2009 Fantasy Football Magazine Review: <br> ESPN and Sporting News
ESPN's 2008 Fantasy Football Magazine was a disgrace. If you click on that link, you'll be taken to a page where you can see 28 irresponsible factual or illogical errors that they made last year.
I picked up ESPN's 2009 Fantasy Football Magazine recently in hopes of finding more silly mistakes. I was disappointed; save for a few things, ESPN did an incredible job replacing their errors with witty writing. Their rankings are still out of whack as far as I'm concerned (Knowshon Moreno is the No. 29 RB - WTF?), but I'm not going to really complain about that.
Don't worry - ESPN's fantasy mag featured a mock draft that I will criticize below.
Meanwhile, Jonas Lejon (Leo Fender on the forums) sent me an e-mail regarding numerous errors in the Sporting News 2009 Fantasy Football guide. I borrowed the magazine from a friend, and sure enough, I located tons of mistakes.
So, without further ado...
Sporting News Fantasy Football 2009 Magazine: Factual Errors
So, what sort of factual errors did the Sporting News make? Pretty terrible ones. In fact, you may not even believe me, so I'm going to include the page number where each inaccuracy can be found.
Now, before I begin listing them, let me admit that everyone, including myself, is guilty of being factually incorrect at times. No one is infallible. But the Sporting News is a huge entity that employs tons of editors and managing editors. There's no excuse for having anything wrong, especially...
1. The Rams have no bye? (Page 50)
The first thing I noticed when I opened up the magazine was Brock Berlin's name. Berlin is this magazine's fifth-ranked quarterback, as they inconveniently list their players alphabetically.
The next thing I spotted was Berlin's bye week. The number was in a large font right below his stats...
So, the Rams apparently have their bye in the preseason. That's convenient for Steven Jackson owners, but I doubt the players will be too happy once they learn they'll be playing all 17 weeks despite getting paid for only 16 games.
2. Brett Favre's arm: debacled (Page 53)
From their Brett Favre analysis:
A torn triceps in his throwing arm might have affected his accuracy, but as of mid-May he had yet to undergo surgery.
Poor Favre. Not only did he factually tear his biceps tendon last year, he also fictionally tore his triceps as well.
3. Knowshon Moreno is awesome... but he sucks too (Page 21 & 69)
I was excited to see Knowshon Moreno selected in the third round of this magazine's fantasy football mock draft. I have Moreno ranked really high in my 2009 Fantasy Football Rankings.
Curiously, I flipped to the running back rankings to see if Moreno cracked the Sporting News top 20. Well, he didn't. Top 25? Nope. Top 30? No. Top 35? Getting warmer. Top 40? Not even. Top 45? Just barely.
Moreno is the Sporting News' No. 45 running back - even Correll Buckhalter is ranked higher than him. Apparently, the guy who obtained Moreno in Round 3 was gagged and locked away in someone's basement when they were compiling their rankings.
4. Ray Rice and Brock Berlin are best friends (Page 71)
Ray Rice and Brock Berlin must be from the future. They've both somehow figured out to elude the NFL's bye-week system.
Like Berlin, Rice's bye week is 0. Here's to hoping he doesn't wear down playing 17 games!
5. I've heard of depth charts, but w depth charts? (Page 83)
When you list crappy players, you tend to get crappy analysis.
From Jabar Gaffney's (Rank: 80) analysis:
But the w depth chart at the position doesn't leave room for many receptions for Gaffney.
The w depth chart eh? I don't even think Emmitt could make up a word as a guess to what "w depth chart" could possibly mean.
6. Vincent Jackson now known as Vincent Chambers (Page 85)
From Vincent Jackson's write-up:
Not a great option in a PPR league, but Chambers has established himself as a No. 2 wideout in other formats.
Sounds like this came from Emmitt on the Brink. "Vincent J... uhh... Gor... uhh.. Gold... uhh... Chambers have established himselves..."
7. Chris Baker: double agent (Page 95)
From Chris Baker's analysis:
Baker was acquired in the offseason from Cleveland...
Wait a second... I thought Baker played for the Jets last year. No wonder neither the Jets nor the Browns made the playoffs - Baker double-crossed both teams and played for both sides! That jerk!
8. Mike Peterson, a better defender (Page 111)
At the very top of Page 111, the Sporting News called Mike Peterson one of the Jaguars' "better defenders."
