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Fantasy Hoops, Keys to Victory (Part Three: Lineup & Roster Management)

5/04/2006 1 comments

Here's the last in my three-part analysis of the keys to winning at fantasy hoops. I can safely call myself an expert on the subject (rather than just calling myself one like some other fantasy columnists out there...not naming names) after winning 9 out of 10 leagues that I entered this year. Part One focused on the importance of getting value from the draft. Part Two drilled down on the impact of trades. In Part Three, we'll focus on line-up and roster management -- the ability to make smart waiver wire/free agent moves and get the right guys in the starting line-up.

In the CBS Sportsline leagues, rosters are set weekly and there are no multi-positional players, so line-up and roster management is more critical than daily-formats like Yahoo or others. Have a guy in your line-up go down with a week-long injury Monday night? It's a big fat goose egg for the week that you'll never recoup (also if you have an 'illegal' roster -- ex. too many starting forwards -- your whole team gets a goose egg for the week, a death sentence to your fantasy hopes.) In Yahoo, you can actively manage your positions to make up those games later in the season.

To quantify the roster/line-up aspect, I calculate what an 'average' team would be expected to produce (in terms of my Fantasy Contribution, or FC, stat) over the entire season given how well it did in the first two aspects -- drafting and trading. Any FC that a team gets above (or below) can be attributed to a manager being better (or worse) than average at managing his roster and/or line-up.

Although maximizing is correlated very heavily with the final standing (.94 correlation w/ points), it's not the complete picture. A manager may be perfectly willing to go with a sub-optimal line-up in order to achieve category-specific goals in the interest of maximizing his team's place in the standings. Managing categories can be the difference between winning and losing (that final .06 is important).

Thankfully, I can calculate the impact of this as well, so I guess we're really taking about an extra factor here. Call Part 3 Line-up, Roster and Category Management. In this sense, it's really a catch-all factor that captures a manager's ability to get the most out of its roster. I quantify this catch-all category into a 0 to 100 rating that measures a team's management ability relative to average (a score of 50).

So how well did each of my team's do? I think it's safe to say that this is my strong suit. Of course, picking up Boris Diaw on 4 teams didn't hurt. Check out the details below:

[Note: 'Exp FC' is the expected Fantasy Contribution given a team's draft and trade success and assuming an 'average' line-up and roster management ability. 'ROST' measures the Actual FC vs. Expected. 'L_Mov' and 'R_Mov' show the number of line-up and roster moves each team made. 'XWks' shows how many weeks (if any) a team had an illegal line-up. The 'R/L/C Score' adds the category management to the mix and combines the three factors into one score.

SPENCERS 1
TEAM PTS EXP FC ACT FC ROST L_MOV R_MOV XWks R/L/C SCORE
Spencers 1 80.0 1,982.2 2,104.9 +122.7 42 45 - 98.2
KOB Dunker 77.0 1,982.7 2,042.5 +59.8 46 33 - 93.3
full court 27.0 1,436.9 1,523.5 +86.6 12 6 - 90.9
pickup gam 60.0 1,863.4 1,897.2 +33.7 58 51 - 79.3
DavisAggie 79.0 2,081.8 2,170.0 +88.1 45 22 - 68.7
SlackerS # 67.0 1,978.6 1,985.2 +6.6 104 98 - 67.4
Master T 41.0 1,733.5 1,718.7 -14.8 32 25 - 56.4
EZ Winner 51.5 1,854.8 1,856.8 +1.9 50 72 - 56.1
30 Foot Ra 46.0 1,826.3 1,765.0 -61.3 31 26 - 38.7
Direct Dep 10.0 1,670.7 1,010.1 -660.6 20 17 9 22.8
nc river c 30.0 1,714.5 1,558.7 -155.8 9 3 - 22.8
platinum D 55.5 1,994.7 1,896.9 -97.8 43 44 - 19.9


