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In most fantasy football leagues, only about 180 players are “owned” at a given time.
For the purposes of the bet, we really care about “fantasy relevant” players; that is, players where the projection is relevant to determining who you sit or start. While the bet’s officially over, we’ve only looked at the absolute error — the difference between projected points and actual points scored.
They're projecting Kelvin Benjamin will score 18.4 points in my league. “ That was something I casually said at work one day before week 9.
He's only scored over 18 points twice, and one of those times was 18.2 points. At Datascope, these kind of statements (and others) spark fierce debate and quickly escalate into bets.
Assuming a 10 team, standard roster league, we felt these were the players that really mattered for projections.
The above graph displays service status activity for com over the last 10 automatic checks.
Whether we look at all players or only fantasy relevant players doesn’t change the results. That settles the bet — ESPN over-projects fantasy football points. If Forte scores 19 points and Carey scores zero, both players have an absolute error of one point.
The resulting distribution (above) is the standard error of the mean, in this case giving us a 95% confidence interval of 0.34 /- 0.2.
The first chart shows the absolute error distribution for fantasy relevant players, while the second shows the standard error of the mean for that distribution (again using bootstrapping). One issue with this approach is that it doesn’t take the underlying projection into account.
We can see that the standard error of the mean shifts further to the right, this time with a 95% confidence interval of 1.40 /- 0.25. For instance, imagine Matt Forte was projected to score 20 points while Ka’Deem Carey (Forte’s backup) was projected to score one point.
As soon as the words left my mouth, Dean was there, right hand extended; a six-pack bet was on the table.
Dean believed that ESPN's projections are, on average, accurate — that the difference between ESPN's projected scores and actual scores is not significantly different than zero.