This is the golden age for football dorks. (Like me and you.)
It's never been so easy to get so much information online and watch so many games. I usually spend my introduction to the rankings by talking about a certain player or team, but this week let's talk about part of the process to getting those rankings.
Nothing beats watching as much football as possible. There are a lot of reasons for this, but the biggest one is that the football stats we use (yards, touchdowns) are limiting and paint a wildly incomplete picture without more context. They are driven by luck, circumstance, and randomness to a degree that should scare any three-time fantasy champ.
I've said this before, but football is the sport we know least about. There is so much going on in each play we don't see or fully understand. In baseball, the guys at HBT
can criticize decisions, knowing they are right. It's a lot trickier in football.
The lack of knowledge is partially caused by the once-a-week Sunday format. Opinions are formed across the country by analysts and fans alike without actually watching the game in question. People tout Josh Freeman
without really seeing him play outside highlight reels.
That gap in information is starting to close for football dorks, though. Shortcuts on DirecTV's Sunday Ticket were one step. The "search" and "film room" features on NFL.com's Game Rewind is the next one. The 15-year-old version of me would have gone crazy
wearing Game Rewind out. (You know, before things like "life" and "wife" and "work" took up my time.)
I'm not getting paid by NFL.com to tout them. I'm telling you as a service for fantasy fans looking for the next step. That's why you go to Rotoworld and not some generic site. (Appreciate that.) You can search by Game Rewind in any game from the last two years and watch only the snaps they were involved in. You can go back and see all of Kenny Britt
's targets for the year or Matt Schaub
's throws against the Chargers or Mike Goodson
's snaps last week. It's an incredible tool for fantasy owners because nothing beats seeing how
something happened with your own eyes rather than relying on the box score.
Game Rewind also added a "Film Room" feature, where they include the actual coach's film for a handful of plays per game. (Say 10.) This may not be as big a fantasy tool as searching by players, but it's damn cool for junkies and opens up a lot of possibilities down the line.
There is no magic to what Evan Silva, Chris Wesseling, Adam Levitan, and I do. We just have time. Time to read and write about the news. Time to watch more football. These tools are time savers for everyone out there that have real jobs.
If you are debating between who to drop or pick up, you can just watch all the snaps, learn something, and make a more informed decision.
And if you just want to be told what to do, we've got your rankings (and columns) right here. Week 10 QuarterbacksEditor's Note:
I know you guys want the rankings earlier with Thursday night games on the docket. I'll do my best, but the first draft is always posted Tuesday on Season Pass
for our subscribers. QB Notes: Matt Schaub
doesn't look healthy and his protection just isn't the same as last year. He's a top-five play this week in a perfect matchup. Then he may be a sell candidate with a tough slate of games. … David Garrard
has earned matchup-start status. And there is no better matchup than facing the Texans. (Well, except facing the Jaguars.) … Even though I'm impressed with the Chiefs secondary, they still give up plenty of yards. Kyle Orton
is a solid start. … If Kerry Collins
starts for the Titans, put him at No. 23 after Chad Pennington
Atlanta's secondary can be beat. Joe Flacco
continues to play better – he's worth starting across the board this week. … Tom Brady
could have landed a few spots lower this week, but the Steelers are a lot easier to pass against than run. This is a game where the Patriots won't even try to run the ball and they usually bounce back strong from stinkers. Brady isn't a must start, but he's worth a top ten spot. … I'm going to take it as a relatively bad sign Jay Cutler
didn't throw for more yards against the Bills, even if he had a solid fantasy day. …The Bears pass defense is too good to play Brett Favre
against unless you're desperate. … Shaun Hill
would be ranked higher in this matchup, but I want to see how healthy he looks first. … The Bucs may not need to throw much against Carolina to win, and the Panthers secondary remains a strength of the team.