Scott Pianowski of Yahoo! Sports rides San Diego Chargers to third Experts Poll title. Has put together an unprecedented run of success over the last eight years.
Scott Pianowski is the first three-time winner in the Fantasy Index Experts Poll, and it was the San Diego Chargers that did it for him.
Pianowski ranked Nick Novak higher than anyone; that helped him win the kicker position. He finished 4th at running back, in part because he was one of the few to include Ryan Mathews among his top 20 running backs. And he ranked Philip Rivers higher than anyone, which helped him complete a comeback victory.
“He had been a Pro Bowl level player for three years – he had just had one bad year,” Pianowski said. “I just felt the offensive line couldn’t possibly be that bad again.”
Pianowski edged L’Roy Hale of Fantasy First, who was 618 points behind in the standings. With scores close to 390,000 points, that amount to less than two-tenths of a percent.
Mike Clay of Pro Football Focus took third.
Pianowski is a writer for Yahoo! Sports. Previously he won in 2006 and 2011.
This time around, Pianowski won the kickers position (the first one scored), then finished next-to-last in both defenses and tight ends, to seemingly drop out of the running. But Pianowski closed out by finishing 7th, 4th and 1st in the wide receiver, running back and quarterback categories, and those positions tend to count the most.
“You’ve got to be lucky to win this thing,” Pianowski said. “Chris Harris (ESPN), Bob Henry (Footballguys) … I have so much respect for the quality of the field that you put together every year.”
Right now, Pianowski can stake a claim to being the king of all things fantasy football. Anybody can win a fantasy football game, and almost everyone can happen to hit on a couple of picks and win a league. But to ultimately measure the quality of an analyst, you need to look at how he ranks all the players over a number of years.
We’ve been doing the Experts Poll for 23 years, and right now Pianowski is on the most successful run that anyone has ever put together. In the last eight years, he’s finished 1st, 4th, 2nd, 3rd, 3rd, 1st, 13th and 1st. In his 14 years in our poll, he’s come in ahead of 216 other experts (all totaled), while only 56 have beaten him. So that’s an all-time winning percentage (so to speak) of .794.
|PIANOWSKI IN EXPERTS POLL|
|Year||Place||Size of Field|
Three others have won this competition twice. Bob Henry (Footballguys) went back-to-back in 2002-03; he finished in fourth this time. James Serra (First Place Software) won in 1999 and 2009. And the Millman cousins, Jon and Ian, won titles with Fantasy Football Champs in 2001 and 2005.
This competition, recall, is now tied together with the Fantasy Index Open. That’s the identical contest we run that’s open to everyone (readers, industry pros – everyone). The top 2 finishers in that one, Tom Deskovitz from Michigan and Michael Livengood from Arkansas, will be part of the Experts Poll proper panel in the 2014 magazine.
But thus far, no Fantasy Index Open qualifier has made much of an impact against the industry pros. In the 2012 Experts Poll, Tom Duggan of Tewksbury, N.J., finished 15th out of 20. And this time around, John Moore of Sea Isle, N.J., finished 15th.
As a reminder, the top 11 finishers in the Experts Poll qualify to participate in the Mock Draft in the magazine. Pianowski won the poll, so he will get first choice of where he wants to draft. Hale is the runnerup, so he gets first choice of the remaining 11 spots, and so on. The 12th spot in that league goes to the winner of the in-season Fantasy Index Super League.
Pianowski says he’ll likely take the first or second pick, and that Jamaal Charles is the player he’d select if the draft was today. “I may feel differently in May,” he said.
|FANTASY INDEX EXPERTS POLL (Final)|