Throw Back from 8/2015 Article! "How do you" Series #7. Managing Ignorance in Fantasy Football

Saturday Night-Felt Bad not publishing an article so----

Many of you missed this last year and are "boycotting" my textbook this year so I throw this treat out! I hope it helps you crush your league- :) Dr John Bush



Managing Ignorance in Fantasy Football

There are known knowns. These are things we know that we know.There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things that we know we don't know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we don't know we don't know.  - Donald Rumsfel

Managing Organizational Ignorance Knowledge Directions , Volume 1, Summer, 1999, pp. 36-49.   Michael H. Zack. College of Business Administration Northeastern University.

Use these sources as a jumping off point


Point 1) Fantasy Football Players must move beyond operating as though they understand who they are, what they do, and what they know, to recognizing that there is always much more to learn. 

Point 2) The process of knowledge management allows players to get on the road to documenting and explicating what they currently know. Understanding the existence of the sources of risk and ignorance (SEE BELOW) 


Point 3) We must now move to our Ignorance management procedures. We must move to a stage further to managing what we don’t know.  Unknown Unknown and Known unknowns.


Dr. Zack published this chart to define four unique knowledge-processing problems 

1. Uncertainty: not having enough information;

2. Complexity: having to process more information than you can manage or understand;

3. Ambiguity: not having a conceptual framework for interpreting information;

4. Equivocality: having several competing or contradictory conceptual frameworks.



So as we discussed too much knowledge vs not enough.

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Issue 1 Uncertainty  is because we have too much info or elements.

As a fantasy football player we should move to restrict these situations. We must restructure these problems as to move toward simplifying them. 

Step 1) So map your uncertainty in your draft board. Where is the uncertainty? Do Uncertainty Mapping First!


Dr. Zach suggests  "In highly complex situations, where no one individual or group can hold all of the required knowledge, complexity must be reduced by breaking things into simpler parts. This notion is reflected in division of labor, market segmentation, and pre-manufactured subassemblies. This approach, however, requires integrating the decomposed elements, adding management and coordination overhead. So while knowledge offers a solution to complexity, decomposition merely accommodates it."

"Organizations facing complexity must have the capability to locate, develop and bring appropriate knowledge, expertise, and skills to bear on those issues. If not, they must restructure their problems, roles and routines to simplify those problems or render them more familiar. Because it increases the ability to manage greater complexity, superior knowledge can provide a competitive advantage. "


Step 2) How do we break down the complex into simple parts in fantasy football?  I think you at least must price this uncertainty into your draft broads. 

 A simple approach is to split the difference. In favorable conditions the player would be at 20th pick while under unfavorable conditions 30th pick. Average the risk to 25th pick then! or if you can estimate the risk beyond the 50/50 that I have given here.

If its 70 F/30UF then maybe the player should be priced at 22.5 or at 27.5 with a flipped 30F/70UF condition.

Step 3) If you have great worry using handcuffs is a way to limit the uncertainty.
They can be RBs, WRs or TEs handcuffs. 

Example D Adams GB WR handcuff for Cobb and Nelson. RB handcuff could be R BUSH for C Hyde RB and Fleener for Allen at IND TE position. 
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2. Complexity: having to process more information than you can manage or understand;


Where is the complexity in your draft board? Find it!

Dr. Zack states"  Knowledge stored as intricate but familiar procedures triggered by recognizable events provides groups and organizations the ability to perform complex processes. Bringing the appropriate level and variety of knowledge and expertise to bear on a situation helps an organization to manage its complexity."

So using previous successes/failures in fantasy football on dealing with complexity are a beginning to deal with complex decisions.  I have previously discussed keeping records of your drafts and waiver wire pickups and use the off season to look back at the complexity and uncertainty. Look deep into yourself.
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3.       Ambiguity: not having a conceptual framework for interpreting information;


Dr. Zack states " Ambiguity means the inability to interpret or to make sense of something. Regardless of the amount of information available about them, situations or events are often neither immediately clear nor understandable. Events are perceived as so new and unfamiliar that one cannot even make a vague guess about what is important or about what may happen.

If uncertainty represents not having answers, and complexity represents difficulty in finding them, then ambiguity represents not even being able to formulate the right questions. 

No framework for interpreting or applying potential answers is available; the ability to know what clarifying questions to ask is lacking.

This is the multiple hypothesis approach we discussed previously. Go read that post!

"Ambiguity is resolved either by acquiring or creating explanatory knowledge, by reinterpreting a situation to be more meaningful, or by having an interpretation externally imposed by others. Ambiguity cannot be resolved by gathering more information."

"It typically requires repetitive cycles of interpretation, explanation and collective agreement."

"Hypotheses are iteratively created and discussed until some plausible explanation emerges."

"Rich, interactive face-to-face conversation among a socially familiar and well-connected yet intellectually diverse set of individuals is the key organizational activity for reducing ambiguity."

"British Petroleum, for example, broke up its huge organization into 90 autonomous business units to encourage within unit interaction, and created peer groups among units around common problems to encourage cross-unit interaction. These interactions foster the growth of expertise and advice networks which can be called on when needed." 

So this is where we can use discussion on the web or with others. So we finally have a method to use the web in a positive way. 
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4.  Equivocality: having several competing or contradictory conceptual frameworks.


Dr. Zach stated " Equivocality refers to multiple interpretations of the same thing. Taken singly, each interpretation is unambiguous, but they differ from each other and may be mutually exclusive or in conflict. 

" Managing equivocality requires coordinating meaning among members of an organization, and is an essential part of organizing. Equivocality arises because everyone’s experiences are unique; individuals and communities develop their own sets of values and beliefs and tend to interpret events differently."

" Equivocality also may result from unreliable or conflicting information sources, noisy communication channels, differing or ambiguous goals and preferences, vague roles and responsibilities, or disparate political interests." 

"Like ambiguity, equivocality requires cycles of interpretation, interactive discussion and negotiation, but to converge on a definition of reality rather than create one. "

So in fantasy football analysis we must be going through cycles of data gathering or pruning , forming or discarding opinions follow by hypothesis testing. The goal is get to a point of singularity on the landscape. 

"If this sounds like a lot of work,  it is!" 

So what ya wants to be? The bug or the windshield!





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