The Year In Review
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!
We all know 2004 was a strange fantasy season. The Gut Check's
was no different. Yours Truly made a lot of good calls on players
this year, but was unable to take advantage of them in his leagues.
Fortunately, many of his readers were able to capitalize on The
Gut Check's assessments.
From Chris Fronczek:
just wanted to let you know that I was fortunate
enough to win my Fantasy League despite the fact that Westbrook
was inactive for Monday night. I am one of those people who regards
their Fantasy roster components like stocks--some I hold onto
in hopes that their value will grow, and some I get rid of like
The Fantasy Gods truly shined upon me this past
year--but I couldn't have done it without all of the pre-draft
advice from "Gut Check". Thanks again, and best wishes
for a Happy New Year. I look forward to reading your columns and
benefiting from your solid advice.
Mike Rico, Aptos, California:
I subscribe to 2 pay sites plus check various other
ff resources including ESPN, but your articles are the ones that
are the most insightful and the ones I look the most forward to
reading. Keep up the great work!
From Rob (last name unknown):
Thanks for always responding to my questions....
I usually don't respect anyone's opinions since I think I'm the
guru of the fantasy world (lol) but I love your stuff on FFtoday
so I value yours and respect it because you bleed FFL like I do....
From Dave Waddell:
Just wanted to thank you for your 'Weekly
Gut Check - vol. 15' where you identified Mewelde Moore as
this year's Domanick Davis. Guys in my league laughed at me when
I picked him up through our waiver wire and look at what he's
done. Hopefully he'll get the starting job even when the others
return but regardless, nice call!
And my favorite one of the year
This is the best insight I've seen in a long time.
(The Gut Check only has your email address, but you know who
you areYours Truly likes Killian's, Dixie Blackened Voodoo, or
Terrapin Ale if you want to be my supplier and if you really want
to help The Gut Check, get some Heineken, Red Stripe, or a nice
bottle of Merlot for my lady so she won't ask me to spend 45 minutes
listening to her read her lists of stuff we need for the house
during the next 30 years
plus it will keep her warm when
she starts complaining about yours truly):
So without further ado, here's the highs and lows for The Gut
Check in 2004:
- Brian Westbrook as a top 15 RB.
- Corey Dillon as a top 10 RB
- Jimmy Smith as a top 10 WR
- Terrell Owens as a top 5 WR
- Mewelde Moore as a sleeper RB
- Reggie Wayne having a breakout year (top 15 WR)
- Javon Walker having a breakout year
- Andre Johnson having a breakout year
- Drew Brees as a viable free agent pick up early in the
year (Hindsight article)
- Derrick Blaylock as an under the radar pick
- Thomas Jones as a preseason All-Gut Check RB.
- Offensive Line Rankings
- Target Percentage
- 3rd Year
WR Breakout Study
- Stay patient with Brett Favre's slow start.
- Drafting Mewelde Moore
- Drafting Chris Brown
- Adding Rueben Droughns as a free agent
- Larry Fitzgerald as a top 20 WR.
- Byron Leftwich as a top 10 QB.
- Quincy Wilson as a sleeper starter by the end of 2004.
- Not staying patient with Drew Bledsoe
- Don't acquire Brian Griese down the stretch.
- Santana Moss would have a good season.
- Travis Henry would have a good season.
- Shaun King would be a good free agent pick up.
- Lee Suggs would be the clear cut starter (Thanks Butch
- Dropping Marcus Robinson early in the season
- Dropping Jason Witten early in the season
- Keeping Daniel Graham
- Sticking with Steve McNair
The Gut Check had a tough year with his leagues:
- 9-5 in the Fantasy Auctioneer Invitational and missed the
playoffs on a tiebreaker
too bad, too because he had Michael
Bennett, Jake Plummer, Rueben Droughns, Larry Fitzgerald, Rod
Smith, and Tony Gonzalez all set for the championship game.
- 9-7 in his MADFAD 12-team, keeper, contract league where
he's third in power rating which determines a championship.
He's never finished lower than third in the league's four-year
- 265th and 14 points away from making the final cut in the
FFTOC after moving up from 488th place to 196th in four weeks.
The killer? Scratching Brandon Stokley from his Turkey Day lineup
at the last minute.
- 4-9 finish in the Ironman 3 league with Mike MacGregor. It's
Yours Truly's second season and he was playing without free
agent dollars. Still Yours Truly is looking good with his last
two draft classes and trades that helped him discard players
like Eddie George, Tom Brady, and Johnnie Morton in return for
more promising players:
- Byron Leftwich
- Brian Westbrook
- Onterrio Smith
- Larry Fitzgerald
- Brandon Lloyd
- Doug Gabriel
- Darnell Dockett
- Antwaan Odom
- Karlos Dansby
- Dontarrious Thomas
- Sean Jones
- 4-9 finish in his local re-draft leaguehis worst finish everjust
check out Yours Truly's draft from his Knowing Your League series
and you'll understand that injuries and missing out on waiver
selections (we don't bidwe go by reverse order by performance
did Yours Truly in for the year.
Nonetheless, Yours Truly developed some analysis tools that will
help him next year, like it helped others in 2004:
That is the exact analysis I've been wanting for at least
a couple of years. When you set your lineup, there is no more
secure feeling than knowing your guys are going to perform week
in and week out. Catching that 5TD performance every now and
then from your RB is great, but I'd be even happier if you told
me he was guaranteed at least 100 yards and a score.
Thank you so much for putting the effort into that one.
What's even more impressive is that you looked at you statistical
analysis from a pure performance standpoint and kept everything
in fantasy football terms. Who needs standard deviation when
you can have sub par and elite performances?
The analysis is genius! If you put this out at the end of
2004, put me on your mailing list. This info is gold.
Nice article, Matt. Now you know why drafting TO
in one league for the last three years has been paying off in
the form of Super Bowl Titles for me. I've got him again this
year and shooting for four in a row. The same analysis can work
for kickers as well. I have been doing almost the same kind of
pre-draft analysis for the past 3 years and out of the 7 leagues
I've entered I've won 6 SB Titles. Most of the time my pre-draft
player rankings end up looking, way different than the so-called
"Experts Cheatsheets," but as they say "the proof
is in the pudding."
The only thing I don't like about your article is the fact that
you published it. The cat is out of the page now. You should have
kept it "our little secret." Oh well looks like I need
to look for another advantage.
(Offensive Line Article)
Just wanted you to know that I referred to your Offensive
Line article in an article that I wrote for DraftZone. I ALWAYS
like to make my readers aware of any other GREAT articles and
that OL article was GREAT.
Information I can actually use.........Awesome!!! Excellent work
my friend. This will be my 13th FF season and finally, someone
has written material I may actually use to prepare my draft board.
This is the info any true Fantasy Owner/Manager should want to
know. Just don't tell anyone else, will ya.
Thanks! For website, articles, mock drafts, & stats.
You just won my vote.
O line knowledge has to be the second most important
thing to have (just behind depth charts) in order to create successful
player rankings. Your formula looks to be very solid and the article
is the most insightful that I have read.
Now take it off your site so my opponents can't read it!!!!
And last but not least
This is the best insight I've seen in a long time.