2017 Fantasy Football Overview – Part 1

It’s a great time of year for Fantasy Football enthusiasts – DRAFT SEASON!  Drafts will be happening all this month (although you really should wait until the third week of the preseason is completed) so here are some thoughts to help with your draft.  Ultimately, you’re looking to lay the foundation and give yourself a chance to be successful over the course of the season.  So many things need to go just right over the course of a season that you’re not going to win your fantasy season on draft day.  You can certainly lose it however, be prepared.

2017 Fantasy Football Overview – Part 1, strategy sports Fantasy FootballQuarterback

 

This seems to be more and more cliché each year but wait on QB.  Eventually there will have to come a point where everyone will wait and taking a top rated QB will become the optimum play, but every draft I do the top QBs are off the board too early.  This is why.  The top 5 QBs last year averaged 21.66 points per game.   QBs 11-15 averaged 17.34 points per game.  That’s a difference of about 4 points per game.  If you look at the same for running backs it jumps to about 6 points per game.  Based on the assumption that you want to maximize your points per week, you would rather have a top RB and middle QB than top QB and middle RB.  There are a number of other issues but essentially it boils down to opportunity cost.  I would love to have the best QB on my team but in order for me to draft that QB I have to give up drafting say a running back.  I would rather have better skilled players and a middle of the pack QB than the best QB and a middle of the road skilled players

The other strategy that I like to implement is when I do take a QB, I take a second very shortly after.  This is less about bye week fill ins and more about insurance/point maximization.  Players do have bad seasons all the time.  Having two middle of the pack QBs is a great way to ensure that you will have at least one start-able player (especially as most teams in the leagues I play in draft 2 QBs making waiver wire adds more difficult).  The second is that I generally like to play the match-up.  You can easily find two middle of the pack QBs that will produce higher than the top QB (taking whichever QB has the better week as your total).  Now you still have to start the correct QB but generally speaking if you play the match-up you can create a QB by committee that produces close to a top QB level.

 

Running Back

 

I would argue that running back is the most important position to hit on, especially early on.  You need to have a quote unquote stud running back that you can send out there every week.  The first running back you take is going to have the best chance at that but it’s really 50/50 whether they will live up to that stud status.  That is one reason you need to prioritize it early and often.  Give yourself the most amount of chances to get a stud.  According to ADP, Todd Gurley was the first RB taken in most drafts last year.  He finished 20th in total points.  Useable but certainly not what owners had hoped for when they drafted him.  If they had put all their eggs into that basket and waited a long time to draft another they were screwed.

The other issue if injuries.  Running backs take such a beating and  because of this miss the most amount of games due to injury on average.  Counting on two running backs for an entire season isn’t realistic, so you’re going to want to come out of the draft with at least 3 that you would be comfortable starting – but the more the merrier.

Trust me.  Having that one running back that you can pencil into your lineup every week makes your life so much easier.  Do yourself a favour and give yourself a good chance at that by drafting running backs early and often.

Why Ontario Went About the Minimum Wage Increase the Wrong Way

Ultimately, I am a fan of increasing minimum wage.  Wage disparity is problematic and this sort of addresses it but the implementation causes certain problems.

Why Ontario Went About the Minimum Wage Increase the Wrong Way, Ontario minimum wage business

Punishes Businesses that Have a Large Portion of Their Staff as Minimum Wage Works

Companies that have a large portion of their staff as minimum wage works, or close to minimum wage, will see their largest expense massively increase.  The rate hike over the multi-year period will equate to a ~32% increase over this time period.  This is extremely problematic for these businesses.

Businesses that employ people that are primarily high wage workers will see no impact.  People aren’t going to be asking for 32% raises because the minimum wage has increased by that factor.

This is a double standard for businesses.  One of the purposes of this legislation was to help discourage the income disparity.  In their implementation, they are creating a disparity for business based on their industries business model.

