Pre-Training Camp Projections and Rankings Update, Supporting Team Notes

NFL training camps are set to get going this week. The first preseason game is not far off now, New York Giants versus Buffalo Bills, on Sunday August 3rd. Things are definitely ramping up on the fantasy football landscape!

I emailed our Draft Buddy customers last Thursday promising a projection update out soon. It didn’t happen Friday, as hoped, but lets start this week off on the right foot. Just published, updated rankings and updated projections based on news, notes, rumours and simply more contemplation of talent, situations and opportunity since our previous update, July 11.

Included below are notes by team that lead to many of the projections and rankings changes. You can see exactly who changed on the web pages, marked by a small up or down arrow. I will make a copy of Projection Pal with our projections included available to Draft Buddy customers, so they can easily import them into their copy of Buddy.

Arizona Cardinals

  • John Brown has upper hand on WR4 spot on the depth chart behind Larry Fitzgerald, Michael Floyd and Ted Ginn Jr.. Brown continues to be a player to monitor but it will be tough for him to make an immediate fantasy impact from WR4 spot.

  • In early June Robert Housler was having, “a fantastic offseason”, but as of late mid-July he is not projected as a top two TE on the Cardinals. Apparently he doesn’t fit what head coach Bruce Arians wants to do. A talented, athletic TE, but we’re reducing his projections and adjusting John Carlson and Jake Ballard.

Baltimore Ravens

  • Ravens are expected to use WR Marlon Brown in the red zone. He scored 7 TD in 14 games last season as an undrafted rookie. His projections are worth another look.

Carolina Panthers

  • Due to recovery from his ankle surgery, Cam Newton didn’t get much time to work with his new wide receivers in minicamp, but they will reportedly get together prior to training camp to practice. The more time the better.

  • Jason Avant is expected to be the number three WR for the Panthers. We’re projecting Jerricho Cotchery and Kelvin Benjamin to start, Avant three, and not much left over for the likes of Tiquan Underwood or Marvin McNutt.

Chicago Bears

Cincinnati Bengals

  • BenJarvus Green-Ellis will compete for a roster spot with Rex Burkhead. Given LawFirm’s contract, he could be in tough to hold the spot. Cedric Peerman appears to be set thanks to his special teams play. One Bengals reporter is anticipating 200 carries for rookie Jeremy Hill. We have him less than half that currently. Adjusting Hill up, LawFirm down, and will adjust further if necessary once we see how splits and LawFirm’s status shake out.

Cleveland Browns

  • Brian Hoyer is fully cleared for training camp from his knee injury suffered last year. We still have Johnny Manziel projected at about half of the Browns’ pass attempts as it will be tough to keep him off the field unless the team wins consistently with Hoyer.

Detroit Lions

  • Second-year Theo Riddick is generating buzz through minicamp from various sources. He was a 6th round draft pick in 2013.

Green Bay Packers

  • RB Eddie Lacy is expected to be a three-down back for the Packers.

  • Jarrett Boykin seems to be locked into the WR3 spot for this year ahead of rookies Davante Adams and Jared Abbrederis. No surprise given how Boykin played last season and his experience in a complex offense. If you keep receiving trade offers with Boykin from owners in your dynasty leagues, it is because the rookies are seen as the future in the Green Bay while Boykin doesn’t have the pedigree to hold them off forever.
  • TE job is wide open, but rookie Richard Rodgers seems to have the most positive news out of minicamp relative to Andrew Quarless, Brandon Bostick and Colt Lyerla. We’re not going to change the current modest projections for veterans Quarless and Bostick, but adding Rodgers to our On The Radar section of the rankings.

Houston Texans

  • Reviewing our projections after publishing the Texans team report, Case Keenum seems high at 180 pass attempts. Adjusting him way down and giving majority to Ryan Fitzpatrick. Also thinking about how Kendall Wright benefited last year catching passes from Fitzpatrick, and if that might similarly impact Andre Johnson or DeAndre Hopkins this season.

