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SCIENTIFIC FANTASY SELECTIONS

CDM Fantasy Football (http://football.cdmsports.com) has been an industry leader since 1992. Now as this is written August 20th millions prepare for the upcoming football drafts. We at RayRubin Sports Analytics will exhibit our athlete valuation approach by by analyzing QB selections for the upcoming season. CDM’s conventional game rules stipulate a $60 million salary cap for a 33-player roster, including 3 QBs. Among the experienced ones PRICES/SALARIES range from $6.44 million for Peyton Manning to $2.25 million for Joey Harrington.

Typically players have made their choices subjectively. But our scientific “Moneyball” approach is based upon a statistical technique, regression analysis. How scientific? Jon Kitna @ $3.74 million is the best BARGAIN QB by $1.15 million! That scientific!

Regression examines player SALARIES as a function of PERFORMANCE CRITERIA.  For QBs those criteria include: years starting experience, Superbowl victories, 2006 TD  Passes, 2006 total passing yards, average yards/pass play, rushing yards, and % passes intercepted.

Regression for VALUATION has many applications. For instance tax assessors study  HOME PRICES/VALUEs as a function of characteristics of homes such as square feet, #bathrooms, acreage, age, garage capacity, etc.  While there are numerous software packages such as SPSS, SAS, and even Excel available to conduct regression analysis we proudly license RegressionLogic’s (www.valuelytics.com)  patented program for its robust, quick and versatile calculation capability.

The 1st part of the process is CORRELATION analysis which enables one to identify the influence of each individual performance criteria on SALARY. While it is NOT surprising that RUSH YARDS plays a minimal role as only Vince Young possesses this skill…..it IS surprising to realize that %PASSES INTERCEPTED ( ranging from Huard’’s 0.4% to Roethlisberger’s 4.9% ( average 2.96%) also is INsignificant. TD passes, total passing yards, average years//pass play, years experience starting and Superbowl victories are the 5 PERFORMANCE CRITERIA that proceed into the 2nd part of the process, the regression analysis itself.

Here the RegressionLogic software generates a PLAYER VALUATION ASSESSMENT model incorporating the 5 CRITERIA. Here that is:

Each 2006 TD pass   adds $74,342 to QB VALUE
Each 2006 passing yard    adds $112
Each yard/pass play     adds $378,011
Each Superbowl win    adds $355,267
Each year experience   adds $ 74,444

A -$419,397 constant is the last part of the VALUATION model.

Now as a 3rd step the software calculates each player’s “fair market” VALUE by Substituting his individual PERFORMANCE data into the above model.  For Tom Brady

24 TD passes  @ $74,342 each = $ 1.784 million   +
3,529 yards @ $ 112 each = $ 0.395 million    +
6.8 yards/play   @ $378,011 each = $ 2.570 million    +
3 Superbowl wins @ $ 355,267 each = $ 1.066 million    +
6 years experience @ $ 74,444 each = 0.447 million   MINUS $419,397 constant yields  a $5.842 million “fair market “ value for Brady.

The last step is to compare this “fair market” value to the ACTUAL PRICE/SALARY CDM has posted upon Brady. Because his price is $5.62 million, the RESIDUAL, the difference between asking price and “fair market” value makes Brady a $222K

BARGAIN! (5.62 versus 5.842) Appealing but we advise you to select among the following     :

Kitna @ $3.74 million is BARGAIN by $1.15 million
Garcia @ $2.77 million is BARGAIN by $1.09 million
Losman @ $3.16 million is BARGAIN by $1.01 million
Harrington @2.25million is BARGAIN by  $964K
Rivers  @ $3.79 million is BARGAIN by $678K

QBs to avoid include:

Delhomme @ $4.88 million is OVERPRICED by $742K
Hasselbeck @ $4.75 million is OVERPRICED by $690K
Young   @ $3.72 million is OVERPRICED by $582K
Green    @ $4.13 million is OVERPRICED by $563K

However in the CDM AUCTION game the BARGAIN results are markedly different  even though the performance criteria integrated into the VALUATION model are similar.
Afore-mentioned bargains Rivers and Losman are again bargains in the AUCTION format with Rivers actually ranking 2nd best. But now Kitna, Garcia and Harrington are OVERpriced.  An incredible distinction is the identity and magnitude of the best bargain, Rex Grossman, priced at only $3 yet worth a startling $16.17. 

We turned to the CBS Sporsline 8/20 AUCTION game to examine their QB pricing at www.sportsline.com/nfl/fantasy/story/9905658. Theirs too yields Losman and Rivers as bargains but flip-flopped with Losman now a more significant good deal.  Grossman is a good deal as well in this auction as is McNair and Huard and Pennington and Roethlisberger..

The AUCTION games seem far more attuned to RISK; risk of injury (Pennington, McNair, Roethlisberger) and risk of benching ( Grossman, Huard). To mitigate this risk we encourage the following strategy:

Select 2 QBs
1st, a moderately priced attractive bargain young player likely to remain healthy. Losman or Rivers.
2nd, an Inexpensive high-risk, high BARGAIN more speculative pick amongst
Grossman, McNair or Pennington.

In any case good luck with your season. Let us know at m.rubin@snhu.edu if we can be of assistance in teaching you more about this statistical approach to GM gamesmanship.