Disparity Creates Mass Inflation for the Goods/Services that Minimum Wage Workers Purchase

This goes back to the previous point.  If I am a business that employees primarily minimum wage worker, and my largest expense increases by such a large factor, I have no choice to respond by increasing my prices or try to reduce the number of people I employ.  Alternatively, I would go out of business.

Now, the issue with this is their prices are probably going to have to rise by a similar factor as the wage increase.  Most of the expenses that a minimum wage worker has been paid to businesses that employ minimum wage workers (i.e. food).  This means that their expenses will rise making their 32% high wage they are receiving less impactful.  If expenses increase by the same factor as their wage increase, it’s net zero.

If a business owner decides to try to forgo raising prices and reduce the number of employees they employ, the employment among minimum wage workers will greatly increase.  This means that some that keep employment will see a great benefit, through hirer wages compared to their expenses (prices would not rise by the same factor as wages in this scenario).  However, the supply of minimum wage jobs would greatly decrease.  Since the price cannot change (minimum wage), the supply of minimum wage jobs will not equal the supply and the number of unemployed will increase. This leads back to disparity as things will be better for those that keep their job, but worse for those that lose it.

How it Should Have Been Implemented

Ontario needs to keep the minimum wage increase but spread the cost of the increase in all business, not those that just employ minimum wage workers.  People don’t like the word tax, but there needs to be a tax based on a company’s employee expense.  This tax would get redistributed among businesses based on their % of employment of minimum wage workers.

This will result in all businesses being impacted by the increase equally, which will protect the minimum wage worker – the whole point of this increase!

 

The Greatest Tennis Era

With Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic’s exits from Wimbledon, Roger Federer is now the odds on favourite to win this major.  At the age of 35, he is continuing his run of majors solidifying his claim of the greatest male tennis player ever.  Add in Rafael Nadal as the greatest clay court player of all time and you begin to understand why this is the greatest era ever.

The Greatest Tennis Era, tennis Roger Federer Rafael Nadal greatest earUnprecedented Dominance

Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal are number 1 and 2 on the list of most majors won.  And they are continuing adding to their tally.  Federer has already won one this year and is the favourite to win the Wimbledon.  Nadal dominated the French open this year and if healthy will probably be the odds on favourite every year for the foreseeable future.  If they retired today they would be hands down they most dominate male tennis players to date.  However, they are adding to their totals and making it even more unlikely that anyone will ever touch them in terms of overall majors.

Tough Competition

I truly believe that for someone to overtake the final major total that Federer and Nadal end up with, they will have to be a generational player playing against a field absent of legitimate competition.  Similar to how Serina has dominated over the past while.  Not trying to take anything away from her accomplishments but there is no other player that challenges her on a consistent basis.  Now when you look at the Federer Nadal rivalry, imagine if either of those players were not on the tour for the others careers.  Another way of looking at it is how many majors did they cannibalize from each other.  Roger Federer has only won the French open once, mainly due to Nadal’s dominance.  Imagine how many more he could have won if Nadal was absent from all of those tournaments.  Heck, Roger even sat out the most recent French because he knew he had no chance at beating Nadal.

Not only have the two players been this dominate while playing against each other, they have had periods where they have faced legitimate competition from other players as well.  There was a time that Novak was favoured at the beginning of most majors.  Same with Murray to a lesser extent.

This has been a great period for tennis in terms of level of competition.  It only highlights the impressive accomplishments of these two men.

Likeability

The other great thing that has added to this era of tennis and helps solidify it as the greatest, is the likability of these two men.  Roger Federer is such a gentleman and so humble that you cannot help but cheer for the guy.  Nadal compliments that perfectly as the fiery Spaniard and this creates a perfect dynamic.  If you are not drawn into liking both of them, you instantly love the demeaner of the one and cheer against the other.  This creates not only compelling tennis (there have been so many iconic monuments between the two) but great invested interest for a causal fan.

I’m afraid that the end is drawing nearer for the careers’ of these two men.  Enjoy the final moments of them while you can because I believe that this is the greatest era of tennis and we may never relive this.

