Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Who will win Playoff Fantasy Football Pool?

My clever analysis and modeling of this years football playoffs has yielded a roster (RDK1) that is in fifth place in the RKB Playoff fantasy football results as of the NFC and AFC Championship games. With only the Superbowl to go, the question is, "Will the RDK1 roster be in the money at the end of the playoffs?"

The chart above (click the chart for larger) shows the standings as they are right now, after the conference championship games. The y- axis is total points while the x axis is the name of each of the rosters. The colors represent contributions from each week of games, Red for the wild card week, blue for the divisional week and green for the conference championship week.

Disregarding the two lowest results, the Wild card and Divisional weeks yield anywhere from 65 to 30 points in a roster. A roster can also have a great wild card week and still lose, because your players have to generate points each week and that only happens if their team progresses. Which of these rosters will win, will it be Cara H. in the lead with 119 points?

The above plot is the same data and roster, this time sorted first by the number of players a roster has out, and then by the total points. This chart is very telling because the rosters to the left with no players out or few players out have much more points potential than roster to the left with more players out. The last grouping with all nine players out on their rosters is the most pathological example; they have all the points they are going to get. Tim G 2 with a respectable 101 points is still not in the running. By the way, the RDK1 roster only has 3 players out, and since I still have my quarterback, kicker, and defense.

Taking the starting chart and plotting the contributions from each player position to the total shows the importance of the the positions to a successful roster. The colors in the chart above represent points from a particular position, green for quarterback (QB), yellow for the wide receivers (WR), orange for running backs (RB), red for kicker (K), purple for defense (DEF), and blue for tight end (TE). The greater contribution positions are at the bottom and build up to the total number of points.

QB is the most important, and while RB and WR also contribute as much, realize that there are three WR's and two RB's per roster so the contribution above should be halved for RB or divided by three for the WR's. As an individual player the kicker contributes a fair amount of points, almost always one for each touchdown, and then field goals as well. In this league the DEF gets the special teams points if kickoffs or punts are returned for touchdowns, as well as a point for each turnover after there are three. Finally tight ends rarely receive passes in comparison to wide receivers and their contributions are the smallest.

Above is the leader grid (click for larger) with the top twenty team rosters and with only the players that are left to play in the Superbowl. A grayed out square indicates that that roster doesn't have the player, numbers are the accumulated points for a given player in that roster. The grand total is the total for each roster, and the rank is as of now. The red highlight is first, and green is second, yellow are the rest of the top ten. I included the top twenty because I have evidence that one of them can come in first, though it would be very unlikely (less than one in a thousand)

What combination of player results does RDK1 need to be in the money (70% first or 30% second place, a tie for first divides the money and there is no second, a tie for second with one first divides the second place money), and what is the chance that such an outcome will occur? That is the topic for the next analysis.

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