In this special guest feature, Dan Wilmot, Sr. Architect at Pyramid Analytics, explores how to unlock opportunities previously hidden within the depths Fantasy Football data. Dan has worked in the business intelligence industry for 15 years and has been an avid fantasy football player for 20 years.
The NFL regular season has come to a close, not just for the teams, but for the millions who play fantasy football every year. For many, competing in a fantasy football league is a data-driven activity. Each team owner in a league has access to the same massive amounts of data, but to make successful decisions in fantasy football requires a significant time investment to locate, research, analyze and synthesize the data.
Many owners end up making their fantasy football decisions with an incomplete understanding of the environment and based on emotion – for example, the loyal fan who drafts every player of their favorite team no matter the ranking. Many also don’t understand that most draft and trade guidelines use obsolete or unpopular scoring systems as a basis, and emotion and incomplete understanding are two of the biggest contributors to poor decision-making across any domain. By the time these owners are ready to act, someone who is quicker at synthesizing information beats them to the punch, which is why time-to-decision is critical across all domains. Fantasy football is unique in that team owners get to quickly see the outcomes and consequences of our decisions. With many other domains, the opportunity cost of late decisions or non-decisions are not very clear, even when the impact may be significant.
Inserting an analytics platform into the decision-making process increases the speed-to-action. In a fantasy football draft, data modeling allows owners to consolidate and aggregate projections, historical performance and mock draft results from all the major fantasy football service providers. Customizing ranking metrics based on an index of projection, average draft position and the specific context of a specific league’s rules allows owners to build a draft day dashboard that automates the decision of which player should be drafted now and which player will be a good pick but still potentially available later in the draft? Complex analysis made simple like this drives quick decision-making, increasing speed-to-action to pick the right player at the right time. Plus, storing the analysis in the analytics platform for reuse means this never has to be rebuilt. Now owners can focus on making data-driven decisions rather than performing analysis.
An analytics platform drives better fantasy football decisions week-to-week too. Combining performance metrics, weekly projections and team-specific data with advanced visualizations automates the analysis of which player to start or the best available players to add to a league. Automated alerts can inform owners of key injuries, bye-week and performance issues while advanced calculation logic makes intelligent recommendations for the best replacement players, within the context of their specific league rules. Now, no more valuable time is spent finding, researching, analyzing and synthesizing data—just quick decisions followed by quick action. Fantasy football team owners get the right players before anyone else.
NFL executives and coaches use analytics platforms every day to make personnel and game-time decisions, why shouldn’t fantasy football team owners? Utilizing analytics, owners can quickly and easily consolidate all of the necessary data, making it relevant to an owner’s specific league, serving it up in real time for effortless access. Advanced analytics features speed up the process of making day-to-day and even minute-by-minute decisions. Uncovering hidden insights and recommendations, based on appropriate context, increases the speed-to-action, resulting in a competitive advantage.
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