My interview with FantasyPros

Late last week, FantasyPros announced that I was 2010’s Most Accurate Expert, and as a part of the competition’s post-mortem, I was asked to answer a few questions for the site’s founder, Dave Kim.

Q: Can you tell us a little about your site, The Scores Report, and how you got started in the fantasy business?

John: The Scores Report is a national sports blog. We cover all the major sports, but my focus is on fantasy football during the NFL season, and then my focus turns to the NBA and college basketball once the season is over. I started writing for Bullz-Eye in 2005 and shortly thereafter began covering fantasy football on BE and then on The Scores Report.

Q: Can you briefly describe your process for coming up with your player projections/rankings?

John: I have an engineering background, so statistics play a big role in my rankings. I calculate strength of schedule each week, and use matchups to put my rankings together. I don’t do player-specific projections, at least not yet, so my rankings probably have more “feel” than some of the more math-driven rankings that are out there. This allows me to create rankings that reflect my own opinion on each player, including the level of trust that each player has earned. In other words, if a player is a risky start but has considerable upside, I generally won’t rank them ahead of a solid start with little upside. If I have one player ranked ahead of another, it almost always means that I would personally start them in that order as well. I wouldn’t want to advise my readers to start someone that I wouldn’t start myself under the same circumstances.

Q: You were a fixture in our top 5 leaderboard for most of the year. In fact, you held on to the #1 spot for 11 consecutive weeks! We know your profile page on FantasyPros.com has had a ton of visitors – have you also seen an increase in readers and exposure this season?

John: Yes, we have definitely seen an uptick in traffic and many of our readers who post questions on our weekly Q&A have said that they’ve found the blog through FantasyPros. It has provided great exposure for me as well as our blog. Those fantasy owners who are thirsty for greater detail should talk to my co-worker, Anthony Stalter, from time to time. He writes from a pure football standpoint, so he can tell you which offensive line should improve the most or which cornerback has the best chance to develop into a shut-down cover guy. He has been a great resource for me over the years.

Q: If you had to name one peer in the industry that you’d hate to go up against in a fantasy league, who would it be?

John: I’m not sure how to answer this because I enjoy measuring myself against the best competition, so I’d love to be in a league with the top names in the industry. That said, I have been a member of Footballguys for several years, so purely from a “winning time” standpoint, I’d rather not compete against David Dodds or Sigmund Bloom if there were money on the line.

Q: I know it’s way too early for this discussion, but off the top of your head, name one “sleeper” for next year and tell us why he’ll surprise us.

John: Oddly enough, I wrote a piece entitled “Looking ahead to the 2011 fantasy season,” so a plug here wouldn’t hurt.

I don’t know if he qualifies as a sleeper, but Jonathan Stewart has a chance to put up Top 10 RB numbers in 2011 if the Panthers don’t re-sign DeAngelo Williams this summer. He got off to a rough start as the starter when Williams went down, but really got it going down the stretch. From a deep sleeper standpoint, I really like the opportunity that Jerome Simpson, Andre Caldwell and Jordan Shipley will have in Cincinnati assuming both Terrell Owens and Chad Ochocinco move on. They’re young and ready to emerge, and they’ve all played well in spots when given the opportunity. All three could be fantasy-worthy depending on who’s QBing the Bengals in 2011.

Kim also interviewed three other experts that finished in the Top 5. To see those questions and answers, click here. Thanks again to everyone over at FantasyPros for putting this study together. It was a great opportunity for me to rank against many of the biggest names in the industry.

Follow the Scores Report editors on Twitter @clevelandteams and @bullzeyedotcom.

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