How to Build Your Own Fantasy Football Rankings
Short of winning your Fantasy Football Championship, nailing your rankings by avoiding the landmines, and nailing the breakouts is one of the most rewarding aspects of Fantasy Football. Many fantasy owners will tell you that the preparation leading up to their drafts is just as exciting, and for some people like myself, even more, entertaining than the weekly grind of waivers, start/sits, and heartbreaking losses.
The Fantasy Footballers, Andy, Mike, and Jason, both as a group and individually, have consistently been recognized by FantasyPros as some of the most accurate analysts in the business. However, it’s regularly stated on their podcast that they all recommend using their rankings as a starting point in creating your own rankings. Why mess with success by tweaking these rankings? You should adjust them because it’s your team, not theirs. You know your league’s tendencies, the precise scoring and roster requirements, but most of all, it’s fun and makes success all the more rewarding.
There is no reason to re-invent the wheel by typing out all of the players, positions, teams, and analyst rankings when the Fantasy Footballers Rankings can be copied directly into a spreadsheet program of your choice. Personally, I’ve been using Microsoft Excel for so long that it’s become a part of my fantasy football spirit. If you don’t have Excel on your computer, there is a free web version available that will work just like the classic desktop version. Additionally, Google Sheets is very similar and any of the formulas I will be discussing should work with no tweaking or very minimal adjustments.
While many sites will prevent you from simply copy/pasting their rankings, the Ballers have provided two options for you right at the top of the rankings page:
- Copy is a traditional copy to the clipboard for you to paste into your spreadsheet of choice.
- CSV downloads a “comma-delimited” excel file, which is simply a format free document, which can also be opened with almost any spreadsheet program
In either case, these options will get you the exact same data you see on the website; Player Name, Team, Ballers Consensus Rank, and the individual ranking of each Baller. One thing that is missing is the players’ position. While unnecessary in this form, if you eventually build out overall rankings, you may want the position listed. Inserting a new column is easy. New columns will typically be added to the left of whichever column you hover your cursor over. Right-click and choose “insert”. In the example below, I added a new column for the position between Team and Consensus. To add QB to each player, type it in the first cell, in this case, C4. You can copy and paste it down the list or autofill it by double-clicking on the little green box in the lower right corner of the cell. You’ll know you’re over that box when the cursor turns from a white plus sign to a black plus sign.
Adding Your Rankings
Now comes some fun – adding your own rankings. What I like to do is add my rankings between position and consensus to make them stand out from the Ballers. Insert a new column by right-clicking on column D and Insert. On cell D3, type My Rank*.
*TIP: If you type in a cell and it is longer than the cell is wide, simply double click on the line between the column headers, IE D/E in this case. Doing that will “auto-fit” the column to the width of your text.
Adding your Rankings to Consensus
Now we can start utilizing the formula functionality of Excel. Don’t worry, I’ll keep it simple and straight forward for this article. We can do two different things here; add our rankings into the Ballers individual rankings to create a new consensus to make you feel like one of the guys, or leave the current 3 Baller consensus alone and create a new column to create our new consensus.
For this example, I’m going to create a new consensus to see how much my rankings impact the Baller’s consensus. In Cell I4, we’re going to add the average formula by typing “=average”. You will then add an opening parenthesis to begin the data input portion of the formula. There are a few ways to capture the data cells; you can type them out (tedious), or during formula writing, you can click on the desired cells. Each cell entry must be separated by a comma. Finally, close the formula with a closing parenthesis, Your formula should look like this; =average(D4,F4,G4,H4)
When you have multiple data cells next to each other as we do with the Ballers rankings in columns F, G, and H, you can also click and highlight them together, which would look like this; =average(D4,F4:H4)
After your first cell is completed, you can use the trick mentioned above to “fill” the formula into each of the player rows below by double-clicking on the green box in the lower right corner of the cell. If you only wanted it to go down to a specific spot, you can also click and drag that green box to your desired spot.
Formatting the New Consensus Column
Once you’ve created your new consensus, you may notice that the numbers are not formatted the same. If you’d like them to be consistent, such as showing one decimal place, you’ll need to do a few steps; first, highlight the numbers, or the entire column by clicking on the header “I”, Then, in the middle of the top toolbar choose “number” from the drop-down that like says “General”. This will give all your numbers two decimal places. If you only want one decimal place, you can use the buttons right below that drop down that show zeros and arrows which increases or decreases the number of decimals shown.
Table Formatting and Sorting
After creating the new consensus, you’ll probably want the ability to sort the data to see it in different ways. While there are many different ways to perform the sorting functions, my preferred method is to turn this data set into a formatted table. This is done very simply by highlighting the entire data set (A3 to I39) and choosing “Format as Table” from the toolbar. (Format as Table is found on the main “Home” tab, near the mid-point of the toolbar.)
There are many different visual options for your table, feel free to play around, and see what fits your eye. As I build out all my positional rankings, I will give each position their own colors. Having done this for over 15 seasons, it looks weird to me if the positions are not in my preferred color schemes.
The wonderful thing about the format as a table function is that it will retain the alternating colored rows regardless of your sorting, making it easy to read, while adding the “filter” functionality to each column. You can now choose to sort your columns however you’d like by clicking on the arrow in the column and choosing your sorting method, in most cases “sort ascending”.
Adding the Other Positions
After you’ve built out your QB table it’s time to add the other positions. At this stage, I prefer to have each position on their own tab within the spreadsheet. Adding a tab is simple; at the bottom of the page, it will show a tab titled “Sheet1”. There will be a plus sign next to it, click that to add a new sheet*.
*TIP: You can rename the tabs by double-clicking them or right-clicking and selecting Rename. You can also change the colors of the tabs to match your table color, for added visual separation between the positions.
Until Next Time
In a future article, I’ll go over some more advanced features that can really take your personalized rankings to the next level, including formulas that can allow you to keep updating your rankings page with the updated rankings from the Ballers without having to constantly keep re-typing them or rebuilding this sheet every time they make a change.