When I created the Nerd, it was my intention to use it myself. I do...every week, however I balance the predictions with my own research and ultimately, my gut. I'm in three leagues and I used the Nerd's Draft Buddy tool for all three. I thought it would be interesting to post how I'm doing after 4 weeks.
I am 3-1 in all of the leagues including the Stinky Tee Experts League. This puts me in 3rd place in two leagues and 2nd in the other one. Two of my losses came by 4.5 points and 3 points - both last minute heartbreakers. I got killed in the Experts League last week playing against the Bruno Boys, but then again, so has everyone else. There have been some misses on the predictions which help me decide my starting lineup and there have been some homeruns. I've found it beneficial in helping me with waiver-wire decisions as well.
There are certainly some busts, but we're all facing those. Ryan Grant?? Horrible. Pathetic. Disappointing. Pick your adjective...they're all true. The Nerd sees him as #16 among RB's this week, most likely due to an Atlanta Defense that's ranked 23rd against the run allowing an average of 136 yards/game on the ground. His hammy should be better, so I'm not ready to bench him just yet. As a virtual coach, I'm giving him another chance to earn his starting spot.
Derek Anderson is in the same boat. Rest up and get your game on.
Plaxico - It would have been nice to have you in the lineup this week against a Seattle Defense that ranks 24th in the league against the pass giving up an average of 226 yards/game to receivers. Seriously - I'd like to fine you as well, but instead I'll have to watch guys like Toomer and Boss take the yardage (neither of which are on any of my teams).
Not all have been disappointments however. Some pickups like Lance Moore and Muhsin Muhammad performed well for me lately. I have high hopes for Jonathan Stewart as well, though he's not likely to be mentioned in the same breath as Gore, Westbrook, or Jackson anytime soon. Michael Turner is starting to come back down to Earth after an explosive start to the year, and he looks like he'll be a solid fantasy option for years to come.
In the interest of full disclosure, I don't base all of my decisions on the Nerd's rankings. I still do my research. I use the Nerd's PlayerWatch feature to keep tabs on recent news regarding my teams as well as all of the other tools like Injuries and Today in the NFL. I also use many of the same tools that you do.
What's in my bookmarks? Here are some of my faves.
FFLibrarian.com: The Librarian has the fantasy football world catalogued and she knows about every nook and cranny. Seriously - she finds hidden gems EVERY week.
NFL.com: It's the official source. I get a little steamed that the official source isn't always 100% accurate with their data (Yeah - you've finally realized that Jake Delhomme isn't a RB!!), but I find value in some of their insight.
ESPN.com: I have a love/hate relationship with ESPN. They have good relationships with the NFL players and their agents which seems to give ESPN an edge on breaking news. I love this site, but seriously hate their "insider" feature. I'm not opposed to paying for special features, but those features better be worth it and exclusive when there are thousands of other sites a click away.
The Hazean: Great insight every day in the Daily Haze. These guys are fantatics and a great read. Michael at The Hazean has given me feedback on the Nerd and I appreciate and value his suggestions and opinions. I enjoy reading the Daily Haze and I know you will too.
Honorable Mentions: Yahoo!, FFGoat, ProFootballWeekly.com, RotoWorld.com.
There are many more, but these have been my core outside resources for independent research. I use other sites as well and I will post more of them here as soon as I can break my habit and make better use of the others.
I'll wrap up this post with what has become one of my favorite quotes from one of the guys in my leagues. "You gotta have a guy like Brady on the bench to keep up everyone else's spirits." While Brady won't be making any contributions to the starting lineup, it's nice to see him comforting everyone else on the bench. (And...No...I don't take advice from him.)
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