Twitter has rapidly risen to become an excellent source of breaking news and a collection of wide-ranging viewpoints. At the same time, however, it can a bit intimidating to the new user. It's sometimes difficult to know who to follow for quality fantasy football-related news. To help erase this difficulty, we have interviewed some of our favorite tweeters.
Name: Chad Parsons
Twitter handle: @PFF_ChadParsons
Approximate number of tweets per month: Inseason >1,000. Offseason 300-500, 99% directly related to fantasy football.
Number that are following you: 1,200 and counting, always a new level of humility with the support.
Number that you are following: 130-150 at any given time. I think following any more reduces the likelihood of actually reading most of them for me.
Tweeting since: Regularly since the spring of 2011.
Occupation (when not talking about football): Active Duty military, Official Musical Escort to the President of the United States here in Washington, DC.
Family life: Married for 4 years, love the "couple with a dog" lifestyle.
Quick Bio (who you are, site(s) you represent, etc.): I am a staff writer in the dynasty fantasy football section of profootballfocus.com. In addition to articles, rankings, and written content for the site, I am the host of the PFF Dynasty podcast, Under The Helmet, airing on Thursday nights, 6:30pm EST and available on download through Blogtalkradio.com and iTunes. It is a great staff at PFF Fantasy to work with there. @Bryan_Fontaine is a great dynasty mind as the senior writer and editor in the dynasty department.
What is something unique about you that few would know about? I analyze things almost to a fault – the things I care about at least. I will consider the best value on a restaurant menu based on the best monetary and nutritional value. I was crunching numbers for the best deal in a grocery store long before the days of the "price per unit" tags everywhere. I drive a very old car and have very few possessions. That lifestyle will facilitate retirement from a traditional job (never from fantasy football) in my early 40s. My wife and I love the idea of an active retirement community. There are tons of activities and resources for pretty much every interest. They just need to build some of these communities right on the beach!
What you do for fun during the football offseason: I am an avid tennis player and nutrition nut when not thinking about football. I enjoy financial planning as well.
Favorite NFL Team(s): Strange, but true: I do not have a rooting interest. I watch all 32 teams equally with an objective and non-emotional eye.
Favorite NFL player(s): I love great quarterback play. It is like beautiful artwork to watch a signal-caller "in the zone". Peyton Manning in his prime (regular season of course) was mesmerizing to watch. Drew Brees, Tom Brady, and Aaron Rodgers are other active players that have consistently shown to have those moments as well.
Make your case for why fantasy football addicts should get on Twitter: It is the single best outlet for fantasy football discussion and interaction in my opinion. All the breaking news happens on twitter, along with the biggest names in the NFL and fantasy giving their reaction on the spot. Everyone is responsive to questions, whether it is a trade proposal you are mulling over or a sit/start decision. Most think twitter is about gossiping celebrities, but for fantasy football, it is the melting pot for a world of great discussion and information. All I can say is to get on there, start following 40-50 beat writers and fantasy minds and THEN tell everyone you don't like it.
Except for yourself, give us three to five MUST FOLLOWS on Twitter: @MikeClayNFL is a great source for changing information in terms of depth charts, playing time, and updated projections based on probably the biggest Excel database in the western hemisphere. @GregCosell is eye-opening in terms of his observations on a film study and strategic/game planning level for the NFL game. In terms of NFL draft prospect videos, @Jmpasq quickly became a must follow for me. They include all the relevant plays for a collegiate player in a given game and are posted on youtube. @fantasydouche is a great resource to challenge the accepted conventions of the NFL. His concepts are great to think about subjects differently and expand your mind. @SigmundBloom, @MattWaldman, and @CecilLammey are also must follows. There are so many great fantasy resources on twitter.
Years playing fantasy football: Since 1998 officially, but the number of leagues have grown exponentially in the past 2-3 seasons.
Favorite style of play (Dynasty, Redraft, Auction, Best Ball, Survivor, etc): I love auction keeper leagues with escalating salaries. They offer the benefit of cap efficiency for the savvy and forward-thinking owners with the flexibility to churn most your roster on a year-to-year basis if you so choose.
Your biggest score(s) in fantasy football: When asked this question, I always refer to my "go-to" fantasy story of taking a chance on a rookie WR and QB that had yet to take a snap in the NFL as my starters in 1998, leading me to my only undefeated season to this point. They were Randy Moss and Daunte Culpepper.
Name two players that you expect will be undervalued in most fantasy drafts this year. Explain why you think these sleepers could drastically outperform their ADP: Jake Locker and Jahvid Best are my value choices. Both are risk/reward plays with low floors of production in 2012, but the potential is there to be a difference-maker as well.
Locker's big-play ability meshes well with the surrounding talent of Chris Johnson, Kenny Britt, Kendall Wright, and Jared Cook. When he finally gets the starting role, top-5 QB production is definitely possible for the second-year signal-caller with his added rushing ability.
Jahvid Best is a guy with some serious concussions in his past. Austin Collie was able to make it through 2011 without missing time, so I retain hope for Best to have fantasy value going forward in the same vein. In his first two seasons, Best has averaged 13.3 and 18.8 FP/game respectively. With Mikel LeShoure on the mend and Kevin Smith a walking injury report, Best will have a good-sized PPR role in Detroit when healthy. He is a great flyer in the middle-to-late rounds in redraft and dynasty.
