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Diary of a (Fantasy Basketball) Madman

11/24/2006 6 comments
No updates to the blog lately because I’ve been up to my neck in fantasy basketball. As I mentioned in my most recent post, I’ve stepped things up this season. After winning 5 out of 6 leagues last year on CBS Sportsline and taking home a nice check for $3,000, I’ve taken it to the next level. Actually, I may have skipped a few levels.

This season, I’m managing 44 fantasy basketball teams.

The premise is taking a strategy that works and leveraging it to the absolute max. The incremental time spent managing the 7th team isn’t much more than the time spent on the first sixth. Adding the 8th team isn’t much more taxing then managing the 7th, and so on and so forth…combine that with the diversification benefits of having a bunch of teams and the ability to win your fair share, and you can’t find a reason not to keep signing up for more leagues. That’s how you end up with 44. I’ve essentially signed up for every available Platinum (entry fee $80, $600 to the winner) and Diamond (entry fee $225, $1,600) rotisserie league they had on their site. If I win them all, we’re talking about a check of $34,400 instead of $3,000 this year. That’s not much less than the median income in the U.S.

After about five weeks into this master plan, if there’s one thing I’ve learned it’s this: it’s a lot of work managing 44 fantasy basketball teams. For the two weeks leading up to the start of the season, it was one live draft after another. At one point on a Saturday night, I had 5 live drafts going on at the same time. Sportsline had a bunch of issues with their draft applets that made things even more timely and frustrating. My wife had to go to a party by herself and explain that her dork-for-a-husband couldn’t make it because of fantasy basketball drafts. One Friday night (I believe it was my birthday) was spent staring at three drafts that never started, the clock counted down to zero as normal then it just said ‘suspended’. (You couldn’t leave because you would’ve been hosed if it had started. The Sportsline help line folks were gone for the weekend. Finally, at about 12:30 am, I gave up waiting. The drafts ended up occurring via autopick overnight, leaving me with three lame duck teams. CBS subsequently offered up free additional teams. I received 7 freebies in total.) At one point, I didn’t even know what day of the week it was, and completely missed a big-money Diamond live draft because I thought it was the following day, leaving me another lame duck team with no chance of winning.

Thankfully, I’ve got some tools to help me manage this monstrosity. Again I have my trusty Excel spreadsheet called LP (for Lil Penny) that projects stats for each team for each week in each league. It was easily modified to accommodate 44 teams instead of 6 (although now it’s about 19MB). LP is also what I use to simulate and assess potential trades and waiver wire pick-ups. I update the projected standings for each league daily using boxscore information from basketballmonster.com, to see how players are performing during the course of the week relative to my original projections. And the slickest new tool that I’m using this season, is a web data mining tool called Anthracite that I combined with the Automator tools on my MacBook Pro (the fruit of my fantasy basketball labor last year) to automatically pull the rosters and line-ups for every team in each league and send it to me as a text file via e-mail every morning at 6:30 am. This provides me with any roster changes in any of my leagues. Last year, I had to enter the roster changes manually, which wasn’t so bad when there were 6 teams. Impossible to do with 44. Anthracite has been a lifesaver. In our house, we call it ‘baking muffins’, because the program dings like a toaster oven when it’s done with its web scraping process.

I’m happy to report that things are off to a pretty good start. I was bit pretty hard by the injury bug early – guys like Richard Jefferson, Andrei Kirilenko and Brad Miller were all guys that I was exposed to heavily. Some of my pet picks like Yao, Melo, Rashard Lewis Caron Butler, Mike Miller, Josh Childress and Luke Ridnour are all performing much better than where they were picked. Other guys that I drafted heavily like Gerald Wallace, Chris Kaman, Smush Parker (ugh), and Mo Pete have been extremely disappointing, and I shudder to think about the number of times I drafted guys like Sam Cassell, Raymond Felton, Jason Terry, Mike James and Jameer Nelson ahead of Deron Williams (hey, I wasn’t the only one). Plus I totally slept on Zach Randolph and Emeka Okafor (both of whom can feel free to go down with injury any day now). At least I was able to make up for it by getting the incredible Kevin Martin on a bunch of teams, either as a late round draft pick or waiver wire pick-up.