Poker Theory – Straight Draw

Hitting a straight is great, you generally get paid!  But the question that I am going to look at is when should you chase for your straight and when should you fold.  Well knowing the math is a must for this situation.  Knowing the math informs all of your decisions!

Poker Theory   Straight Draw, Theory Poker Math

All about Positive Expected Value

Expected value is when the winnings multiplied by the probability of winning is greater than the investment you have to make to have a chance at winning.  In other words, if you have positive expected value, then over the long hall you will make money.  When looking at a straight draw specifically, to determine if you have positive expected value, you need to know three things:

  1. The amount of money you can win
  2. The chances of hitting your straight (assumes you win the pot)
  3. The amount of money you have to put into the pot to continue to be in the hand

Once you know these things, you can determine if you should call or fold on a mathematical level

Math on hitting your straight

This is going to be the toughest math of the 3 steps.  There are going to be 2 scenarios that we are going to look at.  A one card straight draw and a two-card straight draw.

The first thing that we have to look at is how many outs we have in each situation.  If we are looking at a one card, then there are 4 outs.  The 4 outs would be the 4 suits of the same number card you need to complete your straight.  In a two card, straight draw there would be 8.

The next thing you need to look at is the number of unknown cards before the turn and the river come.  On the turn, it is 47, 52 minus the 3 communal cards and the 2 cards in your hand.  On the river, it would be 46 as one more communal card is now exposed.

Now we can figure out the probability of a few things which will dictate how a few different situations play out.

Probability of hitting a 1 card

If the flop has just come out the probability of the next card is one of the 4 that you require is ~8.5% and ~16.5 it is one of the next 2.  If the turn has just come, the probability that it comes on the river is ~8.7%.  So knowing this you can determine the pot odds you require.  If you can guarantee that you will not see another bet on the turn then you can call 6.25:1 pot odds on the flop.  If not, you need closer to 12:1 for your expected value to be positive.  Same for the river as well.

 

Probability of hitting a 2 card

It’s essentially double that of the above scenarios except for the probability that it comes on the turn or the river.  In this case, it is ~31.5% which makes the pot odds just over 3:1.

 

Knowing the math is really valuable for determining whether or not you should call, raise or fold with a draw.  It is the fundamental behind any poker play.

Using Statistical Methods to Predict Web Traffic

I believe it is possible to use statistic models on web traffic data and use it to forecast the traffic that a website will have.  I will first outline the basic model.  Then I will comment on certain aspects that you may want to change depending on the specific website.  Lastly, I will make some general remarks about the model itself.

Using Statistical Methods to Predict Web Traffic, Website Web Traffic StatisticsThe Basic Model

Google Analytics is a wealth of data.  As with any large data set, it would seem reasonable that you can use it to predict the future.  The basic premise of this concept will involve running a regression analysis of a historical data set, with time being the x variable, a number of sessions being the y variable (could potentially modify to use %change as well) to determine a linear equation of the expected traffic.  This will allow the user to input a forthcoming timeframe to get a sense of what the traffic should be.  You can also use the confidence interval outputs to create a range of where the traffic should be within.

 

Changes to Implement

Anyone that uses Google Analytics can tell you that there is a large variance of daily traffic.  I would recommend using weekly data at the minimum.  This will make your results much more statistically significant.  I would recommend some data smoothing.  Certain times of the year just naturally result in less traffic.  For example, over Christmas, many sites will have a drop off in traffic because people are spending time with family and are not working.  If there is a reasonable explanation for why your traffic is down for a particular week then I would recommend removing.  This will lead to better predictive results.  The other thing to keep in mind is seasonality.  Generally, every business will go through busy and slow times during a year.  You should account for this seasonality in your model or at certain points, you will think you are doing better than you would otherwise think you should be and vice versa.  There are a number of ways to get around this.  If you know the seasonality then you can create a model using data just from the seasonal times.  You could also incorporate a moving average.  Creating seasonal models would be best in terms of accuracy but a moving average would be simpler.  If you are going with the moving average note that it will not be perfect in terms of accuracy (especially when the seasonality downturn starts and ends) but still more accurate than nothing at all.

