Blog Entry

Preview Page Questions

Posted on: November 6, 2009 1:04 pm
Edited on: November 6, 2009 1:18 pm
I was recently checking a report that shows what keywords users are searching for in our help center database.  I was a little surprised when I saw that many of the features of the Preview Page (Live Scoring/Preview in your leagues) were on the report.  To be honest, it had been a while since these features were examined and I even had to do some homework so I could remember how each component was determined. The bottom line is that I can see how people would have questions about things such as how the coach rating is determined, so we're going to be including some explanations on that page in the future.  But until then, this will have to suffice.  If you have any further questions, ideas of ways to make this better, or ideas for additional items you'd like to see on this page, please feel free to drop them into the comments section.    

Coach Rating – This basically shows the ratio of actual fantasy points that your team has scored in relation to the amount of fantasy points your team could have scored if they had started the best possible lineup each week.

The formula is: Actual Fantasy Points/Optimal Fantasy Points * 100
We then rank the teams in the league to give some relevancy. 

              291               /         362                    * 100 =  80   (11)         
Actual Fantasy Points / Possible Fantasy Points * 100 = Rating (Rank in League)

My personal feeling on Coach Rating is that it's an interesting indicator that can be great for smack talking, but that it often requires a deeper dive to find out if that particular coach is as good or bad as the rating indicates.  For instance, a team could have a terrible bench and therefore the owner has no difficult decisions to make each week, which would result in having a great coach rating. Is that owner a great coach?  No, he/she just has no other options.      

Schedule Difficulty – This is basically an indicator of how difficult a team’s schedule has been.  It takes into account each opponent’s cumulative win/loss record as if that opponent had played every other team in the league on that week. But it's different than the Standings/Breakdown page (another great indicator of how good a team is) because it looks at the breakdown for each team's specific opponents on the specific weeks that those teams met.

Example (and this is admittedly a lousy example as it provides no context whatsoever):
        9              /         14                         =     .391 (11)
Cumulative Wins/Cumulative Games Played = Winning Percentage of Opponents (Rank in League)

I think this is a true indicator of how tough a team's schedule has been which means that it is doing its job. Points Against can be deceiving if a team played a team that had an absolutely monster week. And the Standings/Breakdown is more a reflection on how many points your team has scored rather than giving context to your opponents. 

The rest of these are pretty straight-forward, but I put the definitions in for clarity sake. 

Passing Rank – The total Fantasy Points (active lineup) your team has scored from the QB position in relation to the rest of the league.

Rushing Rank – The total Fantasy Points (active lineup) your team has scored from the RB position in relation to the rest of the league. 

Receiving Rank – The total Fantasy Points (active lineup) your team has scored from the TE position in relation to the rest of the league.
Defense/ST Rank – The total Fantasy Points (active lineup) your team has scored from the DT, DST, or ID positions in relation to the rest of the league.  (Depends on how your league is setup)

My feeling on these is that they are not the most accurate portrayal of a team's strengths and weaknesses.  It doesn't take into account if you've made any recent trades to better your team in a particular area.  It doesn't take into account if you have players on your bench who might be performing better than the players you are starting each week.  And it doesn't take into account any injuries that might be giving a player on your team added value.  I'm going to look at tweaking these a little bit. 


Since: Sep 25, 2009
Posted on: November 24, 2009 7:46 pm

Preview Page Questions, clocks

hi, I am not sure how to add a blog but I do have a question. I have been in the same fantasy league for about 12 yrs and we all love this site. I have one request. Is there any possibilty to add a clock to the site as our league has certain add/drop times and if your 1 minute early then it doesn't go through. That is just one example. If there were a clock at the bottome of the add/drop screen it would make things a hole lot easier. thank you.

Since: Oct 30, 2009
Posted on: November 17, 2009 7:02 am

Analyst rankings

Hi Mike,

One bit of information I've always wanted to see is some metric that grades the rankings of fantasy football experts. The web is full of analysts who post weekly rankings, but never do they examine their own performance in a meaningful way. To that end, I wrote a computer program that accomplishes this. I'd be interested to hear your thoughts on the results (laid out in excrutiating detail) here:

BTW, the CBS Sports fantasy football application is by far the best I have used - keep up the good work!


Since: Jan 1, 2009
Posted on: November 16, 2009 12:23 pm

Why Aren't Fumbles Taken into Account?

Why are Interceptions counted against QBs, but Fumbles are not assessed against players. Is that because they are not easily attributable to an individual player?