BEHOLD THE POWER OF THE 2-FOR-1

And with the help of LP, I have been able to pull-off a slew of sweet deals that have helped my teams tremendously. Following the teachings of my former partner-in-crime Marc Fredman, aka the master of the 2-for-1 deal, I’ve recently pulled off the following sweet gems:

Brand/Gomes for Marion
Hinrich/Ben Wallace for Nash (although it was originally for Nash and Brad Miller before the powers that be at CBS shot it down)
McGrady/Brevin Knight for Kobe
Odom/Amare for Garnett (which looks better and better every time Amare plays 21 minutes and goes 0-for-1 from the field)
Rashard Lewis/Caron Butler for Marion
Odom/Peja for Marion
Caron/David West for Marion (although it will likely get vetoed)

And I can’t fail to mention some of these other balanced steals:

Brand for Arenas
Rashard for Iverson
Redd for Brand
Odom/Ilgauskas for Rashard/Hinrich
Bibby for Melo
Felton for Kevin Martin and Gerald Wallace
Bosh/Mobley for
Monta Ellis/Chris Wilcox/Luke Walton for Iguodala/Jermaine O’Neal/David Lee (although it will probably get vetoed as well)

I’ve made about 35 deals so far, and looking back I’d only reconsider about 4-5 of those. So we’ll see how things play out. As of right now, I’m projecting to win about 28-30 of the 44 leagues.

MEET RON STRUGANO

I might have a few more sweet deals on the above list, if it wasn’t for the aforementioned ‘powers that be’ at CBS killing some of my deals. One particular deal, Josh Smith for Chris Bosh, particularly irked me because at the time of the deal, Smith was ranked 40th overall and Bosh was ranked 43rd, and in the slew of live drafts that I was in, Bosh and Smith were drafted only nine slots apart from each other. Given their extreme variation of strengths and weaknesses across categories, I felt it was more than reasonable enough for somebody to value Smith more than Bosh, meaning they should’ve had no problem approving the deal. So I solicited the CBS Help Center for some feedback on the logic behind rejecting this deal. It turned into some interesting dialogue with Ron Strugano, the head of CBS Fantasy Sports. Here it is. It’s scary to think that this guy could have a key role in deciding the fate of my leagues.



ORIGINAL REQUEST
JIM: Can I please get an explanation on why my Josh Smith for Chris Bosh trade was vetoed by the commish? Both players are similarly rated both preseason (CBS has Smith higher) and so far this season (Bosh is slightly ahead of Smith, but Smith was 3 slots ahead of Bosh when the trade was made). Both players have the potential to be top 20 players this year. And the distribution of expectations for Smith in particular varies greatly -- it's perfectly conceivable that a team would value one player over another given their differences in expectations and strengths and weaknesses in different categories. Not one sided at all. Please provide some insight so I know upfront what the criteria is for judging this deals...it will help me tremendously down the road (I have 44 teams and don't want to waste time on deals that ultimately will get shot down). Thanks!

INITIAL RESPONSE
COMMISH RON: Smith is off to a decent start but he has to prove that this is not a fluke. He is a number two on his team. Bosh is a consistent player who put up similar stats last year and is the number one option on his team.

Later on this season this trade could be approved, but for now smith needs to show that this is his normal output and not a fluke hot streak.

[Okay, So he hasn’t really cleared anything up, other than the fact that he’s not too high on Josh Smith. He shouldn’t assume that everyone shares his view that Smith’s early numbers (and they weren’t even that great) aren’t sustainable. Is his crystal ball clearer than everybody else’s?]

JIM RESPONSE #1 -
Ron,

Thanks for your response. In light of your note, I have a few additional comments.

