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Oct 31, 2017

Fantasy Football Sucks

(but daily fantasy football is great)

Is Jay Ajayi a good running back?

Fourth in the league in rushing yards last year. Pro Bowl starter. Consensus low first to high second round fantasy pick. Traded to the Eagles today for a 4th round pick.

What?

Ty Montgomery was good last year. Drafted in the second or third round in most fantasy pools this year. Didn't look all that good to start this year but was on the field for 90%, 86%, and 93% of the Packers offensive possessions the first three weeks, so McCarthy must think he's good.

Ty suffered a rib injury in week 4. Fifth round rookie Aaron Jones took over and has 346 yards and 3 TD in four games. Aaron Jones is definitely good. Now Ty Montgomery is not good. Was he ever? Is Melvin Gordon any good? How about David Johnson? He has to be good. Doesn't he?

I know with a good degree of certainty who the good NBA players are. I have no clue in the NFL. This is a problem for season long fantasy football players who link their emotional well-being to their players each September. You always run the risk of injuries torpedoing your season. That stings, especially in this injury plagued season, but it happens. It's a known risk. Drafting Jay Ajayi at the top of the second round based on a 1200+ yard, 4.9 YPC season and then finding out he sucks halfway through the year. That is brutal. You are a poor evaluator of talent and should be ashamed of yourself. But how could you have known?

You couldn't. There are too many interrelated moving parts in an NFL offense to determine a player's true skill level with any degree of certainty. Even Tom Brady is not immune to the occasional system QB comment. So we make educated (normally poor) guesses on a player's skill level. For a single NFL weekend, we can be off substantially and as long a player is “in a good spot”, that fact that he is actually not a good NFL player will matter relatively less.

Season long leagues are a different story. Highly drafted not good players may masquerade as good players for the entire season, make Pro Bowls and sign lucrative endorsement deals (assuming marketing types are not superior talent evaluators). They may also have one or two poor games and be traded for a conditional 2020 seventh rounder, destroying your season and player evaluation confidence in the process.

The moral of all this is, of course, play daily fantasy football, preferably on Draftboard.com

If it's not clear from the preceding rant, Dan owns both Ajayi and Montgomery in the Draftboard office pool. Dan is not good.

Dan Quinn
CEO, Draftboard.com