The Simulated Experts’ Fantasy League

Way back in 2007, during the very first year of Da Blog, I flirted with holding a simulated fantasy league to find out which site had the best experts, even going so far as holding a draft before the combined stress of that and counting up points by hand in Excel (good luck finding a site that will let you run every team in a league – even the one I chose I have to trick) forced me to abandon it right away. However, last year my thoughts turned towards trying again, so that’s what I’m going to do, even though other sites have sprung up to compare fantasy experts, and have gone as far as actually holding a league of the top experts.

Rosters are 16 players, with starters 1 QB, 2 RB, 2 WR, 1 TE, 1 RB/WR, 1 DST, 1 K. (Maximums: 4 QB, 7 RB or WR, 3 TE, DST, or K.) Scoring is as follows, based on the general consensus of the rules of most leagues. I wound up designing the scoring rules for defensive yardage myself, because very few leagues have them by default and those that do have wildly differing philosophies. It would have been most fair to omit them entirely, but I went with realism over standards.

  • 4 points per passing TD
  • 6 points per TD (except QB passing)
  • 2 points per 2-point conversion
  • 1 point per 25 passing yards
  • 1 point per 10 running or receiving yards
  • -2 points per turnover (interceptions or lost fumbles)
  • 1 point per PAT
  • 3 points per field goal
  • 4 points per FG of 40-50 yards
  • 5 points per FG of >50 yards
  • 2 points per defensive turnover
  • 2 points per safety
  • 1 point per sack
  • 10 points for 0 points allowed
  • 7 points for <7 points allowed
  • 4 points for <14 points allowed
  • 1 point for <21 points allowed
  • 0 points for <28 points allowed
  • -1 point for <35 points allowed
  • -4 points for >35 points allowed
  • 10 points for <100 yards allowed
  • 7 points for <200 yards allowed
  • 4 points for <250 yards allowed
  • 1 point for <300 yards allowed
  • 0 points for <400 yards allowed
  • -1 point for <500 yards allowed
  • -4 points for >500 yards allowed

The way the schedule works, each team plays each other once and plays three other teams an additional time, for a total of 14 games. The team with the most overall points through 14 weeks is guaranteed a spot in the playoffs regardless of record. To ensure a balanced schedule, the schedule for weeks 12, 13, and 14 – the three additional games – will not be finalized until after Week 11. The entire schedule isn’t finalized yet. Roster moves are handled largely the same way they were going to be in 2007. The draft is being held Wednesday (I was going to do it sooner but I was waiting to see if Yahoo would have rankings that at least took into account the Chris Johnson signing), with the following first-round order; I restricted myself to sites that posted overall rankings instead of just positional rankings. Keep checking this page and my tweeter as the draft progresses.

  1. Commissioner’s Favorite ( Adrian Peterson, RB, Vikings
  2. Worldwide Leaders (ESPN): Chris Johnson, RB, Titans
  3. The SportsLine (CBS): Arian Foster, RB, Texans
  4. Takedown Glaze (Fox): Jamaal Charles, RB, Chiefs (Note: I’m also using these very outdated rankings as the above-linked ones look too weird to be draft rankings as opposed to Week 1 rankings.)
  5. College Busters (Yahoo): Ray Rice, RB, Ravens
  6. Swimsuit Issues (SI): LeSean McCoy, RB, Eagles
  7. Team Infograph (USA Today): Maurice Jones-Drew, RB, Jaguars
  8. Indy Tea Party ( Darren McFadden, RB, Raiders
  9. Ron Burgundy All-Stars (KFFL): Andre Johnson, WR, Texans
  10. Politically Incorrect (RealTime Fantasy Sports): Aaron Rodgers, QB, Packers
  11. Wisdom of Crowds (FantasyPros): Rashard Mendenhall, RB, Steelers
  12. Inside Information (Fleaflicker): Calvin Johnson, WR, Lions (more after the jump)

    Read moreThe Simulated Experts’ Fantasy League

The web site picks’ mock fantasy football league

(We’re still working on the title.)

The idea is simple: simulate a fantasy football season based on the draft boards of many of the leading sports sites. I don’t know if you trust the same sites that give you the stats and scores to give you the best picks in fantasy, but we’ll do this anyway. I’ll hold a draft involving the boards for the following sites.

