PSAS Open Forum #occupyPR

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Playoff Preview - Holiday Movie Analysis

The Byes

#1 Seed - Trichotillomaniacs -Gurley and the three Vikings are a powerful combo pushing toward the plaoyffs.  AJ Green's resurgence last week was welcome. The Trichs need him in order to be able to blow other teams out of the water.
"Get out there and tell them I'm leading the sleigh.
Nobody else has to die, old man."

Holiday Movie - Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer - Rudolph, basically the same plot as Shaka Zulu, but Christmasified, remains a classic of the revenge action genre. Banished for his hideous mutation, Rudolph roams the badlands killing to survive until he reaches the Island of Misfit Toys. There he goes on a shamanic vision quest with a discount Aslan and realizes his true destiny to subvert Santa's kingdom and begin a rein of terror on those who wronged him. Flanked by his loyal goons, a massive flesh-eating giant and a small torturer who pulls out teeth, Rudolph quickly liquidates all opposition and leaves Santa as a puppet monarch, for now.

#2 Seed - TakingTigerMountain - the Tigers have watched Kamara develop into their prime scorer, so his health is key to their playoff run. With Goff hot and cold and Mariota starting to get more with his legs, the QB starting spot is still open. Hyde and Hopkins are enigmas on broken offenses, can they produce enough to move up the ranks?
Cha-ching

Holiday movie - Frosty the Snowman - From the Snowpiercer universe, a young girl in a disturbingly short skirt a powerful snow elemental ride a futuristic worldwide train ever further north.  Pursued by an evil magician dressed as a capitalist villain from the Monopoly era, Karen and Frosty explore their non-socially acceptable feelings for one another. Like Salvador Allende, Frosty is suicided by a right-wing coup. Consumed with guilt, Karen founds a religion exploiting the childish notion that Frosty will be come back to life.


The Wildcard preview -


Then the Grinch though of
the Big Lie. A lie
so big all the whos in
Whooville couldn't
doubt it
# 3 - Aethernauts - With Antonio Brown and Kareem Hunt leading the way the Nauts are primed to break through to the second round. Questions about Matt Stafford's ceiling and how the Jags defense will deal with Seattle this week put a cap on expectations. They're the favorite but not a shoo in.

Holiday movie - How the Grinch Stole Christmas - The Nauts are crypto-reverse spoilers like the Grinch. Famously, the Grinch stole the Whos' Christmas and was poised to dump the lot of toys over the cliff. After hearing the Whos singing his "heart grew three sizes" and he replaced all he stole. But realistically, which is more likely that the sworn enemy of Christmas had a sudden pulmonary enlargement, or that he realized that the only way to truly ruin Christmas was to re-commercialize it. Riding into town distributing the plastic, noise-making crap he had the power to destroy, we realize that the devil's greatest trick was making us think he had a change of heart. So, too the Nauts seeking  a first championship from the position of commish, underdogs all the while plucking the narrative strings.

Men do not climb mountains
because they are there
they climb them because
life is meaningless
#6 psych dog - The Dawgs are led by Connor Wentz and LeSean McCoy. Zeke's suspension delay tactic probably secured their playoff place, but his late season absence puts their championship run in jeopardy.

Holiday Movie - Charlie Brown Christmas Special - The Dawgs are like Charlie Brown at once the center of the narrative and the butt of cosmic jokes. The downbeat philosophizing and already-world-weary elementary schoolers contrasted with the exciting inner life of a dog, tell us the truth that the universe is an uncaring and brutal place. It's the atomized hopelessness that makes the pathetic holiday message so mawkish and fake which brings so many Americans back to this atheist classic.


#4 SanFranciscoFerries - the Ferries are led by Russel Wilson. Behind him are a bunch of hit or miss starters in Ajai, Drake and Ertz.  With Phily, Seattle and the Rams represented, it's fair to wonder how their starters will be used in the upcoming weeks.
thousand yard stare

Holiday movie - Home Alone - America's favorite child soldier, Kevin leads a brutal guerrilla class war against a couple of poor schmucks trying to get by. Raised on  television, sugar and US imperial aggression, Kevin is thoroughly prepared for the Ragnarok he unleashes. The delicate mix of bourgeois family destruction and off-putting Tom-and-Jerry violence against real people make the teary reunion all the more out of sync. Of course, careful viewers will have inferred that Kevin has killed and eaten the flesh of the homeless man he encounters and only returns to the family for the perfect cover. We know he must kill again.

"God has a hard-on for Marines, because we kill everything"
#5 The Pelican Brief - the Grishamites have Dak Prescott at the helm and Mark Ingram in the backfield (if healthy). A 1 game Gronk suspension dramatically lowers their ceiling of a team that's already light in pass catchers.