Name two players that will not be on your roster at any draft position. Explain why you think these busts could drastically underperform their ADP:
Shonn Greene was a popular sleeper in 2011. While I believe the fantasy community is too quick to write off players after a disappointing year, I can't see a rebound coming from Greene in 2012. Greene has had a below-average TD rate all three of his seasons and Tim Tebow's presence will keep Greene's rate suppressed going forward in that regard. I also am not a fan of backs that are not active in the passing game. Greene would be lucky to see 40 targets again like he did in 2011. His 66.7% and 75% catch rates the last two seasons do not give me much confidence in his PPR ability moving forward.
Anquan Boldin is another player I will not own in fantasy moving forward. He is a big, physical receiver that I see regressing statistically faster than his age would suggest. Moving from Arizona to Baltimore hurt his fantasy value a few years ago and now, I see Torrey Smith as the #1 WR moving forward. Boldin's catch rate has been 62.1% and 55.9% in the last two seasons, along with being targeted on
How much of fantasy football is skill? How much is luck? I think everyone's goal should be to make the playoffs as the "skill" portion of fantasy football. Most of the playoff teams I see are the stronger ones in a given league. After that, anything can (and usually does) happen in a head-to-head format. Keeper and dynasty formats eliminate some of the redraft luck factor because the sample size increases, allowing for the cream to rise to the top more often.
What's the biggest mistake you see fantasy players make? Fantasy owners that give up on talented players in dynasty/keeper leagues because of a slow first couple years in the NFL is a common mistake. The transition from the college game and atmosphere to that of the NFL is a steep curve that every player handles differently.
What do you wished you had learned about fantasy football five years ago? Nothing beats doing your own due diligence. Have your resources and tools for statistical measures, news, advice, etc. Think about all those things and then, at the end of the day, be your own GM and take a stand on player values for YOUR team.
Give a wild prediction about the 2012 season that most would be shocked if it happened (out on the limb thought): Based on my floor/ceiling projections for the QB position, I don't think it is out of the realm of possibility for both Jake Locker and Tim Tebow to be top-8 QBs in terms of PPG in 2012.
Super Bowl Teams and Score: Green Bay 27, Houston 14
NFL Rookie of the Year: Trent Richardson
NFL Comeback Player of the Year: Peyton Manning
Parting thoughts about anything at all: With the increase of advanced metrics and game-charting, we are living in the golden age in terms of fantasy football analysis and growth as a football-loving circle. In terms of film study, I cannot wait for all-22 tape to be available to the general populous. One thing I have learning in the past couple years looking at statistical trends and regression is to not be sucked into thinking a player or situation cannot change. There is always a range of possibilities from which a new reality is formed. Outliers are just that – exceptions. A great deal of fantasy owners fall into the trap of stock market investors – they are prone to buying high and selling low. I preach due diligence in thinking about each individual situation. Over the long-term, the talent will rise to the top and remain there longer than the "flash in the pan" type of oscillations in the short-term.
Others Featured (Listed alphabetically):Interview: Jarrett Behar - Twitter: @EyeoftheGator
Interview: Matthew Berry - Twitter: @MatthewBerryTMR
Interview: Sigmund Bloom - Twitter: @SigmundBloom
Interview: Jene Bramel - Twitter: @JeneBramel
Interview: Joe Bryant - Twitter: @Football_guys
Interview: Ryan Burns - Twitter: @FtblSickness
Interview: Will Carroll - Twitter: @injuryexpert
Interview: Mike Clay - Twitter: @MikeClayNFL
Interview: Jim Day - Twitter: @Fantasytaz
Interview: Eric Dickens - Twitter: @DLFootball
Interview: Gary Davenport - Twitter: @IDPManor
Interview: David Dodds - Twitter: @fbg_dodds
Interview: Joe Everett - Twitter: @RookieDraft
Interview: Michael Fabiano - Twitter: @Michael_Fabiano
Interview: Bryan Fontaine - Twitter: @Bryan_Fontaine
Interview: Chet Gresham - Twitter: @Chet_G
Interview: Ken Griggs - Twitter: @Dexters_Library
Interview: Bob Harris - Twitter: @Footballdiehard
Interview: Bob Henry - Twitter: @bobhenry
Interview: Tom Kessenich - Twitter: @TomKessenich
Interview: Cecil Lammey - Twitter: @cecillammey
Interview: Zach Law - Twitter: @zach_law
Interview: Alex Miglio - Twitter: @AlexMiglio
Interview: Andrew Miley - Twitter: @AndrewMiley
Interview: Sam Monson - Twitter: @Sammonson
Interview: Josh Moore - Twitter: @4for4_Josh
Interview: Chad Parsons - Twitter: @PFF_ChadParsons
Interview: John Paulsen - Twitter: @4for4_John
Interview: Brian Quinlan - Twitter: @BNQuinlan
Interview: Matt Schauf - Twitter: @mschauf63
Interview: Evan Silva - Twitter: @evansilva
Interview: Matt Waldman - Twitter: @MattWaldman
Interview: Chris Wesseling - Twitter: @ChrisWesseling
Interview: Matt Williamson - Twitter: @WilliamsonNFL
Interview: Eric Yeomans - Twitter: @Eric_Yeomans
Interview: Lance Zierlein - Twitter: @SidelineFB and @LanceZierlein
Editor's Note: If you have liked this series, check out Zach Law's interviews here