Welcome to Fantasy Football 2009! After months of work, the Nerd is new and improved for the 2009 NFL season. As I alluded to last month, there are a number of changes that you'll see and some you won't.
The biggest change that you won't see is the engine that powers FantasyFootballNerd.com. The engine became much more complex and simple at the same time. If you're really interested, I describe in detail how the Nerd calculates it's NerdRank. If I had a dime for every time someone asked how the rankings are determined, I could quit my day job and finally move to Grand Cayman where I'll swim with the rays every morning. So feel free to take a peek under the hood of the Nerd and learn more about NerdRank.
You'll also notice on the FFN homepage that I'm now displaying some of the sources that are aggregated. This year I'm contacting all of the sources trying to receive formal permission from them. Some sources have responded positively and some are providing me back-end structured data access (thank you!). Some have not responded at all yet. Some have requested that the Nerd stop searching them. Some have agreed to allow the Nerd to search them, however they either 1) don't want to have their rankings broken down and listed side-by-side with others, or 2) don't want the Nerd to display their name or logo. I respect their decisions and will comply with each sources' requests. For those who I would classify as "full participants", you'll see their logo and a short description of them on the homepage. Simply click on their logo to learn a little more about them and then click the link to visit their website. Each has exceptional content and you'll benefit from visiting their sites.
On the fantasy football rankings page, you'll find a slightly different player screen when you click on the player's name. There will be two new graphs this year for each player. The first is the FFN VisiRank chart showing a visual representation of where all the experts are placing each player along with where that player's NerdRank is in relation. You'll also see a strength of schedule chart that visually displays that player's opponents for the year. A red bar indicates a tough defense that week. A green bar indicates a weaker defense (and hopefully a ton of fantasy points for you!).
Shameful Plug Alert: Everything on the Nerd is free. For those die-hard nerds though, FFN has teamed up with Zazzle to provide FFN shirts, mugs, etc. Show your support by visiting the Nerd Shop and get your Nerd Gear in time for your draft. End of Shameful Plug
I've also started a new section on the Nerd: Fantasy Football Resources. This new section provides an index of fantasy football websites that can aid you in keeping informed and ready for your draft and the season. If you used the Nerd last year, you know that I like to do things a little differently (a little "nerdy" if you will). I'll continue adding new resources to this page, however I will have very little control over the order in which they are listed. The Nerd looks at the Google PageRank of each source and will list them in descending order. If Google finds a resource to be important, the Nerd will concede that decision to them. My favorites will be shown with a star icon next to it. I highly encourage you to visit those sites.
You can also get the free fantasy football FireFox Addon. If you use Internet Explorer, consider changing to FireFox or Chrome. The Nerd does not support IE 6 or below. IE 7 should work just fine and IE 8 is an improvement, but developing for IE is a pain. Of all their browsers, Microsoft's Internet Explorer 8 is the most standards-compliant version they've ever created, and it's still the LEAST compliant of all the major browsers. Enough about browsers and Microsoft.
One final note regarding the 2009 fantasy football rankings. Not all sources are currently reporting their rankings and projections. As they come online, the Nerd Crawler will pick them up. Check back frequently.
I hope you have a fantastic 2009 and I hope the Nerd can help.
Good luck this season!