"How do you ?" Series Issue #1 - Dealing With Competing Hypotheses In Fantasy Football Analysis.

 Analysis of Competing Hypotheses 

In Fantasy Football Analysis. 



I am trying to understand psychology of analysis.  I present for you a source to read.


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Psychology of Intelligence Analysis by Richards J. Heuer, Jr. 1999. 

This book is available for free just search for it.  This is from Chapter 8.   

It is a very direct step/step approach for looking at competing hypothesis. 

I am in this post going to use this and rewrite for fantasy football players.

Step-by-Step Outline of Analysis of Competing Hypotheses

1. Identify the possible hypotheses to be considered. Use a group of analysts with different perspectives to brainstorm the possibilities.

2. Make a list of significant evidence and arguments for and against each hypothesis.

3. Prepare a matrix with hypotheses across the top and evidence down the side. Analyze the "diagnosticity" of the evidence and arguments--that is, identify which items are most helpful in judging the relative likelihood of the hypotheses.

4. Refine the matrix. Reconsider the hypotheses and delete evidence and arguments that have no diagnostic value.

5. Draw tentative conclusions about the relative likelihood of each hypothesis. Proceed by trying to disprove the hypotheses rather than prove them.

6. Analyze how sensitive your conclusion is to a few critical items of evidence. Consider the consequences for your analysis if that evidence were wrong, misleading, or subject to a different interpretation.

7. Report conclusions. Discuss the relative likelihood of all the hypotheses, not just the most likely one.

8. Identify milestones for future observation that may indicate events are taking a different course than expected.

Psychology of Intelligence Analysis by Richards J. Heuer, Jr.  1999

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Step by Step for Analysis of Fantasy Football Drafting - Hypothesis driven.


Step 1. Identify all the different hypothesis to be considered for a key player. Use ADPs and my analysis to look at the possibilities.  

Step 1A). 


So who are your Key Players that need this process? I think they are good players in "bad situations", good players in competition situations, players that are good but seem to injured alot, etc. 

You I assume are a serious player if you are reading this. So you need to develop a slate of players in these or other situations. 

Step 1B).


Write down the alternative hypothesis for each player. A minimum of 2 possibilities always exists. SUX or Not SUX. So how many possibilities exist.

IE. in the Dallas RB backfield we have
Joseph Randle
Darren McFadden
Ryan Williams
Lance Dunbar

So what are some hypothesis?


1) Randle wins the battle and has a breakout season

2) DMC is never injured and earned a major role at the 1 and 2 down player. Randle into the 3 down back.

3) Randle or DMC is injured and Ryan Williams steps-up and get more touches but not enough to displace either.

4) Randle or DMC is injured and Lance Dunbar steps-up and get more touches but not enough to displace either.

5) and 6) are hypothesis 3 and 4 situations but the step-up players either Williams or Dunbar breaks out and takes over.

7) Both Randle and DMC get hurt and both Ryan and Lance step-up and take over. 

STEP2. Make a list of significant evidence and arguments for and against each hypothesis.

So make a list 1 to 7 and have 2 columns. For and Against.

Randle in Situation Number 1.

FOR: 
He is 3rd year guy and should be at a peak for production
He has never have a situation where he has the least amount of competition. 
He is a better injury risk than DMC
He has produced under game conditions with Dallas - has more experience than DMC in Dallas

AGAINST.
In his all games he has never really have a break-out season. He has had opportunity.
He is untested at a heavy workload.
His mental toughness is to be determined as it appears for the first time that this is his position to lose.

STEP 3 Setup a Matrix with the  FOR and AGAINST.  Determine which items are the most valuable to the Hypothesis. I would rank the items by high to low with a score. 

FOR: 
He is 3rd year guy and should be at a peak for production   90%
He has never have a situation where he has the least amount of competition.  70%
He is a better injury risk than DMC  90%
He has produced under game conditions with Dallas - has more experience than DMC in Dallas 80%

AGAINST.
In his all games he has never really have a break-out season. He has had opportunity. 90%
He is untested at a heavy workload. 70%
His mental toughness is to be determined as it appears for the first time that this is his position to lose. 70%

STEP 4. Redefine the items with a score of 80% or more. Release the lesser items for now.

FOR: 
He is 3rd year guy and should be at a peak for production   90%
He has never have a situation where he has the least amount of competition.  70%
He is a not a large injury risk relative to DMC  90%
He has produced under game conditions with Dallas - has more experience than DMC in Dallas 80%

AGAINST.
In his all games he has never really have a break-out season. He has had opportunity. 90%
He is untested at a heavy workload. 70%
His mental toughness is to be determined as it appears for the first time that this is his position to lose. 70%.


STEP 5. Draw tentative conclusions about the relative likelihood of each hypothesis. Proceed by trying to disprove the hypotheses rather than prove them.

Likely-hood for me implies odds or probabilities.  So it looks like in hypothesis 1 that we have a natural 3 to 1 ratio of For to Against. 75% for the FOR and 25% against. I think that is where I have ended up here.

STEP 6. Analyze how sensitive your conclusion is to a few critical items of evidence. Consider the consequences for your analysis if that evidence were wrong, misleading, or subject to a different interpretation.

I believe all evidence is back looking. That why this game is hard. If we are wrong then we can expect DMC to step up and be the show until injured. 

7. Report conclusions. Discuss the relative likelihood of all the hypotheses, not just the most likely one.

Let us assign probabilities 

H1) Randle wins the battle and has a breakout season

H2) DMC is never injured and earned a major role at the 1 and 2 down player. Randle into the 3 down back.

H3) Randle or DMC is injured and Ryan Williams steps up and get more touches but not enough to displace either.

H4) Randle or DMC is injured and Lance Dunbar steps-up and get more touches but not enough to displace either.

H5) and H6) are hypothesis 3 and 4 situations but the step-up players either Williams or Dunbar breaks out and takes over.

H7) Both Randle and DMC get hurt and Ryan and Lance step-up and take over. 

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First H1 vs H2 is  75% to 25%. 

Now what is the public saying? What are the Insider Pros saying?

 See my Data blog on DAL in the NFC EAST Blog

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Pros say Randle is at +15  and DMC is at +5.5  they say 75% to 25% ish wow? Yes Wow!

Joes Say Randle 19 vs DMC at 46  2 to 1 for DMC.. 66% DMC vs 33% Randle

So two big differences. This is a situation to watch needless to say.

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I would assign a 10% probability to the rest of the Hypothesis .

H1                     67.5%
H2                     22.5%
H3 to H7 at       10%

Finally


STEP 8. Identify milestones for future observation that may indicate events are taking a different course than expected.

So in FF if events point to DMC being heavily involved then you will modify your approach and redo all the steps to take the new information into account. This is the called feedback looping. 
Part of this time in the season is we are all looking for that information needed for feedback looping to kick in. 

What have we missed? A new Player added? An injury? Using different schemes in the offense? 



Complete. Hopefully this article is seen and cited as it should be!







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