If Peterson was such a good defender, why was he benched in the middle of the year?
9. Don't hire Emmitt as an editor (Page 119)
On Page 119, Chad Greenway is called "An player on the rise."
Emmitt has disappeared since ESPN fired him. Now we know where he's been. (Or where he have been, to be more precise.)
10. Broncos plan to clone Brian Dawkins (Page 111 & 122)
On Page 111, the Sporting News notes that Brian Dawkins will be Denver's new strong safety. Meanwhile, on page 122, "Dawkins will likely man the free safety role in Denver."
Last year, ESPN projected stats for Quinn Sypniewski despite the fact that the Baltimore tight end was out for the year with a torn ACL. Now, the Sporting News projects that Dawkins will play both safety positions.
It's good to know that Sypniewski has passed on the "Miracle Man" moniker to Dawkins.
11. When you're losing, run the ball as much as possible (Page 137)
A very confusing sentence at the bottom of Page 137:
The Jaguars favored the run slightly in 2007, but that was because they were often playing from behind.
Hmm... so these coaches have it all wrong after all. I guess you're supposed to run the ball if you're down. If that's the case, why not just kneel down three times each possession whenever you're losing? Stupid coaches.
12. Blame Laurence Maroney's parents (Page 139)
Everyone knows that Lawrence is spelled with a W. Everyone, that is, except for Laurence Maroney's parents.
The Sporting News apparently isn't aware, as they spelled Maroney's first name the conventional way.
13. David Veikune, master of many positions (Page 133)
(By Leo Fender):
From Page 133:
Cleveland managed just 17 sacks last season, and second-round pick David Veikune could see early playing time on the line.
I could be wrong on two accounts here. Firstly, "on the line" here might not mean on the defensive line, but I fail to see any other interpretation. Secondly, I seem to remember that Veikune is a linebacker and I don't know that many players that have made the transition from college linebacker to NFL lineman.
14. Glenn Dorsey, master of many positions (Page 137)
(By Leo Fender):
From Page 137:
But the Chiefs need more action inside, particularly from tackle Glenn Dorsey
I really don't think that Dorsey will be a tackle in the Chiefs 3-4 defense.
15. Mistaken Defensive Identity No. 1 (Page 140)
(By Leo Fender):
From Page 140:
It's back to the 4-3 for the Jets...
Yes, because we all know that Rex Ryan is well known for the 4-3 defense he coordinated in Baltimore...
16. Mistaken Defensive Identity No. 2 (Page 141)
(By Leo Fender):
From Page 141:
Linebackers Kirk Morrison, Thomas Howard and Ricky Brown are solid in the 3-4...
If that is the case it is really too bad that they are trapped in Oakland playing in a 4-3 defense.
17. Albert Haynesworth: Highest-paid defensive tackle and defensive end (Page 145)
One of the last things written in this magazine:
There was much ado about end Albert Haynerworth's nine-figure contract with the Redskins...
Well, I guess if you're getting paid $100 million, you better be able to play defensive tackle and defensive end at the same time.
ESPN Fantasy Football 2009 Magazine: Factual Errors and Stupidity
ESPN had 28 factual errors last year, but as previously noted, they did a great job cleaning up their product. There were, however, a few mistakes worth noting:
1. Don't forget to carry the one! (Page 94)
ESPN projects D'Qwell Jackson to notch only 45 tackles this season. Actually, to be more precise, they're predicting 101 solo tackles and 44 assisted tackles.
Confused? So was I, until I realized that ESPN forgot to carry the one. The 45 should be 145.
2. Derrr, math, derrr (Page 94)
If you think D'Qwell Jackson's total sucks, check out Kirk Morrison's 33 tackles, which is a product of 106 solo and 27 assists.
Math has... or have... debacled us all.
3. How did you do that!? (Page 16)
ESPN cites that defenses are difficult to predict. I did the same thing in my recent Common Fantasy Football questions entry.
However, there was a very frustrating sentence in ESPN's article:
In 2008, three of the top-10 rush defenses came from out of nowhere ... the No. 7 Jets (29th); ...
Yeah, we all thought the Jets would suck against the run when they signed monstrous nose tackle Kris Jenkins. That certainly came out of nowhere.
Simms is clearly the better fantasy prospect, yet ESPN has Garcia ranked ahead of Simms. I don't know what sort of scoring system ESPN uses; apparently it's the same one that allows tight ends with torn ACLs to accumulate stats.
