“The biggest flaw with fantasy rankings is extrapolating past into the future instead of projecting. That’s why I don’t have Manning as QB1.“
You have to look into Joe Redemann’s Twitter handle to know that he’s a man of numbers. If he put his full name on there, he would have wasted precious characters. Joe is a drama teacher (not queen) by day and a Numberfire/Top Team Fantasy writer by all other times.
Howād you get started in fantasy football writing?
JR: I actually started to co-manage Yahoo! fantasy baseball and football teams with my mom when I was about seven or eight years old! [Zach note: I think we've discovered a prodigy.] That first year, we did terribly, and nearly every year since then, I have made it my personal job to come up with my own rankings (and in high school, a rudimentary VBD system). I got in touch with some of the online community of FF in 2013, and after speaking with Jonathan at Top Team, I was brought on to contribute to the fantasy football staff. Iāve been at it for a year and two months now, and I couldnāt be happier.
Your TTF bio says you focus on advanced statistics. Could you give me some more basic stats so I can keep up?
JR: One really easy stat to follow is wins. They TOTALLY mean the world when it comes to quarterback value. They mean even more in relation to D/ST units. Actuallyā¦ *goes to run regression/correlation on D/ST fantasy points vs. win percentage*
You have Ryan Tannehill rated as your #9 dynasty QB. Do you believe in the Lazor show in Miami?
JR: If I was into MDMA and there was some raging EDM, I still couldnāt be more all over MIA right now. Iāve liked Tanny since scouting him in college, and I think he has a legitimate chance to take a step forward this year with a bona fide QB guru as his OC. (How many more acronyms can I put in here?) [Zach note: I'm torn on Tanny. People either think he's going to 'splode this year or he's going to remain not good.]
Are you falling for all of the early WR love in redrafts this year?
JR: Iām not sure āfalling forā is the right term. Iām a total romantic, but itās more of a carefully discussed, calmly reasoned, and warm embrace Iām stepping into with them. There just isnāt as much surety with running backs as most think. If I donāt get Shady, Charles, Peterson, or Forte at the top, Iām going to Megatron, Demaryius, Dez, and even AJ Green, especially in PPR.
Do you like to toss in some older players into your dynasty startup drafts, or are you one of those cats who canāt draft anyone older than 25 years old?
JR: Iām not so much an ageist as I am a value hawk. [Zach note: The Value Hawks = quality fantasy team name.] I donāt like to draft older veterans early on in my dynasty startups, but once we get into the 6th round or so, if the value is there, the value is there. Iād still prefer to swap back and acquire extra rookie picks with that slot, but I wonāt balk at taking a veteran if the price is right.
Could Aaron Dobson be the Alshon Jeffrey of 2014?
JR: Thatās a tall order. Iām a Packers fan and I love Jeffery, so thatās saying something. [Zach note: Packers fan in Minnesota?] Jeffery and whatās happening in Chicago are pretty unique, but do I think Dobson can take a massive leap forward this year? Yes, absolutely; he was a fantasy WR2 while healthy in 2013.
Are you as fashionable as Brady, or does Brady look up to your style?
JR: Itās funny you ask me this today, because I just moved, am unshaven from a few days, and havenāt had a haircut in two months. But tomorrow, I am getting my hair faded again and my face shorn, so I might give him a run for his money. Iād never wear Uggs though. #ShotsFired
Howād you get hooked up with NumberFire?
JR: JJ and numberFire put out a call for NFL staff after the end of the football season last year. I applied, went away from my computer for a week to visit my family in Wisconsin, and when I got back, I saw heād asked me to join and write for them. Itās heavy-duty number work that really helps to paint a brighter story of what happens in the NFL, and that I really love about analytics.
How many Net Expected Points do you get per article compared to say, Zachariason?
JR: Oh, JJ blows us all at nF out of the water. That man cannot be measured in NEP. Except on the Fantasy Football subreddit. There heās banhammered. #ShotsFired
Tell us about your day job. Are you a better actor than Brett Favre in Thereās Something About Mary?
JR: I actually donāt tend to act anymore! Iāve focused on directing, writing, and education more as Iāve explored the performing arts world. I teach in a āliteracy and social justice through storytellingā program with the Minneapolis Childrenās Theater Company, and that is the most rewarding work Iāve ever done in my life.
That said, if Favre ever wants to do dueling Shakespearean soliloquies, tell him I called him āa fusty nut with no kernelā. #ShotsethFiredeth
The spouse question: Does your wife/sig other/girlfriend have any issues with your football obsession?
JR: Iām actually single, though seeing someone fairly regularly. I am really proud of the work I do for Top Team and numberFire, though, so when I met her I did tell her about football writing as part of my answer to āWhat do you do?ā I got a wry, bemused smile in return at first, but she supports it. [Zach note: I'm sure a lot of women have the "oh no, another one of those" looks prepared.]
Football or sex: Which do you think of more?
JR: Oh, manā¦ Itās very situationally dependent. More often? Sex. More for an extended period of time? Football. During sex? Sex. During football? Depends.
Whatās your usual Sunday football tradition?
JR: I work Sunday opening at my day job, so I get up at 6am, start setting lineups over a bowl of cereal, and my phone doesnāt leave my hand until 7.30am when my shift starts and I have to plug it in because the battery is dead. Then my best friend and co-commissioner of my home league and I hit up Liquor Lyleās (best drink specials in the city) in the afternoon to watch the rest of the daysā games.
Which football writers are on your must-read list?
JR: I know itās clichĆ©, but there are too many to list. I personally have focused a lot on college scouting lately, and I love reading the work of Ben NatanĀ and Derik KlassenĀ for scouting takes. For IDP thoughts, I always go to my main man Matt LaneĀ at Fake Pigskin. For dynasty, Jeff MillerĀ at numberFire and DLF puts out stellar content and is always willing to talk advice and fantasy theory. For everything else, Leo HowellĀ always has awesome and in-depth material to read.
Iām immensely lucky in the community of authors I get to read. Itās a good time to be in football writing.
Tell me about a hobby/interest outside of football.
JR: I love to cook. It might be genetic; my mom was a general manager of a Dennyās Restaurant for nearly a decade, and my sister is training at the Culinary Institute of America. Wherever it came from, I can modestly and honestly say that I am pretty darn good as a breakfast cook, soup chef, and homemade bread baker. You have not lived until youāve tried my Grandmaās recipe for ham-and-bean soup, or my own personal invention: the Eggs Benedict Breakfast pizza, complete with hollandaise as the pizza sauce.
Is there anything I failed to ask that youād like to address?
JR: Letās seeā¦ Iāve called out celebrities, reddit, and one of my editors; you got my secret breakfast recipe and discovered my thought patterns during multiple occasions. Only other things I can think of are that penguins are my spirit animal and I also rap. Other than that, weāre good!
Let me know about any sites/podcasts/contests that youād like to āplugā.
JR: Dude, check out everything weāre doing at Top Team Fantasy. Weāre expanding content rapidly, trying to bring as much interesting information to you as possible, and we have such talented writers who are getting their first step into this field too. Love on them.
Check out the numberFire machine as it rolls toward certain domination of the world.
I donāt know if you normally do this, but I am currently directing a production of the play āFool For Loveā, going up in Minneapolis in the fall of 2014. If you are here, or are visiting, let me know and come see it for free!
Get thee to the theatre, I sayz. Thanks to Joe for answering my questions and of course, follow him on Twitter.
If you want to check out my interview work of the past, you can get There Is No Offseason: The First 50 Interviews from the Ask Your FF Expert Series, and There Still Is No Offseason: Interviews 51-100 of the Ask Your FF Expert Series.