Monday, January 2, 2012

Reviewing the 2011 Fantasy Predictions

Back to some content that's actually related to the original purpose of this blog: our glorious fantasy baseball league. Yes, we realize that we're closer to pitchers and catchers than we are to last year's World Series, but it was a busy fall and holiday season.  Consider this something of a run up to this year's keeper lists.

At the beginning of the year we asked everyone to submit their predictions for the year. Eight of you were kind enough to submit forecasts, ranking the teams 1 - 12, which we then used to compile an aggregate prediction.  When we did this in 2010, the results sucked.  This year?  The league did a bit better.

To the surprise of absolutely nobody, the league correctly concluded that Alex had the best keeper list since the early portion of Tucker's dynasty and put him in the top slot.  The league also correctly figured that my collection of stars was better than everyone else's and that I was going for it this year, putting me in the silver medal slot.  And while not a direct hit, per se, putting Jake in 4th and just a whisker out of third, was pretty damn close.

As reflected in the right column, the league's "Delta" was 36, i.e., the Wisdom of the Crowds was off by an average of 3 with teams this year.  By contrast, last year the league's Delta was 39.  We're still not sure if this is good or bad--you would think we'd be closer than an average of three positions off when two teams are 100% accurate--but we'll try this experiment again next year and see what we come up with.

How did the individual pickers do?  Of the eight who submitted picks, six guessed two dead-on, meaning that method of evaluation isn't helpful.  The predictor with the lowest Delta was my co-author Teddy, who checked in with an even 30, comprised of nailing the top two finishers, and being 1 slot off with five other participants.  It's good to know that his skills of analyzing transactions has come in handy somewhere.

On the lower end of the spectrum, Sahil checked in as the worst predictor with a Delta of 52, with Scot right behind him at 46.  Scot's in particular is notable, because he picked two teams on the nose and three teams off by one.  Of course, when the remaining seven slots are 3, 5, 5, 6, 6, 8 and 10 positions off, you're going to go near the bottom of the pile.

As noted last fall, we'll try this again in 2012 to see how it shakes out.

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