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Following your gut feeling

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Postby deftdelivery » Sun Aug 08, 2004 10:28 am

KingGhidra wrote:I make it a general rule not to just draft someone on a lark without having a good reason.

I use my gut for two things. A tiebreaker, which I think all of us do. The 2nd is to prompt some research. Sometimes I'll be thinking about fantasy football and my gut will make me think something like "I bet running QBs hold their value better from year to year than immobile QBs".

Recently my gut has been telling me that tall running backs are more injury prone than shorter ones. Probably silly, but Fred Taylor is 6-1 and Robert Smith is 6-2 and both got off to an injury plagued start of their career. A warning for you McAllister (6-1) and Ahman (6-0) owners out there.




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I'm not nearly as much of a stat-whore as KG is, and I'll tell you that I really don't give a crap about the last 3 years' stats and whatnot. To me, fantasy football is no more than 40% skill...no matter how many stats you throw together and compile, you're not going to be able to successfully draft a healthy, perfect team. To do that, you'd have to be lucky. Now obviously I have a general idea of how players have done the last 3 years, but I don't really take into account the exact #'s. I know Curtis Martin only scored a couple times last year, but I don't have his stats memorized nor care for access to them...if you get what I'm saying. I may be foolish, but I tend to rely on my gut a lot. My gut tells me to pick up guys off the waiver wire, to initiate trades, and to take some risks. It's going off the main path that can win you a title...the intangibles have to be there. But that's just my style of playing. To the stat-boys out there, have fun digesting year after year of #'s. I hate math :-b
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Postby CC » Sun Aug 08, 2004 11:28 am

I'm kind of a stat boy, and on the Curtis Martin topic he had 1308 yards and 2 TDs last year (thats straight off the top of my head).
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Postby smackthefirst » Sun Aug 08, 2004 11:38 am

Yes your gut comes into it, but if you completely ignore stats and trends and such, youll be in trouble.

It all goes along the line "Chance favors the prepared mind."

Yeah theres alot of luck in FF, but it can be minimalized. For example, you try to minimize this risk by not drafting injury prone players, players fresh from injusry, or players getting up there in age.

You can say its your gut telling you not to take Priest becasue hes old, but thats you rationilizing all the info you took in. Be it a lot or a little.

But there are times when your gut just tells you to go against the odds and do it. That was the case last year with Jamal. I knew he was off injury and so on, but had a feeling that he would rebound very nicely. but even this gut feeling was based on my knwing his running style and mentality.

Fact is the more stats, trends, and projections you look at and investigate, the better prepared you will be to make those "gut" decisions.
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Postby Cornbread Maxwell » Sun Aug 08, 2004 1:04 pm

These last few guys make great points - there is simply no substitute for doing your homework. I disagree that only 40% of FFootball is skill. I see at as something greater than 70%. Sure luck is involved, but predicting Vick would get injured isnt luck - people analyzed a situation and said wow - this guy is a serious injury risk. The same can be said of so many things - like when KG alluded to tall RBs getting injured. If KG finds a statistical confirmation of this and acts on it and Green and Deuce get injured - thats not luck fellas - thats a whole bucketload of skill.

The only reason I am posting in this thread is to stress how much luck doesnt play as big a factor as some might suggest. In fact, I see "going with you gut" is used too much and the fantasy freaks around here that spend hours a day minimizing luck eat those who dont for lunch.

Dont let "going with your gut" be used as a copout for making poor choices because of not enough analysis - there's a lot of fantasy players that jumped for Vick last yr going on thier gut.
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Postby KingGhidra » Sun Aug 08, 2004 4:45 pm

Cornbread Maxwell wrote:The same can be said of so many things - like when KG alluded to tall RBs getting injured. If KG finds a statistical confirmation of this and acts on it and Green and Deuce get injured - thats not luck fellas - thats a whole bucketload of skill.


Okay I just did a spreadsheet. I didn't expect much to come of this, but it was actually pretty interesting. I pretty much took a list of top fantasy performers for 1998 and 2003 and looked at their entire careers. I ignored people who weren't getting at least 100 carries in a season.

I got a list of 61 running backs with a combined 368 seasons of playing experience. The average games missed over a career is 13.76% or a shade over 2 games per season. That's actually a useful statistic since it's a decent sample size. Don't fret about backs who miss 1-2 games a year. In fact, you should probably expect your stud RB to miss 2 games no matter what his history is.

Anyway here's how they break down by height.

5-8: 3 RBs, 5.9% or < 1 game missed/season. Not really significant since the sample is so small. Most notable player is Barry Sanders.

5-9: 6 RBs, 9.85% or 1.5 games missed/season. Again not really significant because of the small size. However, if not for Michael Bennett it would be about 1% lower. Notable players: Priest, D. Davis, Henry, Bennett.

5-10: 12 RBs, 9.69% or 1.5 games missed/season. Natrone Means throws things off. This category would be 1% lower also. Notable players: Ricky Williams, Thomas Jones, Marshall Faulk, Thurman Thomas, Charlie Garner, Brian Westbrook, Rudi Johnson, Emmitt Smith, LT2, Rudi Johnson, Tiki Barber. The most interesting thing is how many top backs are 5'10.

