Question the Rankings
by Kevyn Godwin
Every season we start the same cycle. We look at rankings, read a few articles, then draft our teams. Often ending that cycle by blaming the rankings guy for your performance. Better yet, we bully the rankings before we do any research ourselves as if we need to be spoon-fed the key to a championship but hate everything that’s put on our plate. I simply ask why.
Question The Rankings
First, you should question the rankings. How are they put together? Does it only show the top 10? Is there a statistical trend?
When looking for positional rankings, you always want to look for a list based on your league size. For example, in a 12 team league, the top 12 WR become WR1. Then 13-24 are WR2. You use this method to know where a player should be drafted and how strong your roster is.
The next part is stats. Do the rankings look at how the player actually finished last year vs this year’s projection? Take Stefan Diggs. Statistically finished In the top three for 2020 and 9th best WR in 2021. If a rankings list has him outside of the top 12 for 2022, do they explain the reason for projecting a continued drop vs a bounce back?
Question The Source
Everyone can write, and we all have opinions we want heard. But is the source of your rankings giving you unbiased information or just another way to package his agenda?
We as the reader and fantasy player have to take into consideration that the person making the rankings also have fantasy teams. They probably have favorite teams and players too. In the rankings, does it pass the eye test? Is there an out-of-place player because that’s the writer's hometown hero? On the opposite end, is a player left off the rankings because he busted the writer's championship hopes.
They could also be downplaying a player as a strategy for trade. Rank a player low just so they can trade less to get them on their own team.
Just as we know a writer can have bias, so do we as a reader looking at the rankings. We need to ask ourselves the same questions. Do you disagree with a ranking just because your favorite player is too low? Did you take CMC two years in a row just to be disappointed? So now you have the 10th RB overall. Who is on your trade list that you wanna get cheap this year? I bet you told your buddy that he stinks and is a bust at some point to drop his value.
It's simple but overlooked. Question everything! Ask yourself, is this source reputable? Do I see an agenda within their work? Are there others that use this source for rankings?
Am I reviewing the rankings with an open mind? Do I check my own rankings against stats before judging others? Is the way I rank players line up with proper tiers?
Finally, the best advice I can give is to do the work! Look at multiple rankings. Review multiple sources. Make sure the historical stats meet your upcoming seasons' expectations. Know ahead of time that not all rankings are created equal, so you need to do the research to level the playing field.