 54.69 47.04 -7.65 49.20 42.64 -6.56 12.05 10.34 -1.72
7 38.67 37.17 -1.51 53.98 40.77 -13.22 47.87 41.64 -6.23 11.73 9.61 -2.12
8 36.87 35.93 -0.94 51.99 37.36 -14.63 41.05 34.85 -6.20 8.73 8.97 0.24
9 34.46 30.09 -4.37 47.89 35.46 -12.42 39.92 34.61 -5.31 7.78 6.82 -0.96
10 30.75 29.81 -0.94 43.10 35.32 -7.78 36.64 34.28 -2.36 7.56 5.90 -1.66
11 29.42 25.62 -3.80 38.24 34.01 -4.22 35.04 34.00 -1.04 6.42 4.48 -1.93
12 28.72 23.61 -5.11 34.77 32.00 -2.77 31.45 33.15 1.70 5.92 4.24 -1.69
13 25.56 22.68 -2.88 33.19 28.12 -5.07 30.75 30.71 -0.04 5.71 4.13 -1.58
14 23.94 22.19 -1.75 32.24 27.83 -4.42 27.00 29.33 2.34 5.49 3.89 -1.59
15 22.76 21.07 -1.69 31.71 26.16 -5.55 26.39 27.62 1.23 4.49 3.60 -0.89
16 21.68 20.34 -1.35 31.11 25.56 -5.55 26.25 26.25 0.00 4.17 2.82 -1.35
17 20.99 15.61 -2.47 26.96 23.33 -3.62 25.17 24.38 -0.79 3.89 2.66 -1.23
18 18.09 15.41 -2.05 26.03 22.53 -3.50 24.43 23.71 -0.72 3.60 2.59 -1.01
19 17.46 13.73 -2.80 23.86 20.71 -3.15 23.90 22.29 -1.61 3.50 1.35 -2.14
20 16.94 13.31 -2.90 23.35 20.60 -2.75 23.28 22.10 -1.18 3.10 1.07 -2.03
21 16.54 12.52 -3.15 22.55 17.63 -4.92 22.46 20.69 -1.78 2.99 0.83 -2.16
22 16.2 11.39 -3.21 21.67 16.06 -5.62 22.07 20.13 -1.94 2.60 0.63 -1.97
23 15.67 10.11 -4.31 19.67 14.84 -4.84 21.59 19.77 -1.82 2.20 0.53 -1.67
24 14.61 9.28 -4.69 18.60 14.00 -4.60 20.53 18.93 -1.61 2.08 0.44 -1.64
25 14.42 3.75 -5.90 17.02 13.47 -3.55 19.91 18.54 -1.37 1.66 0.42 -1.24
26 13.97 3.36 -4.60 16.93 12.91 -4.02 18.41 17.59 -0.81
27 9.64 0.00 -5.85 16.24 12.58 -3.66 17.78 17.23 -0.55
28 7.95 -1.67 -7.01 13.43 12.29 -1.13 16.92 17.17 0.25
29 5.85 -4.73 -9.51 11.52 11.79 0.27 16.23 16.37 0.14
30 5.34 10.51 11.18 0.67 15.35 16.35 1.00
31 4.78 9.63 10.47 0.84 14.75 14.46 -0.29
32 3.78 9.30 8.59 -0.71 14.39 13.79 -0.60
33 8.73 7.01 -1.71 13.88 13.79 -0.10
34 8.09 5.68 -2.41 13.70 12.98 -0.72
35 7.73 4.90 -2.83 12.48 10.39 -2.09
36 6.24 1.12 -5.12 12.08 9.49 -2.59

3. Since the 2-Year Average Crank Score held up fairly well last year, the Gut Check decided to go with a 2-Year Average for 2005-2006 when applying his projected consistency for the 2007 season.

4. Now the tricky part—placing the players in the appropriate performance ranking. This is where any projection method is a craft: one part art, one part science. First, the Gut Check simply ranked the players according to their previous season’s Crank Performance. You can do this for your league scoring system with the Crank Score Calculator. Next, he made adjustments based on various factors:

The Gut Check will be incorporating new research into his projections on a weekly basis. This includes historical profiles of consistency from season to season—not just game to game—for the position. The aim is to discern certain things that will help you take or avoid certain risks. One such example of research that yielded an extremely helpful concept is the range of season-to-season consistency that one should use to yield optimal results. It became abundantly clear to the Gut Check—as you’ll see below in these charts that show the percentage of time a player at each position repeated an Elite (top-2) or Starter worthy (top-12) performance in consecutive seasons from 1978-2006—that the best way to begin season-to-season consistency is in 2-year increments.

