2022-23 Bruski 150 Review

  • For those seeking an immediate dip into the critical analysis of the Bruski 150, click this link and I will send you right to the pure dope (we won again!).

    For those of you who have been around these parts you probably know by now that I use this time to provide a bit of an update on what’s going on with me and also with SportsEthos.

    First let me say that it’s GREAT to be writing.

    Coming from somebody that used to crank out 10,000+ word articles pretty much at the drop of a hat, it’s still weird to say that.

    I’ve shared with you guys for a while my struggles with what might be most easily understood as repetitive strain injury (RSI). This is a thing that happens when you push your body too far with the same type of movements, in this case computer work, and you end up doing damage to your nerves.

    Let this paragraph be one of my warnings to anybody feeling pain in this type of situation. Don’t keep pushing. If you catch it early you can do something about it. The more you push the longer you pay. I’ve been paying for about five years now. I can’t type more than a few words at a time and the consequences for mistakes are measured in weeks and not days.

    And, if you think that sounds terrible, just know that through it I have somehow found a tremendous amount of peace and resilience. It forced me to get very healthy on all fronts and it has opened up an entire world of efficiency work for a lack of a better term. It has aided my personal work focusing on balance and letting go.

    Most relevant to the work we do here I’ve been able to continue with the various things that I do as a competitive basketball analyst, fantasy or otherwise.

    Still, with my limitations and my responsibilities running this company, other than this foundational piece of content for us … the Bruski 150 … the thing I haven’t been able to do is synthesize all of my ongoing analysis into regular season content, social media and other wishlist items.

    We are working to create more dynamic plans to get me on audio and video but overall I have to sit the sidelines in the day-to-day trench work of delivering content — and that is where I feel the experience of being a fantasy/basketball analyst at large is most pure.

    Yes, fantasy drafts in season-long play represent a massive driver of the outcomes. Competitively, though, helping folks steer all season long and simply continuing to answer questions correctly, to me, is where I get my kicks.

    Again, the brain trust over here is going to working overtime to put me in a position where I don’t have to aggravate the condition and slow down my timeline for return. But I just wanted you guys to know that nothing has changed in my approach to the actual analysis and that I miss you all very much <kisses>.

    Other than that things are going really well here at SportsEthos. We’ve put such a premium on making sure the people we work with, both here at the site and out there in the industry, are the kind of people that are about building something sustainable that contributes to the future of the industry.

    With new additions like our content director Keith Cork, Joe Orrico in baseball, and Keston Paul, Jon Marsales and Shane McCormick in both NBA and NFL, not to mention all the new contributors as we’ve expanded across sports … we added firepower to an already dangerous group that has been leading the NBA fantasy industry for most of the last decade and more.

    As for the sports content/fantasy industry, let’s just say it’s very disrupted right now and not in a good way. Don’t get me wrong, we are well-positioned adding firepower while former institutions crumble under the weight of mismanagement, but the bigger picture is how so many are fighting for scraps and the overall user experience on twitter, or within the content and games management realms, is ridden with issues to put it nicely.

    I do think this is a sort of blip on the map as larger industry forces and social platforms figure out how to stop imploding, and eventually the end users get paired with the thing that they very much want to do, which is watch a bunch of games and draft a bunch of fantasy leagues while staying in contact with a bunch of their friends.

    Anyway, there’s plenty of time for industry talk later… now it’s time to dissect my own ranks! Let the carving begin!

    General Results

    The top line headline is that it was another win for the B150 over my old employer, RotoWorld, pushing that record up to an undefeated 8–0. The margin of victory was right around what it has always been in terms of prediction by prediction scoring, but last year was one of the worst years for injuries that I can recall and we had easy money in large batches stolen from us on guys like Desmond Bane and Cam Johnson.

    We weren’t over the moon on Kevin Durant but had him appropriately ranked at number two as injury risk struck, but not the kind you’d be worried about on draft day. Paul George and the Clippers took the season off so your potential first-round asset checking in at the second and third ground price didn’t cash. Herb Jones kept getting injured out of nowhere each time he would start getting momentum. High upside later picks like Isaiah Hartenstein and Isaiah Jackson got messed around with by coaching and lack of organizational foresight, and we had a pretty high concentration of all these guys.

    Still, we won 55-57% of the time straight up and where the aforementioned hit us was the lack of huge gainers to push the impact of these plays to play more like a 65% win percentage as it typically does.

    Am I happy with this? Of course I’m not. I’m entering this season as hungry as I ever have been because I want that 65% impact rate and way more each and every year. It was, in coordination with all the other injuries that everybody dealt with — not just us — a frustrating season knowing that a cluster of B150 guys with such good outlooks cost us that 65% … while we all scrambled to keep up with other high-value guys dropping like flies.