Although I agree that Bosh is a better player (which is precisely why I accepted the deal), can you explain that if the deal is so one-sided that it needs to be shot down, then why:

- CBS had Josh Smith pre-ranked 20th and Bosh 46th?
- At the time of the trade, Smith was ranked 40th overall and Bosh was ranked 43rd overall? This was pointed out in the comment section of the deal.
- In 44 live drafts that I did, Smith and Bosh were on average only drafted 9 slots apart from each other? Smith was often picked before Bosh, and on 8 occasions they were picked less than 3 slots apart.

If you asked 1,000 people what their expectations were for Smith and Bosh, certainly Bosh would be higher on average. But Josh Smith probably has the widest range of expectations of anybody in the NBA. He could be top 50, he could be top 20, as witnessed by his 2nd half last year. You can't tell me at this point that Smith doesn't have at least a 35-40% chance of outperforming Bosh for the remainder of the season. My point is, when there is that much overlap, shouldn't you let the deal go through? The guy who made the offer either a) expects Smith to outperform Bosh for the rest of the year and/or b) values the contribution that Smith across the 8 categories more than Bosh does (which by the way, makes sense since the guy was set in REB, needed blocks and 3's). In a different league, I was just offered Chris Paul for Josh Smith (another deal that got shot down by CBS), precisely because he was first in ast, low in 3's and last in BLKS.

I guess I'm trying to better understand the criteria for assessing these deals? Do you try to understand the motivation behind the deal? Or are you just saying, 'Oh, I wouldn't do that deal, therefore I'm rejecting it'? I had to try 3 times to get an Igoudala for Okafor deal through, although they were literally drafted less than one slot apart from each other on average. Shouldn't you allow for some flexibility for the possibility that 'Maybe I wouldn't do that deal, but I can see why somebody would'? Isn't the whole reason of trading based on the fact that you value the player you're getting more than the player you're giving up?

This is particularly frustrating when the following deal was approved by cbs in a different league:

Felton, Raymond
Harrington, Al
O'Neal, Shaquille
Telfair, Sebastian

For

Howard, Dwight
Iguodala, Andre
Nash, Steve
Roy, Brandon

This deal helped one team by 20 pts in the standings, decreased the other guy by 18 pts in the standings and hurt him in ALL EIGHT CATEGORIES, yet it gets approved. Mind-boggling.

Like I said, I'm trying to manage 44 teams, so clearer criteria would help me tremendously. I always thought the veto process was to protect against collusion and one-sided deals (as in my distribution example, a case where there is little or no overlap or no foreseeable reason why one would value one player over another). That is clearly not the case here, so there must be another reason for the veto. Please clarify. Even if I spent $100 on one league instead of $3,000 on 40+ teams, I'd want to know this upfront. I want to know that I will have the ability to make fair deals and the opportunity to improve my team...otherwise these leagues are nowhere near as enjoyable as they should be.

Thanks for your time.

Jim


[Sounds reasonable to me. I feel strongly that the commissioner should only act when there obvious collusion and/or no conceivable chance that a reasonable person would want to do the deal. You can’t just ask yourself, ‘would I do that deal?’ That’s not a high-enough standard for rejecting. In the other deal I referenced, it was agreed to literally within 5 minutes of when the draft ended. A clear-cut case of collusion between two buddies. And even if it wasn’t that cut and dry, a deal that causes a 38-point swing in the standings and hurts one team in every category should never be allowed to go through. With that completely lopsided deal as context, I simply had to have an answer for my Bosh/Smith deal. If that deal is deemed fair, then certainly Bosh/Smith is as well, right? Somebody please tell me that I’m not crazy here. Unfortunately, good ol’ Ron opens up a whole new can of worms with his response…]


RON’S RESPONSE #2
This is where personal opinion comes in. I think smith is one of the most overrated players in the nba. He can’t shoot a lick but is a high flyer. bosh is a consistent player, who most likely will be the elton brand of this year.

In that trade, first shaq was not hurt at the time. Secondly he is a center and centers have extra value as they are a commodity. So howard and shaq are equal. Harrington and AI are equal. Nash and Felton are equal and roy and Telfair the same. Granted i like rondo in boston.

If that trade came to me now it would not be allowed. Shaq is hurt.