 

Notes

  • Generally, you should try to have a minimum of 100 data points
  • You should update your models to include the most recent data as possible
    • You shouldn’t create one model and keep using it for 100 weeks out
  • The less time you have between from when you create your model to when you predict a web traffic, the more accurate it will be
    • e. if the model signifies t=0, then t=1 will be more accurate than t=10

 

Golden State Better Sweep

Golden State Better Sweep, NBA Finals Basketball

NBA Finals

 

 

 

 

 

These playoffs and even this basketball season as a whole have been awful.  The one saving factor that we as fans had was the promise of this epic final between Golden State and Cleveland.  So much for that

At the beginning of the season, everyone knew barring injury that the final was going to be Cleveland and Golden State.  Which made for a really uneventful season and playoffs.  There were debates about which was better – an epic final and great rivalry over the next period or a season where anything can happen.

I could have gotten behind an epic final but with Golden State up 3-0 that’s not the case.  The one saving grace of this season, and this is only a slightly redeeming quality, is that we might see history with Golden State going 16-0 in the playoffs.

If Cleveland does end up winning game 4 then this season will have been a complete waste.  No team has ever come back so don’t start with the ‘it’s not over until it’s over’ nonsense

 

Already the NBA must look at this season as an eye opener to the product that they are providing.  There needs to be some sense of competition.  As I said earlier, I can get behind a pointless season and most of the playoffs IF the finals are epic.  But that is a huge risk for the NBA to allow this to happen because you can end up getting what happened this year – a complete waste of a season from an entertainment standpoint.  And when it comes to professional sports, the entertainment is all that matters.

 

One of the things that make the NFL so great is that anyone can win.  Sure, you get teams like New England that perform well every year, but even in their most dominant season, they lost in the Super Bowl.  The old adage of any given Sunday really holds true and is something the NBA could learn from.  I truly believe ‘any given night’ would be a great saying for the NBA to shoot for.

 

Anyways, back to the original point.  Personally, I really hope that Golden State does sweep so that there is something to take away from this season.  Sure, I am kind of hoping for something to happen that really would encapsulate what I am disappointed about.  But this might be a way to perpetuate change, draw attention to the issue if you will.

So, GO WARRIORS GO!

Teams That I Believe Will Regress this Season

This post is the complimentary to other post I’ve made about teams that I think will improve.  Once again, this will be in order of most to least confident

Teams That I Believe Will Regress this Season, NFL

Detroit Lions

This is more about Detroit not being anywhere close to their record last year.  The amount of fourth quarter comebacks they had last year is not sustainable. Their defense is devoid talent and for them to win, their offense will have to continue to make comebacks.  The law of averages says this won’t happen.

Dallas Cowboys

Dallas’s defense was not good last year and they’ve lost several players, meaning chances are they will be worse.  This means their offense will have to carry them again.  Now, their offense is super talented but I’m warry on a few different fronts.  Firstly, they were pretty healthy last year. All it takes is an injury or two to a key person and it can go down hill really fast.  Secondly, the strength of their team is their line.  They have the three studs who are going to dominate.  But with an offensive line your weakest link is just or even more so important than your strongest.   If either of the two remaining spots do not work themselves out, it will be difficult for Dallas to dominate on the offensive front like last year.  Lastly, I am concerned about Dak.  He plaid amazing as a rookie last year.  But now coaches have time to analyse what he’s good and struggles with.  The game should become a lot harder for him.  It would not surprise me if he turns the ball over more this year.

