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Matt Waldman

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About Matt Waldman

  • Birthday 02/06/1970

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    Studying film to learn more about the players and the game.

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  1. Hey guys, I haven't published my projections here. Simply because FBGs has a great team that does this well and keeps up with it in a way that has been more rigorous than I have. My rankings are based on my projections and I have also been sharing my projections for each team on my weekly podcasts. Not the same as a full list continuously updated, I realize. At this point, there's not enough time in the day but I appreciate the thought. This week I will be sharing my draft cheat sheet that will be tiered and have confidence levels of the players in those tiers so you get some sense of the players I favor in each tier despite projecting-ranking a player high or lower based on the data M
  2. Offensive line rankings. PFF has a method. Football Outsiders has a method. And Matt Harmon used Next Gen Stats for a quick-hitting ranking at NFL.com in February. What info do you trust and why? What's problematic about each method? For instance, I can appreciate that Harmon's method defines one of the factors as yards gained before a defender comes within a yard of the runner, but that seems like an awfully conservative way to rate effectiveness. Should I really count a defensive tackle or linebacker's hand coming within that "1-yard zone" of a ball carrier as a bad thing? Seems to me it's a bit like the worst aspect of yards after contact where a defender can slap his fingertips on the thigh of a runner 5 yards into a 45-yard run and that runner gets credit for 40 yards after contact. That's an inflated indication of power... I'd like to hear your thoughts on o-line rankings and what you find valuable and not as much.
  3. I wouldn't get too bogged down in his conditioning. He was always a big, strong receiver. Boston entered the league a much smaller player and then bloated up. Gordon still plays a fluid game with strength Gordon finds the seam for a nice extension vs. Green Bay Still quick off the line Still fast and strong enough to overcome  Hayward pinning him to the sideline Still fluid and flexible to turn and catch a pass not thrown pinpoint.
  4. Well I think we know why they do this also. It creates a built in excuse for when these players fail. Then they can just say "well the NFL drafted him in round 2. Not my fault they were wrong." Then they also do not need to do any hard analysis and stick their neck out for players who have lower odds of making it. I think the motivation for this is more about self preservation of reputation than actual hard analysis. That is what makes me angry. The flip side of this is people who stick their neck out on every player then claim credit for it when one of those hundred guys does pan out. We've both been around for a while. Do I strike you as someone who seeks to duck accountability when he's wrong? Do I strike you as someone who is afraid to go out on a limb? Do you not remember me arguing for two years that Vincent Jackson was a top-5 dynasty receiver? Do you not remember me arguing that Ron Dayne was going to win the starting RB job in Denver and be a top-12 fantasy RB? Do you not remember the years where I was the driver on the Devin Hester bandwagon? Over my 10 years here, have I come across as someone more concerned with preserving my reputation than taking a stand? If I wanted to preserve my reputation, I sure picked a crappy way to go about it. I've got 10,000+ posts worth of posting history chronicling my every mistake. I'm the guy who, while at DynastyRankings.net, became the only dynasty ranker on the internet to actually preserve a copy of his rankings archives so that people could look back and see how I had players ranked years ago. They originally launched the site without preserving rankings archives, and I specifically requested the change because I believe in accountability, in allowing the consumer to judge me on my actual merits rather than simply being forced to take my claims at face value. If you want to know how I had a player ranked for every single week of the 2010 season, those archives are still there, just waiting to be accessed. If you want to preserve your reputation, keeping archives is a pretty bad way to do it- the current system employed by every other rankings outfit is far preferable, because your mistakes disappear down the memory hole as soon as you correct them. If you want to preserve your reputation, you don't point people to articles like these. I don't know if I have a reputation for always being right, or for usually being right. If I do, I don't want it, and I certainly don't deserve it. I don't really know if I'm right more or less often than the other so-called experts in the field (this is one area that would be much easier to address if people actually... you know... kept rankings archives). I know we do not get to choose our reputations, but I would hope that if I do have a reputation, it would be as someone who is passionate about fantasy football and who devotes large amounts of time, effort, and thought to finding market inefficiencies, maximizing value, and creating systems that set owners up for success. I would hope that I have a reputation for honesty, integrity, and transparency. I get that you're angry, but like I said, you're getting mad over a straw man. I'm not looking to take the easy way out. I'm not looking to shield myself from criticism. On the contrary, I put a lot of time and effort into coming up with my current system, and I've opened myself to a lot of criticism by taking everyone behind the scenes to see how I make the sausage. In fact, what exactly is happening right now? I posted how I rank players, and I received criticism over it. Some people now think less of me and my rankings as a result. I'm okay with that, because I believe that the system I use right now allows me to produce the best rankings I am currently capable of producing, and if I ever stopped believing that, I would replace it with another system that did. I do not consider this accountability. I consider it to be self promotion. I have not read a word of your links, not interested. Just like I was not interested in what you and other FBG staff drafted as an example of