Excerpt from the Fantasy Index webpage
The Fantasy Index Open is open to everyone – regular at-home players, and industry pros. And for the defense position, it was one of the professionals who came out on top: Sam Hendricks, author at Extra Point Press.
Hendricks has been in the industry for years. He is the author of Fantasy Football Guidebook. He was the overall winner of the Fantasy Index Open in 2012. And he comes out on top in the defense category of the position this year.
The winner takes home a really huge and really cool trophy from the team at Affordable Trophies.They’ve been partnering with us on this contest for years.
The winner and the runner-up also earn berths in the Experts Poll in the magazine, competing in a similar contest in a 20-man field composed mainly of industry experts.
The scoring for this competition is notoriously complex. Basically, all picks count in varying degrees, and we attach a number to each of the 20 picks made by each of the 222 entries. In short, the higher you rank a player the more his production counts towards your score, with final scoring in the hundreds of thousands.
At the defense position, scoring is based on 2 points for takeaways, 1 for sacks, 2 for safeties and 6 points for touchdowns (takeaway and special teams).
To win in this kind of competition, you have to be right on some big-picture concepts that most others miss. For Hendricks at this position, the Eagles and Texans were his key selections. Philadelphia was lightly regarded on most boards (just 17th, on average) but Hendricks ranked them 5th. So when they had a solid year, ranking 8th, he was more heavily rewarded for that production. At the same time, most were looking for a big season from the Texans (the #6 defense entering the season). But Hendricks didn’t even include them in his top 20, so he benefitted when they weren’t much of a factor (ranking 21st in scoring).
The Jets and Jaguars were 11th and 14th on the consensus board, but Hendricks ranked them 20th and not at all. That helped him when those teams both ranked in the bottom 3 in this scoring system.
Hendricks’ top 4 was solid, including Carolina, Denver, Arizona and Kansas City, which all ranked in the top 7 in scoring. Regardless, his picks put him on top, just ahead of network engineer Michael McAninch and attorney Dan Martinez.
Kent Stewart gets the most improved award for this category. He ranked last (out of 222) at the kicker position, but moved up to 7th in defenses.
The position was rough, on the other hand, on Zach Leavitt and Scott Anderson – two veteran prognosticators out of Colorado. They both ranked in the top 15 in kickers but slipped to last and next-to-last at this position.