This summer, I was in Chicago visiting family and talking with my nephew about fantasy football. The whole Chicagoland family is really into fantasy football; I’m not. I watch NFL games on TiVo, skipping commercials and past any game that looks like it’s non-competitive.
As I talked with my nephew about how he picks players from his team roster to put into the upcoming game, I realized there was an application for Statistical PERT even with fantasy football!
Essentially, my nephew explained that he has several players from which to choose to put into a game for one game position, like, who will be his team quarterback. He has two or more to choose from on his team. He faces the same choices with other player-positions, too.
The question is, which player on his fantasy team will perform best, given each player’s health, and the real-game opponents each player faces?
This uncertainty can be modeled using a regret table in statistics. Using a regret table helps you make a reasonable, probabilistic choice that will give you the least regret among all the choices you have.
With this special adaption of Statistical PERT, I’ve added a regret table to the example workbook. The regret table is conditionally formatted so it highlights which player will give you the best point performance at a variety of probabilistic points. The player who will give you the least regret across many possible outcomes is the player you would put into the game. That player will give you the least regret, statistically speaking.
So, you enter each player for a given position, model what you think each player is capable of for the upcoming weekend games, and let the SPERT worksheet show you which player will give you the least regret across many uncertain possibilities.
Notably, in testing this special Fantasy Football version, I didn’t find that using the subjective opinion about the mode changes anything; irrespective of how you subjectively feel about the most likely outcome, the spreadsheet will continue to choose the same player (or players, if there’s a tie) as the player/s that will give you the least regret.
We have a new tagline for anyone using this special version to help you pick your fantasy football players for next week’s game: “Lose With Less Regret.” 🙂