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Win Your Fanasty Football League with Game Theory

This article talks about a tech startup whose only function is to help you win your fantasy football season. Using game theory, the startup, DraftSmarts, has effectively created an algorithm that, most of the time, successfully drafts a team that is rated an A- by Yahoo sports and is usually favored to win its respective league. During the draft, the algorithm takes in a number of variables, like how many teams in your league, scoring settings, etc., and using game theory predicts what your opponents will do in advance to advise you on what moves you should make presently. For example, when deciding who you should draft in the first round, most people would think quarterback or running back, however, as stated in the article, if a tight end like Rob Gronkowski of the Patriots is expected to outscore all other tight ends by a wider margin than any quarterback or running back would outscore their counterparts, the algorithm would suggest picking Gronkowski early instead of waiting around.

Additionally, after the draft the app continues to help you week by week by using another algorithm using game theory to advise you on which players you should start or sit each week according to what opposing team they’re playing, injury reports, etc. For example, if you were going to play Odell Beckham Jr. against the Jets, the algorithm might suggest otherwise knowing that he would most likely be defended by Darrelle Revis, the league’s best defender. So by weighing the pros and cons of each situation using game theory, the app essentially guarantees you success in fantasy football or at least far more success than most human intuition would garner.

This relates back to the course because it shows a real world application of game theory and how it can be used in technology. Also, this example of what DraftSmarts has done shows how extensive game theory can be will countless variable and factors weighing into each option.


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September 2015