September 6, 2022, 4:47 pm
Writing up the big research project that is the B150 review, it’s always a bit of a retrospective on all things fantasy hoops, but this year I have to cut it down even more than I did last year as my repetitive stress injury hasn’t gotten any better, even if I as a whole have gotten much more healthy and in shape. No joke, I’ve lost about 75 pounds and I’m at my high school lockdown defender weight. And at the same time if I type more than a few characters or move my arm the wrong way I can have an infinite amount of regret for doing so.
If you don’t know what RSI is let me just break it to you that it’s a bitch. It’s essentially nerve damage from overuse and in this case typing (I know … shocker). There is a risk of permanent damage and unfortunately I might be the poster child for that category pushing through the symptoms the way I did through the years.
Before we start talking turkey here it wouldn’t be right if I didn’t say very loudly if you are feeling soreness in your hands or forearms, shoulders or neck, stop what you were doing right now and read up on RSI. I expect this injury will become more common as everybody is glued to their phones and working online, in poor ergonomic setups no less, but it is just rare enough for frontline doctors to be clueless and hospitals/hand surgeons are literally preying on desperate patients to get carpal tunnel surgeries that don’t help because they are relatively safe cash cows (Hi Sutter).
If you catch it even remotely early you can address it. If you don’t, you’re in for a hell of a fight as I am. I’ve had to scale back and rejigger everything I do. I use dictation software, every combination of mouse and keyboard known to man and I game plan just about everything in my life now … whereas before I would just sit on the computer and knock out tasks at light speed.
The good news is that I’ve been able to rework my work to stay both on the cutting edge of fantasy hoops while also not having to sacrifice parenting time or contribution to the business. That sounds wonderful one might say and it really is but it’s only possible because of the great people here at SportsEthos, who have supported me in every step of my journey and then some.
OK… With that bit of business out of the way, and thank you for your notes and well wishes by the way, let’s get onto the even better news … and I’m not sure it’s really news since it happens every year, but the B150 slayed and by no small margin again.
Against our friends at my old stomping ground (Rotoworld) we won 55-57% of the time straight up and in eight cat leagues when we adjusted for the impact of those wins they played like a 66% win rate. That means you essentially won a pick every two times for their one win if you drafted an infinite a number of times using our ranks.
This comes off of the previous season in which 11-of-14 of my NFBKC teams finished in the top-4 and our ranks absolutely annihilated the industry’s toughest ranks contest. The year before that we had 4-of-5 top-3 finishes in high stakes competition.
In short, we keep winning and our undefeated, all-time record against the industry icons remains intact dating back to 2015 when Ethos started.
Read further to get into the nitty-gritty details and for my thoughts on last season, and then shoot on over our premium sales page and get one of our premium packages. Yes, this is the sales pitch, but really this is about making sure that we continue to lead the way in an industry that has often lost its way.
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The Bruski 150 Evaluation Process
In a truly grueling and inane exercise, we look at the Bruski 150 to find out how we did in a few different lights but ultimately come up with some easy head-to-head analysis of the B150 ranks vs. Rotoworld’s ranks. We also attempt to add some deeper meaning and value to the analysis by weighting ranking wins and losses by the impact they have, which has both qualitative and quantitative evaluations. In each of these ranking analysis I welcome anybody to offer a counterpoint, but the key for making this fair and worthwhile is to be brutally honest with the assessments (which also keeps me well on the side of fair so I can just let this fly and know it’s legit).
What we’re looking to determine is which rank was the smarter rank, accounting for the totality of the situation.
The first and broadest analysis is a rank-by-rank assessment which determines an overall record between the two sites. After all, each of the ranks matter in some context so zooming out to see what the aggregate win-loss records are is a good way to show an overall strength of ranks. It also keeps a few good or bad ranks from swinging the analysis.
Then we look at the ranks while accounting for how important a given prediction was. First we do this by assigning an impact rating. Then when looking at the ranks in relation to ADP, we’re looking for how likely or unlikely was a site’s followers to get the good (or bad) pick, which we end displaying on the graphic below by color (it’s just easier to read that way). Therefore, we call that the color rating.
We multiply the impact rating with the color rating to create a spectrum of outcomes that are a dart throw at emulating year-long profit and loss scenarios, which are the essence of preseason rankings.
So in summary:
• Head-to-Head win/loss totals for the aggregate picture
• Impact Ratings give a more quantitative weighting for predictions and Color Ratings allow for ADP, rank differences and common sense to create a qualitative rating for predictions.
