Monday Morning Analysis

Monday, Sep 8, 2008 at 12:00 pm ET

It's a good morning for some (unless you drafted Tom Brady). There were quite a few surprises yesterday that I think shocked a number of people.

I'll start by quoting an email I received this morning from one of our users.

"thanks for recomending Detriots defense? You Losers!".

Thanks Jon for your candid comments. I take them all - good and bad. Your comments are very valid and I'm continuing to enhance the Nerd search engine (more on that in a moment).

I think we all had high hopes (not 220 yards high!) for Michael Turner and all I can really say is "WOW". Nobody gave the Falcons much respect going into the first game and I think that was evident in the rankings, and many gave Detroit an edge expecting a lackluster performance out of the untested Atlanta QB and RB. Here's a quote from "A rookie quarterback must have the Lions salivating. If they can stop Michael Turner early, they could have a very easy go of things." We were all wrong.

How about Steven Jackson? 14 carries for 40 yards. 3 receptions for 34 yards. 0 TD's. Not quite the stellar performance we expected for a guy the Nerd ranked #7 among RB's.

How about Joseph Addai? 10 carries for 44 yards. 1 reception for 3 yards. 0 TD's. The Nerd ranked him at #4.

Carson Palmer at #10 and McNabb at #11. Palmer tanked and McNabb lit up the air.

Cooley - 1 reception for 7 yards. Yep - that was it. Campbell seemed so flustered out there that he seemed to ignore one of his best weapons.

And, of course, the grand daddy of them all. Tom Brady. Ranked #3 for the week and 76 yards later, he's out.

FOX Sports ranked Cooley #4 among TE's and expected 50 yards out of him. Steven Jackson: #6 with 92 yards rushing.

The Nerd does nothing more than aggregate rankings from various experts who make their predictions based on the best possible data that they have. The Nerd now has a week of games on which to weight next week's predictions from these sources. If a source is off, future projections from that source will be modified. It's a dynamic thing that can change every day. Who said predicting the future was easy? No source will ever be 100% accurate simply because of the word: projection. There are companies with sophisticated software that simulate the games 10,000+ times trying to determine the most-likely outcome. Even they get it wrong.

Now, take a moment to look at Brett Favre's performance. Depending on your league's scoring rules, he was awfully close or right on target to his projections. In one of my leagues, he ended the day with 18.96 points. The Nerd projected 18.95.

The point is that this isn't an exact science. The Nerd engine will continue to learn and adapt past experience which is a complex undertaking and it will continue to get better as the season progresses. I know it's cliche, but "On any given Sunday..."

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