”Adapt or die.” — traditionally attributed to Charles Darwin. When it comes to fantasy and NFL-related content, there are few people who understand Chuck D’s quote more than I do (whether or not he actually said it, but let’s pretend he did).
From first getting my message to readers via the US Postal Service to launching a website in the mid-90s to pushing out a quick video to over 100K people using my phone in the 2020s, I’ve seen a lot, and I’ve had to adapt more than most. I’ve witnessed the evolution of producing and disseminating fantasy and gambling-related NFL information in real-time for 30 years, and I’ve observed those too slow to adapt go the way of the dodo. Looking for an edge about 20 years ago, I leaned into the process of scouting players, and it served me well. That’s a never-ending process, but between 10 and 15 years ago, the fantasy analysis business became a lot more sophisticated and, of course, stat and data-driven.
We’ve all gotten a lot smarter, thanks to this shift, but it’s time to up the ante — and that’s what Fantasy Points Data is all about.
In 1995, I did almost all of my research and scouting at a sports bar while pounding beers. After the games, I’d go home and write up a four-page newsletter worth of content, which would be mailed out to subscribers on Monday. And that was enough.
Today, I’m working with a staff of play charters who are following every player on the field and supplying me key data points — a receiver's yards per route run, a corner’s yards per route run given up, how many yards before contact an offensive line opens. Talk about evolution.
Led by Brett Whitefield and Chris Wecht, the Fantasy Points Data team did a phenomenal job charting the 2022 season, and we can’t wait until our customers see the plethora of sexy data-driven tools that a scant few websites on the planet can claim. Of course, since this is our proprietary data, the tools will be available only at Fantasy Points.
As for this Prospect Guide, a huge tip of the cap to Brett, who did more than the heavy lifting on the player profiles. If nerds do actually take over the world (we’re trending that way), Brett’s going to be OK, because he is a bit of a data geek. But he’s also a guy who played the game and who lives, breathes, and sweats football (and frankly looks like he’s ready to play now). I spent three days with Brett (and Chris, and our Scott Barrett) watching practice at the Senior Bowl, and it’s clear to me that his strong data plus traditional football background will make this guide invaluable.
I hope you enjoy this year’s FREE Prospect Guide, and I hope that a subscription to Fantasy Points Data is a natural selection for you in 2023!
Fantasy Points readers, I am thrilled to present to you my 2023 NFL Prospect Guide. With over 10 years of experience in the football space, I have had the privilege of learning from and training with some of the most brilliant minds in football, including many former NFL players and coaches, to enhance my player evaluation skills. For the past eight years, I have scouted and scored at least 150 prospects per year, allowing me to gain an in-depth understanding of what it takes for a player to succeed at the next level.
To make my scouting process as consistent as possible, I developed my own composite scoring system. My composite scoring system is a unique and comprehensive approach to evaluating players. It is a weighted numeric score that takes into account four main buckets: film/traits, production, athleticism, and intangibles, all accounting for a different amount of the total score. Each bucket has its own set of sub-criteria and benchmarks that get scored based on the player's projected positional archetype. Each bucket also has both subjective and objective processes within them.
The starting point for every player I score is taking in their college tape. I exclusively use All-22 (coaches’ film) and pride myself on watching almost every single snap a player has played. From there, I score players based on the tangible skills/traits they possess and the frequency in which they demonstrate those skills/traits. This system has been meticulously crafted to ensure that it takes into account all aspects of a player's game, including their skills, production, character, and growth/potential.
In the end, the score generated by my system comes out on a scale of 0-100, making it easy to compare players and identify the top prospects in the NFL Draft. Within the scale, there are score thresholds that represent an individual player's “valuation.” The thresholds are as follows:
95.0-100.0 = Blue Chip Talent
87.5-94.9 = Day 1 Grade
75.0-87.4 = Day 2 Grade
62.5-74.9 = Day 3 Grade
<62.5 = UDFA
Each scouting profile in my 2023 NFL Prospect Guide is designed to provide a comprehensive evaluation of each player. It includes empirical data — a player's measurements, age, and athletic testing numbers — as well as their score and draft valuation. The written portion starts with player background information, including hometown, high school recruitment status, and college football career summary. The scouting profile then dives into a detailed skill summary, highlighting each player's strengths and weaknesses on the field. Finally, the profile includes a projection of the player's potential role in the NFL, as well as any transition periods that may be required for the player to adjust to the professional game. Overall, each scouting profile is intended to provide a complete picture of each player's abilities and potential at the next level. I also make it a point to use consistent language when describing players' abilities and try to shy away from “scout speak” as much as possible. I want anyone reading the guide, regardless of their background in football, to be able to understand and digest the information contained in each report.
I am confident that my guide will provide you with valuable insights and analysis and increase both your knowledge of the incoming draft class, and perhaps the scouting process as well.
Thank you for your interest in my 2023 NFL Prospect Guide. I am excited to share my knowledge and expertise with you and look forward to your feedback.
Brett Whitefield, Director of Fantasy Points Data and Research