Total QB 2-year 3-year 4-year 5-year 6-year 7-year
Elite (2) 4 1 0 0 0 0
#1 (12) 48 32 20 13 11 10
Elite % 29% 7% 0% 0% 0% 0%
Starters % 57% 38% 24% 15% 13% 12%
             
Total RB 2-year 3-year 4-year 5-year 6-year 7-year
Elite (2) 7 2 1 0 0 0
#1 (12) 39 21 14 6 1 1
#2 (24) 96 61 41 32 19 12
Elite % 50% 14% 7% 0% 0% 0%
#1% 46% 25% 17% 7% 1% 1%
#2% 57% 36% 24% 19% 11% 7%
             
Total WR 2-year 3-year 4-year 5-year 6-year 7-year
Elite (2) 5 3 1 0 0 0
#1 (12) 35 22 16 10 6 2
#2 (24) 85 50 36 26 15 10
#3 (36) 146 99 69 50 33 20
Elite % 36% 21% 7% 0% 0% 0%
#1% 42% 26% 19% 12% 7% 2%
#2% 51% 30% 21% 15% 9% 6%
#3% 58% 39% 27% 20% 13% 8%
             
Total TE 2-year 3-year 4-year 5-year 6-year 7-year
Elite (2) 7 5 3 2 1 0
Starters (12) 43 27 15 10 5 3
Elite % 50% 36% 21% 14% 7% 0%
#1% 51% 32% 18% 12% 6% 4%

Looking for Peyton Manning to be the #1 QB in 2007 after he was tops in 2006? Statistically, it’s not likely. If you examine Manning’s performance he has only repeated his Elite ranking (as the #2 QB in 2003-2004) once and has been the #3 QB in all but his first and last season. This is incredible consistency from season to season when one views these stats listed to the left of this paragraph. What the Gut Check will hope to discover is a quantitative reason for these stats that will contribute to a profile with some decent level of predictability.

For now, what you can glean from this information is that predicting a 2-year run for a QB or RB to be a #1-quality, fantasy starter is a slightly better than even proposition. At least with RBs, one generally has a 50-50 shot of picking one of the RBs to repeat as a top-2 performer for a second straight season. If your curious as to which QB had 7 straight years of starter-worthy play, just look to Green Bay…

Since more and more leagues use 3 receivers in a starting lineup, the consistency from season to season is actually highest for this position when approaching it from the angle that a WR has a 58% of remaining in the top 36 if he made it the previous year. But if you’re looking for a that stud WR from 2006 to repeat as an elite performer, you can see from the stats that he and his signal caller are inherently tied to their performance.

Although the rate isn’t astounding, tight ends have the best rate of the positions. The Gut Check believes this has to do with the fact that top tight ends are generally used in a more specialized way as a receiver within their offensive schemes than the rest of the pack at their position.

Overall we should look at these numbers and see these statistical likelihood’s:

  • A little more than 5 of the top 12 QBs from the previous season probably won’t make the top 12 in 2007.
  • Between 6 and 7 RBs that made last year’s top 12 won’t repeat that feat this season.
  • Only 5 of 2006 top-12 fantasy receivers will likely reappear in the 2007 top-12 at years end.
  • Half the tight ends in the top 12 in 2006 aren’t likely to be there again in 2007.

The prevailing theme is the NFL—and fantasy football—is an entity with high turnover and it is worthwhile to see that expecting consecutive top-12 performances becomes an increasingly odds-on, disappointment with each subsequent season. But this doesn’t mean a player will fall off the face of quality fantasy performance. Otherwise the best players of each era wouldn’t have several good-great seasons. They just don’t always string them together season after season—some do, but others are less consistent due to injuries or other changes. Next week, we’ll look at numbers that will help us establish a basic positional profile of starting-quality fantasy players according to seasons played and subsequent performances after reaching the fantasy elite for a year.

Yours truly will discuss how he incorporated all this into his top twelve at each position. Because this is new research, these projections have a boom/bust, high-risk quality to them. If you are fonder of the safe approach, then the Gut Check advises you to go elsewhere. But if you don’t mind taking risks, then these projections will suit you. Since the ADP is also listed beside each player, you can at least see his relative value to other lists you’ll face come draft day.