5-11: 13 RBs, 15.06% or ~ 2.5 games missed/season. Small sample size again, but the huge leap up from 5-10 is somewhat interesting. Notable players: SA, C-Mart, Shipp, Bettis, Portis, Staley, Jamal Lewis, Hearst, Jamal Anderson.

6-0: 10 RBs, 19.21% games missed. Definitely a steady increase in games missed as you get taller. Notable players: Stephen Davis, TJ Duckett, Edge, Tyrone Wheatley, Bam Morris, Correll Buckhalter.

6-1: 11 RBs, 19.23% or ~ 3 games missed/season. Notable players: Hambrick, Deuce, Dillon, Barlow, Alstott, Taylor.

6-2: 5 RBs, 11.45% or 1.8 games missed. This is why having a small sample size is bad. Notable players: Antowain Smith, A-Train.

6-3: 1 RB, 0% of games missed. The ultimate stud, Eddie George is the only person I've found this tall.

Definitely not leaping to any conclusions here, but the increase in games missed after 5-10 is interesting enough that I'm gonna go back to 1993 and possibly 1988 so I can add another 50-60 players to the sample and see how things shake down.
Last edited by KingGhidra on Mon Aug 09, 2004 7:04 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby jbones733 » Sun Aug 08, 2004 9:14 pm

i use both, i use books & information, for stats , find out whose in a good spot, all that jazz, ex (dom davis saying, 2000 yards for him) i like his confidence, but that also figures into my gut feeling also.

i also watch a ton of game both nfl & ncaa so i seen alot of guys play. i know what i like.

Gut is big like i will not draft barlow at all. i just dont think hes going to be a solid back & i dont like san fran at all this year, Id much rather have Chris Browon who i seen tore it up down in rado & in limited time in tennessee
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Postby IRON CHEF » Sun Aug 08, 2004 11:32 pm

Interesting find KG, you were missing the number of games missed for 6 foot backs by the way. Like you said I think you will find much more accurate results with a larger test size. I try not to factor size too much when I analyze a player, but this may make me think it over a little more.
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Postby MadScott » Mon Aug 09, 2004 2:09 am

Your findings stand to reason KG. You always hear about NFL players wanting to be the one's that deliver the blow rather than receive it. It only stands to reason that if you have less to lower, you are going to be in a better position quicker to deliver that blow.

Very interesting chart and yet something else that I will ponder. Like it or not, how these guys are physically put together absolutely figures into what happens with their FF stats.
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Postby Impressionable » Mon Aug 09, 2004 3:16 am

Very interesting data there KG, and I assumed as much also. It also is interesting to note that statistically, the best backs in terms of career yardage are usually between 5'8" and 5'10". Yet, it's very possible that this data is inconclusive and is too limited to make accurate assumptions from.

Basically what the gut is assumptions and inferences. Your gut may tell you that person A will have a great year, though you may be alone from that. That gut feeling doesn't sprout from nowhere, you can't get that idea if you don't have a clue about football at all, that gut feeling is a product of the information you have, what you assume about their validity, and your inference as to the player and the system, etc.

Though what KG presented was interesting, you may consider it a trend more than an actual fact. Remember, every year, there seems to be a new "trend" defense that people try to model after. It's too inconclusive to make an assumption that Ahman Green or Deuce will get injured, as they weren't last year, but it's possible. The thing is, how much data correlation do we need to mark it down as fact? Eddie George is the tallest back around, and he's been solid as a rock. It's far too easy to make the assumption and label that as "gut".

An alien who comes to earth and finds himself on land can make the assumption that the earth is 100% land, but that's not necessarily (and we know it isn't) correct.
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Re: Following your gut feeling

Postby Johnny Ballgame » Mon Aug 09, 2004 4:02 pm

V-unit wrote:Is there anyone like me that go with there gut Feeling instead of what people and magazines say about players?
THe reason i say this is because i have done this the past 3 years and ive been lucky.Last year for example everyone was talking about Taylor,Henry, and Tiki but they barely metioned J.Lewis.I had the 10th pick last year and took a risk in grabbing Lewis becuse of my gut felling and anylazing his situation.People thought i was crazy but i did my reserch and it worked out this year by winning the championship.I have taken risks for the following Tomlinson (2nd year),Culpepper(rookie year) and Duece (year Ricky left N.O.).


While I think your gut has to be taken into account during the draft - I think it is as important during the season with waiver wire pick-ups. Several years ago - when Trent went down in St. Louis - those whose gut told them that a little fella named Warner would do well in that system - were rewarded in a huge way and many of them won the season because of that one move. Last year anyone who had forsight to pick-up Boldin got rewarded same with Rudi Johnson and the list is endless. During the draft you have to have some facts under your belt such as Yards per carry/catch/pass, what kind of system do they run it, surronding personnel, those sorts of things. That's why it's important not to go on gut alone. However - when you get down to choosing Fred Taylor or Stephen Davis - your gut will take over and you will pick the one that you think will have the better year.
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