5. Odd sleepers (Page 34)
On its cover, ESPN notes that it has "59 Can't-Miss Sleepers."
Wow, 59 sleepers? Sounds awesome... until you consider that some of these sleepers are Dennis Dixon, Brett Ratliff, Pat White, Dan Orlovsky, Vince Young, Chauncey Washington, Danny Ware, Gartrell Johnson, etc.
Think we can sue ESPN if we take all of these guys in a single draft and none of them pan out? Can't miss, my a**.
6. Vain, much? (Page 29)
I was befuddled by the following sentences in the Sage Rosenfails writeup:
When Rosenfels was traded to Minnesota, in February, all the "experts" came out to laud the "stability" he'd bring to his new team. We had to "chuckle."
What!? Whoa, whoa, whoa, wait a second here. Only small- and medium-sized independent football sites get to quote the word "experts" like that. ESPN can't do that.
Why? Because they're the "experts!" It would be like Emmitt saying, "No one on ESPM know how to speak English goodly, or gooder than averagely."
ESPN Fantasy Football 2009 Magazine: Craptastic Mock Draft
I love when any publication has at least one mock draft, but ESPN needs to stop it with these 10-team formats. Barely anyone is in a 10-team league anymore; anyone drafting with 11 other owners is simply misled when ESPN leads us to believe that you can get a capable RB1 in the middle of Round 3.
At any rate, one member of ESPN's 10-man troupe, Ken Daube, managed to compile one of the worst fantasy teams I've ever seen. If you don't have this magazine, I'd like to share his picks with you:
1.09: Randy Moss - Larry Fitzgerald was still on the board, FYI. I actually like Randy Moss more than Fitzgerald, so I'm not going to complain about that; just pointing it out.
2.02: Andre Johnson - Going WR-WR isn't wise, but given that this is a 10-man league, I'll let this one slide too.
3.09: Terrell Owens - If going WR-WR isn't wise, opting for the WR-WR-WR strategy is borderline insane. Seriously, what was this clown thinking? Does this league start eight receivers?
The funny thing here is that the editor gave Daube the nod for his incompetence: "Running backs are so 2005 ... it's why Daube goes Randy Moss, Andre Johnson, Terrell Owens in the first three, giving him hands down the greatest wide receiving corps in the history of fantasy football."
Yeah, that's great, except running backs are more valuable. And this is definitely not the greatest receiving corps in fantasy history; Owens has lost his burst and will continue to drop balls in Buffalo. Plus, it's not like Trent Edwards is Tony Romo, Donovan McNabb or Jeff Garcia. At 35, Owens will be lucky if he gets 1,000 yards.
4.02: Darren McFadden - When you go WR-WR-WR, your RB1 will be an unproven player who doesn't get goal-line carries. Daube better hope Michael Bush doesn't supplant McFadden during the season.
5.09: Tony Romo - Not a bad pick, though Tony Romo's late-season collapses won't pair well with McFadden possibly wearing down in December.
6.02: Jonathan Stewart - Daube gets his goal-line carrier, but once again, his starting running back is an unproven player who will relinquish touches to someone else.
7.09: Donald Brown - Yet another running back who may not get all of the carries. If things don't go Daube's way, you could be seeing his mug when you look up self-debaclation on Wikipedia.
8.02: Chris Cooley - Solid selection.
9.09: Laveranues Coles - Not a bad WR4.
10.02: Kellen Winslow Jr. - Because backup tight ends are sooooo important.
I seriously wish I could be in a league with this Daube character. I'd jack up the entry fee every year, and I'm pretty confident that with Daube's help, I could put my future kids through college.
11.09: Laurence Maroney - Blah.
12.02: LeSean McCoy - Not a terrible gamble in Round 12, but if Brian Westbrook is healthy, LeSean McCoy won't get much playing time until he learns how to block.
13.09: Shonn Greene - Easily Daube's best pick.
14.02: Dolphins Defense - Don't like this selection, but I'm not going to argue it.
15.09: Nate Kaeding - Matthew Berry does not approve.
16.02: Jabar Gaffney - To recap, only one of Daube's running backs is currently listed as the starter on his team (Darren McFadden), and that player probably won't get the goal-line carries.
As for this selection, Daube must have fallen in love with Jabar Gaffney once he read the Sporting News and saw that Gaffney was high on Denver's w depth chart.