Fantasy Football Fanatics; Player Ratings lead us to Player Rankings

Player Ratings System

Believe it or not, when formulating Player Rankings, the first step is where many Fantasy Football Analysts tend to make a critical error.  For decades Player Rankings have been established by comparing each individual player against every other members of the same position, and ranking each accordingly.  For example; when establishing a “WR Rankings” a Fantasy Football Analyst examines every WR in the NFL player pool and selects Calvin Johnson as their #1 WR.  This writer believes Calvin Johnson will have the best statistical production of all WRs in the in the coming season (a solid choice).

Returning to the list of available WRs this Analyst may believe Larry Fitzgerald is the 2nd best WR coming into the new season.  Their Player Rankings would now read;

1) Calvin Johnson,

2) Larry Fitzgerald.

Of the remaining WRs the next most valuable is selected and ranked 3rd (Roddy White for example).  This process continues until every “viable fantasy WR” is removed from the player pool and properly organized into a Writer’s WR Rankings.

I find this outdated approach to be inaccurate, lazy and misleading.  Rather than comparing one player against every other member of his position, we need to rank our players solely based only on the theories that will influence his individual success, or failure.

A far more precise method for establishing our list of Player Rankings will be utilizing our Player Evaluations to create a Player Rating System.  Instead of ranking each player individually, we will assign every player with a specific numeric value representing our predicted outcome to this players yearlong fantasy point production (I always prefer a scale of 1-10).  We then proceed through each completed Evaluation, player-by-player, until every athlete on our list has been assigned a specific Player Rating.

To provide an example I will return to our WR Evaluations.  During our analysis we may believe Calvin Johnson to have a Player Rating of 9.95.  We then provide Larry Fitzgerald a Player Rating of 9.93  Next; Hakeem Nicks = 9.90, Roddy White = 9.90, Greg Jennings = 9.80, Vincent Jackson = 9.85, Mike Wallace = 9.80, Andre Johnson = 9.76, etc. al.  We then arrange these players according to their numeric value signifying the tangible creation of our WR Rankings (Table 15.1)

Once each player has received a proper rating, simply arrange a list according to numeric value to categorize each player according to Our Draft Value.  This becomes the formal creation of our newly developed Player Rankings, utilizing a Player Rating system.


Table 15.1

WR Rankings





Calvin Johnson



Larry Fitzgerald



Roddy White



Hakeem Nicks



Vincent Jackson



Greg Jennings



Mike Wallace



Andre Johnson



There are clear advantages to using a Player Rating System.  For example, a specific numeric assessment allows us to distinguish between players who may have similar, or large discrepancies in Our Draft Value.  Using the old method of Player Rankings the gap between every player had equal value; 1 position in the Rankings (I find it’s foolish to believe every player could have identical differences in value).  As you can see from Table 15.1 our Rating System openly displays a clear distinction between each player’s calculated value entering our League Draft.

Implementing a Player Rating System does not allow for complacency because the author is accountable to a hard number, rather than a quick guesstimation.

By using a Rating System we are forced to give each player a thorough Evaluation, meaning; the last player in our Rankings will receive the same amount of scrutiny as the first overall selection.  Using the old method often times a player in the middle / back end of our Player Rankings may have excellent draft value relative to the selection, but go unnoticed due to a reduction in perceived value.

I would like to note that very few (if any) web sites will actually use a Player Rating System.  The more progressive fantasy web sites will present a variation of Player Ratings by creating “Tiers” within their rankings.  Tiers create a distinct separation amongst smaller groups of equal rated players.  For example, Tier 1 WRs may include; Roddy White, Andre Johnson, Calvin Johnson, Larry Fitzgerald and Vincent Jackson.  Tier 2 WRs may include; Greg Jennings, Hakeem Knicks, Miles Austin and DeSean Jackson.

By creating Tiers the author has made a clear seperation between the players of nearly equal value, somewhat similar to our Player Rating System.  The use of Tiers is one step closer, but falls short of a Rating System.  Still, we should upgrade those Fantasy Football Websites that have the foresight to use Tiers to create their Player Rankings.

As stated above, the primary benefit to a Player Rating System is the freedom to rank each player based solely on his individual situation, rather than comparing one player against a large group of his peers.  Only after we have assigned each player a specific value, and organized each player numerically, can we then distinguish, and then scrutinize two players of nearly equal value (using the example above; Greg Jennings vs. Mike Wallace).

We utilize our Player Ratings to compare and contrast players of similar value head-to-head and establish their precise draft value before entering our League Draft.

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