New York Giants

The New York Giants won games on their defense last year.  But here is the odd thing.  They had a terrible pass rush.  This means they dominated in the secondary.  And when they played Green Bay in the playoffs and had injuries to the secondary you saw what happened.  DRC is a hugely important part of their secondary as he plays the slot in their nickel packages.  I don’t believe that he will stay healthy.  If their defense takes a step back their offense will have to pick up the slack. I really like the additional of Brandon Marshall but their line is still awful.   I believe that is too big of a short coming to pick up the slack from the step that the defense will take back.

Other Notes

Quickly, I believe that Oakland and KC will also take steps back.  I really like both teams but 12 wins is had to accomplish.  The division will be tough as well as playing 1st and 2nd place schedules.  Wins will be cannibalized

JOIFUL On-Demand Beauty and Wellness App is expanding to SoCal

JOIFUL is a one stop app for all your beauty and wellness needs. They offer more than 20 services offered to fulfill most grooming needs for men and women. The app promises a spa-like experience and delivered straight to the clients door within an hour.

JOIFUL On Demand Beauty and Wellness App is expanding to SoCal,
After a very successful launch in Los Angeles in February of this year, JOIFUL has plans to expand in Santa Barbra, Ventura, and Orange Counties before summer.  They have began hiring hair stylists, makeup artists, massage therapists, nail technicians and aestheticians.

“We’ve seen an amazing response in L.A. and anticipate the same results in Santa Barbara, Ventura and Orange Counties, where market conditions are ripe for JOIFUL,” said Chad Law, VP Sales and Marketing.  “We have an aggressive growth plan based on demand, as women and men continue to adopt the on-demand model as part of their grooming and beauty routine.”

Teams I Think are Going to Improve

Below are some teams that I think going to improve a lot over last season’s record.  I’ve structured it from most confident about the turnaround to least confident.

L.A. Chargers

This division should be one of the toughest in football this year and I think the Chargers are going to compete for a title.  Last year they were decimated by injury as well as found a way to lose games they should have won.  Chances are this won’t happen again.  In terms of talent, Teams I Think are Going to Improve, NFL forecastI think they are up there with all the other teams in the division.  Their defense is super underrated.  They have 2 legitimate pass rushing options as well as great cover corners on the back end.  This allows tremendous scheme flexibility and gives them the ability to match up with any opponent.  On offense, their biggest weakness is their offensive line.  They addressed this in the draft by adding two of the top guards in this class.  Every other position group they have above average talent.  Mark my words – if the Charges can avoid the insane amount of injuries they had last year, they are going to compete in this division.

 

New Orleans Saints

The Saints Issue last year was their defense.  Every level was terrible but their secondary was particularly poor.  Not only did they draft the first cornerback taken in the draft but they get Delvin Breaux back from injury (the one corner who has shown starting NFL caliber level of play) and they drafted a safety who should come in and start.  This should do wonders to their secondary as their adding 3 starters.  On the defensive line, they are adding their first-round pick from last year who missed the regular season due to injury.  That’s a large talent injection to their defense.  If they can get decent play from that until they have a chance to be good as their offense is always one of the tops in the league.

Cincinnati Bengals

Their offensive line still scares me but I think they have the weapons to overcome it.  With A.J. Green and John Ross on the outside, Defenses should be playing a lot of 2 high safeties.  This makes life a lot easier for the line as blitz looks are a lot less complex and in theory less concerning.  It should also help Andy Dalton, in addition to just having more talent around him, as one of his biggest weaknesses is when the pre-snap look changes post snap.  If teams are in 2 high safeties then they won’t be able to disguise as much and change the post-snap look.  Also in adding Joe Mixon, they added a running back that can make the line look better than it is from the running game perspective.

