The Contrarian – Words and Numbers

Dobber Sports

2014-01-26

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Don’t ignore other evidence when using statistics in fantasy evaluations.

 

Today I am going to detail my arguments against The Power of Numbers, an article written by Ryan Ma. After this, I promise to drop the matter.

Before I step into my arguments, there are some things from last week’s article that need clarification, as they weren’t intended to offend.

“Pulling wool over eyes” … is intended towards the great deal of emphasis that Ryan places on the covariance coefficient value and what he calls the most important three factors. Do you need a value to tell us that a player has more opportunity to score if he a) gets more power play time, b) they shoot more and c) they have more ice time? I underline the word opportunity because I want there to be a clear distinction that there is no guarantee for point production whereas I get the feeling from Ryan's article that due to normalization the points will eventually be generated. Not only do I think the covariance coefficient value is not needed I believe that it is skewed.

“Gambler's Fallacy”… it is not my idea. A link to the wiki page can be found here. We do not get to decide when, if at all, normalization will occur.

“Brain-dead logic”… I apply it to all of us, including myself, when we fall into the Gambler's Fallacy. I repeat that I am not immune.

“Graphs” … I appreciate that Ryan attempted to place Points on the same axis for all the graphs but due to excel issues was not able to do.

Now onto my case, for consistency I will be using the data found within Ryan's pdf file for forwards.

First, I call upon Alexander Ovechkin.

 

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Those are huge stats with 11476 seconds of power play time and over 200 shots, the best of all the forwards.

Do we recall what Ryan says? The strongest correlation co-efficient value is the one for PPTOI. The second strongest was shots on goal.

We are looking at the best player in both those categories. So where would you expect him to rank amongst all other forwards in terms of point production? First? Second? Go ahead and take a look at the pdf file.

He didn't even crack the top ten forwards! He is 19 points behind the leader, Sidney Crosby.

Ryan doesn't try to understand why Ovechkin didn't rank as the best player after all those games, he just holds onto normalization and says that he is a good buy candidate. Understanding what went wrong is not part of the equation.

With half a season gone, those huge correlation co-efficient values would not be making me feel very happy if I had drafted Ovechkin early in a draft this season.

Next, I call on his teammate