As any who knows me can confirm, I am about as far from a sports guy as you can get. However, some guys that I have lunch with each week are doing a fantasy football league this year and they invited me to join them, and I decided why not? I have a son and daughter now and I think learning a bit more about football (or any other sport) could be a very good thing, because who knows, they may turn out to love sports and I’d want to be a part of that.

But Wednesday night we had our fantasy draft, and how to you pick players in a draft when you don’t know anything about any of them? Well, as a math major in college, I decided my only hope to was to fall back on statistics. So I gathered fantasy player projections from a wide variety of sources and set to work making myself a combined master list. Since we were drafting later than some other people do, I was able to gather actual draft percentages for players so I had data from the “experts” as well as actual selection choices made by the the fantasy football community in general. Our league is hosted at Yahoo, and because apparently different places score fantasy football a little differently, I decided to weigh the Yahoo expert projections and community selections higher than other sources because those should match up with the scoring we will actually be using. I had 4th pick in the draft order and every time I just picked the highest person on my list who was still available and who fit a position I needed. That got me:

1(st round). (4th pick overall) Larry Johnson
2. (17) Willis McGahee
3. (24) Terrell Owens
4. (37) Marc Bulger
5. (44) T.J. Houshmandzadeh
6. (57) Ahman Green
7. (64) Santana Moss
8. (77) Baltimore
9. (84) Vernon Davis
10. (97) Ladell Betts
11. (104) Vince Young
12. (117) Kevin Curtis
13. (124) DeShaun Foster
14. (137) Neil Rackers
15. (144) Ron Dayne
16. (157) Eddie Kennison
17. (164) Carolina

I later dropped Eddie Kennison to pick up Mike Furrey based on some further analysis (and some updated news stories) after the fact. At this point, according to the full season projections at Yahoo, I should win the league by 48 points. Go figure. So I guess this is a random experiment in football knowledge vs straight statistics, as well as a test of how accurate pre-season projections really are, plus a little bit of plain old luck mixed in. But so far I’ve had a good time messing around with all of my statistics, and now trying to find out about each of the players I ended up with. I’ll post occasionally to update the status of my little experiment as the season goes on.

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