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Pro Football Prospectus 2007: The Essential Guide to the 2007 Pro Football Season Paperback – July 23, 2007

4.5 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


Essential reading for fans who want more than clichés. Pro Football Prospectus tells you not just who will win, but why. -- Ron Jaworski, former Philadelphia Eagles quarterback and current ESPN commentator

Indispensable to fantasy football players and fans who simply want to dig into the real reasons teams play well. -- The Washington Times

The best independently produced annual volume about football. -- Greg Easterbrook, ESPN.com

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Product Details

  • Series: Pro Football Prospectus
  • Paperback: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Plume (July 23, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0452288479
  • ISBN-13: 978-0452288478
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 1.5 x 10.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,973,846 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

If you're new to the Pro Football Prospectus, some of the statistics they use to evaluate players won't be familiar to you, and can take a little time to get used to. Fortunately, the authors are a rare breed: stat guys who can also write well. Each concept is clearly explained.

This is the third year I've used the PFP to form the basis of my fantasy rankings. Two years ago I made the finals of my 14 team league, and last year I won it all. Their projections aren't perfect, (whose are?) but they have a high batting average, especially in evaluating potential "busts" who will play below their previous level. And to their credit, when they get a prediction wrong, they call attention to it (see their entry on Marcus Colston).

Best of all, it's just a good read. For a book with so much data and statistics, there's a surprising amount of humor. Remember McGahee's comments about Buffalo women being ugly? They did a statistical comparison about the number of Miss America contestants from Buffalo versus Baltimore, McGahee's new home.

Finally, these guys are passionate about the game. Read the entries on Chris Simms and Peyton Manning. They're not just stat geeks - they're true fans. If you want to improve your fantasy team, or just understand football in a way that most TV analysts never will, buy this book.
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If you follow the writers' website, Football Outsiders, then you know what this book is all about. If you don't, check the website then buy the book. Whether you are a fantasy player, Monday morning quarterback, or die-hard Sunday fan, this book will shock, educate, and (in case of championship hopes) disappoint.

This is probably one of the rare finds of hard statistical analysis combined with great writing. This book is an easy read, which is surprising because it's stuffed with so much information. Some of the statistical analysis went over my head the first time and had to recall some of my math from school, but the writers do a great job of breaking down their methods and stats in an easy to understand format. If you want to dig deeper into what they do and how they do it, check their website. If you want the Cliff Notes version, check their book.

Unlike baseball, football is an inherently difficult sport to evaluate objectively. With 22 players on the field all running at the same time, it's hard to figure out what makes a play work. Worse, it's hard to find out why it didn't work. I believe they found a way to strip away most of the info-TAINMENT, hype, and color commentary by sportscasters. They don't just make predictions, they back it up with facts. They present their findings on a team-by-team basis, a player/position basis, and add articles about past, present, and future football trends and events that effect your favorite team.

They even stumbled upon a new (relatively new, I think they published their findings in 2006) method to evaluate college quarterbacks taken in the 1st and 2nd round of the draft. So good, a sportwriter from a certain big-name network plaguarized sections of their work.
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Like its sister publication `Baseball Prospectus', this book is stuffed with information. `Standard football statistics are heavily context dependent - the down, distance, the location on the field, the time remaining - all of these elements influence both the goal of the play and its outcome.' The Football Prospectus team strives to improve conventional football statistics by `filtering out context-dependent effects' with mathematical formulas to best anticipate the results of the coming season. The authors claim to have predicted more playoff teams over the last three seasons than any other major football medium.
`Defense-Adjusted Value Over Average' (DVOA) is the primary criterion - this compares specific plays, players and teams to the league average. Top players have DVOAs near 30%. DVOA skews negative for better defenses, so top defenses approach a -30% DVOA. The authors also use Defensive-Adjusted Points Above Replacement' (DPAR) to measure a player's impact for an entire season. For example, if a player dominates in his first few games but then suffers a season ending injury, he is of little overall value to his team that season. Accordingly, he will have a high DVOA but a low DPAR. The introduction offers simple explanations of the complex statistical analysis, but the book can also be enjoyed without studying the authors' methodology.
The first half of the book contains an informative and entertaining write-up for each NFL franchise, often supplemented with short essays. Each team's entry further lists statistics and analysis of the 2006 schedule, five-year trends, strategic tendencies, and rankings at all positions.
The book's second half includes expanded capsules for all individual quarterbacks, running backs, wide receivers, tight ends and kickers.
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I basically went through this entire book in one day, but it is formatted in a way that you can skip around alot and keep coming back and learning a little something new each day. I was very pleased to see that they had a detailed review for every NFL team and projections for their performance this year, unlike the Baseball Prospectus book I bought. There are some real shockers as far as expected record and stats for this year for both individual players and teams. The authors present a great case as to why this will happen and historical precedent and statistical evidence to support their conclusions. I find this highly credible, because each season in the NFL only about half the teams make the playoffs the following year. Pro Football Prospectus is going to be my number one resource for fantasy drafts and for handicapping insights to open the new season. Must read for any football fan.
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