I have been around this scene now for a couple of years, but you might be asking yourself, “who the hell is this guy to talk to me about fantasy football?” And I will gladly surrender that that is an excellent question. You should constantly be questioning if someone has the right to generate content that is worth your time. Be critical. Be careful with your attention. That being said, let’s kick it off; my name is Alex, also known as u/PeakedInHighskool, and I am a fantasy football addict. Being an addict does not make me an expert, and I never will claim to be an expert on fantasy football. I never played football growing up, and to be honest, I didn’t watch football before getting into fantasy until a couple of years ago. In 2017, I actually learned what a tight end (TE) was and what value this position added to the game. I was a blank slate and very, very raw. But this allowed me to approach fantasy like I approach all my hobbies, with manic levels of attention, research, and a complete disregard for personal relationships. You know, like a well-adjusted adult.
In 2016 my girlfriend and I graduated with our Masters and moved about 1000 miles away from our friends and family to start a life together. In the summer of 2017, that girlfriend accepted a position about 300 miles away, leaving me alone for the first time in my life. It just so happened that my old college roommate asked me to join his fantasy league with some mutual friends, and I used it as a time-sink to help me cope with my new living situation. Fantasy football was my escape during a lonely and challenging part of my life, a time where I had to become self-sufficient and figure out how to be alone. I started my research by binging Youtube Videos on the basics of Football and Fantasy.
My background is in engineering and research, and I knew I needed a foundation for my new obsession. This quickly morphed into cramming 8-12 hours of fantasy football podcasts into my day on 1.5 to 2x speed to gain the crucial knowledge I was lacking. I binged podcasts like: Harris Football, The Fantasy Footballers, The Late Round Podcast, Fantasy Football Today, The Most Accurate Podcast, and many more. Being conversational and understanding the basics was very important to me, and I didn’t want to look like a noob. Weeks before my first draft, I prepared draft sheets and hit the ground running. I found r/fanatsyfootball early in my journey and spent entirely too much time in that community. F5 gang rise up! I asked stupid questions and abused index threads trying to get more input and support. After a time, I noticed a significant deficiency in how data was analyzed and presented to the overall fantasy community, not just Reddit.
A big pet peeve of mine is people who push opinions as facts, and this issue runs rampant in this community. Most statements regarding fantasy football are educated guesses masquerading as facts, when in fact, they are shades of gray with a wide-ranging possibility of being correct. So, it is essential to aggregate as many opinions into one analysis and average them to get the most likely results for this silly game. This moment is where my journey into fantasy football data analysis begins. My focus was on analyzing fantasy expert output and not specifically on actual player data. I started by looking specifically at trade value charts and applying a more logical and systematic approach. This is basically all I do; I study how player values change and morph over time. This approach is my specialty and my niche. But I am writing this guide to help people with the basics of what I learned and maybe present some thought exercises to help people analyze their game in a new light.