• To create this Impact Score we have a simple scoring system that multiplies these two ratings together and then aggregates the data set
I’m sure we can all poke holes in this approach the more we get away from aggregate, easy-to-parse individual projections. Together, all of the methods bring us closer to understanding if the B150 continues to outpace Rotoworld, who is by-and-large the go-to site for folks (at least for now) that aren’t simply showing up on draft day and using the site’s default ranks.
B150 Results for 2021-22
We did it again! We ran the score up to a perfect 7-0 record over the last seven years, beating Rotoworld 94-72 in 8-cat at a 56.6 percent clip with an outstanding 93-77 run in 9-cat leagues for a 54.7 percent mark.
Then, when we looked at the Impact Score that’s when things got a little nuts. In this methodology if you weighted the predictions that 55-ish percent win clip plays more like 66 percent. That means we quite literally demolished them and to see where that happened you’ll want to look for the DARK GREEN boxes. We also had way less disastrous plays that either left you without value, or kept you from getting value that was easy and there for the pickings. Of course both sites demolished ADP.
Again, does this mean Ethos teams would beat RW teams 66% of the time? Having -200 odds as a favorite feels like a pretty good spot. It all adds up to more chances at the movers and shakers, who can be worth 2, 3, 5 or even 8x more than gaining a round or two of value somewhere on a guy in the bottom half of the draft.
Maybe we just hit a disproportionate amount of big ones (again). Maybe the Impact Score needs better calibration.
Regardless, anytime one can have that type of an advantage against some of the best in the industry, it’s a great year, and for fantasy players who are looking to pair their own thoughts with the best in the business, there’s only so much room for voices. So hopefully this helps inform some of your choices in that regard.
Diving Deeper Into the Evaluation
RANKING VS. RANKING (COLOR RATING)
The color schemes are:
• Dark Green (massive win involving a player that performed very well relative to ADP and/or the other site, easily had opportunity to draft that player)
• Green (a general rankings win, better positioned to draft or miss a player who over/under performed, when evaluating both sites and ADP)
• Yellow (painful loss, rankings prediction put drafters in likely position to move the needle backward with their team)
• Red (brutal loss, rankings prediction hurt drafters in significant ways, missing the mark badly when chance wasn’t a factor)
Another way to look at it might be:
• Dark Green (you did a real good thing)
• Green (you beat the other site/ADP in a way that wasn’t totally negligible)
• Yellow (your rank moved the needle backwards for squads)
• Red (you did a real bad thing)
Not all prediction wins are created equally. Some are dumb luck and have massive impact, which isn’t the sign of a good prediction, and other great predictions have smaller impacts but deserve more credit. If there was an uncontrollable event not tied to obvious injury risk, that’s probably not getting an assessment.
From there we want to look at the nature of injuries. Were they something that we could have known about? Were they factored into the draft situation as a risk-reward play? If a player got extremely lucky due to unforeseen injuries ahead of him, we’re not trying to reward or punish predictions as much as we would a prediction that’s based on known variables — one that reflects greater understanding of stat sets, usage rates and the like.
Mix that all up and then everything gets weighed out in context.
Each rank and evaluation is given the type of scrutiny you’d want to have if you could turn back time and do it all over again.
As we go further down in the draft, when player values start to bunch up, the grading loosens up a tiny bit and color grades won’t reward mild differences. At the same time a sleeper that can crawl up into early round value would get rated as a high impact.
Again, the key to this is to be brutally harsh with myself and give my competition benefit of the doubt when evaluating these predictions.
It’s entirely possible I have screwed up on a piece of logic in an example in an attempt to be expedient. I’m pretty sure any shifting results will be within a reasonable margin of error and not take away from the findings.
If you see anything hugely off, just let me know and I’m happy to make adjustments.
The impact analysis seeks to determine whether the prediction put the drafter in the position for a gain, avoid a loss and to what degree — and then it aggregates that for the entire prediction set.
As for the impact analysis itself, it is also qualitative to some degree but it does trend toward ‘just the facts.’ It’s qualitative in the sense that if a prediction win didn’t beat ADP, that’s not a very impactful play, which happens when ADP actually wins out (it happens!). From there, we’re measuring how much distance was there between the predictions and the results.
