We here at The Stone Cold Lock have been debating if Fantasy Football is a game of skill or luck? My take is that is it about 90% luck and 10% skill. One of my Stone Cold Lock colleague says “It’s all about the GMing (general managing).” I beg to differ. Fantasy Football like most things in this world is a game of chance and luck. It begins with the draft, you take a chance on players hoping that the player will pan out and score the most points for you day in and day out. There is a little bit of skill in choosing the right player, but you cant predict how a player will do. It is a game of chance on whether the player will be a stud or a dud. There are no guarantees that Adrian Peterson will be a fantasy star, you can simply hope that he comes through and performs the way he did as last year. Take for instance Matt Forte which I have had the fortunate of drafting him with the 7th pick. He was the best player available. Forte was a stud last year. In the first four weeks the has scored for me 5,5,10, and 10 points. I could have taken Chris Johnson 6, 45, 9, 9. One good game from Johnson sets him apart from Forte. Otherwise the numbers look the same. Is that skill or luck? Lets take a look at the Points For (PF) and Points Against (PA) because that is what matters in Fantasy Football, the amount of points your team scores vs the amount of points your opponent scores. My PF is currently 294 after four weeks. The top team has a PF of 334, a 47 point difference from my PA. My PA is 381. The top team’s PA is 281. That means that the top team in the league has to score 70.25 (PPA - Points Against Avergate) or more points every week to get a win, while my PPA is 95.25. Is that skill or luck?

RankTeamPoints For (PF)Points Against (PA)PA Average (PAA)
4Coyote Ugly30526967.25
6Barra Rosemont33732481
7Soul Seachers30732781.25

You can argue that it’s the amount of points you score (PF) but that is not the case. The top three teams are ranked 2nd(tie) , 4th, and 5th in PF. These teams also have the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th average PA per game. If you opponent averages less than 70 points per game, your chances of winning are pretty good. Here is the break down, Week 1 I had a win. My opponent only scored 59 points, bad example. Week 2 my opponent scores 85 points, in other weeks his totals are 60, 82, and 78. My week 3 opponent scores 116, in previous weeks he puts up 80, 116, and 77. Week 4 opponent scores 122, in previous weeks he scores 90, 84, 61. Each week my opponent scores the highest score they have ever scored in the season. Is that luck or skill? There is no way of telling how your players will perform. You can predict that on a whole a team like the Indianapolis Colts will perform at a high level, but there is no guarantee that Reggie Wayne for instance will score 2-3 touchdowns a game. Wayne maybe completed isolated from the game and the Colts would play a good game. Not the case in Fantasy Football. Your team playing as a whole is not predictable. All you players no matter how good or highly ranked they are can underperform at the same time. It is not your skills, it is your chance and luck that they do not perform the same every week.

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 Week 1 Opponent ScoreWeek 2 Opponent ScoreWeek 3 Opponent ScoreWeek 4 Opponent Score
Team #190646364
Team #2601007077
Team #357816178
My Team5885116122

I reiterate the fact that if your opponent scores less than 70 points your chances are better in getting that Win. My win in this season stems from that fact that my Week 1 opponent only scored 58 points. It is also luck that a player gets hot. In the Fantasy Football season of 1999, I had Marshall Faulk as my running back and I picked up Kurt Warner on waivers. Who knew who Kurt Warner was in 1999 coming off the bench as Trent Green’s backup. It was luck that I was able to pick up Kurt Warner on waivers, in that Warner threw for 4353 yards and 41 touchdowns. Was that skill or luck? There are many factors that dictate Fantasy Football such as injuries. If you QB’s star receiver goes down in Week 2, and he fails to perform, how is that skill? If your RB’s starting tackle goes down, and your RB fails to perform because of a poor offensive line after Week 3, the top RB is a dud, is that skill or luck? Players performances are projected. Every stat is estimated. Every week you roll the dice. Its a game of luck and chance.

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