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What Types of Player Projections are Hardest/Easiest to Make?

Each year the NFL preseason signals the start of fantasy football owner's draft preparation. As always, there are a lot of so-called "experts" out there publishing their "must-read" fantasy football projections. But every season there is a sleeper that seems to come out of nowhere or a star that doesn't live up to expectations.

Understanding what types of player projections are the hardest/easiest to predict can go a long way toward helping you make your draft picks with confidence. Below are a few of the important factors you will want to consider when evaluating fantasy football projections:

Hardest Projections to Evaluate

  • Sleepers – By their very nature, sleepers are a type of player that are very hard to make predictions about. Sleepers are players that by all accounts don't appear be fantasy studs at first glance. In fact, the more hype a "sleeper" receives before the season, the more likely he is to be a bust. The best way to identify sleepers is to look at trends. Looking for trends like increases in the number of carriers, passes targeting the player or total yards from scrimmage that consistently occur over a few seasons is a better gauge of a player's potential fantasy impact.
  • Rookies – While many NFL rookies have had illustrious college careers, they have yet to prove themselves on football's biggest stage. Some rookies transition to the NFL without missing a beat, some struggle to adjust to the pro game and others come out of seemingly nowhere to have a tremendous impact for their team. Rookies have a lot of upside, but the accuracy of their stat projection may vary.
  • Stats – The most important thing to remember with fantasy football projections is that last year's stats don't guarantee that this year's stats will be the same. Players often have breakout seasons one year, only to seemingly drop off the face of the earth during the next. Once again, identifying trends in player's performance is the best way to make accurate projections.

Easiest Projections to Evaluate

  • Old Faces in New Places – During the offseason, teams' rosters are constantly being shuffled. As teams prepare for the upcoming season, many veteran players change teams as a result of trades or free agency. When evaluating the fantasy football projections for players such as these, it is important to consider how that player fits within the structure of his new team and if the new team’s philosophy fits with the player's skillset.
  • Safe Picks – Safe picks are the players that, if healthy, have demonstrated a consistent level to produce. Projections for players like Calvin Johnson, Adrian Peterson and Peyton Manning may not be 100% accurate, but they are a good approximation.
At The Huddle, we support our 2013 fantasy football projections with expert analysis and all the historical statistics you need. Eliminate the guess work and trust our fantasy experts to provide you with player projections you can count on.
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