UPDATE: added the ESPN guys.
Last year I considered writing some code that would grade the performance of fantasy football analysts. This year I’ve actually finished up the code and can post a few results. What I am doing is very simple:
- Download an analyst’s weekly rankings.
- Download the actual player rankings (based on fantasy point production).
- Compare the two for each position using the root mean square error (RMSE).
The following table shows the RMSE of CBS Sports’ Jamey Eisenberg and Dave Richard for Week 9. Similar to the Netflix Prize, the lower the number the better. In this case, the RMSE tells you how many rankings off the mark the analyst tends to be.
EXAMPLE: Using the table below, we see that Dave Richard’s RMSE for quarterbacks is about 8. So if he says that a QB is going to be ranked #10, then you can be pretty confident that the QB’s actual rank will be between #2 and #18. That may seem like a large error, but keep in mind the random, uncertain nature of pro football: Tampa Bay beat Green Bay last week; Cedric Benson is the 7th top RB; Smith Smith of the Giants is the 7th top WR; the Titans are 2-6. Predicting this stuff is nearly impossible, but I have a hunch that some analysts will be better than others.
- C = CBS Sports
- E = ESPN
I will look to post data covering more analysts later this week!