Quarterbacks

If it holds true that seven of the top 12 quarterbacks in 2006 wonít make the list in 2007, who are they? Michael Vick is the easiest answer. If the NFL echoes the sentiment of many of its players, they hope Vick is out for the season because players facing Falcons not only donít want to face Vick, but they are actually more concerned with the probability of on-site protests at the games. Yours truly doesnít believe Philip Rivers and San Diego is going to surprise anyone this season. Vincent Jackson gets a lot of hype, but it will take a very strong performance from a second receiver in addition to Gates and Jackson to make this offense a statistical juggernaut. With Jackson an iffy fantasy WR3, much less a #1, thereís not much established on the pass-catching depth chart in San Diego. The third QB to go has to be Eli Manning. Wide receiver is also a concern because Amani Toomer is less than a year back from an ACL tear, Sinorice Moss has seen little of an NFL field and Steve Smith is a rookie. Take away Tiki Barber and add two RBs that lack #21ís multidimensional skills, and the offense becomes very predictable. If Eli Manning looks like heís regressing, look for Tom Coughlin to see the door in 2008.

Number four? Brett Favre. The door has to close sometime and the Gut Check believes that time is now. The Packers running game looks like a mess, Donald Driverís shoulder is a bit iffy at this stage of the preseason and the rest of the receivers are either young and unproven or established and mediocre at best. Number five is Vince Young. The Gut Check thinks very highly of Young, but not so much of his receivers and Henry-less stable of runnersóand yes, The Curse of He Who Shall Not Be Mentioned. If Young can overcome all of this and be a top tier starter, heíll be the new superstar in this league. Yours truly will discuss other quarterbacks within the month.

Running Backs

Adhering to the odds, which six backs will be gone from the 2006 top-12? Tiki Barber is retired, so thatís easy. Larry Johnson reached that 370-fcarry threshold from Tony San Nicolas RB Workload study. The hold out, diminishing stability at the offensive line, and a quarterback competition between a young prospect and a journeyman doesnít help. The Gut Check loves watching Larry Johnson play, but none of this looks promising. Steven Jackson? Everyone loves Jackson this year. Heís a terrific player, but he also reached that dreaded, 370-fcarry threshold, plays on turf, and heís a contact runner. Is the Gut Check predicting injury? He hopes heís wrong and hates to do it, but yes.

Deuce McAllister is coming off a very solid year despite the addition of Reggie Bush and an ACL injury. Although he should be a year stronger in the legs, the Gut Check believes Bush will be a year better in production. Look for that to come at the expense of McAllister in 2007. Marion Barber is a terrific player who was a Parcells favorite. Look for similar stats, but better performances from other runners in the league. This is a case where Barberís numbers may not change, but the rest of the leagueís output will. The last choice is Willie Parker because swollen knees in preseason and a greater reliance on the passing game will make Fast Willie a solid #2 RB, but not the stud he became in 2006. As with quarterbacks, the Gut Check will talk about rebounding/ascending backs throughout August.

Wide Receivers

Which six or seven receivers at the top of the 2006 fantasy football world will not make the top-12 in 2007? Plaxico Burress. Heís going to see more bracketed coverage than usual this year. If one of the young receivers can command some respect from opposing defenses Burress will get on track, but donít expect it consistently. Donald Driver is not physically ďoldĒ for a pro receiver with his type of career, but kind of like dog years compare to human years, Packer years as Favreís top guy vs. other receivers has a similar quality. The Green Bay QB wears out his top receivers. Greg Jennings and surprising rookie James Jones will eat into Driverís production just enough to knock him from the top tier of receivers this year.

Javon Walker without Rod Smith or a viable #2 receiver with proven skills wonít see the top 12 this year. Good player, but combine the lack of an established secondary outside threat (yes Domenik Hixon and Brandon Marshall are viable sleepers) will make things more difficult for Walker in the same way it will for Burress in New York. The Gut Check thinks highly of Lee Evans, but not so much of Losman and Dick Jauron. Look for this excellent receiver to fall just outside the top tier as this team continues to experience growing pains.

T.J. Houshmandzadeh has performed very well for fantasy owners for two seasons. He has reportedly gotten faster, too. What this means is Chad Johnson gets more time in the slot, more single coverage, and more receptions at the expense of his teammate. Donít discount the loss of Chris Henry. Heís unbelievably talented and commanded a ton of respect from defenses. This stretched the field for Houshmandzadeh to work underneath or sneak past coverage on deep corners. It isnít happening this year. Look for this talented, hard-working receiver to be a very good #2 receiver but not the next coming of Reggie Wayne.

The last guy is Steve Smith. To reject Smith from a list that includes T.O., Harrison, Holt, Chad Johnson, and Roy Williams is like turning down a date with Jessica Alba because you can only fit Halle Berry, Beyonce Knowles, Jennifer Lopez, Gisele, Jessica Biel, and Salma Hayek into your schedule. In fact, forget it. Smith stays, although yours truly thinks the lack of a solid #2 receiver and new coordinator could mean an adjustment year is in store.

