" How do you ?" Series - Issue #4 Avoiding anchor bias in fantasy football (or at least recognize its is there)

Avoiding anchor bias in fantasy football (or at least recognize its is there)
The definition is found at this link: 

From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anchoring  

Quoting " Anchoring or focalism is a cognitive bias that describes the common human tendency to rely too heavily on the first piece of information offered (the "anchor") when making decisions. 

"During decision making, anchoring occurs when individuals use an initial piece of information to make subsequent judgments."

"Once an anchor is set, other judgments are made by adjusting away from that anchor, and there is a bias toward interpreting other information around the anchor."

"For example, the initial price offered for a used car sets the standard for the rest of the negotiations, so that prices lower than the initial price seem more reasonable even if they are still higher than what the car is really worth." end Quote


Studies have shown it is difficult to avoid 'anchoring". What are our FF anchors? Here is a short list: Public ADP, Expert ADP Rankings and Verbal Support of Player in the media.  

Point 1A. The data we have presented tries to release your anchor by replacing it with our anchor.  (haha) However our anchor is based on the I vs O worlds not mentioning the round or ranking per se. 

Point 1B. We are looking for overlays in player evaluations. We are trying to broaden the anchor position. Studies show that is an approach to modulate the anchor effect. Example his ADP is TE 5. So your "anchor" is kicking in after the 4th TE has been selected. You are now aware that the TE 5 is the next one on the ADP list or Experts list cheat sheets etc.  You may "feel" compelled to draft this TE ASAP and miss other opportunities. 

Point 1C. We try to soften the anchor with comments like "they are a overlay sleeper TE" and a "good late round pick". Those are still anchors but it is less specific. Look back at our Divisions discussions at the team level. H Miller is the top overlay in TE and a good late round pickup. We envision that a softer anchor will give you the flexibility vs a hard anchoring at the TE 5 position. 

Point 1D. So now review our green stained overlays and team analysis (previous posts) to use our data to "soften" the anchor you have on any players. 

Point 2. Test you anchors on players? Make an alphabetical list of say 30 RBs and write your feelings and rounds about them. Next day rate them what you think the public's ADPs etc is. Check that list. Finally come back the next day and write your feelings again. If your list has been greatly effected by the 2nd days ADPs you have been anchored! 

From the article above, 2 factors effecting anchoring are :

A) " Personality"
"Persons high in agreeableness and conscientiousness are more likely to be affected by anchoring, while those high in extroversion are less likely to be affected. Another study found that those high in openness to new experiences were more susceptible to the anchoring effect."
B)  "Mood"
 "Sad people are more likely to use anchoring than people with happy or neutral moods."

Point 3. Do a personality check are you highly open to new things? Is your personality high in Introversion? Sad or depressed before drafting. You may have an anchor problem. So don't draft after going to a sad movie or funeral etc. If your are not a high extrovert or you very open to new things. Know your risks of letting anchoring occur in your FF life

Point 4.  Predictions such as he is a TE 5 is just a prediction. Avoid memorizing the numerical data over developing general feelings about players. Our softening approach. Develop a "bubble approach" Draw big bubbles on paper and place names in non numerical order. Labeling instead of the top 3 players etc. Soften the labels. Good Players, Not So Good, Good Sleepers, OK Sleepers. Replace Hard anchoring Numbers like No 1 with these softer labels.  Avoid  statements such as "AP is the Number 1 vs Lacy is Number 2". Instead these are several good players. List in alphabetical order.


Below is Table 1 where I have updated our rookies early thoughts and placed into a soft anchor focused presentation. It connects by overlaps and alphabetic order of the names. By removing number we broaden our prospective into loose groupings. Note the flatten out of the back-end of the names as we get less sure of real value. We think Cooper/Gurley/White/Gordon are in the early mix but have made a decision that White and Gordon could be in the second grouping. etc. 
Live with Soften Anchoring. The End

Table 1 Soft Anchor Focus on Rookies

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