[Reread that second paragraph and let it soak in for a second. Shaq = Dwight Howard is bad enough, but Nash = Raymond Felton is the most asinine fantasy basketball statement I’ve ever read (and I’ve read a lot of them). I couldn’t let this go. Somehow those guys are consider equal, but Bosh and Smith are not?]

JIM’s RESPONSE #2

Ron,

That doesn't really answer the question of why you had smith ahead of bosh (20th vs 46th...according to the rules ranked by your ‘panel of experts’) in the preseason, why they were drafted so close together and in some cases smith was picked ahead of bosh in many drafts and why if smith is so overrated he and bosh had almost identical year-to-date rankings at the time of the trade (smith 40, bosh 43). plus you're letting your personal opinion of the players supercede what is a fair deal...just as you think smith is overrated, it's perfectly reasonable that someone would think that smith is capable of matching or outperforming bosh this year. he did as much during the 2nd half of last season...and you can't discount that if you're also going to say that Felton is EQUAL to Steve Nash. if Nash and Felton are equal, how can you say that Bosh and Josh Smith are not equal? i can't even fathom that.

Check this out...Felton was very good in the 2nd half of last year. Take his best 15-game stretch last year. His best 15 games stretch last year isn't as good as Steve Nash's worst 15 game stretch of last year! That's a fact. Yet you consider them equals!!! Josh Smith's best 15 game stretch is on par with Bosh's BEST 15 game stretch last year...and somehow that's unfair?

Nash's rank last year: 16; Felton: 107.
So far this year: Nash - 14, Felton - 80. He's closing the gap! Nash's avg draft position - 7.8. Felton - 46.3.

A first rounder for a fourth rounder is considered equal, but a 25th vs 34th pick difference is consider unfair? Why the disconnect? And don't even get me started on Howard vs. Shaq. Granted, i think they are both overrated in general...even with the premium on centers, Shaq is nowhere near Dwight Howard. Dwight is 42nd so far this year. Shaq is 230th. Last season they were 25 slots apart, and you wouldn't find a soul who would say that that gap would narrow this year. And if the center premium was that large, certainly you would see it level out in the average draft position...Howard was picked 17.4 (never later than 23rd) on avg and Shaq was picked 52nd on average (and as low as 94th, but still too early). So 35 slot's difference is considered equal yet Bosh for Smith isn't? Can you understand why I'm confused?

Through all of your responses, I've yet to get any clear guidance on the criteria for judging these deals and the objective of the veto process in general other than your personal opinion. Do you agree that you have to ask yourself if it's conceivable that a reasonable person, especially one who valued the categories that Smith's brings to the table and undervalues the categories that he is less strong in, would consider doing the deal? Please, please tell me it's not, 'Would I or wouldn't I do this deal?'. This is not a one-sided deal, irrespective of your personal opinion of Bosh and Smith. Just because you wouldn't do the deal doesn't mean it should've been vetoed. The facts back this up. They are a lot closer than other players that you consider equal.

[Well, you can tell that the Nash/Felton statement really left me flabbergasted.]

RON’S RESPONSE #3
I explained why i did not allow it. You can agree or disagree, thats up to you. Your league voted against this trade, and I agreed this time with the league. Like i said before, I dont care about our rankings, as i believe that smith is overrated.

bosh has outscored smith in all three periods this season. smith has a total of 72 points in our regular leagues. bosh has 108. we normally allow a 20% difference in trades if we are going to allow it.

You can bring all the data you want, but i go by the stats and if necessary my personal opinion. considering my opinion this year so far is backed by the stats, i would say that my decision is correct.