During the season, we’ll use standard scoring and rosters but use total points, not H2H. All picks will be based on the best available player on each service’s draft board until late in the draft, when any positional deficiecies will be taken care of in the following order: RB, QB, WR, TE, DEF, K. After each week, any player not in the top 200 overall, and also not in the top for their position (16 for kickers, 24 for defenses, TEs, and QBs, 40 for WRs, 50 for RBs), will be autocut and new selections will be made to replace them; worst team gets the free agent with the most points, unless they need to make up positional deficiencies for any reason next week, or unless their rankings are dynamically updated. For the first week, starters are determined based on the draft board, and thereafter by most points among contending players on a team, unless rankings are dynamically updated.

Teams are listed by first-round draft order and with their first round picks, Week 1 starters in bold:

  1. LaDainian Tomlinson, RB, Chargers
  2. Steven Jackson, RB, Rams
  3. CBS Shaun Alexander, RB, Seahawks
  4. Fox Larry Johnson, RB, Chiefs
  5. Frank Gore, RB, 49ers
  6. Yahoo: Joseph Addai, RB, Colts
  7. USA Today: Rudi Johnson, RB, Bengals (ends a streak of four straight picks ranked 3rd or 4th on their respective boards)
  8. Sporting News: Brian Westbrook, RB, Eagles

Here’s the rest of the draft:

  1. SN: Willie Parker, RB, Steelers
  2. USAT: Peyton Manning, QB, Colts
  3. YAH: Laurence Maroney, RB, Patriots
  4. SI: Travis Henry, RB, Broncos
  5. FOX: Willis McGahee, RB, Ravens
  6. CBS: Reggie Bush, RB, Saints
  7. ESPN: Steve Smith, WR, Panthers (ooh, slow start…)
  8. NFL: Ronnie Brown, RB, Dolphins
  9. NFL: Drew Brees, QB, Saints (huh? why not Palmer?)
  10. ESPN: Marvin Harrison, WR, Colts (but what about a QB?)
  11. CBS: Carson Palmer, QB, Bengals
  12. FOX: Terrell Owens, WR, Cowboys (where to start…)
  13. SI: Edgerrin James, RB, Cardinals (talk about controversy)
  14. YAH: Maurice Jones-Drew, RB, Jaguars (ditto)
  15. USAT: Torry Holt, WR, Rams (both ESPN and USAT have not selected second RBs, worrying me)
  16. SN: Clinton Portis, RB, Redskins (another RB controversy)
  17. SN: Chad Johnson, WR, Bengals (note: no QB selected yet)
  18. USAT: Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Cardinals
  19. YAH: Brandon Jacobs, RB, Giants (four! four RBs selected already!)
  20. SI: Thomas Jones, RB, Jets (ditto)
  21. FOX: Reggie Wayne, WR, Colts (still no QB selected, like YAH and SI)
  22. CBS: Cedric Benson, RB, Bears
  23. ESPN: Deuce McAllister, RB, Saints (finally select a second RB but still no QB)
  24. NFL: Marshawn Lynch, RB, Bills
  25. NFL: Tom Brady, QB, Patriots (I smell QB controversy; 26th on its board, and next would be #32 Ahman Green)
  26. ESPN: Carnell Williams, RB, Buccaneers (NFL robbed ESPN of Brady for no reason)
  27. CBS: Roy Williams, WR, Lions (first WR picked by CBS in this draft)
  28. FOX: Antonio Gates, TE, Chargers (Fox has him ranked 26th! It is the fifth round, but shouldn’t they at least take a QB first?)
  29. SI: Randy Moss, WR, Patriots (finally ending the RB streak, but where’s the QB?)
  30. YAH: TJ Houshmandzadeh, WR, Bengals (ditto)
  31. USAT: Marion Barber III, RB, Cowboys (last team to take a second RB)
  32. SN: Javon Walker, WR, Broncos
  33. SN: Donald Driver, WR, Packers (when will they take a QB?)
  34. USAT: Plaxico Burress, WR, Giants (third WR taken, suggesting a WR-centric strategy)
  35. YAH: Marques Colston, WR, Saints (still need a QB)
  36. SI: Andre Johnson, WR, Texans (ditto, and Bulger is next on SI board… where will he go after 5 1/2?)
  37. FOX: Ahman Green, RB, Texans (also still need a QB)
  38. CBS: Marc Bulger, QB, Rams (as with NFL, a QB controversy)
  39. ESPN: Jamal Lewis, RB, Browns (ranked ahead of Bulger on ESPN board)
  40. NFL: Anquan Boldin, WR, Cardinals (last team to take a WR, after 3 RBs and 2 QBs)
  41. NFL: Adrian Peterson, RB, Vikings
  42. ESPN: Chester Taylor, RB, Vikings (ahead of Peterson on ESPN board)
  43. CBS: Donovan McNabb, QB, Eagles (ESPN rules allow a max 4 QBs, so CBS can only take one more!)
  44. FOX: Julius Jones, RB, Cowboys (thru 7 rounds, Fox has 4 RBs, 2 WRs, and a TE, but is one of five with no QBs when CBS has three! There should be only two no-QB teams! I need to add a trade rule)
  45. SI: Lee Evans, WR, Bills (three straight WRs after four straight RBs)
  46. YAH: Jerious Norwood, RB, Cardinals (five! five RBs in just seven rounds!)
  47. USAT: Kellen Winslow II, TE, Browns (USAT has had a very balanced draft, with a third WR instead of RB the only shortcoming, including being one of only three with a QB)
  48. SN: Tony Gonzalez, TE, Chiefs
  49. SN: Darrell Jackson, WR, 49ers (Through 8: 3 RB, 4 WR, 1 TE. Shortcomings: QB, DEF, K.)
  50. USAT: Jeremy Shockey, TE, Giants (Through 8: 2 RB, 1 QB, 3 WR, 2 TE. Shortcomings: DEF, K.)
  51. YAH: Hines Ward, WR, Steelers (Through 8: 5 RB, 3 WR. Shortcomings: QB, TE, DEF, K.)
  52. SI: Lavernaues Coles, WR, Jets (Through 8: 4 RB, 4 WR. Shortcomings: QB, TE, DEF, K. Very streaky with streaks of 4 straight RBs and WRs.)
  53. FOX: Brandon Jackson, RB, Packers (Through 8: 5 RB, 2 WR, 1 TE. Shortcomings: QB, DEF, K.)
  54. CBS: Jon Kitna, QB, Lions (Through 8: 4 QB, 3 RB, 1 WR. Shortcomings: WR, TE, DEF, K. That’s it, CBS can’t take any more QBs. Now there should only be one QB-less team.)
  55. ESPN: Matt Hasselbeck, QB, Seahawks (ESPN should have picked up a QB a long time ago, but now at least half the teams have QBs. Through 8: 1 QB, 5 RB, 2 WR. Shortcomings: TE, DEF, K. After three rounds with only one RB, ESPN went on a four straight RB tear.)
  56. NFL: Tatum Bell, RB, Lions (Through 8: 2 QB, 5 RB, 1 WR. Shortcomings: WR, TE, DEF, K.)