Tight Ends

Time to cut the 2006 TE list in half. Desmond Clark and L.J. Smith? Gone. Clark will split or lose most of his time to rookie Ben Olsen and Smith is still recovering from hernia surgery. Look for the emergence of receivers Reggie Brown and Kevin Curtis to cut into Smithís production. Jason Witten has the talent, but he is underutilized in the redzone due to the presence of T.O. and Barber III. Kellen Winslow seems like a safe option to stay because of his stats, but his knee is a chronic issue and the Gut Check believes the passing game will be out of sync this year. Alge Crumpler is a terrific player, but he wonít be the safety valve off the classic Vick scrambles weíve come to expect. Classic Harrington scrambling isnít a phrase that works. Look for a down year from the perennially good fantasy starter. Then look for either Ben Watson or Randy McMichael to lose out due to the plethora of weapons available to their QBs in the redzone. Both have enough talent to be great players, and yours truly wouldnít mind having either on his team at the rounds they will be available.

With this turnover established, here’s the initial 2007 Crank Score Projections list the positions side-by-side, with a color-coded score to allow a user to compare player value across positions.

2007 Crank Score Projections
QB Player ADP Crank RB Player ADP Crank WR Player ADP Crank TE Player ADP Crank
1 P. Manning 2.01 69.30 1 L. Tomlinson 1.01 96.23 1 C. Johnson 2.06 64.03 1 A. Gates 3.10 25.89
2 C. Palmer 3.04 62.59 2 F. Gore 1.03 75.78 2 R. Williams 3.05 56.99 2 V. Davis 7.08 16.84
3 J. Kitna 5.12 54.82 3 B. Westbrook 1.06 73.18 3 R. Wayne 2.12 53.11 3 J. Shockey 6.09 14.42
4 T. Brady 4.02 47.04 4 J. Addai 1.05 61.96 4 S. Smith (Car) 2.04 50.31 4 T. Heap 6.07 13.00
5 D. Brees 4.06 44.37 5 R. Brown 2.05 51.74 5 T. Holt 2.08 49.22 5 T. Gonzalez 5.05 12.38
6 M. Bulger 4.10 40.24 6 R. Bush 1.09 48.58 6 M. Harrison 2.10 45.48 6 B. Watson 10.02 11.23
7 B. Roethlisberger 9.04 37.81 7 L. Maroney 1.10 45.27 7 L. Fitzgerald 3.03 43.92 7 C. Cooley 7.12 10.69
8 T. Romo 6.02 36.39 8 C. Portis 2.07 42.76 8 R. Brown 5.07 39.22 8 B. Olsen -- 7.85
9 M. Leinart 7.11 35.78 9 M. Jones Drew 2.07 39.90 9 T. Owens 2.11 38.04 9 H. Miller 10.12 5.95
10 C. Pennington 12.01 31.76 10 R. Johnson 1.10 33.91 10 D. Jackson 6.11 35.68 10 D. Graham 14.09 5.45
11 D. McNabb 5.07 27.88 11 E. James 2.09 37.02 11 C. Chambers 6.10 35.26 11 E. Johnson 13.03 4.64
12 J. Garcia 12.10 27.71 12 C. Williams 3.12 35.05 12 R. Moss 4.06 32.63 12 O. Daniels 12.11 4.17
13 V. Young 7.06 25.15 13 S. Jackson 1.02 32.43 13 L. Evans 4.05 31.07 13 A. Crumpler 8.07 3.96
14 R. Grossman 13.02 23.25 14 W. Parker 1.08 26.37 14 A. Boldin 3.09 26.74 14 J. Witten 9.03 3.67
15 B. Favre 9.11 23.15 15 L. Johnson 1.03 28.73 15 D. Stallworth 8.03 25.70 15 R. McMichael 11.02 2.78
16 S. McNair 13.04 22.45 16 S. Alexander 1.06 28.58 16 T. J. Housh 3.10 24.93 16 K. Winslow 7.10 2.32
17 J. Cutler 8.04 22.04 17 T. Henry 1.11 26.29 17 S. Holmes 9.08 23.58 17 Dal. Clark 12.05 2.14
18 M. Hasselbeck 7.03 20.69 18 T. Jones 2.11 20.70 18 J. Walker 3.11 22.56 18 B. Scaife -- 1.84
19 P. Rivers 7.11 20.16 19 D. Williams 4.08 20.61 19 M. Colston 4.04 21.73 19 L. Pope -- 1.18
20 J. Delhomme 10.03 19.78 20 C. Benson 2.12 19.14 20 A. Johnson 3.10 21.41 20 M. Lewis --. 0.99
21 E. Manning 9.01 19.33 21 W. McGahee 2.01 16.91 21 D. Driver 4.06 19.94 21 J. Stevens -- 0.79
22 B. Leftwich -- 19.10 22 B. Jacobs 3.04 16.44 22 P. Burress 4.11 19.41 22 M. Pollard -- 0.66
23 J.P. Losman 12.04 18.43 23 C. Taylor 7.03 13.40 23 Mark Clayton 7.03 19.01 23 Z. Miller -- 0.52
24 A. Smith 10.09 18.00 24 M. Barber 5.08 14.52 24 L. Coles 5.08 18.30 24 C. Baker -- 0.36
25 T. Green 14.04 17.85 25 J. Norwood 5.07 15.92 25 B. Berrian 9.01 17.65 25 D. Martin -- 0.32
26 J. Harrington -- 17.38 26 M. Lynch 3.11 13.79 26 H. Ward 5.06 16.36
27 J. Campbell -- 14.37 27 D. McCallister 4.04 13.09 27 Cal. Johnson 5.12 15.69
28 D. Culpepper -- 13.47 28 L. Jordan 6.04 16.38 28 J. Galloway 7.06 15.19
29 M. Schaub 12.01 11.39 29 J. Lewis 5.03 11.39 29 M. Jones 11.09 14.76
30 T. Jackson -- 11.03 30 A. Green 4.10 10.02 30 V. Jackson 7.07 14.65
31 B. Croyle -- 10.63 31 L. Betts 7.10 9.60 31 D. Henderson 10.05 13.46
32 C. Frye -- 9.19 32 L. White 9.04 8.24 32 J. Horn 11.04 13.01
  33 Kevin Jones 8.02 6.14 33 E. Kennison 13.09 12.93
  34 A. Peterson 4.12 4.13 34 J. Porter 9.12 12.36
  35 F. Taylor 7.05 6.32 35 B. Jones 11.02 10.15
  36 C. Brown 9.06 5.92 36 J. Cotchery 8.02 9.47