[He opened up another can of worms here. The points system that he is referencing here is for their head-to-head leagues. It’s completely different than roto, and should never be used to evaluate roto deals. I’m still in shock that they do this as a normal course of business. It really shows that they have no idea what they are talking about. And you know I’m going to point it out…]

JIM’S RESPONSE #3
Ron,

I don't know why you're using a points league to assess roto trades. They aren't the same. You’re basing your decision on facts, but facts that aren't relevant. The stats that i brought to the table were relevant to a roto league -- at the time of the trade smith was ranked 40th, Bosh 43rd on per game basis. In a pts league, you don't care where they are contributing. In a roto league, you pay close attention to the strengths and weaknesses in each category. Smith is better than Bosh in 4 categories, and Bosh is better than Smith in the other 4. So why wouldn't a team that is set in FGP, FTP, REB and PTS with needs in 3PM, BLK, AST and STL value Smith more than Bosh? It's perfectly conceivable. It's clear that your decision was based more on negative bias against Josh Smith more than anything else and haven't allowed for the fact that there may be perfectly reasonable people that would disagree with you and value Smith more than Bosh. Can you honestly sit here and tell me that it's inconceivable that someone in a roto league would value Josh Smith more than Bosh? By the way, what's the point difference between Nash and Felton, and Shaq and Dwight Howard? So you're telling me that you would let Nash for Felton go through if it came across your desk, but not Bosh for Smith? I just don't understand the difference in standards. In any case, thanks for your response. It has greatly clarified that your decision was based on nothing else other than personal opinion, stats that aren't relevant, and criteria that isn't consistently applied (still waiting for an explanation for how Nash and Felton are equal and Bosh and Smith somehow are not). You can understand my angst when it impacts my ability to try to win $1,600, especially when other far more lopsided deals are allowed to go through. I hope it doesn't cost me the league. You know as well as I do, that people vote against trades for all sorts of reasons, right and wrong. Some people just vote against every trade out of spite. It's a nuisance, but it doesn't really bother me when there's a fair and logical commissioner behind the scene. It's gotten to the point where it's like a crapshoot whether your deal will go through or not. In any case, thanks for the prompt feedback. i have enjoyed the dialogue. And I guess I need to pay closer attention to the pts-based rankings, although I'm still at a loss to determine why it's relevant. Thanks,
Jim

[At the time, I didn’t have the details of the points system used for head-to-head leagues. It’s PTS, REB, STL, BLK = 1 pt, AST = 2pts and TO’s = -1 pts.]

JIM’S RESPONSE #3 (follow-up)
ron,

After looking at the pts-based system, I can see why it significantly skews against Josh Smith relative to Chris Bosh. His strengths over Bosh are in 3PM, STL, BLK and a small number of AST. Well, those strengths don’t do you much good in a points-based system. Averaging 2.6 blocks per game would probably help you win BLK as a category but it means the same as scoring 2.6 pts or grabbing 2.6 rebounds in head-to-head. It only takes about 640 total blocks, 1,500 steals and 1,100 3's to win those categories comfortably in roto, but it takes about 15,000 pts and 5,300 rebounds to win in those roto categories. It takes 23 times as many points to win in pts as it does blocks to win in blks, but in a pts based system, 1 block = 1 steal = 1 pt = 1 reb, and 3's aren't even counted. So can you see how that works against someone like Josh Smith if you're using a pts-based system to judge a roto deal? Rankings that use a pts-based system move josh smith down 21 slots relative to his true roto rank using last year's per game averages. it's the same reason why Kirilenko ranked 15th on a per game in roto last year and would've been 30th overall in a pts based league, and why Marion had one of the best roto seasons ever last year but would've only ranked 13th in a pts-based league. So...these are the 'facts' that you're using to judge this roto deal? I guess your decision makes a lot more sense to me now.

RON’S RESPONSE #4
Even in roto josh smith is not in the same league as bosh. yes he has blocks and possibly an advantage in steals, but Bosh will get those also. bosh will get you points, rebounds, FG%, FT%, and probably have less turnovers.

Chris Bosh
GP MIN/G PPG REB/G AST/G FG %
9 37.2 22.2 12.9 1.4 51.1

Josh Smith
GP MIN/G PPG REB/G AST/G FG %
8 37.9 14.4 7.5 2.4 39.0

Smith is not a good basketball player as much as he is a phenomenal athlete. If i was in your league I would trade you Smith for Bosh 100 times regradless of the categories, as Bosh can fetch me almost any player in the nba excluding the top 5 players.