The problem last year was their offense.  I think after this offseason they can become great again and if that happens then they should be back in contention for the AFC north.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

I really liked Tampa’s offseason.  The only reason I don’t have them higher is because they already had a winning record last year and getting to double digit wins in the NFL is tough.  Also, take into their schedule.  I think that everyone in their division improved and they are playing the second-place schedule instead of the last place. That being said their defense should be about the same but their offense took leaps forward in my opinion.  Adding Jackson opposite Evens (who also is a fast receiver) creates the same look as Cincinnati where teams are not want to bring the extra safety down into the box.  This should help the line as well as the running game.  The other offensive player they added was O.J. Howard an excellent in-line TE.  Why this is important is it will allow Tampa to play in base personnel, simplifying the game for Winston, and still give them the flexibility to create mismatch opportunities.  They have a great f-type TE in Brate who they can move around the formation if they so choose.  This will make them an almost impossible team to match up to, which is why I think they will improve.

Minnesota Vikings

This one is more logic.  They can’t have as bad of an offensive line as they did last.  If you add an improved line and potentially great back, that can create on his own further helping the offensive line, to their dominate defense and that should equal success.

Jacksonville Jaguars

If you take the QB position out of the equation then they have a really talented roster.  Last year their defense was really good, they just got off to a bit of a rough start and it threw off the data a bit.  During the offseason, they added more talent to their defense.  They have the talent to be a top until in the league.  If they can get to that level and have a decent running game they’ll be in a lot of games.  Also note that when Blake did have his best season, he was really good on play action.  A good running game can help the play action game but it’s more about the philosophy and playing out of running sets that can help a play action game.  Logically they should be in contention for the division.

Philadelphia Eagles

They added a lot of pieces to their already talented team in the offseason and they just happen to address a lot of their areas of need.  Based on that I think they will be better than last year.  The reason I have them at the bottom of the list is I’m not sure that the issues that hindered them last year won’t this year as well speed at wide receiver, offensive line depth, and corner talent.  Torey Smith is fast but not a good NFL receiver so I’m not sure that solves the problem.  I am a fan of the Jeffery signing and think he helps the team, but he doesn’t address the speed issue really and he has been unavailable for a lot of games recently.  Not sure you can count on a full season from him.  Last year when Lane Johnson went down, Wentz struggled.  They didn’t add any depth on their offensive line.  They added a lot of corner talent but due to injury, it might not be super impactful this season.

2017 NFL Draft – Round 1 Reactions

2017 NFL Draft – Round 1 Reactions, nfl draft NFL

Oddly enough, yesterday was one of the premier dates on the NFL calendar even though there is no football being played.   But I fall victim to it as well as I think it’s a lot of fun!  Below are some of my thoughts on the first round.  I think draft grades are silly, especially after the first round when you haven’t seen the team’s complete strategy unfold, as you should wait a few years to see how these players pan out.  However, there are some things I liked, things I didn’t like and some things I found interesting without getting too snap judgy.

 

Cleveland Browns:

Overall, I liked what they did.  Yes, they still need a QB but Mitchell Trubisky was not worth the  1st overall pick, especially when you consider the alternative in Myles Garrett.  I’m making a bit of an assumption that Trubisky was their guy.  Once he was gone trading up from 12 to draft one of the other 2 qbs would not have been smart just so you can say you drafted a qb.  I am surprised at the next 2 players they chose given their analytical approach.  Both are more projection players so we’ll have to wait and see how they work out.  But given that they have lots of time to develop players they do have time to let them develop so that’s a positive.

Chicago Bears:

It’s a bit of an odd strategy they are implying here.  The signing of Mike Glennon makes a lot less sense now.  I guess what they are hoping for is that he plays well and then they can trade him next offseason when Trubisky is ready to take over.  If that works out then sure, I guess that is a great strategy.  However, I feel this is rather unlikely.  First of all, their receiving core is a mess and now that they’ve traded away their midround picks I doubt this will change.  I feel they should have signed a placeholder qb and either rolled over the $11 million savings to next years cap or signed some other free agents.  The reason they are picking so high is they have holes on their roster.  They are not going to be filled this offseason.  Trubisky might work out and be a franchise altering qb which would be great for them, but it doesn’t mean the process was correct.