That scale from 1-5 — it’s really just 1-4 as a grade of 5 is for Hall of Fame level needle-movers that occur maybe once in a season if they occur at all. Let’s look at the scale:
5: Historical result
4: Prediction leads to extremely important high-end production, or a large number of rounds in the ballpark of a half-draft or greater of increased (or decreased) value for their fantasy GM
3: Prediction leads (or loses) very important high-end production, or results in gaining or losing a significant number of rounds of value (in the 4-8 range depending on how early or late the player in question was drafted)
2: Prediction secures substantial increased (or decreased) value for their fantasy GM (2-4 rounds worth of value dependent upon the facts)
1: A basic head-to-head win that doesn’t meet the criteria above is a 1
No players from the last two years received the fabled ‘5.’ Only one player got a 5 in the prior season and that was James Harden who nearly lapped the entire field in 8-cat. Kawhi Leonard got a 5 the season before that for being the worst fantasy pick of all time, perhaps, as he was a first round pick that nobody could even drop because he strung everybody out in a lost season.
The Big Movers and Shakers
*These are players that did well, not always with respect to the B150, but in general
Nikola Jokic was a runaway freight train yet again. Joel Embiid finally hit, KAT held on and Jayson Tatum paid off. Trae Young survived concerns about rule changes and now plays next to another guy that paid off big for us, Dejounte Murray. We cashed in huge on Tyrese Halliburton and what was probably the fantasy draft play of the year. Ringers knew he was going to be good so he wasn’t available cheap but we leaned in hard and still got insane ROI even if you had to somehow spend a top 40 pick.
We also cleaned up with Mikal Bridges in a similarly competitive situation as he brought back second round value in 9-cat leagues. People wanted to fade us on Terry Rozier and after a slow start we quickly got the last laugh after a top 20 campaign. Anthony Edwards did not come cheap and he delivered all season long on and off the floor. Chris Paul paid off again, Jaren Jackson finally hit and both Jonas Valanciunas and Jrue Holiday were strong. Somehow Robert Williams‘ knee didn’t explode and he surpassed the hype. DeMar DeRozan up and decided he was just better than everybody else this last season.
Darius Garland broke out and we cashed in on Buddy Hield a year too late. We ended up with a lot of Miles Bridges for his breakout year and we had Devin Vassell and Gary Trent everywhere. I wish I had been a bit more aggressive but we also had Al Horford in his turn back the clock season. We didn’t lead the pack with Desmond Bane, who took the league by storm, but we did lead the charge with De’Anthony Melton and turn that late round pick into a near top 75 play.
DID NOT DO WELL
*These are players that did not do well, not necessarily with respect to the B150, but in general
Damian Lillard has always had a reputation for being a safe play and the unsafe finally occurred, crushing fantasy GMs that probably weren’t thrilled having to take him anyway given the lack of upside. Bradley Beal’s bad season was a lot more predictable and it was crushing, as well. Paul George and Jimmy Butler both looked great went on the floor and each let fantasy GMs down in that respect. Bam Adebayo didn’t really look good at any point in time all season. Brandon Ingram did look good but alas injuries were what they were. It was another mostly disappointing year for Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. One day we will find out what happened in Phoenix with Deandre Ayton. OG Anunoby looked great before injuries knocked him off track. Michael Porter Jr. absolutely destroyed us and I’m taking that one about as hard as any as I simply got too aggressive with what he could be rather than adjusting for the now obvious reality of his back issues, which weren’t exactly an unknown at the time. And while I’m bagging on myself it wasn’t the cost of missing on TJ McConnell, Patrick Williams and Chris Boucher, it was the combination of the three together that messed with my squads the most. With freak injuries and odd circumstances surrounding their starts, it just wasn’t all that fun even if McConnell and Boucher eventually turned the corner, with Boucher grabbing a top 85 9-cat finish in a pretty worst case situation for him last year. We dodged the Caris LeVert situation pretty well but had too much Jonathan Isaac, and easily one of the most annoying seasons of the year. Speaking of Jonathan Isaac-level annoying, Kyrie Irving predictably did not hit ADP outside of extreme expert leagues that knew how to value him. Zion needed yet another Mulligan. Young players like DeAndre Hunter, Isaiah Steward, Cam Reddish, Jalen Green and Kevin Porter Jr. couldn’t turn the corner or live up to the hype. Anthony Davis nailed the risk part of the risk reward situation.
The Most Impactful Players
Impact Ratings, if you forgot from above, range from 1-5 with 5 being historical and 1-4 being the only scores issued in the past two years. Again, the scale looks like:
5: Historical result
4: Secured (or lost) extremely important high-end production or a large number of rounds of increased (or decreased) value for their fantasy GM
3: To get a 3 the prediction needed to secure (or lose) very important high-end production or significant increased (or decreased) value for their fantasy GM
2: Securing substantial increased (or decreased) value for their fantasy GM
1: A basic head-to-head win that doesn’t meet the criteria above is a 1
Finally, Here are the Receipts
***CLICK THE IMAGE TO CHECK IT OUT***