November 18, 2012

I don't know if daily fantasy football is beatable

Last week I played about 10 lineups on DraftDay. The 'best' was projected to score 142, the second best, 139.

In reality, the first scored 175, and would have won every contest I entered. The second scored 110, and would have lost every contest I entered. A three point projected difference turned into a sixty-five point spread.

This is the best singular example of something I have been concerned about since the beginning of the season: the variance in the NFL.

The projections I use on this site come from Fantasy Football Nerd, which aggregates projections from 27 sites, and weights them based on historical accuracy - consistently poor projections fall out of the equation, and more accurate projections are given more weight. If there is a better way to project fantasy performance, I can't think of it.

But, you can't project that four quarterbacks will only play one half due to injury. You can't project that Reggie Bush will fumble in the first quarter and sit on the bench for the rest of the game. You can't predict that Doug Martin will go off for 51 points.

I know that my lineups are the best possible combinations of the projections I'm using, and I strongly believe that the projections are the best projections available. I'm just no longer convinced that the best available projections have any real value.

An argument could be made that your projections don't need to be accurate, they just need to be more accurate than the other guy's. That may be true. I don't doubt that, in the long run, the information on this site gives an edge over the casual gambler. I just don't think that 17 weeks gets you anywhere close to the long run.

This site was created for serious gamblers, and if you're the type of player willing to spend $39 to get an edge, this probably won't disuade you from doing so. But, it feels disingenuous to take your money without sharing my experiences, and I have offered refunds to any of my customers who would like to no longer use the site.

I find this game fascinating and will keep looking for ways to consistently beat it. I will, of course, keep updating the NFL lineups through the end of the season and I'm also looking at ways to add Daily Fantasy Basketball projections to the site, as I feel it mitigates a lot of the risk inherent in the NFL.

Please reach out if you have any questions or suggestions... and should you decide to play, good luck this weekend.


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