  1. NFL: DeAngelo Williams, RB, Panthers (to think I thought the 8 RB limit wouldn’t be a factor!)
  2. ESPN: Ladell Betts, RB, Redskins (ditto)
  3. CBS: Reggie Brown, WR, Eagles (both Vince Young and Philip Rivers are ranked ahead of him, making this the first intervention; can they not be far on the other lists? Corrects WR shortcoming.)
  4. FOX: Deion Branch, WR, Seahawks
  5. SI: Santana Moss, WR, Redskins
  6. YAH: Calvin Johnson, WR, Lions
  7. USAT: Todd Heap, TE, Ravens (After following very good strategy for most of the first half, USAT falls apart with three straight TEs. That’s the maximum.)
  8. SN: Chris Chambers, WR, Dolphins
  9. SN: Braylon Edwards, WR, Browns
  10. USAT: DeShawn Foster, RB, Panthers
  11. YAH: Fred Taylor, RB, Jaguars
  12. SI: Tony Romo, QB, Cowboys (Corrects QB shortcoming. But this seems a little risky, even if he is next on CBS after Young and Rivers.)
  13. FOX: Terry Glenn, WR, Cowboys
  14. CBS: Mark Clayton, WR, Ravens
  15. ESPN: Joey Galloway, WR, Buccaneers
  16. NFL: Vince Young, QB, Titans
  17. NFL: Phillp Rivers, QB, Chargers ( takes both QBs passed up by CBS and hits the four-QB limit itself)
  18. ESPN: Alge Crumpler, TE, Falcons (Corrects TE shortcoming.)
  19. CBS: Vincent Jackson, WR, Chargers
  20. FOX: Bears Defense (69th on FOX board. First D off the board in 11th round.)
  21. SI: Lamont Jordan, RB, Raiders
  22. YAH: Warrick Dunn, RB, Falcons (7th RB taken by YAH)
  23. USAT: Eli Manning, QB, Giants (Enforced pass-up of Redskins TE Chris Cooley. Second QB taken by USAT when four teams still go without.)
  24. SN: Donte Stallworth, WR, Patriots (7th WR taken by SN and 4th straight.)
  25. SN: Bernard Berrian, WR, Bears (SN becomes first team to hit 8 WR limit with its 5th straight WR. Shortcomings: QB, DEF, K. May have to start enforced position selection Round 14.)
  26. USAT: Brett Favre, QB, Packers (Enforced pass-up of L.J. Smith and Randy McMichael. What is Favre doing here in the 12th round? 3rd USAT QB. Shortcomings: DEF, K. Potential EPS starting Round 15.)
  27. YAH: Chris Cooley, TE, Redskins (Takes care of TE need. Shortcomings: QB, DEF, K. Potential EPS starting Round 14.)
  28. SI: LenDale White, RB, Titans (6 RB, 5 WR, 1 QB. Shortcomings: TE, DEF, K. Potential EPS starting Round 14.)
  29. FOX: Kevin Jones, RB, Lions (Shortcomings: QB, K. Potential EPS starting Round 15.)
  30. CBS: Jerricho Cotchery, WR, Jets (Shortcomings: TE, DEF, K. Potential EPS starting Round 14.)
  31. ESPN: Joe Horn, WR, Falcons (Shortcomings: DEF, K. Potential EPS starting Round 15.)
  32. NFL: Ravens Defense (Enforced pass-up of Matt Leinart. This is everything that’s right about caps because this actually takes care of a need. Shortcomings: WR, TE, K. Potential EPS starting Round 14.)