SPENCERS 2
TEAM PTS EXP FC ACT FC ROST L_MOV R_MOV XWks R/L/C SCORE
Spencers 2 69.0 1,833.4 2,060.9 +227.5 42 56 - 95.7
NOTHING BU 49.0 1,737.8 1,857.0 +119.2 14 10 - 72.2
playazinc1 67.0 1,972.9 2,063.8 +90.9 85 48 - 68.4
DavisAggie 67.0 1,979.7 1,986.7 +6.9 48 17 - 65.1
CRARHOPE#2 67.0 1,999.9 1,934.6 -65.3 59 28 1 64.5
Instant Mo 68.0 1,981.5 2,063.8 +82.4 57 41 - 60.5
JD66 53.0 1,850.4 1,870.8 +20.4 63 26 - 50.7
CELTICS 31.0 1,639.9 1,650.4 +10.4 27 22 - 43.1
The Gar He 34.0 1,696.0 1,643.4 -52.6 26 9 - 37.5
Double Dri 40.0 1,780.3 1,801.8 +21.5 53 33 - 34.8
Easy$$ 37.0 1,764.3 1,773.4 +9.2 45 30 - 18.7
LV Knicks 42.0 2,030.3 1,821.3 -209.0 26 11 - 0.5


SPENCERS 3
TEAM PTS EXP FC ACT FC ROST L_MOV R_MOV XWks R/L/C SCORE
Spencers 3 84.0 2,062.5 2,207.2 +144.7 40 43 - 89.1
KOB Dunker 50.0 1,764.1 1,877.4 +113.2 45 25 - 68.9
IH8DUKE 51.0 1,782.5 1,825.9 +43.4 28 10 - 67.3
Buggy Ball 64.0 1,939.8 1,981.3 +41.4 66 47 - 62.5
Giborim 69.0 2,044.7 2,026.3 -18.4 51 18 - 60.8
SlackerS-- 56.0 1,907.3 1,892.8 -14.6 123 100 - 45.3
jaggerz 20.0 1,546.8 1,484.4 -62.4 14 14 - 39.2
the hommie 60.0 1,981.3 1,955.4 -25.8 84 42 - 32.9
Basketball 49.0 1,929.7 1,877.6 -52.1 104 50 - 22.4
Beer Farts 49.5 1,907.2 1,943.1 +35.9 47 22 - 14.6
G Strings 29.0 1,726.1 1,663.5 -62.6 64 35 - 9.2
fargin ice 42.5 1,966.3 1,832.7 -133.6 56 39 - 3.0


SPENCERS 4
TEAM PTS EXP FC ACT FC ROST L_MOV R_MOV XWks R/L/C SCORE
Scrubs 67.0 1,864.2 2,000.4 +136.1 13 6 - 89.9
platinum B 60.0 1,872.4 1,895.0 +22.6 42 29 - 85.4
Cape Cods 57.0 1,823.0 1,957.9 +134.9 62 36 - 78.8
Spencers 4 74.5 2,017.2 2,060.0 +42.9 45 41 - 78.2
Arsenal 43.0 1,692.4 1,768.1 +75.7 45 71 - 69.8
gramps tra 40.0 1,757.2 1,598.2 -158.9 17 5 - 61.4
TOPH 66.0 2,012.5 1,955.6 -56.8 19 14 2 58.0
MMMM BANAN 48.0 1,838.0 1,780.4 -57.7 32 17 - 42.8
NY BALLERS 50.5 1,945.5 1,809.0 -136.4 12 3 - 24.2
P.Galore 54.0 1,978.0 1,897.6 -80.4 24 25 - 16.8
Big Mean S 45.0 1,911.7 1,804.8 -107.0 6 1 - 16.3
Hansel 19.0 1,698.8 1,417.5 -281.3 15 2 3 5.9


