revolutionary tools.  groundbreaking articles.  proven results.

Running Back Custom Similarity Scores

8330363142_5fc58cb0c9_c

Forecasting running back results is an incredibly difficult business.  They’re extremely usage dependent, which means that they are subject to the changes in game plan that a team might have either on the season level or at the individual game level.  Running backs take a beating, which means that they’re sensitive to injuries.  To make matters even more difficult, the NFL is moving steadily towards become a timeshare running back league.  All of this is to say that the the usual difficulties that we might have predicting the future become even more pronounced when trying to project running back results.

Nevertheless, we can still use similarity scores in order to project running back results.  Similarity scores will do generally a good job of capturing the way that variables might interact.  A variable like total carries could have a different impact on a running back depending on that back’s age or size.  Similarity scores recognize the difficulty of forecasting with a bunch of variables that might not be linear and might interact with each other, making the the simple assumption that if you look at a similar group, the results will be similar.  If you take the time to backtest this assumption, you’ll find that similarity scores do improve on the predictive ability of a simple linear regression.

The app below makes it possible to create custom similarity scores for individual running backs.  Maybe you want to forecast C.J. Spiller by throwing out the games in which he didn’t accumulate 10 carries, or maybe you want to look at Vick Ballard after he became the lead back in week 7.  You can do either of these things and a lot more by just checking or unchecking boxes to include those games in the calculation.

I’ve also changed up the plot a little bit and made it more intuitive I think.  If you click on the plot tab, it now shows each player/season for the comparables and the % improvement or decline in their fantasy numbers.

One sort of pre-emptive note is that similarity scores are going to have a very difficult time addressing extreme outliers.  I’m primarily talking about Adrian Peterson’s season.  It’s an outlier on a number of levels.  Similarity scores use the past to forecast the future, so when a reasonable approximation can’t be found in the past, it’s going to go to the next closest thing, which might not be that close.  I do think it’s reasonable to expect some dropoff from AP next year, but I’m not sure that the similarity scores properly account for what we might expect from him next year.

If you play around with the app a little bit, you’ll probably notice that there is a certain type of back that ends up looking good in this exercise and that is the young pass catching back.  Go nuts with the app and have some fun.

recent and related...

in case you missed it...

Bracket Busting: For All The Marbles

High-stakes writers Monty Phan and John Lapinski chronicle their entry in the FFPC Super Bracket contest. The Super Bracket regular season runs for just 11 weeks, and the league is far from decided. After a solid win last week, we’re right back in the thick of it. Here are the

Read More

Week 11 Yahoo! DFS Picks

Identifying my Week 11 NFL DFS picks was easier than it’s ever been thanks to the continued work of our apps development team. The NFL Stat Explorer, the DFS Lineup Optimizer, and our world-famous Game Splits App are three windows I never close on my screen. Let’s build a plan

Read More

Week 11 Primetime Slate DFS Breakdown

Who are the best plays for the Week 11 DFS primetime slate on DraftKings and FanDuel? Tyler Loechner runs through notes on the primetime short slate featuring SNF/MNF games.1 DSF Week 11 Primetime Slate DFS Week 11 Primetime Slate theory thoughts: The two games on this slate are dramatically different

Read More

High Staked: Hello Darkness, My Old Friend

Veteran high stakes fantasy football player Monty Phan chronicles his season. Welcome to Week 11 in FFPC high stakes, where, once again, we’re reminded that there’s a big difference between what we think should happen and what actually occurs. For a lot of teams, it’s – mercifully – the final

Read More

Week 12 Waiver Wire Advice: Top Targets At Each Position

Looking for Week 12 waiver wire advice for fantasy football? You’ve come to the right place. We’ll give you some of the top targets at each position so that when you submit a waiver claim, you do it with confidence. This article will run through the top players available in

Read More
Connect
Support

rotovizmain@gmail.com

Sign-up today for our free Premium Email subscription!

© 2019 RotoViz. All rights Reserved.