Writer and Analyst
Mike Clay is a writer and analyst for ESPN who contributes year-round NFL, fantasy football and NASCAR insight across the company’s multimedia platforms.
He appears on a variety of shows, including SportsCenter, Fantasy Football Now, The Fantasy Show with Matthew Berry on ESPN+, NFL Live and the Fantasy Focus Football Podcast. Clay’s award-winning player projections help power the ESPN Fantasy Football game. His fantasy content and rankings cover all aspects of the game, including season-long, dynasty, IDP and auction formats.
Clay is also the host of Next Level Fantasy Football on Sirius XM. He is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America (PFWA) and is on the Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA) Board of Directors (Chairman) and Hall of Fame voting committee.
Clay has been instrumental in bringing innovative statistics and data to the forefront of the fantasy industry, including player snap and route data. Now key elements of most fantasy football analysis, this information was all but non-existent prior to the 2010s.
Clay also introduced Wide Receiver vs. Cornerback matchups in 2015 – now a mainstream industry concept. Clay has created several advanced football statistics, including average depth of target (aDOT), opportunity-adjusted touchdowns (OTD), opportunity-adjusted fantasy points (OFP) and fantasy points over replacement player (FORP). Clay is also known for his work with personnel packages, game-flow-adjusted play-calling, touchdown regression to the mean, yards after contact, and box defenders.
Clay won the 2013 Fantasy Sports Trade Association (FSTA) award for most-accurate preseason player rankings. He won the FSWA award for the best online article in 2013 and the 2014 PFWA Dick Conner Writing Award in the Enterprise Features category.
Prior to ESPN, Clay was Managing Editor and Director at Pro Football Focus Fantasy, which he launched in 2010. Clay also contributed at NBC’s Rotoworld.com, Athlon Sports and PhiladelphiaEagles.com. He was featured as a Virtual Analyst in EA Sports’ Madden 25 and 2015 video games.
Originally from Pottsville, Pennsylvania, Clay is a 2007 graduate of Kutztown University where he was Sports Editor of The Keystone newspaper and a sports radio broadcaster for three years.