Loss Aversion in Fantasy Baseball (continued)

8 04 2010

I was already planning to follow up yesterday’s post with some reasons why loss aversion might exist in fantasy sports, when reader Joe makes the following comment:

The goals of fantasy sports isn’t just winning; there are two: winning and maximizing bragging rights.

Picking up some new dudes and saying, “I KNEW that Whosthat McRandom was going to be awesome” is much more awesome than bragging, “I KNEW that Oldnewsy von Fartington still had another year in him.”

This is a decent summary of a casual attitude towards fantasy sports. “I probably won’t win anyway, so I might as well have some fun along the way.” It’s not my attitude, but I’m not a casual player–I’m an extremely competitive one. In my view, there’s no point in bragging if you’re losing. If you want to brag, play a strategy most likely to win, then brag when you win. Find creative ways to brag if need be. Back in 2003-2004, I KNEW that Kerry Kittles still had another year in him when he helped me win a 20 team fantasy basketball league.*

*I didn’t actually know this, so much as strongly suspect. The following season, Kittles played 11 games off the bench, then retired.

However, there actually is a case to made for picking cagey veterans over hotshot sleepers, from a bragging perspective, which is that no one else is doing it. Over at Baseball Analysts, Sky Andrecheck argues that experts should make recommendations based on how their opinions set them apart from other experts. It’s not hard to find an expert who’s big on Jason Heyward or Gordon Beckham; it is hard to find an expert who likes Johnny Damon and Chipper Jones over those two.

Throughout the season, I’ll check in on the veterans I praised and prospects I questioned in yesterday’s post and compare their stats. If my picks pan out, no doubt I’ll brag relentlessly.

Finally, I’d like to generalize the point I’m trying to make about young and old, and, just for fun, I’ll do it in the form of a delta-epsilon definition:

In fantasy baseball or basketball, for every set of players without proven track records ε, there exists a set of players δ who play the same positions, are older, and are deemed worse by fantasy experts, such that the expected value of δ exceeds the expected value of ε.

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Breaking News as Hoops Season Ends

16 04 2009

On the last day of the fantasy basketball season, my squad miraculously snuck into a tie for second place, having sat in third for months.  Props to the Hurricane, who elected to bench our three best players–LBJ, Paul Pierce and Rashard Lewis–all of whom did not play.  And congrats to the first place guy, the first ever to beat Hurricane and I, who had a 16.5 point advantage in a 12 team rotisserie league, which is pretty remarkable.  He led the league nearly all year with a team that featured top-pick Chris Paul, healthy Yao Ming, career-year Troy Murphy, bounce-back Ray Allen, finally-got-it-together Andrea Bargnani, and yay-Mike-D’Antoni Nate Robinson.

In other breaking news, Jon Barry MVP Matt Bonner got added on the last day of the season, by the very team I said should pick him up (after I emailed the manager).

With hoops and hockey done, attention will focus on baseball for now, until fantasy football season, or something else pops up.





Matt Bonner is a Funny Looking MVP

14 04 2009

Matt Bonner is a somewhat odd choice to win the Jon Barry MVP.  On top of actually looking funny, I can think of a reason to doubt Bonner’s award.  He’s an unconventional player, a big man who shoots the 3-ball, and unconventional players can present balance problems in fantasy sports, especially when using rotisserie scoring.  Read the rest of this entry »





Matt Bonner Projected to Win Jon Barry MVP

6 04 2009

Each week I look at the top players available in my fantasy basketball league to determine the Jon Barry All-stars, named after waiver wire favorite Jon Barry. At year’s end, the player earning the most Jon Barry points will be named Jon Barry MVP.

Here are the top competitors in the Jon Barry MVP race, with this week’s score and season-long score:

  • Matt Bonner, 1.0, 10.5
  • Jarrett Jack, 0.9, 0.9
  • Rasual Butler, 0.8, 1.6
  • Delonte West, 0.7, 2.9
  • Steve Blake, 0.6, 0.6
  • James Posey, 0, 7.6
  • Udonis Haslem, 0, 4.0

With only a week or so left to play, it’s safe to say that Matt Bonner will win the Jon Barry MVP trophy.  Congratulations to Matt, who will also star in an upcoming film with Jon Barry, who’s actually just one of Ali G’s alter-egos.

Meanwhile, here are the standings in my lone fantasy basketball league:

  • League leader: 92 points
  • 2nd place: 75 points
  • My team: 71.5 points
  • 4th place 68.5 points

Thus it’s also safe to project that the Hurricane and I will not win our league, after a moderately disastrous season.  2nd and 4th are both remote possibilities, but we likely finish 3rd.  Next year, when planning our draft, I plan to experiment by using Bonner, Posey, Haslem and West as examples of replacement players.





The Hurricane and I

28 03 2009

There’s a story about the original Star Trek TV series that early on, the creators wanted to have Captain Kirk have fierce arguments with himself (a la Stephen Colbert?), with one version of Kirk driven by logic and the other by emotion.  Instead, they created Mr. Spock and Dr. McCoy to have those arguments, with Kirk serving as arbiter.  As fantasy co-managers, Hurricane Kawasaki and I play similar roles, with him as Bones and me as the Vulcan. Read the rest of this entry »





Draft Day Secrets Revealed–The Model

25 03 2009

For years I’ve alluded to a mysterious fantasy sports model in conversations with my friends.  Today I reveal how I build it.  I’ve found the model to work very well for fantasy basketball and hockey, decently for baseball–although I don’t use it for pitching because of the Kawasaki Konjecture–and terrible for football.

Read the rest of this entry »





Jon Barry All-Stars, Mar. 23

23 03 2009

Each week I look at the top players available in my fantasy basketball league to determine the Jon Barry All-stars, named after waiver wire favorite Jon Barry. At year’s end, the player earning the most Jon Barry points will be named Jon Barry MVP.

This was the first week I looked at the Jon Barry All-Stars and said “whoa, that guy’s available?  I should pick him up.”  Chris Duhon’s been struggling lately, but on the season he’s been pretty solid.  Might add him, might now.  Here’s the list (full season score):

  • Matt Bonner (8.5)
  • Chris Duhon (0.9)
  • Delonte West (1.6)
  • James Posey (7.6)
  • Joel Przybilla (0.6)