Wednesday - Mar 20, 2019

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Fantasy Forecast: How Old is Old?

It’s that time of year again; thoughts begin to seriously turn to football. Fans get all worked up as hope springs eternal for their team. But for weary fantasy football editors, it can only mean one thing: Projections.

Yep. Projections. Here’s a little secret from a grizzled veteran of this rite of summer: All fantasy editors hate projections. While every fantasy footballer on the planet looks forward to the latest player projections, we hate them. Any editor who tells you otherwise is either lying or drinking. Or both.

Why do we hate projections? I’ve given this some thought, and I’ve boiled it down to two main reasons:

It’s A Lot of Work
– this should be fairly obvious. As an editor, you not only have to come up with your own ratings, you have to act as a referee for your entire staff’s ratings. If you think I’m making the process out to be more difficult than it really is, try this experiment: Walk into your favorite bar, and ask 20 guys who the hottest chick on the planet is. After you get all their answers, make a list that all 20 guys will agree is accurate. I rest my case.

The Job Never Ends
– much like my wife’s nagging, projecting player stats is seemingly endless. Once you think you’ve covered all the angles and have produced the best possible rankings, something pops into your head that causes you to tweak one or two players, which leads to a complete re-ranking of the position, which leads to wondering how those tweaks may affect other positions, which leads to another three days of work…

Case in point, after all our advances in our projection methodology, I thought we had all of the bases covered. I mean, we accounted for past performance, strength of schedule, consistency, trend evaluations. What more could there be?

Wrong! A couple of seasons ago, I began to take note of all the bobbleheads on TV talking about players “being at the age when they hit the wall.” While all of us can stipulate to the ravages of age on physical performance, I began to wonder if there was any way to actually
quantify the effects of age on player performance. In other words, how old is too old for purposes of fantasy football projections? Fortunately for you,
Mighty Max, my trusty supercomputer, is loaded with all the pertinent data and is raring to go!

About Fantasy Sharks began in 2003, disseminating fantasy football content on the web for free. It is, or has been, home to some of the most talented and best known fantasy writers on the planet. Owned and operated by Tony Holm (5 time Fantasy Sports Writer Association Hall-of-Fame nominee,) Tony started writing fantasy content in 1993 for the only three fantasy football web sites in existence at the time.