Tuesday, February 09, 2010

I'm in the money - Second Place in the Playoff Fantasy Football Pool

My roster (RDK 1) came in second in the the RKB Playoff Fantasy Football pool!

I predicted a significant chance (18%) that roster RDK 1 would be in the money! And it happened. I just want to take some time to gloat. My acceptance speech:
"I want to thank the Drew and the Saints for winning the Superbowl, especially their defense for that critical touchdown and Garrett Hartley - kick away Garrett. I also want to thank Joseph Addai for getting that touchdown that helped put me over the top, even though his team lost. And Adrian Peterson, you didn't even make it to the big game, but getting those touchdowns with no credit for Brett Favre really helped. Thanks to Yahoo for your player stats, and Sagarin for your ratings. And finally, I couldn't have done it without math and statistics, you guys rock!"

Here are the final results with all of the roster's points separated by position. It pays to have a good QB on the roster, but WR, RB and K's also contribute almost the same amount of points for the roster which are towards the top. Remember that there are 3 RW's and 2 RB's so the K has more point generating power as a single player. Even the defense can be significant. Probably the TE is the least useful point generating player on a roster.

The final results separated according to the game in which the points were generated reveals a truism that has been a guiding principle all along. Rosters with players that play more games generate more points. The light blue "dusting" of Superbowl points is what determined the winner this year.

A chart with the order of the roster based on the points before the Superbowl shows a little more clearly that the Superbowl points are what changed the order around. The top contenders had many or all NO and IND players left on their sheets, especially the big point positions like QB and K.

The rosters are shown above for the top twenty finishers, with just the players in the Superbowl on them. Realize that in the above some roster (like mine, RDK1) had players that did not play in the Superbowl and so are not listed above, however the correct total points are in the grand total at bottom.

The final contenders strategies were the three fold obvious ones, all NO, all IND or a mix. Give the way the game went it didn't pay to be all IND. I was able to thread my way to second place because I was a mostly NO roster, K, QB, DEF, but with enough IND to differentiate myself from others. Those that split the K and QB between IND and NO ended up not faring so well.

Finally, I simulated this outcome. Bruschi Drink 3 in first place and RDK1 in second, was the second most likely outcome in my simulations at 10% after the one with Tim G 5 in second.
The simulations above are from the prediction before the Superbowl. What happened to Tim G 5? That roster started 2 points behind RDK1 before the Superbowl. It had IND K instead of NO K for who were 5 to 11 in the Superbowl for 6 more points of deficit. RDK 1 beats Tim G 5 entirely due to the choice of kickers. Even if Matt Stover (IND) had made the field goal he missed that would only have added 3.

The simulations also picked out particular aspects of the game. About 40% of the time when New Orleans defense forces a turnover they get a touchdown. I included that in my model and lo and behold it happened during the game. Having Joseph Addai finally get a touchdown this playoff season pushed me over some of the NO rosters, but having NO do so well pushed me over the IND rosters. It also helped when Jeremy Shockey got a touchdown because no one of the top contenders had him for points. Sometimes it is just as good when no one gets the points as when your roster gets the points.

Next up, March Madness simulations. I have to go get started.

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