Category:Fantasy Football
Posted on: November 6, 2009 1:04 pm
Edited on: November 6, 2009 1:18 pm

Preview Page Questions

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. 

Posted on: September 17, 2009 4:54 pm

Who is the Guru?

Throughout the years, we've had many incarnations of and therefore, questions about the Guru.  The Guru, as it was designed, was a formula that was supposed to give an indication of how well your player will perform in the upcoming week's football game.  It appears on every team's 'Set Lineup' page.  It used to take into account the player's past performance, some projections, injury status, and opponent.  We would tweak the actual formula from time to time.  It wasn't perfect, but we thought that it served its purpose. 

Our content team, including but not limited to Dave Richard and Jamey Eisenberg, apparently used to get some emails from readers who thought that they were the 'Guru' offering this advice. And when it didn't work out for that particular reader, those emails could get pretty nasty.  I guess those guys had just about enough of that when they came to us last year and said that if they were going to take flack from the readers that they at least wanted it to be based on their own weekly projections for each player so that they could defend their decisions.  It seemed like a daunting task, but they were up to the challenge. So now those Guru numbers you see on your Lineup page are the result of those guys projecting out a weekly stat line for each player.  Each site then applies those stats to your league's specific scoring system and spits out what your score would be with that stat line.  If you want to see the stats that go into your 'Guru' number, just click "Weekly Projections' at the top of your 'Set Lineup' table. 

Personally I'm still not sold on which way is better.  While it's nice to have a projected stat line on each player, it really puts pressure on thye football writers to have to determine which players are going to score TDs that particular week or not.  For instance, with the old system, because it was a formula, the number could be the result of an average number of TDs per game.  Say RB 'X' rushed for an average of 65 yards and had scored 3 TDs for the first 6 weeks of a season.  The formula might have projected that he would have 65 yards and .5 TDs that week - an average score of about 9 points.  With our content team projecting out a weekly stat line, they don't have the luxury of predicting out .5 (or half of a Touchdown).  So if they player has been averaging about 65 yards a week, they have to make the call between saying he'll score a TD which would put the player at about 12 points, or not scoring a TD which would put the player at about 6 points.  It's a pretty big difference.   Which do you prefer?  Think about it and let me know. 

Category: Fantasy Football
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