what "experts" would do. I have not read your articles. Pointing to them does not clarify your position in any way. It is self promotion not accountability. Furthermore what makes me angry is not even the analysis (which I have not seen). It is the attitude. You are very condescending in many of the statements that you make. You automatically assume that your system is better than any other method. I think you believe your articles prove that. I think you are making excuses for your blind spots and lack of effort. I will give you another example of your arrogance. You say that posting here in the shark pool is a thing of the past and that most relevant conversations happen on twitter now. I signed up for twitter a couple of months ago and I read a bunch of things people were saying there. Congradulations to those few folks who got a follower out of that. BTW Adam you were not one of them. What I read on twitter sounded like a bunch of 14 year olds crowing about things that are still at this time undecided. There was no substance to these comments at all. If you think that is a more constructive forum of debate and sharing of information than the SP I strongly disagree. I have not bothered wasting my time reading these juvenile comments any further than that one day I signed up for it, because what I read, from very intelligent people by the way was for the most part worse than worthless. The comments are knee jerk and posturing. So do you still think that this is a better forum for sharing ideas about football than the SP? I think twitter is making your language and depth of conversation much worse than it would be here or on any other message board. The one saving grace of all of this was reading Joe Bryant twitter feed. Joe was kindly and simply answering peoples questions without all of the attitude and foolishness I saw the other folks were conducting themselves with. This is not a criticism of you (may be hard to believe but you are not the center of the universe) but it is a criticism of what you deem to be useful conversation, as you have arrogantly said a few times that twitter is the main form of discourse now among FBG staff. I will give you another example of what makes me angry about FBG staff arrogance. I was listening to the audible and there are many comments that are meant purely as self promotion and I cannot help but wonder if some of them are intended to put listeners on the wrong track in terms of their player evaluation and value. Just today I see post here from someone wondering if they should be starting CJ Anderson week 3 against the Raiders. The hype gets really out of hand on many of these sleepers and I do really wonder if you guys have inside jokes amongst yourselves about getting people to react so foolishly. The pimping really ticks me off too. Pat yourself on the back for one out 500 guys you did research on once that player starts moving up the depth chart. Your fingers are on every player just waiting to take credit when one pans out and never mind all of the ones who didn't that if held accountable people would likely realize were way down the list compared to all the duds. I want to preface this next criticism with the fact that I have a lot of respect for what Matt Waldman does. He puts in a lot of time watching players, and not just watching them but doing so looking for specific things and writing all of those things down. Cecil is doing this as well. So I have a lot of respect for that skill. It is something I do not have the time or training to do as well as they do. But the arrogance behind this does really tick me off as well. What ticked me off about something Waldman said was in reference to the Eagles offense. He said "for those of you doing projections at home" with a condescending tone. This phrase is very similar to the phrase "kids don't try this at home" which is exactly the attitude being conveyed. That FBG staff is superior to anyone else doing projections themselves. It is a total PIMP attitude and all of your subscribers are the tricks. Gee I wonder why I do not want to be a subscriber when the people creating the content have an attitude towards their customers like this. This is nothing new. Now coming back to the ranking of rookie players. An idea that seems lost on you, despite you talking about inefficiencies metaphor of stock market trading, is that when you make a rookie pick, especially in the 1st and 2nd round of a rookie draft, that you should be making a commitment to holding that player for 3 years. If the player is a dud that is a long time that you will be taking zeros at this roster spot. I recall you saying that you and ZWK had a conversation about the value of a roster spot. I do not know what conclushions that you 2 may have come to in that regard, but I know ZWK is a very smart person. So whatever that was is likely very useful information. Did you apply this information to your articles? Have you applied it towards the value of a rookie pick at all? Because I think you should. That is actually one of the main purposes of trying to figure out the value of rookie picks based on the value of a roster spot. This is not exclusively a team management concept. It is a concept that should (imo) be baked into how you value and rank rookie players. From my perspective most leagues should likely NOT have more than 2 rounds of rookies drafted. Because most leagues will not be large enough rosters for rookies drafted after the 2nd round to be worth rostering. They are for the most part going to do nothing, and are not above replacement level value. Even a large percentage of the players who are drafted in the 1st 2 rounds of a rookie draft are going to be below replacement level value. You like to talk about 5th round NFL draft picks only having 5% chance of becoming relevant. While this is useful information it also applies to all other rookie players. A 20% chance still fails 4 out 5 and a 30% chance still fails 7 out of 10 and so on up to your legit 1st round NFL rookie picks who have a success rate of something like 40-50%. Half of those still fail too. I assume this is what your article covers, but I do not know. It is useful information I just do not agree with the analysis that seems to come from the information. The one player you and EBF seem to be harping on is Zac Stacy. Lets look at the Rams situation right now. Richardson is currently the starter. 