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

  • QB Tyler Bray expected to compete for backup job.

Minnesota Vikings

  • Some indications Norv Turner wants Adrian Peterson to catch more passes, getting him in space more. Peterson is no slouch as a receiver. We have him projected at a career high of 50. He’s previously hit 43 (2009) and 40 (2012) in a season.

  • Jarius Wright and Jerome Simpson will compete for the starting slot receiver job during training camp.

New Orleans Saints

  • Saints signed Jimmy Graham to a 4-year, $40-million contract, locking him up and avoiding him playing under the arbitrator ruled TE designation franchise tag this season.

New York Giants

  • All signs are RB David Wilson will be cleared for contact in time to start training camp. Great news for those still holding Wilson in dynasty leagues, eager to see what he can do. We won’t change his rankings or projections just yet.

Pittsburgh Steelers

  • Team expects to use Martavis Bryant in the red zone, which could help Bryant get established quickly for fantasy purposes. Steelers threw a lot to their wide receivers in the red zone last year as departed Jerricho Cotchery caught 10 TD.

Philadelphia Eagles

  • Even with the addition of Darren Sproles – who the Eagles insist is a RB, not exclusively a WR – they expect LeSean McCoy‘s workload to be on par with last season.

San Diego Chargers

  • OC Frank Reich indicates Ryan Mathews is the main RB. We aren’t sure why this is even news. Fantasy pundits seem down on Mathews relative to us. We have him ranked 14th, while his ADP hovers around 20th. Talent is not the question here.

San Francisco 49ers

  • Report from Bill Williamson of ESPN that 49ers are expected to reduce Frank Gore‘s carries this year down to around 220. He had 276 carries last season. Looks like we already had Gore projected at 210 carries so we’re in line with this forecast.

  • Marcus Lattimore will be placed on NFL non-football injury list heading into training camp. We already dropped Lattimore out of our main rankings and into the “On The Radar” section. He’ll stay there, or drop out completely, until we see some positive reports on his recovery from his knee injury in college.

Seattle Seahawks

  • Earlier in the offseason a comment by OC Darrell Bevell about a potential RBBC sent fantasy owners into a tizzy downgrading Marshawn Lynch and pumping up Christine Michael. We preached patience, and noted it was so early this wasn’t something to get worked up about. A new report indicates the team plans to reduce Lynch’s average carries per game a little bit, but he is still their workhorse. This seems more realistic at this stage.

Tennesee Titans

  • Positive reports out of Tennessee that rookie RB Bishop Sankey is in great shape and committed to studying with RB coach Sylvester Croom to get up to speed quickly.

Spreadsheet to Help Create Your Own Fantasy Football Projections

For those fantasy football prognosticators in the house, the ones who dive right into the detail and do their own player projections each year – or are thinking about doing it – I have something for you. I created an Excel spreadsheet that should help create, edit and organize your projections.

It is no Draft Buddy, but still a pretty neat little tool in my humble opinion. At a minimum, it includes NFL player stats for quarterbacks, running backs, wide receivers and tight ends for each of the past five years, 2009-2013. Simply for review purposes it has a lot of utility right there.

Lets start with a download and then I will walk you through it.

» Download Here

You do need Microsoft Excel, and I created it in “newer” versions of Excel (not that new, since Excel 2007), which is why it has the .xlsm extension on it. It does include macros, so you need to enable macros on opening. If you have Mac Excel 2008, there is no macro support, so the macros will not work.

When you open it, you’ll see six tabs as follows:

  1. Projections Input Tab
  2. playerProj
  3. QB
  4. RB
  5. WR
  6. TE

 
Projections Input Tab

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This tab has two parts really. The bottom section which includes the yellow boxes is where you input your projections. Only change the yellow highlighted boxes to avoid changing a formula. To change teams, select the red highlighted cell in the upper-right and a drop-down should appear where you can switch the team. It should then automatically update the players based on our depth charts.

