July 27, 2011

ROS? More Like SOS.

I've been filling in for my colleague Tristan H. Cockcroft this week on some of his baseball columns as he takes a well-earned week off to rest up for the upcoming -- and indeed we now know it IS upcoming -- NFL season. 

Part of the purpose of these columns (like this one) is to provide a list in which we predict a ranked order of players based on "their expected performance from this point forward, not for statistics that have already been accrued."

Everything's up in the air...
There's an inherent problem with stepping in for someone else in this task. For one, I had no part in shaping last week's list, and as such, I may or may not agree with it as a starting point. So when, in the article, I write about how I think Player X is due for a decline, it may not appear consistent with the fact that I end up raising this same Player X in the rankings by a few spots. 

But, in fact, the two can be completely consistent... if you consider that last week I may have simply had Player X ranked much higher than I did this week, yet even after docking him several spots in my rankings, I may still have him higher than where Tristan did last week. 

That's a difficult concept to express, and I'm not even sure I completely accomplished the goal of doing so here, so I get why people may call out the rankings as not being logically consistent with some of my points... and yet, I assure you, they are.

Wait? What?
But here's the even more confusing thing about these rest-of-season (ROS) predictions... Let's say that last week you agreed with the list that Player Y should be ranked 50th for the ROS. Now this week, after he hits .750 with five homers and 11 RBIs, where do you think he should be ranked?

Counter-intuitively, if we were indeed right last week, and Player Y had a great week, then in the new ROS ranks, he should actually drop in the rankings, shouldn't he? Otherwise, we were wrong last week and had him ranked too low. (So if you didn't complain then, you shouldn't have an issue with a lower rank now. And yet...) 

Regardless of the mathematical truth of the situation, however, once you make a list, people are going to disagree with it. That's the nature of the beast and part of what makes fantasy sports so much fun to play. 

So feel free to offer up your own opinions of who is going to be better than who, and where you think we've gone off the deep end. All I ask is that you try and make sure you're complaining for the right reasons.

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