For the past four weeks, like many other Americans (mostly men) who are simply not satisfied enough with just watching their favorite teams play, I have been drawn into the world of Fantasy Football. This being my first year playing, there was certainly a learning curve for me (which I continue to attempt to overcome). For those of you who don’t know what Fantasy Football is, it is simply choosing the best (i.e. your favorite) players from all the many players in the NFL, and forming them into a motley team under whatever clever name you’ve come up with. Then, as the weeks progress, if your players do something good on the field, your team gets points; if your players do something bad on the field, you lose points. At the end of each week, the team with the most points is the winner.
Obviously, what makes this pseudo-sport difficult is selecting the players for your team. Everyone is choosing from a limited supply of players, and you want to make sure you have as many high scoring players as possible. The real problem, however, comes from how unpredictable sports players can be. While a player on your team may have seemed amazing before, they could totally fail you and get few points when playing against a different team each week. Similarly, the player who was ignored because of bad past performance may suddenly step up and leave everyone wishing they had him on their team. Therefore, being able to predict the performance of each player is crucial to a good Fantasy Football team.