Below the input section there are two buttons: (1) Clear Input Tab Projections and (2) Copy Projections To Position Tabs. I hope those are self-explanatory, but the first one basically just clears your work space to start from nil values. The second copies your projections to the subsequent tabs, and then automatically sorts the QB, RB, WR and TE tabs by fantasy points from highest to lowest, so you can see how your projections by team work out on a by position basis.

Now, the upper part of this tab. This is part of the beauty of this spreadsheet to help you create reasonable projections. Scroll all the way to the top. Here are the historical stats for the team selected, showing stats by player and totals for each of the past five seasons. There are also some summary calculations and the sum of your projections down below to check if you are projecting in a reasonable range.

The buttons across the top are to show or hide each of the positions, to keep this section clean and focussed. It may not show all players as I had to make it even across all teams, but it should by fairly deep and I believe the team totals are accurate.

This may involve some up and down scrolling but you could perhaps even split the window between top and bottom if you find that helpful.

 
playerProj Tab

This tab is really an in-between tab to store your projections from the input tab, and feed the projections to the positions tabs. You really should not make any changes to this tab, but I left it open so you can quickly review your projections by team without having to pull them in one at a time back on the input tab, if desired.

 
QB, RB, WR, TE Tabs

screenshot3

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Similarly, I do not recommend making any changes to this tab. It is filled with formulas that will break the spreadsheet if you mess with them. However, this is the view we ultimately want to see, which is projections by position, and fantasy points calculated, sorted from highest to lowest.

The macros should do this sorting for you automatically each time you click the Copy Projections to Position Tabs button back on the original input tab. When you first open the spreadsheet you will see there are only a few players on these tabs because I only input some test projections for a few teams, the Cardinals, Bills and Panthers.

 
I hope find this spreadsheet incredibly helpful in your pursuit of creating your own player projections to dominate your fantasy football league this season. Post comments if you have any questions or feedback.

Download 2013 Fantasy Football Draft Buddy For Free

While I’ve been keeping busy maintaining our fantasy baseball stats database, and also turning my attention to the upcoming fantasy football season, I haven’t had much time to properly update instructions, videos, screenshots for our bread and butter product, Draft Buddy.

Draft Buddy, in case you weren’t aware, is the all-in-one custom player ranking cheatsheet creator and draft (or auction) tracking tool. It is in Microsoft Excel. There is a fantasy baseball version which is available for free and a fantasy football version that helps pay the bills.

Draft Buddy works for redraft, keeper or dynasty leagues. You can customize a ton of possible scoring systems. For baseball you can choose roto or fantasy points scoring. It includes stats for all players for the past three years, plus last half of the prior year. It includes projections for the current year, depth charts and average draft position data, and these are updated regularly from initial release in the early spring training or preseason through to Opening Day or opening kickoff.

These are some tricked out spreadsheets. They are older than my kids, which is saying something now that Megan . . . well, anything I say about my eldest daughter she would surely be embarrassed about, so yes, she’s “that old”.

Draft Buddy has gone through a lot of changes over the years, including a name change. You’ll still see some references to Cheatsheet Compiler, the first half of the old combined CC & DB name. The videos give some insight into how Draft Buddy works, but if they aren’t keeping up with the changes, then I need to make new videos. Given the lack of time, as mentioned, I wanted to come up with another way for people to try out the Fantasy Football Draft Buddy.

How about a free trial?

Perfect. And I’m not going to create a separate stripped down version of Draft Buddy, but rather I will make the 2013 Fantasy Football Draft Buddy available to download. To get it, you just need to login or register (for free) and subscribe to the football version. Heck, and get the baseball version too if you missed out this year and want to check it out.

It has last year’s projections in it of course, and player stats from 2010-2012 NFL seasons. If you have any questions then feel free to post a comment here or shoot me an email. I am travelling a fair bit over the next couple weeks, but I will respond to every comment or email as soon as possible.

I hope you like it, and decide to give it a try for the now fast approaching, 2014 NFL season. Cheers.