SPENCERS 5
TEAM PTS EXP FC ACT FC ROST L_MOV R_MOV XWks R/L/C SCORE
platinum B 77.0 1,916.7 2,058.9 +142.2 66 81 - 97.5
ceematics 45.0 1,586.2 1,794.5 +208.3 61 69 - 92.0
THE PUNISH 80.0 2,053.7 2,097.2 +43.5 132 88 - 91.2
Spencers 5 76.0 1,987.7 2,094.0 +106.3 29 33 - 87.5
Run an Gun 51.0 1,898.2 1,839.4 -58.8 32 38 - 52.9
Cape Beach 69.0 2,023.5 2,050.2 +26.7 70 51 - 51.6
24s 40.0 1,698.3 1,797.5 +99.3 44 42 - 43.5
Massillon 56.0 1,938.5 1,937.8 -0.8 45 29 - 36.7
ROCKA FELL 43.0 1,838.7 1,782.1 -56.6 95 66 - 18.9
eearl1 20.0 1,624.4 1,599.8 -24.6 52 22 - 9.3
Dead Money 45.0 1,985.1 1,781.5 -203.6 17 9 - 4.8
djscrew 22.0 1,752.4 1,608.9 -143.5 22 24 1 1.5


SPENCERS 6
TEAM PTS EXP FC ACT FC ROST L_MOV R_MOV XWks R/L/C SCORE
Spencers 6 75.0 1,887.7 2,019.6 +131.9 34 51 - 98.3
kgticket 47.0 1,722.7 1,775.9 +53.2 55 80 - 70.0
Hinrichs 58.0 1,895.5 1,890.8 -4.7 17 11 - 67.8
Mad Bomber 73.0 2,030.6 2,097.6 +67.0 36 30 - 67.4
argh 61.0 1,920.3 1,947.6 +27.3 52 34 - 61.7
Knowspicke 40.0 1,775.5 1,693.4 -82.2 2 0 - 52.5
BigBoyz 55.0 1,921.5 1,832.5 -89.0 39 9 - 47.2
Will's Squ 52.0 1,867.7 1,856.4 -11.3 55 31 - 43.3
The Enemie 60.0 1,980.9 1,974.1 -6.8 44 41 - 29.2
Smush Fan 35.0 1,791.5 1,655.0 -136.5 40 24 - 22.7
Fantasy Ac 48.0 1,971.1 1,823.4 -147.7 11 9 - 8.6
Invincible 20.0 1,759.9 1,421.5 -338.5 36 14 - 4.3

A couple observations:

-- The number of moves that a team makes is correlated w/ Roster and overall success, which makes a lot of sense. It shows that a team is actively involved in the league, less likely to crap out, and a has a higher probability of following the NBA closely and jumping on any opportunities out there. However, the returns seem to diminish when you get above 150 total moves or so. Certainly, if you're making 9-10 roster or line-up moves per week, your team probably isn't that good to begin with. The Punishers (220 moves and he won) in league Spencers5 is the only exception. 100 to 150 moves seems to be the sweet spot. The lowest number of moves made by any team in the top 25% overall was 62.

-- TOPH in league Spencers4 really shot himself in the foot by having an illegal line-up for two weeks. He could've won that league. I'm not complaining.

SUMMARY

So what does this all mean? Upon converting the Draft and Trade factors to the same 0 to 100 scale, we can easily measure each factor's contribution to fantasy success:

DRAFT: 47.3% TRADE: 14.0% ROSTER/LINE-UP/CAT MANAGEMENT: 38.7%

As expected, the Draft is the most important factor. It is the starting point that separates the contenders and the pretenders on Day One. Shrewd trading and active management can make-up for a sub-standard draft, however.

So how did the Spencers do in each of the categories?

TEAM Draft Trade Rost Pts
Spencers 1 79.1 35.2 98.2 80.0
Spencers 2 28.9 86.8 95.7 69.0
Spencers 3 87.9 87.4 89.1 84.0
Spencers 4 88.3 57.4 78.2 74.5
Spencers 5 73.6 88.5 87.5 76.0
Spencers 6 54.0 67.5 98.3 75.0
AVERAGE 68.6 70.5 91.2 76.4

Pretty good across the board, but definitely strongest in line-up, roster and category management. I hope to improve on each of these factors next year as I look to expand operations. Maybe I can make it a clean sweep. See you next season.

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