Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

11 Aug 2011

No KUBIAK sleepers this year

The KUBIAK data really isn't singling out any players that should be ranked higher/lower relative to "conventional" fantasy sites or thinking. Last year KUBIAK identified guys like Mendenhall, Charles, and Wallace as being undervalued, and Miles Austin as being overrated. This year, the only guy that I see KUBIAK liking more than anyone else is Rothelisberger. Did anyone else notice this? Am I missing something?

Posted by: shawn.aparo on 11 Aug 2011

25 replies , Last at 27 Aug 2011, 12:49am by jabrch

Re: No KUBIAK sleepers this year
by qwints :: Thu, 08/11/2011 - 11:00pm

JC was ranked pretty differently.

Re: No KUBIAK sleepers this year
by nkowal :: Mon, 08/15/2011 - 9:58am

Man... really curious what this means. I made the mistake of not checking to see if my new card info was updating in my Paypal account, so I'm suffering through the dumb eCheck thing. Never order anything when you are running on no sleep. Gah. Guess I'll have to wait and see what you mean.

Re: No KUBIAK sleepers this year
by Mr. Housebroken :: Thu, 08/11/2011 - 11:48pm

Um, well other than Roy you could have a point but I will stick to the FO_Staff request here on this. I think there are definitely guys people should be more aggressive about that other fantasy players wouldn't like to see you aggressive with, like drafting someone a round earlier than expected. Looking at the different rankings and their corresponding Delta lines you see guys who potentially will be "sleepers." If the delta line is what, 10-25 spots higher than the other rankings they could be considered "sleepers" and there are a good handful. It depends somewhat on your definition of a sleeper. So maybe there are soft sleepers that will just make you appear aggressive.

What I like about KUBIAK coming out so late is that it a bunch of other rankings already published will have a harder time lifting their own boats by FO's projections. I hate waiting but it is interesting to watch so many change once this product is out.

While there are not a huge number of steep sleepers compared to other rankings, it could be an indication of how consistent the NFL has become and how the study of the game at large has grown together to consider similar elements like strength of schedule much more than in the past. While they all will use their own advanced metrics or simple points and yards against stats people are realizing the connection between matchups and fantasy points.

Also, KUBIAK has done a good job of pointing out people who will tank that most others just didn't "see." But they didn't do so good with Hines Ward's drop off last year either. It is what it is and some cliffs can't be seen until it is right there in front of you. Randy Moss for example.

All this is to say that there are things to be gleaned if you are willing to narrow down your focus.

Re: No KUBIAK sleepers this year
by shawn.aparo :: Fri, 08/12/2011 - 12:22am

Ohh of course there are still some bargains and pitfalls that can be picked up through KUBIAK. All I was saying is there doesn't appear to be a slam dunk that other "fantasy gurus" are missing like in previous years. It'll be interesting to read the player articles in FOA. Honestly, I beleive those are more informative and can lead to finding better bargains than just a spreadsheet with numbers.

Re: No KUBIAK sleepers this year
by frievalt :: Fri, 08/12/2011 - 2:49am

Couple of red guys stand out seem highly under drafted. Under my settings there's a two top 5 WRs that are significantly different than ESPNs rankings.

And a top 7 RB.

All are "red" risk though.

I also see 5 guys in the my top 75 who ESPN didnt even bother to rank.

But Kubiak is better at telling you who to avoid. Julius Jones isn't going to win you the trophy. In a competitive league, there are no sleepers in FF anymore.

Re: No KUBIAK sleepers this year
by CowWithBeef :: Fri, 08/12/2011 - 9:24pm

This post almost scared me away but I decided to be loyal and buy the spreadsheet. These rankings are wildly different than the ones I see elsewhere. I'm glad I bought it despite this post.

Re: No KUBIAK sleepers this year
by shawn.aparo :: Sat, 08/13/2011 - 1:50am

How does that Kool-Aid taste? Seriously though..still buy the product, its clearly the best tool you can get your hands on given the ability to adjust rankings to your specific league rules and the risk adjustments due to injury/playing time. All I was saying is that KUBIAK and FOA in general typically love and hate a couple of guys way more than the general "expert" consensus. I trust FO more than any other resource, and I'm really looking forward to the player write-ups to help me solidify my opinions.

Re: No KUBIAK sleepers this year
by shawn.aparo :: Sat, 08/13/2011 - 1:58am

Oh and one more thing, I need to eat a little bit of crow and say that KUBIAK is way lower on a certain "WR 1" than anyone else...