San Francisco 49ers

Great on them for picking up 2 mid round picks and still getting the guy they wanted.  You can defiantly make the case that they should have drafted for need a little bit more as their last 3 top draft picks play the same position essentially.  But if it comes together than this isn’t and issue.  As for Reuben foster, he’ll either be a great player or wont be able to get himself together and will flame out of the league.

 

Jacksonville Jaguars

I am very weary of this pick.  Ultimately, he needs to produce at the level that Adrian Peterson did when he came into the league.  Anything short of that and it’s a mistake – time will tell but that’s a high standard.

Tennessee Titans

I like what they did.  It would have been nice if they could have traded out of that pick but you still need someone to trade up to be able to do that.  Given the run on receivers that happened after, their guy would have been gone by 18.  You can’t fault a team now for taking their guy when the drop off in talent is so large for when they would get to pick again.

 L.A. Chargers

Bit of a luxury pick given the talent they have at WR, but given their needs they could wait until a later round to address and get a similar player.  If they don’t address their needs than maybe something more can be said about this pick.  That said, they must really like Mike Williams or really fear injuries at that position because he really isn’t that much of an upgrade over what they have.  I’m really interested to see what scheme they end up playing.  If it is the Seattle style that everyone says than maybe passing on Malik Hooker will come back to bite them.  But their current personal is more suited for a man scheme, which Hooker would not nearly have the impact in that scheme so that would make more sense.

Carolina Panthers

I’m very concerned with this pick.  I believe that Christian McCaffrey is worth a top 10 pick, but to a team that can maximize his value and I do not believe Carolina’s scheme will do that.  Time will tell if I’m wrong but those are my thoughts.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

They have a scary group of skilled position players now especially if they can add a running back in the later rounds.  I expect them to play lots of 21 personal now.  This should simplify the game for Jameis reducing his interceptions as well as really help their running game.  With Jackson and Evens on the outside opposing defenses will be very reluctant to play with only 1 deep safety.

New York Giants

It will be interesting how they deploy him.  The Giants have 3 good wide receivers so you would imagine they’ll want to play 3 wr sets.  Assuming that they go that route, they’ll be asking Engram to be an in-line TE which he is undersized for.  If they detach him the only things they can run are quick strike passing concepts as they otherwise their line will get exposed with no help.

Other Thoughts:

With the depth at corner they really got pushed down.  A lot of offensive and defensive line players went higher than expected.  Makes sense as teams feel they can get a similar player later in the draft.  With multiple teams, I believe using this strategy I expect there to be a run on them in the second round

Can’t wait to see how the rest of the draft plays out!  This will give you a few more clues to the team’s strategy as well up coming plans.  After the draft is complete we can judge the team’s strategy much more effectively

image: pixabay

The Force Up – New Rule That Makes Bid Euchre That Much Less Frustrating

Bid euchre is a great game!  If you like euchre and don’t know what bid euchre is google it.  It is a far superior version and once you start playing it you will never go back to regular euchre.  This post is going to be fairly specific – so I suggest only people that are familiar with the game continue reading.

 

The Force Up – New Rule That Makes Bid Euchre That Much Less Frustrating, strategy cardsWhat is the force up?

 

The force occurs when it is your bid and you force your partner to go alone.  Technically it can occur at any time and with any number of assist cards (the cards that are added to the loner player’s hand received from the partner).  However, typically you only see the 3rd or 4th bidding player forcing their partner up.  The reasoning is it is not a good strategy to force your partner up when you have zero idea what is in their hand.

 

Why is this a great rule?

 

The easiest way to answer this is to explain how the rule came about in the first place.  I started really getting annoyed when my partner or myself would be first to bid and we had a great hand – so great that we would be a card or two away from a lay down loner.  But because you’re bidding first you have no information as to what is in your partner’s hand so either you must risk it, hoping your partner has it, or not go alone.   Now in a normal situation, mathematically it makes sense to not go alone.  But when your partner did end up having that card it was super frustrating.  So how to get around this is the force up was created which allows your partner to force you to go alone when they have the card they assume you need.  So, this rule really just removes the frustration of this situation.

