Nothing beats having a solid fantasy football magazine around. In 2013, many would argue that you can find everything you need online and with all these fancy pods this and pads that, everything is always available too. It is great, but I still want some magazines and I’ve never taken a laptop to a live in person draft either, for the record.
I purchased the 2013 Fantasy Football Guide: Professional Edition and have since gained access to the online version too. It has proven already to be a valuable resource.
Firstly, there are no ads and minimal graphics. The guide is well presented and visually pleasing, but the 150 pages are actually 150 pages of football. Without naming names, or guides I guess, often times there are full page images, ads throughout and the actual content comprises roughly half the magazine.
The 2013 Fantasy Football Guide: Professional Edition is full of content. It is how you want your stew, right? You don’t want it runny and full of potatoes, you want it jam packed with the good stuff.
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2013 Fantasy Football Guide
So, tackling the good stuff, the 2013 Fantasy Football Guide: Professional Edition kicks right into a writers poll, which covers everything from NFL Rookie of the Year, through Defensive Player of the Year to Overlooked Team Defenses. This is solid, because it covers both real and fake football.
The heading notes the stream-of-conscience style the poll is written in and explains, “the music of fantasy football championship is rarely played in straight time.” I can dig it, or at least dance to it.
Moving into the ever popular rookies, busts, sleepers required inclusion to any fantasy guide, the 2013 Fantasy Football Guide: Professional Edition approaches each in a roundabout way. The three fantasy guide mainstays are presented by position, which is always helpful and there is a brief analysis and justification for each player.
I’ve got to say, unless I’m missing something and in which case I feel dumb, I’m quite thrown off by the WRookies throughout the guide. If I’m missing something, I feel dumb and it isn’t good to make your reader feel dumb. Is this an inside joke? I thought I read everything pretty clearly, what am I missing? Why is it WRookies?
I ask, because then there is a thorough Rookie Report, which is 10 pages long and among the best I’ve seen. But shouldn’t it be called the WRookie Report?
The highest ranked rookies have captions on their ability, situation, present and future outlook, while the lower ranked ones have a brief paragraph, which essentially paraphrases the same criteria.
The Positional Rankings are a strength of the 2013 Fantasy Football Guide: Professional Edition. Not because of the rankings themselves, but because there is considerable content for the projected fantasy starters, more than enough for fringe starters and just a snippet for lottery tickets and those who will end up on the waiver wire.
Does anyone need four paragraphs on Matt Cassel’s Fantasy relevancy?
Each position is tiered and also features excellent positional introductions from one Mr. David Gonos. The Chicken Wing expert is at his best in these too. Concise, yet able to recap last season, forecast ahead, provide draft advice and even take a little trip down fantasy football memory lane all in a few hundred words.
Another aspect of the positional rankings that shouldn’t be overlooked are the challenges, which have nothing to do with Tom Coughlin by the way. It is an opportunity for an expert to highlight an area where their rankings vary and present their case. It adds balance and reinforces the reality that in this fantasy game there aren’t 100% accurate rankings available and it is alright to stray from the consensus.
Also included in the player rankings section along with the standard fantasy positions are a set of IDP rankings, with notes on the top 20 Defensive Linemen, Linebackers and Defensive Backs. You don’t find these in enough magazines, or guides for that matter and it was an excellent addition here.
Next, the 2013 Fantasy Football Guide: Professional Edition covers Schedule Strength. They provide clear and color coded grids , but also highlight the easiest and hardest schedules and inform readers of the easiest and hardest playoff schedules too. If you’re in a coin flip situation on draft day and know that Ahmed Bradshaw will run against Kansas City and Jacksonville, while Daryl Richardson will face Tampa Bay and Seattle, you might want Bradshaw.The 2013 Fantasy Football Guide: Professional Edition has the standard Mock Draft with experts from 10 different websites and includes a Mock Draft Commentary. The commentary highlights each expert’s Draft Strategy, their best and worst picks and their personal reflection on how their draft went. Mock Drafts are nice to view if you’re in a similar draft spot and know ahead of time, you can look over the players who may be available around that draft spot. The expert’s insights on draft strategy is also helpful, it is also nice to know how experienced fantasy players approach their drafts.
There is a Ranks section next with composite expert rankings, Touchdown Scoring Ranks, Fantasy Points Scoring Ranks and a $200 Auction Value Cheat Sheet. These are all great, but with injuries, poor and strong preseasons and everything else that happens in August, they become outdated. That is the peril of finite print though and doesn’t mean these parts of the guide aren’t useful, they just cannot be updated.
The strength of this guide without a doubt are the Team Previews. Similarly to the Positional Rankings, there is an excellent introduction to each team, which recaps the past, forecasts ahead and also highlights personnel and coaching changes. These are again, concise, but full of valuable information.
Next, the Team Previews breakdown the Fantasy landscape of the team with an extensive Depth Chart, which is obviously sorted by position. The backup options go 3 deep at Quarterback and at least that many Running Backs are discussed. Wide Receivers are listed to the 5th option and Tight Ends also feature the top 2 Fantasy players. Kickers are previewed, in addition to Kick Off and Punt returners and finally each team’s Defense is reviewed.
The Wake Up Call section appoints a Sleeper and Deep Sleeper for each team, which is always popular for readers and helpful on draft day. The Team Profiles are also complete with a Schedule and a quick peek at each team’s top 8 Fantasy Options and their rankings. Their rank within their position, where they were selected in the Mock Draft, their projected Fantasy Points, Auction Value and Touchdown Scoring projection are all here too.
Each team has 2 full pages of coverage and there is no shortage of Fantasy information here. Again, there is a thorough look at every team, which is often neglected in Fantasy Magazines, as they typically focus primarily on individual players and have quick snippets of information about each team. However, it is important to consider your Fantasy Players within the context of their team too and the depth of analysis in the 2013 Fantasy Football Guide: Professional Edition makes that task extremely easy.
Finally, the guide concludes with a recap of 2012′s Fantasy Scoring and the back page article, Glascoe on Gambling: The New Male Manifesto Edition. It was an interesting read and I smirked that he ended with Dylan Thomas’ famous poem. However, being a sports guy, I especially enjoyed this part about men,
“We don’t have support groups. Guys don’t have book clubs, where no one reads the books but everyone complains about men. What we have is sports. And betting on sports. The most sincere and profound conversations I have with guys are over proposed Roto trades.”
Remember that you can save $1 if you use the coupon code “fsorg13″.
There were two things that I found took away from the 2013 Fantasy Football Guide: Professional Edition. First, the already WRookies thing, what gives? Seriously, what is that all about? The second, there were a considerable amount of spelling, gramatical and convention slip ups. I’m alright with that though really, it is 2013 and the bastardization of the English Language is in full force, in fact it is nearly inevitable with all these fancy pods this and pads that. So really, these two things were extremely minor, especially in comparison to the many fantastic features within the 150 plus pages of this guide.