Re: No KUBIAK sleepers this year
by boone88rr :: Mon, 08/15/2011 - 10:14am

Sleepers maybe not. But good value picks, yes. There are quite a few guys at WR and RB with my scoring that I wouldn't have considered being a WR3/4 or RB3 but could be Top 20 guys at both positions being drafted in the 6-8th round range.

I have Charles as one of my keepers this year (costing me an 8th round pick due to some prospective drafting in '09) and I'm not surprised he's ranked lower this year. I take issue with the number a receptions he's projected for. He's going to be labeled a "bust" in my opinion because he's being drafted in the Top 3-5 but I think he finishes in the lower part of the top 10. I'd take Rice (my other keeper) after Arian and AD are gone, especially PPR.

Re: No KUBIAK sleepers this year
by nkowal :: Mon, 08/15/2011 - 10:38am

Interesting. I'm sitting at #4 in my non-PPR draft, and I'm assuming that Peterson, Johnson and Foster all go, leaving me with a Rice-Charles dilemma. I like both backs and think Charles is dynamic, but the KC offensive-calling scares me (I watch a lot of their games and pull my hair out watching Charles be subbed out at the 3 yd line).

Re: No KUBIAK sleepers this year
by frievalt :: Mon, 08/15/2011 - 10:58am

In my Kubiak experience the Mendenhall projection last year was not normal. That's part of the reason we discussed it into the ground wherever possible on this site.

Anyways, here's how I find value on kubiak, rather than simply using the ADP delta:


Re: No KUBIAK sleepers this year
by hialeah007 (not verified) :: Mon, 08/15/2011 - 12:25pm

I realize I'm probably revealing my EXCEL ignorance, but how do you do that?

Re: No KUBIAK sleepers this year
by DRoemelt :: Mon, 08/15/2011 - 12:51pm

Slick graph, I'm going to create a few just like it, just to mess with my fellow GM's

As for doing this in EXCEL, I think the following would help


Re: No KUBIAK sleepers this year
by frievalt :: Tue, 08/23/2011 - 6:12pm

I took my ADPs from fantasyfootballcalculator.com because they allow me to specify 14 team league.

Then I "decimalized" each players ADP. Fantasyfootballcalculator says that Jones-Drew's ADP is 1.11 --but the 11th pick of the first round is more accurately described as either .79 or 1.79 (11 divided by 14 = .79). --Because the 11th pick is 79% of the way through the 1st round.

Then I took points over baseline and put them alongside the decimalized ADPs.

3 clean columns of simple data. Player name (i sort the risk color column and then use the paint can to physically color the player name), adp, and points over baseline.

Then you highlight all the numbers. Then you create a scatter plot. Right click the data and insert logarithmic trend line. Repeat for each position. Wha-la!

* i couldnt figure out how to label the points with the RB names but the outliers are easy to spot and determine.

But if you want real nerdy... this is what my draft board looks like come draft day... 5 point font, color coded all on one legal sized sheet of paper. Completely scaled to baseline.

Re: No KUBIAK sleepers this year
by Aaron Schatz :: Mon, 08/15/2011 - 11:18am

Just to let folks know: I'm comfortable with you naming players that you feel we have valued higher or lower than conventional wisdom. As long as you don't give specific stat projections, that's fine.

Re: No KUBIAK sleepers this year
by davidKw :: Mon, 08/15/2011 - 2:56pm

Using some handy, dandy investment banking skills, I created a few charts like the ones above. The sleepers I found were:

QB:Ben Roethlisberger, Matt Ryan and Josh Freeman
RB: Cedric Benson looked like he was several standard deviations away from everyone else. Ryan Mathews and Brandon Jacobs get honorable mention.
WR: Brandon Lloyd and Roy Williams

The RB and WR appear to be talented players that have done it before, but are in bad situations, so the conventional wisdom is they could not do it again. I don't know if this is a structural problem with KUBIAK, or a market inefficiency.

Re: No KUBIAK sleepers this year
by joel.schopp :: Tue, 08/16/2011 - 4:30pm

Sleepers KUBIAK projects I like:
Roy Williams is made for a Mike Martz system, but he's old. It's a gamble if he has enough left in the tank, I think he has enough.

Cedrick Benson's prediction is likely spot on assuming he doesn't get suspended. That guys is always a suspension risk, he's being sued for punching a guy in the face now for instance.