Steve in FL

Since: Jul 28, 2008
Posted on: November 13, 2009 10:55 pm

Preview Page Questions

i think the flex position should be counted separately as it unduly influences either the rb or wr rankings.

Since: Aug 9, 2009
Posted on: November 10, 2009 8:23 am

Preview Page Questions

Good point, I totally forgot about the situation in public leagues.

And sorry Mike for getting off-topic!  No more comments on this from me...

Since: Sep 30, 2009
Posted on: November 10, 2009 12:06 am

Preview Page Questions

Hey, hosehead.

Thanks for the response. The rash of trade vetoes is probably a bigger issue in leagues where people may not know each other, or not know each other well. There was a whole thread on the topic on the FF message board (Highlander99's "Remedy for Trade-Veto Spammers?"). Over a dozen people weighed in, one saying, "CBS SPORTSLINE *MUST* do something about this, cause it is killing many leagues."

And to best illustrate the problem, another poster said flat-out, "I am not going to lose in my league because of a trade."

For those who set up leagues among friends it wouldn't be much of a problem, but CBS runs lots of public leagues, and that seems to be where the trouble is. Nothing sucks the fun out like working hard to settle on a good trade and then having it vetoed out of hand.

Since: Aug 9, 2009
Posted on: November 8, 2009 4:56 am

Trade Vetoing

Hey wilwhite,

It depends on how you define your rules.  For our league, this is what our consitution says:

"If any owner thinks that a trade is suspicious and "stinks of collusion", then a league vote will be held as to whether to veto the trade....Keep in mind that almost every trade is more favorable to one team than the other and all owners in this league are assumed to  have enough football intelligence to not fall for a completely lopsided trade, so owners should only veto a trade if it appears a team is trying to stack a team in exchange for some other benefit (cash, splitting profits, sandbagging/draft position, etc.) and not to try and “protect” an owner."

All of our owners have bought into this philosophy.  Sure there might be some smack talk after some trades ("You traded WHO for T.O.??) but only once have I ever been asked to review one for possible veto.

Since: Aug 9, 2009
Posted on: November 7, 2009 6:48 am

Preview Page Questions

Hey Mike,

Thanks for the clarifications, I often wondered how these things were calculated.  About Coach rating, you are right, it is affected by who is on your team.  But it is called Coach rating and not Owner rating.  A coach's job is to work with what s/he's got and for that it's a good statistic.  An Owner rating might also be cool, but it would have to involve draft and transactions...not sure how to do that.

One question I have is when will we get the player's pictures back?  They've been gone for 2 (or 3?) seasons now.  I realize there is some legal stuff involved, but I see them on other fantasy sites.  This may seem very trivial but it really helps to bring the game alive - rather than just looking at names and numbers it's nice to be reminded that this is not some computer simulation but it relies on actual people.  To be honest, the guys in my league are thinking of switching to simply because of this issue....I like this website and if this one thing can be fixed I'm happy to stay here for another 7 years.

Since: Dec 19, 2008
Posted on: November 7, 2009 1:12 am

Preview Page Questions

Dear Mr. Levine,

Thank you so much for not letting this drop by the wayside.  I've have been doing my best to have people respond to your second blog regarding "Predictive Content," so much so, I believe some people on the boards have come to think of me as a nag!  For the life of me, I just can't see how they could think that!  Wink

I have appreciated the fact you have taken this issue seriously and have continued to look into the system and asking for ideas and suggestions from the fantasy public.  The fact they are so quick to complain and criticise, yet don't take the opportunity to be part of a solution infuriates me and I can only imagine how you feel.  Believe me when I say there are many interested but don't want to take the time or thought (much like setting their line-ups each week) to write you with even a small thought.

It is to your credit, you have kept looking into ways to improve the system.  I know many people appreciate it, even if they don't take a moment to say tell you, so let me say it for them and mostly myself.  It was completely by accident I caught your first blog and so happy I did.  To know there is someone listening and taking an active role it trying to help, is so greatly appreciated you have no idea what your efforts mean to me and the silent ones behind me.

With all sincerity and the many untold thanks, I remain,
BruschiBabe0 (BB) 

Since: Sep 30, 2009
Posted on: November 6, 2009 11:15 pm

Preview Page Questions

The preview page is very cool; great layout. The only issue might be that it lends an air of authority to what is really a cumulative educated guess.

For the next topic, though, how about trade vetoing? From a competitive standpoint, as the rules stand, there's no reason NOT to veto every trade out there. And more and more people seem to be figuring that out....

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or