Every year, the Football Outsiders publish their guide to the new season. The Football Outsiders 2010 Almanac went on sale yesterday, and is the second most important book that a Colts fan can buy this summer. Every serious football fan ought to give it a look. All week, I'll be reviewing the book to share some of the great insights they have into the Colts. Today: fantasy and college.
As I've mentioned, FOA is hundreds and hundreds of pages long. One of the awesome features for fantasy players is the KUBIAK projection system in which they project the coming season. KUBIAK is a useful tool for fantasy players who want to get a jump on the draft and who want to avoid those dreaded first round busts. The result is a section that gives great comments on individual players. For example, they calculate a very similar 2010 from Peyton Manning to his 2009. The big difference: fewer picks. They see Manning posting nearly identical numbers in 2010, but with 10 picks instead of 16. Given more stability from the wideouts, that seems like a good bet to me.
FOA 2010 also covers college football, a subject we rarely tackle at 18to88. There are two reasons for that. The first is that IU sucks at football. I have tolerated Purdue football from time to time, but can't get passionate about it enough to watch. The second reason we don't talk NCAA football is that I hate the BCS. It's better than nothing, but not by enough to get me excited. Still, I know that many of you care college football, and if you do then FOA 2010 is a great buy.
Unfortunately for Hoosier fans, they have Indiana right back on the bottom of the Big 10, but do rate Ben Chappell as a potential pro prospect. He's the only one, but when your team is ranked 81st in the country, you can't expect too much. They also project Purdue to finish 5th, and rate them as the 42nd best team in the country. They see the Big 10 as top heavy this year with four teams in the top 20 (OSU, PSU, Iowa, Wisconsin).
So no matter what kind of football fan you are from serious NFL die hard to casual fantasy fan, FOA 2010 has something for you. On top of everything else though, don't forget that it is a great read. The book is loaded with essays and extra FO nuggets of wisdom and humor. The reason I push FO so hard isn't because their numbers are unassailable. All statistical constructs are flawed, of course. However, the guys at FO are asking the right questions about football. They are trying to find answers in unusual ways and their philosophy of blending numbers with scouting is a common sense approach. That's the same spirit we try to have here at 18to88.com.
If you can't get the right answer, at least be sure you are asking the right question.