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FBG Forecasting Question (1 Viewer)

norgay

Footballguy
One of my favorite columns is Dodds' "From the Gut". I also love it when other staffers take a stand with their opinions in various columns. But then I don't understand why those opinions don't make their way into rankings/forecasts.

Without giving away information to non-subscribers on the board, I just read all 4 Dodd's From the Gut articles (loved them, as always) and there are many places where his opinions don't match his official forecasts/rankings. Forecasts/rankings are just educated guesses anyway -- what use are those projections if they don't reflect his true opinions?

 

Adam Harstad

Moderator
One of my favorite columns is Dodds' "From the Gut". I also love it when other staffers take a stand with their opinions in various columns. But then I don't understand why those opinions don't make their way into rankings/forecasts.

Without giving away information to non-subscribers on the board, I just read all 4 Dodd's From the Gut articles (loved them, as always) and there are many places where his opinions don't match his official forecasts/rankings. Forecasts/rankings are just educated guesses anyway -- what use are those projections if they don't reflect his true opinions?
Part of it may just be the difference between expectations and expected value. Expectations is the single outcome you think is most likely, while expected value is the average of all possible outcomes weighted by their likelihood.

Allow me to give you an example: let's say that I think that Lance Moore is a rock-solid, no-brainer, 100% lead pipe lock to get 900 yards and 8 TDs. Let's say that I think there's an 80% chance that Kenny Britt gets you 800 yards and 6 TDs, and a 20% chance that he just plays out of his mind and puts up 1500 yards and 16 scores. In this case, my expectation is that Lance Moore will outscore Kenny Britt- in fact, I'm 80% sure of it. At the same time, the expected value of Kenny Britt (80% * 116 fantasy points + 20% * 246 fantasy points = 142 expected points) is greater than of Lance Moore (100% * 138 fantasy points = 138 expected points).

Obviously this is an extreme and manufactured example, but the same basic idea is at play. "From the gut" deals with a single possible outcome, whereas a good projection should account for a whole range of possible outcomes. I might believe that Adrian Peterson is going to make a serious run at 2,000 yards this year, but no responsible set of projections would ever have Peterson with 2,000 yards. If you're projecting huge outliers, you're probably doing it wrong, even though outliers undoubtedly occur. I don't want to pretend I speak for Dodds, but I think that's why "from the gut" exists; it gives him a platform to say the things he's thinking but can't really express in his projections.

 

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