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Yahoo's Player Rankings

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Postby josebach » Wed Jun 30, 2004 3:21 pm

CBMGreatOne wrote:Man, I wish I was an ESPNinsider so I could look at those. (Toss me your ID and password perhaps, lol) I don't do any ESPN leagues, but I'd love to look at their rankings.

In any case, just to clear something up... Yahoo RANKS are not a matter of anyone's opinion, they are derived from a mathematical formula. The intention of this formula is to determine PRECISELY how valuable one player's stats are relative to the rest of the league, whether in a given time frame (last week, last month) or overall (season). No opinions, no projections, just what the player has done so far.

As a corollary, I will concede that the formula used to derive these rankings is undoubtedly flawed, as a. it only accounts for 5x5 roto, and b. it fails to account for several factors that can severely impact the relative value of certain categories.

Most notably I believe that it weighs certain categories too heavily, and, almost paradoxically, FAILS to weigh the numbers in ratio categories over the duration of accrued statistics in that category. For example, Gagne was ranked in the top 4 at the end of last season. Now, unless you drafted a pitching staff last year which had an ERA UNDER 3, and WHIP UNDER 1.10, I tend to strongly disagree with this ranking. A player like Jason Schmidt and his tremendous contribution to your ERA and WHIP, as well as win and K totals, should definitely be more valuable to your team than Gagne was last year, but because Gagne had such amazing ratios, he had the higher rank. Like I said, unless your pitching staff was so magnificent as to barely be helped by Schmidt, then his impact on your ERA and WHIP would have been MUCH greater, thanks to sheer volume of innings pitched.

Another reason why Gagne was ranked so highly is because he got a LOT of saves. In a league where there are 20+ teams, this rank may have been justified, simply because saves are SO hard to come by in such leagues, but in a 12 team 5x5 league (the standard Yahoo public league) they aren't NEARLy as rare.

Yahoo's O-RANK seems to be an opinion based derivative of a player's performance over the course of his career, although there may be a concrete mathematical formula which applies here as well.

In any case, an O-Rank is an attempt by yahoo to come to some kind of figure which determines a player's absolute value. In many many cases, they fall well short of grace with this system.

Two notable players who's O-Ranks were far too low preseason were Hank Blalock and Marcus Giles. Consequently I got them in most of my leagues. ESPN had them both ranked top 50 or so, but yahoo had them O-Ranked not even within a sniff of top 100, as I recall.

A knowledgeable player will draft these kinds of players in rounds 4-7, but according to yahoo default rankings, they wouldn't have been taken (preseason) until round 10 or later.

In any case, I hope SOME of that made sense.

Very good post.

Yahoo had Guerrero's o-rank ranked twenty-something at the beginning of the season. I was really hoping he'd fall to me in the second round, but he was gone after 4 picks. Everybody in our league knew Yahoo's preseason rankings were way off.
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Postby Madison » Wed Jun 30, 2004 10:40 pm

josebach wrote:
Madison wrote:Ok, I've had time to mull this over a bit. Josebach, surely you have come across an owner who highly overvalues Yahoo's rankings, right? That's the owners I was targeting when I made the comment. Anyone who takes the time to frequent a message board to improve their team, and learn to be a better fantasy player certainly does not qualify in the statement I made. The only real use I see for Yahoo's attempt at a ranking system is to use the rankings against those "uninformed" (sorry to use that word again, but it's nicer than saying "stupid") owners who overvalue the *cough* rankings *cough*.


Sorry for the misunderstanding. I took your comments as an insult to me and anybody else that looks at Yahoo stats and I shouldn't have. I look at Yahoo's Stats (as well as ESPN,, this cafe etc) and consider myself a very good player. (I could list my past success stories, but I could be lying so why bother. :-) ) I guess my point is, past statistics and gut instinct are always important in deciding where to rate someone... but so are current stats. (I think we can all agree Shawn Green isn't a better OF option than Miguel Cabrerra even though Green was ranked higher pre-season). Where I agree with you that Yahoo's rankings were very poor pre-season, I've found nowhere better (using a traditional 5x5 scoring system) in determining a player's value thus far. Not only that, but every site shows players statistics as being the same (Blalock has 20 homeruns everywhere, not just Yahoo). It's just a matter of convenience having a private Yahoo league with the stats being just a click away.

The main reason I responded was because I just didn't want anybody that chooses Yahoo stats as one source of information to feel stupid or inferior, because they aren't.................... necessarily ;-). Normally, I let posts that bother me slide right off my back, but I had a really bad day yesterday. Sorry for being so uppity.

Cool. ;-D No problems here. :-)

I thought Vlad's O-Rank was 37 going into the year :-? . I could be wrong, but I'm almost positive it was either 37 or 38. :-? Either way, even if it was 20-something, it was way, way too low. ;-)
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