Sleepers I think KUBIAK overhypes:
Brandon Lloyd. If you look back at his history he's been down on the depth chart for awhile. I'd adjust his timeshare down. Plus, if the spreadsheet is predicting based on past performance having a new head coach who doesn't throw as much has to put a damper in that.

Green-Ellis. You don't draft 2nd and 3rd round running backs, as the patriots did, if you are happy with the one you already have.

Sleepers I have that KUBIAK isn't as high on:
Mike Wallace. It likely doesn't adjust for the Roethlisberger suspension last year. If you prorate his season for games Roethlisberger was under center he was really quite amazing. #1 overall WR kind of amazing. Add on a 3rd year bump this year.

Jacoby Ford. If you project out the second half of his rookie season last year he was on a 866 yard season pace. I'd expect him to better that in his second year and get to 1000 yards.

Greg Olsen. Carolina has the same offensive coordinator that made Antonio Gates a star, and that was the tight end coach and offensive coordinator at Miami when Olsen transferred there. Carolina also gave Olsen a big contract. Greg Olsen has the size, speed, and talent to put up huge numbers.

Eagles D. They signed the best corner in the league in Asomugha, Babin at DE who had 13 sacks last year, Jenkins who had 7 sacks in 11 games from the DT Position, and Pro Bowl corner Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, along with a ton of veteran backups. They signed a 2nd round safety, a 3rd round corner, and 4/6/7th round linebackers in the draft. There just isn't more talent and depth on the defensive end of the ball on any other team in the league.

Re: No KUBIAK sleepers this year
by Isaac :: Mon, 08/15/2011 - 10:20pm

Is there a reason Austin Collie is ranked so low (at least in my projections)? I seem to remember him being very valuable last year until the concussions.

Re: No KUBIAK sleepers this year
by boone88rr :: Tue, 08/16/2011 - 10:08am

I think you answered your own question. Not sure KUBIAK projects him to be that pre-concussion guy. Worth a flier but pretty big risk if you're counting on playing him weekly.

Re: No KUBIAK sleepers this year
by Isaac :: Tue, 08/16/2011 - 1:53pm

I agree, but Kubiak has him listed as standard risk (not reducing average fantasy points). So it apparently doesn't take the likelihood of another concussion into account.

Re: No KUBIAK sleepers this year
by Yaguar :: Wed, 08/17/2011 - 1:19pm

The "risk" has more to do with how confident it is that its projection is in the right ballpark, not the chance of injury.

For example, Tom Brady was a "Red" risk in 2008. Not because KUBIAK was prescient about Bernard Pollard's hit, but because KUBIAK had no idea how Brady would follow up his 2007 performance, a massive outlier in his career history.

Re: No KUBIAK sleepers this year
by Tutenkharnage :: Tue, 08/23/2011 - 1:38pm

On the subject of "players to avoid," KUBIAK is definitely bearish on CW darlings like Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, and DeSean Jackson. Mind you, the rankings and relative strengths of each player will depend on your league's scoring system. KUBIAK is very excited about Andre Johnson, the Chargers, and the Steelers again, but it seems to value those guys higher than most every year, and the production hasn't exceeded the projections in a while. Caveat emptor.

Re: No KUBIAK sleepers this year
by DCAS :: Wed, 08/24/2011 - 8:31pm

Ward was green risk last year fyi and we know how FO felt about him. on a side note some shocking projections of note...just my opinion: stafford, deangelo, bmarsh, crabs. already doctoring those #s by alot.

Re: No KUBIAK sleepers this year
by Zheng :: Fri, 08/26/2011 - 10:26pm

Hightower seems to be lighting it up in the preseason in Shanny's zone blocking scheme. I'd be all over him, except for Shanny.

Lee Evans apparently has a pretty good grasp of the Ravens offense already, and Flacco has to be better than Fitzpatrick.

Julio Jones is also drawing raves in the Atlanta offense as a "WR1b". You have to figure he and Roddy White are going to boost each others' numbers, and Matt Ryan's as well.

Is it just me or are the values of all QBs lower this year? Even aside from free-fallers like Schaub and Midwest Manning?

Re: No KUBIAK sleepers this year
by jabrch :: Sat, 08/27/2011 - 12:49am

The problem with QBs this year is that there are so many that are so similarly good....8, in fact... So in a 10 team, 1 QB league, there is no rush to get a QB. Even in a deeper league, you can go 10-12 QBs deep and still have guys who aren't bad...same is not true at RB and WR...

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