Statistics help for a Fantasy Football league
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  1. #1
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    Statistics help for a Fantasy Football league

    Ok so it's been (over) 10 years since I graduated from ISU. While there I actually enjoyed my statistics classes and being as I graduated in Psychology, I got to use it quite a bit. Well since then I've rarely used any of those tools and am in another field of work entirely. So I was wondering if you guys had some suggestions...software...etc to help me.

    I'd like to enter in the scores for our fantasy football league and look at a few things. Some of the comparisons would be simple like average score for/against. But also against their opponents average...like whether your opponent scores over their average against you or under... if the opponents score is over or less than the average losing/winning score etc..

    Anywho you get the idea hopefully. And I have the scores entered in excel with a separate sheet for each person with their schedule and score a few simple averages right now. Does anyone know a program to use (freeware or opensource) that I can do this with? And what would this be called? It's been so long since i've had to use it I forget. Would this be data mining? Multivariable? I'm lost right now and just looking for hopefully an easier solution than cross linking all of those pages in excel.

    Any help would be great thanks!



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    Re: Statistics help for a Fantasy Football league

    I am an applied statistician (quantitative psychology) and this is more of an issue of data organization as opposed to actual statistics.

    Free stat programs: "R". It is fairly difficult to learn, but pretty powerful once you get the hang of it. However, it is overkill for what you are trying to accomplish.

    Excel will be able to accomplish what you are after. The key is to simplify to the basics of answering your intended question. For example, I could track week to week scores, but simply tracking the change in the magnitude of the average will accomplish the same thing and tell you a whole lot more. Let's say you have John vs Joe in week 10. Tracking the change in average from week to week will give you a measureable "against the trend" number. You can then multiply this trend by the number of weeks to get the actual point decrease. No separate sheets for each member...just a moving average that is nice and clean all on one beautiful excel spreadsheet.


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    Re: Statistics help for a Fantasy Football league

    Thanks and maybe I can do everything in excel but I'm looking to break stuff down a little more like how many games would they have won that week depending on who their opponent was so if they got the win but had the second lowest point total in the league or vice versa. Not to the extent of ESPN where they can tell you on Tuesdays when the weather is below 50 against lefties with runners on first and second with 2 balls and a strike...but i'd like to be able to do that where I can add criteria after i get my data entered in and it will pull for that week or the whole season but yet it still knows this was week 2 or whatever instead of just an overall average etc. Maybe I'm not making sense.. I know what I want to do but am having a hard time figuring out how to do it, other than "manually". And hopefully like to master this so I can use it for other leagues or just fun stats for no reason.

    Will R be able to do that? I have no problem taking the time to learn it if it will do what I'm hoping. Thanks again!



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    Re: Statistics help for a Fantasy Football league

    I agree with Imperial that what you're talking about has more to do with parsing and organizing data than actually performing calculations. Unfortunately "manual" is usually the only method for data organization. Excel will certainly do everything you're asking - calculate means, make comparisons and do conditional formating, etc. If you get the first sheet set up with Week 1 scores manually, you could then just copy the sheet for each week and insert that week's data. You could also maintain a Season sheet with all data. Some careful formula writing and data sheet setup will update the calculations whenever new data is added.

    Just a comment on the things your tracking - since your fantasy team isn't actually playing defense against your opponent, a "points against" metric is probably of little value. It would not indicate your fantasy team's ability to prevent your opponent's fantasy team from scoring.


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    Re: Statistics help for a Fantasy Football league

    Quote Originally Posted by besserheimerphat View Post
    Just a comment on the things your tracking - since your fantasy team isn't actually playing defense against your opponent, a "points against" metric is probably of little value. It would not indicate your fantasy team's ability to prevent your opponent's fantasy team from scoring.
    Correct but there's a lot of complaining going on...would be nice to show that they are not statistically getting screwed each week. But agreed it is useless for prediction.



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    Re: Statistics help for a Fantasy Football league

    I personally am not involved with fantasy football (would love to, but time is hard to come by).

    R is a program that can handle some very complex calculations. But data organization is not what you are going to get with the program (which is the problem in the first place). It requires some programming knowledge and can be a pain in the neck. Most opensource or freeware programs are, but maybe there is some APP out there I am not aware. I use MPLUS and SPSS daily so I am fairly stuck in my ways.

    I still think Excel is the way to go for you. You can actually input you excel file into a program like JMP, SAS or SPSS. However, these programs cost a few dollars, but I am sure there are opensource statistical programs that will be able to handle multiple regression (predicting outcomes like scores) or multiple-logistic regression models (predicting binary outcomes like wins/losses). But, you are getting really fancy and most people in your league will think you are a nerd (not saying you are).

    An average and a moving average are two different concepts and all calculations can be adjusted based on the current week. Excel can handle these changes efficiently. Rather than making separate spreadsheets for each person, making spreadsheets from week to week that includes all individuals makes more sense and can draw powerful conclusions that the individual spreadsheets cannot.

    The best thing to do is to start simple. When you understand the simple calculation, add a layer of complexity. Keep going until the simple is now complex (and awesome).

    Besides...mid-year changes is nuts anyway (I watch the league on FX). Tell those cats that, as commissioner, we'll come up with something in the off season. Then proceed to flash the peace sign and say "Thus spoke the commissioner". If you have a gavel...slam that beast.


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    Re: Statistics help for a Fantasy Football league

    I agree that excel can do everything your looking for. You just have to enter the data, which is fairly easy, and then the various function, statements, filters, etc. "if", "countif", "sumif", woud be formulas I would start with.

    Disclaimer, I know roughly 10% of the functionality for excel. I'm sure if can be done quicker, but I think the average against would take about 30 mintes to enter the data and 15 minutes to figure out the formula.


    Also, what site are you using? The two I'm on, Yahoo and Myfantasyleague.com both show points against.


    Last edited by DurangoCy; 11-27-2012 at 10:02 PM.

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    Re: Statistics help for a Fantasy Football league

    Attachment 16576

    Just kidding. Sounds interesting!



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    Re: Statistics help for a Fantasy Football league

    Not sure if your league is in yahoo but they actually do some of this for you in the weekly recap. I really like the feature but it can be depressing after some tough loses

    If you want to do this it probably would be easiest to do this in excel.

    I was so ****** last year that I made a table of every team's schedule and how each team would fair with another teams schedule. I think it took me about an hour but it confirmed that how much my team was getting screwed.



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