Holiday Movie - A Christmas Story - Basically the Wonder Years Christmas, an obsessed adult narrator over follows around a goggle-eyed child actor in his Christmas season quest for a rifle. But the movie has more to offer than repeated references to shooting oneself in the eye and the knowledge that the tip of your tongue will grow back if forcibly ripped from your head. Sopping around in mid-century nostalgia at roughly Quantum Leap levels, the movie meanders through some worn comic set pieces.  Beloved for it's view of Christmas as a prolonged tedium punctuated by trauma and neglect, fans of the novel know it is the prequel to Full Metal Jacket.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Week 13: Draft Analysis and Picks

Week 13: Draft Analysis and Picks

The final week of the season is upon us and the playoff field is rounding into shape (as Petronius Arbiter has helpfully detailed here). As we descend into winter, we have nearly an entire season's worth of data that we can use to take stock of this year's fantasy draft. To that end, the Nauts analytics division has scraped the Yahoo site for data on the top performing RBs, WRs, TEs, and QBs of 2017 and their corresponding draft prices, if any, to see what the best values were in the draft.

To get at value, I calculated two measures for each player based on their total fantasy points for the season and their draft prices (if a player wasn't drafted, they were assigned a draft price of $0.99--punting on issues of waiver wire strategy).

The first measure, which I'll call premium-adjusted fantasy points, involved the following steps:

1) Define a premium as any amount over $1 paid for a player.

2) Calculate the maximum premium paid for any player (in this case, $75-$1 = $74 for Hanging with Hooper's draft of Le'Veon Bell).

3) For each player, calculate their premium, then calculate the proportion of the maximum premium that was paid. For example, the Trichs took Todd Gurley for $46, so here the $45 premium was $45/$74 = 0.61 of the maximum possible premium.

4) Add the proportion of the maximum premium to 1, then divide that player's total fantasy points by the resulting value. So for Todd Gurley, this comes out to 196/1.61 = 122, which is his premium adjusted fantasy point value for the season.

The idea here: premium adjusted fantasy points factor in the opportunity cost of paying big money for a player, by reducing his fantasy points in proportion to the premium he fetched in the draft.

Distribution of premium-adjusted fantasy points by position

Now, let's look at the distributions of premium-adjusted fantasy points by position for the top W/R/Ts and QBs currently owned in PSAS (technically, the top 90 W/R/Ts and top 19 QBs by raw total fantasy points). The below graph shows the distribution of premium-adjusted FP by position; the dark line in the middle of each box represents the median premium-adjusted FP for that position, the box itself represents the middle 50% of values, and the whiskers represent values outside the middle 50% that fall into a relatively normal range. Isolated points represent outliers for that position--for example, the point right under the 200 point line for the RB category represents Alvin Kamara, the runaway best value in the draft among RBs at 167 premium-adjusted FP (170 total FP, $2 draft price).



Quick patterns of note: QBs have been better values by a whopping margin--but of course, most of that is due to the limited number of slots, and thus looser market for that position. Meanwhile, TEs this season have been a low value, low variance proposition this season, with the best value players (Zach Ertz and Jimmy Graham) barely cracking the 75th percentile of WRs or RBs. Speaking of which, there hasn't been much to tell between WRs and RBs in terms of draft value this season; the distributions for each position are remarkably similar, as evidenced by the graph.

Top players by premium-adjusted fantasy points at each position (no keepers or waiver pickups)

Now that we've taken a look at the big picture, let's take a look at each position and see what the savviest picks were in hindsight. We'll look at the top 6 players by premium adjusted FP for each position, excluding keepers and undrafted players (for now). First, the RBs:


Player
Current Owner
Drafted By
Draft Price
Total FP
Premium Adjusted FP
A. Kamara NO - RB
TakingTigerMountain
TakingTigerMountain
2
169.8
167.54
M. Ingram NO - RB
ThePelicanBrief
ThePelicanBrief
13
149.1
128.30
T. Gurley II LAR - RB
Trichotillomaniacs
Trichotillomaniacs
46
196.4
122.13
K. Hunt KC - RB
AEthernauts
AEthernauts
40
163.6
107.14
J. McKinnon Min - RB
HomeSpunNeckBloodz
HomeSpunNeckBloodz
2
101.78
100.42
E. Elliott Dal - RB
psych dog
psych dog
43
152.3
97.16

Alvin Kamara leads the pack here, with the highest adjusted FP by a whopping margin and the second highest FP for a running back overall. Mark Ingram and Todd Gurley come in a solid second and third before things begin to drop off more.

