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The Ringer
In the August 28 newsletter:
An inside look at how we built the 2021 Fantasy Football Draft Guide.

A Q&A with Riley McAtee,
our lead editor on this project:

What sets this guide apart from other fantasy draft resources?
We wanted this to be the most polished, satisfying-to-use fantasy resource on the internet. We wanted it to serve as a hub for other Ringer fantasy content, seamlessly incorporating podcasts and videos. We wanted it to look awesome on mobile—seriously, how many other draft resources on the internet can you pull up on your phone and actually use?

This thing is just fun to play around with. I don't think any other fantasy draft guide has that. Oh yeah, and all the rankings and content are made by smart people who know fantasy inside and out.

What goes into the process to create a project this expansive?
Everything, plus the kitchen sink. The analysis on each player could come from any of up to seven different writers (myself, Danny Kelly, Danny Heifetz, Craig Horlbeck, Kaelen Jones, Nora Princiotti, and Dan Comer). We pull images for the more than 200 players in the guide, and our art team (Matt James, David Shoemaker, and Neil Francisco) deserves huge credit for working through those. Our designer (Linsey Fields) and developer (Mike Morisco) worked around the clock this summer to make the guide look great and function smoothly. The 30,000-plus words of text all passes through our talented copy desk (Craig Gaines, Jack McCluskey, Isaac Levy-Rubinett, Jacqueline Kantor, Kjerstin Johnson, and Mike Itchue) and fact checkers (Comer, Daniel Chin, Julianna Ress, Kellen Becoats, and Abou Kamara). Plus we have videos in there that wouldn't happen without our talented video team (Cory McConnell, Richie Bozek). Then our social team (Logan Rhoades, David Lara) has gotten this thing out into the world. Also, this project wouldn't be possible without Ben Glicksman, our managing editor, who is monumental in keeping things running smoothly.

That's 28 people I just rattled off, and there are other Ringer staffers who helped test for bugs or provided a note that helped improve the overall experience of the guide. This guide is truly an institutional effort, and it's awesome to see it all come together.

How often are the rankings for each scoring system updated? And what determines that movement?
So, first off, a little look behind the curtain at how this works: The rankings are the result of an average from the three hosts of The Ringer Fantasy Football Show: Danny Kelly, Danny Heifetz, and Craig Horlbeck. Those three submit rankings across all three scoring formats each week, accounting for all the latest buzz, training-camp news, preseason action, etc. The exception to that is the dynasty rankings—that comes solely from Kelly, our NFL draft expert.

We've been pretty consistent in doing a full refresh of these rankings every week, and those usually come out on Fridays. That means fantasy GMs can be confident that our rankings are fresh heading into a weekend of drafts. We also periodically will move a player up or down the board when there is news, for instance the injury to Travis Etienne. Our goal is to make sure this guide is always up-to-date for fantasy GMs.

What new features are you particularly excited about in this year’s edition?
New features for this year include projected stats, dynasty rankings, better podcast and video integration, clearer positions, and better positional tiers. Plus, we expanded all the rankings from 150 to 200, and added kickers and defenses so this can serve as a one-stop shop for most fantasy GMs.

We have a lot of bells and whistles returning from last year, too. The coolest feature might be the Draft Tracker—you can use that to aid you with your draft in real time. Fantasy GMs can save players with the bookmark icon and mark players as drafted as they progress through the draft. It's really awesome.

The Top 200 NFL Players, Ranked

“The only yardstick for success our society has is being a champion. No one remembers anything else.”
—John Madden
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