  1. NFL: Vernon Davis, TE, 49ers (Corrects TE shortcoming, delays EPS to Round 15.)
  2. ESPN: Isaac Bruce, WR, Rams
  3. CBS: Benjamin Watson, TE, Patriots (Also passes up Matt Leinart, but delays EPS to Round 15.)
  4. FOX: Patriots Defense (How greedy to take a second defense you’ll practically never use when you really need a QB!)
  5. SI: Matt Leinart, QB, Cardinals (Will engage in EPS Round 14.)
  6. YAH: Kevin Curtis, WR, Eagles (Will engage in EPS Round 14.)
  7. USAT: Devery Henderson, WR, Saints
  8. SN: Vernand Morency, RB, Packers
  9. SN: Ben Roethlsiberger, QB, Steelers (Forced selection due to positional deficiency.)
  10. USAT: Adam Vinatieri, K, Patriots (USAT has him 91st on its board! This is only an 8-team draft and it’s still only the 14th round of 16! But that means the only EPS would be DEF in Round 16 if one isn’t taken in the 15th.)
  11. YAH: Jay Cutler, QB, Broncos (Forced selection due to positional deficiency.)
  12. SI: Jason Witten, TE, Cowboys (Forced selection due to positional deficiency.)
  13. FOX: Chargers Defense (WTF? That’s the third defense, that’s the limit! Now we have to wait for the 15th for an EPS QB!
  14. CBS: Leon Washington, RB, Jets (Will engage in EPS Round 15.)
  15. ESPN: L.J. Smith, TE, Eagles (Will engage in EPS Round 15.)
  16. NFL: Chris Brown, RB, Titans
  17. NFL: D.J. Hackett, WR, Seahawks (EPS kicked in just in time, because the next player available on the board, Ben Roethlisberger, had enforced pass-up on him, and was 100th out of 100.)
  18. ESPN: Jaguars Defense (Forced selection due to positional deficiency.)
  19. CBS: Steelers Defense (Forced selection due to positional deficiency.)
  20. FOX: Alex Smith, QB, 49ers (Forced selection due to positional deficiency.)
  21. SI: Broncos Defense (Forced selection due to positional deficiency.)
  22. YAH: Dolphins Defense (Forced selection due to positional deficiency.)
  23. USAT: JP Losman, QB, Bills
  24. SN: Panthers Defense (Forced selection due to positional deficiency. Amazingly, this is the first 15th round defense to be ranked behind another 15th round defense.)
  25. SN: Nate Kaeding, K, Chargers (All Round 16 selections are forced.)
  26. USAT: Cowboys Defense
  27. YAH: Jeff Wilkins, K, Rams (Ranked ahead of Kaeding.)
  28. SI: Robbie Gould, K, Bears
  29. FOX: Matt Stover, K, Ravens (Ranked ahead of Gould.)
  30. CBS: Jason Elam, K, Broncos (Placed third among kickers behind Wilkins and Vinaitieri.)
  31. ESPN: Shayne Graham, K, Bengals (Ditto.)
  32. NFL: Neil Rackers, K, Cardinals (Ranked ahead of Stover, Elam, and Graham. “Mr. Irrelavent” himself.)