Big Data = Gaudy Fantasy Football Record

Big Data.  This term is becoming more important in the business world; information is invaluable.  Business people want to know the latest news and have access to all sorts of statistics so they can gain insight about their business.

Fantasy football owners seeking an edge can benefit if they think along these lines and seek out Big Data. Big Data for a fantasy football owner consists of two types information: news updates and statistics.

News Updates
News?  You might be thinking who doesn't have access to fantasy football news?   The web has really leveled the playing field when it comes to keeping abreast of NFL news.  Still, many fantasy owners only get their news from the likes of ESPN or the radio.  However, there is a great way to keep abreast of the latest breaking news -- RSS feeds.    RSS stands for Real Simple Syndication (there are camps that think the acronym stands for something else but that is neither here nor there).  There are many free RSS readers out there.  Perhaps the best in terms of availability, features, and price is Google Reader.  Using the free Google Reader or a smartphone or desktop app that syncs to it, an owner can keep up with breaking NFL news.  This could be pivotal when it comes to benching an injured starter or picking up a suddenly important player off of waivers.  Some great RSS fantasy football feeds are:

Stats are very important to fantasy football owners.  While stats are not fail-proof, they often debunk or at least shed light on conventional wisdom.  An owner that takes the time to review certain key but esoteric stats can really have an edge when it comes to knowing who to start, obtain, or dump. What are those lesser known stats? Glad you asked.  The stats that are most likely going to give you an edge over the typical fantasy owner are:
  • Targets - The number of times a QB threw to a WR, regardless of whether the pass was caught.
  • Carries - The number of times an RB ran the ball.
  • Touches - Receptions plus carries.
  • Red Zone Carries or Targets - How often a player is getting chances to touch the ball inside the opponent's 20-yard line.  The larger this number is, the more opportunities your player is getting to score touchdowns.
  • Pass Attempts - The number of times a QB is throwing the ball.  A QB is more likely to put up large numbers if they are slinging the ball a lot.
  • 3- and 6-week Trends:  Make sure to see what your player has done for you lately.  A player with a nice stat line overall may have tailed off, for instance, making them a good trade candidate.
  • Strength of Schedule:  Look to obtain players whose upcoming schedule will ease; conversely, consider moving a player whose schedule significantly stiffens.
So while more widely followed stats like touchdowns and yardage gained are important, many owners stop there and because of that, may not know the full story.  Get an edge on that type of owner by seeking out the stats that round out the picture.  A great site to get all the information listed above -- for free -- is Fantasy Football Today.

So there you have it.  Like in the business world, information is of huge importance in fantasy football.  Fantasy owners need the most updated news and key stats so they can make quality decisions.  Those owners that do will likely see success.

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