For most NFL fanatics (excluding Taco from “The League”), Matthew Berry is revered as a fantasy football prophet. Here’s the sobering truth: Matthew Berry is an average “expert.”
Yet, millions of Americans stil rely on Berry’s weekly “Start-em/Sit-em” projections for choosing their weekly lineup. In reality though, he’s as good at predicting weekly success as any professional pundit.
If we were to consider Matthew Berry as a truly prophetic pundit though, we would have to assess his success against his peers. Simply put, if Berry were one of the best, then he should consistently outperform other professional projections. So, where does Matthew Berry rank among his colleagues of fantasy football pundits?
I used fantasypros.com’s comprehensive evaluation of accuracy to answer this question. Their formula weights performance based on how valuable each position is (accurately ranking running backs is weighted much more than accurately ranking defenses). For an in-depth explanation, You can read about their methodology here.
Here’s what the data says: Matthew Berry is right in the middle of the pack when it comes to in-season player rankings. Yes, let the truth ring through infinite landscape of the fantasy universe; the supposed demi-god of fantasy football is extremely average, and completely mortal.
Average overall score percentile (based on z-score) = 62nd percentile
Average rank vs. his peers (weighed) = 43rd percentile
Average rank vs peers (unweighted) = 40th percentile
So, how did I determine that ESPN’s premier pundit is merely semi-prolific?
In other words, why should you trust me, when I tell you to not trust Matthew Berry?
If we wanted to prove that Berry, or any other fantasy football pundit, were better than average, we would calculate how the individual pundit’s average score compares with the average score of all the pundits combined. From a statistical point of view, we calculate the relevant standard deviations, and then derive a z score for pundits.
|Average (all pundits)||58.36%||58.78%||60.35%||57.66%||57.10%||52.99%||55.11%|
If we were to consider Matthew Berry as better than average, statistically, this would require a z-score of 1.96 or greater. Berry’s z-score of .31, in this context, is tangible evidence of his undewhelming averageness.
In fact, Matthew Berry’s ever so meaningless (yet positive) z-score is counterbalanced by another metric: how he ranks against his peers. He fell into the 40th and 43rd percentiles in these categories, meaning that more than half of the fantasy football pundits outperformed him.
|Berry vs. Peers||Rank||Number of Experts||Percentile|
I’m not trying to bash Berry’s character, and I happen to enjoy his writing style. The man knows how to explain his opinions. What I am trying to convey though is that there are many guru-fish in the fantasy football sea. Just because Matthew Berry is a living legend of the fantasy football entertainment world, doesn’t mean you should use his suggestions! (Note: if I lose my league, it’s because my enemies stopped using Berry’s advice).
So how sweet is that sweet Berry wine? Across the board, it’s average. How sweet are my puns? Across the board, they’re very, very below average.
Next week, I’ll debunk some more “experts,” and more importantly, tell you which fantasy football advisors to avoid at all costs.