Monday, March 29, 2010

2009 Fantasy Football QB Prediction Results

In a previous post, I provided some fantasy football QB rankings and compared them to a couple of fantasy football magazines. The intent was to test the hypothesis that basically saying what happened last year would happen this year wasn't radically different from the "deep analysis" provided by fantasy football information sources, which you need to pay for. To recap the methodology stated in last year's post:

"I will take last year's QB rankings and use the premise that the rankings from last year will be the same as this year. There will be a couple of adjustments. If for example, a QB moves from one team to the other and will be the starter, I'll keep that QB at the same ranking, even though they changed teams. QBs coming back from injury will be replaced with the highest rank position from the best of their replacements (i.e. Brady for Cassel). They will be projected at the ranking level that their substitute had last year. Finally, I put in Mark Sanchez in the slot held by Gus Frerotte (#29). Frerotte is not in the league at this point and Favre is now in Minnesota.

Could that cause some inaccuracy? Yes, but to keep the level of my "expert analysis" to a minimum, I'll keep the adjustments paltry and simplistic. You will also see by doing this just the few instances where you can intuitively (i.e. for free) make your own adjustment and not pay $7.99 to read something you basically already know. I made one adjustment to be fair to the magazines, dealing with Brett Favre. They didn't have him in their top rankings so I assumed that they would placed Favre in the position of the top rated Minnesota QB (#27). "

"The stats were based on total performance (passing and rushing), not just TDs. The league I was in counted passing TDs for 3 pts instead of 6 pts, so QBs that maybe didn't pass as well but got some stats rushing may show up higher in this list than the rankings your league has. The ranking lists of the magazines also were based on a performance model, not just TDs, to keep the comparison consistent."

Here's the results for my projections and fantasy football magazines A and B (names omitted):

YouGaming Blog
Correct within 5 or less spots - 12 (40%)
Correct within 10 or less spots - 21 (70%)
Incorrect by 11 or more spots - 9 (30%)

Fantasy Football Magazine A
Correct within 5 or less spots - 15 (50%)
Correct within 10 or less spots - 24 (80%)
Incorrect by 11 or more spots - 6 (20%)

Fantasy Football Magazine B
Correct within 5 or less spots - 18 (60%)
Correct within 10 or less spots - 23 (77%)
Incorrect by 11 0r more spots - 7 (23%)

The fantasy football magazines were able to beat the performance of simply stating what happened last year would happen this year, but not by very much. Overall results to get rankings within 10 spots is pretty much the same. So, at least compared to the magazines considered, you could have simply taken last year's QB stats rankings as your cheat sheet and likely not done much worse. What this analysis doesn't take into account is the actual numbers produced by the quarterbacks. It could be that even though a QB is off by several spots in ranking, the actual difference in performance stats may not be drastically different, particularly after you get past the top tier of quarterbacks.

What is fairly consistent but not reported in detail is that after the top 20 quarterbacks, no one did very well in terms of accuracy. If a prognosticator could do a very good job of predicting quarterback rankings from 15 to 30, that would be a great value as often those players would be your bye week QB or your QB that can keep your team solid if your top QB on your roster has a nagging injury or a tough weekly matchup.

I may consider this year looking at actual projected stats to see how well the fantasy football magazines do in that area.

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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Possible NCAA Tournament Betting Values!

It's March Madness time again! The NCAA men's basketball tournament draws betting action almost on a par with the Super Bowl. has posted the odds for the various teams to win the tournament. The odds vary from 2-1 for Kansas to 500-1 for Utah State.

Like last year, I calculated the average odds per seed level. This year, all the 14th through 16th seeds are combined as a field entry, with a payout of 50-1. You may think that is a great deal. If you do, maybe you could send me your money and perhaps I could pay 60-1, LOL. In other words, there are only two chances a 14th seed or worse will win the NCAA tournament - fat and slim. The 13th seeds had two teams with posted odds and two teams in the field category, so their average odds are lower than you would expect. No matter. 13th seeds aren't likely to win the NCAA tournament either.

Here are the average odds per seed level:

1 - 4.75
2 - 15
3 - 43.75
4 - 53.75
5 - 76.25
6 - 83.75
7 - 175
8 - 175
9 - 175
10 - 175
11 - 250
12 - 287.5
13 - 175
14 - 50
15 - 50
16 - 50

I looked for teams at a particular seed level that had posted odds 50% higher than the seed average. I found a few, mostly in the South bracket:

1 - Duke 8-1
7 - Richmond 300-1
8 - UNLV 300-1 (Go Rebels!)
10 - St. Marys (CA) 300-1
12 - Utah State 500-1
13 - Siena 300-1
13 - Murray St. 300-1

What I am going to do is make some hypothetical bets. I'll wager $100 that Duke wins the tournament and $50 each that the other teams each win their first game, with the exception of St. Marys. This is due to the fact that Richmond plays St. Marys in the first round. Since Richmond is a 7 seed, I'll go with Richmond. Are these good bets? Who knows but we'll see if the higher odds are an accurate portrayal of team strength, or reflect more of a bettor bias toward some teams with better name recognition. Duke has a great program, but I believe they are viewed weaker this year than Kansas, Kentucky and Syracuse. However, it could be that Duke may have the easiest path to the Final Four.

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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Las Vegas Construction Meltdown Details

To say that Las Vegas' construction has taken a hit is one thing, but to see the details of the crisis makes it quite poignant. The Las Vegas Review Journal as a great article that discusses the current status of several large construction projects halted mid-construction due to the economic downturn.

What drives the point home are the pictures of project after project showing building frames and skeletons. One of the buildings looks more like something you would see from a war photograph rather than Las Vegas. Very sad.

Las Vegas gaming revenue is still down significantly, with Nevada casinos actually posting a loss last year (you can see the blog post here). I don't see the Las Vegas construction situation improving anytime soon unfortunately which is disappointing because Las Vegas is a great town.

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