Moving on to WRs:


Player
Current Owner
Drafted By
Draft Price
Total FP
Premium Adjusted FP
A. Thielen Min - WR
Trichotillomaniacs
Trichotillomaniacs
1
118.6
118.60
D. Funchess Car - WR
AEthernauts
Trichotillomaniacs
1
94.3
94.30
A. Brown Pit - WR
AEthernauts
AEthernauts
65
174.94
93.81
L. Fitzgerald Ari - WR
ThePelicanBrief
ThePelicanBrief
11
102
89.86
K. Allen LAC - WR
TakingTigerMountain
TakingTigerMountain
27
121
89.54
J. Landry Mia - WR
Polk High Panthers
Polk High Panthers
12
102.68
89.39

The Trichs have the magic touch here, having drafted the best two WRs by value and breakout receiver of the year Adam Thielen. Of note: Antonio Brown still comes in third in adjusted FP, even with the second highest premium of any player...he's just that good.

On to TEs:


Player
Current Owner
Drafted By
Draft Price
Total FP
Premium Adjusted FP
Z. Ertz Phi - TE
SanFranciscoFerries
SanFranciscoFerries
7
106.3
98.33
T. Kelce KC - TE
Dijonnaise All-Stars
Dijonnaise All-Stars
36
107.4
72.91
K. Rudolph Min - TE
TakingTigerMountain
AEthernauts
3
73.7
71.76
C. Brate TB - TE
Polk High Panthers
Polk High Panthers
1
68
68.00
D. Walker Ten - TE
AEthernauts
AEthernauts
11
73.7
64.93

As it shakes out, only five non-keeper, non-waiver wire TEs scored enough to even sneak into this dataset. Translation: tight end is a garbage fantasy position. But among TEs, Zach Ertz paced the field this year, beneficiary of Wentz's dramatic rise (about which more below).

And finally, QBs:


Player
Current Owner
Drafted By
Draft Price
Total FP
Premium Adjusted FP
C. Wentz Phi - QB
psych dog
psych dog
4
237.98
228.71
R. Wilson Sea - QB
SanFranciscoFerries
SanFranciscoFerries
20
257.21
204.66
C. Newton Car - QB
ThePelicanBrief
ThePelicanBrief
4
204.9
196.92
K. Cousins Was - QB
Hanging w Mr Hooper
Hanging w Mr Hooper
6
205.17
192.18
M. Stafford Det - QB
AEthernauts
AEthernauts
3
187.85
182.91
P. Rivers LAC - QB
Dijonnaise All-Stars
Dijonnaise All-Stars
1
182.82
182.82

The Wentz Wagon leads the pack, coming in second in raw FP with a healthy lead in adjusted FP. Russell Wilson, the overall leader in total FP for QBs, is shaping up to be worth the $20 shelled out by the Ferries.

Top keepers and waiver pickups

To round things out, here are the top keepers by adjusted FP:

Player
Current Owner/Drafted By
Draft Price
Total FP
Premium Adjusted FP
D. Freeman Atl - RB
ThePelicanBrief
2
97.2
95.90
D. Hopkins Hou - WR
TakingTigerMountain
2
156.4
154.31
M. Thomas NO - WR
AEthernauts
1
94.1
94.10
S. Diggs Min - WR
Trichotillomaniacs
2
93.8
92.55
J. Graham Sea - TE
Trichotillomaniacs
2
94.7
93.44
R. Gronkowski NE - TE
ThePelicanBrief
50
114.2
68.71
T. Brady NE - QB
BldgDW3LL1NGTh1nk1ng
10
233.86
208.50

And the top waiver wire pickups by raw FP:

Player
Current Owner
Total FP
C. Thompson Was - RB
AEthernauts
125
D. Lewis NE - RB
Phat Girlz
104.66
T. Cohen Chi - RB
ThePelicanBrief
97.71
M. Jones Jr. Det - WR
ThePelicanBrief
123.1
R. Anderson NYJ - WR
ThePelicanBrief
117.7
R. Woods LAR - WR
Phat Girlz
95.5
E. Engram NYG - TE
Trichotillomaniacs
77
J. Goff LAR - QB
TakingTigerMountain
192.36

Hopkins and Brady stand out as great keeper values here, while Marvin Jones, Robby Anderson (of all people), and Jared Goff stand out among waiver pickups (pour one out for Chris Thompson after his season-ending broken leg).

That's all for now on the data front; after the playoffs we'll revisit things to see how the draft shook out in the fullness of time. Now for the picks, presented sans commentary given that TTM laid out the state of the league nicely earlier this week:

Nauts vs. Pelicans

Trichs vs. BDT

Hanging w Hooper vs. TTM [insert Zeus's thunderbolt here]

Dijonnaise vs. Ferries

Bloodz vs. psych dog

Girlz vs. Polk High

Picks record to date: 22-14 (with a heavy asterisk)