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Standard Deviation in Rankings

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Standard Deviation in Rankings

Postby shortsavage » Wed Dec 29, 2004 8:21 am

It may be a little too late/early (odd hours either way) to give a topic like this thought, but I feel like it anyways, hehe.

I believe that "scarcity" is a poor word to use in fantasy baseball because it is too broad. It can also shift quickly, however it still tends to cling with a position, in most minds, a little longer than logic says it should. For example, shortstop has a lot more parity now that Alex Rodriguez is no longer eligible to play there in most fantasy leagues, yet people may still think that top shortstops are scarce. They are not. The top tier of shortstops is a lot more level now.

Thus, I would like to propose, or at least play around with, the idea of using standard deviation (specifically with dollar rankings) when determining the significance of making an effort to invest more stock in players of a certain position merely because they are a rarity.

Perhaps standard deviation can at least be used to determine if a position will have more equality than most.

Do you think that standard deviation is a useful assessment tool? How do you think it could best be applied?
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Postby LBJackal » Wed Dec 29, 2004 8:37 am

Sounds like a good idea.. although SS is still pretty shallow. I mean there's the usual suspects minus A-Rod, but what else? Michael Young was added.. but 3B got a LOT stonger over the past couple years - A-Ros, Mora, Huff, Beltre, the list goes on, and so did 1B with Pujols and Hafner. OF is about the same. SS is just as weak, so is 2B. The MI spots are still weak. But as with anything, a formula for it would be best so popular opinion doens't reign. With 3 OF's being required in a lot of leagues, and only one 1B and 3B, who knows what position is really deepest? 1B/3B because you can get a good OF any time, or OF because your last OF wll probably stink sompared to your CI's? Formulas help. It also depends on how other people draft. There are so many variables... personally I'd take a 1B over a 3B if position was the only difference. Everybody else does the opposite and they're arguably the same depth. Why not treat 1B's as more valuable then?

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Postby trevisc » Wed Dec 29, 2004 9:18 am

Standard Deviation is fine for the first few rounds but after that I think you need to look at the best value for your money. Catcher is the weakest position and a guy like Kendall could really serve you well there if you have power in other positions like 3b/1B to counter balance him. If I have a choice to draft a Derek Jeter for $35 or wait for a Kaz Matsui/Furcal later for $24 then i'm gonna pass on him regardless of him being the #2 or #3 best SS. I'd rather use the extra $11 to invest in another position that will help me more. Good topic of discussion though.
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Postby Cornbread Maxwell » Wed Dec 29, 2004 10:17 am

Now, its a bit early, so talking about stan. dev. is a bit foggy, but doesnt it represent the variance from the mean of a normal bell curve? If so, that isnt going to help certain positions like SS where a mean number really doesnt do the group justice as much as a pier system. When you have 4-5 top end guys and a significant drop after them, stan. dev. wont be very useful.
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Postby Amazinz » Wed Dec 29, 2004 1:01 pm

If you're looking at the standard deviations of roto statistics among all SSs you should be seeing what we all know instinctively: good SSs are rare. If you're not seeing this then you're doing something wrong. :-)
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Postby DominicanLou » Wed Dec 29, 2004 1:06 pm

I have my own formula for predictions, and then I use standard deviation in each category for each player. I then average these out to get an overall rank. It works very well.
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Postby Secret Avatar » Wed Dec 29, 2004 2:39 pm

I'm not sure what you mean by using standard deviation in the rankings. What I understand you to mean is to figure out how good a player is relative to other plays at that position, and the compare that margin to the relative margins of players at other positions. Put another way, if the top SS outperforms the average of shortstops by a margin greater than the margin by which the top OF outperforms other outfielders, then that SS should be ranked higher than that OF, even if the SS's numbers aren't otherwise as high as the OF.

I'm not sure it's that simple, though, because fantasy scoring points (at least in my league) are not based on margins, they are based on total numbers.

In the end, though, the projections of future performance are themselves so "soft" that I'm not sure it makes a lot of sense to use them as part of yet another mathematical analysis.
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Postby Mark Davis » Wed Dec 29, 2004 3:08 pm

To me, the greatest dropoff this season appears to be at 2B. At least following the likes of Tejada, Nomar, etc there are options at SS. At 2B there are only a few solid producers like Soriano, Giles, Kent. Then you step down in my opinion to guys who can produce like Loretta or Boone but aren't as reliable. After that, garbage.
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Postby RugbyD » Wed Dec 29, 2004 3:10 pm

SA,

The std dev method is most relevant to roto leagues and you are correct in your VORP assumption. Projection of any kind may be 'soft', but how else would you rank players?
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Postby Amazinz » Wed Dec 29, 2004 4:09 pm

Secret Avatar wrote:I'm not sure it's that simple, though, because fantasy scoring points (at least in my league) are not based on margins, they are based on total numbers.

It is based on margins because of the position restrictions. Consider this example: (Note: This doesn't take into account category scarcity which is another factor.)

For sake of argument let's say we're in a 2-team league where we each start two players (1-SS, 1-OF) and we only use one category (HR).

The two best OFers:
A HR 40
B HR 25

The two best SS:
A HR 30
B HR 10

If you draft first, without looking at margins, it might seem best to select OF-A at which point you'd lose the league. I draft second and selects OF-B and SS-A for a total of 55 HRs and you end up with 50.

I know this is a contrived example but it shows how margins are more important than total numbers.
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