"Loved it. I've been trying to convince myself to write a book like this for years."
- Mike Clay, Head of Fantasy at Pro Football Focus
"What an engrossing read!
- Lee Kleiner, President of Fantrax
"This is good stuff! It should be received very well by the fantasy public."
- Mike Krueger, Founder of FF Today
From the Author
Fantasy Football for Smart People: How to Dominate Your Draft is the culmination of a lot of hours of fantasy football statistical analysis. In reading the book, you'll be able to benefit from this work; you'll learn why quarterbacks and tight ends are the most consistent fantasy performers, why you should almost never draft the true best player available, how to create projections and rankings, and a whole lot more.
Jonathan Bales is the author of the Fantasy Football for Smart People series. He's a regular contributor to the New York Times, where he posts both "real" and fantasy football content, as well as NBC, Dallas Morning News, RotoWire, 4for4, and rotoViz. He was a finalist for the FSWA's Fantasy Football Series of the Year award in 2012.
I'm going to try and keep this short, but it will be tough. While I am no Fantasy Football(FF) expert I do consider myself to be very knowledgable. I put a fair amount of work into my season which started in April after the NFL draft, getting my boards and rankings together. (Yes, I'm a big dork, tell me about it). I've read a number of other publications about FF and they are all pretty crappy. They basically regurgitate the "truthisms" we always hear, "truthisms" that I love because it makes my opponents weaker.
This book stood out because it broke down those "truthisms" and showed why they couldn't be father from the truth. A quick example is that #1 overall pick is the best in the draft. 100% false and this book will explain why, along with many others. Reading this will give anyone an edge in their draft through it's statistical analyzation and formulas to prepare a strong draft board. Does that sound too confusing? It's not because the author has broken every step down in depth to make even the most mathematically challenged people like me understand it. The best part is that these are formulas you can use year after year. Instead of paying a website 30 bucks every year for their rankings you can make your own and you use the same formulas they use. I'm sure anyone who plays auction leagues could agree $9 for Foster in a dynasty league is a lot better than $30 for Foster in a re-draft.
The delicate balance between numbers, opinions, team needs, and position scarcity is well documented in this book and it does a great job in trying to help the reader understand the best way to use these factors to your advantage.
The best compliment I can give is that while I recommend this book to everyone, I really hope none of my league mates get their hands on it.Read more ›
Did you know that Tight Ends are the most likely to repeat last year's success, followed by QBs, followed by RBs, followed by WRs?
Neither did I.
Jonathan Bales sets himself apart from the rest of fantasy football writers in that he does actual analysis. He actually analyzes statistics using linear regression, and finds how reliable last year's stats are -- as far as I know, nobody else does this.
Obviously he does more than this: Bales also pays close attention to OTAs, training camp, preseason etc. Using objective statistical techniques combined with close personal observation (changes in coaching staff, playbooks, etc.), Bales offers strategy and insight that is second to none.
Furthermore, at least in my personal experience, after having bought his rankings cheat-sheet for all of $3, he has generously answered my elaborate questions and given me personal advice after I shared the results of my draft with him via e-mail.
For anyone who has ever studied even basic statistics and believed that what they have studied was at least partially less than complete BS, you will find that Jonathan Bales offers legitimate, mathematical reasoning to his insight that you simply won't find anywhere else in the fantasy football world.
Having utilized his strategies, ways of looking at fantasy football, and his fantasy football cheat sheets (which are conveniently done in tiers), I feel as confident as I ever have in my rosters this year.
I am usually too busy to do more than one league this year, but for some reason decided to take on the task of doing 3 leagues. I had this feeling that the tired old $8 magazine and cheat sheets weren't going to cut it this year. For the record I have been playing Fantasy Football for 19 years, so I am no rookie and I have won championships and have failed miserably in leagues also. So for a guy who has played for 19 years to walk away from this read revved up and excited to use these strategies is saying something. Its an easy read and Jonathan makes some very compelling arguments as to why what he is saying makes sense and can back it up. The jist of the book is to get you to understand that Fantasy Football is like the stock market, draft players based on value and get them at the right price. It also has you factor in risk in who you are picking and determining if the risk is worth the reward and that all is factored in to when you drafted them. Andre Johnson in the 2nd round? BAD. Andre Johnson in the 5th? GREAT. But the biggest key for me is truly looking at "tiering" your players. See the drop offs, look at projections and to hell with the best player available strategy. The way I see it, you can buy this ebook for $5.99 and his projections sheets on his site using his math but using your scoring system for $2.99 and spend about what you would spend on a dated fantasy football magazine that came out in May that is a bunch of folks no more qualified than I am grasping at straws and telling you the same stuff year after year. Pull the trigger on this now and go into your draft knowing you did the right thing and will have a weekly powerhouse with consistent performance instead of doing the sit em start em strategy. 2 Thumbs way up!
If you saw Money Ball, you saw an example of how this book can help you prepare for a draft using math science and the "real" statistics. It makes total sense and once you grasp the concept, it opens your eyes to things you never really thought about. For example, the concept of Risk and Upside in tangible terms and numbers you can see. Knowing scarcity and how that relates to your choice from round to round in addition to knowing the percentages of how many players at various positions repeat prior year production. The numbers were surprising and you get a different story than all the other websites and pundits. Back to the Money Ball reference... when you hold your draft, everyone else in the room will be old school scouts, and you will be PETE.
It's Bill James for Fantasy Football. Grab this book, do your research, do the math and be ready to get blown away. People I thought were much further down the depth chart or standing out as great pics and you can prove (through math) why. Of course the players still have to play the game, and you can't predict injuries... but wow what an advantage it is when you can wait a round, knowing all the other guys will pass... and then pick up someone more valuable than the guy you drafted the round before. = VALUE.
GET THIS BOOK... unless you are in my league... then move on to the other garbage out there.