Final Report Card: 2012 Rotoworld NFL Fantasy Football Draft Guide

John McLean@@JohnMcLean2012Contributor IJanuary 12, 2013

Megatron made the cover of the 2012 Rotoworld Fantasy Football Draft Guide
Megatron made the cover of the 2012 Rotoworld Fantasy Football Draft GuideGregory Shamus/Getty Images

The 2012 fantasy football season ended a few weeks ago. And while you anxiously wait to see which teams will square off in Super Bowl XLVII, it’s time to take a deep, cleansing breath and reflect on all of the outstanding fantasy draft selections you made this season.

Like Maurice Jones-Drew, Michael Vick, and Hakeem Nicks.

Or Darren McFadden, Philip Rivers, and Larry Fitzgerald.

There, there. Don’t cry. It wasn’t your fault.

You bought the print version of the 2012 Rotoworld ( fantasy football draft guide. The one in which Rotoworld Editor-in-Chief Brett Vandermark wrote, on page 2 of the guide, “So read [this guide], learn it, love it, and you’ll be well on your way to a championship or two.”

A championship or two? How about four wins, Brett!

Your lousy $8 draft guide has undoubtedly brought pain, suffering, and virtual castration to millions of fantasy football fans throughout America. It’s an outrage!

I’m not mad at Rotoworld. I’m really not. It’s just that last summer, when I saw the slick, high-gloss cover photo of Calvin Johnson on Rotoworld’s draft guide, as well as the 144 pages of player profiles, cheat sheets, and “Sleepers and Busts,” I thought my $8 investment might get me close to fantasy heaven.

But I did not make it to heaven. I ended up well south of there. And it was hot.

So my response to the fantasy football “experts” at Rotoworld is this report card, an assessment of their predictions for the 2012 NFL fantasy season.

I reviewed the final stats from my fantasy league (which used standard scoring), compared the real-world results with Rotoworld’s predictions for “Performance Scoring”—the system most closely aligned with the NFL’s standard scoring—and awarded grades.

The boys at Rotoworld got an “A” for predicting eight or more of the top-10 finishers at each fantasy position; a “B” for predicting seven of the top-10 players at each position; a “C” for six; a “D” for five; and an “F” for four or fewer.

Without further delay, here are the grades...

Quarterbacks: C (6/10)

If you followed Rotoworld’s advice about QBs, you probably did okay. Unless you drafted Vick, Rivers, Matthew Stafford, or Eli Manning in an early round.

Running Backs: F (4/10)

Repeat with me: Must not draft Darren McFadden! Must not draft Darren McFadden! Oakland Raiders not good!

Among Rotoworld’s stellar picks at running back were Jones-Drew, who was supposed to finish as the seventh-best at his position (he finished 50th); Ryan Mathews, who finished 30th (predicted to top out at No. 4); LeSean McCoy, who finished 21st; and McFadden, who finished another disappointing season as the 28th-ranked fantasy back.

Wide Receivers: F (4/10)

Rotoworld—and, frankly, countless other fantasy football participants—expected Larry Fitzgerald to have another exceptional year in 2012. He was supposed to finish as the 3rd-best fantasy performer among wide receivers.

But the reality of Fitz’s 2012 campaign actually boiled down to an equation:

Larry Fitzgerald + [Kevin Kolb, John Skelton, Ryan Lindley, or Brian Hoyer] + Hideous Arizona Cardinals’ Offensive Line = DISASTER 

Poor Fitz. He finished 42nd among wide receivers. And, lest you think I don’t like the Arizona Cardinals, Hakeem Nicks, Mike Wallace, Brandon Lloyd, Percy Harvin, and Steve Smith all fell far short of Rotoworld’s prognostications.

Tight Ends: F (4/10)

Jimmy Graham and Rob Gronkowski finished as the two highest-scoring fantasy tight ends in 2012—and Rotoworld accurately predicted as much, although they thought Gronk would beat out Graham (it was the other way around).

As for the other tight ends on Rotoworld’s top-10 list? Not so good. Aaron Hernandez, Jermichael Finley, Vernon Davis, Antonio Gates, Fred Davis, and Jacob Tamme all finished outside the top 10.

Defenses/Special Teams: C (6/10)              

Not too shabby here, Roto-boys. Six out of 10 isn’t too bad. Whoa, wait a minute! The Buffalo Bills were your No. 4 defense? Cleveland was No. 6? And the mighty Kansas City Chiefs were No. 10? (Psst: The Chiefs actually finished dead-last, 32nd overall, in fantasy defense/special teams.)

Kickers: F- (2/10)

If you still believe you should select a kicker prior to the last round of your next fantasy draft, make sure you talk with the boys at Rotoworld before making your selection. They will surely steer you in the right direction after correctly predicting only two of the top 10 fantasy kickers for 2012.

But here’s a secret that may win you a fantasy championship next year: TAKE SEBASTIAN JANIKOWSKI IN THE FIRST ROUND OF YOUR DRAFT.

All kidding aside, there are important lessons to be learned from the folks at Rotoworld:

First, life is unpredictable, and so is fantasy football.

Second, never trust an Oakland Raider as a fantasy football player—no matter what anyone says.

Third, $8 is not a lot of cash, so the money you spend on your 2013 Rotoworld fantasy draft guide probably will be a good investment.

It will help you prepare for your next draft.

It will look awesome on your coffee table.

Just don’t expect it to win you a championship.


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