 

An example to make sure you’re following

 

Examples are the best way to fully understand in my opinion so here is one.  Let’s say you’re first to bid and this is your hand.  1x Jack of diamonds, 2x Jack of hearts, 2x Ace of diamonds, 1x Ace of hearts, 1x Ace of clubs, 1x King of spades.  Now that is a great hand.  If you were to try going alone with 2 cards, with diamonds being the suit, you would need your partner to have the jack or diamonds or for the opponent that holds it to have no other diamonds in their hand.  You could try going alone but mathematically you’re better off calling 6 diamonds.  So, let’s say you’re a smart player and call 6 diamonds.  It gets to your partner and they do indeed have the jack of diamonds.  They can force you up with 2, giving you the jack of diamonds and either another trump or an ace and it will be a lay down (no matter what your opponent has they cannot beat you).  If they don’t have that jack then they pass and if you win the bid then you’re guaranteed your 6 points, perhaps more.  So, you’re guaranteed 6-12 points with this rule.  Without it you either are limited to a maximum of 8 points or you could go alone but you would risk going down 12.

 

All in all, I think it’s a great rule and I’m sure if you start playing with it, you will agree too!  Next time you play go and give the force up a try!

image: pixabay

Building an NFL Team

It’s draft season and with it comes hope for every NFL franchise.  They bad teams are hoping to use the draft to makeover their roster and set them up for future success.  The good teams are hoping to add that one difference maker to put them over the edge and give them a shot at the Super Bowl.  As a fan, it can be tough to take the emotion out of analyzing the moves of your favorite teamBuilding an NFL Team, NFL Draft, but here is a strategy to consider, most of which use cold hard data, before you criticize too much.

 

Offense over defense – Offensive success correlates more to team wins than defense.  I’ve looked at, what I think, are two of the most important team metrics; DVOA and red zone scoring (TD only).  Both correlate very well to overall team wins and conceptually this makes sense.  What’s nice about these stats is the offensive and defensive contributions can be isolated.  Comparing the offensive and defensive contributions to team wins, both offensive metrics correlate a good amount higher than defensive.  What this means is a team with a good offense should have more wins than a team with a good defense.  A good example of this in action is the most successful team of the current generation, the New England Patriots.  In the recent years that have taken to trading away all their defensive talent.  Yes, there are salary cap considerations but they have retained their offensive talent so it would make sense that they are following this strategy.

 

Now that’s not to say to only focus on offense and just sign undrafted free agents to play on defense.  What it means is that a team should prioritize having a good offense over having a good defense.  And I would further break it down to be a team should prioritize having a good offense over having a good defense apart from pass rush.  I haven’t looked into the numbers on this to see if this theory actually is valid but I feel the concept behind it is sound.  Assuming a team has adopted the above philosophy it’s unrealistic for them to have a dominate defense.  I believe that if a team puts a few recourses into having a good pass rush and is not absolutely terrible elsewhere on the defense they can be a bend but don’t break defense. The reason this is important is it goes back to the red zone metric described above.  On defense, you want to reduce the amount of red zone TD’s given up per game based on this metric.  I believe that if you have a good pass rush, a team will be able to have a low red zone td percentage which will lead to few red zone TDs conceded.  The reasoning for this is in the red zone the space a defense must defend is a lot less.  With each defender having to defend a smaller zone (assuming zone defense will be played as it is unlikely for a team that doesn’t have great corner’s to be playing man) it should take longer for receivers to get open, allowing more time for the pass rushers to get home.  If you have a good pass rush this should be a recipe for stopping teams once they get to the red zone.

 

There was a lot of theories and numbers outlined above, but what you should take away from it is if your team goes into this season with a good offense and pass rush, chances are they are going to be in playoff contention.  And as a fan, what more can you ask for!

 

image: pixabay