Do Stats Lie? - Minimizing Variance
Hopefully Drew Brees and Peyton Manning’s poor week 14 showings didn’t knock you out of the playoffs. It’s tough when two guys of such high output sputter in the end and all it takes is one bad week to end a playoff run. This is why a lot of managers are afraid to risk a lot in the weeks of the playoffs and tend to set more conservative lineups.
The playoffs are tough. The trade deadline likely passed a long time ago so the only way to acquire players is through adding and dropping. A savvy owner should have already built a big time roster to take on all opponents but as much skill as a manager may have, just as in real football, there is still a good amount of luck and variance involved in fantasy football.
Variance can’t be eliminated, but it can be managed and exploited. The best way to manage the volatility that is inherent in fantasy football is through collection and aggregation of information. Statistics can lie, but only if we let them. With enough information, the results will bear themselves out on a pretty consistent basis. Pro Football Focus’s Fantasy site has a wealth of information that is extremely under-utilized. This week, let’s go through some (we can’t cover them all because there are just too many) of the tools and pages that can lend some additional info to a manager’s research for the week, and also some tips on how to use those most effectively.