[I rip the guy to shreds and that’s the best he can come up with? Even if his last statement is true, which it’s not, would they be enough reason to kill a deal? Both players are roughly the same, one guy helps your team more than other, but you can’t get him because the guy you’re giving up has more perceived trade value?]

JIM’S RESPONSE #4

ron,

Man, i agree with you that Bosh is a better player than Josh Smith in roto, which is exactly why I agreed to the deal. But all I'm saying is it is perfect conceivable for a reasonable person to value Josh Smith more than Chris Bosh. Even this early in the season, I value certain categories up to +/- 20% relative to their raw weight based on how my team is made up and its strengths and weaknesses. It's this difference in weights that creates the whole basis for trades. There is more than enough overlap between Bosh and Smith given differences in expectations (and again, they differ wildly for Smith, as evidenced that your panel of experts pre-ranked Smith 20th and Bosh 46th...my only wish is got one of those guys to evaluate this deal originally) and their vastly different strengths and weaknesses for this deal to go through (especially in this case when it's 4 cats vs 4 cats). You have to concede that Bosh and Smith are more equal that Nash and Felton and Shaq and D Howard, correct? You can't sit there with a straight face and tell me otherwise. Check this out...using last year's and this year's numbers as a guide, I calculated that it's 4.9 times more likely for Josh Smith to outperform Chris Bosh in an 8-cat roto league over a 10-game span than it is for Felton to outperform Steve Nash. Again, somehow Felton and Nash is 'equal' and Bosh and Smith are not???

Through all of your responses, the only conclusion that I can draw is that it was your personal opinion that killed this deal. I don't know how personal opinion could supercede sound logic and some litmus test for reasonableness. I would hope that as commissioner you'd be a little more objective and use facts that are relevant in the future, and consider that your opinion might not be shared by others that are managing their teams day-to-day. I don't think that is too much to ask. And if you're going to continue to strongly use your personal opinion, then do me a favor and send me your personal rankings, especially the 'guys I can trade Bosh for' list. I've got Bosh on a bunch of teams, and would start sending out offers right away.

ps Bosh averages more TO's than Smith, not that it's relevant to an 8-cat roto league that ALL CBS public leagues use. But I didn't have to tell you that.

JIM’S RESPONSE #4 (FOLLOW-UP)

ron,

By the way, if you had traded Bosh for Josh Smith after week 6 last season, you would've been better off with Smith than you would've with Bosh. Smith ranked 33rd, Bosh 35th. Yet somehow it's completely outside the realm of possibility that Smith could outperform Bosh for the rest of this season or that somehow could value Smith over Bosh?

RON’S RESPONSE #5

Thats your opinion, and i explained mine.

[Stick a fork in him. He’s done. Do you think he regrets the day he ever came across the name Jim Colton?]

JIM’S RESPONSE #5
ron,

Unfortunately, your opinion is the only one that matters in this instance. By the way, when you say that Josh Smith is overrated, isn't that admitting that most people have Josh Smith rated higher than you do? Regardless of whether it's based on perception or reality, that's how you capitalize on trade opportunities. Every year, guys like Tim Duncan and Jermaine O'Neal get drafted in the 2nd round even though they have zero chance of producing at that level. So if I tried to trade Duncan or O'Neal for a 2nd rounder, would you reject that too because Duncan and JON are overrated? It's the same case here. Smith and Bosh were drafted within 10 slots of each other -- I should be able to deal one for another to an owner that believes Smith is worth more than you do. It doesn't matter if he's actually worth more or not. I have a guy in one league that values Golden State Warriors players -- so I just offered up a huge deal involving Monta Ellis and he accepted. He values Ellis more than an average person would...but even if it helps my team more than his, why should he be denied the player he wants? Is it wrong to spend $100 and just pick all of your favorite players, even if it means you have no chance of winning? This guy drafted J-Rich in the 1st round...are you going to start disallowing people to draft certain players until you deem them worthy? Maybe you can build in some functionality to the draft applet that doesn't allow you to draft Smith ahead of Bosh, since it's clear you believe there's no way someone would value one over the other. By the way, Bosh is currently ranked 39th and Smith is ranked 49th. Would you kill a deal of Andre Iguodala for Tony Parker? The difference between the players is the same. Of course, both are miles closer than Nash (14) and Felton (96).

