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I have a question that requires, I think, actual training in statistics and probabilities. (My background consists entirely of reading articles about baseball that use sabermetrics, so...)

I play in a standard 5x5 head-to-head fantasy league, and a proposal has been made to extend our playoff rounds from one week each to two. It's argued that this will substantially reduce the role that chance plays in the outcome of the playoffs - that is, it's assumed that the better team will be more likely to win ('100% better!', one of the other managers has ludicrously claimed') - but I question whether this is actually true. (I ran comparisons of HR and AVG totals - first on a week by week basis and then pairing adjacent week, so as to test the accuracy of the proposal versus what we used previously - against the mean, and the one week totals for HR showed a standard deviation that was 48% of the mean, while the two week SD was 42%; likewise, AVG improved from 12.5% to 9.8%. Pretty tiny improvements in each case, I think. But this assumes that my methodology is sound. Can anyone tell me?)

I'm sure that it will make the results slightly more reflective of each team's true talent levels, but it seems to me that a two week sample is hardly more accurate than one week. (I know, from Jonah Keri's book, that samples of either size for individual players are terrible indicators of a player's talent level. Can an entire team of terrible samples be much better?)

So the question, again - and hopefully someone can help me answer it - is what sort of effect on statistical accuracy and reliability does the switch from one to two weeks make? And is it actually a significant improvement - one that's worth creating a playoff format that will eliminate more than half the league from contention with a month to play in the actual MLB season?
thewatchmaker
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There is a chance that two weeks will provide a better sampling, but the MLB World Series is 7 games which is a one week sampling. That would be a strong argument for one week. Like you said with two weeks, it cuts out alot of owners by ending the regular season early. I would go with one week.
bigmck
Major League Manager

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If its 12t league this is the way to go

2 div 6teams each
balanced schedule --play teams in your div 3times each other div once --that establishes clear tiebreakers for playoffs and prevents some teams playing easy teams more often at while other gets stuck playing good teams

first playoff rd one week reg season div champs get bye
2nd rd two weeks winner of first rd versus div champ
3rd rd two weeks winners of second rd play for 1st and 2nd losers play for 3rd and 4th

following year all playoff teams from previous year make up "winners" div while non playoff teams form "losers" div
guarantees 3 new playoff teams every year keeps interest up

You must remember that there is some element of luck in h2h --not as much as people think
Every year I take our results from h2h league and turn them into roto results and there is little to no difference.

We have done it this way for four years --a regular season div winner has won playoffs twice a 3rd place owner has one twice.
We reward our regular season div winners well --they get \$250 each and are guaranteed another \$150 or \$100 for finishing 3rd or 4th since they get 1st rd bye. Obviously if they make finals more yet.
Pochucker
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Pochucker == What stat site do you use where it lets you have part of the playoffs one week and part of them two weeks?
bigmck
Major League Manager

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There in lies the problem! We play on cbs which we love but It cant seem to handle two week playoffs after one week playoff. I end up compiling the stats for the two weeks --which isnt hard. Problem I dont have time to do it every day of the second week .
I have sent cbs emails but did not get reasonable explanation why it couldnt be done.
Pochucker
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