Special Note: This is my 100th Gut Check column at FFToday and it being a bit of a milestone, I’d like to thank some people who (whether they know it or not) for helping me get here. First and foremost, a thanks needs to go to FFToday’s publisher, Mike Krueger, who gave me the opportunity to contribute to the site, pay my entry fees to compete on behalf of the site, and his overall generosity of his time, his couch, and his ambulance service to St. Luke’s ER last February. I especially appreciate Mike for going through the absolute grind of uploading the countless tables and charts I have in most columns.

Justin Dean had the original idea of measuring consistency among players in a way that I eventually turned into the Crank Score—thanks for the idea that has given me a wealth of material. Jon Sherman, thanks for getting me on your radio shows in 6-7 years ago when you were one of the first to interview fantasy football writers. It was great being the ringer of your callers. It provided me useful training to be on the other side of the mic.

My first fantasy football league the AABFFL, who used to meet at Spanky’s on Monday Nights to tally the weekly results from the newspaper box scores. It has been 12 years and I still care about winning this league more than any I’ve entered in recent years. Thanks guys for keeping me humble, it is still the toughest league around.

My ex of 8 years who probably isn’t reading this, but I thank you for your encouragement, humor, and a crazy-wonderful year in Jamaica. If it weren’t for that trip, I wouldn’t have realized how much I loved writing and football—I nearly set off a brawl with a bunch of soccer hooligans at a local pub when I wouldn’t change the channel from a Raiders game. And you gave me the opportunity to change careers. You were right about Ladainian Tomlinson as far back as 1999, you know (but you know I let you have Shaun Alexander). Although we’ve moved on, I’ll never forget.

And Mike MacGregor, thanks for several things: hooking me up with this opportunity, turning good ideas into better ideas, buying a poor writer a bad-ass PC, and teaming up with me to total 10 cars, 5 mobile homes, and a tractor trailer at FF Today Headquarters. How the police never found out is a mystery to me.

And “Floyd,” if you happen to be reading this—I told you I wouldn’t write about you, but I just wanted to say hello and tell you that you’re the envy of hundreds of thousands of guys who read columns like mine. Somehow, I doubt that matters to you one bit—and that’s just one of the many reasons why I like you.

Most of all, thanks to all of you who read my stuff. I appreciate the criticism, suggestions, questions, and ideas. You’ve proven that knowledgeable fantasy football owners are as interested in details and research as much as quick answers. I learn from you every year and it’s been great do this for the last 4 seasons. I hope for many more to come.

Best,

Matt