Analytics In Fantasy Football

Does the first week performance of your quarterback predict the performance for the rest of the season? This is a question posed and answered by Nando Di Fino in a column in The Wall Street Journal. I do not own a Fantasy Football league but I am excited to see analytics and econometrics being applied to player picks and trades. This is a very well written article and has some data analysis behind it. But I question the broad implications made by the article.

  1. Are the metrics used by CBSSports the right one to measure player   calibre and predict their performance?
  2. Is there omitted variable bias here? Could there be another  underlying factor that defines the overall season performance?
  3. I know Nando did not mean  causation but i think the   statement “Will a poor performance by a starting wide receiver
    foreshadow a season-long letdown? ” could be interpreted as such. If the  first week performance is indeed predictive of overall performance,  then the respective R-square values are very low (square of correlation coefficients) to fully explain the full season  performance.

This reminds me of a quote attributed Einstein, “Everything countable does not count and everything that counts is not countable”.

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