    But this is why I pride myself on having the most brutal self-examination of ranks in the industry today. Anything we don’t hit on we learn from and this deeper analysis allows us to really absorb every side of the coin and understand the trends, and therefore where the publics are going to take the market next season … and then we just keep advancing the corporate knowledge season after season.

    Regardless, pushing my record to 8-0 against my old stomping grounds at RotoWorld is something I have to be happy about knowing that they largely set the market, at least until we start releasing the B150 in the coming weeks.

    Now, let’s get deeper into the analysis!

    Get the ranks that have dominated
    the fantasy basketball industry for a decade.

    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 2022-23

    We did it again! We ran the score up to a perfect 8-0 record over the last eight years, beating Rotoworld 100-81 in 8-cat at a 55.2 percent clip with an outstanding 102-75 run in 9-cat leagues for a 57.6 percent mark.

    Then, when we looked at the Impact Score as mentioned in the general results section we didn’t capture the value on a couple of big gainers that barring surprise injury were a lock, and overall it felt like we just didn’t have that built-in cushion we have enjoyed every season. Both sites got hurt by a lot of the same plays, so in that regard the season trended a little bit toward public. Of course both sites demolished ADP.

    Diving Deeper Into the Evaluation


    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/avoid 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)

    How they get scored:

    • Dark Green (+4)
    • Green (+2)
    • No Color (1)
    • Yellow (-2)
    • Red (-4)

    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 may not get an assessment. In cases where a player without known injury risk is performing as a win and then bad luck hits, nine times out of 10 that’s going to result in a win for the better predictor there (rather than strict allegiance to final rank).

    On this front 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, but at its core these color ranks are measuring how much gain and loss occurred in terms of pure value.

    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 a few seasons ago 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.


    To keep this section from being all over the place it’s split into the players that did well and the players that did not, and then from there we can get into how the rankings and story on the ground all played out.


    *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 but the story of the year was Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, going from player we wished could put it all together to unstoppable force. Joel Embiid paid off in just 66 games and Jayson Tatum was consistent and devastating. Nikola Vucevic quietly rumbled along to a top-five finish. Jimmy Butler didn’t need games played to do his thing and we crushed it with Mikal Bridges yet again… A true B150 Hall of Famer. Domantas Sabonis rumbled to a top 10 finish and so did runner up for story of the year Brook Lopez. Nicolas Claxton broke out a year too late but nonetheless we were there and Jaren Jackson went under the radar during draft season is a big win for the public. Lauri Markkanen was also right behind Gilgeous-Alexander and Lopez for story of the year. Trey Murphy was outstanding at truly mind-boggling levels and Tyrese Haliburton was as promised until the late rest, which is one of those luck-based things that suck about the game right now. B150 riser Onyeka Okongwu quietly delivered a third round season in nine cat. Derrick White was a revelation and Jalen Williams dropped in a top 50 rookie season. De’Anthony Melton cashed in as we all knew he could and Spencer Dinwiddie made a surprise entry in the top 50. Walker Kessler was great. Immanuel Quickley turned it on late and went berserk. Desmond Bane and Cam Johnson were clear wins that got hit with bad luck on the injury front.


    *These are players that did not do well, not necessarily with respect to the B150, but in general

    LaMelo Ball and Cade Cunningham got hit with the injury takedown early on and it destroyed teams. Khris Middleton might have been more frustrating because of the lack of reporting out of Milwaukee that otherwise painted a much better picture. Zion and Ben Simmons were predictably a mess and the Karl-Anthony Towns/Rudy Gobert situation was bad before any injury issues. Rick Carlisle iced out power forward options in Indiana so preseason favorites and B150 guys Jalen Smith and Isaiah Jackson got buried. Brandon Ingram got caught up in the New Orleans nonsense with another injury plagued season. Giannis Antetokounmpo was another punt play overdrafted all over the place. Herb Jones kept getting dinged by unlikely injuries and dwarfed by the ascension of Trey Murphy. Isaiah Hartenstein was a big B150 guy that never got right with all sorts of Thibs going on. Bradley Beal was to be avoided and that played out. Ja Morant… Well you know. Jabari Smith got caught up in the Houston circus where they couldn’t figure out how to get him the ball. Speaking of iced out, DeAndre Ayton just sort of trudged along terribly. Paul George and Kawhi Leonard are now the focus of an NBA rule change, fair or not. Trae Young had a big ranking and did not deliver.

    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



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