Just for kicks, I offered up Felton for Nash in 5-6 leagues that I own Felton in. I got some pretty colorful responses. I'll spare you the details, but to paraphrase the universal response was 'there's no way anyone would ever consider Felton equal to Nash'. So I guess you're in a pretty elite little club.

[Still waiting for the response…I don’t think I’ll get one. I spared him the details of the Felton/Nash trade offer reactions, but I’ll share them here:

‘Did your Mom think that was a good offer?’

‘Are you f’in serious?’

‘There is nobody on this planet that would think Nash and
Felton are equal. Nash is the reigning 2 time MVP for a
reason. Nash is a lot better at PPG, assists, FG% &FT%, and
he shoots more threes than Felton.The only thing Felton is
marginally better at is rebounding and the difference is so
small that it does not matter.’

Well, there’s at least one person who thinks Felton is equal to Steve Nash and unfortunately he’s the same guy who is deciding whether my deals are fair or not.]

Final Projection Update

11/02/2006 0 comments

The 2006-07 NBA season is finally here! I finally had time to update the projections that I talked about in my previous post, the Power of the Preseason. As you'll recall, I'm creating three sets of projections and we will see how they hold up over the course of the season. The preseason data on basketballmonster was incomplete, but I was able to get full preseason stats from CBS Sportsline.

1. Baseline Projections as Oct 24, 2006. My original projections with no preseason adjustments.
2. Projections w/ player preseason adjustments.
3. Projections w/ player preseason adjustments and global adjustments.

The global adjustments are an interesting animal, in that they try to use the aggregate preseason data to predict changes in scoring, shooting, etc. for the upcoming season. Here's my predicted change compared to 2005 now that I have the complete set of preseason info.

GM  05REG 06PRED CHANGE
 MIN 4848 -
 FGM 7.12 7.23 1.52%
 FGA 15.70 15.77 0.46%
 3PM 1.14 1.19 4.12%
 3PA 3.18 3.39 6.62%
 FTM 3.90 4.02 3.10%
 FTA 5.23 5.36 2.55%
 REB 8.14 8.18 0.50%
 AST 4.10 4.18 1.93%
 STL 1.42 1.42 -0.19%
 BLK 0.93 0.91 -3.03%
 TO 2.74 2.85 4.21%
 PTS 19.28 19.66 1.95%
 2PM 5.99 6.05 1.02%
 2PA 12.52 12.42 -0.83%
 FG% 0.454 0.458 0.94%
 FT% 0.745 0.749 0.52%
 3P% 0.358 0.350 -2.21%
 2P% 0.478 0.487 1.88%

Here's an example of what all this means...check out the change in projections for Zach Randolph, who had a very good preseason.

 Randolph,ZachGP MinFGAFG%3M FTAFT%REBAS STBKTOPTS
 Original 71  34.52   16.59  0.445  0.22  4.75  0.738   8.34  1.91  0.80  0.22  1.90   18.50 
 Pre 6  35.17   14.67  0.500  0.17  9.83  0.881   7.17  2.33  1.33  0.00  3.33   23.50 
 Adjusted 71  34.52   16.46  0.450  0.22  5.00  0.750   8.26  1.95  0.82  0.20  1.95   18.78 
 Global 71  34.52   16.38  0.457  0.23  5.12  0.754   8.30  1.98  0.82  0.20  2.03   19.07 

At the end of the season, we'll see which one is closer for Zach and the rest of the NBA. In the meantime, I plan on using the third set of projections for managing my fantasy basketball teams. If you were following along last year, you know my buddy Marc Fredman & I went in on six teams on CBS Sportsline, won five of them and got a check for $3,000. This year, I'm stepping up my game. Let's just say they number of teams is in the double digits...and the first digit starts with 4. More info on that soon. I still have a few live drafts to knock out. Stay tuned!

 
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