7th round NFL draft pick. Pead is 2nd in line but I have figured out that much of the reason he was drafted this high is because of special teams potential. Potential that was not realized and has now been replaces by Austin and Cunningham. Zac Stacy 5th round pick who has struggled with some unknown injury during pre season holding him back. Was inactive last game due to not playing special teams and the Rams wanting to give Pead some more opportunity. Benny Cunningham UDFA currently returning kicks who got a couple of carries in most recent game. By your analysis (that is hard to have a conversation about since I have not read the articles you are referring to) I think you would be saying that Pead is the most valuable player out of these 4 options because he was a 2nd round NFL pick. Richardson should not be considered because he was a 7th round pick. Similarly Stacy should not be considered because he was a 5th round pick (although he was picked higher than Richardson) and Cunningham a UDFA would have no value either. Instead what we have is a situation where the 7th round pick is the starter and the 5th round and UDFA may be moving ahead of the 2nd round pick before long. So according to you guys they should be ranked- Pead Stacy (although after round 4 who cares?) Richardson Cunningham As I already said we will not know how things will turn out for Stacy or Cunningham until 2015(post season or half way). In regards to Richardson and Pead not until 2014(post season or half way). I think such a conclusion is lazy at best and not considering their pre-NFL draft value or opportunity. I think it is fair to criticize Stacy as this is a player back in May I used as an example of the whole rookie ranking dynamic. More so that just talking about Stacy, but to talk about the big picture, which is usually what I am trying to do in all of my posts. I still disagree with your method of evaluation. Even if in this example it turns out to be correct. I think we can do better than that. EBF certainly was not blind to the value of Richardson despite his NFL draft status. A ranking that takes this possibility into consideration would be better than just dismissing players outright due to their NFL draft position. That is not to say that following the NFL draft and pedigree should be ignored either. It is very useful data. But it is just that data. It does not look at all of the other variables that I think people should consider. Hey, Happened to read this and I was completely surprised that you took my comment about projections as condescending. While I don't remember exactly what I said, the idea of making fun of people doing projections is completely out of character with what I believe. It saddens me that you heard it that way and believe that I or other FBGs inherently believe that others' work isn't worthwhile just because they don't write for a publication. I can tell you that's not the case. While I think there's nothing wrong with having confidence in the work you do, I'm still pretty shocked with the manner you described your perception of what you heard because I just try to focus on doing the best work I can and leave it at that. Just wanted to share that with you. I don't get to spend a lot of time in the Shark Pool these days or answer questions in depth via email like I used to, but I can assure you the intent of any conversation about people doing their work was never meant as disrespectful. I can't even imagine feeling that way.
  5. I agree, EBF. But I also like Floyd. I think the Cardinals passing game is a worthwhile investment due to value of the parts where you don't have to invest starter picks.
  6. A.J. Green is virtually the same dimensions as Hunter.
  7. Gordon's talent is top 5-6 in this class of receivers and top 8-10 overall. His off-field issues hurt his ranking. If you can wait for his Pro Day next week and the Supplemental Draft on July 11 then you can adjust accordingly. Things to look for with Gordon on Pro Day: [*]Does he at least run a 4.45-40 [*]Is he between 220-230 pounds and in shape [*]Are you hearing the usual "PR" schtick about him that's positive. [*]Any specific, positive information about his actions since his arrests and not playing football. If all these things check out, I'd make him a high second-round pick in fantasy drafts. If they don't, he'd be a fourth round pick or later. If you have the 2012 RSP and 2012 RSP Post Draft, Gordon will fall between the 12th and 25th ranked players in my post-draft rankings, depending on his Pro Day and the team that selects him. The only way I bump him higher than 12th is if he runs a 4.3 or lower, is in great shape, and we hear something extraordinary about him. The only way I drop him lower than 25th is if he's vastly out of shape, acts like a fool with teams during interviews, or something worse than pot smoking and running up a credit card comes out. I'll be writing more about him in before and after a vacation. (next 10-15 days)
  8. My link The first in a series of posts examining Gordon's game, his potential on the field, and the skills that make or break receiver prospects. Joe - Edit Title
  9. Xue, You've been on YouTube, Twitter, this board, and other places promoting Brian Quick more than I think I've ever seen someone promote a prospect. Can you tell us your motivation? Just curious why all the ardent effort?
  10. I commuted from work (10 miles round trip) for a couple of years and just started doing it again last week. The brand I own is a Giant. I recommend you find a local bike shop because a good one will give you a couple of free tuneups a year and they will steer you in the right direction most of the time. I think if you're starting out and don't do any work on your bike yourself other than cleaning the chain a local shop is a good way to go. I paid about $350 for the bike and I think if you're going to do frequent riding you'll probably want to spend at least $300-$350 minimum at a store. For minimum $$$ they should be able to install a bike gear rack that can either hold a seat or bags. I'm not expert biker or enthusiast, but this bike continues to serve me very well riding in town and the occasional off road trails I've taken from time to time.
  11. Both Mason and Ward are terrific players. I would take them over several Hall of Famers at the WR position, because of non-statistical factors but they probably lack the numbers in this era to be considered as such - at least as first-ball HOFers.
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